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Pocket-Sized 380 ACP Pistols: S&W, Taurus, and Diamondback

In this three-way test, the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard turned out to be the Cadillac of 380s. Also, Taurus’s 738 got the job done, but malfunctions plagued the promising Diamondback 380.

In this test we'll take a look at three 6+1 380 Auto pistols that Gun Tests readers have been asking us to test: the $430 Diamondback DB380, the $575 Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380, and the $336 Taurus Model 738B.

The Diamondback DB series pistols are manufactured by a relatively new company in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Diamondback lays


Above: The Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 was the most expensive gun in our tests, but at $575, not cost prohibitive. The $645 Sig Sauer P238 tested in our June 2010 issue was the priciest micro-compact 380 Auto we’ve tested. We gave the P238 an A- rating, and in this test we were willing to give both the Bodyguard and the Taurus 738B an A- as well. The Taurus was very inexpensive, about $340, and performed very well in our action tests. But, the Smith & Wesson was so much more solid and well built. It also featured the Integrated Insight Laser and a thumb safety. Our third gun in the test, the $430 Diamondback DB380, was an interesting case. We could call it a miniature Glock, and it may have been the best all-round shooter based solely on the way it felt, not to mention some good groups from the bench. But we had several malfunctions and sent it back to its manufacturer, a new company based in Florida, for warranty repair. Firing each of these guns from the bench posed quite a challenge until we latched on to a pair of Triad Tapered Rear Bags ($20 each from www.triadtactical.com).
claim to "a FEA (Fine Element Analysis) designed slide and barrel that is stronger than any comparable firearm, resulting in durability with less felt recoil…." Some of the finer points we liked were the steel magazine catch and the taper at the lower corner of the trigger guard to ease holstering or other…


 
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