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I’ll be honest, when I saw the press release for the Diamondback Firearms .357 Magnum SDR revolver the other day, I was nonplussed. It looked fine, but nothing special at a glance. After being able to examine it up close and shoot it at SHOT Show 2024’s Industry Day at the Range that all changed. The SDR .357 is Diamondback’s second revolver release following the .22LR/.22 Magnum Sidekick last year. That was a Western inspired trail gun/plinker that had a swing-out cylinder and double-action mechanism. The SDR is another double-action design but in a more traditional snubnose carry-gun style.

The SDR is a stainless steel design, with the initial models coming with a high polish finish. It has a 6-round capacity, which puts it one up on S&W, Ruger and most Taurus models for a snubnose revolver. It uses a push-button cylinder release similar to a Ruger which is nice, low profile and snag free. The SDR comes standard with an orange fiber optic fixed front sight and a dovetail fiber optic green rear sight. It has a low-profile Novak style to it. It has a Diamondback calls a fully captured crane link and cylinder assembly. This allows you to quickly and easily remove the whole cylinder and crane assembly for cleaning without having to remove a side plate or screws. It has a 2-inch barrel and solid stainless-steel frame and weighs only 21 ounces. I actually asked to confirm that I wasn’t handling a version with an alloy frame. Grips are Diamondback-branded rubber Hogue grips, which are quite comfortable. A nice feature of the grips is that they’ll take any J-frame S&W grips, so your options are endless.

The SDR is a good looking revolver and feels better in the hand. It’s a well thought-out and well-finished product. While I expected “just another snubby revolver,” I found a piece with well thought engineering details and a combination of features that make it stand out. The 6-round capacity, removable crane and cylinder, great sights and the practicality of using J-frame grips make the SDR worth checking out on their own. But as good as the features sound, it’s only as good as it shoots, and it turns out it shoots great, too. The trigger is exceptional. It has a light, crisp single-action trigger and a smooth double-action that lets you stage the action for accurate double action fire.

I walked into the Diamondback booth planning on just breezing through, but ended up spending a good bit of time going over the SDR and walked away impressed. I’m not a huge fan of highly polished finishes personally, but other than that, I liked what I saw a lot. It has an MSRP of $799 and while it isn’t showing on Diamondback’s website yet, it should be available soon.

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      • That’s right bob the hammer so the gun cannot be cocked or used as a skull punch. The gun you need is hammerless and pink.

        • My gun is hammerless (a shrouded hammer, actually), a Ruger LCR in .357, and is the same color it came out from the factory, black.

          Double-Action Only (DAO) is a thing, and is considered a safe mode of carry, as the long, heavy, trigger pull results in less ‘accidents’ that striker-fired guns suffer from. My offer of an intimate, thorough tongue-lashing is still open, princess, just give me a ring… 😉

      • Why should that brighten our days? You should understand that people may soon be sending out drones to hunt down patriotic Americans such as yourself.

        • “Why should that brighten our days?”

          Are you seriously that stupid? (Of course you are, sniveling troll with no testicles.)

          An invading army being hunted down and slaughtered by any means possible puts a spring in my step, a smile on my face, a song in my heart, and a *snicker* on my lips every time it happens… 😉

        • Geoff, just wait till trash world sends the drones after you. 😱🤯💥☠️
          I’m sure that will brighten the day of some other whack job somewhere.

        • “Geoff, just wait till trash world sends the drones after you.”

          That’s what armed self-defense is for, son. If that bothers your self-righteous ass so much, I assure you, you won’t be enjoying your little visit here in TTAG, that’s how we roll.

          Have a nice day, or FOAD, I really don’t care which… 🙂

      • Fu*king hell. Laughing as a conscript gets fed into a meat grinder that we’re paying for doesn’t really brighten my day Buddy. Idgaf if it’s a Ukrainian son or a Russian son, someone’s son just got obliterated for no reason.

        • The more the Russians at home see videos like that, the more they will be motivated to keep their loved ones at home, instead of sending them to Comrade Putin’s slaughterhouse.

          I also want Hamas terrorists exterminated, as well… 🙂

    • You can have a bobbed hammer.
      I prefer being able to readily make head shots at 50 yards from single action.

      I do like a bobbed hammer for pocket carry / get off me gun.

    • Yep! And who’s asking for a 2″ 357?!? And 800bucks? 3″ or 4″ would have made sense. Diamondback reportedly makes fairly good AR’s(never shot one).

