The British learned about the use of cover during revolutionary war when Colonists started using guerilla tactics instead of wearing bright colors and lining up out in the open to be shot at. But, if you have been living behind I a log for the past 200 years, then you have been using cover, but may not be able to define it. (I promise the jokes will stop)As a child I had the opportunity to learn about cover in a most effective way. We would take our Marksman Wrist Rocket Sling-shots, BB Guns and Pellet guns to the neighborhood park, count off in teams, take positions on either side of the creek and shoot at each other until everyone on one side quit. If you could stay down and avoid getting hit, great… if you didn’t mind getting hit multiple times , fine… but if you quit there was a great place to view the action from on top of the bridge. Pain is a great teacher, especially when our only safety gear was an extra sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. (For the record those with the slingshot had a huge advantage because the marbles had far more energy and you could get shots off faster)
The terms cover and concealment are frequently used interchangeably but they are very different things, but you typically use them same way.
Concealment is any object that hides your position or movements from your adversary, but provides either zero or limited protection from the bullets they are firing at you.
Cover provides you absolute safety from the incoming rounds and usually hides your position.
For example a typical interior sheetrock wall is only concealment for any projectile larger than a typical BB, but reinforced concrete barrier might stop a .50 BMG.
In your house there is very little true cover, but you can make the most of the available concealment.
Above is a picture of my house during construction and you can see the about of wood around the doorway highlighted by the green line. I do not have faith that this wall would stop any common defensive handgun caliber, but it will help to reduce some of the energy.
For cover to be effective though you have to be behind it. A single blog post could never cover all of the information you need to effectively use cover, but I can highlight the issues with doing it wrong.
In the first photo I am using cover like a common IDPA shooter. I am exposing 50% of my upper body, all of my head, pushing my hands past the edge of the cover and using the wall as a support.
In the second photo I am in the same body position, but I am standing back away from the edge, I am keeping my body behind all of the wood structure and only exposing the amount required to put my sights on the camera. Just as importantly I am only exposing myself to the threat that I am engaging… anyone that I can’t see, can’t see me.
If you have to fight, do it from cover, slice the pie, and only take on one attacker at a time.