Another Good Diamondback 380 Test

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by winchester62, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. winchester62

    winchester62

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    Well - I took the DB380 out today with two boxes of Aguila 380, one box of Winchester white box 380, and about 15 loose rounds of 15 year old Federal Hydroshock (plus two rounds of Winchester Silver Tip). I started with the Aguila. Mag after mag with no malfunctions. Moved on to the Winchester white box. All fifty without a single malfunction. At 15 yards, I was getting 4 inch +- groups a little to the left and slightly low.

    After drifting the sight to the right, windage was right on. I saved the last few Aguila rounds and moved to the Federal HS. It didn't chamber well. It tried to hang up unless I jiggled the slide a little and rode it closed. The good news is that once it chambered on the HS, it fired then cycled the next HS round without fail. I shot all of the Hydroshock without other malfunction beyond being hard to initially chamber.

    Next - the two Silver Tips... Click... Nothing. They chambered fine, but had what appeared to be light primer strikes - no boom..... I tried each one twice, then threw them away. I think some Winchester primers are a bit hard. I'll chalk this up to using some ancient hollow point ammo that I've had forever. I didn't have any other defensive type rounds. When I find some for sale, I'll buy them. But the local stores don't have much of ANY .380, especially hollow point. Going back to the Aguila - perfect...

    Every round barring the Silver Tip fired and cycled the action perfectly. Even the finicky old-style Hydroshock worked every time once I got the first round into the chamber. This gun is going to be a big seller I think. It is made very well. I think the Kahr has been the most refined pocket pistol in recent history and the Diamondback is right up there in quality, fit and finish. I have owned or shot most of the other players out there, Kel-Tec, Ruger, NAA, etc. Diamondback and Kahr are the two to beat in my opinion.

    Once I get some modern defensive HP through the DB, I'll update this report. It might take a while.:upeyes: In the meantime, I'll stick with the PM9 as I usually plan to do anyway. The DB is for those really HOT summer days or when other factors dictate the need for a really small gun.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  2. dakrat

    dakrat

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    thanks for a great review. I was tinkering with the DB380 earlier at the gun store and it was a nice pistol. If I ever decide I want a .380, this would be on top
     

  3. winchester62

    winchester62

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    Ya, the 380 is not a powerhouse. If a single-stack 9mm comes along from DB as others have determined, it will probably be the gun many have wanted Glock to build for many years. With bonus better grip angle too! Since DB is making these things here in the US, they won't have the import problems that has kept Glock from being able to make this type of gun in Austria for US import. I'll be watching carefully!
     
  4. farmer2

    farmer2

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    I'm very interested in purchasing a diamondback, but these reviews are very confusing. In one sentence reviewer will say this is a great little gun after stating that it "malfunctioned" on several occasions. I'm not trying to give the poster a hard time because I really appreciate the review, but shouldn't a gun that we are relying on be 100% all the time?

    farmer2
     
  5. yellolab

    yellolab

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    +1

    Amazing how much we can justify a gun we like, in spite of the fact it does not work.

    I bought a dback last week, had FTF 50% of the time. It is due back to me today. We'll see. Anything less than 100% working is simply unacceptable.

    Kevin
     
  6. winchester62

    winchester62

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    If you are talking about my post, maybe you should read it again. 100% perfect function with ball, and the only HP I had to try in it was of ancient design. Surely you know there have been many developments in ammo design over the last 15-20 years. As I clearly wrote, I will further review the gun when I find some HP on a store shelf. It is currently very scarce.

    Aside from the hard primer issue with the two rounds of Silver Tip that I had from many years ago, the few rounds of (also very old) Hydroshock that I had all functioned in the gun perfectly once I had the first round chambered. In other words, had I loaded those up, chambered the first round, and put the gun in my pocket, it would be 100% ready and reliable had I needed to use it in defense.

    However, before I do such a foolish thing, I will test different HP designs as they become available and evaluate which ones work or don't before I decide to rely on the gun and ammo combination. I would not be surprized to find that some designs work 100% and some not well at all. It is the nature of this kind of gun.

    I expect 100% correct function with ball and 100% correct function with SOME brands of hollow point. If you expect more, then don't buy a pocket gun.
     
  7. Liquid

    Liquid

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    pretty neat little gun. i saw one when i was getting bigdots installed on my pm9. looks alot better then my p3at. i would like to see them come out with something in 9mm in the near future.
     
  8. winchester62

    winchester62

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    Well - as I said I would do, I'm back with an update. As you remember or have just read, my initial testing had no FTE (extract OR eject) of any kind. After testing mostly FMJ type bullets, I recently acquired a few boxes of Speer Gold Dot ammunition. To coin a phrase: Houston - We have a problem.

    By the second or third round the stovepipes began. after the first 10-20 rounds, the empties failed to extract, staying in the chamber most of the time. By the last magazine (in 40 rounds total) EVERY round remained in the chamber as if there was no extractor in the gun whatsoever.

    Everything appears to be in order. The gun was clean and lubed correctly. The chamber is not rough or dirty. The ejector is not broken. The extractor does not appear to be worn or broken. My best guess is that the extractor spring is weakened, broken, or not strong enough by design. Moving it manually seems easier than it should be. I hope it is that simple.

    I didn't detail strip the slide. I would guess it is just like the Glock in the way that it comes apart, but being so much smaller it was difficult to get the plate off so I left it.

