Categories
Handguns

Diamondback DBX – Dual Piston Pistol

Diamondback DBX Review on Range

Diamondback Firearms announced the new DBX pistol at SHOT Show 2020. The new gun is chambered for the 5.7×28 cartridge and has a variety of interesting features that might grab your attention.

So, let’s not dally about and jump right in.

General Information

The new Diamondback DBX is in the general style of an AR pistol, but it should be readily apparent that it is not as simple as that.

Diamondback Firearms manufactured this semi-automatic pistol as a locked-breech design with a dual-piston gas system. I’m looking forward to getting some time with this gun to see how the system is designed.

Diamondback DBX at SHOT Show in 5.7x28

Unlike some of the alternatives, this is a bottom feeder with the magazines inserting in the AR-standard position. The gun runs on FN Five-seveN 20-round magazines. However, the company has also announced that a second gun that will feed from the Ruger-57 pattern magazines will also be released. One magazine is included.

The 8″ barrel is threaded. It comes fitted with the company’s new DBX muzzle device.

Up front, the forend has M-LOK attachment points on the left, right and bottom for a wide range of accessories. Included with the gun is a Magpul handstop kit. For a gun this short, I like that the company includes this as a standard accessory.

Review Diamondback DBX Pistol at the Range

Diamondback includes a side folding arm brace with the pistol. It attaches to the Picatinny rail on the butt end of the gun.

Specifications

Here is a breakdown of the Diamondback DBX specifications:

 

Diamondback DBX

caliber

5.7x28

capacity

20+1

barrel length

8"

overall length

16.1" without brace

height

7.3" without sights

weight

3 lbs with empty magazine, without brace

frame

7075 aluminum

finish

hardcoat anodized matte black

MSRP

TBD

What Gives?

The new Diamondback DBX is one of several new guns recently announced for the 5.7×28 cartridge. Additionally, there have been some new ammo additions like the Speer Gold Dot self-defense load.

Why the sudden surge of interest in this cartridge?

I don’t have any inside information, but I believe all three guns were developed independently. This suggests that the sales and design teams at three different companies reached the same conclusion on the market data they had. That conclusion: there is enough market demand for guns chambered for the cartridge to make the projects financially viable.

So, what happens when three companies move to satisfy the same demand?

Diamondback DBX LEft Side

In this case, I believe it will work out well for all of the companies.

Starting with the Ruger-57, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the cartridge. When CMMG announced its own rifles and pistols (along with AR conversion kits) in 5.7×28, even more people took notice. With a third company jumping into the pool, it will make a lot of people ask “What am I missing?”

Will those people turn into buyers? I think a lot of them will. With the support of premium ammunition for self-defense, target shooting and small game hunting, the cartridge suddenly has a life I did not expect to see.

I look forward to a Diamondback DBX review, but what do you think? It is hard to carry concealed – after all, you can’t slip it into a Ruger-57 holster, but for a home defense weapon, it might be a great choice. Are you interested in this cartridge and/or pistol?

Categories
Rifles

Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW: New Pistol & SBR

Days ahead of SHOT Show 2020, Daniel Defense teased a new firearm – something that looked like it could be a PDW.

Well, that’s just what they released. Say hello to the new Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW.

Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW camping with beautiful girl

Available in both pistol and SBR configurations, the AR-style weapon system was designed to be both compact and easy to transport. With a 7″ barrel, the pistol version has an overall length of 20.75″. The SBR is slightly longer at 21.0″. This suggests it should be able to fit into backpacks or specialized weapons packs like the ESS Stealth SBR Backpack.

Daniel Defense PDW SBRDanielDefense PDW Pistol

At launch, the guns were only chambered for the 300 BLK cartridge. Over time, the company could introduce other cartridges depending on customer demand.

Pistol variants are equipped with a Maxim Defense CQB Pistol Brace in lieu of a rifle stock. SBR versions are NFA items, meaning additional paperwork and tax stamps, but you get a Maxim Defense CQB Gen 7 collapsible stock.

Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW

“I believe our new DDM4 PDW is the absolute best gun you can buy to protect your family. And protecting our families is the most important thing any of us can ever do,” said Daniel Defense President & CEO Marty Daniel. “It’s accurate, easy to shoot, and compact. I couldn’t be any prouder of this groundbreaking product.”

Additional features of these guns:

  • 7″ barrel with 1:7″ twist
  • barrels are cold hammer forged with S2W profile
  • enhanced buffer system that ensure reliable operation with short barrel, subsonic loads and suppressor use
  • 6″ MFR XL flat front rail
  • SLR M-LOK MOD2 handstop
  • linear comp to redirect muzzle blast forward
  • ambidextrous GRIP-N-RIP charging handle
  • Made in the USA (of course)
  • Pistol MSRP: $1,865 (Updated: $2,073)
  • SBR MSRP: $1,935 (Updated: $2,012)

Daniel Defense shipped both versions of the DDM4 PDW starting in February 2020. They are both still in the company’s catalog at this time.

Daniel Defense PDW for home defense

I don’t know about you, but the SBR with a suppressor looks like it would be a fun gun to run and worth the two stamps.

Last Update: September 22, 2021

Categories
Handguns

Ruger-57: New 5.7×28 Pistol

Ruger-57 Pistol

I like it when companies do unexpected things. Sometimes these outside-the-box ideas change the industry while other times they simply become a curiosity. Either way, it keeps things interesting.

The Ruger-57 is one of those unexpected pistols.

In the days leading up to the SHOT Show, Ruger is rolling out its new products for 2020. Yesterday, the company announced the Lite Rack LCP II. Today, the latest is a handgun chambered for the 5.7×28 cartridge.

Let’s take a look at what this new gun offers.

Quick Note

This gun has been selling out as soon as they hit the shelves of the local dealers. Here are a few online sources you can check for the gun. Purchases through those sites are affiliate links and help pay my bills.

Gun Design

The new Ruger-57 is a full-size pistol with a polymer frame. It has a barrel just short of 5″ and a modest weight of 24.5 ounces.

Ruger-57 Side View

It is a semi-automatic, blowback design. Ruger designed the hammer-fired gun with a 1911-style thumb safety. The safety is ambidextrous for ease of use regardless of which hand grips the pistol.

A front fiber optic sight with a fully adjustable blacked-out rear sight is standard. The gun is red dot ready. Ruger sells multiple mounting plates for the addition of an optic like the Burris FastFire and Vortex Venom.

Standard magazines hold 20 rounds. However, the company also offers limited capacity 10-round magazines for shooters who live in less-free states.

The 5.7×28 Cartridge

There is a good chance that some of my readers are not familiar with the 5.7×28 cartridge.

5.7x28 Ammunition for Ruger-57

That’s understandable as the cartridge has never secured a large part of the firearms market. Nevertheless, it is a caliber that offers a blend of low recoil, high velocity and the reliability of a centerfire round.

In general terms, it is a cartridge with a bottleneck case and a bullet with a diameter of 0.224″ (5.7mm.) Bullet weights range from about 20 grains to about 50 grains. The cartridge could be thought of like a thinner, shorter .221 Fireball though I have no information that suggests the Fireball directly influenced the 5.7×28 design.

Lightweight projectiles tend to make for less recoil and increased velocities. In my own testing, for example, I found the SS197 load with a 40 grain Hornady V-Max bullet averaged 1,683 fps from a 4.8″ barrel.

FN Herstal developed the round in response to a NATO request for a small arms cartridge that could be fired from a pistol and personal defense weapon (PDW) and could penetrate body armor. Although the cartridge and companion firearms were never adopted in any significant quantity by military units, the cartridge and guns have found use in law enforcement and sporting contexts.

Other than the new Ruger-57, there are few companies manufacturing firearms chambered for this cartridge. FN builds the Five-seveN pistol and PS90 rifle chambered for the 5.7×28. There are also several smaller companies that make or previously made specialty guns for the round including the AR-57 and Masterpiece Arms MPA 57.

Speer Gold Dot 57x28 Ammo

While ammunition selection is fairly limited, Speer introduced a new Gold Dot defensive round for the 5.7×28 at the same time Ruger released this new pistol.

The Speer load uses a 40-grain bullet and will be sold in boxes of 50 rounds. The MSRP is about $1/round but street prices are expected to be about $35-39 for a box of 50.

Holster Options

For self-defense, predator control or just plinking on a camping trip, there is a good chance you will need a holster for your new Ruger-57. Fortunately, Ruger had the good sense to work with a number of companies to ensure there would be carry rigs available at launch.

Check out my Ruger-57 Holsters Guide and see what is available.

Specifications

 

Ruger-57

caliber

5.7x28

capacity

20+1

barrel length

4.94"

overall length

8.65"

height

5.6"

weight

24.5 oz

grip frame

polymer

finish

matte black

MSRP

$799

Final Thoughts

I have a positive first impression of the new Ruger-57.

Ruger-57 Review

As I always say, the proof will be in the shooting. Even so, I am intrigued by this gun and have high expectations for its performance and the amount of fun it can provide.

The guns are not cheap by Ruger standards, but it is an all-new design and there are costs associated with that. Compared to the FN Five-seveN, the pistol is significantly less expensive – by more than $600. That will definitely bring more shooters to the 5.7×28 niche. I hope that means we will see more ammo made for it as well.

Categories
Handguns

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II in .22

Ruger LCP II in 22 LR

In the run up to the 2020 SHOT Show, Ruger announced a new pistol chambered for the .22 LR called the Lite Rack LCP II.

In what appears to be a riff off of the incredibly popular Smith & Wesson M&P 380EZ line of pistols, Ruger highlights the ease of slide manipulation and soft recoil of the Lite Rack.

The new Lite Rack has a number of interesting features that sets it apart from the existing LCP line. Let’s jump into them right now.

Quick Note

This gun has been selling out as soon as they hit the shelves of the local dealers. Here are a few online sources you can check for the gun. Purchases through those sites are affiliate links and help pay my bills.

Lite Rack

Ruger Lite Rack LCP II in 22 LR

Ruger appears to have recognized a need for easier to manipulate slides. For years, many people with poor upper body strength have struggled with slide operation. On small guns with heavy recoil springs, this has been a significant issue.

While many people can master slide manipulation with a good technique some people are simply unable to do so.

For these folks, the new Lite Rack LCP II may be a good option.

Ruger designed this pistol to function with a light recoil spring. This means there is less resistance to the slide being pulled back. But, working in concert with the lighter spring is the new Cocking Ears.

Cocking Ears

Most handgun slides have serrations to assist the shooter with gripping the metal when working the action. To further improve the shooter’s grip on the slide, Ruger uses pronounced Cocking Ears.

Ruger Lite Rack Cocking Ears

Located at the extreme rear of the slide, the Cocking Ears jut out from both sides of the gun to provide a ledge for the hand to press against. This should, in theory, improve the shooter’s ability to push/pull the slide.

Heckler & Koch included similar ears on its popular VP9 duty pistol. When I reviewed the HK VP9, I found the ears improved my hand’s grip on the slide while maintaining a sleek profile.

Unlike the HK device, Ruger’s Cocking Ears appear to be a machined part of the slide.

New Floorplate

Ruger updated the LCP II floorplate on this model. Compared to the simple pinky extensions available on the .380 ACP variants, the new plate is a little beefier.

The additional bulk is likely needed to fit a full 10 rounds of .22 LR into the magazine.

Whatever the reason, the floorplate does add extra real estate on the pistol’s grip. Many people will appreciate the extra length.

Rimfire Not Centerfire

Light Recoil from the Ruger LCP II Lite RackLight Recoil from the Ruger LCP II Lite Rack

While .380 ACP ammunition is not abusive, it can still provide harsh recoil to a newer shooter in a small, light handgun. A .22 LR is a much lighter recoiling load.

For the new shooter and those with upper body strength issues, the Lite Rack LCP II may be a fantastic option.

New Thumb Safety

 

Right Side View of Ruger Lite Rack LCP II

Like many .22 LR pistols, the Lite Rack LCP II has a thumb safety. It is quite pronounced and should be easy to operate by anyone regardless of hand strength.

