By Jeremy S.
My original review of DoubleTap’s tactical pocket pistol went into some detail about the fairly punishing recoil delivered by this thin, light derringer. The gun is actually very controllable, it’s just painful to shoot. DoubleTap has been quite nice about answering my questions and checking out my pistol under warranty, and when they shipped the gun back to me they even included two additional barrels for me to play with: a ported 9mm barrel and a ported .45 ACP set. They said the ports make a big difference in felt recoil, and I was certainly interested to put that to the test, including taking some high speed video from the side to see if the ports visibly reduced muzzle rise or rearward movement. While filming the video I also decided to throw the DT in a front pocket, a rear pocket and IWB to show how it conceals, prints (or not) and draws from those locations . . .
The ports absolutely reduce felt recoil. The difference between 9mm ported and non- was quite apparent after putting a dozen rounds through the ported barrel set. My hand wasn’t hurting anywhere near as badly as it did after as many rounds through the non-ported barrels.
I certainly noticed more muzzle flash and I was sure to keep my support hand thumb away from the ports (Nick C. at my local range found out why after one shot with the .45 ported barrel gave him a bit of a surprise!). I honestly haven’t even analyzed my own video very closely to see if there was a meaningful difference in muzzle flip or rearward movement with and without ports, but I could very clearly feel a difference in the web of my hand.
The video shows that the bottom barrel absolutely has less muzzle flip than the top barrel. Bore axis makes a difference. You can set it so the bottom barrel fires first if you wanted to and probably should.
Firing .45 ACP through the DoubleTap is pretty abusive. The gun 3.5 ounces lighter in .45 than it is in 9mm (bigger chamber and bore = less steel in your hand) and it’s obviously a more powerful round. I shot 14 rounds through the .45 barrels – 10 of those without gloves – and it was getting bad there at the end. Again though, it’s definitely more controllable than I would expect and it points naturally. It’s just not comfortable to shoot. Of course, this wouldn’t be a concern of mine whatsoever if it came to firing two shots in a defensive scenario, but it does make it hard to practice.
I did do a 6-shot accuracy target at 5 yards just like I did for the 9mm, but the audio/video sync was so out of whack for some reason that I just cut it from the video. Results were basically the same, in that the target looked like two separate, 3-shot groups. Overall it was plenty accurate for defensive use and the entire extreme spread was about 8 inches (one ~3” group in the center and one ~3” group higher up).
It’s really thin and pretty darn small, so it fits in just about any pocket. Most of the corners are rounded and that reduces printing. It could be lighter, but it’s far from a heavy gun – it just seems heavy for its size, maybe. In my light, loose summer shorts, the front pocket flopped around too much (the liner actually swinging inside the shorts) to make it truly comfortable while walking, but nobody else would ever notice that. I carried the DoubleTap this way on a bike ride and it was great.
I generally carry IWB and the DoubleTap is great here. It’s so thin it just disappears from view and it really can’t be felt, either. It’s nice to have a gun that’s thin enough that you don’t have to buy pants a size up and you don’t get pressure points from your belt, etc. You and your wardrobe don’t have to do anything to accommodate it.
The short grip and maybe also the thinness make it a little hard to draw. I wasn’t able to get a full firing grip on it while it was in the holster, or at least couldn’t do it in a reasonable amount of time. Of course, drawing from full concealment isn’t generally the way to win a quick-draw competition with any gun. I suppose the selling point here is that it’ll be hard to come up with an outfit that can’t accommodate and conceal the DoubleTap (at least not one that won’t get you hit with a public indecency charge), and that’s a good thing.
Ported VS. Non-Ported Chronograph Testing:
Forcing A Friend To Shoot It For The First Time: