Published on May 11th, 2012 | by Brandon Webb47
Navy SEAL Dog Trainer Mike Ritland’s Concealed Carry: The Diamondback 380
I was out in Texas picking up my dog from Military Working and Private Protection Dog trainer Mike Ritland and noticed he had a new personal concealed carry piece. I’ve never shot this little bad boy but Mike’s endorsement is good enough for me (Mike and I served together at SEAL TEAM THREE GOLF Platoon). What I really liked about this gun is that it is truly a slim package but didn’t have that toy-like feel that I experience with other pieces.
Please share your concealed weapon of choice with us and take a look at the DB 380….
Specs From the Diamondback Website
Diamondback Firearms is proud to present the DB380. A micro-compact .380 automatic pistol made entirely in the USA. Designed with safety in mind, the DB380 features a “ZERO-Energy” striker firing system (patent pending) with a mechanical firing pin block, a steel magazine catch to secure a sheet metal magazine and real windage-adjustable sights, all in a lightweight pistol.
A steel trigger with dual connecting bars allows for a crisp smooth, five-pound DAO trigger pull. The DB380 features a FEA (Finite Element Analysis) designed slide and barrel that is stronger than any comparable firearm, resulting in durability with less felt recoil, and the absence of removable pins or tools makes field stripping easier than ever. The slide, barrel, and internal parts are coated to resist corrosion, making this pistol a lifetime investment.
- Capacity: 6+1 Rounds
- Weight: 8.8 Ounces
- Width: .750″
- Barrel Length: 2.80″
- Firing Mechanism: Striker Fire
- Trigger Pull: DAO 5 lb
I have been raised to question the terminal ballistics/stopping-power of a .380 Automatic. Granted, there are some great (newer) defensive loads out-there, but I've been wary of anything smaller than .40 S&W. Obviously, if someone who has the experience of Mr. Ritland - chooses a .380 Auto - it piques my interest! I carry a Sig P229SCT (.40 S&W) and love it - although my only issue is with its weight. I have been reading what I can, regarding the Springfield XD-S compact .45 ACP and am listing heavily towards it. I really want something that is easier to conceal (although my RCS Phantom does a great job with my P229SCT and TLR-1) and lighter weight - but is substantial enough to neutralize a threat. …Any ideas?
I don't want to have to worry about stopping power so I've never carried anything but a .45, and the best carry for me by far has been the Sig P220 Carry.
my favorite gun has been the SIG P229 .40 Too big for a concealable though, so I bought a Ruger LCP. Like the gun for the price point, and small enough to carry all the time.
@flynhi1 If I'm wearing jeans and t-shirt or in the evening with even a sweatshirt, with a good IWB I do carry my P229 concealed. I find that it's even flatter along my waist than a Glock 27. If I'm out to somewhere dressy and have tighter clothes on, then it's the Kahr P380 for me (plus 6P, plus Benchmade folder) :)
@flynhi1 one thing I recently discovered is with the Raven Phantom holster, the FiveseveN can be carried under a t-shirt it's so flat including spare mag. That aspect is appealing, esp. since I use the good 2350+ fps load.
@flynhi1 My P229 is fine with an old but great Kramer IWB leather holster. That Kahr is so small it could be one of those old cigarette lighters, with the minimal trigger guard holster which was reviewed here, one could easily hang it on a neck chain. It's small enough that even in a cheap leather holster it can roll around in a jacket or vest pocket, but doesn't work well for putting in a tight jeans pocket. Since it uses a locked breech and Glock style spring etc the recoil is nothing like the old blowback .380s Also, I usually spend time polishing the feed ramp, but this one was fine! If you're in CA, because they modified it with a mag disconnect, field stripping is weird because you have to have a dummy round or plastic magazine in order to remove the slide :( Other than that a quality piece of work - sights are easy to pick up in low light too.
thanks! I could probably use a better holster to carry concealed for the Sig and haven't had the time to look. I like the Ruger even with the smaller rounds just because it's so easy to slip into a pocket holster and carry. Unfortunately can't carry a cw to either job, so the time i have to drag one around is limited anyway.
