Kahr PM9 vs. DoubleTap Defense (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

On paper, the TTAG 3-Star review DoubleTap has it all over the Kahr PM9. It’s cheaper ($499 vs. $786 retail). It shoots .45 caliber bullets (famous for stopping speeding locomotives with a single round) vs. the Kahr’s 9mm pills. The DoubleTap’s also more concealable in every direction and way more iPhone-esque. Then again, the Kahr gives you 6+1 chances to stop a credible imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm and a seven-round spare mag to stay in the fight. The DoubleTap has (surprise!) two rounds and offers no reasonable expectation of a combat reload. I know which one I’d grab. You? [Firearms supplied by GT Distributors, “America’s Public Safety Specialists,” Austin, TX]

106 Responses to (WGWYG) Which Gun Would You Grab: Kahr PM9 vs. DoubleTap

  1. Double tap!! .45acp. Just 2 pills but put one or both in the thug and while he is squealing like a pig you reload!! Carry a semi .45 also but at bad breath distance I’ll take the DT over the Kahr!!

    • I wasn’t really on board with your weird little fantasy even before the “squeal like a pig” thing came up. If an armed assailant is down but not out, do you really think he’s going to just lay there and holler while you reload, or do you think he’s going to return fire?

    • If he’s down you should run. The DA is going to review the shoot and see that you reloaded, which takes time, and then finished off a wounded man. I bet he won’t see it as a good shoot.

    • What if your attacked by two men? One bullet each? What if your attacked by three men? Shoot the biggest one?

  2. Kahr PM9 hands down. More rounds, I can reload faster, and the recoil is controllable. I own a CM9, which is essentially a cheaper version of the same gun and I have zero complaints with it.

  3. Ever try shooting a .45 ACP out of something that small and light? I have. Some years ago, I had a device called a Downsizer WSP (World’s Smallest Pistol) … single-shot, break-open, double-action, stainless steel construction. It was about the size of a pack of Luckies. The idea was, if someone had you in a headlock and the world was turning black, you could pull this out, stick it into something soft, and pull the 16-lb. trigger. It probably hurt more on the receiving end, but just a bit. I finally sold it to a large Polish individual who was seriously into pain.

  4. Really? This is a question? I know we can’t always go Glock-brand Glock vs. 1911-patterned 1911, but that’s like asking if I’d rather have a SxS or O/U 12 or a semi-auto 20 with a tube extension for home defense. Sorry, don’t mean to rant/belittle the staff.

    For the record, Kahr, and the 20.

  5. PM9 hands down, for anything. it might not be quite as concealable as the double tap but far more useful if you need one, and(I have shot both) more comfortable to shoot in practice.

  6. The Kahr. No one I know who has used the Double Tap has anything nice to say. It’s a gimmicky gun trying to be a modern polymer derringer, which is almost an oxymoron.

    • Coming up next in our “Which One Series”:

      Chuck Norris Backing you up with dual AA-12’s or grandma with her spatula!

      ANNDDDD…. GOOO:

      • Obviously the answer is grandma and her spatula. First if she has the spatula chances are she is making cookies. Second if she isn’t making cookies that means she is going to go Bruce Lee with that thing and you will be left wishing someone would shoot you to make the pain stop. That woman had an incredible aim and could always find a soft spot or a nerve cluster.

  7. Kahr – I really am not overly impressed by Kahrs but at least I’d have more rounds to use and wouldn’t have to make an appointment with an orthopedic hand surgeon like I would after shooting the DoubleTap. Really. Have you held one? The only place the recoil will go is thru your hand.

    • Same here….I have gotten close to 100 guns from them over the years.

      GREAT place! Glad to see they made it here.

  8. I carry a Kahr CW45 – small frame, .45, 6+1, and retails for $14 less than the double-tap. And more controllable – it’s got the recoil of a .38 snubby. So – no comparison. No reason for the double-tap, unless you are trying to conceal carry in a swimsuit. Maybe.

  9. I have a CW9 sitting in waiting period jail, which is the PM9(or CM9) plus one. $389 (plus tax title and license). Also comes in .40 and .45 (but with fewer rounds capacity). Forget the double tap. Two shots and tapped out? No thanks. It’s not even a close call. The Double Tap is just a flash in the pan.

