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Old June 27, 2004, 10:41 AM   #1
frank4570
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Can somebody explain to me the "double tap"

I have heard this term LOTS of times but I don't really know what it is all about. How fast and how accurate is the second shot. Is it just a matter of training. If the second shot is fired so fast then are the sights even used? And if so, then aren't the conditions such that the sights aren't needed for the first shot?
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Old June 27, 2004, 10:44 AM   #2
Tamara
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Brace for hearing things like "controlled pair" and "hammer" as I turn you over to the double tap experts in Tactics & Training.
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Old June 27, 2004, 10:52 AM   #3
rwilson452
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double tap

I don't speak for others or claim to be an expert. The way I do it:


I have heard this term LOTS of times but I don't really know what it is all about. How fast and how accurate is the second shot.

As fast as you can and still be accurate. Look at the "A" zone on an IDPA target. A 4" group is OK

Is it just a matter of training.

Again and again and again. practice, practice, and practice some more.

If the second shot is fired so fast then are the sights even used?

I use the sights for every shot.

And if so, then aren't the conditions such that the sights aren't needed for the first shot?

Instinctive shooting is another skill I have not broached.

You will find that with a great deal of practice, sight alignment and sight picture become instinctive. A great deal of it is muscle memory. when you bring your pistol to bear, sight alignment is not something you think about it just is. You can practice this dry fireing.

Remember in close quarters combat perfect sight aliginment is not needed.

If you can keep them all in a paper plate at 7 yards it's good enough.

bullseye is a totally different skill.
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Old June 27, 2004, 11:06 AM   #4
FrankDrebin
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I have heard this term LOTS of times but I don't really know what it is all about. How fast and how accurate is the second shot.
Just keep shooting until you're not worried about getting shot anymore.
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Old June 27, 2004, 11:12 AM   #5
Quartus
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The double tap isn't being taught by the better trainers anymore. Current teaching is what Frank said: Shoot until the threat is eliminated. The reason is that handguns aren't really good man stoppers. Shooting two or three times and then stopping to check results is more likely to get you shot than shooting until the threat goes down and stays that way.
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Old June 27, 2004, 11:50 AM   #6
mete
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There have been many people ( some should know better) who have told me just what it's going to be like when it hits the fan.They're going to double tap , and do this and do that. But in the real world you never know when it will happen or how. Years back the FBI training exercise was to draw ,fire two rounds and holster. This was repeated again and again. Alocal cop who went to that school found it necessary to save his partner - he did what he was trained ,drew fired two rounds and holstered.Fortunately he only needed two rounds but he realized it was poor training. You do what you're trained to do, so vary your training and shoot until the BG no longer is a threat.
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Old June 27, 2004, 01:37 PM   #7
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As per Tamara's request, resident gun culture geezer KSFreeman appears.

I remember when all this was orchard, and the only ammo we had were rocks and not the fancy kind of rocks that you kids today have. I took the ferry to East Ogdenville which is what they called Shelbyville then . . .

frank, "doubletap" is an English expression to get one's attention ("pardon me, chumley, where's the w.c., right then, be back for the footie!") that was used as a catchall for controlled pair and hammer as IPSC hit England. The distinction between controlled pair and hammer is that a controlled pair one uses the sights for both shots and thus 3 sight pictures, whereas a hammer is two shots for one sight picture.

If your eyes have not glazed over, as Tamara's just did [insert Tamara's internal dialogue: "grumble, grumble, %$#@ gun geek up there in Indiana, driving me nuts he is"], you will understand why some just say "double tap" for shoot him twice instead of splitting hairs.

Going to tie an oinion to my belt now.
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Old June 27, 2004, 01:59 PM   #8
FrankDrebin
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Shooting two or three times and then stopping to check results is more likely to get you shot than shooting until the threat goes down and stays that way.
Not only that, but what happens when you get to court, whether criminal or civil, or the FBI is investigating you for civil rights violations for saving your own, or someone else's life, and someone asks you "Why did you shoot him 16 times?" (the correct answer is not "Because I didn't have any more bullets in my gun"). They're going to say "Weren't you trained to fire two rounds and assess the situation before you fired any more? Why did you find it necessary to deviate from your training to kill this poor teen who was thinking about maybe looking into applying to go to medical school next week so he could help people?"
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Old June 27, 2004, 03:27 PM   #9
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Frank,

I could be mistaken, but I think theory behind a double tap (or even tripple tap) is to simply fire 2 or 3 rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger, hitting the target. The idea is similar to the "1-2 knockout punch" your body can take several hits to the head getting hit once every second. But in some instances, when the body takes 2-3 violent blows in less than a second, it thinks something major just happened and SHUTS DOWN.

SO accuracy isn't truly the key. the key is hitting the body with 2-3 rapidly fired rounds. The common mistake most people who train on double taps make is worrying too much about putting the 2 rounds in the same whole, thus slowing down.

And as far as your sights are concerned, this is for Close in fighting, not for distance shooting, so worrying about sights is a moot issue, at least I think so.

