Click pictures for a larger version.
DoubleTap derringer pistol. Accessory barrels are
available in 45 ACP and 9x19mm.
Two-shot speed loader.
Ambidextrous barrel latch.
9x19mm barrel set (left), 45 ACP barrel set (right).
It has been a long time in the making, but
the DoubleTap pocket pistol is finally on the market. No longer
associated with Heizer Defense, the DoubleTap is in production,
and is currently offered chambered for either the 45 ACP or the
9x19mm (9mm Luger) cartridges, with easy, no-tools conversion
kits available to switch to either chambering. Meanwhile, Heizer
Defense is building a single-shot 410 bore pocket shotgun based
upon this same design. I have handled, but not yet fired one of
those, so this review will concentrate upon the DoubleTap 45/9mm
It was somewhere around two years ago that I
first heard of the DoubleTap derringer. Like most, I was
impressed with the thinness of the little pistol, measuring just
a bit over five-eighths of an inch across the frame and barrels.
Also impressive was its light weight and ability to fire the 45
ACP cartridge. Ever since its introduction, readers and viewers
of Gunblast.com have been bombarding me with requests to review
the little pistol, and I have been anxious to do so, but we
always try our best to wait until a firearm actually goes into
production before posting a review. Many times, a gun will get a
glowing “review” in a magazine, only to have the weapon
never see production, or for production to be greatly delayed,
as in the case of the DoubleTap pistol. Now that the DoubleTap
is finally available through firearm retailers, we are able to
give it a thorough review. Like many media outlets, we
constantly get press releases from various manufacturers, but we
pretty much ignore those. We always tell the manufacturer,
“Get us a gun which we can fire, and we will gladly review
it.” That was the case with DoubleTap also. While we are many
months behind some media outlets on “reviewing” the
Doubletap, we are confident that the gun featured in this review
is one which our readers can buy, if they choose to do so.
The DoubleTap Defense derringer is
lightweight for a 45 ACP pistol. The 45 ACP ported-barrel pistol
shown here weighs in at 13.3 ounces on my scale. Weight will
vary according to chambering and frame material. The gun shown
here is the lighter version, built on an aluminum frame. A
slightly-heavier titanium frame version is also available, at a
higher cost. The titanium pistols weigh two ounces more, and
cost an additional $230 US, so most purchasers will likely go
with the aluminum version. All DoubleTap pistols wear stainless
steel barrels that have a matte black finish. While on the topic
of finish, the anodizing and other metal treatment on this
pistol is flawless, showing no tools marks of any kind.
As mentioned above, the DoubleTap pistol is
thin, measuring only .665 inch in thickness. The only protrusion
to the sides are the ambidextrous barrel latch buttons, which
measure only .729 across their widest points. The DoubleTap is a
two-shot, hammer-fired derringer. The barrels alternate the
firing sequence, firing one barrel, then the other, with each
pull of the trigger. After firing two shots, the barrels are
tipped up by pulling back on the barrel latches, allowing the
barrels to tip open under spring pressure. There are no
extractors, so the empty cartridge cases must be manually
removed, or the barrels pointed skyward to allow the empties to
fall free. Reloading is eased by the inclusion of a two-shot
synthetic rubber stripper clip, which stores inside the butt of
the weapon. Also included is a six-shot version for pocket carry
of extra ammunition.
specifications for the DoubleTap pistol are listed in the chart
below. The weight is listed in ounces, and linear measurements
in inches. The grip and frame widths were measured at their
widest points. The maximum width is measured across the
ambidextrous barrel latches. The double-action trigger pull on
the DoubleTap stacks before releasing, but was quite smooth in
operation, and predictable in its release. The trigger pull is
listed as pounds of resistance, as measured on my Lyman digital
scale, and double-checked on my RCBS mechanical trigger pull
||45 ACP or 9x19mm
||13.3 ounces (ported, 45 ACP)
|Maximum Grip Width
|Trigger Pull DA
|MSRP as of January 2014
||$499 US (aluminum frame,
||$569 US (aluminum frame,
||$729 US (titanium frame,
||$799 US (titanium frame,
||$199 US (non-ported)
||$269 US (ported)
The DoubleTap pistol hides very easily in a
pants pocket, due to its diminutive size and overall thinness.