    Diamondback sent me a shipping label from UPS. It got there this morning. We'll see how it goes.

    I still believe this is a good piece of engineering. I like the way it is built; the design. The gun shows 200 rounds of wear nicely along the frame insert rails and along the barrel and barrel hood. Nothing has visibly broken and it shoots smoothly and accurately (for its size) with the exception of becomming nonfunctional after shooting the Gold Dots. The Gold Dots were much sharper in recoil than the Win white box and Aguila FMJ. If the bugs get worked out and this gun is reliable with both target FMJ and more importantly hot HP loads, I will be very satisfied. If not, it will be a severe disappointment.

    When I get the gun back I will shoot it again and update. At $1.00+ per round, I don't want to do a factory return more than once. I really hope to get good info from the company as to what the problem is. If they just say "replaced slide assembly" or other such non-descript fix, I will be leary about trusting it.

    So there you have it friends. From good to bad in the first three rounds of Speer Gold Dot. I hope to be able to count on the original thread title again after I get it back.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  9. PIDDLER

    PIDDLER

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    Thank you for posting this. I was torn between DB and LCP. No longer torn.:wavey:
     
  10. geez1234

    geez1234

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    Double tap
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  11. geez1234

    geez1234

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    ETA: Oops... I read the first post, not the update...


    Glad to hear that yours worked out well. Mine had a few FTFs, but I'm not giving up until I can run more ammo through it. I had a similar primer issue with a round of DPX, but on the third strike it fired fine.

    What my time at the range did highlight was how terrible of a shot I am :crying: I need a bigger ammo budget.
     
  12. winchester62

    winchester62

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    Might want to read my last post...:whistling:
     
  13. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger

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    I appreciate the honest report.
    I will discount the Hydro's hard feeding, even FTF on that ammo
    would not make me discount it.
    It has an extreme sharp shoulder, and there is just not enough
    room for this round in these small pistols. I have has similar issues
    with LCP's and P3at's.

    The Speer would concern me. It should work. The primers have never
    been known to be hard and I have never had a malfunction.

    Bottom line, you got a bad gun. Doesn't make the whole gun line bad,
    I don't believe in throwing out the baby with the bathwater. But,
    there may be some tweaking the company needs to do.
    I like Keltec for that reason. The tweaking has been done. The ejector
    was modified over the years, the chamber modified, the guide rod, the rail
    end thickness.
    I benefit from years of others problems when buying a p3at. These little
    guns are pushing the envelope, even new keltecs can have individual problems,
    but at least I know the major bugs are worked out.
    Hopefully the diamondback will get worked out as well.
     
  14. winchester62

    winchester62

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    The Speer didn't fail to go boom. The Silver Tip did that. And I'm not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. As I said, I'll report back when I get it back and try again.;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  15. fmfdocglock

    fmfdocglock

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    I have 2 pocket guns, a MDE .380 and a NAA Guardian .32acp.

    Both started out a little bit rough. After 200-300 rounds through them they are very reliable.

    What is everyones opinions on a break-in period for these little pistols?

    My .45s have never needed a break-in.
     
  16. certifiedfunds

    certifiedfunds Cosmopolitan Bias

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    Break in periods for SD guns should be unacceptable, IMO.

    After failures, especially random and intermittent failures, at what point do you call if trustworthy?

    Unlike the two posters above, I have ZERO faith in my keltec pocket guns......to the point that they're somewhere in my shop under a pile of crap......this after I read about how all the bugs had been worked out.

    ****ty machining is ****ty machining. This isn't a pair of shoes. If something needs polishing it should be polished at the factory prior to shipment. I'm not going to spend $300 proving a $250 gun is reliable.
     
  17. dogmower

    dogmower

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    my pocket gun is a S&w 640. 5 rounds of .357 magnum is all i need.
     
  18. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger

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    I have had numerous Keltecs and never had problem one. Right out of the box perfect on at least 6 Keltec p3at's I think I have bought. My experience with Keltec and for that matter Ruger has been terrific.
    Others not good apparently.
    I would still trust the Keltec over any other pocket pistol made.
    I have only my experience to go by.

    I don't shoot them much, a few hundred rounds and then I reserve them to life saving duty. Could be the reason I have had such good luck with them. Still they should work right out of the box, I agree.
    If they don't ship them back. You just threw them in a box to waste?
    Why not have them repaired for free? That makes zero sense.
    I have never bought a gun yet that could not be fixed to run perfect.
    So no reason to avoid pocket autos in principle or throw them under a pile of trash. That is mind boggling.
    Heck PM me. I will take anything you have off your hands for $100 right now. Better than wasting away under trash.
    The design of the p3at is a solid design, whether you got a lemon is
    another story. Every company produces lemons.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  19. winchester62

    winchester62

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    That's great but start your own thread about keltec or ruger if you want to talk about them. This thread is about Diamondback 380s...
     
  20. warch

    warch

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    I agree. It seems that the small .380's are prone to problems as evidenced by countless posts. I too tried the small .380 route and gave up. Given the price of ammo and unreliability issues, I went to to the Ruger LCR (.38 revolver) and am totally satisfied. It will fit in your pocket..if your pockets are big enough!! I also have the smith 640 and love that too...just a bit heavy for pocket carry, but can be done with a good belt.