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 . . .

Shooting Conclusions

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).

CCW Conclusions

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:

 

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43 Responses to DoubleTap Tactical Pocket Pistol Update

    • I think you might have crashed the server for a little bit with that.

      Seriously though, still pictures of people concealing is almost always misleading, so I appreciate your effort to show us what concealment looks like in motion outside of a vacuum.

      I like to pop, lock, and drop it in the mirror when I strap on a gun to make sure it really looks concealed. It drives my wife crazy…….’cuz it rattles the china cabinet.

    • Okay. I think I can handle that this weekend. Just got my tax stamp in for my Liberty Mystic so I’m almost certainly going to go out shooting! No promises that it’ll happen this weekend for sure, but watch this space and I’ll post chrony info (9mm ported vs. 9mm non-ported with 115 grn and 147 grn ammo) in this comment thread.

        • LOL! Now that’s the sort of thing I need to do. I’ll have to bust out the .44 mag and the ported .45 doubletap and see if that works haha. Exploding hot dogs will definitely get people to YouTube haha

  1. Good review, although I’m not sure I’d want to carry a two-shot weapon for EDC. Maybe for the beach or swimming pool where you carry in a towel or something. Even then, I carry a Beretta .25 auto and have eight rounds. While not a great round, for unprotected targets it will do the job. Made the scene of many shootings involving .25s, and I sure don’t want to stop one. Good info on the DoubleTap though.

    • Joseph – according the Marshall and Sanow, the .25 ACP is the absolute worst defensive caliber for one-shot stops in actual shootings. It is quite a bit worse than the .22LR. I know some people disagree Marshall and Sanow, but theirs is the best methodology I’ve come across. You could switch to a .22 and have an even smaller and easier to carry piece, or go up to one of the tiny .32ACPs which provide a substantial increase in stopping power (when loaded with Silvertips). Just something to chew on.

      • Thanks for the info sir. I base my opinion on actual shootings that I’ve investigated. While not the best caliber (I saw one .25 round stick in the window of a Dairy Queen window during a shootout), they can certainly be deadly. I’ve seen the dead folks and they don’t lie.

        I only carry the .25 to the swimming hole. The rest of the time its a Sig P220 Carry model and/0r a Ruger LC9, all loaded with Gold Dot.

  2. So here is my two cents – the aluminum double tap in 9 mm is going to be >13 oz empty. Actually, it will be more than 13 oz depending on configuration as 13 oz is for the ported .45 which Jeremy said is a little lighter than the 9mm. By comparison, the Sig Sauer P938 is 16 oz. Both guns have the same height, the Sig is a hair longer and a bit wider. You got 2 shots with the doubletap and a long reload. You have 6-7 + 1 with the Sig and a fast reload. Which would you prefer in a gun fight for your life?

    After NY’s safe act people got up in arms over the arbitrary 7 round mag limitation. I wonder how many of those folks are Doubletap customers? If 10 or fewer rounds is too few for carry, I can’t see the value of 2 rounds, especially when you can get automatics for just about the same size & weight

    • Q: “Which would you prefer in a gun fight for your life?”

      A: The one that I’m actually carrying, because it’s actually concealable.

      • my point being that both guns I mentioned are about equally concealable, so what is the point of a two shot one when you can have so much more?

        • Keep in mind the role this gun is intended to fulfill: last ditch defense at extremely close range. This is not the gun you’re going to chase down home invaders or active shooters with. It’s “last ditch defense”, just like it says in the owner’s manual.

          Not unlike George Zimmerman saving his own life with a single-shot in a classic “backed-into-a-corner, no-way-to-escape” defensive shooting.

          In a skin-to-skin-contact scenario like this one, there’s significant risk of a reciprocating pistol being pushed out of battery, rendering it un-shootable. That won’t happen with a doubletap. There’s also no safety to screw around with, and no magazine release to inadvertently push, also rendering your gun useless. Also, I respect the .380 as a defensive round, but honestly: this is a 45 in your pocket, ferchristsake!

          Are the sights irrelevant? Is the recoil horrendous? Capacity in the toilet? Who cares? It’s two more rounds of .45 acp than 98% of the ‘condition-white’ crowd has at their disposal. This will ride very comfortably in my front pocket.

      • Me thinks you missed the point… The DT is no more concealable, or at least not significantly more concealable, than many current pocket .380 and 9mm handguns.

        So the question is, how important is packing a .45 to you? Cause I’d rather pack a few extra rounds.

        • In the original review (linked in the first sentence of this “update”) I listed the weight of the non-ported 9mm, which is 15.5 ounces. There are also some photos comparing it to the size and weight of the Taurus PT738 TCP, which is a 6+1 capacity .380 ACP. The Taurus is slightly thicker, but is shorter in length and height and is lighter. I actually find it easier to carry in a pocket, and about equivalent IWB with maybe a slight nod there to the DoubleTap because thinness is more important to me in that case vs. other dimensions or weight. Obviously reloads are faster with a magazine-fed gun. I think that some people would choose two rounds of .45 over seven rounds of .380. I personally go with the .380 in the rare event that what I’m wearing doesn’t quite work with my Beretta Nano.

          The DT will fire both rounds with the muzzle pressed against something and it will fire both rounds if it’s inside of a pocket or a bag or whatever. It might work well for the undercover LEO who duct tapes it to his/her chest or something 😉

    • Don’t forget Kahr CM9, either – 9mm, 14 oz, 6+1.