  10. Kahr. I carry a 9 and I’m all cool with that. I prefer shooting 9 at the range as well. If I buy a gun it better be something I can enjoy at the range. The double tap would be something I would get once I had everything else.

  11. Kahr. The doubletap is uber-concealable, yes, but its not as if the Kahr is a massive hand-cannon. Plus, I’d rather have 6 rounds than two, with easier reloads to boot.

    • Agree. The DT is indeed super concealable. The problem is it could well lead to the Ultimate Concealed Carry, the one where they conceal you in a casket and carry you to your grave.

  12. We all know the 9mm only kills the body whilst the .45 kills the soul, however based on capacity/ease of reload I’d take the Kahr hands down.

    I think this poll is going to be as lopsided an Armed Intelligentsia 2012 presidential election exit poll.

  13. I carry everyday, all day. Winter, summer, spring and fall I’m packing.
    Shorts and T-shirt
    Bibs and flannel
    snow suit
    business suit
    in my truck
    on my horse
    I’ll take the Double Tap

    • You better wear a glove while shooting a Double Tap as I shot one last week & after 2 shots my hand hurt too much to want to shoot it again. ( My son’s hand was bleeding after shooting 6 rounds & now he is ordering the 9mm barrels for the gun)
      Trigger pull was 12lbs also!
      I’ve shot handguns for 50 years from 22 to 44 magnum & none was as bad as the Double Tap!!!
      I’ll take the pm9 any day thank you!

  14. I’m with Arod, ‘this is a serious question?’.

    The only informed answer in this case is the Kahr. I’m a 1911 guy but there is a huge difference between 9 rnds of .45 from a serious, duty sized weapon and 2 from an. . . ill-conceived solution in search of a problem. Forget the Kahr, that doubletap is nearly as big as my XDS-9 and bigger than my SW bodyguard .380. It’s not even a legitimate question whether 2 rounds of .45acp is more effective than 7 rounds of 9mm or even the same of .380, especially when rapid reloads of the latter two are readily available but rather slow and clumsy with the 2-shooter.

    Once we start to talk about whether 9 rounds of .45 from a large stable platform with excellent trigger and sights is comparable to a lesser round, from a 15 – 19 shot 9mm both with rapid reloads it’s a comparison. The double tap is a poor solution to a problem that was solved as far back as 1903.

    The double tap is also available in 9mm (more popularly as far as I can tell) but neither iteration of it offers anything in the way of concealment that isn’t definitively outweighed by a multitude of semi-auto pocket pistols and subcompacts.

    If we compared it to a .32, .25 or .22 I might be inclined to take two rounds of a real caliber with a slow reload. Once it’s up against the capacity and power of a 7 shot .380 or 9mm for the same size/weight with a fast reload it’s a no brainer. The double tap is nothing more than a novelty and certainly not suitable for a serious person to carry as a defensive arm in light of the far better choices available for it’s size and weight.

    • I’m on your fence. . .for the same size I could get a good shooting 10 shot .22lr with a nice trigger, which is probably preferable as a defensive weapon to the DT. In fact I can’t think of anything the DT is good for. It’s too big for a derringer and too pathetic in the capacity and reload department to be anything else. It’s a terrible solution to a problem no one has. .. sort of like the judge.

      • Its an odd ball. I hold a firm belief that guns dont have to have reasons to exist, that oddball guns are just for fun. Like the judge its fun to shoot and that’s about it

    • You got it all wrong. The Kahr is the Bic, the Double Tap is a box of matches… and you’re down to the last 2 with the wind blowing.

  15. I’d go with the Kahr (or another subcompact semi-automatic). I fired a Bond Arms derringer in .45, and the felt recoil was monstrous – enough that even after a few hours of practice, none of us could get a reasonable follow-up shot except by luck. Since the barrel is so short, the fireball was also huge. Not a problem in daylight, but might overwhelm you in the dark. Great firearm, but more of a collectible piece. Pocket nines are at least a bit more manageable, and I prefer the capacity. I get surprisingly good grouping with the Ruger LC9, even with my large mitts.

  16. Kahr in 99% of situations/circumstances…the Double Tap under certain clothes/situations where absolute stealth and lighter carry were required.

