Saturday, June 18, 2011

Diamondback DB9 Update & Ballistics Test

On my first trip to the range with my DB9, I called out a couple of problems.  You can find that range report here.  The biggest issue was the failure to feed most of the premium defense ammunition.  Diamondback was very responsive to the problem and had new magazine followers made and they shipped one to me last week.  So it was time to go back to the range and see if the new follower fixed the feed problems.

Last week I finally did something about the finger rest on the magazine base plate.  With my hands, the additional length wasn't enough to allow me to get a third finger on the grip and it actually became annoying to my pinkie that was curled under the magazine.  I did the primary polymer removal with 3M blue 80 grit. I followed that up with a double sided nail salon type file with 100 and 180 grit. Fine finish with a sheet of crocus cloth. Washed it up in water and followed that with a drop or two of McGuire's Back to Black. Time consuming to do by hand, but easy enough.  Aside from being more comfortable to shoot, the gun is now shorter in height and conceals a bit better in the pocket. 

The other issue I had was the walking frame pin.  That was easily fixed with a drop of blue Loctite on each end of the pin.

I ran another 105 through my DB9 today using the new follower that Diamondback sent me.  From my initial range trip, I could not get Gold Dot 124 grain or HST 124 grain to feed from the magazine.  The rounds would nosedive and stick on the feed ramp.  My results today with the new follower installed were outstanding.  Aside from one failure to feed on round number 4, the rest of the trip went great.  The info below is a detailed synopsis of the 105 rounds fired today.

1-7   Speer Gold Dot 124 grain HP. Fail to Feed on round 4. Cleared jam and finished mag.
8-14 Fed HST 124 grain HP. Perfect
15-49 Fed Champion 115g FMJ. Perfect
50-56 Winchester 147 grain HP. Perfect
57-70 Speer Gold Dot 124 grain HP. Perfect
71-84 Federal HST 124 grain HP. Perfect
85-91 Winchester 124 grain NATO FMJ. Perfect
92-98 Winchester 115 grain White Box FMJ. Perfect
99-105 Speer Gold Dot 124 grain HP. Perfect

Ideally, I was hoping the Speer Gold Dot 124 grain would feed and also give good accuracy.  It delivered so I can run that load in the DB9 with the same confidence I have using it in other pocket 9's. 

To my knowledge, I may be the first to actually run some ammo through the DB9 and across a chronograph.  The 3" barrel of the DB9 allows the 9mm ammo to get a decent head of steam built up.  All rounds were measured about 8 feet from the muzzle over a CED M2 chronograph.  Energy is roughly 50% higher than what you get from a pocket .380.  Some people are asking if the DB9 can handle +p rounds, but I really have no interest in trying them.  Recoil is snappy, but manageable in the DB9 with the standard pressure rounds.  I personally see no reason to step up the pressures and recoil when I can comfortably shoot the standard pressure rounds.
Click on the picture for a larger view.

So I guess that about wraps up my DB9 Review and Testing.  I've got 312 rounds through the gun now and all issues found on day one were eliminated on test day two.  I have picked my load of Speer Gold Dot 124 grain as the one I will use as my carry round.  I've run it across the chronograph so I know what velocity and energy it's producing.  The only thing I will do in the future is some water jug testing just to be sure the 1000+ fps velocity is enough to allow reasonable expansion of the Gold Dot bullet.  Keep checking back here for those test results.

Early on in my evaluation of the DB9, I mentioned it could be a world beater in the ever growing population of micro 9mm pistols.  All results I've seen show me that my initial evaluation has been spot on.  Prices for DB9s have recently gone up due to supply and demand pressures, but even at $350 the DB9 offers a significant value proposition and is really a best buy in the market segment.  The closest competitors in size and weight, will set you back 2 to 4 times as much as the DB9.

I'm looking forward to the aftermarket and Diamondback catching up with night sights, holsters, and spare magazines.  As is, it's great.  With some additional goodies, it will be fantastic.

If you are interested in the thoughts and impressions of other DB9 owners, please check out the Diamondback Talk Forum.   


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  2. Great info. I too have had a good experience with my DB9. Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Just curious if you have or would chrono/measure S&B 9mm JHP or Golden Sabre? They both have a very rounded nose and feed well in the DB9. I'd be happy to chip in towards the ammo if you'll do the testing (:

  3. I've got a couple of boxes of Rem GS 124 grain +p but no S&B. Hate to run +p through the gun, but I could run a mag through the next time I head out with the Chrony.

  4. I don;t think Rem GS is +p and the S&B isn't. I'll kick towards the ammo!

  5. They make a standard pressure 124 grain Rem GS and a +P version of the same round. I have the +P version here.