Top Principles of Shooting From a Covered Position

shooting from coverIn late April 2015 we published an article about the difference between cover and concealment. This article is to guide you in some of the general principles of shooting from behind cover. Most of what you have been trained or told to do is likely incorrect and will expose you in a way that will jeopardize any tactical advantage you have gained in the fight. These key tactics will give you the insight you need to gain the advantage. Many of these are hard to put into practice even in a training environment. Train and practice each and consider playing some CQB paintball to practice these movements and ideas (Yes, I’m serious about the paintball tip).

  • Fire around your cover instead of over it: When you move your body into a position over the cover you are silhouetted against the object you are using for cover and this makes it easier for your attacker to gain sight picture and see you.
  • Move back away from the cover. When you keep you body up against the object you are using for cover it seriously limits your own field of fire and limits your ability to move or shift locations. Put some space between you and the cover.
  • Be flexible with identifying open angles from different shooting positions. Learn to shoot from a crouched or leaning position without exposing your body.
  • Use different positions when exposing yourself for fire. Become unpredictable so the attacker doesn’t know where to aim as they wait for you to expose yourself.
  • Your odds of winning the fight increase as you move. Moving to new cover has two major advantages. First, it disorients your attacker and if done well might even leave them questioning where you are. Second, it helps you gain a better angle on your target to increase your odds of having the upper hand.
  • When breaking cover build momentum before fully breaking cover. Study the terrain and have a clear path to your new cover before you move. If you have the ammunition, a few shots toward the target will generally put their head down long enough for you to make it to your next position safely and hopefully undetected.
  • If you have a wing man take turns putting shots on target to allow the other to move to a stronger position.
  • In the defense try to strengthen your cover by adding objects together. Moving furniture together, stacking boxes, or doing whatever possible to increase the odds of stopping the oncoming fire will help keep you safe.

Here are some videos from YouTube that I think address these ideas well:

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