    • No way I would go with the Double Tap, even with concealment concerns. When I am forced to dress in a way that cannot conceal my 9mm SR9c I switch to an S&W Airweight. Still 5 shots of .38 +P and I can stash it (almost) anywhere in a Remora holster. Diehard .45 guys may disagree (I’m sure), but I’ll still choose 5 of .38 +P and a zip-strip in my pocket over 2 of .45 and no reload.

  17. I’m a .45 guy and I kinda hate to say this but I’ll take the Kahr and fling the double tap at em as I reload the Kahr.

  18. Neither one. I routinely carry my AMT DAO in 45ACP. It appears to be about the same size as the one on the left in the picture. Totally stainless steel which makes it heavy. 7 rounds of bad guy stopping power. It’s my back-up to the Springfield XDm in 45. Yeah, I’m one of “those guys” who believe in the 45.

  19. I’d take the DoubleTap, but only because I don’t own any 9’s anymore. Buying a new 9 would mean spending more money stocking up on ammo, whereas I’ve already got some .45 on hand.

  20. There seems to be quite a consensus that the Kahr is the superior choice by far (and just for the record, it gets my vote as well); would it be more comparable to have to choose between these?

    1) DoubleTap .45
    2) COP .357

    The COP has twice as many shots, and the stopping power is comparable (at least). On the other hand, it has a terrible trigger and is bulkier. Which one…?

    • Before I went semi-auto I used to be all about the .357, and I still like it, so when I first saw the COP I was pretty excited. Bottom line, however, if the recoil of .45 from the Double Tap is a killer, the smack from .357 leaving the COP must be equally unpleasant. As noted above, S&W Airweight in .38 +P. It’s not a magnum, but holds one more than the COP and is a lot easier to conceal.

  21. Kahr all day. I actually got to hold a doubletap at the last gun show. sucks. It’s a lot bigger than it looks. No thanks.

  22. I picked up a brand new Kahr CW45 at the beginning of September. I love it to pieces, and it has taken the main carry spot away from my LCP.

    $379.99+ tax, 6+1 of .45acp and quite concealable still.

    Given the choice of the PM9 or the DT, I’d pick up a CM9, because it’s the same firearm with a more reasonable price tag.

  23. I saw a double tap today in person and it was not much smaller than the pm9.

    Kahr without even a farts worth of hesitation

  24. The PM9, definitely.

    The 9mm bullet is almost equal to the .45, Some would say they are equal. However, I need more than 2 bullets. Just in case…

    • The 9mm is almost equal to the .45ACP in the world where someone who desires a 9mm over a .45ACP divorces reality and begins to make things up.

      According to Ballistics 101 (.com) the 9mm maxes out in a +P+ configuration at 500ftlbs. The .45ACP in a +P hits 717.

      These are absolute numbers in extreme loadings, but they tell the story of 9mm Vs .45 ACP across like loadings. That the .45ACP offers 200ftlbs more absolute energy in a slower bullet demonstrated to cause more shock and to deposit more energy in a target before over penetrating and to cause a larger wound channel without expansion (and a greater gain in absolute wound size where expansion takes place) than the 9mm clearly demonstrates a superiority in the .45ACP that simply isn’t matched by anything offered in 9mm except capacity, which it’s self depends on follow up shots rather than total damage done per hit.
      The .45 offers a hit something like a 9mm followed by a .380 instantaneously. Its diameter and mass coupled with its (typically) low velocity cause permanent and temporary would cavities unseen outside of magnum rounds, which routinely over penetrate.

      The simple fact is that the 9mm in high capacity alternatives allows rapid, multiple follow ups while the .45 generally allows fewer, slower shots between magazine changes in untrained personnel. In the same weight, capacity and configuration the 9mm offers no advantage whatsoever and is actually at a considerably deficit in terminal effect.

      Since training is able to correct the accurate delivery and speed differential in untrained personnel between .45 and 9mm, the only reason to carry a weapon in 9mm that is available in the same capacity in .45 is insufficient training.

      Incidentally, anyone who would like to double their hits with a 9mm at the same distance over my .45 (given even ammo capacity) is welcome to the challenge. If you’re able to hit twice as many 9mm from any pistol of your choice in a given time as I can hit from my chosen .45 you win airfare to and from my private range and my eternal admiration. I’ll even pay for your expended ammo. Lose and the cost is on you. Until then I’ll stick with my virtually half again as powerful pistol that is equally controllable and accurate with training, and makes bigger holes.

