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Basic Firearms Quiz

By: Dr. Ignatius Piazza

Founder and Director of Front Site Firearms Training Institute
Four Weapons Combat Master

1) Which of the following handguns would you consider the best for general self defense?

• Single Action Revolver, example: Colt Peacemaker

• Double Action Revolver, example: Smith and Wesson Model 29
• Double Action Semi-auto, example: Beretta 92F
• Single Action Semi-auto: example: Colt 1911
• Safe Action Semi-Auto: example: Glock
• Action Adventure Hero Auto: example: UFP2000

Answer to Question #1: At Front Sight our motto is, “Any Gun Will Do — If You Will Do!” meaning YOU
are the weapon and your firearm is just a tool. You don’t need a new gun or a specific model of gun to
attend a course with us. Bring what you have and we will train you to use it better than 99% of the gun-
owning population. You have my personal guarantee on it.

Any gun will do — if you will do… but there are some choices in handguns that are better than others.

What you want in a defensive handgun is reliability and simplicity. Why? Because in a real gun fight you
will only be about half as good as you are on your best day at the range, simply from the stress of a
lethal encounter. This is due to the adverse effects of adrenalin on your dexterity. Gross motor
movements become stronger, but fine motor coordination deteriorates. Manipulating your gun and
hitting your target require fine motor coordination.

Most of the major gun manufacturers produce reliable guns, meaning they go “bang” each time you
press the trigger. So, we don’t need to discuss reliability. What we do need to discuss is simplicity of use
because when your dexterity deteriorates from the adrenaline surge in a lethal confrontation you want
a simple gun to shoot.

With nothing more to manipulate than the trigger, slide release and magazine release, the “safe action”
semi-auto Glock is by far the simplest to use, and therefore is what I consider the best choice in a
defensive handgun. I get no benefit at all from Glock for endorsing their weapon. I’m just telling you that
I can carry and shoot any gun extremely well and I choose to carry a Glock because it is simple to shoot
well in a gun fight.

The Single Action Semi-auto (1911 Style) is in second place because it has a safety lever to contend with.

The Double Action Semi-auto is in third place because of its decocking lever and both single action and
double action trigger.

The Double Action Revolver is slightly behind the Double Action Semi-auto due to both single and
double action trigger and the additional dexterity and time required for reloading.
Single Action Revolver can be mastered but takes so much time you would only carry it if that was all
you had to choose from.

The "Action Adventure Hero Auto" is the gun we all want (UFP2000 means Unlimited Fire Power 2000).
Never needs reloading, never misses, and never malfunctions. You have to be a Hollywood action
adventure star to get one.

Again, the correct answer to question #1 is: Safe Action Semi-auto Glock

2) Which gun would you consider the best for immediate general home defense?

• Handgun
• Shotgun
• Rifle

Answer to Question #2: The best gun for general home defense is the one you have in your hand at the
time you need it. If your guns are so inaccessible as to take you 30 seconds to 1 minute or more to
access them when you hear breaking glass in the middle of the night or someone pounding down your
door, it really doesn’t matter what gun you call your home defense gun because you won’t have the
time to get to it.

There is also the question of maneuverability with a gun. The longer the gun, the more difficult it is to
use in the close confines of hallways and doorways.

Most of you answer “shotgun” because of the impact of the sound of racking the shotgun action in
scaring away an intruder. A better reason to chose a shotgun for home defense is because the pattern of
the shot doesn’t require as precise an aim as a rifle or handgun, especially in low light conditions. Also,
the stopping power of the shotgun is significantly greater than the handgun while not presenting the
problem of over-penetration that the rifle creates.

So, “shotgun” is a good answer if you can safely access it immediately. However, most gun training
experts first reach for a full-size, major-caliber handgun with a dedicated light attached so they have
something of power and target identification immediately in their hand, then they move to secure their
shotgun, submachine gun, or rifle.

Again, the correct answer to question #2 is: Handgun

3) What method do you consider the best for everyday carrying of a concealed handgun?

• Ankle holster, covered by pant leg

• Belly band holster covered by shirt
• Fanny pack holster worn around the waist
• Holster on outside of belt covered by shirt, vest, or jacket
• Inside the waistband holster covered by shirt, vest or jacket
• Shoulder holster
• No holster, gun tucked inside pants

Answer to Question #3: The most common method of carrying a concealed handgun is “no holster, gun
tucked inside the pants.” While this is the by far the most common method, it is not the best method. In
fact, it takes advanced training and skill to carry in this manner and still be able to consistently present
the weapon quickly and efficiently from concealment.

I go into great detail on the pros and cons of all the methods of concealed carry in my Gun Training
Reports. But the short answer here is this: You want a balance of the utmost concealment in all manners
of dress and weather conditions with allowing a consistently fast presentation of the handgun.
Therefore the best method for everyday carrying of a concealed handgun is “inside the waistband
holster covered by shirt, vest, or jacket.” See my Gun Training Reports for a complete explanation on all
methods of concealed carry.

