Diamondback Firearms Announces the Sidekick! Unlike Any Other
Eve Flanigan 11.01.21
At the Blue August Gun Writers’ Conference in October, we writers had a chance to see and shoot some great new and upcoming guns. Among them is one that looks old, but is brand new from a rather unexpected source: Florida-based Diamondback Firearms (until now known for their semi-auto rifle and pistol offerings). Their upcoming November 22nd release is a revolver called the Sidekick.
The Sidekick is different – in a good way. Diamondback reps explained that their growing company started out as a machine shop making airboat components. Employees with access to CNC machines and their own smarts decided to create a concealable handgun, and Diamondback Firearms was born. In a time of economic challenges, this company is expanding in both depth of products and breadth of industries served. New ideas from new backgrounds are what pushes the industry forward, after all, and while Mr. Kalashnikov the freight train designer gets a lot more fame, Diamondback products also are inspired from the insights of people with diverse manufacturing backgrounds.
With the profile of a classic Colt revolver, the Sidekick delivers modern functionality in a cowboy package. Don’t let the prominent hammer fool you – this little shooter is double-action/single-action. While classic tastes may yearn for wood or mother-of-pearl grips, the Sidekick has durable, weather-resistant polymer grip panels with classic checkering on each side. At the apex of the grip, the Diamondback “DB” shield is subtly embossed.
The zinc frame and barrel are finished with black Cerakote. Here is a potential point of concern for those who are obsessed with keeping a gun pristine-looking. Cerakote, as an application, will eventually wear off at friction points. Given that the underlying material is zinc – not steel – wear should be minimally visible; however, those obsessed with finish would be advised to invest in a fleece-lined holster and who wouldn’t enjoy one to enhance the buckaroo vibe this gun inspires? What’s certain is that any dings on the finish will not affect this gun’s performance.
The standout feature of this revolver is its two nine-round, interchangeable cylinders. One is for .22 Long Rifle ammo while the other accommodates .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire (22 WMR). The same gun that’s used for plinking cans can go varmint hunting at 100 yards and do it all with ease considering that .22 LR ammo remains fairly available and affordable, if not already on hand, while .22 WMR can be reserved for varmints or home defense. The two cylinders change out easily; no tools required. Virtually anyone of any stature could enjoy every feature of this revolver’s operation.
Diamondback did some cost containment on this handgun, and part of that is with the sights. The front sight is fixed while the rear is molded-in. One thing’s for sure, they’ll probably last forever. The other thing that’s for sure is the user will need to know the gun’s built-in zero before taking it to the field or shooting competitively.
With the application of engineering and creativity, Diamondback managed to preserve the profile of an ejector rod while giving the Sidekick a modern cylinder release and plunger. It sounds funny, but looks great, and more importantly, it works. I was fortunate to put a few rounds downrange with this smart little gun. In double-action, the trigger pull is not as heavy as compact, double-action concealment revolvers I most often shoot. We didn’t have the change to gauge triggers on site, so I have no poundage information available. In single-action, the break is pleasingly crisp. It was satisfying to enjoy this Old West look and feel without fiddling around to load/eject rounds one at a time.
This looks to be a fantastic choice for a first handgun, rancher or trapper sidearm, or a trusty partner for recreational shooting or learning to shoot on a budget (not to mention with negligible recoil). Diamondback reps say there’s been an outpouring of interest in the gun by reviewers. That’s unsurprising considering it sports a common claim, but rare reality in new gun products: innovation. Instead of being something new, Diamondback combined trusted and beloved designs in a brand new way. It really is worth getting excited about.
The Sidekick is available to pre-order through dealers now. Its official release is November 22nd, 2021. Although the word of the season for virtually every manufacturing segment is “supply chain issues,” it appears that Diamondback Firearms put themselves in good stead, partnering with industries that are in a slowdown. They anticipate being able to keep up with at least the initial flood of orders in a timely manner. At just $320, it’s hard to justify not buying a Sidekick for yourself or a favorite young shooter.
Specifications: Diamondback Firearms Sidekick
- Caliber: .22 Long Rifle/.22 Magnum (.22 WMR) Convertible
- Action: Double-Action/Single-Action
- Grips: Checkered, Glass-Filled Nylon
- Capacity: 9 Rounds
- Front Sight: Fixed Blade
- Rear Sight: Integral
- Barrel Length: 4.5″
- Overall Length: 9.88″
- Frame and Internal Grip Material: Zinc
- Finish: Black Cerakote
- Weight: 32.5 Ounces
- Twist Rate: 1:16 Right-hand
- Grooves: 6