It is not as thick as most wallets that men stuff into their
pockets, and barely prints at all. It is the most easily
concealable 45 ACP pistol on the market, and also the lightest.
The price of the light weight and thin frame is paid in felt
recoil. The hard aluminum frame is the grip, so there is no
cushion between the frame and the web between the shooter’s
thumb and trigger finger. The hand takes the full brunt of the
recoil, which can be substantial, depending upon the ammunition
used. However, while I had to run many rounds through this
pistol to write an informed review, this is not a range gun that
will be fired for several hours by most shooters. This pistol,
when needed, will likely fire only one or two shots, and maybe
four at the most. In such a situation, recoil is not a factor.
The DoubleTap pistol is smooth, with no protruding edges, and is
very comfortable and controllable, except that the recoil
impulse is concentrated upon that one spot, about five-eighths
of an inch wide, between the thumb and trigger finger. For those
who have a desire to go out and fire a couple of boxes of
defensive 45 ACP ammunition, a glove is recommended.
from the short, ported barrel were less than velocities achieved
from a five-inch 1911, as expected. I tested for velocity with
my chronograph set at ten feet from the muzzle, with an air
temperature of thirty-six degrees Fahrenheit and a relative
humidity of fifty-nine percent. Velocity readings were taken at
an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level.
Velocities are listed in the chart below, and are listed in
feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is
a jacketed hollowpoint. LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter
bullet. LRSP is Buffalo Bore Low-Recoil Standard pressure FMJ
ammunition. Bullet weights are listed in grains. I also fired
9x19mm ammunition from the three-inch ported barrels to check
for velocities, with the same atmospheric conditions listed
above. GD is Federal Guard
Dog, a full metal jacket flat-nose
bullet with a polymer insert in the front half, to promote quick
DoubleTap advises against the use of Plus P
ammunition in their pistols, so the varieties of ammunition
available to me for testing was limited, as most of my stock of
ammunition is either Plus P or Plus P Plus rated.
|Buffalo Bore LRSP
|Federal GD FMJ
Again, Doubletap recommends against the use
of Plus P ammunition in their pistol, so none was tested. Accuracy was good for a pistol of this type and purpose. The
DoubleTap is built for social work, up close and personal. It is
intended to quickly and decisively solve the most distasteful of
social conflicts, and for that purpose, it serves well. The
DoubleTap pistol offers two quick shots of either 45 ACP or
9x19mm power, with an additional two shots that may be loaded in
just a few seconds, carried in the butt of the pistol.
The DoubleTap pistol worked flawlessly during
testing, with every type of ammunition tried. Most empty 45 ACP
cases fell from the chambers of their own weight, while most of
the 9mm cases required a bump against the wood table, or prying
from the chambers with fingernails. Muzzle rise was kept to a
minimum by the porting of the barrels, but the recoil went
straight back into the web of the hand, as noted above.
This is not a pistol for the novice shooter, as felt
recoil is stiffer than with most pistols in its size class, due
to the light weight, serious caliber,
and the thinness of the frame. However, for a seasoned
shooter who wants the thinnest 45 ACP or 9x19mm pistol on the
market, the DoubleTap can serve the defensive niche which it
As of the date of this review, the DoubleTap
pistols are available at local gun dealers, and there are plenty
available at distributors warehouses, if your dealer does not
have one in stock.
Check out the DoubleTap pistols online at www.doubletapdefensellc.com.
To locate a DoubleTap dealer near you, click
on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the DoubleTap pistol online, click
on the Gun Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.
order quality 45 ACP and 9mm ammunition online, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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Click pictures for a larger version.
DoubleTap pistol compared to S&W
342PD 38 Special.
DoubleTap pistol compared to Bond
DoubleTap pistol compared to Ruger
Technical illustration courtesy of DoubleTap Defense,