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My quest for a new concealed carry gun started almost as soon as I bought a Smith and Wesson M&P compact .40 for my wife. I loved it from the first time I fired it. Small but mighty, the M&P’s double-stacked magazine packs a lot of firepower. Carrying it, though, is another matter. The M&P is a real load in your pants. Well, let’s just say it’s heavy. I carried the Compact .40 with me on an extended trip and really wished I’d had a smaller firearm. Call me sensitive, but I found the thought of hauling that brick – even in a Smart Carry holster – a burden. My wife has a .38 Smith revolver that I carried regularly, but that left her without a carry gun. I needed one of my own.

I was a man on the verge of buying a Ruger LCP. But the thought of a 9mm carry gun in a .380-sized package intrigued me. Browsing through my favorite gun shop, I caught sight of the Diamondback DB9 resting comfortably in the display case. My eyes and her rear sights met and I found . . . white dots! They were a huge improvement over the rudimentary sights on my .38. I saved my nickels and dimes – a little under $400 worth – and made the Diamondback mine.


Unless you consider a Glock a post-modern masterpiece, the Diamondback isn’t what you’d call a looker. Still, the fit and finish is fine. The semi’s polymer receiver mates neatly with the slide; all the components are bug-in-a-rug snug. Compared to the Ruger LCP, the DB9 feels like a Swiss watch. The Diamondback’s design also seems cribbed from Gaston’s gun, particularly in how it breaks down.

The DB9 forgoes an external safety in favor of a revolver-like long, heavy trigger pull. To help keep the handgun affordable, the DB9’s slide doesn’t lock open when you’ve fired your last round. No worries. The Diamondback’s not a range gun. It’s an “emergency” firearm; a pocket nine that you shoot occasionally (to assure function and remain competent) and carry constantly.

The DB9 packs 6+1 cartridges into the slim size and small profile of a .380 compact. I have large hands; I can only get my middle and ring finger around the grip. I plan to buy an extended magazine giving me room for another digit and an extra round in the bargain.

While small, the gun’s black sights with white dots are much more useful than the rudimentary fixed sights you get on other compact semi-autos or lightweight revolvers. And the rear sights are adjustable for windage. Even so, I’d still be more comfortable carrying the DB9 with a Crimson Trace Laserguard. There’s nothing in that line yet, but I’ll be first in line when it is.


As with any small carry pistol like the DB9, shooting the gun involves one major consideration: felt recoil. Many a shooter suffers buyer’s remorse after firing a perfectly-sized pocket rocket—especially when the caliber and grain count start to rise. Whether or not that interferes with accuracy or practice time is often a matter of experience, hand-size and pain tolerance.

But make no mistake, this is a tiny firearm. Firing the DB9 loaded with 115 grain FMJ and JHP 9mm rounds requires . . . commitment. That said, it’s not a wrist-breaker, either. The Diamondback DB9’s slide recoil system eats a lot of recoil energy. I fired 100 rounds through the gun – twice. It wasn’t like bare-handing baseballs. Shooters who don’t have experience with the recoil of a mini-9 may want to practice to become confident with this firearm. Or they may not.

Thanks to a combination of a stiff spring and a small slide, racking the Diamondback’s slide takes a firm grip and plenty of pull. Potential buyers should determine if they have the hand strength needed to reliably rack the slide. My wife was up to the task, but I bet an older friend of mine couldn’t manage it.

Finding the right diet for the DB9 takes a little doing; it’s Starkist-finicky about ammo. Fiocci JHPs were too long to allow the breach to close fully; the bullet wedged tight into the chamber sticking up the slide. I experienced the same problem with PMC FMJs.

Independence FMJs worked flawlessly for 100 rounds. Federal 115 grain JHP cycled just fine, too. Dropping a round into the chamber end of the barrel revealed that the problem ammo was sticking out a good deal further than the ammo the DB9 fed well.

Shooting Ergonomics

Test-firing the gun, I shot from a Weaver stance, then one-handed from both strong and weak sides. I limp-wristed a left-hand shot and was rewarded with a stoppage.

Meaty-handed people will want to mind how they grip the weapon. The DB9’s mini beavertail helps, but I still emerged from the range with a touch of slide-burn. Of course, slide burn would be the least of my worries if this gun is ever needed in an actual self-defense situation.

As stated above, the DB9’s trigger has a long and smooth pull. While the shoe itself feels a little on the cheap side, I can’t complain about function.

I was able to turn in respectable groups firing one-handed from both my left and right sides. The gun is jumpy enough that I needed to readjust my grip within a six-shot string, often after getting a bite from the slide. I also noticed that the tip of my finger would get a little snap; probably the meat of my finger getting a mild pinch between the end of the trigger and the trigger guard.


Like all the tiny 9s in its class, the DB9 is a close-range gun. While you won’t be using it on Top Shot to break plates at 25 yards, at 21 feet, this gun is quite accurate. Looking over my groups, I am “drooping” my shots. I might have been anticipating the DB9’s “sting” or just jerking the trigger. In any case, my silhouette says “tango down.” I was able to make consistent head shots. God forbid I ever need to.


Field-stripping the DB9 can be something of an adventure in frustration. Disassembly’s only slightly more intuitive than using a slide rule. I had a devil of a time with it until Big Al at Mid America Arms showed me his trick.

