View Full Version : If someone is shooting at you with a .357 Magnum...where is the best cover?

February 6, 2006, 11:44 PM
If someone is shooting at you with a .357 magnum or even a rifle, what is the best cover. You are walking down the street and some nut comes out of a bank with a magnum handgun or a full semi auto rifle. They start shooting. You duck out of the way. WHERE. Magnums and rifles can penetrate cars. Buildings? Of course the purpose of cover is also concealment not just barrier penetration. But where is sufficient cover and protection to be able to shoot back against such a powerful weapon?

February 7, 2006, 12:21 AM
It was my understanding that most rounds will penetrate a car body but they won't penetrate the engine block. That would be my second choice for cover.

My first choice would be whichever direction put the most concrete and brick between me and the barrel.

February 7, 2006, 12:34 AM
what is the best cover.

Behind a manhole cover about 24'' wide and 6' tall... :eek:

4" of reinforced concrete...:rolleyes:

300 yards of distance...:p

In a tank... :D

February 7, 2006, 01:28 AM
best defense is a good offense :D

or a building. that wouldn't hurt either.

February 7, 2006, 01:45 AM
I just watched transporter2 and I almost roflmfao.
In the movie, a door and some wall was bulletproof.
The best cover is as much cover as possible.
A have read that most rifles shoot through one or even two buildings containing several walls. I dont know if this is true. :confused:
If you cant hide, you should kneal or drop to the ground to reduce the chances of being hit. But this will probably be your reaction whether you plan on it or not. If you are unarmed, ryao. Just a guess.

February 7, 2006, 01:46 AM
Behind a redwood tree perhaps?:)

February 7, 2006, 01:54 AM

Do you lie awake at night thinking of these scenarios? ;)

You are walking down the street and some nut comes out of a bank with a magnum handgun or a full semi auto rifle.

Is a "full semi auto rifle" something different than a semi-auto rifle? Or were you describing a full magazine?

Okay, to be serious...
Most commonly available cover will be behind an automobile's engine compartment, usually aligned with the tire. The engine provides cover against most ammo and the tire/rim against rounds fired low from taking your legs or ankles out.

Thick trees are usually excellent cover. Wood is dense and will usually slow or stop many FMJ rifle rounds if it's big enough to hide behind.

Concrete walls or K-rail barriers will also work although a rifle with AP ammo may penetrate, depending on distance and angle. Concrete "planter boxes" filled with dirt will work well and some can be found at the base of lamp posts in parking lots.

If nothing else, a telephone pole works until you can spot larger cover (though some of us full-figure types will have to suck it in to hide behind one).

If you're in a shopping mall, strip mall or other retail store, don't expect those solid looking pillars to offer much protection. They're often cosmetic shells for looks. Likewise for pillars at strip malls -- they're stucco covered plywood. Even those "granite pillars" at office buildings are just a thin tile placed over plywood. Likely it will stop a .357 but not a rifle's FMJ round.

Sir William
February 7, 2006, 03:01 AM
A gutter, a car engine may work but, many are aluminum and rounds will go right through many modern engines. Rims? 20" high riding spider rims don't provide much cover and your ankles would be easily seen. I would look for a heavy duty utility truck bed with tools in the box compartments, closest thing to a armoured car I can think of. An Asplund tree trimming truck or a plumbers truck.

February 7, 2006, 05:48 AM
Shoot back? I'm ducking around the nearest corner and keeping on going! (Call the calvary and tell 'em where to find the guy and what kind of cover they migh expect to find when they get there - or at least what worked for me to get out of there!)

February 7, 2006, 09:08 AM
I recently read a story about a guy who was fiddling with his SKS (7.62x39) when he had a negligent discharge. The round went through one interior wall, his exterior wall, his neighbors exterior wall, and came to rest somewhere in the neighbor's house.

The story didn't say if the houses were brick or not. Not sure how you hide from that.

I guess you should just hope the shooter has bad aim.

February 7, 2006, 09:32 AM
Sir William...you wouldn't want to hide behind my plumbing truck. the 10ft. box on mine is fiberglass over plywood! just busting your chops. I agree, one of those heavy steel utility body trucks would be great cover.

February 7, 2006, 09:54 AM
I would think .... anywhere my old arthritic feet and knees can carry me as fast as I can go!

Seriously, unless you are expecting that this guy is going to come out spraying and praying in a 360 degree arc, which is going to be pretty hard to do if he's running away also, ISTM that the best thing is to take a page from hunting and simply hold still and make yourself as small as possible behind SOMETHING. Anything.

