That Time I Needed Medical Gear At The Gun Range (And Only Had An Oily Rag)

A medical emergency can happen almost anywhere and I'm going to share my own with you, right now.

We just finished the medical summit, partnering up with Mountain Man Medical, where Brian did a fantastic job of showing you how to handle several different kinds of emergencies. I thought it was a good time to share a short story with you that was a first person experience taking place at the gun range of all places. 

I was at the gun range with a loved one. We’ll just call this person a loved one, and I’ll even leave personal pronouns out of it because I know this person reads my articles and don’t want them to get embarrassed. 

I was teaching this person how to shoot a semi-automatic pistol after they grew up shooting nothing but shotguns, rifles, and revolvers. No matter what I said, keeping in mind that I'm not an instructor, they kept gripping their brand new 9mm pistol like it was a revolver.

I warned them several times that if they kept gripping the gun in that way that they were going to get hurt. They'd change their grip momentarily, but as old habits usually do, the bad grip kept creeping back in.

The support hand kept grabbing the dominant hand in a funky position that eventually led to injury.

At some point early on in our range session a serious case of slide bite happened. They were bleeding profusely from the hand, and, here's the interesting part, neither one of us had any sort of medical gear on us. Heck, we didn't even have any napkins to put adequate pressure on the wound.

When I say they were bleeding, please understand that's an understatement. This person is on medication that thins the blood, and our range was in the middle of nowhere. While slide bite on the hand is not usually that big of a deal, in this case it was because this person has thinner blood than the average person.

We couldn't stop the bleed.

It was a mess. There was blood all over the place. I even have a picture of my tan-colored FNS9-C, that was covered in dried blood. Okay, that's gory enough. So, what did we do?

Keeping in mind that I had no medical supplies, not even clean napkins, we used the rag I check my oil with to stop the bleeding. Of course, I couldn't really help because I had no medical gloves. I had no medical gear, and that's really the point.

You never know when disaster will strike, and being prepared for this before it happens is always the better option compared to scrambling afterward. If I had the forethought to keep medical equipment in my car we could have tackled that situation very differently and not had our day completely ruined.

Don't worry, that person is fine and even grips their gun properly these days. And, thankfully, they didn't get a serious infection from the nasty rag we were forced to use–which was certainly possible.

The moral of the story, is to keep some sort of medical equipment with you, because you never know when disaster will strike.

If you don't have a medical kit yet, I strongly urge you to buy one, heck maybe two or three, and keep them in your cars, your house, your she shed (or he shed), or wherever disaster may strike. You can check these ones out from our friends over at Mountain Man Medical.

Oh, and if you buy a kit from them before midnight on Sunday (2/23/20), the medical summit I mentioned above that's taught by a combat Navy Corpsman, is included.

You'll learn a ton.

Have you ever needed a medical kit before? If so, let us know in the comments.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. John Grey on February 23, 2020 at 10:57 am

    I thought outcome of this article was going to be more more severe that it was. I’m glad it wasn’t.

    I plan to add a small roll of sterile gauze to my kit for when band aids won’t be enough.

    It would be a waste to tear open a $8 roll of trauma dressing for such a minor injury.

  2. Robert Castle on February 25, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    One thing everyone should think about is when you go to the range anything bad can happen. You should be prepared. You train and carry a concealed weapon in case something bad might happen. One thing that could happen as an accident is a gun shot wound. Worse than the hammer bite for sure. I suggest everyone have at least a gsw kit. In the kit you have some type of tourniquet, a quick clot type bandage, a trauma dressing, rubber gloves for personal protection and a kit bag to carry the items in. You never know when that accident will happen. One other item would be a seal for a sucking chest wound. To be able to apply this equipment take a course designed to train you to know how to practically use it. That training can save the wounded or even yourself.My gsw items have passed the expiration dates so I will be replacing the kit with current items and I will take the tactical first aid training as a refresher. It can be taught in a three hour block with practical practice.

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