Thoughts About Colt Diamondback


April 4, 2011, 04:24 PM
I have wanted a Colt "Snake Gun" for years. If I had any sense I would have purchased a Python years ago. However, today I am leanning toward the 38 Spl. Diamondback for a number of reason. First, it will carry better from my perspective than the Python. Second, with the +P rounds I should still have a powerful round without the heavy recoil of the .357, and slower recovery for that second shot.

I would appreciate feedback from you folks that have owned, or fired, the Diamondback.

Thanks much,


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April 4, 2011, 05:41 PM
My first handgun was a 6" .22 Diamondback. Still have it. I don't have the
.38, so I guess all I can add is that these are very nice looking guns and mine has dramatically risen in price (I paid about $200 and I when I see them for sale -- not often -- they are more like $1,200). Personally I have come to prefer the handling and balance of S&W revolvers but that is a matter of personal preference.

April 4, 2011, 06:17 PM
I have a couple of Diamondbacks (2.5 inches).

Outstanding guns. Personally I cannot imagine a better carry gun.

Great trigger, the barrel length is perfect, enough heft to have tame recoil and get on target quickly.

(if I can't put 6 shots in a pie plate in 3 or 4 seconds I don't carry it. The DB makes it easy)

As I write this I have a Diamondback on my hip.

One word of caution. You have to have your holsters custom made.

Local fellow, Cotton's Custom Leatherworks did one for me. I wanted a retention strap and a sweat shield so he had to get creative.

April 4, 2011, 06:42 PM
I, too, had a 6" .22 Diamondback way back when. Unfortunately, I was a jackass and sold/traded it for something else. It's the one gun I sold that I really regret. Smoooooth trigger and a tack driver.

April 4, 2011, 06:45 PM
I regret letting a like new 6" Diamondback in .22 slip by me a few weeks ago. It was priced at $1000.

April 5, 2011, 12:44 AM
Love my Diamondback.

April 5, 2011, 01:40 AM
Have on just like it.....1968......would never sell it

April 5, 2011, 06:10 AM
These are some of the finest revolvers ever unleashed on the buying public. I prefer them to the Python but only from a size and weight perspective. I like the 38 better than the 357 as well. I dont carry one but have a 2.5" barrel version that does not see much shooting anymore unfortunately. This thread will make me take it to the range next time though. These have very nice triggers and are as accurate as a Model 14 Smith. My father has a 22 6" version that I learned to shoot on. He still has it and still uses it as a primary small game getter.

April 5, 2011, 06:28 AM
Erm, I disagree with some of you..The Diamondback is not the same in quality as the Python..I have handled Diamondbacks and I currently own a 4 inch Python in Ultimate stainless (I miss my royal blued one) ..Guys they are just not as smooth..Not as refined but yes they are a very fine firearm..Compared to some of the crap put out by gun makers today the Diamondbacks are a superior revolver..

April 5, 2011, 06:38 AM
I would like to correct what I said above..The fact is the later production Diamondbacks like the later produced Pythons where not as nice..From what I know about the Pythons and Diamondbacks you really want to look towards the ones made in the 60's and early 70's..My Python is a later produced and although its a nice revolver its no where near as smooth and my late 60's royal blued one was..Hope that may clarify a bit..

April 5, 2011, 09:34 AM
One is a 4" 38 special and the other is a 6" 22 LR. They are smooth and sweet shooting guns. They are not as nice as the Pythons I have but then not many revolvers are in that category either. You will not regret buying the Diamondback , even at todays prices , they are better than most guns being made , plus they will increase in value in years to come.

April 5, 2011, 09:45 AM
I have two Diamondbacks

One very early (first couple of hundred made) another from 69. I grew up shooting a 4 inch from the early 70's

My Python is mid 70's

I do not know what the heck you guys are talking about.


April 5, 2011, 09:58 AM
one of the most beautiful snubby revolvers ever made. I do not have one as I have been carrying the magnum carry , Colt Detective and Agent for the past few years , but that may change soon as I have my eye on a 2.5" Diamondback that a friend has. He likes one of my S&W model 27s and I think I am going to make the trade. I like the Colt guns anyway. Plus they are increasing in value much faster than S&W guns.

April 5, 2011, 10:10 AM
I like the way that the DB looks too.

The target sights are prone to snagging though. Drawing from below a shirt has not been a problem but I am conscious of it because the possibility exists.

The weight of the vented barrel makes follow up shots a dream.

Keep your eyes out Snooperman. I paid (if memory serves) 565 for one and under 700 for the other within the last year. Cosmetically they are not perfect (one had an idiot attack it with steel wool) but they sure shoot good!!!