The DB9’s recoil spring is fairly stiff. The takedown detent is small and well-recessed. You drop the mag and clear the weapon, pull the trigger and move the slide back about half an inch up. If you pull it back too far, you’ll reset the striker. Wash, rinse, repeat–and not in a good way.

With the slide out of battery, you pull down the Diamondback DB9’s assembly catch, gripping it on both sides, letting the slide release forward. You’re done. Whew.

Cleaning the DB9 is a breeze. I only dropped the slide over the side of my table shooting the springy parts to the end of the range once. Thanks to the nice range officer at Sovereign Arms for his help.


Once I identified the ammo the Diamondback DB9 likes to cycle, the gun functioned beautifully. However . . . there are two retention pins above the trigger, one in front and one behind. After 50 rounds, the rear pin worked its way out on the right side of the gun. That can’t be good. I was able to push it back in place, but it walked its way out again after more range time.

Bottom Line

If the first rule of a gunfight is “bring a gun” – and it is – the Diamondback is a “First Rule” firearm. It’s not pretty but it delivers seven accurate rounds of serious caliber ammo in a pocket-size package with reasonable reliably.

For a shooter employing fair fundamentals, the DB9 can find center of mass all day long at seven yards. When I don’t feel like hitching up my gun-truss and packing a brick in my britches, the DB9’s size allows it to be carried discreetly. That means I’ll have it with me in situations I might not otherwise carry a gun. The DB9’s not perfection. But it’s a lot better than nothing.

  • Capacity: 6+1 Rounds
  • Weight: 11 Ounces
  • Length: 5.60″
  • Height: 4.00″ with mag
  • Width: 0.80″
  • Barrel Length: 3.00″
  • Firing Mechanism: Striker Fire
  • Trigger Pull: DAO


RATINGS (out of five stars)

Style * * *
This is not a beauty queen, it’s a working class firearm

Ergonomics * * *
A good grip is needed for accuracy, this is a little bitty gun, and it takes some effort to rack the slide and break it down.

Reliability * * *
Testing ammo is a must, If the cartridge is too long, it will jam the slide out of battery.

Customizable *
7 round mag and a Crimson Trace

Carry * * * * *
Small but mighty, with a holster looks like a wallet in your pocket. You’ll carry this.

Overall Rating * * * * *
This gun does what I want it to do, be small, trustworthy and powerful.

[Click here to watch Tim McNabb’s video review of the Diamond Back DB9]

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  1. I don’t see 4 star reliability in this review. I have an LCR that I don’t like to practice with and so I’m looking for an alternative. Doesn’t sound like this is it.

    So far from what I’ve been reading the PPS is still the one to beat?

    • Once I identified the ammo it liked, it worked just fine. This is not a SHTF gun, it’s too fussy about ammo – at least this one is.

      I tried the Kahr Arms piece in the showroom. Nice firearm, and I am sure I would have been happy with it, but it was almost another 100 bucks. I am a Scot, after all. Same sort of issue with the Walther.

    • Don’t forget the Rohrbaugh R9. It’s spendy but it has NEVER not gone bang, and it’s accurate to boot. I put it in my back pocket with a pocket holster and it looks like a wallet. So, I get mugged, I reach for my “wallet”.

    • I’ve own both the DB9 and LC9 and I pocket the DB everytime. The LC9’s mile long trigger pull is awful. Neither are what I consider long range handguns but the DB9 fits in my back pocket perfectly without a holster. I pitty the fool who demands my wallet.

  2. Most subcompact 9s are a hassle to break in, and none of them are much fun to shoot The DB9 will at least leave some room in your wallet for plenty of break-in ammo and range time. Unlike some other tiny 9s (cough Kimber cough.)

    • Not that this is news,.. but my Keltec PF9 had a light striking habit which ended after the first hundred or so rounds. Now it shoots anything. I’m sure the DB9 will work itself out.

      I’m curious how it compares to the Keltec, though,… **hackcoughkeltecvsotherpocketninesreviewhackcough** ahem…

      • I’m curious as to how it compares to the Kel Tec and other previous 9mm pistols in terms of size.

        As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to compact pistols anyway, there are three sizes of pistol: good pocket guns, borderline pocket guns, and NOT pocket guns. The LCP and its ilk fit into the first group; The Sig P238 fits into the second; Every single 9mm “pocket” pistol falls into the third. This includes offerings from Kahr*, Kel Tec, Ruger, and a few others.

        For reference, the Kel Tec 9mm pistols I’ve seen were approximately the same footprint (length and width) as the Ruger LC9, which itself has the SAME EXACT FOOTPRINT as the Springfield XD subcompact. Those dimensions place them all FAR outside the realm of what I consider a pocket gun.

        *Although I probably haven’t seen their complete line, because they’re too damned expensive, and they look like Glocks.

        • I think the Kel Tec P11 is a viable alternative, usually well under $300, carries 10 -12 (extended mag) 9mm, and down loaded to six or seven rounds, is still not that heavy. Sure, the trigger is not great, but for the price it’s okay. Seems to digest about any ammo, which the price allows you to choose your load. Oh, slide locks back too. Not much fun to break down though.

          • The P11 is still too big though. My issue isn’t weight, it is simply dimensions — There are three classes of firearms I generally consider; those that can be pocket carried with ease (E.G. Ruger LCP), those that *can* be pocket carried, but are a little on the large side (E.G. the P238 and the DB9), and those that are too large to pocket carry (E.G. The P11 and anything larger).

