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Diamondback Firearms: From Airboats To Guns

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Florida is best known for warm and welcoming beaches, massive snowbird migrations and spectacular NASA launches. It’s also home to the Everglades and diehard outdoorsmen, and women, eager to explore its most remote regions. In 1989, Diamondback Airboats was established in Cocoa, Fla., to provide transportation to those hard-to-reach places.

The family-owned firm began with three employees, but the quality product they produced quickly caught the attention of enthusiasts. Sales grew, a number of its boats were purchased by customers abroad and business expanded as word spread.

It wasn’t long before the other industries harnessed the factory’s CNC expertise. Gun parts for other companies were produced for some time, but in 2009, Diamondback Firearms was officially established to produce its own models.

The initial introduction was the DB380, a .380 ACP-chambered micro-compact semi-auto pistol that immediately gained a faithful following among those with carry permits. There was good reason for the attraction, too. The polymer-frame, double-action-only handgun wore a steel slide and barrel—with the latter measuring 2.8″—yet overall weight came in at only 8.8 ozs. Magazine capacity was six cartridges. Not long after, Diamondback expanded its line with the introduction of a 9 mm Luger version.

Sales were brisk, and the firm caught the attention of famed gunmaker Taurus International, which acquired it in 2013. Refreshingly, it wasn’t one of those painful corporate takeovers. Marketing and sales shifted, but the craftsmen and expertise under the Diamondback Firearms roof remained, without any required move or change in daily management.

The seamless transition paid dividends, because it wasn’t long before the company rolled out its own take on the AR-15 platform—the DB15 and variants. The quality that helped establish the company remains, as evidenced by the solid reviews and fan base that continues to grow.

Heritage Manufacturing became a member of the Taurus family of firms in 2012, and the synergy shows in the latest from Diamondback—the Sidekick revolver. Today, the company also offers the DBX57, a modern sporting pistol chambered in 5.7×28 mm, a DB10 line of AR-10 variants, and much more. The DB380 remains available, with improvements and variations that make it one of the company’s most popular models to this day.

Article by GUY J. SAGI

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