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The Difference Between Cover and Concealment

coverThere are a handful of vocabulary terms that make me cringe when I hear them being used, because they're often used wrong. Two of those terms that we constantly hear being used wrong in the context of a self-defense incident, are cover and concealment.

We believe that in order to use these things properly in a gun fight, we first have to understand what is cover vs concealment in a gunfight.

Concealment in a Gun Fight

Concealment refers to anything that hides you from view but doesn't necessarily stop bullets from penetration. Concealment is an important part of tactics in most encounters. If your attacker(s) cannot see you they don't know exactly where you are or how prepared you may be to defend yourself.

Concealment can also be effective because your attacker(s) may not know the difference between cover and concealment and may feel that you are more protected than you really are. Some common types of concealment might include the walls of normal wood frame homes, small trees, or the body of your car.

Using concealment to hide may be a good idea, but using concealment because you think it might stop bullets can be unsafe. Always know the difference.

Cover in a Gun Fight

Cover, on the other hand, refers to anything that effectively protects you from the threat. If your attacker(s) has a firearm then cover would be anything you can put between you and the oncoming bullets that would protect you from the bullets.

Whereas above we listed the body of a car as concealment, the engine could be cover if it's big enough for you to get behind. A big tree can also be considered cover if it's hardwood and not falling apart.

The truth of the matter, however, is that cover is actually far more rare than most of us realize. This is especially true in the environments where we would expect to have to defend ourselves (like a home).

To better understand the Principles of Cover, click on that link to check out a DVD course we put together.


We firmly believe that having a solid understanding of the terms we use in our concealed carry endeavor will help us be able to use these real-life objects if we're ever faced with a critical incident where we must defend our lives with our guns.

Finding cover, if possible, can be the difference between life and death.

Again, learn about the Principles of Cover, here.


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