      And if you’re willing to get into the realm of plastics, Kel-Tec PF-9 and Diamondback DB9 are both lighter than the DoubleTap, though you’re limited in your choice of ammo (no +P, no bullets heavier than 125gr for DB9).

  3. Some years ago, I had the distinctly painful experience of firing a gadget called the Downsizer WSP (World’s Smallest Pistol). It was a .45 ACP double-action single-shot, made of stainless steel, and a bit smaller than a pack of Luckies. I fired 8 rounds, varying from a 115-gr. alloy hollowpoint to 230-gr. military ball. At the end of the session, I was shaking so badly, I had to wait an hour before I could shoot my Para. Shortly thereafter, I sold the Downsizer to a very large individual who was into pain.

  4. I do not understand this quest for smallest/lightest pistol. How many people are weight constrained as a matter of course? From a weight perspective how many of you are going to be troubled by carry a 1911 on your waist? So does it really a difference if you are carrying 15oz, 20oz or even 25 oz pistol? The DT is probably ok for a last ditch backup gun but as far as I am concerned it’s just a novelty item. You are better off spending the money on ammo for your LC9.or Nano.

    • Weight makes all the difference when you’re pocket carrying – it pulls your pants down much more prominently than IWB.

      That said, there are still far better choices for pocket carry.

      • One, I was making a general comment on the quest for minimum weight but even in a pocket pistol we are only talking about a couple of ounces. If your pants are falling down perhaps you need to get a slightly smaller size and/or a tighter belt. You make compromises on dress when you carry.

        • A 1911 is a 40 ounce gun unloaded. It is not only “a couple of ounces” heavier than a 13 to 15 ounce DoubleTap or a 12.5 ounce TCP or an 18.5 ounce Nano. The quest for the smallest/lightest pistol is very easy to understand: the market demands it. People are buying them like crazy. So manufacturers are filling the need. It’s easier to conceal a smaller gun, and it’s easier to carry a smaller and lighter gun. People are choosing to pocket carry and carry in other ways that are other than the traditional belt carry. Small and light is often better for this and sometimes necessary.

    • Oh noes +1! Agreed that it’s not good and I should not technically do that. However, I had already verified that it was empty and had just installed the empty .45 barrel onto the frame and placed it into the case, so it was not a concern. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that the 15 pound trigger is hard enough to pull when you really mean to do it haha. Even if it had discharged, it was pointed in a safe direction. Keep in mind that some guns require you to pull the trigger to disassemble them and it’s perfectly acceptable to dry fire a gun. There’s nothing inherently wrong with putting one’s finger on the trigger or even with pulling the trigger.

      I do appreciate the comment, though. I should be more careful about what is shown on video and make sure that a clear, safe example is always set.

  5. Rumor is they are coming out with a .45/.410 version. If they do, I’ll probably get one.
    Novelty? Yes.
    Do I care? No.
    I geek out over it’s ber neat engineering, light weight, and big holes. the .410 version would be lighter and smaller than a Bond Arms derringer and might be a pretty slick little number for shooting rattle snakes. Other than snake defense or raccoon shooting, I don’t think I see it as being any better for self defense than any other available options.
    It might be a few years before I have that much more money than practical sense though.

      • Haha, yeah. I’d probably done with the use of my right hand alltogether too. Kinda like when Bond Arms used to make their derringers in .44 Rem. Mag. Ouch! No Thanks.

    • keep in mind, if they make a .410 barrel, you will have a minimum of 8 shots. Put a 000 federal buckshot in each barrel. Each round has four .357 caliber balls in it. Each time you pull the trigger, you hit the guy 4 times with a .357. Can’t get better self-protection than that! I carry a bond arms just for that reason. Only problem is, they are heavy and fat (wide) so are not good pocket pistols and a single action is not the best self-defense weapon you can own. On top of that, the trigger is funky. You can’t pull it straight back like every other gun, you have to pull it in a downward motion. All my friends tried to shoot it and they all pulled the trigger straight back. None of them could even fire the gun. It’s a new learning curve and you probably can’t make it go bang in an emergency situation where too many years of pulling straight back will disable the gun right when you need it.. It weighs the same as my S&W 9mm Shield. However, 4 shots is all anyone really wants to shoot the DT in 9mm (unported barrel), so I can’t imagine what the .410 would feel like. And I don’t want to.

  6. Holy Christ, I didn’t expect that response! I’m in Virginia Beach (SE Virginia), which is probably to far, but Friday night is my “range night”, so let me know. I’m flying out Saturday morning, but keep it in mind if you make regular trips here.

    • Yeah, there’s definitely no time for a four hour (each way) excursion this weekend, but I do appreciate the offer.

  7. I got my brand new DT 9mm non ported for 239.00 in box and they threw in a box of 115grain fmj 50 count, And covered the background check. I don’t care much for handguns, which is why I never buy them. The only reason I bought one is so I could atleast have something to save me and my wife’s life with it if I had to. I’ve fired it twice and don’t really plan on doing it again. My wife is very affraid of guns which is another reason I chose DT- she doesn’t know it’s there. If I’m ever in a situation where I need to use my gun in public, I would never want to shoot more then twice anyways. Or further then a few feet away. Also this gun basically requires zero maintenance and is 100 percent reliable.

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