April 5, 2011, 12:35 PM
Or can I purchase one from the manufactured companies? The gun that this man has who shoots at my farm , from time to time, is like the one you have in this thread, in appearance and, it is very smooth. It too is accurate with plain 38 special ammo and a joy to shoot. I like to carry IWB most of the year, except in the warmer months. Since I live in the deep south, I go with my Colt Agent in the pocket, when I get dressed up, otherwise it is IWB for me.

April 5, 2011, 12:50 PM

Since the Diamondback is no longer made I could not find a company that makes a holster for it. Couldn't find anything on the used market either, but I was impatient :evil:

I do, however, have a solution for you. Being as I have two DB snubs, if you order a holster from Cotton I will drop one of mine off so that use it as a mold to make one for you.

His prices are good and he does nice work.

April 5, 2011, 04:12 PM
There is a leather holster maker that lives about 30 miles from my place where I bought some of his fine holsters before as well as a saddle from him. I will contact him first.

April 5, 2011, 07:26 PM
happy to help a fellow gun guy

April 5, 2011, 09:24 PM
I own a .22 and a .38 Diamondback. Love ' em. But they feel different in my hand than my K- frame S& W's. Heft one before buying ...

April 6, 2011, 03:14 AM
I have one of each of the snake named guns, and to be honnest each performs in its own way admirably. I love the silky smooth actions, and can hit double as well as single. I have a 4" .38 Diamondback and it runs so well I havent even shot the Unfired 6" Python I bought last summer (might not ever if the prices keep goin up like crazy).

April 6, 2011, 07:46 AM
After seeing Guillermo's gun , I had to go ahead and trade one of my S&W model 27s for it to a friend. I need to get me one of those new cameras to take a picture of it. It is nice and can not wait to shoot it later this morning.

April 6, 2011, 08:04 AM
I have a four inch, Colt Diamondback in .38 Spl. Its a nice revolver in nice shape and is quite accurate if I concentrate. The four inch barrel isn't as easy to shoot accurately as was my six inch Python at 25 yards. I would also say that the Diamondback, while a high quality revolver, made the old way is not as nicely finished, nor does it have as smooth an action as the Python.

April 6, 2011, 08:08 AM
The 2 I've seen in these parts were somewhat pricey, both 4" .38 special models, 1 a shooter grade with rubber grips $800 and the other with original wood grips and 98% condition $1,100, both bare guns, no boxes or extras. Do they use the same lockwork as the the Pythons and down the road develop similar timing issues?

April 6, 2011, 08:58 AM
Do they use the same lockwork as the the Pythons and down the road develop similar timing issues?

April 6, 2011, 09:17 AM
My Colt Diamondback thread has proven to be one of the most informative data gathering sources ever, certainly for THR. I wanted to take a moment to thank all my fellow shooters who took the time to share their experiences.

So.....after reading and investigating, I have purchased a 4 inch DB. While I would classify my nickel revolver as a "Shooter", manufactured in 1975-1976, it looks brand new. However, I will carry and shoot this gun a lot. The information on holsters was particularly helpful and I will contact Cotton's Custom Leatherworks about making me one.

Good shooting to all of you!

Old Fuff
April 6, 2011, 11:21 AM
Do they (Diamondbacks) use the same lockwork as the the Pythons and down the road develop similar timing issues?

While the Diamondback lockwork is similar to that in the Python, parts are not interchangeable because the Diamondback is made on a smaller frame. Some internal parts made for the Detective Special will work however. Do keep in mind that replacement parts are not a "drop-in" sort of thing, and require hand fitting by a 'smith that is experienced in working on these particular revolvers.

Most timing problems are more caused by abuse then wear, although it's a good idea to have the Colt factory, or some other qualified gunsmith do an occasional tune-up. Part replacement is seldom necessary.

The basic platform on which these revolvers were based were made from 1908 through the early 1970's, and extensively used by law enforcement and armed service buyers. Obviously if there was something seriously wrong with them they would have been discontinued long before they were. What killed them off was the need for skilled hand fitting, which today is far too expensive for any ordinary commercial product.

April 6, 2011, 12:06 PM
I think the .22 cal. would be cool to have, but owning a "Python" there really does not seem to be a reason to get one since I run .38Spl. through the .357Mag. anyway. (other than some of the previous mentioned differences.)

April 6, 2011, 02:47 PM
Congrats, Sandy, on the new DBack, but you should realize what you've done. Now you need a Python, and an Anaconda, and some different barrel lengths, and ......

April 6, 2011, 10:54 PM
Sandy, You'll never regret what you've done now, enjoy it, shoot the tar out of it! I bought a NIB Python back in 85, 6", the smoothest shooting firearm I've ever shot, after only paying $250.00 for it, I know this was the wisest purchase I've ever made! Still have all of the papers, box in the safe. Enjoy and good luck!

April 7, 2011, 06:43 PM
Excellent investment there. That $250 has grown quite a bit - especially if you sold it in Kalif. These are guns to be enjoyed and cared for. All fun and real keepers :)

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