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Big Ben
08-28-2012, 3:58 PM
I finally got around to purchasing a Diamondback DB 380, and thought Iíd post up a range report and some pictures. For those that are interested, mine is a ďZEĒ serial number.

The DB 380 isnít on the lovely CA ďNot UnsafeĒ handgun roster, but I was able to get one through SSE from Sacramento Black Rifle. Between their efforts with SSE and their vocal and financial opposition to SB 249 (including drive time radio spots), Sacramento Black Rifle has won my business and loyalty, even though I have to drive across town to get to their shop.

Out of the box, the DB 380 is pretty utilitarian. The pistol comes in a plastic box, and the interior has egg crate foam on one side, exposed plastic on the other. It comes with one magazine (6 rounds), a small plastic trigger blocking device, and a cheap Masterlock to lock the trigger block in place. Thatís it.

I got the DB 380 home, cleaned/lubed it, and dry-fired it a few dozen times. Overall, the build quality seemed good, and the design/field stripping is very much like a Glock. I was pleasantly surprised with the trigger. It has a fairly long, smooth pull with a clean break near the rear of the trigger guard. Unlike the Glock, the reset on the trigger is pretty much all the way back to the front.

At the range, I was pleasantly surprised with the recoil on the DB. For a small and light pocket pistol, the recoil was not bad. The only comparable pistol (in terms of size and caliber) that Iíve fired was the Ruger LCP. In my hands, the Ruger recoil seemed more pronounced, with noticeably more muzzle flip. Full disclosure, it has been a while since I fired the LCP, and I didnít much care for the LCP as a whole. As such, my impressions between the two may be skewed by both time and the fact that Iíve already sunk money into the DB, versus shooting a friendís LCP. But if I had to choose between the two, Iíd definitely pick the DB again.

At the range, we put 250 rounds through the DB, and I fired 200+ of those rounds. Surprisingly, I didnít leave the range feeling like my hands had been beaten up, and would have happily kept shooting it if Iíd brought along more ammo.

My real concern was with reliability, as I had seen mixed reviews online. I have read accounts of people that cannot get through a magazine without a FTF or FTE, while others report that their pistol has been very reliable from day one. Some reports indicated that the DB 380 is picky about ammo, and in particular dislikes hollow-points.

During the course of the day, I fired 3 different types of FMJ ammo, with both round nose and flat nose designs. Through 250 rounds, we had only 2 FTF, both of which occurred while my wife was shooting. They both happened in the first magazine she fired, and Iím confident they were due to her limp wristing. We corrected her grip and didnít have any more problems. Other than those two malfunctions, the DB 380 swallowed all three ammo types without a problem (Remington UMC 95 gr, Sellier and Bellot 92gr, and Winchester White Box 95gr). Next time out, I plan to run a couple boxes of Hornady Critical Defense to see how they do.

Overall, I am excited about the Diamondback. It is small and will be easy to pocket carry, and it is actually fun to shoot (not a description used for most ďmouseĒ guns). Iíve included manufacturer specs below, along with some photos side by side with my Glock 26.

Height: 3.76Ē
Length 5.25Ē
Width 0.750Ē
Weight 8.8 oz
Barrel Length: 2.80Ē
Magazine Capacity: 6 + 1

ParadigmGuy
01-26-2013, 2:05 PM
Great review, thanks.

Red Devil
01-26-2013, 4:32 PM
Obviously you didn't get the memo that they're crap and don't work. :D

Looking for one in 9mm. Thanks for the review and pics.