DoubleTap Defense .45ACP Pocket Derringer – New Gun Review

DoubleTap Derringer in aluminum frame and .45ACP ported barrel. It also comes in 9mm and should be out soon in .40S&W. All of he barrels are interchangeable and can be purchased from the company for $199 each.
Takedown by pushing out the pin at the front of the frame and lifting out the barrels.
The strength of the Doubletap is that it is only 5/8ths of an inch thick. But from a recoil standpoint this is also it’s major weakness. Your trigger finger and palm get a pretty good beating. The pin toward the bottom of the grip is for attaching a lanyard.
This is the company graphic of the DoubleTap. As you can see, it has two separate firing pins with an alternating hammer. One of the original selling points of the gun was that it had very few moving pieces, but that would only be an advantage if you could take it apart and put it back together easily. A gun that you can’t take apart without voiding the warranty is the equivalent of a Swiss watch under the stress of .45ACP recoil, and this throws up all kinds of red flags at a $499 MSRP, in a gun that they makers are asking you to entrust your life to.
Grip compartment cartridge trap with 2 rounds in the included loading device.
Fold the loading device tab forward to close the cartridge trap door.
This is the ported model of the DoubleTap. It has 5 ports per side per barrel. Though this feature probably does reduce muzzle flip to some degree, we were not able to test them side by side (our test gun was purchased not sent to us by the company). We did not chronograph the speed of the bullets leaving the barrel, but these ports should substantially reduce the velocity.
Offhand from 21 feet the barrels formed two separate groups.
When the first round is fired, the floating firing pin in the other chamber leaves a light witness mark on the other primer.
Spring loaded ball bearings in the breech faces facilitate a smooth closing of the action. (ED NOTE: Until they fall out.)
Capture strip and loading device for carrying additional rounds.
You can easily do a visual check to see if the chambers are loaded.
Shot from 4 feet as fast as I could pull the trigger, the two groups were still distinctly apart, but lower barrel grouped in a little more than an inch. As a “belly gun,” thought to be the realm of derringers through the ages, the DoubleTap is just fine in accuracy.

DoubleTap Defense
by Wayne Lincourt

The DoubleTap Tactical Pocket Pistol is an over/under break action derringer capable of delivering two rounds of 9 mm or .45ACP as fast as you can pull the trigger. It is sold as a simple and rugged option for deep concealment or backup. Make no mistake, this is not a range gun or plinker. It’s designed for one purpose and one purpose only – saving your life. We first saw the DoubleTap almost two years at SHOT Show 2012, but after some hiccups with manufacturing contracts and parts suppliers, the DoubleTap pistol is just now finding its way into the market. Our big question, and yours most likely, is the street practicality of the DoubleTap. The .45ACP is no kitten when it comes to recoil, and even though your followup shots are limited to one in the two shot pistol, an “ouch that hurts” after the first shot wouldn’t be the ideal in a concealed carry pistol. There are a lot of perfectly good pocket pistols on the market, and this gun has some red flags, not the least of which is user discomfort. At a starting MSRP of $499 for a two shot derringer, do we really need the DoubleTap?

Designer and company president, Ray Kohout, set out to build a gun that was small, powerful, and reliable, and when you get right down to it, he has succeeded. This DoubleTap is a true double barrel derringer, and those barrels are made from 17-4 PH stainless steel, a premium steel noted for its strength, corrosion resistance, and mechanical properties. The inside and outside are coated with Mil-Spec Black Nitride coating. All internal parts of the trigger/hammer assembly are stainless steel as are the screws holding it all together. The DoubleTap frame is machined from 7075 aluminum alloy, recognized for its mechanical and fatigue strength, comparable to many steels. The frame is protected from corrosion by a Type III Mil-Spec (Hardcoat) anodize which impregnates the aluminum and provides a very hard ceramic type coating. Fit and finish are excellent.

The DoubleTap is just over 5/8 of an inch wide (.665 inches to be precise), 5.5 inches long and 3.9 inches high, it slips easily into a pocket or inside your waistband. The aluminum frame model with a .45 caliber ported barrel weighed in at 13.4 ounces. Compared to even the smallest semi-autos and revolvers, it is small, narrow, and light with nothing protruding to snag on holster or clothing. The hammers and barrel-select mechanism are internal. The only part of the firing mechanism that is external is the trigger, which is one piece from its face to the back of the trigger guard (nothing can get behind it to prevent its operation). It will fire from inside your pocket, if someone else has their hand around it, and even pressed against an adversary. There are fewer moving parts involved in each cycle of the gun than a revolver.

We used two types of .45ACP for our testing, Remington 230 gr. full metal jacket, and Federal Hydra-shock 230 gr. jacketed hollow points. Both would be considered popular rounds for concealed carry, and firing both of them in the DoubleTap is a memorable experience. (Pain has a way of imprinting deep memories.) The combination of light weight, a hard narrow frame, and .45ACP recoil results in substantial felt recoil, especially in the first joints of your index finger and thumb. Granted, the gun is purpose built. You don’t buy a DoubleTap for a day of comfortable plinking, and it can, from our limited test of 46 rounds, (more on that later) reliably deliver two .45 rounds at short range. Technically this is all you need for self defense in most gunfights, but, though the gun is a good idea in theory, if the recoil is too unpleasant (it is), you aren’t going to practice with it. Then, not having shot the gun a lot, you might flinch expecting what you know is uncomfortable recoil. How great a choice is this gun for saving your life in a gunfight? I don’t know about you, but I don’t walk around with shooting gloves on my hands, and I couldn’t shoot more than 46 rounds WITH shooting gloves.

There is no external hammer or safety on the DoubleTap, which means that it relies on a heavy pull as its only means of preventing an accidental discharge. The trigger weight is heavy enough to carry without the need of a safety, just like a double action revolver. My trigger gauge only goes up to 12 pounds and this trigger is closer to 14 pounds. In the adrenaline charged state you’d be in if you had to use the gun in self defense, you probably wouldn’t notice. However, anyone with limited hand strength should try before they buy. This heavy of a trigger pull, with an expectant heavy hit of recoil, is not going to make for accurate shooting from most shooters.

