The Diamondback DB9 — The Ultimate Concealed Carry Solution

By Dave Dolbee published on in Reviews

A few years ago, Diamondback Firearms entered the compact carry market with the successful introduction of the DB380. It followed that up with one of—if not the—smallest 9 mms to hit the market. In fact, about the only difference between the two is the slightly increased size of the DB9 required to accommodate the larger 9 mm cartridge.

Diamondback did not design the DB9 for target shooting, plinking or home defense. The DB9 was designed to be as small and concealable as possible. As a result, the whole package weighs less than 13 ounces unloaded. Top to bottom, it’s a tad under four inches and including the beavertail 5.5 inches in length. Slim? How about a 9 mm that measures only 0.80-inch wide? That makes for a gun that can be carried in a pocket or on an ankle and all but disappear.

Diamondback Firearms DB9 pistol

The uber–concealable DB9 from Diamondback will pack six rounds in the mag and one in the chamber.

The DB9 is striker fired, but more important, it features a striker block to prevent discharge should the weapon be accidentally dropped. Other than that, the DB9 uses the world’s oldest and best safety mechanism—your finger. Keep it away from the trigger until you are ready for it to go bang!

The DB9’s mag holds six plus one in the pipe for a total of seven rounds on tap. The slim design lacks any external controls. This means no slide stop to indicate the gun has run dry, so learn to count your rounds. However, it is unlikely you would ever have to reload in a self-defense situation, but it’s still worth pointing out.

Consumers often get the wrong opinion about a particular product based on an unrealistic expectation. Let’s take a look at what the DB9 is or is not. The DB9 is a highly concealable weapon [period!]. It was never intended to be a weapon you take out every weekend and put a few hundred rounds through at the range. It’s not for plinking, and there are several weapons I would put ahead of it for home defense. A broom is great for sweeping the porch—it’s a lousy tool to clean your dinner dishes.

I would not carry a weapon I wasn’t intimately familiar with. Upon receiving my DB9, a couple of range sessions and several days of dry-fire practice will be necessary before it ever rides my hip in public. This is true of any weapon.

Likewise, you need to do your own ammo testing. Run the rounds you plan to carry through it. It’s a little more expensive than cheap ball ammo, but you are carrying the DB9 to defend your life and the loved ones around you. Isn’t that worth more than $20 bucks of savings?

Diamondback's DB9 pistol

Diamondback’s DB9 measures a scant .80-inch wide making it easy to conceal and comfortable to carry.

What Makes the DB9 an EDC Gun

Features that make the DB9 desirable for every day carry (EDC) include its compact size for concealability. The 3-dot polymer sights are low profile and drift adjustable to account for windage. The DB9’s magazine latch is not only low profile, it is somewhat recessed, eliminating the chance of it hanging up on your holster or pocket when drawn. The steel mag release requires a stout push, ensuring it won’t be accidentally engaged during the draw.

On the Firing Line

The trigger pull on my DB9 was smooth, though a bit long. I did not get a chance to test it on a scale, but believe it to be in the neighborhood of six pounds. This may seem heavy to some, but in a high-stress situation where you are drawing your weapon for self-defense, this is extremely appropriate—and safe.
The recoil on the DB9 can best be described as snappy, which makes perfect sense. If you want small and powerful, you’ll need make a few sacrifices that would be offered in a larger-frame model. However, “snappy” does not mean unshootable or violent recoil likely to rattle the fillings from your teeth. It’s simply a solid pop that is completely manageable. Again, past break in and routine familiarization drills, this is not a plinking gun…

Boxed 9 mm Ammunition

There are several great ammo choices for the DB9, but be careful not to exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Ammo Choices

Like any gun you plan to carry for self-defense, you need to run a minimum of two boxes of the actual ammo you plan to carry. Trying to test the gun with cheap ammo, then loading it with a premium round is a recipe for disaster. When I test a new gun that I plan to carry, I like to run three or four different rounds through it as a minimum. I run one magazine slow and controlled. If it functions properly, I run the next mag hot.

Limp-wrist the DB9 and you’ll probably get a feed issue. This is true of most guns, but you’ll notice it more on small-frame or smaller-caliber weapons. This is not a flaw in the gun; it’s a flaw in the shooter’s form. Don’t worry, if you ever have to pull a weapon for self-defense, you’ll white-knuckle the grip without thinking about it.

Reading through Diamondback’s literature or its website, you’ll see a serious statement about ammo choice for the DB9.

