Test Your Knowledge | Basic Firearms Quiz #2

Basic Firearms Quiz #2

UPDATE: Anyone who finishes the quiz and adds their email address between Aug. 1, 2021 – Aug. 31, 2021, will be entered to win a USA Carry Hat, Patch, and Sticker!

Here is another brief, just-for-fun Quiz, like the one I presented in July 2015, Basic Firearms Quiz. I received several personal comments and emails, mostly positive, and a large majority did very well. It was meant to be a light, fun experience for folks. I guess you cannot design a Quiz that challenges everyone the same and is an “average” knowledge test. So, just enjoy the journey and have fun! This Quiz is to have some fun and improve your firearms knowledge base.

Generally, if you get 18 or more questions correct (90%+), you are at the Advanced level. If you get 16 or 17 (80-85%) questions correct, you are at the Intermediate level, and 14 to 15 (70-75%) correct questions means Basic understanding. Anything below 14 correct questions means more study, practice, classes, and fun researching firearms issues, facts, and information. Take as much time as you need for this Quiz. Please share your Quiz results as either Advanced, Intermediate, or Basic in the Comments section below. SUCCESS!

Basic Firearms Quiz #2

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"Col Ben" is retired with 30 years service in the U.S. Air Force, with joint services Special Ops duty and training, and is Air Force qualified as "Expert" in small arms. He is a Vietnam-era Veteran. Ben is an experienced NRA-Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, and FL Concealed Carry License Instructor. Ben recently wrote the book "Concealed Carry and Handgun Essentials for Personal Protection" (second printing) with 57 comprehensive Chapters about concealed carry and handgun principles, techniques, and tips for both experienced and new shooters. His reference book is endorsed by several organizations and is available on his website at FloridaHandgunsTraining.com. Contact him at ColBFF@gmail.com.
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Darryl Hadfield

Your Level: Intermediate Level
Your Score Was: 17 out of 20
Your Percentage: 85%

What describes efficiently mixing the air and the unburnt powder at the end of the muzzle with this in such a way that there is no blast flare??
Asking “what describes” and then listing a number of items (i.e. nouns) and referencing one as a correct answer is grammatically poor, and contextually, incorrect.
“Birdcage Effect” should be the correct answer, not “Flash Hider.”

What state has the Colt Single Action Army Revolver as its official state pistol?*
How is this in any way a basic firearm question?

What is the very first step to follow when accepting a firearm from another person?*
“Remove the magazine and then check the chamber.” is your suggested correct answer, however, your question did not identify if it was a semi-automatic pistol or if it was a revolver.
‘Physically touch and check the chamber to make certain there is not a round in the chamber’ should be the correct answer.

What state has the “Long Rifle” as its official state firearm?*
Again, how is this in any way a basic firearm question?

Richard Moore

Very Good Point. I wouldn’t stick my finger in the chamber area if the action is to the rear, (had me finger slammed in an M9 but only once). But ensuring the chamber is empty is preeminent. I would NEVER accept a weapon from another person AND THEN remove the magazine (if it had one). The person handing me the weapon clears it first or I do not touch it -THEY remove the magazine.

John A.

Similarly, I don’t see how requiring someone to distinguish between 38 Super and 38 Special as being the “first” hollow-point round was a basic firearm question. I really don’t believe it was appropriate for this kind of quiz.
It also seems like 2 different 38 rounds were put in the question JUST to ensure many people would miss this question, even if they knew the general history about “hollow points”. Not to mention that the 38 Special was supposedly also used/modified in early hollow-point. As I understand it, splitting the tip of a 38 special bullet in an “X” with a knife is considered by some as the earliest experimentation with expanding slugs even leading up to bullets to form the first “hollow-point” rounds. So even though I knew it was generally considered that 38 caliber bullets were among the first, by selecting 38 Special I still got that particular question “wrong” when there seems to be room for debate.

james lagnese

question 6 was incorrect. Not every gun has a removable magazine or even a magazine.

Col Ben

Hi James. My question #6 on Quiz #2 is not related to a magazine. Uncertain about your comment?