My own accuracy testing was curtailed by a hand that had seen enough pain, but you can see from the targets that at 7 yards the DoubleTap grouped into two distinct groups about 8” apart. They weren’t great groups, mostly because of the recoil and the trigger pull. If you want to say “hey a derringer is a belly gun anyway,” fine. At 4 feet it hits what you aim at, and it didn’t break in our limited tests. The barrels are ported on our purchased gun, and though the ports do seem to reduce some muzzle flip, they most likely kill whatever velocity the gun had that brought it close to true .45ACP ballistics. I hadn’t made it to the chronograph when my hand gave out, but common sense tells you that the velocity of the cartridge will only increase during the first inch or so of travel, then the rest of the powder will burn in the ports section of the barrel, and outside the gun. The gun makes a heck of a big bang and a flash though, if that means anything to you.

The DoubleTap opens just like a classic Remington derringer, by tilting the barrels down on a hinge. An ambidextrous, thumb-activated barrel release slides smoothly to the rear to release the barrels, and it is much more of a secure device than the inexpensive derringers that have been in the market for many years. A spring automatically tilts the barrels up for easy access to the chambers. You can either manually insert the two cartridges, or use the loading strip that comes with the gun. These loading strips are also available from the company as an accessory, so you could fill up a pouch with two shot strips to carry with the gun if you so chose. They also make a 6 round strip, and all of these come in both the 9mm and .45ACP versions. The loading strips hold the rounds by the rim, spaced the same as the barrels, to facilitate loading. It’s a soft rubber tab with a tail for gripping and you just slide the rounds home and peel it off. The bottom of the grip also has a compartment for a spare 2 round strip. My preference would be to carry multiples of the 2 round strip than the six round.

To take the gun apart for cleaning, you take out the pin that secures the barrels at the front of the frame. It easily separates into the barrels and the frame. (Even easier if you should have a chopstick handy to push out the pin.) The barrel spring is captured, meaning it doesn’t fly across the room when you remove the barrels. There are no user serviceable parts in the frame and if you open it you void the warranty. Internal parts are lubricated by the factory and no further lubrication is needed. This is really important for you “disassemblers” out there who take guns apart before you even fire them. Don’t do this with the DoubleTap. What this says about the gun is that the parts inside are position sensitive, which begs a question on the long term reliability of the gun under heavy use. However, just because it’s uncomfortable to shoot, doesn’t mean it’s unreliable after frequent shooting.

One nice feature is that all four barrel offerings fit the frame so you can change between 9 mm and .45 acp in either a non-ported or ported barrel. Other caliber barrels, including .40S&W, will be introduced over the coming months. The test gun was the aluminum frame version with a .45ACP ported barrel.

Another important note on the DoubleTap is that the manufacturer recommends the use of “standard factory ammunition loaded to U.S. Industry Standards, including ammunition loaded in brass or aluminum cases.” They most definitely do not want you using +P or +P+ ammo. Considering how short the barrels are, it wouldn’t make much difference in performance anyway, because most of the powder burns outside the barrel even in standard loads on a barrel this short. The extra pressure loads could damage your gun, and can possibly cause injury. A gun made in the modern era should be constructed to take any same caliber ammunition that is on the shelf. The +p designation on old calibers is meant to tell you not to fire it in old guns that were not built with the current technology in metallurgy.

Punishing recoil aside, the overall ergonomics on the DoubleTap aren’t bad. Even though the frame is hard and fairly smooth, there’s enough texture on the front and sides of the grip to ensure easy controlability. There is some muzzle flip, as you would expect, although it’s not severe. The porting undoubtedly tames it somewhat from what a non-ported barrel would deliver. The trigger travel is about half an inch and is heavy but smooth. It stacks or requires more force to pull just before let-off, then breaks cleanly.

I shot the DoubleTap for accuracy at 7 yards, which is in or under statistically standard gunfight distances. Although the top barrel sits right on top of the bottom barrel, there’s more muzzle flip when firing the top barrel and the rounds grouped about eight inches higher than those from the lower barrel. Practically speaking, you want to fire the bottom barrel first. This would aid in getting back on target faster for a follow-up shot because there’s less muzzle flip. Unfortunately the DoubleTap has no barrel selector. You have to cycle the selector to the bottom barrel, which means the last time you pull the trigger before loading, it should fire the top barrel. To determine which barrel is firing first, load both barrels and fire a shot, then open the breech to see which barrel fired. If the top barrel fired, as happened with the test gun, and you want the lower barrel to fire first, simply unload both barrels, close the action and pull the trigger all the way through once. Now the lower barrel is set to fire next. You may want to try it with snap caps.

The patented double hammer sequential firing system is unique to this gun. In a typical double-action revolver, a series of levers cock a single hammer and drop it on the firing pin. There are two hammers inside the DoubleTap frame, one for each barrel. When you pull the trigger, a lever turns a notched wheel like an escarpment on a watch. Cams on either side of the wheel set and release one of the hammers. At the next trigger pull, the other hammer is activated. It’s a simple and rugged setup providing double strike capability on failures to fire. But you’d have to pull the trigger three times to get back to the failed round.

Due to the free floating firing pins, when the first round is fired, the firing pin leaves a small divot mark on the other round, from the firing pin moving back and forth under recoil. Without the weight of the hammer behind it, however, there’s nowhere near enough force to ignite the primer on this second round, theoretically . As you can see from the accompanying photo, it doesn’t dent the primer at all, but then again, neither does an M1A if you bang the muzzle on the ground, yet that gun comes with a whole bunch of warnings not to bang it on the ground, and to be aware that even the bolt coming into battery can sometimes ignite a round. This aspect could make some shooters wary.