Notice: Diamondback Firearms does not recommend using 9 mm bullets above 124 gr. or any ammunition that is rated NATO, +P, +P+ or anything else higher than SAAMI Standard-pressure 9 mm. The DB9 is the smallest and lightest 9 mm available on the market and was not designed for the abuse and damage these rounds cause.
I talked with Brad Thomas, Diamondback’s founder and CEO—plus he is the guy who designed the DB9—and he had these thoughts on ammo: “For those looking for loads that exceed SAAMI Standards for the 9 mm, think of the DB9 more like a .380 on +P. The DB9 is essentially a .380 that shoots 9 mm.”

When choosing a good self-defense round for the DB9, a couple of quick choices that come to mind are Speer Gold Dot, Hornady TAP FPD, Winchester Silvertip and—a personal favorite—Federal 124-grain Hydra-Shok. I wouldn’t hesitate to check out Remington and Cor-Bon as well. What’s your pick?

Tags: , , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (34)

  • Richard

    |

    I have had my DB 9 for three months and have shot it 3 times each time I start out with Critical defence ammo 20 rounds and the ball Federal 115 about 100 rounds and have had only one ftf and that ws my fault for not racking the first round hard enough. Does not sting like a LC9 and a lot better accuracy. I only have one grip and that is I can’t find extra mags used new or whatever.

    Reply

  • Bob

    |

    I have had a DB9 for a couple of years and it is my favorite pistol. My early problems were resolved when I replaced the mag springs with PF9 springs; no failures since. I shoot it regularly and carry it daily. Again, if I could only keep one of my pistols, this is it — small, light and accurate.

    Reply

  • Federalist1

    |

    I never knew what a stovepipe jam was until the DB9 ! I’m saving mine as a disposable item when the Obama Brown Shirts come to the door to round up our weapons. They can have it ! I’ll keep the others. :-)

    Reply

  • ronan martinez

    |

    This gun looks slick

    Reply

  • fred

    |

    Great design good looks, But don,t buy one unless you want to die. DB9.

    Reply

    • Steve

      |

      I like my DB9. Especially now that I’m living in Florida. The problem is, extra magazines apparently don’t exist. So it is relegated to a backup pocket gun. I need more than 6 rounds when I’m out in public (hence the reason in the Army and on duty at the PD we don’t carry revolvers anymore). Mine runs fine on Corbon DPX and Corbon +P 125g JHPs. Still, I’ve always got my Glock or Beretta as my main concealed carry. Too bad, because I do like the DB9.

      Reply

  • Enigma

    |

    To John Dsonive

    I have both guns and the Glock is an incomparably better weapon. From the start, the Glock performed flawlessly. It is much more comfortable to fire (though that is to be expected, being larger). For me, the real kicker is the reliability. From the get-go, the Glock performed exactly as it should. The DB jams literally every other round. I have NEVER gotten an entire magazine through without a jam (most often stovepiping). My record is 4 rounds before a fialure. The DB9 has been an incredible disappointment, and i would NOT rely on this weapon for anything other than 1 shot, assuming i had one in the chamber. It mimics the glock design while not giving anything near the same performance, reliability, or quality. Do not buy this weapon.

    Reply

    • Ian

      |

      Which Glock are you referring to? I mean, I know they’re all good, but is the G43 even as small as the DB9?

      Reply

  • fred

    |

    I payed $452.00 for a 1 shot diamond back 9mm all the rest of the bullets stayed in magazine. Gun still at factory ????? don,t trust your life on it.I should have spent another $100.00 and got a real gun.

    Reply

  • Gary Rowell

    |

    I bought the first DB9 I ever saw, have put 200 rounds through it (Hornady Critical Defense), and have yet to have a failure to fire for any reason. I mounted the Crimson Trace front of triggerguard laser for the DB380 on my DB9 with little effort. I have carried it 24/7 for the past 2+ years and have every confidence in it. I would recommend it to anyone.

    Reply

    • Louie T

      |

      You are right on gary, i broke mine in with 100 rounds of rem umc hardball and it ran 100%. Then i tried 124 federal hydrashocks and had a couple of ftfs. removed them from mag and went to the 115 hornady critical defense and ran 100 rounds of it and that ran 100%.Found the sd rounds it likes and now it rides in my front pocket in a desantis pocket holster 24/7. My wife and i will be out with friends and my buddies and i will talk carry guns and i hear all about their sigs, colts, and walthers, and when i ask where these fancy firearms are at, they are either in the car or home and i just smile cus my diamondback never leaves home without me.

      Reply

    • Daniel Burdett

      |

      I have or better wording would be I had a DB9, until about the 150th round was fired and the slide shattered in my hand during firing. The failure resulted in quite a few broken bones in my hand. I am sure this is not a common failure but it was enough to turn me away from them for good. The company is going to do a warranty repair on the firearm, but it will then be set on a shelf and never touched again except to show people what broke my hand when it had a critical failure.

      Reply

Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

%d bloggers like this: