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"The second rule for surviving Zombieland: The Double Tap. In those moments when you're not sure if the undead are really dead-dead, don't get all stingy with your bullets..."
Columbus, Zombieland

An amateur only shoots once. A professional always shoots twice. A subtrope of both Boom, Headshot! and Attack on the Heart, this is usually the difference between a sniper and a more up close and personal silenced pistol assassin. Better safe than sorry, after all. The Double Tap seems like overkill, but in both real life and in fiction it is an example of pragmatism. It's rare that the target survives a shot to the heart or brain, but it happens, and there's nothing like someone surviving their attempted killing to ruin your carefully laid plans. Similarly, there have been occasions where despite shots to the chest or head, people have continued to be coherent and capable of retaliation for some time thereafter. Some training methods insist on at least two shots to the torso and one to the head, a technique known as the Mozambique Drill. Being shot in any vital organ is bad but being shot twice in one is worse. Two to the head tend to be just as effective... Usually.note 

Usually shown as a portrayal of a professional making sure the target is dead or will be in short order. Expect at least two shots to the head or chest from said professional. Thorough professionals may be depicted putting two in both the head or chest. (In case of film or TV, the target may vary depending on the rating of the show in question as naturally a headshot will be far more gory than a torso shot; if someone is double-tapped in the head, it's usually shown from a distance or not actually shown on screen at all.)

Sometimes used to show a tough enemy or monster really is dead by shooting them twice in the head or chest to make sure they stay dead. Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting at least twice.

Compare Multiple Gunshot Death. Contrast Once is Not Enough. Compare and contrast Coup de Grâce and Kick Them While They Are Down, which is similar in confirming a kill but usually is seen as having more negative connotations. Naturally, this trope is what happens when Instant Death Bullets are not a thing.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Almost everyone killed with a gun in 91 Days is shot at least twice. The only exceptions are kills that occur at point-blank range that hit obviously vital organs such as the heart and the head.
  • Kiriyama does this at times during Battle Royale. No matter where he shot you, one shot in the head extra won't harm you. Later chapters subvert this, as he tends to kill people with one shot to the head.
  • In Change 123, Fujiko was trained by her father to shoot every target twice; once in the head and once in the heart.
  • Not usually present in City Hunter due a combination of the protagonists usually trying to take their enemies alive, not having the time, and having an almost uncanny ability to kill with one shot (it helps they normally use .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum guns), but when Ryo teaches Kaori how to shoot, the first thing he demonstrates is the Mozambique Drill (see Real Life below). With a .357 Magnum.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) after failing to stop Lust's approach with a bullet to the knee Roy Mustang swiftly performs a Mozambique Drill on the charging homunculus.
  • Batou double-taps a surprised Special Forces fighter near the end of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
    • In a stand-alone episode in the middle, he quickdraws and neatly double taps three targets in a row before they can get a shot off.
  • Present in full force in Gunsmith Cats. Rally is a professional bounty hunter and bona fide gun nut who can regularly Shoot the hammers off guns. She still double-taps just about every shot that doesn't count as an example of the aforementioned Improbable Aiming Skills. When her partner Minnie-May starts doing it with grenades, though...
  • Referenced by name and performed by Gun nut Kohta Hirano in High School Of The Dead. He doesn't even wait for the first bullet to finish its faithful journey before firing the second.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, Prosciutto shoots Mista three times in the head with his own gun after subduing him with his Stand. Unfortunately for Prosciutto, one of Mista's Sex Pistols managed to stop the bullets from going deep enough into his head to actually kill him, miraculously keeping Mista alive and allowing another one of the Pistols to reach Bucciarati with all the information needed to defeat Prosciutto's Stand The Grateful Dead (much to Prosciutto's disbelief).
  • In Jormungand, many of the professionals do this, Chiquita in particular is quite fond of doing so.
  • When Vanessa learns to shoot in Madlax, the eponymous heroine explains that double-tapping is more efficient than single shots.
  • Mikazuki of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has a tendency when firing his sidearm to always shoot twice. Never once: twice, everyone he has ever killed it has always been with 2 bullets. Special mention goes to the third guy he killed, with 3 bullets.
  • Specifically emphasized by Tenma's trainer in Monster.
  • In Psycho-Pass 3 Episode 7, Maya Ignatova proves to be not such a helpless invalid after all, when she takes advantage of Torii Aschenbach's ranting at her husband Mikhail to disarm Torii of his pistol and promptly performs a textbook perfect Mozambique Drill on him.