EK
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Old June 27, 2004, 04:05 PM   #10
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My older instruction was simple: second button down on the shirt and shoot till the threat is markedly reduced or eliminated. Double tap? Triple tap? What happens if you are stuck with a .380 or 9mm and the perp has on body armor with a hardened front plate (remember the So. Cal. bank robbery a few years ago???)?
Today's training I follow: second button down on the shirt and shoot till the threat is mardedly reduced or eliminated. If he has armor, my .45 ACP will put him on his derrier unless he can stand being busted in the rib cage by all those foot pounds 8 times in a row (before I reload), . . . and most perps can't handle that kind of punishment.
May God bless,
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Old June 27, 2004, 04:32 PM   #11
FrankDrebin
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I try for two to the chest and one to the head, where feasible, and then just a whole bunch anywhere I can put them to eliminate the threat.
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Old June 27, 2004, 07:25 PM   #12
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I could be mistaken, but I think theory behind a double tap ...., it thinks something major just happened and SHUTS DOWN.

.... at least I think so.

Check with any of the nationally known trainers and I don't think you'll find ANYONE subscribing to this theory.

But, alas, what was taught in the 80's is still popular with gun shop commandos and maybe the odd gun rag writer here and there.
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Old June 27, 2004, 09:00 PM   #13
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I'm gonna have to say I agree with everyone who says don't worry about the double tap. I have been trained to shoot until the threat is eliminated. I can't remember where it was but our trainer told us about an Officer killed by doing the "two shots, holster" routine. He fired his two shots then when he holstered the suspect killed him. The same goes for the mosimbique (forgive the spelling). If I cap off 2 rounds in the chest and he fails to go down I will not settle for 1 to the head. If he's wearin body armor I'm gonna put so much lead downrange the shear weight is gonna make him fall.
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Old June 27, 2004, 10:55 PM   #14
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Double Tap (aka Hammer)

Two shots using one "flash" sight picture. As opposed to a Controled Pair; which is two aimed shots with a sight picture for each.
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Old June 28, 2004, 07:44 AM   #15
Jeff Gonzales
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The origins

A bit of historical perspective from my looking glass. While I am sure it is debatable where the term double tap came from I can only tell you what I know. The lienage as I know it came from the Brits' SAS teams who would use the technique to describe the number of shots fired on a tango.

At this point in history sights really were not a part of the equation, it was implied they were used to put the rounds on board. When our AT teams stood up they were modeled after the SAS models and along came the verbage.

The double tap was a means to engage a threat in your field of fire during your primary sweep. Upon encountering the threat, it was 2 shots in rapid succession on the threat and then transitioning to the next threat. Remember that these were dynamic entries and with overlapping fields of fire the threat was getting hit by multiple team member on both the primary and secondary sweap so you do the math.

It evovled into today's hammer or accelerated pair, but it didn't start there. I was first exposed to the double tap from an exchange offier doing a one year tour with our AT teams back in the 80's. In addition, the term double tap was removed from all documentation at NSWC in 1996 to adhere to a more politically correct scene and we argued vehemnetly against it, but it was enevitable. While we still used the term it was retired in place of other verbage. And lastly, when taught the technique really didn't center around the sights, but the results. It was implied that one would use the sights to fire the two shots. Also remember that the primary weapon system was the MP-5 where firing two shots quickly on target really was a matter of how fast the shooter could pull the trigger and not re-aquire the sights. When we shifted over to the pistol there was difficulty for some due to the reliance on the primary weapon system's quick recovery.

The bottom line, it has evolved quite a bit over the years and it assimilated itself into the hammer an accelerated pair crowd, but that is not where it started. I can only tell you what I know, what was passed down to me.

Later,
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Old June 28, 2004, 10:12 AM   #16
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The first written description of the technique appears in Col Rex Applegates book "Ktll or Get Killed" first published in the 1940s.
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Old June 29, 2004, 06:43 PM   #17
Texian Pistolero
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Explain the double tap?

No.

Fred Astaire is dead.

And his secret died with him.
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Old June 29, 2004, 06:57 PM   #18
Texian Pistolero
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While I agree with all above, the breakpoint is how many assailants you are dealing with. If it is one of you versus three of them, three double taps make sense, though you can wargame it endlessly. If it's ONE of them, rapid fire double taps make a lot of sense.

Back in mid 70's I trained with British troops in West Germany whose next assignment was Northern Ireland.

(This was some serious training.) They were getting their individual and squad IAD's down cold. They trained for QCB using the double tap with the rifle. (SLR) a FN-FAL variant.

My sense of the double tap is that it is not a maximum, but a minimum opening bid before the flop.
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Old June 29, 2004, 07:53 PM   #19
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........so how many perps has our little tactical group put down for the count using double, triple, or if following the advise of today's "better trainers", just pulling the trigger until it goes click, click? I postulate; not many, if any.

Its all academic here.
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Old July 4, 2004, 09:29 AM   #20
Rob62
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Lots of excellent information and thoughts brought up here. But I think Texian Pistolero says it as well as anyone when he says, "My sense of the double tap is that it is not a maximum, but a minimum opening bid before the flop."