I have a Sig P250 Subcompact 9mm with rail. I absolutely LOVE it - I can interchange a .40cal/.357sig barrel with it - very cool modular platform! 12 rounds of 9mm and 10 40cal/357sig - tough to beat it!
Im a little late on this thread, but the Sig P938 is a solid rig. Modeled after the old Colt Mustang (which was a p.o.s. if I may say so myself) but, chambered in 9mm its a nice slim and well built rig. Sig makes good guns period and I definitely like what they did with those oldie.
The price at under $350 is interesting enough to get my attention, I'll need to find one at a range and rent it for a couple of hours.
A good friend who just retired from instructing SOTIC (now SFSC) told me about the Kahr P380 and how a lot of serious guys were depending on it for a deep concealment pistol. I got one and am thrilled with it. If I had seen this article at the same time, I would have had to try both out. Mine is small enough to hide in clothes I wouldn't have thought possible to hide something in. Although my favorite is still my P229, @jshjr nice to hear that someone else likes the FiveseveN too.
5.7 is an awesome weapon system that has an undeserved negative rap. Great round, great pistol for PDW. Shot placement is important, but with 20 rounds, even an average shooter can do what needs to be done. But that said, shot placement = practice...actually correct practice, correct practice!
I don't know anything about the FN, but as I read about the Five-seveN the article said they were sold only to government/law enforcement. What am I missing?
@flynhi1 @jshjr I've been to this website. Good information, but the website is in Russia so I think that sometimes they get older news. For awhile, it looked like it might turn into an LE/Mil only platform, but FNH produced the SR197 ammunition for civilian sales and made their mil ammunition LE/Mil only. The SR197 runs at about 1800 fps using a blue-tipped V-max which will not penetrate kevlar (Level IIa and above I imagine). The SR197 is a little bit faster than the .22 Rem Jet. What I use is 2350+ fps. Although I'm not yet as confident in it as my P229, Browning or Model 13, it shows a lot of promise. The FiveseveN and 20rnd mag + spare mag is lighter and flatter than my P229 alone even with an X300 attached - in fact I can carry it in a Raven Phantom with soft loops (IWB) + spare under a t-shirt w/o printing. The ammunition is lighter than 9x19 and I imagine one could carry a Lot in a pack but not be too heavy. It's still an awfully exotic round and you can't depend on getting the ammunition just anywhere. I haven't tried my premium ammunition, but the SR197 has quite a bright little flash, the recoil is light and shot-to-shot recovery is very fast. The trigger is kind of twangy but that can be worked on. The velocity is high enough that plinking steel at 100yds is not a problem. Like all the other tools, it is very much a personal choice. I have always loved the quality of FN pistols. All of my pistols were carefully chosen, but all are pretty old. My FiveseveN is the only one with a P rail. It's fun to shoot but expensive and though I have dies, the brass is impossible to find and I hear it can be tricky to load. For me, it fills a niche where I want more ballistics than a .380ACP but need something light and flat. If you're the kind of person who shoots each shot like you're in a match - the idea of having 40 rnds handy is pretty comforting :) I dearly wish to be able to see the classified post-shooting/ME reports with it.
@jshjr thank you. Shot placement is always important for me :) It's tattoo'd on my bones along with a few other choice phrases. I carry only the 'premium' ammo for it which does wonders at simulating the SS190. I think the design and engineering which went into the cartridge by Fabrique was amazing - created a round which acts like a miniature 5.56 in a different velocity regime. Since it was designed to submit for trials to replace the 9x19, comparing it to the 9mm, it shows off extremely well. The other week, I realized how flat and light the FiveseveN in a Raven Phantom with a spare 20rnd is. Between my P229 (now with three calibers) and the FiveseveN, what I carry depends on where I'm going. It's also the only pistol I've bought recently enough to have a Picatinny rail on it, so there's an X300 on mine.
