Diamondback .380 Review

This is a discussion on Diamondback .380 Review within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Yesterday I had the chance to shoot a listener's Diamondback .380 pocket pistol. With the flurry of .380 auto's being made by all of the ...

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Thread: Diamondback .380 Review

  1. #1
    Member Array HandgunWorld's Avatar
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    Diamondback .380 Review

    Yesterday I had the chance to shoot a listener's Diamondback .380 pocket pistol. With the flurry of .380 auto's being made by all of the major manufacturers, it tells you something about the market. People seem to be gravitating towards the small pocket auto's. Personally, I think the best pocketable auto on the market is the Kahr PM9, but that's my personal bias. However, I give the Diamondback .380 a "B." I did have a few malfunctions in about 75-80 rounds, but quickly learned it was an ammo sensitive pistol. When fed ammo it likes...no problem at all. It's like a very small Glock, with real sights (of course, most people probably won't use sights on a pistol like this) and it's a very soft recoiling pistol for a lightweight polymer pocket gun. The magazines are good quaility, too. For a full review, let me invite you to listen to my podcast but I'll tell you, don't shy away because of the newness of the manufacturer. If my research is correct, they are owned by Diamondback Boats, which is a very reputable manufacturer of AirBoats used by the Coast Guard and Tour companys. Yes they are out of Florida and appear to have hired some people from Kel Tec. Seems to me like they combined features from Glock and Kel Tec. It's an affordable pistol that has it's limitations, but should serve as a decent back up gun. Definitely not a primary carry gun though.
    Bob Mayne
    HandgunWorld Podcast
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    Suarez International Instructor

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    VIP Member Array TWO GUNS's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob-- I now have you in my favorites on my computer.
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

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    Member Array HandgunWorld's Avatar
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    Sure thing, thanks. I also forgot to mention that it has a windage adjustable rear sight. Seems like a plus, but then again, how often will one do any target shooting with a pistol like this?
    Bob Mayne
    HandgunWorld Podcast
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    Suarez International Instructor

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    Member Array DIXIETWISTER's Avatar
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    The gun shops around Brunswick say them Federal trainees are buying them fast as they get them. I think from some i have talked to is because the obvious resemblance to the glocks.
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    Member Array jsunsr's Avatar
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    Had me interested until you said people who worked at Kel Tec. I think the Kel Tec PF9 is a great design/concept. I think it's built like junk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsunsr View Post
    Had me interested until you said people who worked at Kel Tec. I think the Kel Tec PF9 is a great design/concept. I think it's built like junk.
    From what experience do you speak?
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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandgunWorld View Post
    ...I give the Diamondback .380 a "B." ... It's an affordable pistol that has it's limitations, but should serve as a decent back up gun. Definitely not a primary carry gun though.
    OK, I'll bite. Why not as a primary carry gun, other than caliber? My daughter is tiny and I'm afraid she'll want to go 380 rather than larger. Given the 380 platform, should she consider this or go with, say, the Ruger LCP?

    ==============

    Edited after listening to the podcast referenced above: Bob, that was a very informative review podcast you did, and it certainly gave me more to work on than many hours of digging on the 'net produced. Thanks! And I learned that you do not consider ANY 380 to be a good choice for a primary carry gun based primarily on caliber and secondarily because they can be picky about their ammo. So I believe your podcast answered my question - though happy to hear any more comments you or others might have.
    Last edited by Paymeister; April 3rd, 2010 at 11:54 PM. Reason: (he answered my question in the podcast)
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    Thanks for posting the nice report. I'm interested in the Diamondback. I was amused at your comment: "...with real sights." I noticed that too when I was inspecting my brother-in-law's new Diamondback. The sights were a marked improvement over my Kel Tec P3AT which has wretched sights. Even though it is no target gun the Kel Tec could have more defined sights than the indistinct lumps with which it is equipped. I'm looking forward to shooting my B-I-L's Diamondback and hearing his observations on its functional reliability.

    He told me that Diamondback Boats is "across the street" from the Kel Tec facility and is actually owned by Kel Tec. I'm wondering if someone else out there knows of any relationship between the two manufacturers.


