DoubleTap Ammunition offers the Equalizer, a round that actually packs two bullets in each cartridge. For example, in the .45 ACP +P version, they stack a big 185-grain hollowpoint on top of a smaller 70-grain hardcast disc. This promises a true “double tap” with each press of the trigger. Sounds intriguing, but does it deliver the goods? Watch as our resident ammo tester ShootingTheBull410 puts it to the test. Click here to checkout his YouTube channel.

34 Responses to TTAG Exclusive: ShootingTheBull410 Tests DoubleTap Equalizer in .45 ACP +P

    • 10 for 10 fail to expand, double tap ammo better double back to the drawing board. Good concept ripped right out of the Pdx1 pages of self defense ammo.

    • “If the hp expanded on that I would go buy a box right now.”

      Agreed. Like I said in the review, had that hollowpoint expanded, it’d be self-defense ammo of the year. Love the idea, and the patterning was spot-on. But with the hollowpoint not expanding, I couldn’t recommend it.

  1. I like the idea.

    It’d work well for .38 and .357 since there is usually so much room left in the case when using modern powders.

    • I found some interview with Mike McNett of DoubleTap where they showed a cut-away cross-section of a different round, and it actually looked like there was a full buckshot ball in there. Don’t know what caliber that round was, but yeah, there was plenty of room. In the .45 ACP there was room only for a flat disc, so it apparently varies by the cartridge case as to what they can fit in there.

      • So they already make a .357 version?

        Interesting, I wonder if it has the same expansion issues?

        If they get the kinks worked out that will become my new self defense round for all my revolvers.

        Might be interesting out of a 1894c, too.

        • As of right now, they’re showing the Equalizer available in 10mm, 357 Mag, .40 S&W, 41 Mag, .45 ACP, 454 Casull, 9mm, and 500 S&W.

          In my original order I had also ordered a box of 454 Casull, but they canceled that part of the order so I didn’t get those. Would have liked to test that version as well, but alas, that didn’t happen.

    • Getting greedy, I’m thinking of multiple discs stacked behind the hollow point in a .357. As pointed out, there’s room in there.

  2. The amount of Double Tap coverage on here lately has me wondering if this is the gun version the “Force on Force Training” “articles”, ala promotional releases.

    Edit: is Doubletap ammo related to the small pocket gun?

    • Not sure what you’re referencing. I bought the ammo that was tested. I ordered it back in June, it wasn’t delivered until October, so I did the test in October. I decided which ammo to test and what review to conduct, and I sent a link to Robert to publish it. I can guarantee you that this particular test was in no way part of any sort of promotional release.

  3. If memory serves, lehi defense runs something similar in their multiple projectile line.
    I’d be interested to see the same test on that.

    • Lehigh does make a Multiple Projectile line, and I actually have some of it in .45 Colt. I believe they used to offer it in .45 ACP, but don’t appear to anymore. Interestingly, it looks like none of the Lehigh MP calibers overlap with the DoubleTap Equalizer calibers. Lehigh offers MP in .44 Special, .44 Mag, .45 Colt, .458 Socom, and .45-70.

      I will have a test forthcoming on the Lehigh Multiple Projectile in .45 Colt in the next few weeks. I can tell you the patterning works pretty well, it spreads out some, but I don’t have penetration information yet as I ran out of gel blocks on my last trip to the range.

  4. I dunno about other folks, but I’ve reached a point where I’m starting to grow bored with all these gellastic ballistics videos. Not this one in particular, but with the great profusion of ballistics gel testing and the explosion of “self defense” ammo products out there in the market.

    Please don’t misunderstand: these people are performing a useful service. The nut of the issue, when put out there for the common gun owner worried about “what should I use for self-defense rounds?” is that the criteria should go about like this:

    “Does this round perform better, on average, than a Federal Hydro-shok in the caliber in question?”

    If the answer is no, then the rest of us can load up with the canonical Federal HS ammo in our caliber of choice, get on with our lives and the terminal ballistics nerds can get on with their arguing.

    • What I’d like to see is the ballistic tests done with clothing in front.

      How often is a person sans a shirt being hit? There should be clothing, then something to simulate skin, then the gel.

      • “What I’d like to see is the ballistic tests done with clothing in front”

        The IWBA testing protocols provide for two gel tests: bare gel, and gel covered in “heavy denim”. The FBI uses those same two tests, but also adds other barriers (such as car windshields, drywall, etc); the FBI also changes the “heavy denim” into “heavy clothing”, specifying a certain covering of t-shirt denim, polartec fleece, etc.. The IWBA specifies 4 layers of denim that weighs 16 oz per square yard.

