The .45 ACP barrels on the DoubleTap are punishing. They are clearly capable of punishing anyone on the receiving end of a 185 grain hollow point. Of much less significance is the hellish pain you feel in your hand when you shoot it. It is, literally, bruising. Or it can be. It was with me. No one would complain about hand pain after surviving a self defense situation, though, and that’s the point.
The whole point of the DoubleTap is its .45 ACP barrels. There will be some who want to argue with this statement and I understand. But the fervor created by the DoubleTap wasn’t about a 9mm pocket pistol, or a mouse gun with interchangeable barrels; we wanted a .45 ACP pocket rocket. And that’s exactly what we got.
Still. You have to train with the gun. You have to get it out of your holster, or pocket, and get your finger on the trigger. It helps if you can do this fast and without shooting yourself in the leg or foot. The only way to build that kind of confidence is to practice. Start with simple draws. Add dry fire to the sequence. Then slow motion live fire that gradually speeds up to the actual reaction time. Take my word for it. This sequence of events is hellish with the .45 ACP barrels of the DoubleTap.
Enter the 9mm
When I first reviewed the gun, I shot through a box of .45 ACP. My hand was brutalized. When I switched out to the 9mm barrels, I assumed I was feeling the same kind of hand shock. A little less recoil, sure, but I would have told you the difference was negligible. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
Two weeks later, I took it back to the range. This time I started with the 9mm barrels on the gun. The difference was night and day. The 9mm still kicks like a son of a bitch, but it doesn’t feel like it’s doing lasting damage to bone or muscle tissue. If you watch the video above, you can see Jacob’s reaction to his very first 9mm shot. It hits hard and harder than any other pocket pistol I’ve ever shot (except the .45 ACP DoubleTap). But keep watching and you’ll see how quickly he adapts. Subsequent shots are easy enough that practice is possible.
This is where things were most surprising for us. With the .45 ACP barrels, I was having difficulty connecting with reasonably good sized targets (unless I was right up on them). The 9mm is different. We’d been popping holes in a old hood that day and still had an untouched stretch in the middle that approximated the size of a human torso. We lined up at about 10 feet and shot from the draw and with the DoubleTap’s iron sights.
The results were incredible. Three shots in the same hole. Jacob had shot the first hole and I used it as a point of aim when I took over shooting. Two of my shots were fired in less than one second, from the hip. While I’d like to call that a sub-MOA group, we’ll call it luck. But then I pulled up the gun and aimed a third shot at the same spot and sank a fourth shot about an inch low. You can see it on the video.
From farther distances, closer to 7 yards, we could connect with an armor plate. Even the errant shots were just high, or just low, but they would have still been effective. And the distance was ambitious, farther than I would consider practical for the gun. We only attempted the shots out of curiosity, but what we found was dependable accuracy (or at least enough for practical self defense).
DoubleTap needs to make a .380 barrel set, and a .22 LR pair. I don’t know if that last one would be posible with the same firing pin. Maybe a .25 ACP would be better. The point being a scalable platform for practice and proficiency. Knock out some .25 ACP while learning to draw. Carry the .45 ACP and make both rounds count.