When an unknown company introduces a new carry pistol, the hairs tend to rise on the back of my neck. It is very difficult to design and build a reliable, effective gun of any sort. Building a practical carry gun is even more difficult. And the customer is essentially being asked to trust his or her life to a company with no reputation or track record. You wonder if the company had the necessary time and capital for complete research and design, or if you, as the consumer, will involuntarily end up doing the beta testing in a dark alley.
That’s why the Diamondback DB380 is such a pleasant surprise. This pistol seems to have sprung fully formed from the brow of Zeus. It is both well designed and well executed. Virtually everything is right about this little gun and that’s something unusual for a new gun from any manufacturer.
The DB380 is a double-action-only .380 ACP semi-automatic pistol designed for deep cover. It is a pocket pistol. It has the unenviable task of shouldering its way into a market revolutionized a few years ago by the Kel-Tec P-3AT and more recently blitzed by the Ruger LCP. But the new pistol seems up for the challenge.
The DB380 makes a good initial impression. While handsome is as handsome does, especially among carry guns, good looks never hurt. And the DB380 looks good. It has sinuous, graceful curves. It is not radical looking—far from it. It has a tasteful appearance that is modern without being trendy.
It’s immediately clear that functionality was paramount in each design element, but that aesthetics were given some consideration once functionality was achieved. The triggerguard is generous to accommodate a large hand or even a (thinly) gloved finger, yet the squared corner is beveled, not just easing reholstering, but making the gun look better. The front and rear cocking serrations are forward-facing scallops or waves. They not only look good but also provide excellent purchase without abrading your flesh.
The backstrap curves outward to help fill the hand on what could otherwise be too small a gun for the average hand. There is even a slight beavertail at the top of the backstrap. Sure, it’s visually pleasing but more importantly, it helps orient the hand and enhances control during firing. There are even shallow oval depressions at the top of each side of the frame to accommodate the thumb of the shooting hand. They are an attractive design element, but first and foremost, they are functional.
Diamondback pistols include a full lifetime warranty. The magazine catch, trigger and rails are all chromoly steel and black oxide coated. The trigger parts and the standard black slide are melonite coated for extra hardness and durability. Slides come in three options: melonite, nickel, and EXO.
When an unknown company introduces a new carry pistol, the hairs tend to rise…
by Richard Nance / Dec 1, 2010