Test your Gun Knowledge!

Think you know your handguns? Like to learn more about the most popular models out there? Test your handgun knowledge by trying to guess the gun


There certainly are a lot of handguns out there, each with their distinctive shape and features, but only a true gun aficionado would be able to pick them out on sight.

The following quiz is about some of the most popular pistols on the market. Nearly everyone is available in the average gun store, and if a person is packing a legally concealed handgun in a concealed carry holster, there's a pretty good chance it's one of the following pistols.

Let's see how much you know.

Are you ready for the Gun Quiz? Test your knowledge!


It's a compact version of one of the most popular service pistols of all time. It's chambered in 9mm, carries 15+1 and is available in nearly any gun store you can find. A lot of people consider it a "Goldilocks gun," because it's big enough to be used as a service or home defense handgun, but compact and light enough for most people to easily carry it concealed.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Glock 19
It is a Glock 19

What is it?

It's the Glock 19! Introduced in the late 1980s as a compact variant of the Glock 17 for plainclothes police work and concealed carry, it's one of the most popular CCW guns on the market. There may be some guns that do one or two things better than the venerable 19, but very few do everything as well as the 19.


This gun is a subcompact single-stack poly-striker pistol made by one of the oldest and best names in the business. Up until the release of this pistol, it was a CCW gun that this company was best known for. However, once this gun was released in the late 2000s, it rapidly became a sales sensation due to shooting far better than it's compact size would suggest and is now one of the best concealed carry handguns on the market.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a S&W M&P Shield 9mm
It is a S&W M&P Shield 9mm

What is it?

The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm is a perennial best-seller. Say what you want about the grip, or the trigger, or anything else about it, but no one can deny it's a solid shooter and one of the easiest pistols to concealed carry.


This gun is an even MORE compact variant of what is already a very reasonably compact pistol to carry. It may not be the first single-stack subcompact 9mm on the market, but a lot of people think it's one of the best you can get. It's slim, it's light, carries enough firepower to make it a very capable CCW gun, which is part of what's made it so popular. Small enough for a pocket, but big enough to carry well in a holster.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Glock 43
It is a Glock 43

What is it?

The Glock 43 is Glock's single-stack 9mm subcompact, and while it wasn't the first single-stack compact plastic fantastic to hit the market, it is the first from Glock - and they practically invented the polymer striker pistol. A lot of people won't carry anything else.


This is one of the most popular handguns in existence. It's carried by countless police departments and military units worldwide. Thousands of civilians carry one or have one (or more) in their home. It's one of the best high-capacity pistols you can buy, but also light enough and streamlined enough to conceal - one of the few full-size service pistols that can boast of that.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Glock 17
It is a Glock 17

What is it?

The venerable Glock 17, the original double-stack plastic fantastic. This pistol caused a sensation when introduced in the 1980s and it has become an institution in and of itself. There are one or two things a person might not like about it...but no one can deny that it's one of the all-time greats for good reason.


This pistol has all the features a person usually looks for in a carry gun. It's light-weight, with a polymer frame and an accessory rail. It's thin, but has a 12+1 capacity in 9mm. It's small enough for small-handed shooters, but big enough for larger hands to get good purchase on. It's accurate, it's reliable, and the name on the barrel usually send handgun snobs into conniption fits.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Taurus PT111 Millennium G2
It is a Tuaurs PT111 Millennium G2

What is it?

The Taurus PT111 Millennium G2 is a bit of a sleeper. The handgun press rarely mentions it, but the gun-buying public buys a lot of them and trust them enough to carry - which anyone could do without a second thought. True, early editions had some teething pains but those were sorted years ago. Today, it's an enormous amount of gun for the money; probably one of the best pistols for the man or woman on a budget to look at.


This pistol is virtually the same as one of the other guns on this list, but it's made slightly better by sizing up to a larger round. Compact enough for easy CCW, but big enough for a great many police departments and federal agencies to issue to plainclothes officers and chambering the hard-hitting .40 S&W. If you are getting into .40, this is one of the best starting points possible.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Glock 23
It is a Glock 23

What is it?

It's the Glock 23! The 23 is basically the same pistol as the Glock 19, just with a slightly larger barrel and slightly different magazine in order to chamber and fire the .40 S&W round. In fact, this gun came out not long after the .40 S&W was created in the early 1990s. It's been a perennial best-seller ever since.