Pushing forward on the safety deactivates it and allows you to fire the gun. The safety is on the left side of the gun only.

The pistol also uses the trigger safety to help prevent accidental discharges.

Specifications

 

Lite Rack LCP II

caliber

.22 LR

capacity

10+1

barrel length

2.75"

overall length

5.2"

height

4.0"

weight

11.2 oz

grip frame

polymer

finish

matte black

MSRP

$349

Final Thoughts

I like the new LCP II in .22 LR. It incorporates a number of features that will make it appealing to a range of shooters. As a guy with increasingly severe arthritis, I am happy to see another company offering a gun that can work for people with reduced hand strength.

The new Lite Rack LCP II has the same suggested retail price as the standard .380 ACP model: $349.

Categories
news

Return of the Taurus 942

Taurus 942 Revolver

Taurus is expected to bring the 942 line of revolvers back at the 2020 SHOT Show.

The new versions of the classic wheelguns will be offered in models for both .22 LR and .22 WMR cartridges, but no convertible revolvers are expected at this time.

In addition to the caliber choices, shooters will be able to select from a wide range of finishes, frames and barrel lengths.

Here are the options that will be available:

 

942 2" barrel

942 3" barrel

942UL 2" barrel

942UL 3" barrel

942M 2" barrel

942M 3" barrel

942M UL 2" barrel

942M UL 3" barrel

caliber

.22 LR

.22 LR

.22 LR

.22 LR

.22 WMR

.22 WMR

.22 WMR

.22 WMR

capacity

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

action

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

DA/SA

barrel length

2"

3"

2"

3"

2"

3"

2"

3"

overall length

6.6"

7.6"

6.6"

7.6"

6.6"

7.6"

6.6"

7.6"

height

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

4.64"

weight

23.6 oz

25.0 oz

17.8 oz

18.8 oz

23.6 oz

25.0 oz

17.8 oz

18.8 oz

frame

alloy or stainless steel

alloy or stainless steel

aluminum

aluminum

alloy or stainless steel

alloy or stainless steel

aluminum

aluminum

finish

matte black or stainless

matte black or stainless

matte black, stainless or anodized colors

matte black, stainless or anodized colors

matte black or stainless

matte black or stainless

matte black, stainless or anodized colors

matte black, stainless or anodized colors

grip

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

rubber

MSRP

not available

not available

not available

not available

not available

not available

not available

not available

As you can see in the above table, the company will offer these guns with both steel and aluminum frames. The aluminum has the obvious benefit of decreased weight while the steel frame can offer a longer life for frequent shooters.

As with other guns that have been introduced by Taurus in recent years, the new 942 revolvers will be available in a variety of finishes. On the steel frames, shooters can select either a matte black or stainless finish. Aluminum guns have these choices and expand the palate to include a number of anodized colors.

Exact anodized colors have not been announced, but the company’s 856 line of revolvers is suggestive of the possibilities. That line includes vibrant colors like azure, rouge, bronze and burned orange. Likewise, the Taurus Spectrum .380 ACP pistols have a significant number of color options.

There are many common features in this gun line. For example, all guns have spurred hammers and can be shot in either double-action or single-action modes.

Another common feature is that the front sight is a pinned, black ramp while the rear sight is a plain black, drift adjustable notch.

All of the guns have an 8-shot capacity. The guns are also fitted with the standard Taurus rubber grip with the bull logo at the rounded bottom.

I believe these may be the first new guns to feature the company’s new location on them. In 2019, Taurus began a move from Miami, FL to Bainbridge, GA. I’m sure there are a range of reasons for the move, but I know that labor costs, property costs and local taxes are substantially less in the new location.

I’m hoping the company experiences a significant reduction in overhead costs and can reinvest the money back into its quality control processes. The company offers a lot of interesting designs at very affordable prices. However, it has been my experience that the quality of the guns has been very hit-or-miss. If the company can get its QC issues – be they real or just perceived – it can see huge success in the coming years.

I do not have an official word on the pricing of the new 942 revolvers. However, my sources believe the MSRP will be around $350 or less.