            As it stands, I can use the LCP as a pocket gun; It is 3.6″ tall (bottom of mag to top of slide). I can barely draw the P238 and the DB9, and they are both approximately 4″ on the money. The P11 and other such guns start around 4.3″. The .4″ difference between the LCP and the DB9 almost makes the DB9 unusable for pocket carry; The extra .3″ on top of it for the PF9/P11 throws the idea of pocket carry completely out the window.

            “[Kel Tec P11] down loaded to six or seven rounds, is still not that heavy. ”

            Clearly, as I own the P238 HD (20 oz unloaded) weight isn’t the issue; it’s the ability to actually carry it as a BUG, specifically the ability to get it OUT of my pocket and use it if I need it.

        • Hi HSR47
          Just some information for whatever it may be worth.
          I have carried a Springfield XD 9822 .40S&W SC for the last nine years.
          I carry it in an Uncle Mike’s Sidekick pocket holster #4. I carry it in my front pocket. I live in Texas and most of the year my causal attire consists of a pair of jeans and a polo shirt. The untucked shirt tail covers the pocket opening. It is very obvious that the pocket is full but it is not obviously a gun. Not one time in nine years has anyone questioned what I was carrying or shown any concern.
          When it is appropriate to do so my wife carries a Kahr K40 Elite in a Don Hume Front Pocket Holster #101 and has done so for the past nine years without incident of any kind. The Kahr is quiet a bit flatter but still fills the pocket.
          Just to let you know it is possible to carry a .40 cal. handgun in a pant pocket. I am sure we are not the only people to do so. Don Hume has been selling his form fitted Kahr pocket holsters for at least nine years that I know of.

        • Well the guy who said “the Ruger LC9, which itself has the SAME EXACT FOOTPRINT as the Springfield XD subcompact” FLAME DELETED:

          LC9: 6″ L x 4.5″ H x 0.9″ W, 17.1 oz
          XD9 subcompact: 6.3″ L x 4.8″ H x 1.18″ W, 26 oz

          Not sure how those are “exactly the same footprint”

        • I carry a Kel-Tec P11 and I’ve been considering the DB9, since its height is smaller (by about 10%) and narrower (by 20%). The Kel-Tec PF-9 is as narrow as the DB9 but otherwise the same dimensions as the P11. Some things that I would miss from my P11 are the larger carry capacity, the fact that it “eats” any kind of ammo without any issues (after about 2,000 rounds) and the capability of using a ‘standard’ S&W59 Magazine; yeap, one sticking out of it with 15 rounds as an additional carry magazine which is also compatible with their SUB-2000 fold-able carbine. Other smaller guns are way too expensive/finicky (Boberg or Rohrbaugh) or thicker (but greater quality) than my P11 (Kimber Solo or Sig P290). The DB9 makes for a good concealable 9 choice, a way better choice than a .380 (sorry guys!) and the compromise in size is, vs a .380 like the LCP, worth it. The DB9 is making rounds in my brain…..that is, until I buy it. My P11 is an ugly but reliable piece, though, so I would keep it as well.

  3. Why did you edit the picture of the round in the barrel? I find this highly deceptive as you only pasted the upper half showing the 2 different rounds onto the same image of the barrel. Why did you not use 2 real images to display the ammo not seating all the way in the chamber. Did you make this up or is it a real issue because your image is a fake.

      • I never said it was. I said the 2 images are not 2 different images. The barrel is repeated twice and the round is pasted in. If you can cross your eyes and view it in stereo vision you’ll see exactly what I mean.

        • I am in no way associated with this site or the author of this article. I am however a professional graphic designer who is frequently required to photograph products. The similarity in to two pictures can easily be explained. If the barrel is in a set position (i.e. in a vise or on a peg) and the camera is on a tripod, and the lighting is consistent, the bullet can be removed and a new bullet dropped in place and the unchanged portion of the picture (the barrel) will look identical whether you take 2 pictures or 200. I know your handle is NikonMike which obviously implies that you are a photo enthusiast, shouldn’t you understand the simple principles that I have just outlined. FLAME DELETED

          I see that Mr. McNabb hasn’t dignified your argument with a second response. I understand why he would choose to not respond. It is not in his best interest to get into a pissing match with some dude that has his sights set on discrediting a very informative article.

          I assure you, PhotoShop is a powerful tool and in the hands of a trained professional photos can be manipulated to deceive without the “artifacts” that you claim to see in the photos above. But ask yourself this question… What would Mr. McNabb stand to gain from trying to deceive us with the photograph anyway? He is simply pointing out that especially with a finicky gun, you need to test out the ammo that you are going to be defending your life with.

          Thank you Mr. McNabb for the information!

          • I am a recent owner of the DB9, I didn’t do much research, but I got a great deal on it, and liked the idea of an affordable pocket 9. I fired FMJ through it at the range and had no problems. Once I was comfortable with it, I bought some hollow points, and realized this problem. The gun had to be put into a bench vise to get the bullet to eject. At that point the gunsmith I took it to, took the gun down and started dropping different types of rounds into the barrel, and we noticed this same effect.
            I called Diamondback, after explaining the problem, they sent me a postage paid label to send the gun back for repair. I failed to include a slip of paper that stated what the problem was (because I had already explained this over the phone), and they sent the gun back a month later stating they fired 18 rounds through it with no problems. The gun still gets stuck open when trying to chamber hollow points. I have a call into them to correct this…I guess they’re a small company and still working out kinks, but if I call once, they should know what the problem is when it gets there, and not rely on a “slip of paper” stating the problem. Or, since they have my contact information, contact me to see WHY i sent it back, before returning it untouched. (I’m done, just wanted to verify this ammo claim, and vent about the customer service).

          • You can clearly see the top is edited if you knew what you were doing at all with photoshop. There is very clearly a clone tool job going on on the upper half of the chamber where the dark splotch is. The rest is 100% identical. This isn’t 2 images. It’s one that has been edited.

            Crop them and put them in photoshop and swap between layers and it will become painfully apparent.

            As far as motives go? I don’t know.. this whole blog is full of ulterior motives.

            It’s really easy to write a wonderful review of something and then falsify a clincher so no one will buy the product.

            Kinda like… man i really love this car, it has exceptional styling, interior is immaculate and the seats are really comfortable but I discovered it wont run on anything other than jet fuel.

            Who would buy that car after reading a review like that?

            It’s purely coincidence I mention the car analogy btw.

            If you continue to dispute me I’ll save the image and make a video of the layer swapping to prove myself. This is getting tedious.

  4. “Once you drop the mag and clear the weapon, pull the trigger and move the slide back about half an inch up.”

    I really don’t like that system.

    • Yes, well, pretty much every polymer frame handgun on the market today uses that system. The only exception to this rule that I’ve heard tell of is the M&P range of pistols from S&W, and that through their advertising materials…

      • I guess the Beretta PX4 storm is an exception. polymer lower and it is taken down by a slight pull down from both sides of frame on the locking pin. No need to move barrel. I can field strip it in less than 10 sec. Speaking of Beretta, how about the Nano or the PX4 sub-compact?

        • The Nano has a button you can push with the tip of a pen which will de-cock the striker without allowing it to protrude past the bolt face – it won’t fire a round even if you’re a total moron and left one in the chamber. Then, you rotate a pin by 90 degrees using a screwdriver or the rim of a bullet. The slide assembly falls off the front.

    • It really depends on the actual difference in size.

      The two pistols are in a size class where even half an inch in length and or width can make or break the ability to use it as a pocket pistol. I already know that the Kel Tec is too big — I’ve tried — What I don’t know is if the DB9 is smaller or not, and if it IS, is it small enough?

      • I stopped by Mid America Arms today and checked out what I could have picked up for a hundred bucks less, and a hundred bucks more. The Kel Tec is a nice piece, and I must not have seen that it was under 300 bucks when I went shopping. That said, I think it is a bit larger.

        I have been carrying the DB9 around using a Blackhawk inside the pocket holster. It’s like a fat wallet, somewhere between my dad’s and George Castanza’s. It is a little bigger LxW than my Android phone.

        The Kel Tec PF9 is 5.85×4.3x.88 inches
        The DB9 is 5.6×4.0x.80 Inches

  5. On signal, draw and fire 3 shots, in 3 seconds, into a 6″ circle.
    That’s the test I use, based on “typical gunfight” distance and time data, and what’s known about performance loss under stress. It’s a pass/fail test.
    Start hands at sides for concealed belt holster carry, hand on gun in pocket for pocket carry.

    “A handgun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable” – Clint Smith.
    Hard to shoot pocket guns are comfortable. Being able to pass the 3 second test is comforting.

  6. Kahr CW9 – 9mm +P – 7+1 – $360

    Kahr CM9 – 9mm +P – 6+1 – $430

    Better made…great DA trigger… actually fun to shoot… thin is sexy

    I think the TTAG crew needs to drop a truth bomb on its patrons about Kahr’s great line of carry weapons. Let’s see some reviews.

    • I shot the Kahr PM45 and liked it. It felt like a gun more in line with the prices you quote above rather than a $650 arm. Kahrs feel great in the hand.

      • Well the P for pricey series of Kahr pistols has a few features that are absent on the C for cheap series of pistols. I personally don’t see a need to drop the extra $300 on the dovetailed front sight, extra mag, and extra machining operations that come with the P series of pistols.

        You could buy 10 mags with the difference…

  7. Thanks for the review.

    Do you have a loaded weight for the gun? Is the 11 ounces with or without mag?

    I see nothing in this review to sway me away from the Rohrbaugh R9. Unsurprisingly, Diamondback sounds like Kel Tec all over again.

  8. @NikonMikon – Good catch, I did on fact edit the photo. The bullets “stick” when dropped into the breach, so it was very difficult to get the exact same shot for both. These two images were extremely close, and I used reference points to align the end of the breach with the barrel. I thought this best way to illustrate the differences. No deception was intended.

  9. I love this gun. The DB9 has given me no real concerns through over 600 rounds of various power & manufacture. My 1st range trip to ensure reliability before I would confidently carry it consisted of 200 FMJ Federal & Blazer, brass & aluminum, then 10 Critical Defense loads. No malfunctions, 100% grade A performance. The only negative was a blood blister on my trigger finger,( call the waambulance!), but it’s not like I’m ever gonna run it like that again. I put 50 rounds a week through it to maintain proficiency, so a little sting is an acceptable trade for the security of assuring my skills are kept sharp. I acknowledge that the gun isn’t perfect, but what gun is? What matters is that for warm weather or as a BUG, the DB9 is the perfect carry gun for me. I hope this helps.