It would have been nice to have fired a few hundred rounds to prove the dependability first-hand. Few of our reviews involve less than that, and we usually use more than one shooter, but I’m not sure I’d invite a friend to shoot the DoubleTap. My hand still hurts. My pain threshold, topped out at 40 rounds, and I forced myself to shoot 6 more. There were no malfunctions of any kind with the 46 rounds fired. Even though there are no ejectors, most of the spent cartridges dropped free. Out of the 46 rounds, I only had to nudge three cases out with my thumbnail.

Ultimately there is a reason why every gun in the market is made. The DoubleTap is a good idea, but the laws of physics work against it from the outset. Recoil is directly proportional to weight, and focusing all of the recoil in a light .45ACP gun back into 5/8ths of an inch of solid aluminum makes for a painful shooting experience, at least on the .45 version. It also seems to be a bit fragile due to the strict orders from the manufacturer prohibiting the dissasembly of the gun, as well as not being able to handle +p ammo. MSRP is $569 for the aluminum frame, .45 with ported barrel. The version with a non-ported barrel is $499. Extra barrels are $199 (non-ported) and $269 (ported). Availability is in somewhat short supply, as it is with most popular guns these days, but they’re out there. There are several new in box (NIB) guns listed on GunsAmerica, and our test gun was purchased from a local dealer. If your intent is to carry a backup gun for only the most last-ditch efforts in a gunfight, the DoubleTap is pretty nifty. Don’t expect to practice with it a lot, either. This gun serves a very specific need, but it certainly isn’t for everyone.

{ 69 comments… add one }
  • Stavroche May 18, 2016, 9:27 am

    A lot of authors on here?
    Including the guy that says he shot someone, is that what I’m hearing? We just want to know if the gun works if it tears up your hand, maybe a little hard on the arthritis of and yeah that must mean you have baby hands according to tough keyboard warrior 13 with a high score of 1 billion on world of warcraft.
    I don’t need to hear that you shot someone in order to tell me about the gun just imagine if that were criteria with every new gun, I think we know the rounds and either it works or it doesn’t. Experience shooting someone with a doubletap offers nothing relevant that this article covers and I’m disappointed that got through it’s like really bad name dropping / bragging in the most insecure way blowing the “baby hands” away and he was bad.

  • amauk December 9, 2013, 12:43 pm

    My son baught a 45 acp double tap and we took it to the range.
    I shot two shot and my hand hurt so bad that I couldn’t shoot my S&P M&P 45 ACP FOR THREE DAYS
    My son is going to get the 9mm barrels for it & I said just trade in! I’ve been shooting handguns for 40 yrs from 22 to 44mag. And this was worse gun I’ve shot & yes at 7 yards I hit one on the target out of two shots & my son hit the target two out of six shots.
    I’ll take my kahr cm 9 : as my ccw any day.

  • Donnie December 8, 2013, 6:49 pm

    Just got a double tap .45 acp I took it to the range to try it out,first time I pulled the trigger both barrels discharged . I was holding the gun with both hands and the recoil from both barrels going off cut about an inch long gash at the bottom of my thumb between thumb and index finger. This pistol is a piece of crap and should be recalled for further testing.

  • Donnie December 8, 2013, 6:48 pm

    Just got a double tap .45 acp I took it to the range to try it out,first time I pulled the trigger both barrels discharged . I was holding the gun with both hands and the recoil from both barrels going off cut about an inch long gash at the bottom of my thumb between thumb and index finger. This pistol is a piece of crap and should be recalled for further testing.

  • TGugs November 22, 2013, 11:58 pm

    For all you “Real” men with baby soft hands this may help from Doubletap defense website in the accessories a santoprene padded grip cover. For when it double fires…… Price is higher than I’d like it to be. Why can’t I post pics here of said product?

  • james November 1, 2013, 9:02 pm

    I have owned a few derringers in my time and they are strictly a close up and personal weapon. For the price they are asking for this I would have to pass.. There are more economical derringers on the market. One time in my life I had to use one of these for self defence.. They are more a novelty to carry them even though back in the early 80s it was common for law enforcement to carry one in a ankle holster as a backup.. At that time most service issued equipment was a revolver.. Never buy one used most are not rated for Plus P and many people ignore that.. I still carry a 38 special on occasions they do fit behind a wallet perfectly..

  • Bill October 13, 2013, 5:33 pm

    This is something of a side issue, but if I were casing a joint just prior to an armed robbery and saw you open-carrying, guess who would get shot first?

    The answer to that question is why I CC.

    I am actively looking for a smaller CC pistol. I am not sold on the need for a 230 grain .45 at ‘bad breath’ range, especially if the recoil is likely to cause me to totally miss my second shot or, if I am holding at a less – than – ideal posture, break my wrist so I can’t fire the second shot at all, but I think this could be a good ‘up close and personal’ last resort with frangible 9’s.

    I’m going to call around to the local pistol ranges to see if anyone has one I can fire.

    Unless the BG is wearing good armor, a 9 mm will give plenty of penetration at Martin v. Zimmerman ranges.

    • ejharb June 1, 2016, 7:20 pm

      Be nice if you could get a regular p 45acp safety’s 145gr and less bullet weight = less recoil. Also at around 1000fps it will break up slower giving you better penetration.I know I’ll hear NO HANDLOADS for defense but I’d pull glasers and download in a second.that or you could use 185 target loads. I love 230s in my glock30 but they are wrong for double tap imo

  • dave read October 9, 2013, 4:26 am

    I have a bond arms 410 my 11 year old son who weighs 60 pounds can shoot I really have never seen reviews across the board on a gun like this its gotta be an absolute lemon. And for the people to try to justify it. I think you might have just bought one and really have a hard time dealing with the fact that you bought one . Sorry if you fall into that group but that really seems to be a lemon. If you can’t shoot the damn thing what’s the point by yourself a micro 380 or a bond arms 410. I carry my bond arms everyday and forget about it all the time so for all you The complain about the wait you just a bunch of pussies. Thumbs up and keep it up. Otherwise take a p*** sitting down tinkle tinkle . Otherwise shove a man pawn in and buy a real gun. Sorry if anyone is offended but really gotta take a p*** standing up. After all we are adults. Bad design bad gun I took a look at it and frankly was more than less impressed . And for the people that try to justify it it seems like they have stock in the company cuz obviously they don’t have any brains. First rule of thumb is to become familiar with your firearm and you cannot do that if you’re afraid of the little b**** . Tinkle tinkle little b******