Then run. Or, in my case, hobble quickly. :rolleyes:


February 7, 2006, 09:58 AM
If your not the intended target just get down. If your the intended target (or if everybody is the intended target), run, get behind something solid and shoot.

February 7, 2006, 12:19 PM
All this QB-ing...Too much supposition, not enough fact...

Heck, why not run around until you find a BRINKS truck to hide behind?


What would Chuck Norris (http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/)do?


February 7, 2006, 01:07 PM
Cause a Brinks truck would likely BE his next target - lol. ;)

February 7, 2006, 01:18 PM
you may just need some concealment. I would rather put an inadequate barrier between me and the assailant if it gives me an escape route, rather than hiding behind a car. for example if I am walking down main street with plenty of store fronts and parallel parked cars, I would rather dash into then through the store and escape than stay behind the car. the store walls may not be bullet proof but you do not present a target, and would be hard to hit even if he is still shooting at you. if he just went "postal" he is looking for easy targets. he may even enjoy trying to shoot that foot under the car. if you are his target than he will walk around the cover and then shoot you.

February 7, 2006, 01:40 PM
I cast my "Wise-Crack Vote For:" Somewhere in the next County or even the next State over, away from that particular situation..!!" (erh)

February 7, 2006, 01:53 PM
behind the wife?:D

bad joke, sorry. behind the engine end of any vehicle

February 7, 2006, 04:43 PM
Im w/ERH,#1 :D next county.#2 behind MG42

February 9, 2006, 01:50 AM
I'd hide in the direction the bullet WAS NOT traveling!:D

February 9, 2006, 03:35 AM
Square behind two .357 Magnums of course.

February 9, 2006, 04:16 AM
Don't take a pistol to a Rifle fight!!! Get the heck out of there fast and use your side arm only as needed to efffect that course of action. You will likely not have a choice of cover but will take what you can find.

As some one else pointed out any concelment is good, and also the cover even if not compleatly sufficient may decrease a round to the point of not being fatal or severe --- not much consolation but making the best of a bad situation.

I found it intresting in reading that rounds will tend to hit and follow walls so troops are trained to walk a foot or more away. Hope if it ever comes to that I have the presance of mind to remember that. .

February 9, 2006, 05:17 AM
I found it intresting in reading that rounds will tend to hit and follow walls so troops are trained to walk a foot or more away. Hope if it ever comes to that I have the presance of mind to remember that. .


"Bullet Channels"

February 9, 2006, 04:22 PM
In a ditch.
A DEEP ditch


February 9, 2006, 05:10 PM
Today's "Wise-Crack Vote For the new and improved answer A is: Hide behind large boulder; begin "Lobbing" Grenades repeatedly w/ trusty 40mm launcher until situation is resolved; then see & modify my original answer to: "'I swear I was in the next County during that awful disturbance Officer; that's my story and I'm stickin' too it..!!" (erh)

February 9, 2006, 07:26 PM
many years ago, I read someplace that US postal service mailboxes usually make good cover. I don't know if that's true or not, but its a thought.

February 11, 2006, 02:26 AM
The standard round-topped blue USPS mailboxes make for adequate cover against typical handgun ammunition. They're built out of sturdy steel that will certainly impede a bullet's flight. Not so good against .357 Mag or .357 Sig, 10mm, .41/.44 mags and the little 7.62x25mm at under 25 yards. But even these rounds are slowed up quite a bit by that steel.

Mailboxes shouldn't be considered cover against a rifle or shotgun slugs however.

Speaking of cover -- dumpsters make pretty good cover, especially if they're more than 1/2 full!

Para Bellum
February 11, 2006, 03:39 AM
...behind any accurate firearm you had practiced enough with.

Pinky Carruthers
February 11, 2006, 04:13 AM
The Fortress of Solitude.

Psycho Magnet
February 11, 2006, 04:38 AM
I'm with texdawg. Hell, she's big enough to stop a Panzer.

Ghost Rider
February 11, 2006, 07:31 AM
Behind a wheel of a motor vehicle maybe. Seems like it could be enough. Mailbox I doubt but take whatever is closest I guess.

February 11, 2006, 08:18 AM
Hide behind a shrubbery!:D And call in the Killer Rabbit!

February 11, 2006, 09:22 AM
I'd like to "hide" far behind the giving end of a Claymore Mine; but thats just me... (erh)

February 11, 2006, 04:25 PM
Behind the wall of lead I will be putting out....

