DoubleTap Ammunition: Great Performance, Excellent Reliability

Double Tap 180-grain Bonded Core

There are many factors to consider when choosing ammunition. Recoil, control in the individual handgun, a clean powder burn, good bullet pull, limited muzzle blast and flash, and reasonable accuracy are important.

Glock 22 pistol with open box of Double Tap ammunition
Double Tap Ammunition and the Glock 22 proved a good combination.

A loading with a balance of expansion and penetration is desirable for personal defense use. The term repeatable and verifiable are heard often. Studies of so-called street results have little value compared to lab testing, although these results are worth study and may be interesting.

Recently, I tested a pair of .40 Smith and Wesson loads from DoubleTap Ammunition. DoubleTap has earned a well-deserved reputation for quality control and maximizing the individual calibers it loads. From .38 Special to .45 ACP, I have tested a number of these loads and found them well thought out and ballistically impressive.

One of my favorite go-anywhere do-anything handguns is the Glock 22. With an impressive magazine capacity, excellent reliability, and good wound potential, I often travel with this handgun. A simple magazine change makes the pistol suitable for home defense, trail use or even hunting. I have taken thin-skinned game with the .40 S&W as a matter of opportunity, and it was one shot and four legs in the air at modest range.

Double Tap 180-grain Bonded Core
The 180-grain Bonded Core load provided excellent results.

The first load is a 150-grain JHP. This bullet is intended to fragment and produce modest penetration while expending all of its energy in the target. The 1,280 fps velocity surprised me. This is fast, very fast, and the energy is 545 ft lbs. While actual damage is more important than paper energy, the water jugs were hustled about by this load. Penetration is at about 14 inches in water, and the bullet fragments leaving a .55-inch core.

Next is the 180-grain Bonded Core. This bullet, by any other name, is the Speer Gold Dot. The Gold Dot has proven to be one of the most popular law enforcement loads and with good reason. This load breaks 1,040 fps from the Glock 22. This rates the load at 432 ft lbs. of energy.

This is a bit faster than most factory 180-grain loads. The 180-grain JHP expands to an average of .94 inch, with some reaching .99 inch and others .92 inch. Yes, that is almost an inch of expansion and the bullet drives a solid eighteen inches in water, stopping on the wall of the third water jug. It isn’t difficult to control this loading.

upset Double Tap bullet and bullet fragments
The bonded core bullet, left, stayed together while the 150-grain JHP, right, fragmented.

DoubleTap has neatly bracketed the fragmenting loads and deeper penetrating heavy bullet loads. The 150-grain load generates the most recoil as might be expected with a power factor of 192 while the 180-grain load has a power factor of 187. The 150-grain load is at the high end of what most of us would find acceptable in the relatively light Glock pistol.

This load had plenty of power for home defense and is a solid choice for the majority of personal defense situations. I plan for the worst-case situation and find the 180-grain load appealing for personal protection against both two and four legged threats. Both loads are more than accurate enough for personal defense with the average 15-yard groups under two inches for five shots. These loads maximize the .40 S&W cartridge, a caliber I find superior to the small bores and effective in the field.

Have you used DoubleTap Ammunition? What were your results? Which caliber do you prefer for self-defense? Share your answers in the comment section.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (21)

    1. @ Marty watlington.

      Probably a Supply and Demand issue! It’s not Restrictive in Arkansas as far as I know. Has been on the Market since at least 2002. You might also try G2 Research’s R.I.P.’s (Radical Invasive Projectile) which is basically the same thing…

  1. No tripe spewer and certainly no Democrat snowflake (my daughter-in-law is–the poor girl was in hysterics after Trump won) . I am a Repub. Trump voter, NRA member and shooter for over 50 years. Hopefully we have that cleared up. The only “expanding stuff” we can have and use legally ( I hope) is pepperspray here in NJ.(God Bless Kimber PepperBlaster II –I have 8 of them). Come to NJ and shoot someone with expanding ammo while trying to defend yourself—you will be transformer into “Big Louie’s girlfriend” in Rahway State Prison. Some folks like Sakos, some like CZ’s, some like Steyr Mannlichers–we are all entitled to our opinions. Also, I am a member of 3 gun ranges–2 in NJ and 1 in Pa.

  2. I have to disagree with your second paragraph. It is the “street” results that really tell the tale. The lab results only give a rough, estimated comparison between ammo loadings in a repeatable, homogenous medium. One of my PD’s went away from the 9mm after repeated reviews of actual pd shootings showed it was not quickly ending the situations. They transitioned to .40 S&W issue, with officer option to .45ACP, and the need for multiple hits fell. You can’t duplicate that in a lab.