        • Ah yes, the alway entertaining 45 vs 9mm justification…

          It’s like arguing which is the better race car, Honda civic vs Toyota carolla. Yeah, you can make a viable argument for either, but both would ultimately ignore the intended purpose of both cars, economy, not speed.

          This is effectively the same as the 45 vs 9 debate… Arguing a hundred lbs of energy here or there is ridiculous when you consider pistols are on the low end of power when discussing firearms. The 223 can easily double the energy of both 45 and 9 and the 308 or 30-06 can triple them. And, as far as capacity is concerned 15 or 16 is more than 7 or 8, but 28 or 30 makes both look endemic.

          The 45 vs 9 back and forth always ignores the most important thing, we only carry handguns because we can’t carry rifles or shotguns.

          Bring a knife to gun fight is stupid, but equally stupid is bring a pistol to a rifle fight.

          At the end of the day, pistols are not powerful nor have a very high capacity, but they are light weight and concealable-that’s why we carry them.

      • Ardent, be fair. You tout the .45ACP, but leave out the balancing virtues of the 9mm. If you shoot a perp once with your Nine as he crashes through your backdoor…but then realize it’s just your friendly next door neighbor drunk, you can hold fire. He’ll probably live. Best of all, if you are forced to defend against an aggressive knife-wielding hobo and you empty your entire 19 round magazine into him, no DA will accuse you of wildly excessive shooting. After all, it was a Nine.

        • Yes, district attorneys are known for their encyclopedic knowledge of firearms and ballistic data.

        • Lucas, sorry. That was supposed to be the point of the joke, i.e. ‘even a DA ignorant of firearm details might assume it required 19 shots.’ And the .45 does have some advantages. It takes so long for a 230 grain .45 to get to the perp you have time to retain counsel before the shot even makes contact. The shear weight of the average .45 defensive loading qualifies a full magazine as an exercise device. If the bullet were any fatter it could qualify for “America’s Biggest Loser.”

        • To be fair you have me Rope, I’m probably guilty of being murderous just for carrying a .45. I mean really, we all known it kills not only the body but also the soul. I think the 9mm supporters favor the capacity and control typical to 9mm pistols, while the .45 enthusiasts are centered on the effect of the hits made.

          I come from the POV that with enough training the .45 can hit as fast and often as a 9mm on the presented target (that’s experience from the IDPA and IPSC ranges). Given that even a 100% hit rate on an exposed target can still only hit an exposed target the more powerful round gets the nod every time.

          It’s not a matter of 15 9mm vs 9 of .45 but rather you’re only likely to get so many hits before the target is either incapacitated or behind cover. With hit rates being equal for trained shooters I’d rather put a couple of .45’s on the target than a couple of 9mms.

          My local training and range guy asked me lately if I didn’t think that putting more 9’s on target wasn’t better than putting fewer .45s on target and my response was it was better to put more .45’s on target. It’s a training issue and with training it’s possible to put .45s on target as fast as 9’s. Now, concerning a 2 shot pistol. ..well that’s junk and not even in the contest for a defensive handgun, regardless of caliber.

          I might add that my favorite training drill is to draw from concealment, dump the 9 .45’s in the gun into the target and then perform a tactical reload, preferably while moving off the X the entire time.

          This new range guy asked me what was with the mag dumps. I responded that I train to shoot until the target is down, and since the paper ones won’t drop I just dump a mag in them as fast as I accurately can while moving to cover and reloading.

          At 21 feet dumping a mag from concealment into a torso target is about a 1.5 second activity. That’s 9 rounds of .45 in the effective zone, on the move, in less than two seconds using my full size 1911.

          The only survivor of such an assault would be one who was wearing body armor, and so my follow ups from cover are always either to other targets or to the head of the primary target.

          Recoil control, rapid fire, tactical mag changes and moving off the X are the end all be all of surviving a gunfight. The weapon is a vast secondary. I just wish that those who will not train would refrain from insisting that the .45 isn’t controllable, or that it’s capacity is too limited.

          I know no one who can get 15 rounds of 9mm off faster with equal accuracy as I can 9 of .45ACP. Thus the question is which would you rather hit with?

