Diamondback DB9 Range Report - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 06-16-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Diamondback DB9 Range Report

As I indicated in another thread, I picked up a Diamondback DB9 earlier this week while traveling on business in Central Florida. Today, I had the opportunity to stop in at TD'z Discount Firearms in Apopka, FL. The owner of the shop was kind enough to allow me to use his range for a test run with the new DB9.

I've owned and carried a Rohrbaugh R9S daily since early 2005. I was pleased to see that Diamondback was able to engineer a polymer pistol chambered in 9mm at roughly the same size as the R9S. Upon examining the DB9, I found the fit and finish to be excellent. I liked the easy take-down and found the trigger pull quite nice for a DAO pocket pistol. Having real sights on the pistol was a plus -- even though, like most poscket pistols, if used in a self defense situation it will most likely be a "point and pull the trigger until it stops going bang" situation.

Although the sights look almost identical to those on the DB380, they are different -- so the Trijicon sights out for the DB380 will not work on the DB9 (I confirmed this by phone to Diamondback this afternoon). The rear sight might actually be the same, but I believe that the front sight on the DB380 has one stake, while the DB9 front sight has two stakes. The representative I spoke with at Diamondback indicated that Trijicon sights for the DB9 were in production and should be available soon.

For today's test run, I bought 2 boxes of Winchester "White Box" 115gr FMJ ammunition -- 200 rounds. I also had the 20-round box of Hornady 124gr. XTPs that L&R Armory have given me when I bougt the pistol on Monday morning.

TD'z Discount Firearms' range in the back room was used for the session. The pistol was removed from the box and fired in its "as is" condition -- no cleaning, no lubrication, and no tweaking other than what it received at the factory prior to shipment. I stood at the 10 foot mark and fired 100 rounds (the shop owner actually fired a few magazines as well) of the WWB into the target. The first magazine full of ammnition operated flawlessly. As you can see from the picture, the point of impact was only slightly lower than the point of aim on the "X". the grouping was very tight. The pistol is "snappy" to shoot -- but certainly NOT uncomfortable for me. I actually prefer shooting the DB9 over my R9S comfort-wise.



The remaining 94 rounds were fired at the target from 10 feet -- both slow fire and rapid fire. Even with rapid fire, the group was centered and certainly acceptable hits for self defense shooting. During the first 100 rounds fired downrange neither I not the gunshop owner experienced any failures whatsoever -- ZERO.



The second 100 rounds of WWB were fired at a fresh target -- again at the 10 foot line, slow fire. I fired and reloaded at a constant pace. Nothing was done to the pistol during the second 100 rounds downrange. Again, I experienced no malfunctions whatsoever -- ZERO. The only issue I did encounter about midway thorugh the second hundred rounds fired was that the frame pin above the trigger began to walk out the right side of the pistol about 1/8 of an inch. It was easy to push back in with a finger nail, but after a few magazines of ammo downrange, it would have walked out again. A drop of blue loctite should fix this issue when I return home.

After burning up the remaining WWB FMJ ammunition with ZERO malfunctions, I decided to try the box of Hornady 124gr JHP XTP ammunition. The bullet profile of the XTP has been known to cause some feeding problems in other small pistols. However, the DB9 digested each and every round without a problem. As you can see from the photo of the second target -- my grouping actually tightened up for the secdond 120 rounds fired. All ammunition was fired in less than 30 minutes.



The pistol did become very hot during the second 120 rounds fired. After the range session, I noticed a small blister on the inside web of my shooting hand -- as well as a very small blister on the tip of my trigger finger. I expect both were the result of friction rather than heat from the pistol.

Upon the completion of shooting I field stripped the pistol in the shop. We didn't see any indication of abnormal wear or structural issues with the pistol. The shop owner and I agreed that the pistol handled the "break-in" test very well. It actually handled it better than the Kahr PM40 that I had a couple of years ago. Some DB9 owners have reported some feeding problems and I understand the magazine follower has been redesigned. Based upon the serial number of my DB9, I believe that it is one of the early production guns (less than the first 325 produced). To my knowledge, the magazine follower in my pistol is the original design. So, at this point I have no desire to request a "new" one unless issues develop.

