Gunshot wounds have been an important source of injury for centuries and continue to occur. The military medical communities have developed standard procedural sequences and principles that may assist and serve as references to the care of civilian gunshot wound patients. In addition to the basic understanding of the wounding patterns and potential extent of the damage caused by the ballistic characteristics of the missile, three principles need to be emphasized in the course of the treatment: timely debridement, delivery of antibiotics, and delayed closure of the wound. Despite recent innovations and improvements in medicine, the three principles still stand, and may assist even surgeons with minimal experience in treating gunshot wounds to achieve reliable results. The situation and environment of civilian medical facilities differ from those of the military in war time, and less invasive and more conservative methods may be attempted in accordance with available resources.