      • I agree. I want a longer barrel for a .357. I think the snubby is best as a five shot lightweight.38sp in the pocket. It’s hard to beat the S&W 642/442 or the Ruger LCR.

        Once upon a time I had a 2″ steel frame 6 shot Rossi 641. I liked it fine, but it was a bit too big, fat, and heavy for front pocket carry (but the S&W 642 works great).

        • “I agree. I want a longer barrel for a .357.”

          Why lever-action .357s are so *awesome*… 🙂

    • I think I would shoot .38 or .38 P designed for short barrels. But, having the option of .357 is good. It says something about the design strength of the revolver. Also good if .38 ammo is in short supply, as it has been in the recent past…..
      Since the crane/cylinder unit just is a quick release, could there be alternate cylinders in the offing?? e.g. 9mm or even .38/.357 cut for full moon clips?
      This reportedly fits in J-frame holsters. I have a selection of those.

      Has anyone looked at MSRP for J-frames with good sights?!! $$ – and all of those (except some very small selection) have the internal lock.

      Diamondback may have a very practical revolver here.

    • Perhaps the open cylinder and scattered empties are a subliminal message like a candy bar with the wrapper pealed back prompting the viewer to imagine themselves taking a bite.

    • “Why…cylinder partly open?”

      Shows that the gun is “safe,” the same as leaving the action open on a semi-auto. Photo taken at a range, gun on bench.

  1. With 6 rounds on board it compares favorably with the Kimber K6s at a few hundred dollars less.
    Looks like it has real sights too, which is a plus over the J Frame gutters I’ve become used to.

    I’d love to see a shootout between this, K6S, and a Model 60 or 36. Maybe throw in an SP101 just because.

    • Maybe the new S&W UC line with better sights. It would be interesting, even though the UCs are .38 or .32 for the time being. I’m sure a .357 is in the works.

  2. Well, it looks… interesting, but I don’t see anything that would make want to kick my 442 or 3″ round butt 65s to the curb.

  3. $357.
    I see you push on a plunger to release the crane.
    That hole in the frame may weaken it a bit.
    I doubt this revolving would stand up to 10,000rnd’s of +p++ Creedmoore + Buffalo Ball

  4. I see very little advantage to shooting .357 Magnum out of such a light revolver and with only a 2-inch barrel. At just 21 ounces, that is downright torture to shoot anything close to full-house .357 Magnum loads. Second, that 2-inch barrel negates most of the velocity increase that .357 Magnum would achieve over .38 Special in a 4-inch (or longer) barrel. So, why bother?

    If the objective is small and light, then chamber it in .38 Special +P (which will likely enable the manufacturer to make the cylinder more narrow while still accommodating six chambers). And educate buyers on the .38 Special +P ammunition options which deliver more-than satisfactory results for self-defense out of a .38 Special +P revolver with a 2-inch barrel. For example that 2-inch barrel will launch 148-grain full wadcutters with a muzzle velocity around 850 feet-per-second–which are excellent fight-stoppers. Or you could go with 158-grain semi-wadcutter hollowpoints with similar muzzle velocities.

    • “At just 21 ounces, that is downright torture to shoot anything close to full-house .357 Magnum loads.”

      No doubt, but I look at it this way – It means less total wear-and-tear on the gun as a whole, and I won’t even notice the pain if I was defending my life…

  5. It certainly will not win any beauty contests and cosmetics do play a large part in selling firearms. It’s a shame because the quick release cylinder is certainly a plus in this design.

    • Are we really in that big of a hurry and if we are we need to slow down.
      Life’s to short to waste time hurrying.
      Slow down, enjoy the scenery.

  6. I like my Taurus 85 UltraLight. It has all the disadvantages listed in the article, with none of the advantages.

    Wait, wut?


  8. Basic geometry says a 6-round cylinder is simply fatter than a 5-round cylinder — neither S&W nor Ruger is making their 5-round snubnose revolvers with a lot of extraneous steel in the cylinders, so is this really competing with an LCR or J-Frame, or more like a K-Frame snubby?

  9. The industry is finally getting the answer correct.
    Civilians in the 20th century. In the cities carried pocket guns. Not full size military side arms. Yes in the rural areas the 5 or 6 inch gun was very common.

    You can carry what every you want in a free state. But practical conceal carry is really going to have to be a pocket gun.

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