Friday, June 24, 2011

Diamondback 9mm DB9 - Updated 2/20/12

UPDATE: February 20, 2012

Since my last update I have continued to shoot the DB9 once a month.  Normal range trips only end up being 4-5 magazines through the DB9.

Have had 0 issues and have really liked having this gun in my rotation as a pocket gun.

This trip I had the privilege of trying out a factory DB compensated barrel thanks to Bruce from Mouse Guns & Gear.  We're working on a kydex pocket holster that carries a spare magazine and Bruce wanted it to fit with the compensated barrel which he shipped to me with the offer of trying it out.  I normally don't care for compensators but I'll have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the reduced muzzle flip shooting 115gr S&B FMJ.  There is a good chance a compensated barrel could find it's way into my DB9.

All in all I continue to be very happy with how my DB9 works and carries.  I recommend them to anybody who is willing to properly break their gun in and who uses quality practice ammo.

Here is a picture of my current pocket carry holster.

And a few of a custom DB9 wallet holster with a kydex/leather panel.

UPDATE:  July 8th, 2011

Another range trip on Friday.  71 rounds of Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ no problems at all.

Last week I shortened the feed ramp a little to remove chip from the base of it.  Filed it flush, blended it with 320 grit sanding block and cleaned the gun.  Ended up not having any of the rounds fired hang up on the feed ramp from short stroking the slide, figure it will even handle 124gr Gold Dot's now which most DB9's won't.

Hope to have a couple of IWB holsters done in the next few days, will put some pictures up when I do.

UPDATE:  July 3rd, 2011

50 more rounds through the DB9, 36 Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ and 24 Winchester Ranger SXT 147gr JHP.

No issues at all, except the walking pin but I don't count that really as a issue.

Took the O-ring off the magazine for the final 38 rounds and it worked fine.  No more O-ring for me, this makes the mag much easier to remove.

Any issues I have had can be directly attributed to having the Crimson Trace Laser Guard installed, no more laser for me.

Gun shoots low for me, but don't know how I'd fix that.

Got to say I'm 99% there on deeming this gun carry worth and the best compact 9mm in it's price category.

July 2nd, 2011

Previous issues and concerns:

There have been 3 reported cases of the front frame rails breaking on DB9's with Crimson Trace Laserguards installed.  While my gun worked good with it on, I did notice some unusual dents on the front of my magazine that the locking block was making.  My first thought was that the frame wasn't being able to flex right and was causing the locking block to move instead.  I removed the CT to see if the magazine issues continued or got worse, and have to report that there was no more wear after this range session.

Another "issue" my gun had was the lower portion of the feedramp developed a small chip.  DB has said that it is fine to file this area down a bit to fix it, I took a file to the ramp and shortened it a little to remove the chipped area.  No more chips developed during this outing.

Range Report:

Just got back from the range with awesome results.

Fired my YA12XX DB9 without the Crimson Trace installed and with a 1/8" x7/8" ID rubber O-ring around the base of the magazine.  63 total rounds fired not one issue.  

First 37 rounds were Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ fired as quickly as i could load the 6rd magazine, the slide was very hot by the time I was done.  Set it down with a empty case holding the slide open to cool it and allow everyone at the range to know it was cold.

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes while I tore the center of a target out with my Glock 17, and then back to the DB9 for more.

26 more rounds through it as quick as it could be loaded, 17 of which were the 115gr Blazer Brass and the last 9 were Hornady TAP 124gr JHP's.  Again not any issues at all even when firing the JHP's with the gun loaded 6+1.

I'm not sure if it was the lack of the CT or the addition of the O-ring, but I will say that I'm very happy with this gun.  I'll be back out in the next few days to try it out again, and plan to try the 147gr Winchester Ranger JHP's again.

At this point I would have no problem carrying my DB9 in this configuration with the Hornady TAP 124gr JHP load.

Pictures of my magazine "fix":

Picture of my 63rd "group".  First round was a dead center bullseye and then I just flung lead as quickly as possible.


June 24, 2011

Just got back from picking up my new Diamondback 9mm from Brightwater Ventures in Vancouver, WA and figured I would share my initial impressions.

To start with this thing is tiny, being just a hair larger than the Rohrbaugh and about the same length and height as a Kahr PM9.  The maximum width on the Diamondback is .81" whereas the Kahr PM9 is 1.00" across when the slide stop is included.

Slide width on the DB9 is .81", the PM9 is .91".

Compared to the DB380, the DB9 is .45" longer and about 1/8" taller.   The slide width on the DB9 is a whole .05" bigger when compared to the DB380.

The DB9 feels great in the hand and has a great trigger compared to other sub-compact gun, the only thing close is the Kahr trigger.  Reset is fairly long like the Kahr but useable.

