Diamondback DBFS Nine 9x19mm Semi-Automatic Pistol

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

June 3rd, 2015


Click pictures for a larger version.







Magazine catch (top), disassembly latch (center), slide lock (bottom).







Accessory rail.





Cocking indicator (top), loaded-chamber window (bottom).





Diamondback Firearms of Cocoa, Florida has been in the semi-automatic pistol market for a few years now, producing their subcompact 380 and 9mm pistols, which we have reviewed here, as well as entering the AR-15 style rifle and pistol market a couple of years ago. Now, they have jumped into the full-sized semi-auto pistol market with their DBFS Nine. The new pistol enters a market that is already crowded with excellent pistols from Ruger, Glock, S&W, Springfield, Walther, Sig, HK, CZ, FNH, and a few others who are producing quality polymer-framed pistols that covers every need and want a person could have when selecting such a pistol.

The DBFS Nine looks similar to other full-sized pistols of its type, yet has a unique look that shooters either love or hate. There seems to be no middle ground on the aesthetics of the pistol. I have even seen comments referring to the DBFS as "ugly". However, if one is looking for classic beauty in a handgun, the polymer pistol class in general is no place to search. Polymer pistols are, in general, cold and dull. Very few people would send off a Glock or a XD to Doug Turnbull for engraving and case-coloring. They are just not that kind of pistol. Plastic duty guns are tools, and they work well, but will never win a beauty contest with a quality 1911 or Browning Hi Power. They are tools, and as tools shall they be judged.

The DBFS Nine contains features that are recognizable from other popular pistols, such as the Glock-style disassembly latch and a cocking indicator as found on the XD pistols. To my hand, the grip feels similar to the S&W M&P, and the Nine has the blade insert trigger safety, as found on other similar pistols. When I ran across the DBFS Nine online, two things immediately caught my attention; the way in which the pistol sits low in the hand, and the low price.

The DBFS Nine is a striker-fired polymer-framed pistol. The weapon has no external manual safety, but incorporates the blade-in-trigger safety, which I never really did understand the usefulness of such, and it also has an internal striker-block safety, which prevents the pistol from firing if dropped. The trigger has to be pressed for the weapon to fire, so the main safety, as always, is between the shooter's ears. The trigger pull is similar, again, to that of the Glock. The pull feels heavy to me, but measures six and one-quarter pounds resistance on my trigger pull scale. The trigger reset is short and positive.

Critical specifications for the DB Nine pistol are listed in the chart below. Weight is listed in ounces, and includes the empty magazine. Linear dimensions are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed in pounds of resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital trigger pull scale. Height includes sights and magazine base with the magazine in place. Maximum width is measured across the grip frame palm swells.

Chambering 9x19mm
Weight with Empty Magazine 25.1 ounces
Trigger Pull 6.4 pounds
Barrel Length 4.75 inches
Barrel Diameter 0.515 inch
Overall Height 5.55 inches
Overall Length 7.62 inches
Grip Width 1.28 inches
Frame Width 1.06 inches
Slide Width 1 inch
Maximum Width 1.28 inches
Trigger Reach 2.75 inches
Magazine Capacity 15
Magazines Supplied 1
Magazine Disconnect Safety No
Accessory Rail 1913 Picatinny Spec.
MSRP as of June 2015 $407.00 US

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. TAC-XP is a hollow nose homogenous copper bullet. 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 sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit and ninety-three percent humidity. Velocities were recorded at twelve feet from the muzzle.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Buffalo Bore +P JHP 115 1508
Buffalo Bore +P JHP 147 1183
Buffalo Bore JHP +P 124 1361
Buffalo Bore TAC-XP HP 115 1288
Cor-Bon JHP 125 1306
Cor-Bon JHP +P 115 1394
National Police Fragmented --- 1128
Atomic JHP +P 124 1260
Liberty USM4 50 2142
Federal Guard Dog 105 1278
Sig Sauer JHP 115 1274
Sig Sauer JHP 124 1214
Remington Ultimate Defense JHP 124 1223
Lehigh Defense Max Exp. 105 1212

A couple of things I noticed while shooting the Diamondback. One is that the sights are very easy to see clearly for me. There is visually plenty of room for light on each side of the front sight for a good sight picture. The sights are the familiar three-dot pattern, and are made of steel. Thank you. The second thing I noticed immediately is that the fifteen-shot steel magazine is one of the most-difficult to load that I have ever handled. It can be loaded without a loading tool, but it is much easier and quicker with an UpLULA magazine loader.

The Diamondback fits my hand very well, and, as mentioned earlier, the pistol sits very low in the hand, making for one of the most-comfortable 9x19mm pistols that I have ever fired. The weapon is not small, but not overly bulky either, and is very comfortable to carry in a good belt holster.

The Diamondback is a pleasure to fire. It is very comfortable in my hand, and recoil is relatively soft and straight back. There is very little muzzle flip firing this pistol. Reliability was almost one hundred percent. I had one failure-to-feed with the Buffalo Bore Lead Free ammo, but most of it fed perfectly as well. Every other type of ammo ran perfectly. Accuracy was average. A couple of loads grouped really well from the bench at twenty-five yards, but some of the lighter-weight bullet loads would group only around three inches at ten yards, so, as with any pistol, try different ammo brands and types, to see what shoots well in your pistol. Velocities were impressive from the barrel of this pistol, and again, the weapon is very easy to control while firing.

I really like the Diamondback DBFS Nine. It is a quality, reliable, American-made pistol at an economy price.

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 the DBFS Nine online, click on the Gun Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.

To order high performance 9mm ammunition, go to www.midsouthshooterssupply.com, www.doubletapammo.com, www.lehighdefense.com, and www.luckygunner.com.

Jeff Quinn

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Accuracy, standing off-hand at ten yards.