@jshjr I so know what you mean! My heavy is either my P229 with my .357Sig barrel and Speer Gold Dot 125JHP or, and this is funny but it works out for me, if my dog wakes me up in the middle of the night with a certain growl, it takes time to put on jeans and shirt and loop my Kramer holster in, so I have my Dan Wesson .44 Mag in a shoulder rig which is great to throw on over sweat pants and t-shirt under a light jacket. Win 250gr PTHP (which is their big bore version of Ranger). I'm lucky to be somewhat recoil insensitive and I can place shots with it noooo problem. I live in a community where I'm hesitant to take my M4 wannabe or the Benelli out to check around :)
People always look at me stange (well they do anyway as a rule :-)) when I try to describe the 5.7 x 28 as a .223 or 5.56 short.
My 'heavy' is the FNP45 that is kept in SA mode.
I carry either a Kahr PM40 or Smith and Wesson M&P40c depending on my dress. Either way, I never leave home with out one of them.
What is the pouch behind the gun in the pictures? Looks like it would attach well to my pack when out hiking/biking.
The Glock 25 and 28 are double stack and not as slim as FEA.
Unfortunately, the 25 and 28 do not score enough ATF "import points" to be allow for importation into the USA.
@BrandonWebb @Corps I wanted to like Glock (I do believe they make excellent firearms) but I could never come to terms with the angle of the grip - I absolutely love my HK and Sig pistols! But like Corps says it's personal preference for sure, I have some friends who are amazing shooters and swear by Glock - I tried and tried but could never shoot anywhere near as good with my Sig's and especially my HK Tactical - thing is THE SHIT! what amazes me is when someone will just impulse buy without trying first to then just sell a firearm at loss because they end up not liking it...
PS: Back on topic I like this Diamondback 380 - I just checked one out yesterday (influence from this post) - and was pretty impressed - I hope to get back to shoot it in a few days, it looks and feels like an excellent pistol!
@gipbmac @BrandonWebb oh p.s. they're all tools and everyone has an individual preference. If you go rent the Diamondback to try out, I'd recommend trying the Kahr P380 as well. The grip is pretty small even for me, but I can't get over how smooth the DA is! Almost like my customized Smith Model 13! Another hint. When shooting with pistols like the Browning HP and P380, I just found out that if you use the parallel thumb grip (which is my preferred), it can cause malfunctions because of the location of the slide lock so use the thumbs tucked grip on those :) That drove me nuts with my custom Browning for awhile and I thought I had tweaked it too much. Not a problem with them now! Just have to get a muscle memory to switch depending on what I carry.
@gipbmac @BrandonWebb one of my two favorites is my old P229. I'm fine with Glocks. No problem at all with my Glock 27, but it's like a shoebox and if you're in a 300rnd course, your hand will cramp fast loading those tiny mags! One thing (and perhaps hint to those who like tinkering) about my 27 is when I got a Storm Lake extended dual ported barrel chambered for .357 Sig, it turned into absolutely fastest shot-to-shot accurate pistol I own! Oddly enough, if I use a supported under the arm position for my Benelli with 00Buck - it's just as fast. The trouble with the extended bbl for the Glock is if I have it concealed in an abdominal carry it's like "Are you happy to see me or what?"
BUT, I probably own more than my fair share. You can't beat the price point. They are very easy to maintain. They go bang every time you pull the trigger. I have not had a FTF malfunction in excess of 50K rounds through various models. I have experienced the pistol going into single shot mode due to a spring failure.
I do not care for grip ergonomics or the angle of the grip. Too bad Glock did not duplicate the 1911 grip geometry (as did S&W in the M&P pistols or the HK45 and 45C). Glock compact and subcompacts do present challenges with the shortened grip if one has big hands.
I find the Pearce mag extension a must on compacts and an absolute necessity on subcompacts. At least if I'm to have any chance of hitting a target, especially on the move. But, then the M61A1 was my small arm weapon in the Corps and since moving into a different stage of life (Commandant's term), I've had to adapt to man portable small arms, ie., Glocks, 1911s, HK45C/USPs, and Sigs.