  25. I only thought of this in response to someone else but I can’t help repeating it:

    The DT is like the Judge, a terrible solution to a problem no one has. Had you compared the two however I’d still take the judge. At least that way I get a (defectively oversized) 5 shot .45LC revolver that isn’t horrible Vs a 2 shot .45ACP oversized derringer that is horrible. Neither is worth the metal it’s made from, and neither is a serious firearm by any approximation.

    Other firearms the size of the DT include: XDS-9 &45 (triple the capacity of the DT and rapid reloading), S&W Shield in both 9mm and .40S&W (again triple the capacity and rapid reloads).

    Smaller guns include the S&W Bodyguard .380 (6+1 .380 with rapid reload).

    The DT could just as well stand for delirium tremens as Double Tap since apparently both the designer and the buyers suffer from a mental disability.

    This thing is the Borchardt automatic being introduced after the Luger. It’s an idea who’s time is so far past that bringing it up now is absurd. We’re already so far past this useless toy that anyone presenting one ought to be ashamed. Seriously, it’s bigger than a .380 body guard that gets 7 shots of .380, a fast reload and has a built in laser sight!

    Against that, what does the DT offer? Bad ergonomics, too big for capacity, slow reloads, questionable sights and terrible recoil?

    I’d be ashamed if I had offered the DT for sale, and I suspect their sales will reflect what a truly useless product it is.

    • The heavy equipment contractor I have doing some work for me carries a Judge. He uses it do deal with snakes. He said on one job he ended up killing 20 Cottonmouths in 2 days.

  26. The heizer is not serious for primary carry at all in any way shape or form period. I was hoping to see more people who actually believe 2 rounds of 45 beat 7+1 (extended mag) for the kahr.

  27. I don’t really see the point of the Doubletap. For about the same money and same size/weight, there are lots of 9mm’s on the market. If you must go with a Kahr, find a store that sells for less than MSRP or shope used. There are several used Kahr 45’s locally for $399. If you’ve got a Doubletap and it makes you happy, more power to you. But I won’t be spending my limited funds on one.

  28. Really? Have you seen all the Youtubes of the DT where the 2nd unused round have dented primers? Other videos that even show double fires and the users with messed up hands. DT is a joke and a hazard.

  29. The Double Tap: better than no gun at all, but not as good as any other gun you could possibly choose.

    If I actually wanted a 2 shot .45, why wouldn’t I choose a Bond Arms derringer, since cowboy action shooters have demonstrated that those guns can actually be shot with some speed, accuracy and reliability?

    If I wanted a really light weight gun with a crappy trigger, no sights, painful recoil, and slow follow up shots, why wouldn’t I carry a titanium/scandium 5 shot revolver loaded with .38 spl +P+, that had 250% more ammo instead?

  30. I carry the pm9 despite every other option in production, so of course I’ll take it over the gimmick. Only been carrying 5 months but the pm9 has yet to be noticed by anyone except my wife as she hugs me. It’s been 100% reliable and is fairly accurate (for what it is). Love it.

  31. Carrying a 6 + 1 semiauto seems silly. I’d rather carry a 6-shot revolver chambered in .38 +P and not have to worry about feeding failures. Besides, I already have a high capacity compact 9 Luger that carries and shoots well and reliably. Thus, I’d opt for an unported DoubleTap in 9 Luger as a highly concealable backup to my CZ. And, I’d have an extra $287 dollar to invest in houses and lots like Grandpa recommended.

  32. Kahr, with the caveat that it can’t be new out of the box. It needs to have 200-500 rounds through it before it will function reliably. If I had to choose between a new Kahr and the DT that would be a tough choice. Or I would just use my P238

  33. I don’t see the DT as a weapon really, but more as a tool. I’d like to have one handy, if they decide to make it in .410, to shoot rattlesnakes or raccoons.

    But as a self defense weapon, I’ll take PM9 or similar (preferably cheaper) subcompact 9mm.

  34. I picture RF kicking back with a cigar smiling at how he just created a new and innovative way to kick off a caliber war without anyone noticing……

    That said, .45 OR NOTHING!!!!111!!one

  35. I’m confused. I thought the PM9 could only shoot twice before it malfunctioned anyway. So aren’t they both technically derringers? (And yes, I am kidding.)