        So — denim is used in proper testing, and I do use it. However, I only use it when the round appropriately passes the bare gel test. Not a whole lot of purpose in testing a round through denim if it can’t even perform properly in bare gel. In my .380 Ammo Quest series, I’ve been looking for the best rounds for the .380 micro-pistols, and most have not done well enough to bother with the additional hassles of denim testing. A few have, and some have failed in denim that did okay in bare gel, so to have a comprehensive picture you need to see both tests.

        • From what you’ve seen so far, what’s your assessment of the impact of two to four layers of denim over the gel blocks? Have you seen enough differences to give a generalized assessment of “If you see penetration of X inches in bare gel, you’ll see it reduced by Y inches when you put on 2 or 4 layers of denim?”

        • “Have you seen enough differences to give a generalized assessment of “If you see penetration of X inches in bare gel, you’ll see it reduced by Y inches when you put on 2 or 4 layers of denim?”

          This is a common misconception — the denim doesn’t reduce penetration, in general it actually increases it. You may think that the additional barrier would soak up a bullet’s potential energy, but in actual testing that’s not what happens. Instead, the denim usually interferes with the bullet’s ability to expand, so you end up getting FURTHER penetration, through denim, than without the denim! The denim can clog the hollowpoint, which makes the bullet act like an FMJ, or it can interfere with expansion so that the bullet only partially expands. A fully-expanded bullet acts like a parachute, creating more drag and slowing the bullet down, so a partially-expanded bullet would only have a partial parachute, so it won’t penetrate as deeply as an FMJ would, but it penetrates more than a fully-expanded bullet would.

          FBI testing is based around a 12″ minimum, but also an 18″ maximum — you don’t want bullets to penetrate more than 18”. Earlier hollowpoints (like the Golden Saber or the Hydra Shok) could be substantially affected by denim (or clothing in general) and start overpenetrating, so the denim test is used to evaluate whether the bullet survives the barrier and still functions properly.

          This is one reason why I focus my initial tests on bare gel — bare gel tells us the best possible case for bullet functionality, and if it can’t penetrate enough (or won’t expand) in bare gel, then there’s pretty much no point in wasting the time, money, and energy to conduct a denim test too. I do denim tests on bullets that pass the bare gel test.

    • +1

      I enjoyed the test but don’t know what to make of it. What a bullet does in gel has little to do with what a bullet does in a body, human or otherwise. I guess that gel is all the rage because pig cadavers are so, like, yucky and everything.

      All that gel tests can do is compare how various rounds behave in gel. So, after viewing this test, I can tell you right now that if I’m ever attacked by 16″ of ballistic gel, I’m not reaching for DoubleTap ammo.

      • So very right, Ralph.

        See, this is why I like big, dumb, slow bullets. If I were built like Conan, I’d carry around an old Ford 460 engine block for self-defense. Just toss it on top of some one and I’d be done with any issue.

        But I’m not. So I like to pack around a gun. As a result, we start worrying about “bullet performance,” because, truth be told, most handguns launch bullets that are puny compared to a rifle or shotgun slug.

      • “What a bullet does in gel has little to do with what a bullet does in a body, human or otherwise”. This is a common misconception, and it isn’t really true. Results in ballistic gel have been highly correlated against actual combat and street shootings. The whole purpose of ballistic gel is to recreate how the bullet performs in tissue.

        I don’t know that a lot of people understand the origins and purposes of ballistic gel; I’ve done some extensive blogging about it to explain what it is, what it’s used for, and why it is the default recognized standard for ammo testing.

        “I guess that gel is all the rage because pig cadavers are so, like, yucky and everything.”
        Well, no, it’s more because shooting bodies (pig or otherwise) can produce profoundly unpredictable results. Changing the point of aim 1/4″ can change what tissue the bullet passes through, it can change what it hits and what it misses, it can change whether it strikes a bone or doesn’t — there’s really no scientific way to account for all the variables in shooting bodies. And bodies aren’t the same anyway — my bones may be thicker than yours, his chest may be fatter than mine, and on and on.

        Furthermore, dead flesh doesn’t react like living tissue does. Living tissue is saturated with blood and much more pliable than any cadaver or roast from the grocery store. Shooting into cadavers is kind of pointless, unless they’re extremely fresh (like, 15 minutes or so). And even then, you only learn what THAT bullet would do, in THAT cadaver, at THAT point of aim; information that wouldn’t necessarily transfer to any other shooting.