  10. In the 1980s, I stood in a concrete tube that served as a firing point for qualifying on the M-16 rifle. It was a clear spring morning at Fort Leonard Wood, truly beautiful. I had just had a 40 round practice run-through and through a “stoppage” (Slap Pull Observe Return Tap Squeeze!) had just added three rounds to my magazine.

    Locked and loaded, I leaned into my firing position and waited for the range officer to give the “watch your lanes” command. It came, and the first target popped up. I squeezed the trigger…

    I left the &#!^%$ safety on.

    While I qualified as a Sharpshooter, I yearned for the Expert badge. I have hated safeties ever since. The DB9 does not have a safety.

  11. I was thinking of getting one of these, but there seem to be a plethora of issues with the DB9, which you can read up on at The magazines will chip the feed ramp, frame rails crack, the CTC laser can also cause something else to break (forgot what), etc. Hopefully theyll revise the design sometime soon.

    • Sounds like some of the same issues that the P238 is reported to have had early on.

      Honestly, it strikes me as an issue of knowing what the practical operational tolerances of the parts actually are. As this is a miniaturized firearm (as is the P238 to an extent), the tolerances can be quite finicky.

      Really, the issue isn’t that they let a lemon out the door (although that is an issue too), the issue is what they will do to FIX it, and make it right.

  12. Great review!

    I am surprised that some of the Q/A issues remain with the DB9. Given the founders of Diamondback are ex-KelTec engineers, I’m stumped as to how they can let these go out the door.

    With that said, this is the micro pistol Glock SHOULD have built. Kudos for DB building a highly concealable Glock clone. Hope they can work out the bugs. I was very close to buying one this week, yet with the continued negative reports, will wait.

    Thanks for a thorough review!

  13. So I guess the reviewer is going to ignore my call-out on his image doctoring showing the barrel and the round not seating all the way? Good stuff this blog…

    • @NikonMikon – I think the general consensus is your just a dickhead looking to make a name for yourself by continuously harping on something that no one else really cares about.

        • Not really. i have plenty of other things to do to keep me busy than nit-pick a photo someone used to try and make a point. Take your scrutiny to a Photoshop blog if that’s what you’re into.

          • Yeah! You told me! I’ll never raise awareness of any sort ever again! I’ll let reviewers dupe readers into thinking they’re being honest! Good job Chris!

  14. Not to argue or start a debate here. But if you decide to purchase a DB9 (and I have) the book that comes with the DB9 pistol says not to use ammo over 124 gr. 9mm or 9 x19 which means the same thing. The 9 is the dia. of the bullet and the 19 is the length of the bullet 9×19 or 9mm mean the same thing. So if you choose the wrong ammo for the pistol the gun isn’t going to cycle, feed, or eject properly. And if you look at the above pics illustrated one bullet is longer then the other sitting in the barrel. If both bullets where the right size it would be the same length in both pics. Ladies and Gents this pistol only weighs 11 ozs. empty ! If you break the gun down which brings me to another point it is actually VERY EASY to field strip once you’ve done it one time The take down/field strip is very much like a Glock which I happen to own one. Only u can’t pull the slide too far back while taking apart the DB9 or the trigger will reset on the DB9 and your back to square one and must start the process all over again! If and when I range test my DB9 should I have problems with ammo feeding or stove pipes or ejection problems I will come back and give an update. Be safe and happy shooting !

    • The chamber space in the weapon is very tight. That is what the reviewer was getting at. Both rounds, the one longer and the one that was not are 9x19mm but they do not have identical geometry. Most weapons can accomodate slop of varying bullet geometry by a few tenths or hundreths of a millimeter, this one does not do it well. Full size weapons make this a non-issue but since this is pushing the envelope and they compromised chamber space for a smaller weapon there is an out of battery issue that can occur. The reviewer addressed this; Tim didn’t use the incorrect caliber of ammunition in the DB9.

      Additionally, in the picture above, the difference is miniscule to the eye. If he did use a cartridge with a longer case it would likely be a 9x23mm which would definitely fail to cycle in any 9x19mm pistol.

  15. The Kahrs are nice, but the problem that I have seen with them is that they have problems with the feeding from the magazine where the ammo tends to nose down and not feed properly. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it does not. It seems that it may be the design of the magazine that is causing this. There are many youtube videos showing this.

  16. the DB9 has proven it’s self to me to be a worthy enough firearm to stake my life on. Of course I would prefer a full size Glock 40 cal but this DB9 is the ticket for daily backup and CC. I ran 400 rounds through mine before I even cleaned it (other than the barell) and it broke in perfect. I have put it through my own torture tests and it shines. I love this little firearm and highly recommend it. After breaking in … treat it to some microlon and you will be even happier.

  17. Intrigued at 2012 Shot Show, so bought a DB9. Consistent with the above review, it is an impressive, serious, true pocket pistol. Use proper technique and concentrate. Only ammo I tried was Remington 115 HP and 147 HP, and function was 100%, no problems. Plenty accurate, too. Not a pistol to be trifled with, on either end.

  18. Look here people! There are good and bad apples in all guns. Being a former LEO myself and in military I have tried and tested a great deal of weapons. I had a keltec.380 and P11 that would shoot anything u put in them even if they were dirty and uncleaned. I bought a Pf9 and had nothin but problems from day one. Are all keltecs bad. No! I just got a bad apple. Same can go for DB9 or any gun for that matter. As far as the DB9 I purchased it has been a great gun. It is true that they do not like 147grain bullets and some of the longer length overseas stuff but this gun has less felt recoil, better pocket concealment and shoots pretty darn straight comparied to other pocket nines!