  36. I’ve shot a lot of handguns, some of them lots of times. It’s not just caliber that’s at question, you also actually have to be able to hit something with it. We tend to think of pistol marksmanship as being a matter of innate talent coupled with training to produce the desired ability.

    While that is the right formula, some guns are simply easier to shoot in the first place and require much less training. In this way there is isn’t much bad to say about a.380 bodyguard, but I’m never going to shoot it as well as a 1911 no matter how much I practice. 10lbs of long trigger pull, a two finger grip and very short sight radius on the one hand verses a short light trigger, longer sight plain and full size grip just isn’t a contest when training levels are equal.

    For me the double tap is a novelty item. I suppose one could take it and train with it until proficiency is achieved, perhaps for someone with enough innate talent this could even be a fairly rapid process a lead to high levels of skill.

    However for the same investment virtually everyone could more quickly learn to better shoot a higher capacity gun with a more practical reload drill in a viable defensive caliber while retaining all or nearly all of the double taps purported concealment advantages.

    IMO this leaves the DT in a position where it is only a viable choice if it’s virtually the only choice available. I’d take it over a high standard .22 derringer, but not over a S&W bodyguard, a Ruger TCP, or any of the other guns it’s size or smaller with 3+ times it’s capacity and a more rapid reload.

    I was virtually born a .45ACP guy, IMO all else being equal 9 rounds of it does trump 15 rnds of 9mm in a gunfight, but 2 rounds of it doesn’t trump 7 rounds of .380 or even 5 of 9mm. 2 rounds with a slow, unwieldy reload is not enough. It’s not even a proper comparison since ‘all else’ isn’t equal.

    I suppose what I’m trying (pitifully) to say is that anyone can miss vital targets twice, even with good shot placement but doing so 9 times isn’t very likely if you’re properly trained. Thus while 15 rounds is likely more ammo than will ever be needed and doesn’t necessarily improve ones situation over 9 larger, more powerful rounds, 7 smaller, less powerful rounds does greatly improve ones chances of an incapacitating hit over 2 larger more powerful ones. There is some sweet spot of power, capacity, shootabilty and size, and it changes for everyone, or even for an individual as their circumstances change, but 2 rounds of anything isn’t enough for anyone to truly rely on.

    • Tell your two shot theory to “double barrel Biden”. I agree with you, by the way. Five would have to be a minimum, while 8-10 would cover the VAST majority of situations (certainly for a tiny edc defender).

  37. My LGS got in 2 double taps, 1 9 and 1 45. They sold the 45. Within a month, the 45 came back with less than 50 rounds through it. It’s sitting on the shelf now with the “used” dot next to the price. It will likely be there for a while.

  38. can I have my CM9 instead of the PM9? Even with 2 .45 rounds the Double Tap is a bad breath distance weapon.

    • Prefer a karambit and a gut cut at bad breath distance. Otherwise inpractice never had problem with pM9 even during break in

  39. I’d pick the one that’s .45 ACP. Clearly the better option (always).
    I mean, all you have to do if there is more than one bad guy is get them to line up and BAM! The 45 will go through the wall they are hiding behind, then the next two or three bad guys! Even if you hit and extremity it will blow it right off!
    Hit a finger? Arm=GONE!
    Yep! That’s how the laws of physics work.
    Awh, the 45! serving as the hammer of Thor since its invention.
    😉

    Seems like for $500 you could get a glock or something else. Heck, I picked up a used Sig for $550.

  40. The DT an the incorrect answer to a question no one asked. A friend has a Kahr and I like everything about it except that is isn’t a 9mm.

    BTW a medical examiner can’t tell the difference between a 45 wound and a 9mm wound w/o recovering the bullet. I love/respect/covet the 1911 in 45 but it’s day as a sensible fighting pistol are long gone.

    • Its the stretch (temporary) wound cavity that often does the quick incapacitating (when hitting a non vital area). Also, when you recover the bullet, you can see more of the crush (permanent) damage. 9mm certainly has its place, of course, but it simply cannot be the equal of a 45 in its effect upon a human body (and barriers to reach said body).

  41. Must be a lot of paid Kahr shills writing these comments. My Kahr CW9 has been completely unreliable even after 3 trips back from Kahr. Now Kahr CS won’t even respond to my emails about why my CW9 still has FTF and the trigger fails to reset. My Kahr is piece of useless junk.

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