        So ballistic gel provides a repeatable, controllable, scientific medium for testing, that delivers consistent results, and provides a very real framework for determining how a bullet would perform in soft tissue.

        If you’d like to overdose on more, here’s an article to get you started: http://shootingthebull.net/blog/bullet-effectiveness-whats-the-big-deal-about-12-penetration-anyway/

        • re: dead pigs not approximating actual results. So very true.

          It is instructive to see what evaluation boards for the Dep’t of War (this was what we called our war-making bureaucracy before we went on perpetual defense with the “Department of Defense) before WWII. They worried that going to a bullet smaller than .30 cal would result in not enough killing power.

          So they shot a whole bunch of live goats. Lots of goats were killed by proposed cartridges at that time.

          Then someone who didn’t get the results they liked protested that goat flesh isn’t quite like human flesh, so they re-ran the tests, only this time with live pigs.

          Much more splatter later, they decided that the .276 looked OK, only to have the idea scrapped by Gen. Bug-out Doug.

          Ballistics gel at least gets us a medium upon which we can agree gives an equal test to all bullets under test. It might not be absolutely ideal, but most importantly, it will provide a medium which we can produce identically between many different tests, so we don’t have to replicate the “goats vs. pigs” re-test of the Garand evaluations.

        • “It might not be absolutely ideal, but most importantly, it will provide a medium which we can produce identically between many different tests, so we don’t have to replicate the “goats vs. pigs” re-test of the Garand evaluations.”

          You have hit the nail squarely on the head.

    • I value it, when it’s the same person doing it, so I can compare “that same guy” often using “that same gun” into “that same media.” That’s why I like tnoutdoors9, as Accur81 said. He’s my go-to, because he’s a wonk. He’s got attention to detail that would likely be annoying in private life (I know because I’m that way, too), but is invaluable in situations like this.

      • I agree, and I’ve watched tnoutdoors9’s stuff. He has an incredible attention to detail.

        Still, there comes a point where many of the new handgun buyers’ eyes glaze over. They aren’t going to be gun nerds, they’re going to buy one handgun, some ammo and keep the loaded gun at hand in their house.

        For those people, it would be useful if we could all agree that:

        1. Handguns are a compromise weapon. Always have been, always will me. If I had my druthers in any situation, I’d be packing a 12 ga with Brennke slugs.

        2. Lots of HP ammo has problems. Almost all expanding bullets have had failures. I’ve seen very highly-rated hunting rifle bullets fail as well. The ‘net is filled with stories of bullet failure, in every situation, every caliber, you name it.

        3. There comes a point where the newbies need a little grounding, and that’s where I get to the point where I tell people “load your bedside gun with Hydra-shoks. Later, when you become more experienced to test your own ammo, you may make an evaluation to upgrade to something that does better.”

        • “and that’s where I get to the point where I tell people “load your bedside gun with Hydra-shoks. Later, when you become more experienced to test your own ammo, you may make an evaluation to upgrade to something that does better.”

          Excellent advice. I agree on all three of your points, but would like to specifically address #3: Newbies have way too much to worry about, and getting caught up in finding “the best bullet” will drag ’em down the wrong road. As long as we’re talking about a reasonably powerful pistol (9/40/45) then yes, most any modern hollowpoint will do fine; they should spend their learning time on technique and not obsess over “magic bullets.”

          Not everyone’s a newbie though, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and I find it really interesting to just actually put stuff to the test and find out what it actually, really does. I like testing; I like doing it in a standardized, controlled format that makes the results directly comparable, and if anyone else gets value from it, that’s all the better.

    • Hydro-Shok hasn’t been “canonical” for over a decade now. These days, the golden standard is Gold Dot and HST. I only wish we had the latter in .357 Mag…

      • I agree entirely about the Gold Dot and HST. First box of ammo I buy for any new caliber is one of those. Every HST I’ve tried has been superb so far, and Gold Dots are a very reliable choice too.

  5. Personally I stay away from this kind of ammo. Why make my defence lawyers job harder? If you miss the ammo performance is irrelevant anyway.

  6. 10/10 would not use, especially not from a short barrel.

    DoubleTap’s .40S&W with 200-grain Nosler hollow-points zipping along at 1,050 feet per second from a 4-inch barrel, however…

  7. I, for one, appreciate seeing reviews full of fail. (Product fail, not reviewer fail.). I probably would have passed over this product anyway, but this review seals the deal for me. So thanks.

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