  19. I love my db9 i havnt had any issues from it at all. It does have a little bit of a bit but nothing like my taurus 327 fed. I think this guns a lot more comfortable to shoot as far a recoil goes. I think alot of the problems people are having with this gun is that they do not follow directions. it say in the book to expect a 100-200 round break. It also says in the book and on a tag that is on the trigger guard when you purchase it not to use +P or higher ammo in this gun. If your gun begins to malfunction after using ammo other than standard pressure it your fault not the guns. A good freind that i shoot with often is currently complaining about this gun becouse the bullets are tumbling and the gun jams alot but he used +P and +P+ ammo on several occasions so its his fault.

  20. I can’t really seem to collect where people are getting this being an ugly gun from(?) To me it’s pretty damn sleek. Looks like a baby Glock to me. Very sexy little set up. I would have one in a heart beat, if I needed one. However, I open carry at all times. So the pocket carries don’t really have a spot in the “I need this now!” section of my wallet. And I like my capacity. About 90% of the time I carry my Glock-22 chambered. Plus 2x fully laden 15 round magazines on the other side of my belt. About 10% of the time (usually when I where shorts) I carry my Gov. Model .45ACP 1911. So, caliber and capacity matter to me alot. But the DP9 is a sexy beast.

  21. I had one and lord knows I tried to be patient. I tried recommended ammo. I bought extra magazines. After 625 rounds, the frame cracked, the pins were walking, I had a chipped feed ramp, numerous failures to feed, Stovepipes, failure to eject, double feeds, and countless hours of frustration. I sold it.

    Maybe you can get lucky and not get a lemon. Mine was a later serial number.

    Awful gun. I now have a Sig P938.

    • I’m having all the same problems , they said to ship my magazine back to them , that’s been two month’s , still no magazine ? I bought the top of the line-( $430 aprox at Bud’s) , EXO/NO with night sights , now I can’t wait to get rid of the POS so I can go buy a real gun , maybe a Colt Mustang ??? Hate dropping down to a .380 , but if my DB9 is only good for “throwing at the assailant” , and I miss him , then who’s going to look foolish ?

  22. Nikonmikon- thanks for pointing out the eye crossing thing, very cool 3d effect. Other than that, your a dumb ass!

  23. I have fired over 600 rounds with my DB 380. It has constantly jamed since day one. DB told me that I have an older model and they would send me a shipping label so it could be sent to them for repair. It has been 6 weeks and I have not recieved the label. Each time they respond they ask for the serial # Name address and phone #. I have sent them this info several times. STAY AWAY FROM DIAMONDBACK. DO NOT RELY ON THIS WEAPON FOR PROTECTION, YOU WILL DIE WHEN IT JAMS.

  24. I’d suggest nikon be banned if it wasn’t so darn entertaining watching him make a fool of himself. The discrepancy he flipped over has been readily explained, yet he still insists on trolling and flaming.

    Interesting write-up, BTW. I fall into the “OMG that’s an ugly gun” camp. IMHO, this makes a C9 look attractive. Like the size, though.

    • hey cliff

      Tim McNabb says:
      September 27, 2011 at 12:58
      @NikonMikon – Good catch, I did on fact edit the photo.

      He STILL hasn’t made it clear in the article that the image is NOT un-edited.

      It’s VERY deceptive. I guess I should be banned for wanting the “TRUTH” on a blog called “The Truth About Guns”

      funny thing.

      • OMG!!! NikonMikon you are right! the picture is edited and the author didn’t state in the article that he edited the picture!

        …But do you know why he didn’t state in the article that he edited the picture NikonMikon? Its completely obvious. He edited two different pictures into one and placed a thin red line to show the different seating of two different 9mm loads. kevlar_h has already explaned how he could have taken such identical looking pictures, “If the barrel is in a set position (i.e. in a vise or on a peg) and the camera is on a tripod, and the lighting is consistent, the bullet can be removed and a new bullet dropped in place and the unchanged portion of the picture (the barrel) will look identical whether you take 2 pictures or 200.”

        NikonMikon you have “Full retardation oozing from every word.”

  25. Any pistol that will not go into battery with SAAMI spec ammo is automatically disqualified from defensive use. Just my opinion.

  26. I bought a DB9 on 11/18/13 at a local Gander Mountain store and I must say the only smart thing I did that day was spending the $29.99 in store cleaning and free mfg. return policy. After having so many failures to feed with multiple types of 9mm ammo I was ready to throw in the towel on this handgun. It was at time that the front of the slide snapped off. I was using UMC 115 grain FMJ ammo. I took the DB9 back to Gander Mountain on 4/1/13 and they returned it. As of today (4/30/13) I still have not heard back from Diamondback or Gander Mountain. I will be calling Diamondback tomorrow but at this point I’m not happy at all and would prefer to have my money back instead of a new firearm. I do not feel confident that this firearm will ever be one that I would trust my life with.

  27. So let me get this straight. The gun literally began to fall apart in your hand, it only likes a few specific types of ammo, and it’s is a nightmare to field-strip, but you gave it five stars anyway. Forget the slide rule dude, you need a calculator!

