Cover v. Concealment

When it comes to tactics, you have to understand the difference between cover and concealment. Both are extremely important when it comes to ‘protecting’ yourself from when rounds start flying, no matter if it is bullets from live firearms or bbs from airsoft guns. 


‘Cover’ is the place that you want to be when rounds start to fly during a gunfight. Cover is anything that will prevent bullets from getting to you; this can be (but is not limited to) concrete walls, buildings, vehicle engine blocks, armored cars, tanks, steel girders, et cetera. Basically, it is anything that has the ability to physically stop or deflect bullets.


Concealment, on the other hand, obscures you from the line of sight of the shooter. This means that concealment can be a wooden fence, cubicle or interior walls, tall grass, signage, a door, or even a rack of potato chips. Basically, concealment does nothing but hides you from the view of the shooter. 

During training or even during field operations, smoke can also be a very good form of concealment. Smoke grenades are small, light and easy to instantly deploy, giving you and others time to find additional concealment or even better, cover. 

Determining the Difference

In a real-life scenario, determining the difference between cover and concealment comes down to using some common sense. Keep it in mind that there is a small variable here; the type of weapon and round being used. Obviously, what may make decent cover in regards to the shooter using a small caliber pistol doesn’t mean it will make good cover if the shooter is using a larger caliber rifle. Training will help you quickly determine the differences and how well that cover or concealment will work to your advantage. Train yourself to be aware of your surroundings and how you can make those surroundings work for you; the military (and even law enforcement) refers to this as situational awareness. 

In the end, just remember that Cover will prevent the bullets from getting to you.

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