I think that Diamondback has created a winner with the DB9. I do recommend that any firearm intended for use as a CCW go through a similar 200-round break-in before trusting it for life protection. Although the DB9 functioned fine with the Hornady XTP ammunition -- that is not my carry round of choice. Therefore, I will conduct a second range session with my load of choice and a couple of others to ensure the same reliability exists. Pending the expected positive outcome from the second range session, the pistol will be deemed CCW-worthy.

I intended this little DB9 to be a replacement to my wife's DB380 currently serving purse-duty. However, I liked shooting the DB9 so much (much more than my Rohrbaugh R9S) that I might just keep this one for front pocket carry and seek another for my bride!

For those on a budget who wish to have a true pocket pistol chambered in 9mm for use as a CCW -- I highly recommend the Diamondback DB9. It is significantly smaller than most of the other "pocket" 9mm offerings on the market -- including the recently released Ruger LC9. For roughly the same money in the present market -- I'd pick the DB9 over the LC9, as you really can pocket carry the pistol and almost forget it is there.

As you can see from this side-by-side photo taken in TD'z Discount Firearms -- the DB9 is only slightly larger than the DB380 (sorry for the poor cell phone pic)

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Old 06-16-2011, 06:06 PM   #2
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Hey Scuba, thanks for the detailed report...very nice info!!!
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:03 AM   #3
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Thanks for the excellent report. As I mentioned on the other thread, I have one on order, so I'm glad you found no problems. That pin walking is apparently a common problem, but as you mentioned, it only happens after a hundred rounds or so are fired. DB's recommended fix is a tiny drop of blue Loctite, also as you mentioned. I'm looking forward to getting mine.

Perhaps you would like to post your review on the Official DB Forum also at http://www.diamondbacktalk.com/forum/index.php

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Old 06-17-2011, 07:57 AM   #4
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Excellent report. Thank you.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:28 AM   #5
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It looks like the kel-tec and the lcp. They look the same.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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Thanks for posting a thorough report. I was really curious how the DB9 was gonna turn out.
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Old 06-17-2011, 06:28 PM   #7
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Good stuff!!
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:56 PM   #8
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Thanks Scuba, I was interested in this as you know my feeling about the db380 and the company, glad you got a good one. I still will not ever do business with them due to the owners and company but at least I will not be able to dog this gun like the 380. Great report and I respect the fact you did it the right way.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:16 PM   #9
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FrankwT,

I can understand how a bad experience can sour one to a particular company or product. Not sure what you experienced with your DB380. I do know that some of the early models had significant issues.

However, I also recall how Kel-Tec had problems with early P32s and P3ATs. There were so many issues with the P40, they pulled it from the market (mine ran well with 40 S&W and 357 Sig). Ruger had issues and problems with the early LCPs -- it required a recall. Not sure how the LC9 is currently doing.

I've owned several Kahr pistols. Many of them had issues with early production runs -- and they clearly recommend that their pistols require a 200-rd break-in period.

Virtually every firearm manufacturer has had some type of issue with their products requiring trips back to the fatory for correction. Sometimes things are so bad, a gun maker has to scrap the offending example and transfer the serial number to a completely new pistol.

With all of that said, I do understand how a personal poor experience can taint an owner to vow to "never again" deal with that company. It sounds like this is the case for you. If you'd like to try out my DB9 for yourself before you would remotely consider spending yuour money on another Diamondback -- I'd gladly let you borrow it for a test run at the range. I believe that strongly that the little start-up firearms company has a good product in the DB9.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #10
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Scuba, I appreciate that more than typing it can tell you, and I do respect you for your honesty and knowledge...Remember me from the db discussion here and the horror stories on the other forum we are both on?

Anyway the way the company lied, stole engineers from Kel-Tec and care more about their boat business than their customers...they will be bought out or put out of business in my humble opinion. It is like to dis me, lie to me and refuse customer service and not honor their warranty, why in the world would I ever do business with you? Sorta like I still will not allow a jane fonda movie or product in my home.

I hope you get years of good use and service from your db.
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