  28. Bought a DB9 in nov 2012. Put many different types of ammo through it and many FTFs. So I gave up after trying many fixes. I did like the DB380 though. Most ammo worked fine but still got too many FTFs. I wont be able to depend upon either for my carry gun. I have had no failures with my Ruger LCP and use it as my carry gun.

    • I bought a DB-9 in early 2012. After a good break-in, I did not have any failures, of any kind with Federal bp. No doubt it is finnicky about ammo, and my ammo of choice is the Federal 9mm bp. I have run many boxes of the “right ammo” through it and am very confident carrying this gun with this ammo. I have a Nemesis pocket holster, and I forget I have the gun in my pocket, it is so light. To me, it is my “Pocket Glock”. It is a 9mm, which I would rather carry than a .380 or .38. When I can, I do carry a .40 Glock on my hip. But, like they say, it is always better to have “a gun” than a nice one at home in the drawer. When I go out, I slip the DB-9 in my pocket. I keep it clean, take it to the range, practice, and love it. I know your experiences may be different. Even Rolls Royce makes a lemon every now and then.

  29. I have had the DB9 for about a year now. I also bought two extra mags after having read that others had mag issues. I brought it to the range and for the most part used American Eagle 115 gr FMJ. It shot fine at first and then I noted that it would stove pipe a live round so that the round was sticking straight up out of the mag. This only happened during a slow deliberate course of fire. If I shot rapid fire it worked fine. I tried using HP rounds and same story. Disgusted, I put it away and started squirreling away cash for a SW Shield. I did some research and decided to work on the gun a little. Long story short I used a Dremel tool with polishing compound and polished the feed ramp and the chamber. I recently brought it to the range and it shot like it should have in the first place. I have not experienced any of the pins walking out. It disassembles exacly like a Glock. I don’t know why the DB people have not gotten a nasty gram from Smyrna GA or their attorneys…its that similar.

  30. I bought a DB9 in 2012. Initially I had a number of fte but once I replaced the mag springs with springs from a PF9, it has run flawlessly. I absolutely love this little pistol; it is incredibly small and very accurate for its size. I can carry it year round, no matter how hot the weather.

  31. don’t know where these people get their facts but bought a db 9 a short while ago. biggest peice of junk in my safe, the sights are terrible, as for a shooting group forget it, at 7 yards it jumps all over the paper, biggest mistke i ever made so i have 325.00 sitting in the safe, would not recommend this for any type of carry.

  32. Not sure if you skipped math class in favor of english but, your Overall rating is 2 stars higher than the average for the categories. 3+3+3+1+5 = 15/5 = 3.

    I owned a Diamondback DB9 and it was horrible. I’ll acknowledge the gun is nice in terms of size for pocket concealment but, it was unpleasant to hold and horrible to shoot.

    At least for me and 4 of my friends all of us consistently were stabbed by the horrible sharp and square mag release when pulling the trigger. That’s right, the gun is so small your firing finger actually hits the other side of the frame when you have it to the rear. In addition the sights are very poor and hard to pick up quickly. This does however, seem to be a common occurrence in micro pistols. I also had feeding issues with several types of rounds and this to me is a serious design issue. You would never accept a magazine that only takes 1 or 2 brands of bullets, why would you accept this from a pistol?

    As an NRA and DoD certified pistol instructor that has been shooting pistols for 25 years I was happily rid of my Diamondback. The rating for this pistol is unjust and degrades the other pistols on here with lower ratings. It makes me wonder if this was a simple mistake or if some political style handshakes were involved.

    • I agree – do the math on his ‘star’grading, and it comes to 3 stars ( 15÷5 ). Diamondback now has Taurus handling the marketing, sales & warranty, I believe..Lol

  33. Follow up to my DB9 comments. I had the pistol out at the range today. Everything was going fine. I ensured that I was using 115 gr rounds, non +p. I went through 3 magazines pistol was shooting very well. I returned the pistol to my car and I attempted to rack the slide to make double sure that the pistol was empty. The slide would not budge. I noticed that a few coils of the guide rod spring were sticking out from under the muzzle. Being a pistol armorer, I am aware that this is not the typical configuration for the pistol. I then noticed that the ring of metal that captures the end of the guide rod (right under the muzzle) was sheared off. The metal used in the composition of the slide looks like diecast.
    This should not have failed. I could understand it if I had used +p ammo..not the case here. Buyer beware

  34. update , I have still not received my replacement magazine now after 4 month’s / they said it would take 4 biz days . I was told to send in my non-functioning magazine to be replaced with a functional magazine for my DB9 / no one there seems to know anything about when the backorder replacement mags will be back in stock. What a way to run a business . Crappy POS pistol’s that are smeared in worthless customer service stink ! Stay away from anything DiamondBack makes or you’ll end up with a sore assho-e …

  35. I bought a DB-9 to evaluate it for myself. Mine had a casting defect in the polymer frame which caused a malfunction after 27 rounds. I sent it back to customer service and had a replacement inside a month. Took it to the range this afternoon and gave it a good wringing out with Speer 115 gr FMJ.
    While the recoil is , to say the least, unpleasant, the pistol functions well, is reasonably accurate for close work and is certainly very concealable. Face the facts, it is not designed to be a competition pistol. It is, a concealable pocket pistol which is intended for up close and personal self defense. It fits the bill for that.