    Quote Originally Posted by jsunsr View Post
    Had me interested until you said people who worked at Kel Tec. I think the Kel Tec PF9 is a great design/concept. I think it's built like junk.
    Oh, the Kel Tecs aren't inspiring to look at but they do have some good points about them and aren't complete junk. They are worth the money for their intended purpose. For their size they are much better than a .25 ACP.

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    Distinguished Member Array REVMAN's Avatar
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    Paymeiter......my daughter and wife carry a LCP and both have put a number of rounds through them with no problems. I have a KecTec P3AT and have had no problems. I've put more through mine than theirs but neither have given any trouble. I don't know anyone that has the Diamondback so can't say a lot about it.
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    Member Array DIXIETWISTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    From what experience do you speak?
    He must work for Taurus ??
    You may not like guns. You may choose not to own one. That is your right.
    You might not believe in God. That is your choice.
    However, if someone breaks into your home at 3AM the first two things you are going to do are:
    1) Call someone with a gun.
    2)Pray they get there in time." - A wise man

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    I had a DB380 for about 2 weeks. I really liked the gun...felt good in the hand, decent trigger, fantastic sights for such a small gun, nice fit & finish. Due to the basic unavailability of 380 ammo, my initial range trip was with one 20 round box of locally loaded defensive ammo. It turned out to be loaded very weakly and would not reliably cycle the gun, either plugging the empty back into the chamber or jamming. No problem...internet research indicated that these guns like hotter ammo, so I ordered a box of Buffalo Bore and a box of Doubletap. The next range trip was a disaster. The ammo was hot enough to cycle the gun, but I never got through more than 3 rounds before it would fail to feed. This was with 2 different magazines and using both brands of ammo. After 19 rounds the trigger bar broke in half and locked the gun up. So, in all, I got 39 rounds down range, mostly one at a time before catastrophic failure.

    Since I do a lot of business with my local range, they let me return the gun for store credit for the full purchase price. I really liked the DB380, and I hope they get the bugs worked out. If they do, it will be an outstanding pistol. I opted to return this pistol rather than have it repaired as I feel I could never trust it. If DB is still around in a few years and the reviews are good, I will try another one.

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    Senior Member Array DIABLO9489's Avatar
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    Still haven't seen these in any of my local gun shops. Hopefully by the time they come around here they will have all of the problems sorted out.
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    DIAMOND CRACK 380 SLIDE exploded in the face...

    This is what I experienced...
    I attempted to break in the gun using American Eagle ball ammo, I but over 200 rounds in the pistol and had at least 2 to 3 malfunction per clip. (I thought I was on Candid Camera) FTF / FTE... I called in the gunshop owner to also test fire my Diamond Back, he experienced the same malfuctions. He sent the gun back to DB, they polished the ramp and fixed a couple of other issues and sent the gun back.
    I was told they test fired 18 rounds threw it flawlessly. Ok, I went back to test fire the gun, after 2 shots it jammed again. That was it for me, I decided for sure I would never carry this gun for self defense. It's like having a one shot derringer.

    I called the range owner back into test fire the gun and after the 2nd shoy in failed to feed once again. He cleared the slide removed the clip, inspected the gun to make sure everthing was clear, then inserted the clip pulled back the slide, pulled the trigger and boom the gun blew up in his face. Luckly he wasn't injured to badly just some cuts on his face. (HE WAS WEARING SAFETY GLASSES)
    The slide blew in pieces... NOT A HAPPY CAMPER! :

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    Member Array Jbabbler's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input Motza. I was doing some research on these guns and came across your post on two separate forums. . What ended up happening wit the gun? Do you have any pictures. I have seen your post on a few boards now and it is your 1st post on these boards. Not trying to discredit you, just never heard the final outcome. It seems that there are quite a few postings at various sites pertaining to cracked slides with these guns.

    I see here that you received a refund. Was this from DB or the dealer?
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....77&postcount=9

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    Member Array HandgunWorld's Avatar
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    Just want to mention that any of these guns with no sights LCP's and P3AT's can be made very easy to shoot with the addition of the nice CT lasers mounted on the trigger guard. Something to consider.
    Bob Mayne
    HandgunWorld Podcast
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