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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

Breaking It In and Down

Diamondback's manual recommends that the user fire between 50 and 100 rounds to break the gun in before carrying it. That's prudent advice. I had at least one failure to extract on my first three magazines through the DB380 before the problem evaporated. Once I got the gun home I disassembled it, thoroughly cleaned it, and lubricated it and I haven't had any failures since.

Disassembly of the DB380 for routine cleaning is easy and requires no special tools. Start by removing the magazine and clearing the chamber. Once you've established that the gun is completely unloaded, pull the trigger (with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction), releasing the striker. Next pull the slide back just far enough to allow the assembly catches to be pulled down, then release the slide, letting it go forward and off the frame.

With the slide in hand turn it over so that the recoil springs are facing upward. Push on the recoil spring guide head and lift out of the slide. Now lift up on the chamber end of the barrel, slide it forward, and then lift it out of the slide.

Reassembly is in reverse order. Once the slide unit has been reassembled, line up the slide rails with the frames' rails and push the slide on until the assembly catches engage completely. I like to put a drop or two of oil on the slide rails and use lithium grease on the frame rails. After assembly, I rack the slide back and forth 20 to 30 times to get the lube where it needs to be and wipe off the excess.

Holster Options

Because of its slim dimensions and light weight, the DB380 will naturally lend itself to some unconventional carry methods. But if you're looking for a little gun to carry off duty I'd recommend that you don't simply drop it in your pocket. Subcompacts, especially those with polymer frames, tend to turn cartwheels in your pocket. There's nothing more unsettling than reaching into your pocket to grasp your gun and grabbing the muzzle end of the pistol.

My advice is to use some sort of pocket holster. These holsters keep the gun positioned for a fast grab.

Galco provided me with samples of its Pocket Protector and Front Pocket Holsters.

I like the Pocket Protector for use with a coat pocket; it keeps the gun positioned for quick access and has an edge lock to keep the holster in the pocket when the gun is drawn.

The Front Pocket Holster is made from tough horsehide and, like the Pocket Protector, features an edge lock to keep the holster in the pocket when the gun is presented.

But my favorite Galco holster is the Yaqui Paddle Holster. This strong side holster uses a paddle rather than a belt to maintain its position. It's easy to put on and take off and possesses two adjustable retention screws. The holster holds the gun securely and positions it exactly where I need it to be for a fast and unencumbered presentation. Wearing a sweatshirt or sweater over the gun conceals it completely. Of course, because of the DB380's extreme light weight it is effortless to carry the little gun.

Diamondback Firearms' new DB380 impressed me with its quality. It's reliable, well-made, and accurate, and I'm sure that many will find its small dimensions and extreme light weight just the ticket for their undercover carry or backup needs.

Mike Detty is an NRA-certified rifle, pistol, and shotgun instructor. A certified rangemaster and competition shooter, Detty served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and holds a degree in criminal justice from the University of Arizona.

For More Information

Diamondback Firearms

Dakota Ammo (Cor-Bon Ammunition)

Galco International


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