April 18th, 2016

How serious would a shotgun wound be when not fired in close range?

Setting: Present-day, a healthy man in his mid-thirties is running and hit from behind by ammo from a shotgun. The wound is in the left side area.

Here's what puzzles me. I always thought a shotgun injury would be serious, and it is certainly portrayed as such in the thing I am citing. (The Rockford Files, season 4, episode The Queen of Peru, if anyone wants to know.) For years I've been writing it as such in stories written about the characters in that episode. But when I finally decided to actually look up how serious, the only thing I could even find that talked specifically about shotgun wounds at all (and not gunshot wounds in general) said that while at close range a shotgun wound is far worse than a handgun wound, at a distance a shotgun is more likely to leave small and superficial wounds because of the little pellets inside a shotgun shell.

I actually saw the latter situation depicted as such in a different, earlier episode of The Rockford Files, when Jim Rockford himself was shot at with a shotgun and apparently not at close range. But the character in The Queen of Peru was certainly not shot at close range, either. (Although I suppose maybe it depends on the definition of "close range.") So my question is, was it inaccurate for the writer of that episode to depict that shotgun wound as something extremely serious and probably potentially life-threatening, instead of something closer to the small and superficial pellet wounds?

I have been having a terrible time finding anything about shotgun wounds in specific. Every search I try just results in the search engine reversing my term and giving me generic stuff on gunshot wounds in general. I'm amazed I even found that one website.
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