    • Mine gave probs from getgo….I never could get the recoil.spring back in the last time I cleaned it and got tired of dealing with the FTFs…..and I tried every grain ammo…bought the 115 gr all the websites said it liked to eat….no luck

  36. Recently mailed mine off.ftfs…..I order 500 Rd each of remington 115 gr jhp umc green box and 500 Independence 115 gr jhp……I still like diamondback but I also had to mail off the full size 9mm dB I bought too….they did honor warranty on it no questions asked.hard not to get a bad taste in my mouth tho

  37. I was having problems with my DB9. It would jam when I tried to load it initially, and even when I could get it to load, I couldn’t fire more than two rounds in a row before it jammed again. I tried Independence 115 grain FMJs and the problem got much better. However the jams did still continue although less frequently.

    I found this post on another website ( that suggested I change the spring in my clip to a spring from a Kel Tec PF9 clip. I ordered a Kel Tec clip straight from the Kel Tec website, removed the spring from the Kel Tec clip and put it in my clip and since then I have not had a singe jam either loading the gun or firing it.

  38. Just awesome topic! Thanks for the info, super helpful. So here is my saving grace: PDFfiller helped me to fill out the IRS W-4 and and esign them. Just try it, you’ll love it.

  39. Just awesome topic! Thanks for the info, super helpful. So here is my saving grace: PDFfiller helped me to fill out the IRS W-4 and and esign them. Just try it, you’ll love it.

  40. You give this gun 3 or less stars in 4 of the 6 categories then give it 5 stars overall ? Huh ?

  41. I just bought a DB9, and have yet to shoot it. I hope to do so this weekend. I bought it for weight and size, and that it is a 9mm. I ordered it sight unseen, and the fit to my hand bothers me a bit – I would really like to extend the bottom of the grip, perhaps the clip, to be able to get my little finger on it! Anyone have a good solution for this? The author said something about getting an extended clip – another round and longer – but never posted back a source for this. Is there one? I don’t expect the performance to exceed shoot outs in elevators, but hope to be surprised!

  42. Just came across this older article. I’ve carried both PF9 and DB9 since they both came out. DB9 wins hand down as a pocket gun. When I first bought the DB9, I also had ammo issues. Just like the article, it was Fiocci. After contacting the company, together we figured out the bore chamber of the barrel was not deep enough. The next week I received a new barrel with deeper chamber and never had another issue, regardless of what I fed it. I live in the mountain countryside of Carolina. I’m always feeding animals, cutting wood, cutting grass/hay, working in the dirt, etc. My pockets get pretty nasty on inside from being in this environment. The DB9 is always in there, carried in soft holster. There has been times when I’ve went weeks without sliding the gun out from pocket holster. I’ve had dirt, sawdust, lint, grass, etc built up all around gun and even down in the guns tiny openings (even up inside of clip) and gun will fire everytime. I’m not sure the PF9 could handle that abuse, but the PF9 is not a true pocket gun. It’s too big to be inside average bluejean pocket. I carried the P3AT Keltec first when it came out, but the .380 failed to stop several close range coyotes, a large wild dog attacking livestock and even had a hard time penetrating a wounded boar hogs skull once (took 3 rounds). That turned me totally against the .380 caliber. So, my search started for larger caliber that could have the power to get the job done and still fit in pocket like a micro 380. The DB9 was only thing available. As far as customer service, those guys were Jam up A+. Maybe things have changed over years, but my experience was great. As far as firing reliability, like I stated earlier, after deeper chambered barrel replacement it was flawless. So far the gun has had about 15 boxes through it (750 rounds).The only other issues (2 that I can actually think of) that it occasionally has is, first, it will bite inside of my hand if I shoot more than a half box in a range session. But that’s to be expected with micro 9mm. (Actually the PF9 does also after enough rounds). The second issue is the trigger assembly frame pins. They will start to work their way loose after about 100 rounds. I fixed this by applying a small dab of model car glue to the outer rim each time I totally break it down and reassemble it for a thorough cleaning. As far as accuracy, my DB9 is almost on par with my PF9. The PF9 is a little better past 12 yard line, which should be about tops for a pocket pistol anyway. I have read all the negative comments about this article. I have to disagree, mine has done exactly what is has supposed too and I’ll continue to carry it until something of same exact size comes out and proves to be better….

  43. Replacing the factory magazine springs with ones fron Kel Tec (with 3 coils clipped off the bottom) increases reliability. I tried the +1 extensions and the gun was LESS reliable. I’d rather have 6 shots +1 up the pipe and have it function every time than have 8 shots and have the gun jam after the frst one. Went back to the stock floorplate & modded Kel Tec springs and no problems. Just carry at least one spare mag.

  44. I own a DB9 I purchased 2 years ago and I finally joined the range and was able to fire it.. I am not impressed at all. The first shot I hit low and left the next 24 shots I never hit the target. So I asked 2 other shooters to fire the weapon to make sure it wasn’t something I was doing wrong they both shot 12 shots each. Neither one hit the target. We noticed no matter where you aimed every shot hit the ground before it got to the target.

    I’m shooting Federal HI-Shok JHP 115 grain.

    We shot 2 Ruger 9mm pistols and never missed the target using the same shells. I will never purchase another DB.

  45. get out of the nutphugger pants. You aint 13 anymore. Get something with decent sized pockets and you can carry a .38 snub. I wouldnt, they bulge too much, are way to hard to control, dont hit very hard, only offer 5 rds. But they’ll go into and out of your pocket just fine.

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