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Old November 15, 2013, 02:25 PM   #1
Biff Tannen
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DOUBLE TAP DEFENSE derringer range reports?

Derringer fans:
Us derringer fans have been scoping out the Double Tap Defense derringer for a few years, and followed the soap-opera-esque battle with former manufactuer Heizer...
There's a few YouTube videos indicating that there are (or were?) problems with design and reliability...
Us derringer fans would appreciate very much if those who've shot one could share their range experiences...
Any / all details would help our community and will be greatly appreciated.
PS- please, no comments from derringer haters, and please, no comments about derringer high-prices. Let's please keep this thread positive so we can learn.
Thank you, stay safe, and God bless!
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Old November 15, 2013, 03:39 PM   #2
Erich
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I found this detailed blog post (the second of two) of a well-regarded reviewer to be of interest regarding that pistol:

http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com/2...ol-45-acp.html
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Old November 15, 2013, 04:54 PM   #3
Deaf Smith
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Handled one of those little cannons today.

I bet they kick!

Sure wish they could handle .45 Auto Rims. Nice 250 gr LSWC at 750 ought to do it.

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Old November 15, 2013, 09:25 PM   #4
Biff Tannen
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Erich:
Thanks for that link to the review! I saw those YouTube videos that the author had uploaded, but it was interesting to read the author's account of his dealings with the Double Tap manufacturer.
It's possible he just had a "lemon" but one would think that after the gun was reconditioned by the manufacturer the first time, his problems would have been over... Every gun has a bad review or two out there, so maybe it was just "one of those things", or maybe my hopes that this will be a quality firearm might he "wishful thinkin"on my part. Hmmm...

That said, one would hope that such a negative review in the public eye would make Double Tap reevaluate their machining issues.
They are currently making subsequent runs of the gun, and I'd love to get more input from Thefiringline members!
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Old November 15, 2013, 10:44 PM   #5
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Fired 4 rounds from a 9mm model. I would never touch it again. Painful to the max, due mainly to the grip shape, inaccurate for a quick first shot, and it only holds two rounds. I would not bother. Much better off with a KelTec P32 or 3AT.
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Old November 15, 2013, 11:24 PM   #6
Biff Tannen
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Jonnyc:
Yes I hear it's not friendly to the hand. I'd expect that with a derringer.
Firing discomfort aside, did you or the owner of the firearm have any other negative experiences such as misfire, malfunctions, etc?
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Old November 16, 2013, 01:15 AM   #7
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I looked at them in the case at Gander Yesterday and to be brutally honest my first thought was "Why?" It is thin but the overall size isn't much different than any of the smaller .380 or 9mm compact pistols. Plus the price seemed high for what it is. Yeah, no thanks.
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Old November 16, 2013, 01:45 AM   #8
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DoubleTap

Hey Biff. Thanks for taking the time to read my review and watch the videos. Maybe it wasn't clear in the review, but the first pistol was sent back and it was scrapped by DoubleTap. The second pistol that had the double ignition was a brand new pistol with a serial number about 5000 guns later than the first.

I was a supporter of the concept for a long time and stuck with Ray through all the trials and tribulations it took to finally bring the gun to market. I would still own mine if they could work out the problem with the floating firing pin and the witness marks. Sure it's a pain to shoot, but so is the Seecamp 380. I was fine with the discomfort, but not willing to try a third DoubleTap and the possibility of permanent damage to my shooting hand.

I get a messages and emails from time to time, from review readers or video viewers, with stories similar to my double ignition experience. I was lucky that I didn't need stitches. Most others have not been so lucky.
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Old November 16, 2013, 08:23 AM   #9
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIGeMYn3Pqc

The above YouTube video shows me shooting the .45 Double Tap Defense derringer.
I also have the 9mm barrels and while shooting the 9mm I had a double discharge. The recoil was worse than my S&W 460 magnum ES (snubbie) produces.
I contacted Double Tap and sent back the gun for repair or replacement.
I got the same gun back (repaired) in a few weeks.
I tested the repaired gun with 6 different loads including the one that had produced the original double discharge. I did not encounter any problems.
I am not recoil sensitive (no glove in the .45 video) but I now use a glove with this gun for shooting both 9mm and .45.

Mark
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Old November 16, 2013, 09:53 AM   #10
Sgt127
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Seriously, a two shot pistol should be fairly simple to make reliable. I own several High Standard derringers and an ADC .45 LC/410. I really want one of the Double Taps, but...come on guys. Get it right.

