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I'm going to sound like an idiot here. I don't think I've really ever gotten the proper double tap method down. I can throw 2 rounds fairly quickly into a target at close 7 yard range, but both are individually sighted. My thinking is that a double tap is where the first round is sighted and the next is aimed by recoil timing. i.e. the barrel returns from recoil and I instinctively pull the trigger again. Is that true? Also, how close should these 2 rounds be to each other at 7 yards? What is a reasonable expectation? How can I practice to improve speed and accuracy with this technique?
 

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Yes Nathan, you've got the general idea of a double-tap. The first shot is made with the normal sight picture, and the second shot is made as fast as possible (un-sighted) after the first.

At 7 yds. a reasonable spread would be 1" - 2" . With practice, I've seen guys put 'em both into the same hole. I can do this once in a while, but it's HARD!

As far as practicing, i would suggest simply pulling the trigger twice as fast as you can, and don't worry about where the rounds are going. This will get you accustomed to the feel of how your gun reacts, and it will also develop your feel for the trigger of your particular gun. Make sure your finger does not leave the trigger after the first shot, and keep it in contact with the trigger as it resets itself for the second follow-up shot. Do not "slap" the trigger. This is one of the hardest skills to master when shooting quickly. Once you get the technique down, then go to targets. I would suggest starting at 3 yds. and see how your shots group. Once you are able to keep them within an inch of each other at 3 yds, then move to 4 yds. Repeat, and move to 5 yds. then 6 etc. 10 yds is generally the limit for double tapping (unless you are REALLY good). Past 10 yds. you are generally better to have two individually sighted shots.
 

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You've got it mostly right that a double-tap, also called a hammer, is two shots with only one sight picture. Isometric tension created by a proper stance returns the pistol to the line of sight for the second shot, but the sights are not used. Using the sights for the second shot or even pausing to think about pulling the trigger again is not a hammer. A hammer sounds like BangBang.

A dedicated pair is two shots with the first aimed but only a flash sight picture for the second. You don't pause to make fine sight adjustments for the second shot but there is a little bit of a delay between the two as you reacquire the flash sight picture. It should sound like Bang-bang.

For most people, the time between the two shots of a hammer (called the split) is between .18 and .25 seconds. Of course, you need a shot timer to determine this to the hundredth of a second but you can tell if you're close by the sound. Remember, no pause between the shots: BangBang. Seven yards is about my limit for a hammer, but you need to determine your own capabilities. The rule of thumb I use is that if the two shots are more than 3-4 inches apart, I was too far away to do a hammer.

Addendum: Shane posted an excellent response while I was composing mine and I want to add to what he said about trigger reset because I completely forgot that and it is important.

When you are doing your hammer or dedicated pair, only let the trigger out far enough to reset it before beginning to apply tension for the second shot. Keep your finger in contact with the trigger while doing this.

If you don't know what trigger reset is, do this excercise. With an unloaded gun pointed in a safe direction, pull the trigger. While keeping the trigger held down, cycle the slide. Now release the trigger slowly and you'll feel it click as it resets. Do this many times "dry" to get used to how far you need to release the trigger in order for it to reset. Good trigger reset control will help your accuracy and split times.


[This message has been edited by Wade (edited 04-04-2001).]
 

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Originally posted by Nathan:
<snip>My thinking is that a double tap is where the first round is sighted and the next is aimed by recoil timing. i.e. the barrel returns from recoil and I instinctively pull the trigger again. Is that true? Also, how close should these 2 rounds be to each other at 7 yards? What is a reasonable expectation? How can I practice to improve speed and accuracy with this technique?
Nathan;
A very well posed question and there are several good responses here. As indicated above, what you are referring to is called a "hammer" (2 shots, 1 flash sight picture). The simple path to achieving good hammers (and I hate to sound droll) is practice. You are aware of the goal - faster hits - you simply get yourself a timer and go do it repeatedly and often. Try to avoid some of the poor marksmanship practices that crop up - like milking your grip - by throwing in some deliberate fire at longer ranges occasionally.

The hammer is one of the most essential tools in the defensive tool box, doubling the odds of an instant stop (which can only be counted on with a hit to the CNS) if the hits are good.

One can hammer at 7 yards with practice (even further if he is really dedicated) but real gunfights happen at 10 feet, working at 3 to 5 yards more often than 7 is not untoward as you develop your skill (you will get better at 7 also). I like to see students shoot for "hand sized" groups or about 4-5". I try to keep my "splits" at .16 or below but even .25, while not in the competitive league, are adequate for real world defense... still faster hits are better. Faster misses are a waste of time and ammunition.

Boy, the long winded disease seems to have struck my keyboard again


Good Shooting and best regards!!!

Jim Higginbotham
 

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Ok, now try this on for size, After discussing, nad observing the techniques of one of our master class shooters in my local club, I have started taking my FIRST shot while my hands and arms are still extending out. (This is from a draw, btw) After recovering from the recoil, and gaining a flash sight picture, The second shot is downrange as well. WHile I have not even come close to reaching their speed yet, the accuracy at 3 yards is surprizingly decent, usually keeping both rounds in the 0 ring of an IDPA target.
I'm not sure if this is what you would consider a tactically sound technique (I do), or a "gaming" technique however, from the initial results, I think I will continue experimenting with this procedure, and see what happens.

Respectfully,
Steve

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"Not having thought what should have been thought, not having said what should have been said, not doing what should have been done, I beg thee forgive me, O Father." paraphrase from the 13th Warrior
 

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SteveW, if you hit what you are aiming at, then it's a tactically sound technique. That's exactly how the Masters get their first shot off so fast.

Hand size groups are fine for the double tap. From a self defense standpoint, you don't want them through the same hole - you want twice the wound cavity....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I were milking the grip, what would I be doing?

Also, are double taps even possible with a double action only revolver? If so, are there any other additional tidbits for improving this technique?
 

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HELP!! This is something that I need help on too. I know part of the answer is I need to practice more. Playing around and shooting into the ground to see what the shortest time between shots was I was able to do .15 and once .14.Saying that, the quickest I can get hits in the 8" circle @ 7yds is about .8 or .9, this is the best I've been able to do at this time.A time or two when I tryed to go faster I shot over the silhouette target.Obviously I was shooting before the gun came down from recoil.How do you correct for this.How do you keep from slapping the trigger when trying to shoot fast without causing the gun to dip and wreck your sight picture?JS

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Front sight,align,press
 

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Originally posted by Joey Sanders:
HELP!! ......
Hey Joey,
Don't get discouraged!!! Remember way back when, I first told you "first you get good, then you get fast?" The rules haven't changed !

There are some excellent practice ideas and advice above from Wade and JimH. You're hitting the target already, so that's half the battle won. Now just practice some of the trigger control techniques outlined, and you'll get faster. The trick is to get to know your trigger on your gun REALLY intimately. Keep your finger on the trigger after the first shot and get used to its feel as it resets itself for the next shot. you will soon get to know as soon as that reset has ocurred, and press again. If you remove your finger, you will have no sensation as to trigger position for the follow-up shot, and you are indeed likely to 'Slap" the trigger in a (mistaken)attempt to get a faster second shot.

None of the posters to this question got accurate .20 second splits overnite. I can guarantee this without even having to ask them.

Good luck !
 
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