For concealed carry, I prefer the Sig 239 or a snubby S&W J Frame. However, I'll give the DB380 or the DB9 a check out. DB380s are not in stock at various distributors. The DB9 in readily available.
@Tango9 @BrandonWebb The first newer pistol I got for concealment was the Glock 27, but the grip is big enough that with an IWB, my P229 hides as easily. Mine has a Storm Lake dual port bbl for .357Sig which makes it the fastest shooting pistol I have, but it feels like a shoebox on me. As far as a toy-like feel, I do understand that. As much as I love the P380, even with my small hands, the grip is small enough that if I'm not careful, the grip can torque away from my ideal hold. In the .40SW, I find the shot-to-shot recovery of the Glock 27 very slow and have any of you tried to load those little mags during a 300-800 rnd course??? I went to my Sig after my hand cramped and spasmed after the 6th scenario! (pre-Lula days).
Reminds me of cross between the Glock and the Springfield XD series line of pistols. Love the serrations on the slide, the grip form, and the overall size in relation to a Springfield XDS .45 model. Nice look.
It looks sweet, I'm a little iffy on the mag cap (I know it's a tiny pistol). I can't hit the ground with a pistol even if I dropped it, so I like larger cap mags personally (spray n pray). It does look like a nice carry for a woman...mainly because women tend to dress in stuff that makes CC difficult so a smaller frame is more attractive.
@Tango9 one good thing about my 80s instructor is that I got pretty good at mashing myself into a rollover prone with a sidearm. Even with my small hands, my Kahr can move in my grip during recoil because it is so small, but on a hugely plus side, I recently went to a party in Hollywood (a place that used to be not-so-nice). I had leather pants an a tight top. No one knew I had the Kahr, two spare (Speer Gold Dot) and my Benchmade on me ;) Funny story - the girl sitting next to me moved to get out of the chair and bumped her arm on the Onslaught clip and said "Ouch, what's that?" I said, it's nothing just a clip. My anti friend glared at me thinking I meant 'magazine.' That was the most ironic annoying moment I've had at a social gathering. I just smiled innocently and said nothing more :)
That is an awesome flag and trident in the last picture.
I carry a Ruger LCP or a Springfield XDm compact in 9mm.
Nice read. I looked at this piece a year ago for my wife. At the time it was 'brand new' with no verafilable field history beyond the sales hype.
My impression was that it was a slightly re-engineered Glock action, which is ultimately why I stayed with the Browning 380. If it had been a Glock, I would have gotten it (heard they have a 380 Glock in Europe...why would they not bring it here?). While I like new idea's, I am always wary of anything that is Mod 0 as usually there are issues that need to be worked out.
Sound like a great weapon system. Shoulda, coulda, woulda! :-)
As perviously stated or implied my wife carries the Browning 380 and for me it is the FN5.7.
@jshjr Trés Kewl! I ❤❤ the Browning .380 and one day will get one and have always loved the craftsmanship and quality (Fabrique Nationale does nice work). I am beginning to really appreciate my FiveseveN because it's so flat in my Raven Phantom with soft loops that I can wear it on hot days under a t-shirt or tank top and knowing there's 20rnds in and 20 spare of 2350+ fps quality ammunition (including X300) which is lighter than my P229 with no spare is kind of comforting! :D I don't mind the trigger with is a little twangy, but Elite Ammunition does an action job which lightens it a good deal. Hmm, I think I can say this, but EA is working on a reasonably extended FiveseveN match barrel with will bring the MV halfway to the P90. It will take awhile because the owner is negotiating with the best barrel companies right now. But it is something to look forward to for the spare tools kit! I'll let you know when it gets closer. The owner is a good guy who recently is dealing with the financial and emotional backlash of having a BATF high-risk warrant raid at his family house because of an ammunition type he manufactured which falls completely under legal guidelines. Lost his production investment and his daughter was traumatized and will probably be a tin hat type like me when they grow up. I think he'll win the legal battle, but doesn't have the legal resources like they do. oops sorry blabbing again...