In the above video, we cover how to shoot a pistol from the cover. Hollywood and video games often have shoot out scenes between the bad guys and the good guys. Shooting from cover is almost always portrayed in these scenes and as you can probably already guess, they don’t do it correctly. Naturally, when bullets start flying your base human instinct is going to tell you to get behind something, if for no other reason than to hide. Here at GunSpot, we want to teach you how to fire from cover and be on the offensive, not just hide and hope for the best.
So, to do this I got with chief instructor Grant LaVelle from Maximum Life Expectancy to teach us some shooting from cover skills he acquired through a long career in SWAT. Admittedly, we will also briefly start touching on the topic of room clearing too, since they go hand in hand. In particular, we will be talking about firing from cover with a handgun in this video. In a later installment, we will cover the particulars of using a rifle platform.
As Grant explains one of the key fundamentals to shooting from cover is keeping a stand-off distance from the cover. This helps you to be light and quick, but the big advantage is you will be able to return fire without revealing too much or your body to the threat. With a stand-off distance, you can actually rotate only your top half out just enough to fire downrange. This will keep your femoral artery behind cover, which is good because obviously the more vitals we can keep behind cover the better our chance of survival.
When our favorite action heroes fire from cover they often hug the wall and flip out facing the room delivering perfectly placed shots on the threat or threats. In the real world that is not what you want to do to stay alive. You want to keep a standoff distance and then use a clearing method called “Slicing The Pie.” In this method, you will methodically reveal yourself to a sliver of the room at a time. This lets you focus on small portions of a room instead of busting in there like Rambo, ‘cause the chances are you don’t have an M60 as your sidearm. Actually, you will probably have a smaller compact gun like your EDC. So, it’s best to take it slow and safe as long as you have the element of surprise on your side.
If you keep your distance and only view into a room or around a corner by “slicing the pie.” Your odds are much better at neutralizing a threat and walking away from it. Find a practice piece to use as cover in your training drills and give this a try. It is almost a certainty that if you have to engage a target you will be around real-world obstacles like doorways, cars, corners, etc. So, practice, practice, and practice. (We plan to do a later video about cover vs concealment in the real world, stay tuned!)
Editor’s Note: This article was written by Dylan Casey and Grant LaVelle and shared with us by GunSpot.com. You can view the rest of their videos on the GunSpot YouTube channel.