Diamondback’s New & Improved DB9 Gen 4 – Video Review

Diaomondback DB9 Gen 4 by GBGuns
Diaomondback DB9 Gen 4 by GBGuns

When the DB9 from Diamondback Firearms was originally released, it was one of, if not the smallest and thinnest 9mm pistols in the world.  The feat of creating a pocket 9mm, roughly the size of most pocket .380 ACP pistols, however, did not go without compromise or criticism.  Instead of appreciating that Diamondback had found a way to make such a gun, consumers complained.

Diamondback DB9 Handgun

Most of the complaints were simply a matter of not understanding the pistol.  Superficially, many attempted to compare the DB9 against other single-stack 9mms like the Shield or PPS.  A more accurate comparison would have been against the LCP and Bodyguard since the DB9 is more of a pocket gun than a single-stack 9mm.  Another common negative came from many users not reading their instruction manual and attempting to use loads over 124gr or +P loads in their early-generation DB9s.  Diamondback specifically warned against this in the manual, but people still did, and the results were often the destruction of the firearm.  The 4th generation DB9 has had some serious upgrades to bridge these gaps.

Let’s take a closer look in the tabletop video up next:

Maddy of GBGuns demonstrates just how thin the DB9 can be by intentionally wearing snug clothing. Although the gun is holstered on her right hip the belt is the only visible break in her shirt’s line.

Up-sized sights, the addition of a slide stop/release, and a stronger overall construction bring the DB9 Gen 4 perhaps from pocket-gun to tiny single-stack categorization.  The specifications below are taken directly from the product web page.

  • MSRP:$305
  • HEIGHT:  Height with flush magazine: 4.00″
    • Height with extended magazine: 4.51″
  • WEIGHT: 13.4 oz. (empty flush magazine)
  • LENGTH:Length of gun: 5.73″
  • WIDTH:Overall Width: .89”
    • Slide Width: .81”
  • SIGHT RADIUS: 4.51″
  • BARREL:  3.1″ Stainless Steel, 1:10 RH
  • TRIGGER:  Improved trigger pull and shorter reset
  • TRIGGER ACTION: Striker Fired Double Action Only
  • SLIDE: Gun Grade Stainless Steel, QPQ Black Nitride
  • CALIBER:  9x19mm
  • CAPACITY: 6+1 rounds
  • FRAME: Black Polymer
  • SIGHTS:  3-Dot, Glock Compatible
  • RECOIL SYSTEM:  All steel captured

With an empty weight of just slightly more than half that of the popular Smith & Wesson Shield, the DB9 Gen 4 is easy to carry and all but disappears in a quality holster.  Diamondback has worked with a number of holster manufacturers to ensure that holsters were ready, and so we were able to test with a CrossBreed Holster, which looked like a bit of an overkill for such a small gun but had us checking to make sure the gun was still there.

The DB9 Gen 4 all but disappears in a CrossBreed holster and is thinner than the doubled 5.11 belt.

The light weight also means there is less to mitigate recoil, and with a frame width of just over 3/4″, what does that recoil feel like?  We hit the range for our basic battery of tests, including the popular “What’s For Dinner?” test. In that test, we run a variety of different loads, bullets, and case types, all with their own unique handling characteristics to determine what a gun will or will not, “eat”.

Range tests can be seen in the Shooting Impressions video below:

The pistol is snappy, but that’s to be expected from such a small gun.  Is there a need or reason for such a gun?  Yes.  Pocket guns don’t have to be .380 ACP or smaller anymore.  9mm ammunition is less expensive, more readily available, and in a wider variety of loads.  Now that the DB9 can handle +P loads it’s quite possible to find one to compensate for having a shorter barrel and still deliver full-strength energy on target.  Will it be pleasant to shoot?  No, but it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to be an excellent concealable tool.

About Graham Baates

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community, including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the local 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on YouTube.