Home / QnA / Q&A: What the heck is Hardcover and Softcover?

Q&A: What the heck is Hardcover and Softcover?


Stage planning. I’m struggling coming from IDPA to USPSA in stage planning. What are some basic tips to help? Are you breaking stages up by the number of positions? What are you looking for at each position? Is there a standard procedure I’m missing or haven’t yet learned? Seems overwhelming sometimes.

I think stage planning is very much a muscle. When I’m shooting a lot of matches, I can roll up to a stage and break it down, figure out where I’m going to shoot from, where I’m going to reload (where I’m NOT going to reload), and it comes fairly easily, on a pretty normal stage. It’s harder on memory stages, because, that’s the idea.

Stage planning is a muscle. The more you do it, the easier it gets. One thing I’d recommend if you’re really struggling, is to go to Ben Stoeger Pro Shop, and order a whole bunch of scaled dryfire targets. Like, a lot of them. Then, use those targets to setup larger USPSA type stages in dryfire. Setup some arrays, and then come up with the best way to break it down, dryfire it, then change it again.


How are the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation Matches? I’ve seen them advertised from time to time but never heard anything else.

Full disclosure: I’ve never shot a GSSF match. Personally, they’re not really on my radar. I know there are some folks who only shoot them, but I’m not really interested in shooting a match that’s just all stand and shoot stuff. I want movement. I want to really have to plan a stage, and the GSSF stages are so small that there isn’t really any planning going on in them.

If there’s one near you, and you’re interested in shooting it, by all means, go shoot it. However, you won’t see me traveling all over the country to shoot one.

From what I can tell after poking around the GSSF website, you must be a member to shoot GSSF matches, which costs $35.

Also, just a side note, but they’re still allowing you to put your credit card information on a fillable .PDF and email that to an email address at Glock to get registered for a match. If you know anything at all about email, you should know NOT to email your credit card number. Bad juju. Bad bad bad. No, don’t do that. Send a check, but for the love of god, don’t email your credit card information.


I’m trying to tailor my physical conditioning routine toward improving my performance in action pistol sports. So far the only pistol-specific resource I’ve found comes from an IG post by Hwansik Kim. Are there any specific exercises or resources you can recommend to have the most direct impact on the athletic side of pistol competition?

I’m honestly not sure I’m qualified to answer this question. I hate lifting weights. I hate all kinds of cardio outside of cycling, which I can’t really do anymore, so I don’t have much for you.

I would however recommend reaching out to Steve Anderson from That Shooting Show podcast. A while back he was doing some shooting related workouts, IIRC, so he might be able to point you in the right direction. I know how to lose weight and feel healthier, but as far as actually getting better conditioned and tailor a workout for competitive shooting, I’ve got nothing.


Why all the hate for 3 gun? I know we can’t shoot pistols but is there more?😂

I don’t hate 3-gun. I do like how making any sort of comment about 3-gun tends to draw out a bunch of 3-gunners asking me why I hate 3-gun so much.

I’m more interested in really mastering a handgun. I shot 3-gun for a little bit, way back around 2011 and 2012, and there were several reasons that I stopped shooting it. At that time, the #1 reason was probably money. However, I never got back into it because I felt like at the matches I was shooting, the focus was more on having a good time, than getting better and competing to the best of your ability.

Some of you might think that’s an odd comment, but I’m someone that needs a competitive outlet, and for me, competition shooting is that outlet. My day job isn’t a competitive thing. My other hobbies, podcasting and cycling aren’t particularly competitive things either, so shooting is naturally my personal competitive outlet.

I think that’s the reason I’ve been drawn to USPSA more than IDPA and 3-Gun. Don’t get me wrong, having matches were people go shoot, and enjoy the fellowship of shooting with their friends is a great thing, but I don’t really shoot for fun anymore.

That’s also not to say that shooting isn’t fun for me, but specifically, shooting well is fun for me.


What’s the best type of bullet (ie. Hollow point, round nose, flat nose…etc.) for competition? Is one better for paper, vs steel?

Whatever’s cheapest and most accurate. 

Some folks like the flat nose bullets because they make a really nice hole in the cardboard targets. The edges are a little more defined than the hole made by a round nose bullet.

Some Open division shooters shoot jacketed hollow points, but if I remember correctly, that’s more for accuracy than how the bullet hits the target.


Hate to admit this but I am still confused about the difference between hard cover and soft cover. The USPSA rulebook is very confusing on this. Can you clarify. Can you illustrate using common range props: mesh screen, plastic barrels, plywood, etc.

Definition of Softcover in the USPSA Rulebook: Cover provided merely to obscure targets is considered soft cover. Shots which have passed through soft cover and which strike a scoring target will score. Shots that have passed through soft cover before hitting a no-shoot will be penalized.
All scoring zones on targets hidden by soft cover must be left wholly intact. Targets obscured by soft cover must either be visible through the soft cover or a portion of the affected target(s) must be visible from around or over the soft cover.
Things like barrels or props, vision screens, walls, etc, are considered to be hardcover UNLESS the stage briefing specifically says they are soft cover.
Basically: bullets that go through soft cover still score on whatever they hit afterwards. Hardcover is considered impenetrable, so whatever the bullet strikes after going through hardcover doesn’t score anything.


Hi Lucas. Could you talk about proper grip and how to avoid pushing your front sight down? I tend to hit lower sometimes and I’m told I am pushing the gun! Thanks love the show Frank from SC.

I don’t have any fancy, specific advice about grip. I grip the gun as hard as I possibly can without disturbing the sights when I pull the trigger.

I’d be willing to bet that however hard you’re gripping the gun now, you could probably grip it a lot harder. I think all that 60/40 or 70/30 grip advice is garbage. I’d be willing to bet most shooters can’t even tell if they’re gripping with 70% of their possible grip force, which makes that advice even worse.

As hard as you can without disturbing the sights. If that’s so hard that your mags won’t come out of the gun, then back off a little.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.