When firing a handgun, it is common to shoot a two-shot burst known as a “Double Tap.” Double tap shooting is often performed when shooters are training for self defense situations. Two quick shots while staying on target is a skill that requires a firm grip on the gun and a fast trigger finger. Firearm instructors create shooting drills that involve a series of double taps for defensive shooting practice. The goal is to enhance the speed of follow up shots in order to eliminate an immediate threat or severely decrease the danger posed by that threat. The old saying, “two is better than one” is a self defense philosophy that has been consistent for years. I have attended many training classes and each one required the shooter to properly perform a series of successful double taps while staying on target.
Now, let’s talk about “Unintentional Double Taps.” An unintentional double tap is anytime a shooter fires a second shot by mistake. Typically, this will happen with a very light trigger that has a short reset. In a safe environment, with the gun’s muzzle pointed down range, the shooter may accidentally fire a second shot. This usually happens when a shooter is learning the trigger action of a new firearm or when the trigger action has been modified to lighten the poundage of the trigger pull. In the video above, I explain when I fired an unintentional double tap while shooting my Grand Power X-Calibur that has a light 3.5 pound single action trigger pull. Albeit a bit embarrassing, this does happen to even the most experienced shooters. However, it is important to note that the environment was safe and all firearm discharge safety rules were adhered to.
That brings us to the point of this article. Across the web, we have seen inexperienced shooters who carelessly attempt to fire heavy magnum loads from a revolver that sometimes results in a dangerous unintentional double tap. What we have are situations where the shooter has “too much gun” with a magnum load and the resulting recoil is too much for them to control. This leads to reckless unintentional double taps, which puts everyone in their area at risk, including the shooter.
Magnum loads are no joke. It is never wise to allow an inexperienced shooter to fire a gun that is more powerful than they are accustomed to handling, especially if the purpose is to capture it on video for amusement due to their inability to handle the firearm properly. That is the epitome of unsafe firearm usage. The heavy recoil of magnum loads require the shooter to have a firm two-handed grip with a braced stance and an understanding of what to expect when firing. It was never intended for amateur shooters to play around with. Unfortunately, some people find it funny to watch the reaction of an inexperienced shooter firing a magnum load. The vast majority of shooters find this immature behavior an embarrassment to those of us who take our shooting and training seriously.