Do you die instantly from a gun shot to the head? Do you feel any pain …

  • A bullet wound to the head is usually fatal but not always.

    Like mentioned above hitting the skull (not the face or jaw) with a high velocity round. The round will impart its energy as a shock wave through the brain matter that will essentially destroy it, as the brain has the consistency of a blancmange (jelly and custard).

    The bullet strike will be painless because the speed of the destruction of the brain matter is faster than the body can transmit the pain signal so you wont feel the first strike to the flesh of your head as the brain behind it gets destroyed before the pain signal gets there.

    In essence one moment you are alive and aware the next is like you never existed.

    The fastest nerve impulses in the body are carried by myelinated nerve fibers and travel at up to 150 m/sec, or 336 mph. Pain signals transmitted by unmyelinated fibers travel much slower than that. A 124 grain bullet fired from a modern semiautomatic 9mm pistol has a muzzle speed of around 320 m/s, or 720 mph. If someone is shot point blank in the head with the bullet penetrating the brainstem, the bullet gets there before the nerve impulses do. In such conditions, it is probably painless, and the person getting shot won’t even hear it, because auditory signals are propagated by nerves too.

    With that in mind, when people shoot each other or themselves, quite often it doesn’t happen the way it was intended. If they jerk the trigger and the trajectory is high, for instance, and the bullet enters the skull but does not damage the deep structures of the brain, it might be very painful indeed, not to mention messy. The internet is full of gory photos of people who tried to commit suicide by shotgun and ended up blowing their faces off and surviving. The unfortunate gunshot victim may end up very much alive and fully conscious but disfigured or severely and permanently disabled, completely dependent on others for their survival and living in a nursing home.

    If you are considering suicide, please don’t. Lock up your guns, close Quora and please get help, right now.

    Some people have died from gunshots to the head. Some have not.

    I talked to some guy who was released from a hospital after getting shot in the head. He told me that the only thing he felt was a drill in his skull. He told me that he was aware of everything, but wasn’t in any pain and wasn’t responsive.

    He heard his heart beating rapidly, his ears ringing, heard everyone around him, and only thought about being shot.

    He told me he was thinking of “Wow, I just got shot in the head! Where am I? Am I sensing the afterlife? I can’t believe I’m shot.” He couldn’t remember anything after that. He was in a coma for a few weeks (I forgot how long). But after he awoke from his coma, he said he remembered being shot and then blacking out a few seconds ago. He felt like he woke up from an 8 hour nap, when in fact, it’s been a few weeks.

    So what I learned from this gent was that it depends where you get hit in the brain. There have been numerous stories of people shooting themselves in the head, and then being disabled for the rest of their lives.

    It’s your body, fighting to stay alive. It’s a big gamble when you’re shot in the head. You’ll either live, or die instantly.

    Also, let’s take the size of a bullet into account. If it’s a .22 lr, 9 mm, etc, you can survive. If it’s something big, like maybe a F*CKING .50, you’ll die instantly with no chances of survival.

    I am gonna go with no. There was one time in my life where my head got hit so hard that there is a complete blank space in my memory from about 5 seconds before impact to about 10 seconds after (the time where I was starting to regain cognitive function), and the pain only came in about 20 or 30 seconds after THAT. My head and body were almost 100% shut down during this 10 or so second window where I was unconcious, and once I came back the pain did not seem to be a priority as it wasn’t the first thing that got processed by my brain upon me becoming concious.

    Given that a gunshot wound would easily be 20 or more times as powerful, I am gonna say that you wouldn’t really feel anything whatsoever from the moment that the projectile(s) hit your skull until the moment that the last neurons fired before death.