    Comic Books 
  • In Empowered, Thugboy guns down the ninjas who kidnapped and were about to dismember Ninjette. As Empowered tends to her, Thugboy is shown in the background walking up to each ninja and shooting them in the head.

    Fan Works 
  • Non-firearm example. In Alexandra Quick the protagonist ensures that anyone she disables in a duel stays down with at least 2 stunning spells and a full body bind curse after the enemy is down.
  • Sixes and Sevens: Having faced Arclight previously, Michael doesn't give her a chance to recuperate and shoots her in the head while she's unconscious just to be safe.
  • In Wonderful (Mazinja), mass-murderer Jack Slash was killed when Miss Militia shot him thrice in the head after Danny tackled him out a window and onto a piece of rebar.
  • In XCOM: RWBY Within, Weiss starts compulsively double-tapping downed enemies with her pistol after the Site Recon mission.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In '71, Captain Harris shoots one of the provos in the chest twice, even though he was probably already dead.
  • Near the beginning of Beverly Hills Cop, Mikey Tandino is executed by two shots in the back of the head. Axel Foley's captain notes that it was a professional hit.
  • Anti-Hero Danny Archer from Blood Diamond, who is former South African special forces turned mercenary and smuggler, does this regularly. The most notable example is probably when he has to cross a RUF checkpoint in front of a bridge. Danny briefly makes it appear like his companion Solomon is RUF and Danny is his prisoner, causing the two RUF soldiers to drop their guard and approach. Danny then whips out a gun and shoots them both, then casually shoots them again despite them laying motionless on the ground as he goes to chase after a third, previously unseen guard. See it here
  • In The Boondock Saints, a Boston detective is able to distinguish the target of a hit from the assorted dead mooks because he was offed this way:
    Duffy: He was the only one done right. Double tap, back of the head.
  • Seen frequently (overlapping with Make Sure He's Dead) during The Purge in Casino. When the mob bosses decide to leave no loose ends and kill everyone who could implicate them, the assassins take no chances that their targets might survive. Most of their victims are shot enough times to be killed several times over. For an idea of how thorough they are, the first person killed in the montage is shot twice in the back of the neck/head, and then after he falls to the ground the assassin casually shoots him another six times while walking past his body. Most of the other victims in the montage don't get off any easier.
  • In Cherry Falls, the Genre Savvy Deputy Mina does more than just double-tap the Serial Killer when he proves to be Not Quite Dead: she empties two full clips into him.
  • Vincent from Collateral shoots the chest twice and the head once (the Mozambique Drill, mentioned below in the Real Life section).
  • There's a Hong Kong action movie named Double Tap, about a series of murders where the victim always had two bullet holes in the head, close enough to form an '8'.
  • The Godfather:
  • The robbers in Heat shoot their victims twice in the chest and then once in the head, in a manner similar to Vincent from Collateral (Michael Mann directed both movies). Detective Vincent Hanna notes this as one of several things that marks them out as serious professionals.
  • Major Mitchell performs a double-tap on a downed alien in Independence Day.
  • John Wick almost always shoots mooks multiple times, with at least one Boom, Headshot! to boot.
  • Joker (2019): Arthur shoots the second of his subway attackers twice, then empties his revolver into the third.
  • Morgan Freeman's character Charlie in Nurse Betty lives by this:
    "Two in the head, you know they're dead."
  • In Olympus Has Fallen, after the terrorists seize control of the White House, they headshot every downed Secret Service agent, in order to Make Sure He's Dead.
  • Pacific Rim: Taken to There Is No Kill Like Overkill levels. With a plasma cannon. Into the chest of a Kaiju. Justified because his failing to do so earlier cost him his brother Yancy.
    Raleigh: Let's check for a pulse. [fires plasma cannon into its chest until most of the internal organs are ash] No pulse.
  • Pan's Labyrinth: Whenever a battle is won, the winning side always takes the time to shoot the fallen enemies in the head, be they rebels or fascists. Vidal even has a moment where he points his gun at a soldier who's been shot in the trachea and he can only weakly bat away his gun, Vidal resets the position and it happens back and forth until he executes him.
  • In Scream 2, after the other killer turns out to be Not Quite Dead, Sidney shoots the probably already dead Mrs. Loomis in the head.
    Sidney: Just in case.
  • In The Suicide Theory, Steve typically uses the double-tap on a target, though when he takes out Percival's attackers he hits eat of the confederates with a single headshot. Then he double-taps the leader's groin.
  • In the 1986 TV movie Sword Of Gideon (based on the below-mentioned book Vengeance), a Mossad firearms instructor stresses the importance of this, as their weapon of choice is the .22 calibre Beretta, firing underpowered cartridges for a quieter gunshot.
    "Rule-Number-One. When you pull your trigger, you pull it twice. If you aim right in the first place, there will be two bullets in your enemy. If not it doesn't matter — if you miss with one bullet or two, you are dead. Make it always twice: fumph-fumph. Always twice. Fumph-fumph never goddamn fumph!"
    • This becomes a Brick Joke when they have to use a single-shot zip gun hidden in a bike pump. "There's one problem. It only goes fumph and not fumph-fumph!" However, they get around this by having two men do the firing.
  • Terminator: Dark Fate: The T-800/Carl shoots John Connor in the chest with a shotgun, then walks up and shoots him again point blank just to be sure.
  • Seems to be favored by Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects; although he doesn't make the connection as he says it, Kujan reveals that this is also how Edie Fineran was killed.
  • Zombieland has this as Rule #2 for surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. Despite the zombies in the movie being of the Technically Living variety, the characters frequently make sure to Remove The Head Or Destroy The Brain. This is seen performed with guns, giant mallets, and even a car at one point. Zombieland: Double Tap has a scene where the characters encounter a more powerful variant of zombie called the T-800, which is much harder to kill. This leads to a gag where it is repeatedly shot in the head as the Double Tap notice changes to "Triple Tap", "Quadruple Tap", and eventually goes all the way up to "Whatever the nine uple word is Tap" (for those wondering, it's nonuple).