After over a quarter century of shooting and studying shooting techniques and disciplines, I've come to a few conclusions. Foremost, there is nothing new out there. Shooting is shooting. Much of what is being said to be new is nothing more than what Applegate and Fairbairn taught and practiced many many years ago.

My take on the "Double Tap" is that anyone worth shooting is worth shooting twice - and do that as fast as possible. Whether you use the previously described "Hammer" or "Controlled Pair" is not relevant as long as both shots hit relatively close to where they were aimed. I.E. you didn't miss.

I take exception with the thoughts of some that teach and preach to "shoot them to the ground". I suspect that there are some of us here who could conceivably empty their 15 round magazines accurately before the person ever hits the ground. I’m therefore in the school of thought that believes in assessing the effects of their shoots after the initial 2. How long that assessment lasts is an individual thing but I absolutely believe an assessment is a must.

My point is that by not doing an assessment and simply shooting till the threat is on the ground, you may miss the fact that the subject is wearing body armor. In which case, most if not all experts agree that a head shot is required to completely neutralize the thread. How would one ever realize that a head shot is required if they were not analyzing the threat to see if their shots are having the desired effect. Also what if using a snubby 5 shot revolver. Faced with the possibility of 2 threats simultaneously, the amount of ammo consumed with threat #1 becomes paramount if threat #2 is still around when you’ve “serviced” threat #1.

Therefore I believe that some type of a threat assessment is para mount. And when better of a time to do it than after the first 2 shots.

Good Safe Shooting,

Rob
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Old July 4, 2004, 11:03 AM   #21
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And when better of a time to do it than after the first 2 shots.
How about when he's dropped his weapon, and not before?
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Old July 4, 2004, 11:39 AM   #22
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Rapid miss placed shots do no good. It matters little if they come singularly, in pairs or by the mag full.

I see the reasoning behind the notion that double taps may inadvertently train you to stop shooting when you need to continue. The same logic can be applied to the reverse and you could find yourself shooting targets until the weapon is dry. Neither is a desirable result. Possibly training with a verity of reactive targets would be better in that such would interject mental awareness of shot impacts.

Along that line… for speed, on single or multiple targets, over the years of training I have progressed from the practice of always acquiring a proper sight picture for each shot to some form of mental trade back and forth while shooting between an aligned sight picture and that of watching impacts. Mentally I am always referring back to the sights but the entire field of view is also influencing when I pull the trigger.
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Old July 4, 2004, 01:42 PM   #23
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Possibly training with a verity of reactive targets would be better in that such would interject mental awareness of shot impacts.
Couldn't agree more. I especially like the kind that are a cardboard 3D affair, supported by a rod down the middle. The rod is held in place by friction with several (random number) balloons. Hit all the balloons, and it falls. You never know how many shots it will take.
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Old July 5, 2004, 11:50 AM   #24
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My point is that by not doing an assessment and simply shooting till the threat is on the ground, you may miss the fact that the subject is wearing body armor. In which case, most if not all experts agree that a head shot is required to completely neutralize the thread. How would one ever realize that a head shot is required if they were not analyzing the threat to see if their shots are having the desired effect. Also what if using a snubby 5 shot revolver. Faced with the possibility of 2 threats simultaneously, the amount of ammo consumed with threat #1 becomes paramount if threat #2 is still around when you’ve “serviced” threat #1.
The problem with this line of thinking is the presumption you hit. People get really wrapped around the axle with soft armor and what they don't realize is two things. First is the blunt trauma, if we can agree that damage delievered by a handgun is marginal at best at stopping dedicated opponnents then the same could be said about the blunt trauma delivered. However, that is still trauma being delivered. Second, nobody really understands the degradation process that soft armor goes through when absorbing rounds. It doesn't last forever and it is not as sophisticated as most think. NIJ standards require it stop the round it was rated to within 3 inches of the sides. So, if you are hitting them in the high chest, most armor will not perform as you have imagined.

If you were shooting the individual with a rifle caliber round of some sort, then you might have more validity in this line of thinking, but a handgun with the hit ratios generated across the board, presumptuoust training & thinking.

When dealing with multiple threats again there is a big misconception and lots of presumptuous training in this industry. If you find yourself having to deal with more than one opponnent in the intial engagement and you rely soley on your ability to apply a range drill to deal with them, then you have no concept of what is really happening during this situations.

Time and time again, we prove that if you just stand there and attempt to duke it out, you get hit or get killed. However, if you can prioritize and manuever, the odds shift towards your corner. Here, putting the first threat down hard and fast is the first priority. If you do a half ass job of putting the first one down because you are so worried about the second, is the first one out of the fight and if not what have you really accomplished.

Nobody is saying that conducting a post shooting assessment is a bad thing, as long as it is done at the appropriate time. The favorable margin of delivering rapid, repeated and solid hits on the threat until the hostilities cease will be more effective than delivering the prescribed standard response and admiring your work. Folks have got to understand that there is a huge difference between shooting at 2-diminsional static paper targets that are not agressing you versus the real thing.

Later,
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Old July 5, 2004, 04:20 PM   #25
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more effective than delivering the prescribed standard response and admiring your work.



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