    December 20th 2017 I was shot driving down the road on the west side of Indianapolis. The bullet went thru my passenger window thru me and out my driver’s window. Unbelievably I did not feel anything. Within seconds I was soaking wet with blood. If not for the blood I would not have even known. By the sound of the bullet entering and exiting my windows windows I realized that a bullet had entered the car, only from bleeding made me realize I also had been victim of the bullet. The bullet entered my right temporal region and came out my right eye socket. As a result I lost my right eyeball, my right orbital floor was destroyed, now I have a titanium plate as my cheekbone, and the big bone above your eye, which I say my eyebrow bone , was broken in 6 different places. Along with a few in my ear and those in the path of the entrance which is my right temporal area and exit out of my eye socket was a result of a total of 40 breaks in the surrounding bones. A year later and I’m still in awe over how I did not feel the bullet entering and exiting my head and also how I was driving down the road and was shot. As I’ve heard so many times starting at the hospital when I regained consciousness to everyone who’s asked what happened and I explain, it is always followed with it was a miracle. I most definitely have to agree. I’m still just amazed by the whole incident in general but how I did not feel it. I can’t explain nor could the doctors. Some say that adrenaline but the bullet entered and exited without warning. The adrenaline most definitely came though. I ended up driving about 10 minutes to try to find someone near that I knew and fortunately there were people outside my friends house that called 911 for me because my friends were not home. As I sat in my car slowly fading out the last thing I remember was hearing sirens, but even at that point there was still no pain. As unbelievable is the story is I assure you it’s all very true unfortunately. The lack of pain did change though. After i woke up 5 days later i soon realized the extent of my injury and how the pain was most definitely present then. One year and one day later there’s still pain. So the point of the question what it feels like to get shot in the head. From what I’ve read I understand statistically it is extremely rare to not feel anything at all. I can tell you what it’s like to get shot in the head 5 days later after you wake up from a medically induced coma. I would have to say the best way I can explain is I guess it would be like getting hit in your head with a sledgehammer. As I’m typing this text I’m still amazed by it all and how I did not feel a bullet entering and exiting my head on top of blowing out my eye and breaking my bones in 40 places. The absence of pain from getting shot and not just getting shot but the trauma of such a violent head injury waking up 5 days later with no mental disability or no physical disability with my motor skills. To just suffer from losing my eye and slight hearing loss but to have complete function of my motor skills and brain function is amazing. I meant for this to be a short answer to start. Sorry for such a long answer and i hope most will understand . Especially minus a couple hours at this moment it was just the one-year anniversary of the incident. So I’m sure there are some that will find fault to my long answer and again I apologize. This also ended up being very therapeutic for me. Those with understanding thank you very much.

    If you shoot yourself in the head it is horribly painful. Most people miss and have to relocate the gun and shoot themselves again after shooting part of their head off. Shooting your face off is really, really painful. Poisoning yourself is very, very painful as well. Hanging yourself or jumping off a building is wickedly painful too as you don’t die right away. Often people who hang themselves or jump off a building show signs that they changed their mind before death, possibly realizing that they have a brain chemical imbalance that can be remedied by modern medicine while they writhe in horrible pain as their internal organs shut down one by one. Must be hell! They should really seek out a psychiatrist and get in a medication that will remedy that imbalance instead of having to go through all that.

    It depends where the bullet goes. It can damage the areas on the brain that are responsible for moving, seeing, hearing, speaking and then it can disable you or it can kill the person if the brainstem is destroyed. The brainstem regulates the central nervous system, the heart and respiratory system. People that survived a gun shot to the head said that is not very painful.

    My brother was an EMT. Got a call one day from a guy with a headache. Call came from one of this nation’s most violent cities.

    They arrive and the caller meets them at the street. Problem is he’s missing half his brain due to a gun shot. Don’t remember if it was self inflicted but he said the guy had no idea why his head hurt. Doubt he made it to the hospital

    One of my patients survived a gunshot wound through the floor of the mouth and frontal lobes of the brain. She lived to tell the tale and is now fine. She did have a lot of pain

    I was shot at one time, and I’m ashamed to say, yes, it was awesome, particularly after you realize they missed. Here’s how it happens:

    1. You hear the shot. (That’s a good sign, I hear. No pun intended.)

    2. You expect a burning explosion to wrack some part of your body.

    3. You either dive to the ground or run, still expecting the feeling to erupt somewhere in your body.

    4. You realize you haven’t been hit, and wait for another shot that may be more on target.

    5. You keep waiting for the burning/exploding feeling because you think your body is being numbed by some aspect of the fight/flight response and it’s only a matter of time before that wears off and the pain hits–just like how you don’t feel pain while in a fight but do afterwards.

