I'll preface this question by saying I know next to nothing about firearms. It's almost laughable. I know what a shotgun looks like. I know what a pistol looks like. I know what double-barreled means. That's generally about it. Anyway, my question here is I need a little primer about stopping power, caliber, gauge, whatever. I've tried Googling this, but I'm not getting something that I can understand without swimming through reams and reams of confusing information. The scene is this: a guy is trying to escape his incarceration, gets shot in the shoulder, and that's the end of his escape attempt. He goes back to nurse his wound. What I need is something that doesn't kill someone or do any lasting damage, but hurts enough to stop them from doing what they're doing. I think caliber is the size of the bullet (am I wrong?) so the caliber wouldn't necessarily indicate its stopping power (or would it? I don't know). Without identifying the specific gun, what can I say that will lend a little bit of authenticity and get the point across? To add to the difficulty, this is a sci-fi story, so I need to translate this conventional gun to a laser. There's no recoil, and the shooter doesn't need to reload,s o we don't have to worry about that. The wound I described could do some damage in today's standards, but by tomorrow, medicine will have evolved enough so that he'd make a full recovery. I could also "Hollywood it up" and say it's a...ahem...flesh wound. There's my dilemma. Can anyone help?