Here is my question #6:
6. What is the condition in which the breech is solidly closed and ready to fire?

A. Locked
B. Closed
C. Ready
D. Sealed
E. Inline
The answer is A- Locked.
Regards my friend.

james lagnese

It must have been #6 for me. It was the one mentioned below: “What is the very first step to follow when accepting a firearm from another person?*”Remove the magazine and then check the chamber.” is your suggested correct answer, however, your question did not identify if it was a semi-automatic pistol or if it was a revolver.

‘Physically touch and check the chamber to make certain there is not a round in the chamber’ should be the correct answer..”

Col Ben

Hey James. I guess the site designed this so the question numbers change and are rotated automatically with different question numbers each time we access them. (?)

I really appreciate your comments on several of my articles and thank you. Maybe I should rephrase this question, but I did have a purpose with my “madness” and the way it is constructed. Maybe there is a quiz-taking lesson also. As you know, the term “Firearm” is a broad term that includes both long guns and hand guns
and revolvers and semi-auto pistols. A specific situation with its multitude of
variables is not given by intent. This question was not meant to quiz about all
these possibilities. Just consider which of the given responses is the best
answer to this one broad question. In my 40+ years of college teaching, I
experienced students who did not understand that they were to focus on just the
question at hand and only consider the given possible answers. They read a lot
into the question and that’s why some did not accomplish their goals. The
intent of an exam/quiz question is important and cannot include all possibilities
and considerations by design. It is important to understand test design,
objectives, and methodology and to focus on each question itself without
allowing other factors to influence response to each specific question. Each question should stand alone with the provided possible and delimited answers. There really is an art and a science of test taking, as well as test construction. I
have a lot to learn about both with this question. Ha! While this quiz is not meant to be a serious college or even casual exam, it is meant to be a fun, light-hearted quiz experience for enjoyment. So in the spirit of fun and to help folks lighten-up,
and not as an under-the-microscope clinical shooting and firearms knowledge
assessment, here are some things to think about.

A “Firearm” may be a handgun or a long gun.
A “Handgun” may be a semi-automatic pistol or a revolver.
The question generally addresses “Firearms” i.e. handguns and/or long
ALL possibilities and situations are not tested with this one question.
Possible question Choices/responses could be about ANY Firearm and are not meant to include ALL possible choices for Handguns and Long Guns, nor for both pistols and revolvers.
Consider ONLY the given responses and differentiate among them as applicable to this one question.
Removing the magazine and checking the chamber is the correct FIRST step for semi-auto pistols.
ALL THE CHOICES given should probably be done when accepting a firearm, but not first with a pistol.
There could be, but there are not, long-gun choices to the question.
There could be, but are not, revolver choices to the question.
There could be, and is, a semi-automatic pistol choice to the question.
Test takers should not read more into the question than what is given in a
particular question, but rather just consider the choices offered and assess
just what is given, rather than adding more into the question. This does not
mean there are not more (nor even better) possible choices.

Of the possible choices given (not all inclusive and not all possible choices
given by design), removing the magazine is the best answer GIVEN as a FIRST
step and it happens to apply to semi-automatic PISTOLS. ALL should be done for safety and it does vary, of course, by situation and other factors. Of course, there are FIRST steps and considerations for a revolver and rifles and shotguns also, but those responses are not included in this question, but could be… and we should know them in practice. I say all this really just to be helpful and I have learned something from this. Thank you and above all BE SAFE!

james lagnese

Thanks for the clarification Col. Ben, I appreciate it.


Great quiz. Now I know.


Great quiz. Now I know.

Bill Bouxsein

I think the correct answer for the question about accepting a pistol from another person should be to check the chamber visually and physically. You should not have to open the action and drop the mag. No one should hand you a pistol or any handgun without the action being open. Also the question about which bullet is bigger is a little ambiguous, as it does not say whether you mean bigger in caliber or bigger in physical size/length. Not being critical, just my 2 cents, and I do enjoy the quizzes. Keep it up.

