Spalling at Various Distances

In yesterday’s post, we introduced you the effects of spalling, today, we will dig deeper into spalling and give you some ideas of how you can mitigate the effects. In the below

In the below photos you will see two targets. Both targets were shot under identical conditions, with one exception; the target on the left was “hugging” cover (well within arms reach of the cover), and the one on the right is the one that was about 6 feet or one large step back from cover.

We have used white arrows to help you see the effects. The larger the arrow, the larger the impact from the spalling.While you may not be able to see the photos clearly (the originals are available in the online version of this manual found at the Pulse O2DA Armory), we have placed pointer arrows to largest holes, and as you can clearly see the target on the left (the one hugging cover) had large chunks of spalling closely spaced.


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The target to the right (which was placed one large step back), received significantly fewer, smaller, and more widely spaced spalling impacts than the target that was staged almost touching the cover.

If the target would have been canted to maximize the use of cover by minimizing the amount being exposed to the fire as in the silhouette on the left side of the exhibit below, it is quite likely that little to no significant damage may have occurred.


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The lesson here should be obvious, one needs to be back and off cover if the situation permits (and sometimes it doesn’t).

While getting away from your cover sounds simple in theory, it is not something that comes natural.

To the contrary, under the duress of a lethal force encounter most people instinctively hug the cover they are near, and to compound the problem, many people are taught to use their cover to stabilize their shooting platform.

If you want to learn how to properly use your cover, you have to train for it.

This means that in your dry practice, live fire, and RBT you need to practice taking cover appropriately and under varied circumstances. We will address some techniques of getting off/away from cover in the next few articles.

While keeping back from cover may not always be possible (like when your adversary has an elevated position in close proximity – see the diagrams below), using the appropriate distance from your cover is a prime factor that you should take into consideration when available to you.

Next, we will take a look at your various spheres of influence and how they relate to your use of cover.

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