    • EGGHEAD February 7, 2017, 9:58 am

      stand up to p!$$ i just take a quarter of viagra so i don’t p!$$ on my leg

  • Scott October 8, 2013, 11:20 pm

    You can keep this “Double Tap”, I’ll keep my Bond Arms Snake Slayer over and under 3″ 410 Personal Protective rounds or .45 Long Colts (or 1 each) as my quick to or back up to my Browning High Power 9mm Vigilante and Ruger LC9 as my ankle back up. The 410/45 LC is common use ammo with my wife’s Judge and my Raging Judge Magnum which I use mainly with 454 Casull ammo, 325- 360 grain (which is the third ammo it will shoot) for Bear protection when up in our mountain property (at 73 ounces unloaded and 13″ long, its a hard weapon to conceal).

  • petru sova October 8, 2013, 9:28 pm

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    The book "The Englis Diamond" states that in 1945 the U.S. military finally after 34 years actually tested the .45acp cartridge only to find out what a real "dud" round it really was. Tests showed the much ballyhooed .45acp actually bounced off of a WWII helmet at a scant 35 yards while the 9×19 penetrated the same helmet at an astonishing 125 yards. The History Channel also unearthed a U.S. training video showing much the same thing happening when a G.I. shot a .45acp 1911 into a German helmet and the video clearly shows the bullet bouncing off of it. Recently the gun writer Mike Venturino did much the same thing at 25 yards with the resulting bouncing off of the helmet of the .45acp bullet.

    In real life hunting of deer by myself and some close associates the .45 acp proved to be worthless with the 185 grain bullets and barely adequate with the 230 grain bullets at ranges under 15 yards while the 9×19 with the 125 grain bullets killed easily out to 75 yards. This was with expanding bullets.

    Pistolero magazine in the 1980's went to Mexico to get around U.S. anti-cruelty laws and shot barn yard pigs as point blank range of a few feet with the .38, .357 mag. and the 9×19 and .45acp. Results showed the .45acp killed no better than the rest of the above calibers and the .45acp did not knock the pigs down or spin them around or make them disappear in a red puff of mist.

    Jan Libourel, the gun magazine writer, before he retired wrote a lengthy article on the Philippine insurrections and in his research he found that the .45 revolvers used in the war killed no better than the .38 caliber revolvers that were also used. The .45acp contrary to gun writer myths did not even make it to the war until the very last months of the war and by then the shooting had stopped anyway.
    The ability to carry more ammo, shoot farther with flatter trajectory and deeper penetration and experience less recoil showed the 9×19 the superior battle cartridge especially when also used in the sub-machine guns. Much the same was also true of the .30 Mauser and .30 Tokarev cartridges. The Europeans roundly rejected the .45acp cartridge and wisely chose the 9×19 while the Russians chose the Tokarev .30 caliber cartridge. The answer was historically obvious, they were better than the .45acp.

    In conclusion its bullet penetration and placement not diameter that kills or incapacitates. More people are killed each year with the .25acp and .32acp,than other bigger cartridges, not to mention the newer NAA .25 a necked down .32acp to 25 and NAA .32 a necked down .380 to .32. This NAA gun is a very small automatic that easily goes into any pants pocket, and has more capacity and a more rapid reload as well. Superior to the typical Derringer even in the dude .45acp cartridge and its more controllable and more comfortable to shoot as well.

  • elchucko October 8, 2013, 11:53 am

    I waited for over a year for my 9mm DT, non-ported. I watched DT’s Facebook page as DT posted tantalizing tidbits of updates with MANY “plans to ship 6 weeks” posts. The description of the gun made it a desirable addition to my collection. I do have a Ruger LCP and an NAA 22 mag. In my opinion the Ruger gets the nod. The “safe” position of the NAA was just plain too hard for me to find! I know owners say “no problem” but it is for me. When I finally received my 9mm DT my first impression was too large and heavy. I took it to the range and wow, yep, I know I have a gun my hand! Four rounds for me and I headed home. It’s double the price it should be. The mechanical issues are known. It was very interesting for me to note that the early (2yrs ago) cutaway of the gun was “TOTALLY” different than the released product. You can find pictures of both on the internet. Early announcements stated “8 patents” including roller bearing trigger assembly (or something like that). Now it’s 2 patents, both of which add nothing to the mechanics of the gun. Hmmm….was the ship date slide for a complete re-design? Anyhow, I have a 9mm and custon Pelican case for sale. Make me an offer…reasonable of course.

    • Administrator October 8, 2013, 2:47 pm

      I bet that had something to do with Heizer leaving the picture. The gun they had at SHOT Show clearly was a copy of this with one barrel, and maybe they took their patents with them. Thanks for the interesting insights.

  • Jim October 8, 2013, 11:09 am

    When I saw this gun at SHOT Show I thought nice looking and well engineered, and I noted they really know how to promote, good display, etc. Then I saw the retail price, nearly wet myself and walked right on past. While not a rip off (that is being crooked) I think it is way too much money when you can get a 5 shot light-weight .38 special or something else for much less.

  • Evan October 8, 2013, 10:16 am

    I like how GunsAmerica will really write an honest review when a gun is a piece of junk. And I also don’t really get the point of derringers at all. If you insist on concealed carry instead of open (open carry gives you more options, allows for a cleaner draw, and a visible gun is a deterrent), at least get something where you have more than two shots at point blank range.

    • Administrator October 8, 2013, 2:48 pm

      Well at least someone noticed thanks.