Col Ben

Hello Bill. Thanks for your opinions and I understand what you are saying. You bet the action should be open. The main point is that all the things you mentioned are important and need to be done to ensure safety. There are several opinions about the order of actions for a safety check. Again, doing some kind of a safety check is important and the actions should be completed… order is not primary concern, just that certain things be done. My experience tells me that the NRA has it right about first removing the magazine. As an NRA Instructor, I accept the NRA safety rules and their guidelines for what you do whenever you pick up ANY gun. In their Basic Shooting guidebook we give to students (and in my new Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials book just published), the NRA (and I do as well) mentions on p.4 that as a GENERAL RULE whenever you pick up a gun, you point it in a safe direction with your finger off the trigger… remove the magazine (if the gun is equipped with a removable magazine), open the action and visually and physically inspect the chamber(s). I have witnessed first hand, sadly, several negligent discharges where the mag was not removed first. In fact, there is a video floating around the Internet that shows a law enforcement officer shooting himself without first taking the mag out. I respect your opinion, but for me I’m going to remove the mag FITRST. Continued success and Be Safe. With all respect and thanks again.

Col Ben

Make that “FIRST.”


Firearm describes a multitude of guns. Many have no magazine. A revolver is a firearm and has none as an example. The Action open and chamber(s) empty would be more like it. How do you drop the magazine on a 1903A3, M1 Rifle, or a Derringer?

Also A Muzzle Break? It is a Muzzle Brake. Break mean to snap or fracture. Brake means to stop.

Green Hornet

Great test! Some I never heard of! The one on what to do when getting gun from another person doesn’t make sense unless you know the situation, I would want to know they have control of it then they can check the condition of chamber/magazine etc

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You should have included a question about the difference between a magazine and a clip. Nothing says, “I don’t know anything about firearms” louder than referring to firearm magazines as “clips”.


Question 20 really? What about the firearms that don’t have a magazine? I guess people only pass semi automatic pistols.

William Thomson

Rifleing does not enhance velocity. Ref smooth-bore hypervelocitty gun development. Secondly, is it not of primary importance to be sure the muzzle is in a safe direction before anything is done with the gun ?

William Thomson

If anyone asks, the state gun of
California must be the sculpture in lower downtown Sacramento, of a revolver with its barrel in a knot.


You should have included a question to determine if the exam taker knows the difference between a clip and a magazine, IMHO.

John A.

I’d suggest the way you phrased the question for the first question involving a Muzzle Brake (not”break”) or Compensator could describe either one. However, in the second question you did specify muzzle vertical control which is specifically a Compensator.

Like others, I don’t see how knowing which state has which gun as an official state firearm/pistol/revolver/rifle/etc is a meaningful test of firearm knowledge. I also originally thought the question about which state has the Colt *revolver* as its state *pistol* was a trick question…as I understand it, a revolver is not a pistol. Also, it’s the Arizona state *firearm*, not the state pistol. If you’re going to nit-pick about muzzle-brake and compensator, then the same standard should apply to details about a state’s official XYZ. (I missed the Pennsylvania long rifle question, but hail from Arizona and just happened to know the official state firearm is a Colt revolver)

Two things the Boy Scouts drilled into me were that when you accept *either* a gun or a blade from someone, the very first thing you do is declare you have control of it to avoid fumbling the exchange. NRA teachers said the same thing about guns. The very first thing you do once you have control of the gun is to make sure is is unloaded and has an empty chamber.

If you’re going to use gun history as question material, may I suggest using topics that are more *generally* interesting to people…not state or region specific. For example, I’d include questions on gun development…like when were these guns developed and why they are significant in gun history:
Puckle Gun
Ferguson Rifle
Kalthoff Repeater
For example, the Ferguson Rifle was used by British soldiers against US individuals, militia, and soldiers in 1777.
The Kalthoff Repeater had a detachable 30 round magazine and could fire up to 60 rounds/minute…in the 1600’s!!!
These can be contrasted with the claims that the only gun technology at the time of the Second Amendment was single-shot muzzle-loaders.