  • In Artemis Fowl, Butler's preferred technique is a quintuple tap: two to the chest, three between the eyes.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Autumn Visits, one of the characters is a contract killer. When another character gets thrown from a roof to be Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, he follows up with a headshot, just to be sure. Especially, since the killed character is not entirely human.
  • Murphy mentions (and does) this several times over the course of The Dresden Files.
  • Honorverse
    • It's not called the Mozambique Drill, but Victor Cachat favors two rounds center-of-mass and a third aimed round to the head.
    • If Thandi Palane is an accurate representation, the Solarian Marines teach the double tap. During the Mugging the Monster incident in Cauldron of Ghosts, her "always double tap" conditioning is strong enough that she ends up blowing limbs off the people she's been ordered to capture alive.
  • In The Killer Ascendant, a former Federal Air Marshall shoots John Rain twice in the chest, but the rounds are stopped by his Bulletproof Vest. Fans of the series who were Federal Air Marshalls informed the author Barry Eisler that this trope was incorrect, as procedure was to keep firing until the target was no longer a threat.
  • Discussed several times in Don Winslow's "The Power of The Dog", specifically by hitman Sean Callan. He refers to the second shot as "correcting" the first, in case it was off (interestingly, this is the opposite of what most firearms instructors teach: usually the first shot is the most accurate).
  • Another Clancy work, Rainbow Six has this when Tim Noonan finds himself in the middle of a huge gun battle in downtown Hereford between the Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Rainbow unit. Noonan, armed only with a Beretta .45, climbs into a truck with three PIRA terrorists shooting down the street, kills two of them with headshots before they can notice him, and puts two to the chest, one in the head of the third man. Not bad for an FBI tech guy.
  • In Stone Cold, the last person Whip and Nate shot and stuffed in a bodybag turns out to be Not Quite Dead when he sits up in the back of their van. After a brief moment of panic, Whip makes sure by putting two bullets in his head.
  • Discussed in the Spenser novel Thin Air. Spenser's Friend on the Force Frank Belson has been shot, and Spenser's talking with Belson's boss, Lt. Quirk. The discussion basically notes that he was hit several times in the back, and while an amateur wouldn't have hit all his shots, a pro would have made sure he was dead, implying this trope (we never see exactly what happens, but the consensus is that while the shooter wasn't an amateur, he was nervous, and was certainly in a neighborhood where gunshots aren't normal, and so left after firing).
  • In the book Vengeance (the basis for the films Sword of Gideon and Munich), the author recounts his shooting lessons during Mossad training. The instructor told the class to always fire two shots at a time. "Always BANG BANG...Never just god-damned BANG!"
  • John Kelly of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series uses this technique extensively in Without Remorse, largely because of his SOG/SEAL training, with his Colt .45. When he configures it as a .22 with a home-built suppressor, his especial reliance on the double-tap headshot is mentioned as particularly necessary given the .22's relative weakness—and as an indicator to the investigating policemen that they're dealing with an experienced professional. When he switches it over to .45 configuration, he changes to two in the chest, one in the head, a sign that he's discarding subtlety for the last push.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 24, Kim, under the instructions of her father, guns down the man who's been trying to kill her all day. She promptly breaks down in tears, and is less than pleased when her father orders her to shoot him again.