  • Bradley October 8, 2013, 9:45 am

    Although these criticisms are certainly valid, this gun has to be looked at with its intended purpose in mind. It is not meant to be a primary ccw. As a backup, or better yet a second backup, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be perfectly viable. It is intended to sacrifice comfort, accuracy, and even long term durability for extreme light weight and compactness. I wouldn’t mind having a full or medium sized pistol in my waistband, a subcompact on my ankle, and this in my pocket. It’s for point blank last ditch use and there’s just no point in wasting valuable range time trying to gain accuracy with it. It’s pitiful compared to a compact handgun, which is pitiful compared to a large handgun, which is pitiful compared to a rifle or shotgun.

  • Pat October 7, 2013, 8:44 pm

    I have owned a double tap for three months and have put over 300 rounds through it without any failure. The price of the firearm is reflected in its fine fit and finish. The guns is well put together and works flawlessly. Now for the other side. It does hurt to fire it any more than 20 shots at a time unless you wear a pair of shooting gloves. I do wear such protection and I limit my practice to about 20 rounds at a time. This is not a target gun, it does not even have usable sights. It is point shooting arm and at any reasonable self defense distance it works well. This is a backup gun and will deliver two rounds of .45 ACP quicker than any other double barrel derringer on the market it being a double action second strike capable HIGHLY concealable firearm. The structure of this firearm makes it highly concealable with nearly any clothing and as such it very often becomes my primary firearm when I carry in an area or situation where carry is problematic (never illegal). This is a professionals firearm made for serious situations and should not be considered for someone who is looking for a “comfortable” shooting, range and fun gun. That said DoubleTap is about to offer a slip on “rubber” compound grip that should reduce the pain factor. Check the company website it does not look as if the grip will increase the width every much.

    • tda1000 October 13, 2013, 3:17 pm

      Well said Pat! It is for the same reasons that I purchased one of these…it should be noted that being the same thickness as my iphone 4 (in a case) is a pretty compelling feature for ultra compact carry. I have several Bond Arms derringers and they’re great, but sometimes they’re too bulky i.e. thick and my doubletap is just the ticket for those circumstances.

  • JCitizen October 7, 2013, 7:55 pm

    I’ll just use my beloved Springfield Armory XD-S; not much bigger, heavier, and has a whole lot more ammo in the magazine. I hardly notice how heavy or bulky it is, because it is not – for a .45 auto! 🙂

  • Gary Howes October 7, 2013, 3:40 pm

    Thanks for a good, honest review. When I first saw this gun at the 2012 SHOT show I thought it would make a great, reliable, pocket pistol. Now I will save my money and stick with my S&W Airlite .357 revolver–5 shots, total reliability, no pain!

  • TYR October 7, 2013, 3:11 pm

    I have the DoubleTap 45 derringer with unported barrels. It has replaced my NAA .22 WMR for EDC front pocket carry. This derringer is thinner than an LCP with more power and reliability. Yes, it does hurt to fire this gun, but pain and recoil is manageable and a second followup shot can be made quickly and accurately. This is designed and marketed as a special purpose weapon, and it is far better than any other derringer I’ve ever seen. Lighter than the Bond Arms, better designed and more powerful than the Hi Standard. Trigger pull is smooth and consistent. Not recommended for anyone who is recoil sensitive. Not recommended for use with +P ammunition. For what it is, it’s an outstanding deep concealment piece which is easier to carry than a J-frame Airweight (my preferred CCW piece).

  • Robert Riddell October 7, 2013, 2:54 pm

    Simply a bad idea, why would anyone pay over 100 bucks for this unfriendly backup?

  • Robert Riddell October 7, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Simply a bad idea

  • John D October 7, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Re: the description under a photo: “Spring loaded ball bearings in the breech faces facilitate a smooth closing of the action. (ED NOTE: Until they fall out.)”

    The spring loaded ball bearings are not there to facilitate a smooth closing.
    They are there to keep the cartridge case down into the chamber for the proper headspace & fit.
    Where’s the documentation that the ball bearings will fall out??
    If, for some strange reason, they ever did, Heizer’s Lifetime Warranty would correct the problem.

    There are many well-engineered products, both mechanical and electronic, that are factory sealed for
    very good reasons. There is no need for users to open the product casings only to loose parts or to damage
    the mechanisms. ( Quick observation: The Double Tap is not built like a watch)
    This should Not warrant a red flag.
    If the product is not user serviceable, users should not mess with it.
    I don’t mess with my life-support SCUBA diving regulators or gauges.
    I leave that to the factory trained technicians who certify it for safety.

    • Administrator October 7, 2013, 2:48 pm

      Assuming that the company is around to fix it, which they will not be. The Heizer connection is a lawsuit and they exhibited separately a SHOT last year, Heizer having a single barrel gun of similar design. I believe the DoubleTap company is its own thing now. As for the ball bearings, they will fall out, and when they do, it will mean replacing the breech face, because the holes got too big from the ball repeatedly getting smashed backward.

  • Kiba October 7, 2013, 1:12 pm

    I don’t see any problem with it in say 9mm, I mean its a one time life saving tool and in the heat of such a moment you aren’t gonna feel recoil or trigger pull or anything else. In reality when that moment comes and its new to you your heart is going to be beating through your chest and you will be a nervous wreck and you wont notice any discomfort. Your main issue will be to settle yourself down enough to hit what you must hit to be the one that walks away.

  • Mark October 7, 2013, 12:20 pm

    I was solicited by my friend a Gun Dealer to try his out. .45ACP in an un ported barrel. The long strong trigger pull would rule out most women and a lot of men using it. I fired one round wondering when the gun would fire.The trigger pull was only 14 to 16lbs, the recoil was quite painful. I declined shooting the second round. The only purpose would be as a third backup firearm for a undercover officer. Sadly it’s to light for a boat anchor.

  • Archie brown October 7, 2013, 12:04 pm

    it must be a good little gun. The bad girl on Person of Interest TV show carried one last season-don’t know the caliber-and she used it. Seriously though, loaded with a handload of 185-200gr. SWC at low vel. or even the old .452-.454 round ball in another handload might be useful and cut down on recoil. Archie

  • Mike F. October 7, 2013, 11:36 am

    I am sorry Lowell injured his hand. But….I think the real reason for the injury was that he did not have the storage compartment closed all the way. You can clearly see it in the video.

