Two-Shot 45 ACP/9x19mm Convertible Derringer from DoubleTap Defense

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

January 1st, 2014


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.





Quick-change barrels.



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 pistol.

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 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.

Critical 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 scale.

Chambering 45 ACP or 9x19mm
Weight 13.3 ounces (ported, 45 ACP)
Height 3.91 inches
Length 5.5 inches
Frame Width 0.665 inch
Barrel Width 0.665 inch
Maximum Width 0.729 inch
Maximum Grip Width 0.665 inch
Trigger Pull DA 10.1 pounds
Trigger Reach 2.93 inches
Barrel Length 3 inches
Capacity 2 shots
MSRP as of January 2014 $499 US (aluminum frame, non-ported)
$569 US (aluminum frame, ported)
$729 US (titanium frame, non-ported)
$799 US (titanium frame, ported)
Accessory Barrels $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.

Velocities 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 expansion.

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.

45 ACP

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Remington JHP 230 672.9
Remington FMJ 230 662.6
Buffalo Bore LRSP 185 626.9
Handload SWC 200 690.8


Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Remington JHP 124 980.1
WCC FMJ 124 1022
Federal GD FMJ 105 1078

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 fills nicely.

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

To locate a DoubleTap dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the DoubleTap pistol online, click on the Gun Genie at

To order quality 45 ACP and 9mm ammunition online, go to,,, and

Jeff Quinn

Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.

Click pictures for a larger version.









DoubleTap pistol compared to S&W 342PD 38 Special.



DoubleTap pistol compared to Bond Arms derringer.



DoubleTap pistol compared to Ruger LCP 380.



Technical illustration courtesy of DoubleTap Defense, LLC.