357 Magun
Will Dabbs MD Photo
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Our hero was striking out for a night on the town and felt himself in need of some protection. Back when I worked in an urban emergency room, I was forever amazed at how much misery and chaos could have been avoided had folks simply made wiser life choices. No offense to the professional party animals in the audience, but nothing good happens outside the home at one o’clock in the morning. Had this gentleman simply remained in his crib and slept like normal folks, he and I never would have met.

The Devil is in The Details

We diehard gun nerds prattle on incessantly about the nuanced details of the ideal concealed carry arm. I have myself spilt a veritable river of ink on the subject between my time split between gun writing and working as a doctor. However, in many cases out in the real world, the defensive firearm you use is the one you have available. In this case it was a proper .357 Magnum revolver.

I have no idea about the details. The guy discarded the gun at home before making his way to the hospital. What I do know is that as he went to stuff the massive hogleg into his belt he somehow inadvertently stroked the trigger. The zippy hollowpoint bullet subsequently tracked down the lateral aspect of his right leg, leaving a curious red crease to mark its passage. However, it then collided violently with this unfortunate gentleman’s ankle.

Like women to a degree, gunshot wounds all have uniquely quirky personalities. Most handguns punch tidy holes. Despite the neatness on the outside, inside they can create the most breathtaking mischief, particularly when stoked with modern high-performance bullets. Still, the external stigmata are often not terribly impressive. By contrast, rifles, by means of hydrostatic shock or extreme pressure or whatever, will often produce fairly explosive results. Shotguns charged with most anything will, at appropriate ranges, make a guy look like he was worked over with a big honking ice cream scoop. In this case, that big 158-grain jacketed hollow-point made contact with bone. The results from a medical perspective were impressive, to say the least.

Downrange Devastation

That powerful wheelgun very nearly took that poor kid’s foot off. The offended appendage hung at an unnatural angle. What was left of his ankle structure does not bear detailed description in a family-friendly venue.

Shot placement is indeed everything. However, imagine had he been an armed assailant bent on mischief. Despite only being shot in the foot, that guy would have still just been done. I’m not for a moment suggesting that shoot-to-wound should ever be a real thing. It was simply that a magnum to the ankle can nonetheless be a wonder to behold.

357 Magnum
Will Dabbs MD

As it was, we just got the poor dude stabilized and passed him off to the orthopedic residents for some proper attention. What followed was a couple of surgeries, a little hardware, and a heck of a lot of physical therapy. Eventually he would actually learn to walk again, albeit with a pronounced limp. That eternal affliction would forever serve as a reminder of this one particularly memorable night on the town, and should serve as a lesson and reminder to us all, to exercise extreme care when strapping up as well as to probably be sure to use a quality holster instead of simply tucking a loose gun into your pants.

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  1. A .357 to the ankle, or the wrist, is more effective than a 9mm to the stomach. A .44 magnum can leave an arm dangling from the shoulder socket.

    Power matters. Stopping power is not a myth.

    • “Stopping power is not a myth.”

      It is, if you are using any calibre less than .500.; a real he-man’s bullet of choice.

      If you don’t agree, you are evil, wicked, mean, bad, and nasty.

      And dumb.

        • “Well 9 is way bigger than 0.5, so I’m good.”

          Hmmmm. Always thought 12.7mm was bigger than 9mm

          My bad.

          But I do know the vicious .9mm is way better than 9mm.

        • Are we even allowed to discuss the .9mm anymore? The most lethal round ever developed by the hands of man.

    • This person may very well have been stopped but that is a poor example. Knives have stopped plenty of people from continuing to live.

      Taking the left arm off doesn’t necessarily mean the right hand stops squeezing the trigger. But by the same token, a nine to the stomach is not a hit to a vital and could easily translate to the bad guy still being able to kill for another 10-20 minutes. If your using 9mm, don’t aim for the stomach.

  2. “What I do know is that as he went to stuff the massive hogleg into his belt he somehow inadvertently stroked the trigger.”

    Sounds like the ‘mental marvel’ had a nice .357 with a lightened and slicked-up trigger job.

    Perfectly fine at the range, not so much for Mexican carry.

    “As it was, we just got the poor dude stabilized and passed him off to the orthopedic residents for some proper attention. What followed was a couple of surgeries, a little hardware, and a heck of a lot of physical therapy.”

