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Reviews : Arsenal

Diamondback Firearms DB380 Pistol

This subcompact is exceptionally well-designed for concealment and extremely accurate.

June 17, 2010  |  by Mike Detty - Also by this author

PHOTO: Alex Landeen

Undercover officers and officers who carry a backup pistol are often forced to compromise size for power in order to carry the weapon undetected. These subcompact pistols need to not only have petite dimensions, they also need to be reliable and offer a certain degree of accuracy despite their diminutive size.

The latest manufacturer to enter the concealed carry pistol market is Cocoa, Fla.-based Diamondback Firearms. The company's new DB380 is designed specifically for deep concealment carry.

Measuring just .75 inches thick and weighing a mere 8.8 ounces, the .380 ACP pistol also possesses a double-action-only trigger pull and has a capacity of 6 + 1. Besides its trim dimensions and extreme light weight, the DB380 also boasts a number of other refinements that make it ideal for backup or undercover carry.

Excellent Ergonomics

Diamondback rounds all of the edges on the slide of the DB380, removing any sharp edges that might cut skin or an expensive holster. The pistol is outfitted with low-profile sights that while unobtrusive offer the user a very serviceable sight picture.

Diamondback uses a glass-reinforced polymer for the DB380 frame. It's lightweight, durable, and completely corrosion resistant. The frame features texturing for a secure firing grip and dimples on each side for consistent indexing. The trigger guard is undercut where it meets the frame, allowing the middle finger to ride as high as possible and providing the shooter with a very comfortable grip.

The DB380's frame has a duck-bill-style tang to protect the web of the shooter's hand from being cut by the reciprocating slide. Internal parts are pinned into the frame, including stainless steel rails that the slide runs on so that there is no metal to plastic contact that might accelerate wear.

When I first saw the DB380, I thought I would hate the grip. The frontstrap of the frame looks to be almost at a right angle to the slide, and I just didn't think it would be comfortable in the hand or point well. But I couldn't have been more wrong. The DB380's arched backstrap positions the gun perfectly in the shooter's hand. Thanks to the DB380's excellent ergonomics the gun sits very low in the hand.

The DB380's dual trigger bars ride next to the barrel lug instead of under it, which reduces the height of the weapon. The low bore-to-hand angle helps negate muzzle flip and makes quick follow-up shots possible.

In addition to its great ergonomics, the DB380 is made of first-class components.

Diamondback buys its slide and barrel materials already hardened. Many manufacturers use a more mild steel and then heat treat to harden it. The advantage of doing it the Diamondback way is that there is less chance for distortion or warpage that can sometimes happen with heat treatment.

After machining, the DB380's parts are finished in a matte, non-reflective black using a hot salt bath similar to Glock's Tenifer. The finish bonds with a hard shell to the steel.

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Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Mike @ 3/26/2011 12:20 PM

The shooting low and to the left is not a design or sight problem. It is a trigger issue which makes you drop your front sight and jerk to the left. With practice this "issue" should go away.
Try shooting it left handed and you'll find your groups well centered.

Just FYI...Mike... Former Firearms and Chemical Weapons Instructor

Greg @ 8/22/2012 6:40 PM

DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THE DIAMONDBACK 380! I have fired over 600 rounds with my DB 380 and it constantly jams. Never had a weapon jam this much. The company stated that I have an older version and they would send me a shipping label so it could be serviced at the factory. 6 weeks later I am still waiting for the label. STAY AWAY FROM DIAMONDBACK, DONT TRUST YOUR LIFE WITH THIS PEICE OF JUNK. THEY SHOULD STICK WITH MAKING AIRBOATS AND GET OUT OF THE GUN BUSINESS.

Roger Fahlen @ 12/20/2012 8:01 AM

I own a DB380 and i am very happy with it. I have shot over 500 rounds out of it and have never had a problem with it. You have to grip the pistol tight in order for it to work properly. Why would you shoot 600 rounds out of something that constantly jams?

Stranger @ 1/9/2013 1:46 PM

i m interesint in Pistol s to buy onee real gunn Stronger shooting
i repeat you Roger Fahlen can you sell one gunn i will pay how much do you wan t it ? tell it to me i need it immediatily case of my own rights !

The real deal @ 5/10/2013 8:01 PM

This new one without the db stamped mags, shoots like a champ. I love it and could use it as a all around duty gun! No bs

Corey @ 7/1/2015 9:55 AM

I have one of the earlier models with machined sights (no longer available). I had multiple jam issues from the start, mainly failure to feed. Upon closer inspection I found the breach face to be poorly machined. I assume it is cast and therefore the breach face was very rough causing the rim of the case to snag the pits and stop dead while attempting to feed the round. A bit of light polishing of the breach face with some 400 grit wet dry to a mirror finish and I no longer have any feed issues. I haven't shot it enough to call it carry reliable yet, but this appears to have solved my jamming issue. YMMV

Dale Hill @ 1/27/2016 9:20 PM

My DB380 jams way too much, too. I have experienced a jam on nearly magazine. What a shame; perfect size, etc. Not dependable when your life is on the line. Don't know what to shop for, now.

Mark @ 2/6/2016 11:18 AM

Appears the problems are confined to the Gen 1 DB380 (two pins over trigger) as opposed to the Gen 2 (three pins). Some good reviews/tests on YouTube.

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