  • Dexter: When the Miami police find a Body of the Week that was killed via Mozambique Drill, they take it as a sign that the murderer is a trained professional.
  • Firefly: At the end of the pilot episode, Mal shoots Lawrence Dobson in the eye and leaves him behind on Whitefall. Dobson miraculously survives (minus an eye) and, in the sequel comics, returns to take revenge on the crew... only for Mal to shoot him in the head again, then shoot his corpse once more to make sure he stays dead this time. He does.
  • Miami Vice episode "Calderon's return.": The Mozambique Drill is also demonstrated by Jim Zubiena.
  • NCIS agents are apparently trained to use a double tap to the center of mass when confronting an exposed enemy. The terrorist Ari Haswari turns this against Gibbs in "Bete Noire": in the climactic gunfight, Gibbs double-taps Ari in the heart, but Ari is wearing body armor so he survives and escapes.
  • Discussed on NCIS: Los Angeles in the season 8 episode ""Payback" when Kensi is kidnapped by a mole within the organization. Deeks finds her, and doesn't even let the kidnapper finish his threat to kill her before he takes him down. Kensi engages in some Casual Danger Dialogue and mentions the trope.
    Kensi: Wow, double tap to the head. You must really love me.
  • Person of Interest: When Control orders The Dragon to execute Shaw. "Two to the head, please. And be careful of the blood spray."
  • In Revenge (2011), this is used by Takeda to execute a wounded Tyler on the beach. Also used by Daniel, who shoots Emily twice in the stomach and lets her fall overboard during her honeymoon cruise.
  • In one skit on That Mitchell and Webb Look, a Grammar Nazi shoots a man for pronouncing "H" as "Haitch", then shoots him another two times when he's on the floor.
  • Vikings: Proving you don't need to live in the era of guns to do this. In Season 4 after destroying Viking forces on the river, victorious Frank soldiers walk through the battlefield finishing off any Viking troops with crossbow bolts or blades.
  • In The Wire, this tends to be the preferred method for the enforcers of the notorious Stanfield drug empire. Chris Partlow tends to execute with two shots to the head, and new soldiers are trained to either shoot for the head if they're at point-blank range, or to disable by shooting under a potential Bulletproof Vest and then finish with a headshot. That said, they're sometimes sloppy about actually following this.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Subverted in Blood Legacy during Phelan's Trial of Position, when he believes Vlad is trying to do this with his gauss rifles, before he remembers Natasha telling him about the guns' power requirements.note  This confirms to Phelan that Vlad isn't as under control as he feared, and is able to provoke his rival into making a critical mistake.
  • In d20 Modern, there is a feat called “Double Tap”, allowing you to deal one extra die of damage to your opponent, but giving you a -2 penalty to your attack roll. It requires two bullets to use.
  • The game Dog Town urges player criminals to put three rounds, called "to be sures", in the heads of anyone they kill.
  • GURPS Tactical Shooting, a supplement all about realistic game treatment of firearms use, naturally has notes on double-tapping, and for that matter has specific rules for the Mozambique Drill, at various levels of realism.
  • Night's Black Agents, a game about highly competent secret agent types fighting vampires and their minions, actually has a supplement called Double Tap — mostly because it sounds cool, but there are brief notes on double taps and the Mozambique Drill in the text.

