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Review: DoubleTap Ammo Equalizer

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When it comes to using a handgun for self-defense, multiple shots might be required to stop the threat. More holes cause more damage, and more damage means the threat will stop sooner. One gets more holes by firing more rounds, or using something that has multiple projectiles, such as a shotgun. It’s also possible to get multiple projectiles in some handgun cartridges. Multiple projectiles in a handgun round is not new, but is less common for semi-automatic pistol cartridges in large part due to their short length. However, the new double-projectile Equalizer line from DoubleTap Ammo brings new life to the concept.

Multiple projectiles are possible for some semiautomatic pistol cartridges, and DoubleTap Ammo produces their two-projectile Equalizer line for the 9 mm, .40 S&W, 10 mm and .45 ACP. They accomplished this by using a light conventional bullet stacked over a lighter short bullet.

In the case of the 9 mm, it means a 115-grain bullet on top, and a 50-grain bullet under it for a combined weight of 165 grains. The 115-grain bullet is a traditional jacketed hollow point, and the loaded round looks like any other 9 mm round loaded with a jacketed hollow point bullet. Hiding under it is a short, full-wadcutter bullet with a gas check. The one I weighed was 48.9 grains.

The JHP bullet is intended to expand and offer limited penetration. The wadcutter bullet, lacking the ability to expand, will generally penetrate deeper than a JHP bullet, all else being equal.

Paired hits on a target from 7 yards. Numbers indicate which shot, i.e. the ones show both hits from shot No. 1. Hits from the wadcutter bullets are indicated with a blue number.

The 9 mm DoubleTap Ammo Equalizer rounds were fired from a 5-inch Kart barrel in a 1911 pistol. Velocity was measured at about 10 feet with a Shooting Chrony chronograph and averaged 1,046 fps (9 shots), which is a bit higher than their advertised velocity of 975 fps from a 5-inch barrel.

Hits on the paper target look like what you would expect. The JHP bullet produced a punched out center surrounded by a grease mark, and the wadcutter made a clean, caliber-sized, cookie-cutter hole.

At a distance of 7 yards, there was an average of 1 inch distance between the JHP and wadcutter holes (3 shots measured). At 10 yards, the average distance between the two projectiles was .68 inch (2 shots fired).  The wadcutter’s hit relative to the JHP varied. It could be found above, below, left or right of the JHP’s hit.

At 25 yards, it was a different story. The JHP bullet was close to the point of aim, but the wadcutter bullet had taken an entirely different route. One might expect, based on extrapolating from the 7- and 10-yard hits, the wadcutter bullet would be within 2-4 inches from the JHP bullet. Nope. Of the ones that hit the paper and could be measured, the wadcutter averaged 12.75 inches from the JHP.

When five rounds were fired at 25 yards with the gun mounted in a Ransom Rest (which ensures the same point of aim for each round), the five JHP bullets were in a group of 5.5 inches at roughly the center of the target. This means you’ll get one, maybe two hits, per shot on a human-sized target at that distance.  DoubleTap Ammo notes that Equalizer ammunition for some of the other calibers will result in the two projectiles hitting about 2” from each other at 25 yards. That description was not used for the 9 mm Equalizer ammunition. If my results are typical, the 9 mm ammo will perform best at shorter ranges, ideally under 10 yards.

One round was fired into water jugs (6 inches wide) at a distance of 5 yards. Both projectiles stopped in the fourth jug. The jacket from the JHP bullet was in the third jug. The JHP bullet had expanded to 0.549 inch. I could not find the gas check from the cast bullet.

There appeared to be only one entry hole, and there was damage on both projectiles suggesting forceful contact during flight or passage through the jugs. Their pathways diverged while traveling through the jugs. Their entry holes in the fourth jug were 5 inches apart. This is how one would want them to behave in a flesh-and-blood target to create more tissue damage.

This new ammo from DoubleTap brings the company’s name to real life. Double tap refers to two hits on the target. While this usually means that you have to fire two rounds to accomplish this, the DoubleTap Ammo Equalizer offers you the opportunity to get a double tap in one shot.

If you’re looking at multiple-projectile ammo for your semiautomatic pistol for use at short self-defense distances, check out the DoubleTap Equalizer. The company also has Equalizer loads .357 Mag., .41 Mag., .44 Mag. and .500 S&W Mag.

Article first appeared at Shooting Illustrated.

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