This is one of the most iconic pistols of all time. Few guns are as identifiable, and fewer still are as quintessentially American. The design may be old, some say even antiquated, but few guns feel as good in the hand. Few guns point as easily and are as easy to learn and keep running for decades. Fewer still put this much firepower in the hand as easily or have as much aftermarket support.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a 1911 5 inch
Is it a 1911 5 inch

What is it?

It's the 1911 in the Government frame. This pistol is an icon, and if there is one pistol that anyone who appreciates shooting should have in their safe, this is the one to acquire. You can modify them extensively, and many are nearly perfect right out of the box. It's arguably the most iconic handgun of all time.


This gun has been a concealed carry sensation when it was released in the 1990s, and it has remained so ever since. Policeman and federal agents often carry them as backups, and civilians love the compact dimensions for concealed carry. Since it's a compact variant of a larger pistol, it can actually accept larger magazines than the standard 10+1 of 9mm it carries, which many carry as a concealed backup magazine.

Is it a Glock 26
It is a Glock 26

What is it?

The "Baby Glock" - the Glock 26 - is one of the most popular concealed carry pistols of the modern era. Just like the 17 and the 19, it's found in most gun stores for good reason, and has more aftermarket support than almost any other handgun.


This handgun is an updated version of a modern sales sensation, offered by a very famous name normally associated with older designs of both handguns and rifles. It's wildly popular for concealed carry. Despite the generous carrying capacity of 13+1 rounds of 9mm or 9+1 of .40 S&W, the lightweight and compact dimensions make it easy to carry all day. The mechanical design makes it easy to shoot all day as well, far easier than compacts of similar size.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Springfield XD Mod.2 3 inch
 It is a Springfield XD Mod.2 3 inch

What is it?

The XD Mod.2 3-inch subcompact from Springfield Armory is one of their most popular pistols, since it takes the easy shooting dynamics and slim, sleek, light dimensions of the standard XD and improves it in nearly every way possible.


Take one of the most popular carry pistols in recent memory and give it a bit more firepower, but make it still easy to shoot. This is the .40 S&W version of a wildly successful single-stack polymer-framed subcompact, and though the larger chambering does come at a cost of one less round in carrying capacity, it barely affects how easy it is to shoot at all.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a S&W M&P Shield .40
It is a S&W M&P Shield .40

What is it?

The Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 40 is one of the easiest subcompacts in that chambering to fire, and the compact nature has made it one of the best small guns with big firepower on the market. Who better to get it from than the ones who created the round to begin with?


Wonder how to improve on a classic? Make it shoot a bigger bullet, but don't compromise quality in any way. If you need a hard-hitting bullet in a very small package, this gun is one of the models to acquire. Don't let the small size and lighter weight than other carry pistols intimidate you though - it's easier to shoot than you'd believe.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Glock 27
It is a Glock 27

What is it?


The Glock 27 is much like the 26, just chambered in .40 S&W instead of 9mm. Just like the 23, it's virtually the same as its 9mm counterpart - just carries one less. Then again, you may need fewer.


Take one of the most popular handguns of the modern age and give it more firepower, but make it easy to shoot. In other words, it's doing a bit more with what is arguably perfection. You wouldn't think one of the best guns of all time could be better with a larger round, but according to a lot of people...it is. That's also why a lot of police departments and federal agencies - such as the FBI - put the lives of officers and agents on the line with this gun backing them up.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Glock 22
It is a Glock 22

What is it?

The Glock 22 is the .40 counterpart to the Glock 17. It carries two fewer rounds, but holds 15+1 of .40 S&W. For people who like to conceal and carry a full-size, this is one of the guns to have.


This gun is a very compact big-bore handgun. It's lighter than it should be, despite holding 6+1 or 7+1 - depending on the magazine you use - of .45 ACP. It's smaller than it should be, as it's thinner and shorter than many other compact pistols that fire this hard-hitting round. It's also far easier to shoot for a bite-size big gun than you would believe it could be.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a S&W M&P Shield .45
It is a S&W M&P Shield .45

What is it?

The Shield .45 is one of the easiest subcompact .45 ACP pistols on the market to shoot, and also one of the easiest to CCW. If you're after a compact big-bore, this is one of the best available.