  • A Soldier's Play: The opening scene shows the killer shooting Sgt. Waters, then after a moment, stepping back over and shooting him again in the head.

    Video Games 
  • Episode 2 of Batman: The Telltale Series shows this happen three times, with the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Carmine Falcone, and Mayor Hill. Particularly brutal in the case of Thomas Wayne, whose assassin puts two bullets in his chest and a third in his left eye.
  • In Borderlands' fourth DLC, the Claptrap Ninja Assassin does this to the arms merchant just before the final boss battle. Also, the Jakob's brand of weapons (which have the highest damage) uses the lack of this as their selling point; "If it took more than one shot, you weren't using a Jakobs".
    • In Borderlands 2, Zer0's "Tw0 Fang" skill gives them a chance to fire two shots with a single trigger pull.
  • Call of Duty:
    • In zombie mode, there is the Double Tap Root Beer item, which causes every pull of the trigger to fire two rounds, even when using pump-action shotguns or bolt action rifles. While doubling your rate of fire sounds fun, scarcity of ammo can to push this into Awesome, but Impractical.
    • Black Ops II changed it to Double Tap II Root Beer, which now doubles your bullet mid-flight.
    • Call of Duty 4 and World at War multiplayer had a perk named "Double tap", which caused every weapon you had - even one taken from an enemy - to fire slightly faster.
  • This is a handy tactic to use when playing Dead Island. From time to time, you'll come across Walkers pretending to be dead. Kicking them will help expose them, and if you've acquired the head stomping ability, you can tromp on their heads when they're down.
  • Fallout 4:
    • Members of the Brotherhood of Steel will sometimes advise the player character "If it looks dead, put one more bullet into it, just to be sure." or "Two in the head keeps it dead." Also, it is very possible to double-tap, or even Mozambique someone using VATS.
    • This is encouraged with Feral Ghouls, whose corpses can be found in many areas. Not all of these Ghouls are actually dead and some will stand up and attack you when you get too close. Putting a bullet into a prone Ghoul's head will either confirm it is dead, or (probably) kill it before it can ambush you. Fortunately, your VATS system will highlight Ghouls that are lying in ambush, as it won't lock on to genuinely-dead bodies.
  • The protagonist of Fallout: New Vegas gets double-tapped at the beginning of the game — and survives.
    The Forecaster: Your face does the thinking — two to the skull, yet one gets up. Odds are against you... but they're just numbers after the two-to-one.
    • Follows-Chalk shot a White Leg in the head twice after bludgeoning him with his club the first time you meet him. Apparently, Joshua Graham has trained the Dead Horses tribals to do this, as can be seen in the final battle.
    • The Ghost People in the Dead Money DLC require this treatment, due to their unique ability to continuously come back to life unless they've lost a body part.
  • In the prologue of Gunpoint, an assassin shoots your contact, then shoots her body on the ground again to make sure. Considering the first shot caused her to fall through the window on the top floor of an office building, the second bullet was probably not necessary.
  • No attention is drawn to it, but in The Last of Us, Tess does this to Robert when she executes him.
  • Mafia III: Zigzagged when The Marcanos betray Lincoln and his family. Sal Marcano unloads two more bullets into Sammy Robinson as he hopelessly struggles to crawl after the first bullet. Giorgi only shoots Lincoln once, who survives. Justified as it turns out Giorgi is not a disciplined crime boss and is even scolded by his father for forgetting to double tap.