I wonder if its a case of paralysis through analysis? So many engineers had to get thier hands on it, it became over engineered and unreliable?

That huge loaded chamber indicator gap is awful. Using spring loaded ball bearings to keep the rounds in place. All seem like short cuts to just build it to tighter specs to begin with.

And, as many reports of doubling out there, it seems hard to believe no one noticed that during T&E.
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Old November 16, 2013, 11:38 AM   #11
Biff Tannen
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Ljutic:
First of all, thank you much for your videos and article concerning this gun!
They were extremely well done, professionally objective, and well though out.
I had a question though, you said
Quote:
I would still own [my Double Tap derringer] if they could work out the problem with the floating firing pin and the witness marks.
Im not sure what you mean by this, if you have a moment, can you please explain?
Thank you for your time!
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Old November 16, 2013, 12:06 PM   #12
Ljutic
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Morning Biff.

I always had a concern that when firing one barrel, the other firing pin would place a witness mark on the primer of the unfired round. The photo below shows a fired case in the lower barrel and an unfired round in the top barrel with a witness mark left by the upper firing pin during recoil. I understand that Derringers leave witness marks on the primer of the unfired round, but to me these witness marks seemed excessively deep and strong. Strong enough to ignite the primer.




The photo below shows 4 recovered brass cases from my last trip out with the DoubleTap. Two fired normally and two fired at the same time. To me, the primer marks look virtually identical on all four brass cases. By design the DoubleTap hammer only contacts one firing pin at a time so the other firing pin must have been driven forward by recoil alone.


It's obvious to me that the firing pins have some measure of float and will move forward under recoil and not just when struck by the hammer. If they didn't float, we wouldn't see witness marks on the unfired primer. Before I would own another DoubleTap, I would need to see no witness marks left on the primers of unfired rounds.

Thanks for the comments about the review and I hope I provided the information you were looking for. If not, please let me know.
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Old November 16, 2013, 12:10 PM   #13
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Biff,
The first two rounds I shot were the guy's reloads, and they locked-up the whole pistol. We had to use knives and screwdrivers to open it. The rounds are loaded a bit hot, but they functioned fine in the 3 other types of pistols we were using that day.
The second rounds were WalMart Feds, and they functioned fine in the Double Tap, but still hurt too much to try it a third time.
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Old November 16, 2013, 03:05 PM   #14
Biff Tannen
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Ljutic:
Thanks for that thorough and informative explanation!
I appreciate very much your time, and your interest in informing our community, your input has helped me understand the Double Tap problems greatly!
That said, I wonder if using the ported barrel, heavier titanium frame, and heavy factory ammo would help minimize potential for this manufacturing flaw.
God bless and stay safe!
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Old November 16, 2013, 03:08 PM   #15
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Jonnyc:
Thanks for that... So I seems that reloads are definitely out!
Interested, what kinds of ammo does Double Tap recommend for this gun?
Thanks!
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Old November 16, 2013, 05:40 PM   #16
Ljutic
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I can answer the ammo question for you Biff. Each DoubleTap comes with a hang tag around the trigger guard that states +P ammo is not suitable for use. Any standard pressure loading in 9mm or 45 is acceptable.

Also this may be splitting hairs, which is not my intention, but I don't think the possibility of double ignition is a manufacturing fault. I think it's a flaw in the design of the pistol.

On the other thoughts regarding changing the frame weight or using ported barrels, those questions are best answered by Ray Kohout at DoubleTap. Fire off an email to their contact address and see what they say. sales@doubletapdefense.com Ray keeps close tabs on that email address and will probably answer your query within 24 hours.
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Old November 16, 2013, 06:44 PM   #17
Biff Tannen
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Ljutic:
Thanks for that advice.I sent them an email quite a while ago inquiring where / how the firing pins rest. I did not get and answer.

Here is the email I just sent a few minutes ago:
Quote:
Ray Kohout,
I have been waiting for the Double Tap Defense derringer to become available to the masses for quite a while now. I was excited to have recently ordered one with titanium frame with ported barrels.
However, I was a bit dismayed when I saw several Youtube videos that showed malfunctions and a double fire. Honestly, the thought of a possibility of misfire or double fire is frightening.
I have several important questions:
1- What percentage of Double Tap derringers are returned for repair?
2- What are the main problems that have required repairs for Double Tap Derringers?
3- What has Double Tap Defense has done to address these issues?
4- What can Double Tap derringer owners can do to reduce the possibility of malfunction?
Thank you.
Lets see what happens.
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Old November 16, 2013, 10:33 PM   #18
Deaf Smith
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Both firing pins should be spring loaded with strong enough springs to keep the pins from striking the primers.