    1. I agree with your comment. I used to follow Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow quite a few years back. They compiled data nationwide from autopsies and the observations of Police officers that were “in the fight.”

      Bob; your testing is similar to what I do in using gallon milk jugs filled (to the very top and NO ‘dimples” in the first two or three jugs. I like to see bullets stop in the third jug, but will accept some that barely make it into the fourth OR stop in the second IF THE DAMAGE TO BOTH JUGS IS VERY GREAT. I use 4″-5″ squares cut from heavy duck canvas insulated coveralls backed by patches cut from lined insulated flannel shirts for my “Heavy Clothing” test; a lot more realistic than “4 layers of denim” I think. Ballistic gelatin is very easily manipulated in the lab to get the results you want and the ammo manufacturers take advantage of that A LOT. My personal experience from fairly intensive testing of 49 loads over the past few months can be obtained by sending me an email at (that goes for anyone reading this.) I’ve recently done .380 (5 loads), 9mm (23 loads), .40 S&W (11 loads) and .45 ACP (10 loads). Look forward to visiting with you.

    2. Marshall and Sanow have NO VALIDITY
      They are unrepeatable and unverifiable
      There so called studies lack the validity to be even be accepted in a small town traffic court.
      Secret sources are highly suspect and then they published the ridiculous goat shooting tests. Believe what you want, but then some believe in little green men and I do not.

      Gelatin tests as you outlined are excellent means of comparison

    3. First hand verifiable experience is indeed very very important thanks for your comments

  3. I am a former 30 year law enforcement officer. We went back and forth with the gold dot and tallon. I would like to see your thoughts and or a side by side demo and letÔÇÖs finally put this argument to rest.

  4. Seems like good SD ammo and I’ll consider it for my use in both my CCW (same G22 as you) as well as my G27.

  5. Most of us, I surely hope, shoot only at paper targets at our local range. It is sort of concerning the thoughts about bullet expansion and all that other stuff should enter. It troubles me that folks select ammo on its killing power on “other folks”. But then again, I guess some find it empowering to talk about situations they will never be a part of. Also, in what states are all these “current day Wyatt Earps” living in that they can do this stuff?

    1. .
      What part of Bubbleville are you living these days.?
      Testing the reliability and performance of ammunition is a sound practice.
      Hillary lost, and Russians didn’t do it.
      Please do enjoy more reading v of expanding projectiles.

    2. Well…we do shoot at paper (& steel) at the range. It’s for fun BUT also for practice for the real world! After 39 yrs as a patrol officer on 4 departments, I can tell you that sometimes bad things happen to good people. If you think it can’t happen to you….you’re wrong!

    3. Charlie, no one here relishes the idea of being forced to shoot ÔÇ£other folks,ÔÇØ so please spare us your emotional tripe. Firearms are tools that allow us to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property against criminal attack. We have an absolute, God-given, constitutionally protected right to defend those things, and the firearm is the most effective and therefore most sensible tool for the job. Making poor ammunition choices for defensive firearms is akin to buying an axe and purposely grinding the blade to dull it. Using less than optimal ammunition gives your attacker(s) more of an upper hand than they already have. Is criminal attack rare? Yes, of course. So are auto accidents and drowning, but we still wear seatbelts and watch our kids around the pool. I have no idea when or where a criminal will pick me or my family, but IÔÇÖm bloody well going to be as prepared to defeat him as I can be. If, God forbid, IÔÇÖm forced to shoot him, I probably wonÔÇÖt sleep right for weeks, but IÔÇÖll still be around for my family, and they for me.

    4. Charlie, one thing for sure … NEVER say never. My wife, baby daughter and I were feeling safe and sound in a motel room one time. We had nothing for protection. Some bad people attempted to break into the room, for what—we don’t know. The only thing of value was the baby. Since then, I legally carry and practice , practice, practice. As long as I am alive, that will NOT happen to my family again. Bad people do bad things and there are certainly bad people out there.

    5. I think you are on the wrong site, snowflake. Thank police and vets for your rights, and not the DEM Party.

    6. It is because that THOSE are the ONLY rounds that will stop violent attackers AND SAVE YOUR LIFE and those you care about and will not pose an over-penetration hazard and put the rest of your life in legal jeopardy. That’s just the way that reality in this world works.

  6. My Sig Mk.25 is chambered in 9×23 to fire the 960 Rowland “Wildcat” which solves the .38 Spc. problem and my M1911A1 has had it Barrel replaced to chamber the 460 Rowland “Wildcat”, which solves the .45acp problem. Enough said…

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