Plenty of companies make a pocket .380, but the one that makes this one took their time before releasing it. However, it has all the attributes that has made the name on it one of the all-time greats. Another thing about this pistol? You can actually put in range time with it, unlike most other pocket pistols out there. That has made this a very popular gun for deep concealment or use as a backup gun for police.

Allen the Alien says flip it
 Is it a Glock 42
It is a Glock 42

What is it?

The Glock 42 is Glock's pocket .380, which is one of the more recent additions to their lineup. It shares all the great Glock features you've come to expect, but in an even smaller package.


This pistol is the improved model of a gun that remade a gunmaker's image. Previously, the company that makes this gun had been mostly thought of as a purveyor of iron-tough revolvers and rifles, not so much CCW semi-autos. However, they released a wildly popular line of subcompact polymer-framed single-stack .380 and 9mm guns that have become concealed carry sensations. This edition has a vastly upgraded trigger and adjustable sights for vastly improved use.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Ruger LC9s
It is a Ruger LC9s

What is it?

The Ruger LC9 subcompact 9mm pistol is one of the easiest out there to concealed carry, but the LC9s made it so much better with an improved striker-fire mechanism and integrated trigger safety, and improved sights.


This slim, subcompact pistol is perfect for deep concealment or pocket carry, but carries the 9mm round instead of the .380 Auto that most pistols of this class are known for. Strangely, though, the brand is more known for tactical and service pistols that are some of the most popular among police and military personnel.

Is it a Sig Sauer P938
It is a Sig Sauer P938

What is it?

The Sig Sauer P938 may be a bit of a departure for Sig Sauer, mostly known for their hard-as-nails service pistols. But that has hardly made a dent; the 938 is one of the best guns for deep concealment or for use as a backup gun you can get. Since it chambers 9mm instead of .380, that makes it one of the best pocket pistols on the market.


This gun redefined what a person could expect from a polymer-framed pistol. When first released in 2001, it set a new standard in safety features, ergonomics and shootability from guns of a similar size. Despite slim dimensions and a short barrel length - merely 3 inches - it shoots better than some guns of service-pistol size. It's become one of the most popular concealed carry pistols out there as a result.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it an SA XD 3 inch Subcompact
It is an SA XD 3 inch Subcompact

What is it?

Springfield Armory's XD subcompact, the original compact in the XD lineup, is one of the most popular guns that Springfield sells, and for good reason. You'd be hardpressed to find a pistol with the same features from anyone else.


This is a compact variant of an incredibly innovative pistol platform from one of the best makers in the business. Known for accuracy, outstanding ergonomics and outshooting guns costing twice the amount, it also is one of the easiest double-stack compacts to conceal and carry, and the downsizing hasn't put a dent in the carrying capacity.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Ruger SR9c
It is a Ruger SR9c

What is it?

The Ruger SR9C is one of the easiest compact double-stacks to carry, and easily one of the best to shoot.


This gun help launch a gun company from being a fine purveyor of older gun designs into being one of the major players on the market. It's a firearm that gives you everything you need and nothing you don't, with a polymer-frame striker design but better ergonomics than many of that type were known for at the time of release. A carrying capacity of 16+1 of 9mm and wickedly intuitive features don't hurt either...which is what makes it so popular.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a SA XD 4 inch service model
It is a SA XD 4 inch service model

What is it?

The Springfield Armory XD, the 4-in service model, is one of the most popular modern full-size guns out there. It's a fantastic home defense gun, but also light and slim enough for daily carry too, and happens to be an excellent shooter.


This pistol is the Cadillac of this pistol platform's compact variant. It's light and easy to carry, absolutely gorgeous in the finishes that the maker bestows upon it and deceivingly easy to shoot - despite being mostly offered in .45 ACP. A hard-hitting compact that easily puts lead downrange, does so accurately and easily and looks gorgeous in the bargain - beauty and a beast.

Allen the Alien says flip it
Is it a Kimber Ultra 1911
It is a Kimber Ultra 1911

What is it?

The Kimber 1911 Ultra series is Kimber's Officer 1911, and just like other Officer frames puts a lot of firepower in a compact package. It's also one of the best, being the equal of Officer 1911s costing two or three times as much.


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Sam Hoober

About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.