    6. You realize you definitely weren’t hit and just survived what many have died from. You feel, simultaneously, perfectly invincible and tragically mortal. And that is sublime.

    And, yeah, you pat your body and search it for bullet holes like an imbecile.

    Watch any professional killer do his job. Shoots the victim in the back of the neck just below the skull. This where Snipers are trained to aim if the bad guy is holding a pistol to a Hostage’s head. Hit the Brain Stem and the Bad Guy’s trigger finger reflex is nulled and the hydrostatic pressure of the round hitting the spinal fluid kills the brain. No mess, but you only have one shot. I saw such variations in VietNam long before I went into Medicine. Not Hostage situations, just watching people being hit in neck by .223 or .308. They go limp instantly. What a cheerful question.

    Fair question, but complicated answer. A small round penetrating the brain case, the skull part that protects the brain, with sufficient energy will produce a shock wave that renders the victim unconscious immediately without pain. A lower velocity bullet that does not have sufficient energy upon entering the brain case to produce a damaging shock wave will cause issues depending on what structures are damaged. The pain will come from what tissues are damaged in the face or surrounding soft tissues covering the skull. The brain itself does not feel pain. The brain sits in a closed box, the skull, and the brain’s consistency is watery and transmits energy like waves in the water. A round that does not penetrate the brain case will give you pain depending on what structures are damaged. You won’t feel a round that blows your head off!

    Yes, more than a few people have survived shooting themselves in the head, the majority however do die. If you are concerned about shooting yourself in a way that results in no pain or should you survive but with no disability and disfigurement, you need to think about where you’re aiming and with what kind of bullet. Location is the most critical factor in determining if a gunshot wound to the head is fatal. A shot through the brainstem is basically the most “instantaneous, lights out, painless” shot we know of. From the base of the nostrils to the top of the nose is inline with the brainstem, and the ear basically sits right over the brainstem from the side, so a shot at the back of the mouth and angled upward so the bullet’s trajectory is inline with where your nostrils and ear canal align would wreck the brainstem, assuming you don’t angle the barrel of the gun slightly to one side of your mouth where it exits off center, is as “good, painless” shot you can get.

    The next most important factor in determining if a shot is lethal is the amount of energy transferred to the body (measured in ft/Ibs). Ammunition designers approach this from a number of ways, like bullet caliber, velocity, mass, and shape. Energy is important because when a bullet encounters a body it slows down and all that energy is deposited in the body, which creates a shockwave around the bullet which is strong enough to instantly blend delicate organs like your brain (but not bone), and this happens around the cavity where the bullet itself punched through your body. The thing is if a bullet enters and then exits your body, it has not deposited all the energy it could, which means less internal damage and alot more external damage. If a bullet exits you have the chance to bleed to death which is VERY painful, not to mention it’s left a visible, possibly disfigured hole in you. If the bullet slows down enough to stop in you, it will have deposited all its energy and not left a exit wound. Modern high quality nonfragmenting Jacketed Hollow Points are designed to do this and more, when they enter the body they also expand making the bullet wider which guarantees even more damage.

    Third, the larger the bullet caliber (width of the bullet before fired) the more lethal it’s likely to be. Many people have taken their lives using the very common .22 caliber, but more people have survived using this caliber than any other (with varying amounts of disability and disfigurement). The 9mm and .45acp have far more lethality simply because they are alot wider than the .22, which on many occasions the .22 doesn’t even penetrate the skull, and also the hollow points for the .22 are disproportionately weak. Shotgun rounds are often even wider than the .45, but have much, much more energy than 9mm or 45 handguns, so much so that they remove half a person’s head or face when fired at any spot.

    Shooting yourself in the heart can cause brain damage only through blood no longer being pumped to your brain, which would lead to damage and then death given enough time, but before you pass out from lack of blood to your brain, it will be fairly painful. Plus doctors can do alot more to keep you alive if your heart’s damaged vs your brain.

    A carefully placed shot through the brainstem using a 9mm or .45acp jacketed hollow point has the highest lethality while having the lowest probability of being disfiguring or painful.

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