A 42-year-old man presented with a penetrating neck injury from a pellet gun. Physical examination showed an open 1 cm wound on the right side of the neck, hematoma of the right sternocleidomastoid muscle, and carotid artery injury. He was hemodynamically stable and there was no neurological deficit. Arteriogram of the neck disclosed a pseudoaneurysm with an arteriovenous fistula between the common carotid artery and internal jugular vein. At surgery, the tears in the carotid artery and jugular vein were sutured and a vacuum drain was introduced. The postoperative course was uneventful, and the patient was discharged 5 days later. Instead of the expected results of a penetrating carotid artery injury, such as blood loss, airway obstruction or neurological deficit, the arteriovenous fistula caused by the pellet actually saved the patient's life. Blood flow from the artery via the pseudoaneurysm to the jugular vein kept the patient in stable condition.