12 May

Firearms Familiarity Classes and Take the Test!

Steven K. Ledin,

In the last week I held 7 Firearms Familiarity classes in three different OpticsPlanet locations. Most departments were involved including Procurement, Merchandising, Marketing, LE/Gov't Sales, Sales Force, and even Returns and Warehouse. The class focused on the basic points of firearms, such as safety, action types, how they are used and by whom, how to shoot them, and mostly, since OpticsPlanet is now offering many new items that we haven't sold before, parts. I've gotten the ok through our Compliance and Legal team to approve thousands of new-to-us products such as upper receivers and complete uppers, buffer tubes and collapsible stocks, barrels, flash hiders, muzzle brakes, and many others.

Many of the students were not familiar with firearms, and it's important to not teach over their heads. More advanced training is usually in small groups or for individuals. But for this class, we spoke about single vs. double action revolvers and pistols, how people carry, a bit about cartridges and what they are used for, and plenty about the AR platform. Some about what people hunt with, a bit about guns in the home, and overall tried to give them a better understanding about what does what and what information to ask when searching for a compatible product.

The test below is pretty rudimentary to any gun person, but take a try at the test I gave to these folks. Send me your answers and I'll be glad to grade them! Enjoy.


Firearms Familiarization Test

1.  What are the two most easily changed parts in an AR-type gun?

  A.  Upper

  B.  Muzzle Brake

  C.  Trigger Guard

  D.  Trigger

  E.  Buttstock

  F.  Buffer Tube

2.  What do muzzle brakes and compensators do?

3.  What is the difference between single action and double action?

4.  What is the difference between a commercial and mil-spec buffer tube?

5.  What is the difference between a buffer tube and a receiver extension?

6.  Give an example of a striker-fired pistol.

7.  Identify the following cartridges as long or short action

  A.  30-06

  B.  308

  C.  223

  D.  5.56

  E.  300 Winchester Magnum

8.  What is the purpose of a flash hider and why?

9.  Normally, a handgun is carried behind the back with the butt facing towards the

     spine, or away from it?

10. What is "Cocked and locked?"

11. What is "Dry fire?"

12. What is the chamber of a gun?

13. What is the difference between 5.56 and 223, and 7.62 Nato and 308?

14. What does a free-floated handguard do?

15. What is a speedloader?

16. What shotgun choke would you use for deer with slugs, and what one for   


17. What is co-witness?

18. What is an ambidextrous safety?

19. What is pillar bedding?

20. Identify the following cartridges as rimfire or centerfire:

  A.  20 Gauge

  B.  17 HMR

  C.  50 BMG

  D.  30-06

  E.  22LR

Hope you had fun with this test, whether you're an experienced shooter or very new at it!


About Steven K. Ledin

Steve has never not known guns. Before motorcycles, money, or girls, they have always been part of his life. He was tenured as General Manager of one of the country’s largest gun stores and ranges, a buyer in a big box sporting goods store, and is currently OpticsPlanet’s Director of Product Intelligence. He was a US Navy gunners mate, and is an NRA certified instructor in ten categories, as well as an Illinois CCW instructor. He shoots competitively and has hunted from Alaska to Africa. He thoroughly loves life with his beloved wife, Shirley, and their three wildish dogs Tinker, TranRek (pronounced “Train Wreck”), and Crash Almighty. He is a stubborn stage 4 cancer survivor not yet ready to cash in his chips.

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