    As for the Double Tap? The review was way too long, the reviewer could have made the point that the gun is a turd in one paragraph or less.

    I purchased one in 9mm, and I still don’t know what I was thinking. I bought it to keep in my garage in my Craftsman rollaway tool chest. There have been times I am out in the garage working on cars, and had weird strangers walk up. I have always wished I had a gun that I could leave in one of the drawers for “Just in case” that would not be real susceptible to corrosion with the changing seasons.

    I guess it will do what I wanted to do, but for half the price, I could have put a stainless NAA 22 magnum Pug in the toolbox. I have no idea what came over me to buy this gun. 🙂

    • Administrator October 7, 2013, 11:45 am

      just because the externals of a gun are weather resistant doesn’t mean that the internals are not just plain old uncoated carbon steel. A little rust on the outside doesn’t hurt the function of the firearm, but a rusted lever inside will break on your first pull. Was that short enough for ?

  • Jabo October 7, 2013, 11:32 am

    I set here and read all of this,and the name Detonice come up or how about the Desert eagle. these is not the gun for a parking lot gun fight or a stand off. Now some one is talking about shoot out come on this is real life your takling about.I have BTDT and if you there then you lose! Like the man said you wont know it went off,ask someone that been there how much they fired off. they can’t tell you. put you 32 in you pocket for a week and see if work’s and it won’t shoot or win the shoot out in the parking lot!

  • F Z October 7, 2013, 11:24 am

    Tried one with no porting in 9mm. Recoil was PAINFUL. I can’t imagine what it would be like in .45.Trigger pull when held as the manual recommends was near impossible for 3 different men. Other than its width it is not any smaller than many of the GREAT compact .380 or 9mm pocket pistols that hold up to 7rds and are a little over half the price.
    This gun is a dud.


    • Al T. November 1, 2013, 4:06 am

      Excellent points FZ. For a super compact 9mm, you can’t beat a Diamondback DB9, and My AMT 45 backup feeds and fires 45 ball without a hiccup. The AMT weights only 30 oz fully loaded, and is quite comfortable to shoot.

  • Pat October 7, 2013, 11:22 am

    For a gun to carry for life that can get the job done, I carry the NAA Mini Revolver 22 magnum 5 shot. It has a life time factory warranty and they do honor the warranty! It is a safe to carry- dependable- small- powerful- gun. It has the fold out grip and the gun can be placed in pocket or inside the pants with a clip that is part of the folding grip. In my opinion nothing can top this “powerful” easy to carry little gun when needing a self defense small gun. It can get the job done in so many ways for me! I “defense” carry with it 24/7 and have never found a better one even though I try!

  • Jay McGranahan October 7, 2013, 11:21 am

    I think I will stick with my Smith & Wesson 340PD. It’s wider than this gun (revolver), but is lighter and holds five .357 Magnum loads (which also limit practice at the range due to the substantial hurt factor). But, you can practice with .38 Specials and carry .357 Magnums if you want the horsepower. I personally carry .38 Special hollow points and one or two speed loaders. I too agree with many of the other comments – there are far more, better choices out there for the money with less hurt, better accuracy, more rounds a trigger pull away and all within a reasonable weight range of the Double Tap. I may reconsider, If I get hired by the CIA, Marvel’s SHIELD or the price drops to $299 MSRP.

  • Bill October 7, 2013, 11:15 am

    Mine kicks like a ‘mule’, and has a trigger-pull that is beyond all safety needs. Yes, it is not a back-up gun for “wussies”, and all the things said in the review are correct. However it is a very functional. I called the factory and asked the Double Tap senior management team:
    1. If I prepare and sign a legal release: Will the factory lighten the Trigger-pull on my gun ?? – Answer = “NO.”
    2. Why the ‘witness marks’ ?? – Answer = “All of them do it and it is not a concern.”
    3. Anything I can do to reduce the recoil ?? – Answer = “Use ‘Low Recoil’ ammunition (Federal 165 grain).”

  • ron October 7, 2013, 10:55 am

    Very same idea as the C.O.P. 357/38spl with exception that is a four shot pocket pistol. They all so made them in 22mag. COP Inc. listed on pistol mfr. but found under American Derringer. These pocket pistols or derringers are as stated a last resort very close defense weapon. I like my four shot over just two except for its size and weight has moved it from my pocket to couch arm rest. I have found my kel tec P3AT so much lighter and a few extra shots. But still lean toward a two (or 4) shot derringer for final resort simply put no moving parts (slides or cylinders)

  • Marty October 7, 2013, 10:54 am

    While obvious this gun will hurt on both ends, the use of a ported barrel from a weapon retention position (close in to YOUR body) begs the question, “Do you want a salad with your fried belly?” A person wearing any type of synthetic fabric could get badly burned as well due to its flammable nature.

    From another practical perspective, I really don’t need a weapon that helps my opponent, even if I am able to place two solid hits under extreme duress.

    I think either Ruger’s LC9 or LCP fits the bill just fine, they’re both surprisingly accurate and a lot easier on the hands (and wallet).

  • Mobius October 7, 2013, 10:13 am

    Had to snicker at the poster who said that everyone’s pocket 380 jams. I’ve put hundreds of rounds through my Ruger LCP on the range with cheap white box ammo and never had a jam. Why would I trade that for something like this derringer?

    • Al T. November 1, 2013, 1:18 am

      Amen to that! My P3-AT sure didn’t jam when it put 3 WW Silvertips into the jerk trying to stab me with a 4″ folder!

  • Irish-7 October 7, 2013, 10:09 am

    Thanks for an honest review. I looked at these and Bond Derringers as a potential “backup” weapon. But, when I saw the prices, I refused to pursue either any further. A Ruger LCP in .357 MAG will give you 5 shots with just a much knock down power. Taurus make multiple small handguns that are lightweight and provide more ammo. The only real use that I see with this gun is as a THIRD weapon, perhaps for undercover police officers. Or, I can see stashing one of these in a small survival kit, to be used as protection against wild animals.

