Monday, April 20, 2015

Diamondback FS Nine 9mm: $299 Truck Gun

Last week, I had the opportunity to shake hands with the relatively new Diamondback FS9. Well, it's new to me! I was impressed with the ergonomics and natural paintability of the gun. FS9, of course, stands for Full Size 9mm. And if you're not familiar with the Diamondback brand, here's a brief history lesson:

Several years ago, some blokes left Kel-tec to start their own gun company on the Space Coast of Florida in a little town called Cocoa Beach. Their first gun, the DB380, resembled the single-stack 380acp that Glock hadn't yet made. On Point Firearms torture tested the first sample we got and it performed pretty well-- save for a few malfunctions and brutal felt recoil. The next model was the DB9 9mm, which we lovingly nicknamed the "Dirtbag 9." The On Point Firearms test crew ran 400 rounds of 9mm through a DB9-- which managed to chip the feed ramp on the barrel and sever the trigger in half. Yikes. We sent it in for service and the folks at Diamondback fitted it with a new barrel and a fresh batch of trigger parts. It was a pretty good little gun. Diamondback was just experiencing growing pains. Then, Glock finally made the G42 Carry in 380acp and we all switched to that. Now, Glock has a proper single-stack 9mm in the G43 and we're all switching to that. Next week, we'll all switch back to the Glock 26 and come full circle. Last year, after the rush on AR15 style rifles had died down, Diamondback introduced their DB15-- and nobody cared. Queue the tumbleweeds blowing in the desert and sounds of crickets chirping.

And so we forgot about the Diamondback brand… that is, until last week when the FS9 showed up in a friendly UPS truck. When we placed the purchase order for our client, we had to triple check the price. $299 seemed like a mistake-- too good to be true. After all, dealer wholesale cost on these pistols was $313 several months ago (not that we noticed.)

Distributors have a glut of inventory-- literally hundreds of FS9s sitting in stock, so they're really motivated to blow these things out. To reiterate what I said before: ergonomics are great and the price point is extremely attractive, so the FS Nine deserves a second look. It feels good in your hand, points naturally, and has a decent trigger. The sights will be familiar to any Glock shooter, but the grip angle is all 1911-- which will please the multitude of shooters that dislike the feel of the iconic Austrian pistol. It has a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories and the double-stack ACT mag is made in Italy and has a 15 round capacity. As you can tell from the photos, it's not even a bad looking gun. Futuristic. Aggressive. The machine work on the slide, especially those forward serrations, gives it a custom look. In fact, I'm not such a fan of the logo pattern on the grip, so I would shave that down with a Dremel tool and give it a proper grip stippling texture. For under $300, the pucker factor is low for soldering iron operations. Normally, they require much bravery-- or plenty of brown liquor. Or both.

So, my analysis of the Diamondback FS9 is pretty straight forward: anyway you slice it, this is a great bargain for $299. It looks good, feels good, and would make a great gun for your truck or kitchen drawer. It's a nice starter platform for care-free customization. You can perfect your grip stippling or Cerakote technique on an inexpensive gun before you ruin a $600 Glock.

Let's face it: these days, your dollar buys less than ever. The Diamondback FS9 is a rare find at $299. Even if things go horribly wrong and it needs a trip back to Diamondback for service, I think you're still coming out ahead. There's almost nothing on the market in this price range worth mentioning. So, it's worth mentioning that we're even mentioning it. Diamondback FS9. $299. Give one a try. What do you have to lose? Next week, $300 won't even buy you a gallon of milk and a pack of smokes. Don't quote me on that.

That's all for today, my friends. Have a good 'un and God bless.

Evan Kostreva, Owner
On Point Firearms
"Voted #1 in Consumer Confidence and Overall Excellence."

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