    God bless ER docs, and orthopedic surgeons, the paint and body pros in medicine. To this day, when I look at the radiologist images of my lower leg after I got clocked, and what a mess they were, to where I am now, I’m still amazed. I have permanent reminders, but I’m 95 percent back to where I once was, before…

    • “Sounds like the ‘mental marvel’ had a nice .357 with a lightened and slicked-up trigger job.”

      That’s exactly what I was thinking too.

    • In the days before cell phones I had a cousin who was in the boonies by himself shooting his pistol. An Old Model Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt. He was trying to get a fast draw faster. He was co-cking the hammer back while the muzzle was still in the holster. His thumb slipped and the round went off. It traveled nearly the entire length of his leg, entering in his upper leg and exiting at his heel.

      No cell phones and no one with him. He hobbled back to his car. Drove himself to the hospital. Made more interesting because his car had a clutch.

      The times certainly have changed. ER people simply added his still partially loaded Ruger to his personal effects and proceeded to treat him.

      The police were notified because it was a gun shot wound. After talking to him and doing some paper work they left. No charges were filed.

      this was CA in the 60’s.

      • “this was CA in the 60’s.”

        Maybe your grand-kids will grow up to a return of sanity…

      • Circa 1990, also before mobile cell phones, I was out in the SoCal desert boonies with a handful of friends to shoot handguns. We were so far out, it was about two hours to the nearest city at the time. One of guys had told us he’d shot handguns before and knew what he was doing (a lie, but I didn’t know it at the time). I handed him a 1911, he wrapped his support hand around his dominant hand in a manner that placed his thumb behind the hammer (not both thumbs facing forward together), and when he pulled the trigger the slide cycling backward tore through the thumb. Blood everywhere and an abrupt end to our shooting festivities as I took off my sock and applied it to his hand as a makeshift tourniquet. Then it was off to the nearest medical center.

        I learned that day how important it is to properly monitor people while they’re handling guns.

        I also learned that day the importance of being prepared with medical supplies in the event of an injury, especially out it the boonies.

        I also-also learned some people are simply idiots, and you can’t fix stupid. I still know that guy to this day, and he hasn’t gotten any smarter over the past three decades.

    • No geoff…it sounds exactly like a worthless pos who berates instructions on how to make a trigger plug.

      • If you’re stupid enough to stuff a chunk of rubber behind your trigger, you deserve to die in a gun fight.

        How about doing us all a solid in TTAG and offing yourself? 🙂

        • geoff…gfy you worthless pathetic mealy mouth democRat lint licking pos…take up knitting pervert, you don’t know squat about firearms.

        • “geoff…gfy”

          No, I’d rather you instead. You might even like it, a lot. 🙂

          Is widdle deb-deb triggered?

          C’mon, sweetness, humiliate yourself trying to insult me… 😉

        • geoff…what part of gfy don’t you understand? I’m sure a turd like you has heard that a time or two from women…ain’t that right shtforbrains?

        • “geoff…what part of gfy don’t you understand?”

          It’s plainly obvious by now I get you all hot, bothered, and worked-up, so why not you and I get together and relieve some of that stress? 🙂

          (I can email you some references as to my ‘skills’, if you like…)

        • geoff shtforbrains/pervert put up or stfu…Would a trigger plug have saved the foot of the individual who shoved the .357 down his pants as noted in the article? Yes or No gutless wonder.

        • “geoff shtforbrains/pervert put up or stfu”

          You’re on! 🙂

          Your place or mine, dear?

        • @Geoff,

          This is a Debbie imposter. Doesn’t sound at all like the real Deb. Very few people here use Gravatars anymore.

        • “pervert azzkisser.”

          So, you’re into the ‘dirt’ scene, eh?

          Sorry, mine is exit-only…

        • geoff…Cease playing with your perverted self long enough to Answer my 22:57 question. After you answer little man I’ll tell you what my skills with a knife can do to you.

        • “…I’ll tell you what my skills with a knife can do to you.”

          Isn’t it *plainly* obvious to you by now? You’re wound far too tight, get some much needed ‘attention’ before you snap like a rubber band.

          If what’s at home is unable to “rise to the occasion”, I’ll be happy to step in… 🙂

      • Besides your posts here I have never heard of trigger plugs. In fact when I did a search after you first mentioned the item I couldn’t find a single reference outside of your posts on TTAG.

      • Insurance. My family t4ends to be fully insured. It makes sense. I pay cash for my cars and still carry full coverage insurance.