    • Administrator October 7, 2013, 10:19 am

      That would be the LCR not the LCP.

      • Al T. November 1, 2013, 1:17 am

        Correct! Compact Revolver, not Compact Pistol

  • M. Johnson October 7, 2013, 10:03 am

    The .45 ACP round has been with us for a century and it deserves a lot of praise. First impressions, to be available in .45 caliber is a sales plus. I own some .45s and respect them for useful power, in a steel gun of moderate weight recoil is not even bothersome to me.

    Based on this review however, too big a bullet was used. A couple of manufacturers sell “reduced recoil” .45 defense rounds using 185 grain bullets, and in my opinion this review should have used such a load after first experience with the 230 grain standard variety. Going a step farther, it seems this design should be adapted to a smaller caliber, perhaps one designed for a short barrel from the beginning. I would really have liked to see a version of this review using the 9mm round. If wishes were costless, even a version for a smaller bore magnum of some sort.

  • John Jewett October 7, 2013, 9:40 am

    Whiners…when the chips are down, you’re on your back being kicked, or shoved into the corner in the men’s room, even a single .45 round will be a game changer, you’re not even gonna’ feel the recoil…I can guarantee that…and if it stops the assailant, who will mind. 7 Yards? Call your local prosecuting attorney and he’ll likely tell you that a shooting at that distance will guarantee you a murder charge. Even if you beat it, it’s going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees and court costs (Georgie Z. spent $312,000.00!)…your job is gone and the felony arrest will keep you from buying again. I live 3 miles from the Tex-Mex border and it will be on a lanyard around my neck (under my shirt) or in an ankle holster, as a back up to my .45 XDs. (When it gets back from Spgfld!)

    • Administrator October 7, 2013, 9:45 am

      I don’t know if you caught it, but this gun has a good deal of red flags outside the extreme recoil, which is really a product of weight and physics and has little to do with the gun.

    • Administrator October 7, 2013, 10:27 am

      Yea, if someone is shooting at you from across the parking lot, definitely wait until he gets closer so you can shoot him while you bleed out from multiple gunshot wounds. A sharp multitasker like you could also call your lawyer at the same time. Armchair gunfighters are so funny. Poly want a cracker?

      • Ed October 17, 2013, 8:53 pm

        Well said.

      • Al T. November 1, 2013, 1:14 am

        Exceptionally well put! Like they say, if you ain’t been there, keep yer pretentious little butt under the porch!

    • Marty July 16, 2015, 8:58 pm

      I wear my 9 ounce LCP or 4 shot .22 mag mini revolver in a neck holster. More rounds, less weight and I am not screwed if the first shot misses, fails to stop or there are two of them. Not very sound defensive strategy even for last ditch. I am going g to guess that you have no or limited defensive training. No professional would even suggest using a one shot anything for a last ditch gun when there are many better choices. Have you even worn 21 ounces around your neck all day? How old are you? Not a useful post.

    • Al July 25, 2015, 6:39 pm

      This gun is way overhyped, overpriced, and it certainly won’t outperform an airweight hammerless .357 snubbie that I can point and shoot like greased lightning from an Uncle Mike’s hip holster or right through my jacket without snagging. That this gun can tear the web of your hand in half with a double discharge and leave you with permanent injuries is an automatic deal-breaker for me.

  • Bill Childers October 7, 2013, 9:06 am

    No thank you this is a ripoff for a gun. It is way over prieced.

  • Diego October 7, 2013, 9:05 am

    Kel-Tec’s are good little guns like the 32 for CC I had one with a wallet holster. I never had any problems with it at the range. I also carried a S & W Air-weight in 38 + P nice and light and easy to conceal.

    I have not had the pleasure of firing the new Double Tap yet but I will. Ya know everyone’s opinion is different when it come to firearms, So to me it looks like a nice pocket pistol for a second carry or even third in my case.

    The fact that it comes in 45 is what I like about it and although being a two shot, At close range where most of us would have the tendency to have to use something like this I say try and take it for a test ride.

    Then make your own ya or nay on it. For a second back up or third it’s just like any other small framed derringer could just save you life and the life of someone else.

    Oh one more thing, In the beginning of his article he states very clearly that “THIS IS NO RANGE GUN OR PLINKER” So he is basically saying one thing then another, Trashing the gun because of the recoil, It’s a 45 cal. with 230 grain rounds, Yea shes gonna kick and hurt your hand a bit but so does the S & W 500 magnum!

    We all know that getting any firearm you have to practice with it and get used to it’s power and all other aspects of it’s shooting capability’s. Yet going to the range like he did and put 46 rounds down the tubes I think was over kill for a test session. I think 20 rounds would have been enough to see how she fires and handles.

    In this readers opinion I would rather have a tender hand then a funeral for myself. How about you?

  • Chris October 7, 2013, 9:00 am

    Look up YouTube video ” New Double Tapp 45cal”. We were filming the DT 45, for the store owner who the gun was bought through. They had wanted a review on the gun. The first video was to show recoil. That was the only video because the gun malfunctioned fireing both .45 cal bullets at the same time. Because of the narrow frame the gun tore through the webbing of the thumb and index finger all the way to bone.

    Well we had to pack up everything and head to the doctors office. A few hours later all X-rays done no broken or fractured bones jut bruised. It took three deep sutures to close up the hole. All said and done it has been about three weekend now and he still has no real grip strength and lost a quarter inch of his webbing. So with that loss of webbing every gun he has will be like shooting it for the first time. We heard back from DT, they just replaced the gun with a new one. We will be selling soon. I do not recommend this for any one.

    • Porker October 8, 2013, 5:19 pm

      I would suggest you contact an attorney and seriously consider suing the manufacturer.

      Who knows whether you will suffer future loss of use or a loss of sensation or strength in your hand.

      Plus, clearly the defective design led to some nasty pain and suffering.

      How would you feel if this happened to your son or daughter or wife?