Some complain about the lack of a slide lock and the inability to lock the slide back, but while it would be nice at times I think on a "pocket" gun the less levers and controls the better.  Nothing to catch on the pocket or mess with when/if the gun is needed.

I bought one of the first DB380 in the area last year and initially had nothing but problems with the gun. Even after a trip back to the factory, it was still totally unreliable and not worthy of carry.  Earlier this year I contacted DB about returning the .380 and exchanging it for one of the newest versions that people were having good luck with, after a little consideration DB complied and my new ZD serial numbered gun has been completely reliable.

I'm cautiously optimistic that the DB9 will work, but until I get some range time with it I won't know.  Hope to get out tomorrow and give it a initial workout, and plan on reporting back.

One nice feature is that the same Crimson Trace Grips will fit both the DB380 and DB9.

Plan on building some holsters for the DB9 this weekend too.

Here are some quick pictures comparing the DB9 vs. DB380.

Here's a picture of the DB9 without CT in front of a Ruger LC9 blue gun.  The DB9 is much smaller the a LC9 or KT PF9.


Got out and shot the DB9 this afternoon and I would say it's a pretty good gun and one that will for sure work it's way into my carry rotation.

Put 62 rounds through it as quick as magazines could be reloaded and had no issues until around round 42 when I switched to my Winchester Ranger 147gr self defense loads.  The rounds appear to be too long for the little gun and were not feeding consistently.  I put 2 magazines of them through the gun and had to FTF/FTE before deciding that I shouldn't waste any more of them.

After that hand fatigue from getting slammed from the little gun started to rear it's ugly head and I got a few limp wrist induced FTF's.  I realized this was the issue after getting home and replicating the failures by not allowing the slide to completely cycle towards the rear.  

Overall the gun was controllable and not overly difficult to shoot, but it definitely gets your attention.  Compared to my S&W 340PD shooting either .38spec +P Gold Dot Short Barrel loads or .357mag Winchester Silvertip's it's a pussy cat.  I really like the gun and plan on shooting it more in the coming weeks.  Future trips will be less of a quick blasting trip and more geared towards less shooter induced issues.

Accuracy was acceptable for a gun this small, I kept the majority of all rounds fired within a 6" group at 7 yards.  Again accuracy was not the goal of this trip, so I'd expect that to shrink a bit next time.

Here are some pictures comparing the DB9 with a Kahr PM9.

Pictures comparing the DB9 to a S&W Bodyguard 380, surprisingly close in size.

Holster Pictures:  


  1. Be interested to hear how it goes for you...(the 9) I bought a .380 and have had a hard time consistently having it not jam...

  2. What are the first two digits of the serial number on your DB380? The first one I bought did the same thing, it's replacement has been good.

  3. I have owned a DB380 for almost a year now. It took several months of "fluff & buff" and about 700 rounds at the range to get most of the bugs worked out of it. It will cycle through several types of ammo now, but only if I hold it in a very firm shooting style. That's ok for the range, but not for an SD pistol. I just can not trust it for that usage. So I don't see another problematic Diamondback pistol in my future. Don't get me wrong. I like the pistol for its styling, weight and conceal-ability. Not so much for its reliability.

  4. How is the DB9 holding up? Do you have any ideas on why the feed ramps are chipping on these guns? A lead or copper bullet shouldn't chip steel. I am very interested in getting one but am waiting to hear that Diamondback has addressed and fixed the problem. Your fix looks easy enough but it really is something the factory should sort out so that the gun you buy works right from the start. I would buy one if I knew that the problem was fixed beyond a definite serial number.

  5. Mine's holding up well, haven't shot it a lot lately maybe 1-2 magazines a month it's working fine.

    I think the feedramp was just made to sit on the ledge in the frame. The frame flexes and causes it to hit the feed ramp.

    If you catch it early and grind it off, the problem seems to quit. Let it go and the feed ramp just gets hammered.

  6. I just bought a db 9. traded in my ruger 380lcp. I love the db 9 in my opinion it is easier to hold on to , more accurate than my old lcp 380. and still fits in my wallet holster in my back pocket. I put 50 rounds of magteck through it with no problem except first round in each clip was stiff to chamber, but shoot all with no failers. then tryed remington 115g hollow points. feed and shoot flawlessly it loved this round. i had no failers, i think if you limp wrist you might have some. i believe if you have a firm grip and stance you should have no failers. i have had no so far love the new db9.

  7. I agree if you hold onto it correctly you shouldn't have any problems.

    There are DB9's out that do not function correctly, but luckily mine has been very reliable thus far. I hope to get out and shoot it some more over the Thanksgiving holiday.

  8. Updated post with more recent range reports.

  9. Thank you. I need to get back out and put some more rounds through my DB9, haven't shot it in a while.

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