I guess there is no need to argue if it "doesn't fit the game design" or the "realism" your trying to recreate. But the reason for my non-sequitor is to push the point that the best way to show off the power of a ranged weapon is to show off the results of it's power.
Seems like all you have left is post effects. Blurring, fuzz the HUD, play with Z depth, etc. Given that you're using a ranged weapon you could look at the particles on the enemy as well, exploring the "pink mist" if you will. Best of luck with your modern shooter.