  • In Marco & the Galaxy Dragon, the heroines quickly develop a routine for killing Love mutants. After Haqua snaps the mutant’s neck and stabs it, Marco administers “gratuitous headshots” to make sure it’s dead.
  • Mass Effect:
    • If Wrex dies on Virmire, his killer (either Shepard or Ashley) will shoot him three times when he's already on the ground. This is a pretty good practice with krogan enemies in regular gameplay, too; if you don't see the XP payout, they're still coming.
    • At the end, Shepard tells his / her companions to check if Saren is really, absolutely dead after he has already either shot himself in his last lucid moment or been impaled through the chest. One of them will give the body another shot to the head. But anyone being slightly Genre Savvy knows right away that if the developers added that scene, the body will get up again.
  • In the opening level of Mass Effect 3, Liara suspends a few Cerberus troopers in the air with Singularity, shoots them, then puts a few more rounds in them when they're on the ground.
  • In Nuclear Throne, Y.V.'s active ability "Pop Pop" is a variant of this. Being the God of Guns, he can fire two shots from his weapons at once, at an equivalent ammo cost and a doubled reload time. His Throne Butt upgrades Pop Pop to "Brrrap", letting him fire four shots at once with triple the reload time. His Back 2 Bizniz ultra mutation adds one additional projectile to Pop Pop or two additional projectiles to Brrrap, none of which cost extra ammo.
  • Not doing this to a Neo-Mitochondrion Monster almost screws Aya over at the beginning of Parasite Eve 2. Fortunately, Rupert shows up and blasts the NMC in the face with a .44 Magnum revolver. He then proceeds to shoot the beast five more times while it's on the ground.
  • In Persona 5, this is how Black Mask/Goro Akechi kills Shadow Okumura, shooting him from a distance and then moving in close to deliver the killing shot.
  • As part of Resident Evil 4 (Remake)'s more serious approach to the story (as opposed to the Affectionate Parody tone the original Resident Evil 4 had), Leon has a habit of doing this in cutscenes as soon as he's confronted with the bad guys. The most notable instance is when he confronts Salazar at the end of the castle segment and promptly performs a Mozambique Drill on him before he can even finish talking.
    • In the Separate Ways DLC campaign, after Ada kills El Gigante in the end of Chapter 3, she struts up to the giant's corpse, which still has its Plagas parasite squirming, coolly impales the disgusting creature with her stiletto heel, and puts another 3 bullets into the abomination to finish it off.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, this is one of the Finishing Moves on Brutes - backhand the Giant Mook onto the ground, then shoot it in the head repeatedly until it explodes.
  • Your squadmates in Star Wars: Republic Commando will frequently approach enemy corpses on the ground and shoot them some more to make sure they're dead.
    Sev: Rule 17: always make sure they're dead.
  • In Spec Ops: The Line, one of your Finishing Moves is this.
  • A Sniper with the "Croc-O-Style" item set in Team Fortress 2, before item set benefits were patched out, would not be killed by headshots and thus would require a double-tap to kill.
    • A Spy wielding the Ambassador can kill weaker classes in as few as 2 shots.
    • Most weapons in general take at least two shots to kill any class at (standard) full health: point-blank the Rocket Launcher, Scattergun, and the Grenade Launcher all do just under 125 damage (health of the Scout, Sniper, Engineer, and Spy) in one hit.
  • In Thwaite, a balloon or MIRV that has split into three pieces may require more than one missile to destroy. The reliable way to blow them up is to put one missile between two of them and another in front of the third.