Again, the correct answer to question #3 is: Inside the waistband holster covered by a shirt, vest, or

4) On a new defensive handgun, fresh out of the box that seems to be shooting a few inches low at 10
yards, what do you feel is most likely causing the low shots?

• The barrel needs to be oiled

• The sights need to be adjusted
• You are not pressing the trigger correctly.
• The gun needs to be sent back to the manufacturer
• Most handguns out of the box shoot a few inches low at ten yards

Answer to Question #4: On the first day of a defensive handgun course at Front Sight, we often hear
many students tell us that they think their gun needs to be sent back to the factory for a sight
modification because the gun shoots “way low.” In reality, 99% of all fixed-sight guns come out of the
box perfectly sighted to hit where you are aiming at conversational distances — those distances you are
most likely to engage in a gunfight. Students don’t believe us, so we include a drill in the first day of the
Two-Day and Four-Day Defensive Handgun Courses called the “Diagnostic Trigger Drill.” The first step to
the Diagnostic Trigger Drill involves the instructor shooting the gun for the student. Much to the
student’s surprise, in the instructor’s hands, the gun shoots “way center!”

The reason the gun shoots low for the student is because the student is not getting a “surprise trigger
break” and instead is “making the gun shoot” which causes the gun muzzle to dip ever so slightly. As
distances increase, this slight dip at the muzzle results in hits that are a few to several inches low at 10-
15 yards and complete misses at 25 yards.

The problem is with the students‘ trigger control. This is corrected by the remainder of the diagnostic
trigger drills and the corrections reinforced through the remainder of the course. This takes students to
the point where they can shoot one ragged hole with multiple rounds at the same distance that they
previously thought the gun was shooting “way low!”

Again, the correct answer to question # 4 is: You are not pressing the trigger correctly.

5) What should you do if you are “Cross Dominant” and shooting a handgun?

• A. Learn to shoot with your non dominant hand

• B. Learn to shoot keeping both eyes open all the time
• C. Close your non-dominant eye, turn your head slightly and use your dominant eye
• A and B
• See a psychiatrist
• None of the above, close both eyes

Answer to Question #5: “Cross Dominance” is an interesting situation that affects over 10% of the
shooting population. It occurs when the dominant eye is on the opposite side of the body from the
dominant hand. If you shoot right handed, it works best if your right eye is dominant. In over 10% of the
cases, a right handed shooter has a dominant left eye or vice versa.

Learning to shoot with your non dominant hand can be done, but it (just like a proficient switch hitter in
baseball) takes lots of practice. Learning to shoot with both eyes open is exceptionally difficult for
people that are cross dominant as well as people who have a strong dominant eye.

So the correct answer is to simply squint or close the non dominant eye (in a “cross dominant” this
would be the eye on the side of the dominant hand) and tip or turn your head slightly to sight with your
dominant eye.

Closing both eyes, although not the correct answer, can be done with good results after we ingrain in
you, through fun and exciting training drills, the proper presentation and trigger control. Students are
stunned to close their eyes, present their weapon and hit man-sized steel targets out to 50 yards!

Again, the correct answer to question #5 is close your non-dominant eye, turn your head slightly and
use your dominant eye.

6) What will tend to improve your accuracy with a handgun the most?

• Purchasing a newer gun

• Buying better quality ammunition
• Placing a laser sight on your gun
• Learning the “Three Secrets”
• Shooting more

Answer to Question #6: Most people think that you have to shoot more to improve your accuracy. This
is incorrect and an extremely expensive mistake to make because shooting more can actually degrade
your accuracy and cause you to develop bad habits that take more time and training to fix.

Once you learn what tens of thousands of our students now know as “The Three Secrets” and I reveal to
you “The Biggest Secret in the Firearms Training Industry” (which I will gladly share with you in my Gun
Training Reports) you will know that wasting money on another new gun or the latest, greatest
ammunition, or placing a laser sight on your gun will not improve your accuracy as much simply applying
the little known and rarely talked about techniques that I share with you in my Gun Training Reports and
that we reflexively train into our students at Front Sight.

Because you tested well on this quiz, at the beginning of this page I have given you the free opportunity
to receive my 30 Gun Training Reports. In these reports, I share in great detail some of the same
information from the lectures and range training that students travel across to country and pay
thousands of dollars to receive.

Again, the answer to question #6 is: Learning the “Three Secrets.”

7) What will make you less likely to ever have to use lethal force to defend yourself or your family?

• A. Being alert and aware of your surroundings

• B. Being mentally prepared to defend yourself
• C. Being armed with your gun
• D. Being skilled with your gun
• All of the above
• A and B Only
• None of the above: Hire a body guard

Answer to Question #7: I often wonder when I see celebrities, politicians, and Fortune 500 executives
walking around with their body guards if they (celebrities, politicians, and executives) realize that after a
Four-Day Defensive Handgun Course with Front Sight, they would have skill in defending themselves
with a concealed handgun that surpasses the people they are paying to guard them!

