Let’s see, how can I start off this Diamondback DBX57 review? I was going to say, “… one of the most fun, coolest guns of 2021…” But, I first shot the DBX57 at SHOT Show 2020. You know, right before the world exploded, travel got hard, etc. Let me back up and start over. And yes, at the end of this text is our video, but there’s always something more here, so read on…
DBX57 Myth: The 5.7mm is a Range Toy
So the first obvious thing about the DBX57 is the 5.7mm round. Back at the beginning of SHWAT™ we took a PS90 (5.7mm) hog hunting. Lot’s of people told us it was a bad idea. Lots of people seemed convinced the little 5.7mm was too small, borderline impotent. “It’s just a fancy .22 Magnum.”
Well, I’ll leave the caliber wars to others, but we killed wild hogs using the 5.7mm, and even got a terrible video. Don’t judge, we had zero budget back then. We used Elite Ammo then, but this time we ran FN SS197SR and Federal American Eagle FMJ, both 40 gr.
It seems that interest in the 5.7mm round has really jumped up in the past couple of years. Ruger introduced a handgun that is head to head competition against FN’s pistol (and Ruger’s may be better…). CMMG adapted a gun to the the diminutive caliber. And Diamondback introduced the DBX57. If I’ve overlooked something, add it in a comment below, no login required.
I’ve seen some writers and Youtubers change their minds and endorse the 5.7mm as a solid performer. My first hand experience killing hogs with it convinced me years ago, so the introduction of the DBX57 had me excited from the start.
As I’ve already pointed out, options for shooting the 5.7mm are growing from some bigger players. I’d had no hands on experience with Diamondback before the DBX57 and therefore had no point of reference, good or bad, to start from. I was just excited to see a new option that came in a compact package.
The DBX57 puts a new twist on the word “compact.” Ours showed up in an oversized hard case, which is, of course, nice. It had no brace, which surprised me. At 15.25″ with an 8″ barrel, it’s just small. In the video we compare it to a full sized AR and an AR pistol. But even those comparisons fall short of demonstrating just how compact the DBX57 is.
And thin. The DBX57 is thinner than a homeless guy’s wallet. Okay, that may be an overstatement, exclude the charging handle and you have a roughly 1.25″ width. So guess what? The whole pistol, sans brace, weighs in at essentially three pounds. That’s roughly the equivalent of a small bag of potatoes or the iron you use to press your shirts.
Diamondback DBX vs. AR
We cover the similarities and differences between the DBX57 and a typical AR in the video, don’t miss it. While the DBX is an entirely new design, it shares some AR DNA. The grip, trigger and selector are all standard AR fare.
However, the DBX57 is a side charging gun, something I certainly like. Left side, right side, just swap as you see fit. It takes 4 seconds, as you can see in the video. And the adjustable dual gas piston system is a complete departure from Stoner’s design. Mags are 20 round FN Five-Seven compatible ProMags. That will be a con for some who want higher capacity. The PS90 holds 50 rounds, but the insanely small geometry and weight of the DBX57 are the trade off. Nothing is perfect, and I suspect most people really will be just fine with twenty rounds.
The bolt catch is much more Glock than AR, as you’ll see in the video.
And, unlike the AR family, the DBX57 has no buffer tube, just a 90 degree pic rail as the butt. And that opens up other options…
I mentioned earlier that our DBX57 didn’t come with a brace. That’s quite alright, I personally prefer the Tailhook braces from Gearhead Works. (And by the way, ATF, it’s a phenomenal brace for one handed shooting!). Anyway, the folding 1913 Picatinny Rail Tailhook Brace is what I added to the DBX57. For all the reasons in that linked story, it’s great on the DBX57.
Because shooting without hearing protection attached to your muzzle is, frankly, uncivilized, I added a Silencerco Sparrow can. Wow! You’ll hear it in the video, and as a guy with ears ringing as I type (and consequently paranoid about ear pro), I have to say this pairing proved fantastic. I felt no need to put on the muffs I’d grabbed for the range trip.
You can upgrade all the AR compatible parts as you see fit, the trigger, grip and selector. I know, I should probably get on that.
DBX57 for You?
Obviously we can’t answer that question, but you can after this and a couple of other DBX57 reviews. Why or why not? Let us know in the comments. And, it helps us out if you subscribe to the YouTube channel while you’re at it. Thanks!
HOW MUCH $$$
You can sometimes find in the $900 range. Less than $1200 typically.