Sovereign Arms is a great little range and gun shop at the intersection of Highway 141 and 21 in the outer circle of St. Louis County. They have a small selection of quality guns. The owner offers lessons ranging from basic concealed carry training to protective services for law enforcement and private security. Sovereign Arms lives in a repurposed Amoco station. The range itself itself started out life as a car wash. The owners placed a steel shipping container – the kind that ply the seas filled with goods being traded to nations at the four corners of the globe – at the exit where a ginormous air dryer used to be. The container is filled with sand, and acts as the trap for bullets fired from one of four shooting stations. Sovereign Arms. Where my Diamondback DB9 broke . . .
My client and I had come to shoot my Diamondback DB9 pistol that serves as my everyday carry firearm. He was interested in a small pocket pistol, and since the weather was not cooperating for a planned golf outing, we headed to the range (I have very cool clients).
I’ve written about the DB9 in a previous gun review. I was dutifully set upon by those who thought I was giving the firearm too much credit, what with its finicky ammo preferences and a pin that would walk its way out. A friendly gunsmith offered to replace the pin with one that was the appropriate size, and the gun no longer “wallowed” its way out. My take: “problem solved.”
My client was posting pretty good groups despite a slide-bite suffered from an incorrect hold. We’d shot about a box of ammo downrange when he pulled the trigger and . . . nothing happened. I count my shots (no idea if this is a good habit or not – I suspect I will learn in the comments). Six . The Diamondback DB9 does not lock open when empty, so I was [reasonably] sure the gun was out of ammo.
My client cleared the weapon and placed the gun on the deck of the lane. I noticed that the trigger was in an odd position. I picked it up and racked the slide a few times. The trigger did not reset.
The guys at Sovereign Arms looked at the gun.
“Did we sell this to you?”
“Oh good” he replied. He worked the slide. Like me, he could not field strip the gun. “Yeah, it’s broken.”
In a ‘phone conversation with Robert Farago (I hope that he, like Robert DeNiro, will let you call him ‘Bobby’ as a way of welcoming you into his inner circle of friends) TTAG’s Maximum Leader offered this helpful advice. “You need to give up that mouse gun bullshit and strap a man’s gun to your hip.”
“But Chief,” (I always call my editors ‘chief’) “It fires a nine millimeter! Nine millimeter is hardly a sissy cartridge.”
Robert growled something about anything less than .45 ACP should come with a skirt.
“Face it, Tim, it’s a little bitty gun, and you are trying to contain a lot of force with not a lot of metal.”
“I just prefer the pocket gun because of how I dress. I tuck my polo shirts into my pants, and I never wear a jacket.”
“Untuck you and put a man’s gun on your hip. Done.”
Robert continued to harangue me, but candidly I was more or less ready. Eventually he would collapse into a cigar induced stupor, exhausted by his incoherent rage, wearied by his displaced aggression. A sad childhood with a perpetually disappointed father had prepared me for life as a gun-blogger, at least with gun-blog editors.
Nothing could prepare me for the comments section. I fear that confessing the DB9’s epic fail would unleash a torrent of vitriol from all who own a Glock, Kahr Arms or a Kel-Tec. Still, having given the favorable review, it would be wrong of me to withhold this new information. May God have mercy upon me.
So, your humble correspondent bought a gun that he reviewed favorably. It then failed after less than 500 rounds and a handful of minor but not insignificant problems. I anticipate getting a factory-new copy from Diamondback. I am not sure what I will do with it. Fail me once, shame on you, fail me twice . . .