Filing Cabinets: Cover or Concealment?

TFB Staffer
by TFB Staffer

There is a significant difference between cover and concealment. A common mistake made by gun owners is not only using the terms interchangeably but believing the differences do not matter. Of course, they do matter – quite a bit. After all, when you’re in the midst of a fight for your life, knowing what is and is not cover could be the difference between life and death. If you’re at home during said fight, it also helps to know what in your house makes viable cover – and what does not. Everyday items such as couches, coffee tables, and filing cabinets take on whole new meaning when they’re all that’s between you and a potentially lethal bullet.

Filing cabinets are an interesting example, as are washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators. Because they are made from metal sheets it would be all too easy to assume they count as cover, right? In this video Youtuber hickok45 takes on a filing cabinet with various guns and rounds. His goal is to show whether a filing cabinet containing papers provides cover or concealment – or something between the two.

There are a number of factors to consider with experiments such as this. Different filing cabinets are manufactured using varying materials, the contents certainly vary, and the angle of shots fired matters as well. Then there’s the issue of what type of rounds are being fired from what gun at what range – the list is practically endless. Regardless of the many variations it remains an interesting experiment. Ideally we would all be aware of the capabilities – or lack thereof – of the furniture in our homes but surprisingly few people even consider it.

Part of home defense is knowing your layout and having a game plan or plans as the case may be. It’s impossible to plan for every eventuality but still important to give it your best shot. Just as the appropriate training should be part of carrying a gun for protection outside your home you should prepare properly for home defense. Someday your life or the lives of your loved ones could depend on how well you trained. Gaps in training could translate to loss of life. Never take training lightly, and always have a plan.

TFB Staffer
TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.

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  • Billca Billca on Jan 06, 2016

    Whether in the home or office it's good to keep in mind that most interior doors & walls are not bulletproof. Heck, most are barely bullet resistant. Your home's walls are likely made of drywall over 2x4 studs set 16-18" apart. An intruder who takes cover at the corner of a wall can still be hit by aiming about 6-8" short of the corner and letting the bullet "cut the corner" at an angle through the drywall. Of course, this works both ways and you could also be hit.
    The same thing applies if someone is outside the door to a room.

  • Jon spencer Jon spencer on Jan 06, 2016

    At work we had a file cabinet that was mostly cover as it was filled with lathe parts and tools. Wonder what round is needed to punch a hole through 10" four jaw or a 6" three jaw chucks?
    We also had a couple of file cabinets that only held air in the top two drawers, doubt if those would even stop a .22LR.