May I suggest making the fining pins out of Beryllium Copper? Kind of like what Charter Arms did to their revolvers.

See the firing pins have to much inertia. That is the problem. The recoil trows the second pin forward to fire the other barrel.

You need a combination of lighter pin and heavier springs.

That way you might not have to increase the power of the hammer spring (and thus trigger weight.)

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Old November 16, 2013, 10:52 PM   #19
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Hoo boy, I'll be that thing smarts if it lets two .45 rounds fly at once!
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Old November 17, 2013, 12:54 AM   #20
Biff Tannen
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Ricko:
Yes, for my way of thinking, perhaps one might consider only carrying one round at a time and making this into a "one shot derringer"...
Hmmm...
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Old November 18, 2013, 02:21 PM   #21
Biff Tannen
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Raymond Kohout weighs in!

Raymond Kouhout himself responded to my question in only one day.
Here are his answer to my questions:
Quote:
Q: What percentage of Double Tap derringers are returned for repair?
A: less than 1/2 or 1% of 14,000 guns have been returned for warranty
Q: What are the main problems that have required repairs for Double Tap Derringers?
A: cosmetic issues with fit and finish
Q: What has Double Tap Defense has done to address these issues?
A: We are constantly testing, and improving
Q: What can Double Tap derringer owners can do to reduce the possibility of malfunction?
A: Use only new US amnufactured standard ammunition such as Remington, Wionchester, Hornady or Federal, no high welocity or +P or +P+ or foreign manufactured ammunition
THANK YOU, Mr. Kohout!
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Old November 21, 2013, 10:53 AM   #22
southjk
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Guns.com has a review of the DoubleTap on their website. The only function problems he had were light primer strikes only on one brand of ammo. He also talks about the pain of shooting it and the lack of accuracy which he attributes to the fear of the pain to come.

Quote:
Everything you may have read about the brutal recoil from the DoubleTap is true. It hurts. I put 50 rounds of .45 ACP through this gun and I’m in pain. The web of muscle between my thumb and pointer finger on my right hand is sore. The metacarpal in my thumb feels bruised. I’m not going to try to sugar coat it. The pain is sharp and intense. If you’ve shot a .44 magnum (especially one with wooden grips) you understand recoil. The DoubleTap is more painful.
Quote:
The biggest impediment to accuracy, in my opinion, isn’t the barrel or the trigger. It is fear. Shooting the DoubleTap isn’t pleasant. I think I’ve hammered that home enough. I spend a lot of time behind the trigger, but the anticipation of the stabbing pain can still psyche me out. After six shots, my hand was fatigued. But the sloppy shot placement was all me — a direct result of my knowledge of what was to come.
To sum up:

Quote:
But I’m a sucker for punishment. And I’m going to learn how to shoot this thing. My overall assessment of it at this very early stage is entirely positive. It has some peculiarities and is going to take some getting used to, but I’m going to stick with it. I’ve yet to see another large caliber handgun that is as easily concealed. That, above all else, is the promise of the DoubleTap, and makes it worth working with.
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Old November 21, 2013, 12:25 PM   #23
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Sorry to disagree with them COMPLETELY, but with all the pistol choices out there the DT just ain't worth the effort, bother, or pain.
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Old November 22, 2013, 05:31 PM   #24
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I don't see them being around for long. We had had the 9mm and the 45 in the case for awhile now and people ask to look at it just to mock it. I was interested in this thread because I never really heard any feedback on them. I don't mind Derringers I think some of the older styled ones are neat, but the DT is almost the size of my XDS.
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Old November 25, 2013, 05:30 PM   #25
Biff Tannen
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All points about pain are well taken...
That said, a gun like this isn't a plinker, and not a "range pal" or a "fun gun".
It's designed as a very final resort, a last ditch effort to save your life (god forbid).
With that in mind, the idea is NOT to have to shoot it..
Now... If we could hang our hats on its dependability for that one situation that we all hope and pray to God we are never in, I feel it would be a great gun...
But as far as I am concerned, as for it's dependability, the jury is still out and I'd appreciate any more feedback.
Thanks, all!!!
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