    Web Animation 
  • DevilArtemis: "Kermit's Lost VS Episode: The "Holy" Knight" has Cell lampshade this even after the Knight delivered a headshot with his Glock, with the android mentioning that in the DAU, just about everyone is Made of Iron. The Knight immediately sees his point and delivers another shot to Kermit's head for good measure.
  • Puffin Forest: Ben's character Garo kills a hag by smashing her skull in, then smashes her head in a second time just to be sure. The hags had been killing children to turn them into pastries and had forced Garo and his party to distribute the pastries it is easy to see why.


    Web Video 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: The Movie: After Mechakara is defeated, The Cinema Snob points out that the villain usually survives being killed in action movies in order to pave way for a sequel. Obscurus Lupa then grabs a shotgun and blows a few rounds at Mechakara's remains, which satisfies the Snob. However, The Stinger reveals that even that wasn't enough to finish Mechakara off.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • There's the Mozambique Drill, which is a quick double tap to the chest followed by an aimed shot at the head, designed for close-range encounters. Particularly helpful if your enemy happens to be wearing a Bulletproof Vest and/or you are using a less powerful gun (rifle rounds can penetrate most soft body armor, but handgun ammo has quite a bit more trouble with this).
  • British Special forces are taught to double-tap the head, if possible in the "T" (a line from temple to temple, then down the nose), because body armor has become an awful lot easier to get hold of nowadays.
    • This training is said to have originated around halfway through the century; back then the standard issue pistol for British Special Forces was the 9mm Browning Hi-Power, a reliable and accurate gun; however, early 9mm ammunition had less stopping power than the British .455 Webley or the American .45 ACP. The Browning's smaller 9mm cartridges had trouble taking a man down with a single shot, even at center mass. This would have been compounded by using regulation full jacket military rounds compared to the more effective civilian hollow-points. As a result, agents were trained to fire twice in rapid succession, thus the double-tap became standard in British intelligence.
  • Osama Bin Laden reportedly took one to the chest, one to the eye.
  • Many firearms instructors now teach students to shoot until the threat is neutralized, regardless of how many rounds that is, so some people now shoot triple taps or just punch out five or six rounds rapidly per target.
    • Due to the prevalence of the Double Tap in pop culture, some schools and even military training now emphasize such drills as the 22422 drill in order to prioritize shooting til the threat is neutralized.
  • Standard police training in most American districts is that if you are in a situation where you're actually shooting at someone, you always pull the trigger twice. Sometimes cops will end up firing much more than that, if it's not clear that the suspect is dead (such as if he ends up falling against a wall or a vehicle), hence the meme of trigger-happy cops unloading dozens of rounds into someone.
    • There are records of up to 17 shots being fired into people.
    • In one case, an armed suspect was hit with .45 ACP rounds in the heart, right lung, left lung, liver, diaphragm, and right kidney, as part of 14 hits up to that point. He was still attacking. The officer then took four carefully aimed headshots, which finally caused him to drop. The threat was over, but not because the guy was dead. Even after all those vital organ hits and headshots, he made it to emergency surgery. He couldn't be saved.
    • Unfortunately, this practice resulted in a Canadian jury handing down a manslaughter conviction to RCMP Constable Michael Ferguson when he shot a drunken detainee who was trying to wrest his service pistol away from him. Ferguson shot the detainee once while wresting his gun back, then fired a second time to put the guy down. The jury concluded that the first shot was reasonable self defense, but the second shot was excessive force.
  • A tactic used by American pilots in the Vietnam War was "ripple fire", lobbing off one missile followed by another at a target. This was due to the less than spectacular performance of most of the guided missiles of the time.
    • Also a common tactic in bombing missions - if one bomb was a dud, the other would probably work. If the first bomb worked, the other would fratricide in the explosion.
    • This tactic has another purpose: for ordnance mounted on the aircraft's wings (especially heavier ordnance like bombs), firing them off in symmetrical pairs helps keep the aircraft's balance.
    • The US Navy still follows shoot-shoot-look-shoot procedures for SAM launches - that is, fire two missiles, see the results, and then fire a third if you need to.
  • This account from page 51 of the March 16, 1957 issue of the Calgary Herald. On May 10, 1953, a Canadian native woman named Bella Twin was hunting some small birds near Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, when she realized a grizzly bear was stalking her. Hiding in a pile of brush, she hoped the bear would move on, but it kept coming closer and closer. When it was only a few yards away, Twin shot the bear with her .22 Long Cooey Ace 1 rifle note  and dropped the beast with a single headshot. However, as .22 Long isn't exactly an ideal defense round, she made sure to shoot another 6 rounds into the grizzly to make sure it was dead. More details here, here, and here.
  • A court deputy shot a defendant four times as he rushed the witness stand to kill said witness with a pen.


Video Example(s):


Shoot twice

Two Skrulls disguised as armed Russian OMON officers open fire on a Volvo sedan. When they realize no one's inside, Nick Fury shoots them from the side. He then shoots one more time to be sure they're dead.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoubleTap

Media sources: