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

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

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- When the DB9 from Diamondback Firearms was originally released it was one of, if not them 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.

Most of the complaints were a simply 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 results were often 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 below:

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.  Specifications below are taken directly from the product web page.

  • MSRP:$269
  • 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, bullet 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 BaatesG B Guns

“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 .

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    JoseJerryRobert N OsburnJared WrightJoe kovacs Recent comment authors
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    Jerry
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    Jerry

    How does this compare to the kel tec pf9? I am in the market for a small 9 and think that these 2 are in the running.

    Jose
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    Jose

    According to reviews, skip the PF 9. That gun is not reliable, while the DB9 GEN 4 has been very reliable so far according to many reviews so far. The DB9 is smaller too.

    Robert N Osburn
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    Robert N Osburn

    Be very careful what you order .I just received a DB9 ordered off the web, which has the new Gen 4 slide logo , new sights, new stronger frame BUT has the trigger guard hang tag , warning against P+ ammo. I wouldn”t use P+ in a short barrel pistol anyway . It would be nice insurance against ignorance or carelessness.

    Joe kovacs
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    Joe kovacs

    When is it going to be released to the public

    Jared Wright
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    Jared Wright

    Already is on Gallery of Guns website. That’s where I got mine.

    grifhunter
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    grifhunter

    The grip angle is practically 90 degrees. Your natural point of aim will be your targets shoes.

    JDL
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    JDL

    Have an early model – Gen 1 with a Gen 2 slide. Only issue is that it will not feed the first round from a full magazine. Decreasing the mag loadout to 5 rounds makes the gun run flawlessly. So now I carry it 5+1.

    Charles Moore
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    Charles Moore

    I’ve told people that for many years. I down-load single stack mags by one round and double stacks by two. More reliable and removes an easily addressed variable from even super-reliable pistols. Mag springs last longer, too.

    JDC
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    JDC

    Looks like a nice weapon.

    My Honor Guard 9mm has 0.1″ longer barrel and 7 or 8+1. I think this Diamond is perhaps a bit thinner. I don’t consider the recoil on my weapon “snappy” at all. It is my daily carry gun. Never a FTE or FTF in 2000+ rounds mixed of P and +P.in every configuration of bullet and case I could throw at it.

    Any chance of seeing a side by side comparison and your thoughts at the range shooting both of them?

    Graham Baates
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    Graham Baates

    I have reviewed both of them. The Honor Guard is a fine pistol, but in a different category of guns. Consider the Diamondback a pocket gun chambered in 9mm while the Honor Guard is in the single-stack 9mm sub-compact size range. These Diamondbacks are about the same size as the Ruger LCP.

    David warren
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    David warren

    I’m a diamondback customer, very happy one . I’m i the market for a sub .45 defense firearm pistol.any ideas if you guys might be developing anything like that in the future?fingers crossed

    Robert Castleberry
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    Robert Castleberry

    Heizer PKO45

    Craig Clyde
    Guest
    Craig Clyde

    Kahr CM .45

    Charles Moore
    Guest
    Charles Moore

    The excellent Springfield 3.3″ XDs in .45 ACP. It has actually become my favorite pistol to both shoot and carry. I much prefer the grip safety over a traditional type AND the fact that there is NO magazine-disconnect safety. Ammo is critical with short barrels and ESPECIALLY .45 ACP, which is typically not a great performer due to low velocity (made even lower by short barrels. Winchester 185gr. Silvertip has performed very well in my tests against bare media and ACTUAL heavy clothing (not that FBI/IWBA crap). Others worth carrying are Federal HST 230gr. (NOT the LE version), Speer Gold… Read more »