Just kidding of course.

If there is no suitable cover in the area I'll just start running while thinking "There's no place like home, there's no place like home!"

I think if for the first time you take incoming fire, it's not going to matter what to you what caliber it is. I don't want to get shot by a .22 and more or less than I want to get shot by a .50.

Or maybe Rosie O'Donnel could be on scene to provide a "great wall" for me to hide behind.

February 11, 2006, 10:42 PM
Behind one of the other poor bastards that already got shot. :D

Double Naught Spy
February 12, 2006, 03:34 PM
If someone is shooting at you with a .357 mag, where is the best cover?

This is a trick question, isn't it? The answer is the same no matter the caliber. The unequivocal best cover regardless of caliber is behind the breech face. D'uh. It is the best cover because the bullets can't penetrate it when fired. In fact, they won't even be able to travel the short distance to contact the breech face.

June 25, 2006, 04:04 PM
Speaking of cover -- dumpsters make pretty good cover, especially if they're more than 1/2 full!

It always seems to work in the movies (hiding behind dumpsters). I would take any cover I could get for starters and then maybe try to "trade up" to better cover after I assessed the situation. I carry a 357 so maybe this BG should start looking for cover from me!

June 26, 2006, 04:02 AM
I'd make sure to stay out of his path - He'll be running away coming out of a bank (just creating confusion for his escape).

Barring that, Go to ground. It's quick to get to and makes you pretty small. Use other cover if available....


June 26, 2006, 08:54 PM
Remember once you hit that first cover: look for the next piece of cover, then the next and so on.

It really helps if you keep cover in mind as you walk around everyday, cause you never know when this is gonna happen. That is called condition yellow.

June 26, 2006, 09:07 PM
Simple, BEHIND the end of the .357 that has the hole in it :D

Time to be a chameleon and just blend into the grass?

June 26, 2006, 09:53 PM
No matter what anyone says, a .357 will not go clean through an engine block. Very few rifles, even shooting FMJ, will go through an engine block. 50BMG will, anything under that and you'll be safe (MAYBE A .338 Lapula with FMJ, MAYBE). As far as that goes, you're pretty safe from .357 (or any other pistol cartridge) behind anything concrete or double coursed brick or block. A normal sheetrock wall won't help much, but a decent sized tree or anything pretty solid and thick and you'll be safe. Solid and thick as in a car door or two won't work.

Now, a rifle is different. Pray... Hard. And do what makes sense by at least seeking what cover you can and fleeing. Concrete should still do the job. Concrete 6" thick or so should stop most small to medium rifle rounds (.30-06 or smaller). The problem is that repeated hits will eventually eat through your cover pretty quick. Anyhoo, the rest should be common sense.

June 29, 2006, 05:48 PM
Try to place your upper body inline with an engine block while protecting your legs and feet with one of the wheels.

July 1, 2006, 06:31 PM
I doubt if Dumpsters will probably stop a 357 magnum. I have seen AKs go through better steel than that. I know a 357 isn't an AK but it's food for thought.

Double Naught Spy
July 3, 2006, 04:33 AM
Actually, we have fired quite a feW rounds through, er, at an engine block, including .50 bmg ball, tracer, AP, and API at distances where the AP penetates 500 Brinnel steel targets. Engine blocks are good cover as the rounds have trouble penetrating multiple compartments of the cylinders, valves, oil, coolant, etc.

July 3, 2006, 07:50 AM
I think using a mailbox for cover would be a great plan because everyone knows that it's a federal offense to damage one. So you would be safe there..:p

tony pasley
July 3, 2006, 07:39 PM
best covor is behind the armored car that just dropped off the money

July 8, 2006, 01:31 PM
Just a few inches of earth will stop a .357, or most anything else. The best cover is behind some earth, ie. in a ditch, behind a mound, etc. Use some micro-terrain. There is a reason people who prepare defenses use sand bags. Masonry fractures, steel can be penetrated and sends fragments flying. Dirt and sand soak up rounds and stop them fast.

July 8, 2006, 03:21 PM
Best place to hide is behing a 1911 .45 ACP:cool:

July 8, 2006, 05:59 PM
As has been well documented...:)


July 8, 2006, 07:17 PM
Hide behind the car engine and tire. If you are packing a firearm yourself wait till the suspect is at hitting distance and nail him.
Or just keep your head down and pray.