  • Dale W October 7, 2013, 7:57 am

    Thanks for a thorough, expertly written, and above all, honest review. However, I think the real niche for the Double Tap is that of a last-ditch, all else has gone to hell, back-up gun; something to fall back on right before the lights go out for good. Also, because of its shape, it can be carried in a manner difficult to detect in a less than professional pat down and therefore, it may have some value for undercover LE work – again, only as a second or third gun. Stoked with unconventional, low mass, hyper-velocity frangible loadings, designed to dump a lot of energy over a short span while creating numerous wound channels, it will be quite effective and will have considerably less recoil than conventional loads (though most folks won’t be bothered by any amount of recoil when fighting for their lives at bad breath range). As for accuracy? It’s hard to miss from two feet and under. The Double Tap is not for everyone – in fact, it’s not for most folks – but it has its niche where I expect it will excel.

  • john Doesky October 7, 2013, 7:44 am

    This gun is a turd. See the Youtubes of the double fires. This piece of crap should be black-flagged.

  • GERALD W October 7, 2013, 7:25 am


    • Al T. November 1, 2013, 1:05 am

      Amen bro! I have a Kel-Tec P-32, a pair of P-40s [fairly rare], and a P3-AT that I used to execute a 3 shot stop on a knife armed attacker back in ’09. The little 380, stoked with WW silvertips, did a very nice job. The P-40s are awsome, carry at 9+1 capacity in the port and starboard inside pockets of my leather custom CCW vest, and are controlable even with stiff recoil from their 23 oz [loaded] frames. I love 1911’s, and even have a Castor Troy style double SOB rig from Nevada Gun Leather for my pair of Commanders, but for easy carry and compact format, the Kel-Tecs rule!

  • Didereaux October 7, 2013, 7:23 am

    The review pretty much settles the issue. Buy this? Why?

    It’s too light, causing excessive recoil. It has untested reliability. The design has too many sharp corners. It is too expensive.

    Now compare that Double Tap to a Bond derringer. Why that comparison was not done, or at least mentioned is definitely a shortcoming of this article. Hint, the Bond is nearly twice as heavy (ALL SS), but almost anyone can fire without pain, and with full control the 45LC/420ga model. Secondly you can get barrels for the Bond for LESS than the Double Tap.

    My impression is that Double Tap is going after the hordes of new, ‘if it’s called tactical, and painted black it must be the best’ crowd.

    • SD3 October 7, 2013, 9:36 am

      “Buy this? Why?”

      Because it’s a truly conceable, truly reliable .45 that I can carry in summer-shorts pocket, when I would otherwise have been unarmed. I don’t need fiddle with cocking a hammer like a traditional derringer, it can’t be pushed out of battery or ‘jam’ like everyone’s pocket 380, and there’s no “safety” to F— with.

      And as far as ‘training’ with it at the range, I seriously doubt the need to rehearse the perfect Weaver-stance with a gun like this. If you ever actually need it, you’ll probably be on your back, firing it one-handed, like George Zimmerman.

      Is it fun to shoot? Who the hell cares? It’s infinitely more ‘fun’ than being murdered. Do you need to fire it? Of course. But 4, 6, or 8 rounds is more than enough. Your “TTP” is: draw weapon, stick it in the aggressor’s chest, pull trigger, repeat.

      And “no”, I don’t own the Doubletap because somebody put the word “tactical” in the description. Unlike most of you, I don’t have a $2,000 “tactical” AR or a smokin’ Wilson Combat 1911 tucked away in a safe somewhere. I have a .45 acp pistol in my pocket, right now, everywhere I go. I bet that’s two more rounds than you have right mow.

      • JCitizen October 7, 2013, 7:47 pm

        I agree.
        With me, weight is everything if I’m going to carry something small enough like that. I just can’t hack a boulder hanging heavy in my clothing. If there were some kind of holster arrangement that could minimize this feeling, I might factor that in, but I would guess most would be CCW holders just wanting to give themselves an edge, and not be expecting to ever need it, but tossing it in a pocket anyway, just for insurance. I’m willing to put up with recoil for the weight loss. None-the-less, this review gives me the yips on this product!

      • Ed October 17, 2013, 8:48 pm

        No, it is not 2 rounds more than I have concealed on me right now.

  • Jay October 7, 2013, 6:42 am

    I can tell you from experience, that true, these small derringer types of pistols might have a said purpose for some people. I however will just say this, don’t fall for commercial hype and spend hard earned dollars for something you can’t, won’t and don’t practice with regularly, using the ammo of your choice. I would never use one of these as personnel protection especially when you can purchase several different Mouse guns in 9mm that are in fact smaller, in all dimensions except the width by fractions of an inch, inherently more accurate at further distances and hold far more rounds! Do your homework before you purchase a personnel defense weapon! I think guns of this nature only provide a false sense of security as accuracy is very negligible and if I am going to rely on one or two shots with my life, I’m going to be relying on a shotgun! Good Review!

  • Jay W October 7, 2013, 5:39 am

    I’ll pass on this one, even before I see any disappointing ballistic tests.

  • Gary October 7, 2013, 5:20 am

    “Ouch! That hurts!” about sums up this pistol IMO.

    First off when I look at this pistol, I see the potential for a good purse gun. However, if the author who is an experienced shooter is having issues with the recoil, there is no way I would trust this gun to do the job for my girlfriend.

    Second, the results seem too random from this review to make for a reliable man-stopper. It MAY fire the bullets reliably (although that “witness” strike on the second round would make me REAL nervous about the possibility of both barrels firing at once), but in a self defense situation I wouldn’t weapon accuracy or lack thereof to be another factor to account for. 8″ spread at 7 yards? That’s dangerous on many levels!

    Finally is the price tag. At ~$500, this gun is a rip-off… period. For less than the cost of this pistol, there are better options available that aren’t going to be that much larger or heavier not to mention a greater shot capacity. It’s not as if the break-action design is exotic or all that sophisticated either.

    I have to agree with the author… this looks like a good gun to avoid.

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