  3. As a person who has been involved in a lenghty medical malpractice suit involving a family member I would like to direct the writer and readers to visit their state office of medical examiners and read the cases against azzhats in the medical profession. That said, have someone watch your back or a loved one’s back while having anything to do with a hospital stay, ask for copies of reports, etc. and keep it all strictly business.

    • Approximately 250,000 people died due to medical errors and malpractice in the United States in 2016 or 9.5% of all deaths. In 2022 that number had increased to nearly 400,000 or a 60% increase. In just 7 years.

      • ‘Medical malpractice’ and horrors in the medical community is the most hushed up cause of death in the country.

        In the United States: In the last 35 years more than 7,000,000 people have died (literally been killed) as a result of ‘medical malpractice’, ~30% of those were under 18 years of age. In the last three years more than 15,000 kids in the age range 6 – 16 have died as a result of ‘transitioning’ drug therapy (including ‘gender identity disorder’ mental health treatment) and surgical practices applied by ‘trans’ or ‘gender affirming’ ‘LGBTQ+ community supporting’ doctors.

        Ban assault ‘medical professionals’ now! Ban ‘high capacity’ prescription pads now.

      • When 250,000 was the AMA’s number several years ago, the Trial Lawyers claimed 450,000 at the same time period.

        2022’s Real Number is probably 500,000 to 600,000. That’s 2,000/Day.

        Rifles, meanwhile, kill 1.5 persons per day.

  4. As someone who once had his left ankle turned into a maraca (albeit not by shooting myself), I feel this post.

  5. Use a quality holster made specifically for the firearm being carried. Hold that holster in place with a good quality gun belt. Do this wisely.

    After seeing what nearly everyone did with Covid and those shots coupled with certain personal experiences, my trust and faith and 98% of the medical profession has been serious blown. That’s not even to mention that many of these so-called doctors are mutilating children for purely political purposes. Insuring they will never reproduce or live any kind of normal happy life. Too many people have been forced into misery or death as a result of doctors. The first rule is “do no harm”. Something most of them have chosen to ignore.

    • Personally, I am not only okay with them not being able to reproduce, I would like to see the practice for libs in general greatly expanded.

      • They’re a ‘self-extincting’ population, aren’t they? It’ll take a couple generations, but eventually they’ll be gone.

  6. “…be sure to use a quality holster instead of simply tucking a loose gun into your pants.”

    It won’t matter one bit if you ”jam” your handgun into whatever receptacle you choose while the trigger finger is on the trigger. Most of these negligent discharges happen while holstering and/or re-holstering. Perhaps better to practice that than your draw.

  7. Nice to see read ya again Will. I confess I still haven’t acquired a Bug-A-Salt yet. Thinking maybe this summer. 🙂

  8. Firearms don’t mix well with booze or dope or stupidity.
    Best to disarm if you are planning to partake.

    • LOUIS,

      Do people actually PLAN to partake of stupidity, or is it just their natural condition (c.f., MajorLier or dacian the demented, who seem to partake of stupid on the daily)??

      the only way I would carry a handgun OUTSIDE a proper holster is if it was in my hand, ready for use. “Mexican carry” is for idiots.

      And as the saying goes, “No one ever won a gunfight by having the fastest reholster.” Take your time, and do it right. And KEEP YOUR BOOGER HOOK OFF OF THE BANG SWITCH.

      But I agree, it sounds like this particular person partook of stupidity on a regular basis, and was intending to partake of other substances not normally associated with proper gun handling. I’ve said it before on this forum, but my son (who is one of the few people I personally know who owns more guns, and shoots more often, than I do) has an ironclad rule at his house – “When the booze comes out, the guns get put away”. Sounds like this person was stupid on multiple levels.

  9. Well at least Dabbs made it through an article without playing dress up. You know, he has dozens of idiotic costumes like his Nazi fan boy suit or Miami Vice getup? Really helps your gun writer cred when you’re a fuddy LARP…yawn.

    Lot of decorated former soldiers and even doctors write well without early Halloween every time, glad to see he’s giving the serious approach a try.

  10. @Rad Man January 13, 2024 At 12:36
    “Are we even allowed to discuss the .9mm anymore? ”

    Looks that way; my comment wasn’t moderated.

  11. I enjoyed your writing, Doctor. Especially how you used “Spilt” and “Split” in the same sentence. Clever. Great content, too!

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