Diamondback Firearms DB9 9x19mm Semi-Automatic Pocket Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

May 31st, 2011


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The Diamondback DB9 comes with hard case, instructions, one magazine, and trigger lock.



Magazine release is recessed and well designed, preventing unintentional release of the magazine.



Disassembly is very quick and easy.





The DB9's sights are very good and useful for a small pocket pistol.



Entire grip is well-textured for a positive hold.



Striker lock prevents accidental discharge if the pistol is dropped.



These pictures show the importance of choosing the right ammo for your defensive handgun. The DB9 ran perfectly with several types of ammo, but did not function perfectly with others.









It has been over a year now since I reviewed the then-new DB380 pocket pistol from Diamondback Firearms. Since then, I have received quite a bit of email from those who have purchased the little 380 pistol. Most feedback has been very positive, with most of the negative being traced to substandard ammunition. At the 2011 SHOT Show Media Day in January of this year, I was shown, but did not get to fire, the newest Diamondback: the DB9. The DB9 is a slightly scaled-up DB380, with only the dimensional changes necessary to accommodate the larger, more powerful 9x19mm cartridge.

Like its little brother, the new DB9 is very slim, and feels very good in my hand. Weighing in at only 12.7 ounces with an empty magazine in place, the DB9 is only about two ounces heavier than the DB380. The DB9 is a very small, lightweight 9mm pocket pistol. Comparison to the DB380 is shown in the chart below. The weights are listed in ounces, and linear measurements in inches. The grip and frame widths were measured at their widest points. Height includes the sights and magazine base. The trigger pull on both pistols is very good, with a smooth release. The trigger pull is listed as pounds of pressure. Weight is with an empty magazine.

  DB380 DB9
Weight 10.1 12.7
Height 3.76 4.06
Length 5.25 5.62
Slide Width 0.758 0.8
Maximum Grip Width 0.74 0.78
Frame Width 0.748 0.748
Maximum Width 0.76 0.8
Barrel Length 2.79 3.0
Trigger Pull 4.5 4.6
Magazine Capacity 6 6

As seen in the chart, the DB9 is just slightly larger and heavier than the svelte little DB380, but compared to other small 9mm auto pistols on the market, the DB9 is much smaller and lighter than most. The trigger is made of steel, as is the properly-recessed magazine release. The six-shot magazine is also made of steel, and has a removable base plate, which has a small finger rest. The trigger pull, as noted above, is light and smooth, and aids greatly in controlled, accurate fire. The front of the trigger guard is squared for a finger hold, for those of us who prefer to hold a pistol in that manner. The entire grip area is very well-textured for a positive hold on the little pistol. The frame has a slight beavertail to protect the web of the hand upon firing, which it does admirably. The DB9 wears a set of real, useful sights, which have a three-dot pattern, and the rear is adjustable for windage correction. For those who want better sights for low light use, Diamondback offers the DB9 with tritium night sights installed, or they can be purchased from Diamondback as an accessory. Also, and very important to me, Crimson Trace already has a Laserguard available for the DB9, and the pistol can be factory-supplied with that laser unit as well.

I fired every type and brand of 9x19mm ammunition that I had available to me. The DB9, as expected, ran very well with premium ammunition. Small pistols like this are a bit more finicky by nature than a larger pistol of the same caliber. I get a lot of email regarding the feeding of small pocket pistols, which prompted me the write the piece on the feeding of these defensive pistols, titled “Ammunition for Your Fighting Handgun” a few months ago. These little jewels run best on premium. With some types of ammunition, I experienced several failures to feed. The DB9 ran perfectly with Buffalo Bore 115 and 124 grain hollowpoint, Cor-Bon 115 and 125 grain hollowpoint, Stryker 115 grain hollowpoint, and a few others. However, problems were experienced with military surplus NATO ball, and also with some other standard 9mm cartridges. If you plan to buy this weapon to carry for defense, and it is an excellent choice for that, as with any carry gun, put a couple of boxes of your carry ammo through the gun before trusting it with your life. This advice applies to any gun you carry, of any brand. Many times a person will buy a gun for defense, and then buy a box of the cheapest ammo on the dealer’s shelf. That makes no sense. Feed this DB9 the good stuff, and it will run. If they built this small pistol to run perfectly on the weak ammunition, it would beat itself to death when using the best fighting ammo. I have no hesitation carrying this DB9 using ammo that has proven to run perfectly.

I fired a variety of ammunition over the chronograph to check velocities, with the results listed in the chart below. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet weights are listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. DPX is a hollow nose homogenous copper bullet. EPR is a specialty premium bullet from Extreme Shock. FP is a frangible, pre-fragmented flatnose bullet. FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet. Velocities were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of ninety-two degrees Fahrenheit. Velocities were recorded at twelve feet from the muzzle.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
WCC NATO FMJ 124 1079
Buffalo Bore +P JHP 115 1248
Buffalo Bore +P JHP 147 986
Cor-Bon Pow’RBall 100 1414
Cor-Bon +P DPX 115 1154
Cor-Bon JHP 125 1094
Stryker JHP 115 1034
International Cartridge FP 100 1115
Extreme Shock EPR 115 1161

As expected, with quality fighting ammunition, recoil was snappy, but the DB9 is easily controllable, thanks to the excellent shape and texturing of its grip. The DB9 is easy to grasp, and to hold during firing. Recoil is very manageable, and only became uncomfortable during a long test session, running lots of ammo through the pistol rapidly. No problem, as I was function testing only at the time, I switched the pistol to my right hand and kept firing, saving my left hand for the accuracy testing. At combat distances, five to twenty yards, the DB9 sights were on target for me, making controlled rapid fire groups all within the kill zone. No attempt was made at shooting benchrest groups from the little nine, as that is not its intended purpose. The DB9 is a pocket gun; made to be small enough and light enough to be within reach at all times. The DB9 fills this role well, and brings a lot of power to the fight in such a small package. Much thinner and lighter than most of its competition, the DB9 is easy to shoot, and holds seven rounds of 9mm hollowpoint ready for the fight.

Check out the DB9 online at www.diamondbackfirearms.com.

For the location of a Diamondback retailer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.

To order high performance 9mm ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com, www.cor-bon.com, www.theamericanmarksman.com, www.extremeshockusa.net and www.luckygunner.com.

Jeff Quinn

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DB9 (right) compared to DB380 (left).





The DB9 disappears and rides comfortably in front pants pocket.





Six-shot magazine is made primarily of steel.