Basic Gunshot Wound Kit

Alternate title: Roll your own IFAK

Back in February, oddball and I took a “First Aid for Gun Toters” class put on by our local Zombie Squad chapter. It was, in my uneducated opinion, a pretty good class. My one complaint was that the guy wasn’t selling any of the products he was pimping. :D

I hopped on Amazon a couple of weeks later and bought pretty much the minimum equipment required for a good gunshot wound kit. Actually, I bought two of each so I could keep one in my car and one in the wife’s car.


The C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet is a small tourniquet that is currently issued as individual equipment to our infantrymen. It’s easy to use and has a locking mechanism in place so that you can self-apply it.


QuikClot Combat Gauze is basically your standard gauze, only it’s infused with QuikClot. The way you’re supposed to use this, and any other gauze in a gunshot wound, is to take your finger and stuff the wound. This has the new formulation of QuikClot that doesn’t produce heat. The original formulation would actually cause serious burns in the wound, so make sure you don’t get old stuff.


The HyFin Chest Seal is used for the infamous “sucking chest wound.” The instructor told us that we could just use something like this instead, but I opted for the purpose-built (and significantly more expensive) option. UPDATE 1/5/2014: See this post for an important update about the Hyfin Chest Seal.


The famous Israeli Bandage, which I now understand how to use thanks to the class. Here’s where I have to give a shout-out to Acme Approved, the vendor that actually supplied the bandages. One of the two I originally received had a small hole in the package, rendering it non-sterile and unusable. I sent them an email, and they sent me TWO replacements! Now I have an extra that I keep in my laptop bag.

I wanted to get everything together before buying a bag, and it turns out that they fit perfectly in a quart-sized Zip-Lock bag:

That’s it. Those are the basics. I keep my kit in between the door sill and the driver’s seat in my Jeep, and the one in my wife’s car is just in her glove box. All medical equipment has an expiration date, so take note of what expires first in your kit. For me, the chest seals expire in about 18 months so I have set a reminder to buy more around that time. Prices on these items seem to fluctuate, so be sure to shop around.

I gotta tell ya, having the equipment and the knowledge to treat a GSW certainly makes me feel better. 

19 comments to Basic Gunshot Wound Kit

  • Now that was a useful post. Thanks!

  • And therein lies one of the primary differences between anti-rights cultists and us… On the one hand, we quietly take personal measures to help ourselves be more prepared for events that probably will not occur, but our preparations do not hurt anyone, and they make us feel better about ourselves and our readiness for the world; for that, we are decried as “paranoid” and worse. On the other hand, they force others to abide by their wishes when it comes to measures that demonstrably have no salutary affect upon any situation, but it makes them feel better about “doing something”; for that, they are heralded as bringers of peace and whatnot else.

    If folks made more effort (i.e. “any”, since that is more than “none”) to stay out of other folks’ businesses, in general, and look after themselves instead, the world would be a better place.

    In other news, this is one place where the serving in the military has unexpected benefits… my training may be a bit out-of-date (we learned on the old pellet-based quick-clot, not the spiffy new bandage ones), but at least it provides a basis. Going to have to look into some refreshers in the future, though.

  • I went on a kick a while ago and built a handful of FAKs. I realized that the one in my truck was out of date, and the one in the house was almost empty, so I built brand new kits from scratch. One of the things I found that I really like for FAKs is a small tool pouch (I got mine from the Home Depot). Their durable canvas, have pockets and dividers to keep things organized, and my favorite one has a clip (looks the back of a tape measure) so in a pinch I can clip it on my out-and-about pack or range bag. Highly recommended. I have a Celox pouch in mine, but I may switch to the QuikClot gauze, for ease of use. Nice kit you have!

  • Mike

    Excellent post. If you’re involved in the shooting sports, take a class on treating gunshot trauma.

  • MAJ Mike

    My shooting range has similiar kits at various places on the firing lines.

    I just copied your post into Microsoft Word. I plan on making three — one for each car and one for the house. This is something I’ve had at the back of my mind, but as with too many things I hadn’t followed through.

    Thanks for posting this.

  • Thank-you for the post and item-list, I want to take a similar class – and while putting together our bug-out bags I included QuikClot (new stuff) in the Med kit – but seriously, a demand exists for this already yet it’s hard to find them together.

  • KirkParker

    Does this Quik-Clot Sport use the old or the new stuff?

  • Dan

    QuickClot is some amazing stuff. My dog opened up an artery and was busily bleeding out. QuickClot stopped the bleeding completely within 30 seconds. It saved her life.

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure that all chest wounds suck.

  • Kevin Highland

    30 years ago in the navy they taught us we could use an ID or Drivers license to seal a sucking chest wound. Still needed tape though.

  • Ted N

    Dunno if this is still valid, but I remember hearing about airsoft/milsim CAT tourniquites for cheap, had to read the fine print on them to find out they wouldn’t really work, IRRC.

    Great post!

  • thanks for this – now to see if amazon will ship them to me.

  • Nope, bugger, they won’t ship any of it to me :(

  • [...] I mentioned in my basic gunshot wound kit post, one of the vendors sent me an extra Israeli Battle Dressing. That lives in my range bag. The [...]

  • [...] to have around. I have a store-bought one bouncing around in my trunk, and am considering buying / assembling another for the [...]

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