We teach more than just how to shoot better than the vast majority of people who carry a gun for a
living. The “Front Sight Experience” -- as our students so fondly describe -- is a life changing four days
that leaves you with a “comfort of skills at arms.” This change in your level of awareness, mental
preparedness, and armed skill creates a confidence that is not cocky, but rather quietly self-assured —
and that confidence translates into every aspect of your life. The people you come in contact with, both
good and bad, can sense it. The good people want more to do with you and the bad people want
nothing to do with you.

In my Gun Training Reports, I will share with you the same information we provide our students — the
Color Code of Mental Awareness and Combat Mindset. Once you adopt the Color Code of Mental
Awareness and the Combat Mindset as you own, you will be less likely to ever need to employ the skill
we teach you in the use of the gun you carry, because criminals will see you are alert, aware, and
prepared — and will leave you alone.

The answer to question # 7 is: All of the above.

8) What handgun would you recommend for a woman who wants to protect herself?

• Pocket Pistol
• Small Revolver
• Single Action Semi-auto
• Double Action Semi-auto
• Safe Action Semi-auto

Answer to Question #8: This is a trick question for all you macho male chauvinists who feel a woman
can’t handle a full-sized semi-auto handgun and need to be relegated to a “Lady Smith” revolver, or .25
Auto pocket pistol.

Guess what we place in the hands of women who have never shot a gun before coming to Front Sight
and rent our equipment? A safe action semi-auto — in other words a Glock. Why? See the answer to #1.
Reliable and simple to use are what you need in a lethal encounter, whether you are a man or a woman.

By the end of the Two-Day or Four-Day Defensive Handgun Course, the women who have never shot a
gun before are remarkably proficient in their ability to present the weapon and deliver two quick, fight-
stopping hits. They would be insulted at anyone suggesting that they try a small revolver or pocket

Again, the answer to question 8 is: Safe Action Semi-auto.

9) What do you feel is the best handgun caliber for general self defense?

• .45 ACP
• 10mm
• .40 S&W
• .357 magnum
• 9mm
• .38 Special
• .380
• .25
• .22

Answer to Question #9: The debate over “the best fight stopping handgun caliber” will never end as
long as there are ammunition manufacturers willing to pay for advertising in gun magazines and the
“vanity articles” for their products that are written to encourage more advertising.

I go to much greater lengths to explain handgun stopping power and caliber selection in my Gun
Training Reports, which I wrote for you. But, let’s say for right now that ALL handgun rounds are
woefully inadequate stoppers compared to a shotgun or rifle. We carry handguns because we can
conceal them and maintain an emergency defense weapon on our person.

The best answer of the choices given you above is the .45 ACP. Our grandfathers knew it in World War II
and our grandfathers’ grandsons are figuring it out again in Iraq. A .45 ACP stops ‘em best.

There are a number of factors that I cover in My Gun Training Reports to further explain the best caliber,
bullet weight, bullet shape, etc., to look for in your particular situation.

Again, the answer to question #9 is: .45 ACP

10) What do you feel is the standard response in using a defensive handgun when you must shoot to
defend your life?

• A. With a major caliber handgun, two quick hits to the thoracic cavity
• B. With a minor caliber handgun, three to four quick hits to the thoracic cavity
• C. With a sub-caliber handgun, three to four quick hits to the cranio-ocular cavity
• All of the above
• A and C only
• None of the above: You keep shooting until your attacker stops moving

Answer to Question #10: If you “keep shooting until your attacker stops moving,” you may find yourself
looking at excessive use of force charges and will certainly feel the liability of explaining why you
continued to shoot after the threat ended.
We shoot to stop the attack, not to kill. Once the attack stops, we stop shooting because that’s when
excessive use of force begins.

By “stopping the attack” we mean your opponent is no longer showing intent to injure you or is no
longer able to injure you. We cover this issue in great detail with demonstrations in our “Moral and
Ethical Decisions in the Use of Deadly Force” and “Problems 2 and 3: Criminal and Civil Liability
Following the Use of Deadly Force” lectures. You will get some of this fascinating and extremely
informative training in my Gun Training Reports and the rest of your hands-on training will occur in our
Two Day and Four Day Courses.

The standard response that you should train to have, with a major-caliber handgun (calibers with a “4”
in them) such as .45, 44, 10mm (a hot .40 caliber) and .40 S&W, is two quick hits to the thoracic cavity.

That should be the standard response with minor calibers as well (calibers smaller than the “4’s” but
larger or hotter than .380) such as 9mm. But be prepared to deliver a shot to the cranio-ocular cavity
(between the eyebrows and moustache) to stop the fight if they don’t immediately drop. Our troops in
Iraq are reporting that when using the 9mm Berettas, three or four hits to the chest are required to stop

With sub-caliber handguns, don’t even bother shooting your attacker in the chest as you are just
wasting time, ammunition, and elevating his threshold for pain by inflicting a non-incapacitating wound.
Standard response with a pocket pistol that so many people carry for convenience is three to four quick
hits to the cranio-ocular cavity. There is nothing wrong with carrying a pocket pistol in a sub-caliber, you
just have to train significantly more in order to shoot it well due to the smaller packages, shorter sight
radius and because the standard response is delivered to a much smaller target.

Again, the answer to question #10 is: A and C only.