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AR-15 Rifles

Diamondback DB-15 Review

by Tom Beckstrand   |  February 21st, 2014 16

Readers who are big into airboats will probably recognize the name “Diamondback.” The company has been making airboats since 1989 and has earned a reputation as one of the premier airboat manufacturers in the industry.

A few years back, a customer of Diamondback’s was having a boat made. This customer was also an avid alligator hunter. The customer got to talking with Diamondback’s owner and mentioned that there was a shortage of high-quality, low-cost modern sporting rifles (MSRs) available. This occurred shortly after the election of our current president, and the “First Modern Gun Panic” had just begun.

Diamondback is just down the street from Kel-Tec, so the idea of getting into the gun-making business didn’t seem like too much of a stretch. It didn’t take long for Diamondback to get into the firearms business, with its first offering hitting the market later that year.

The first firearm Diamondback produced was the DB380. The small pistol hit at the height of the “little pistol” craze and helped the company work through the growing pains associated with firearms manufacturing. Its product line expanded to the DB9 pistol and has now grown to include the DB-15 rifle and pistol.

Diamondback’s owner quickly discovered that running multiple companies spanning two entirely different industries was going to require skillful restructuring. The marketing involving airboats and guns is significantly different, as are the customers. The prudent move was to partner with a company already in the gun industry.

Diamondback chose to enter into a joint venture with TD Distributors, a Taurus Holdings subsidiary. Diamondback Firearms is and remains its own company, which handles the design, production and warranty of its product line. It is located on the “Space Coast,” near Cape Canaveral, Florida. Due to cuts made to the space program, there are a lot of very highly skilled engineers (real rocket scientists) looking for work. Many have found employment with Diamondback, further enhancing the company’s expertise in design and production.

The finished guns are shipped to TD Distributors, which handles sales, distribution and customer service. The arrangement leverages the best of both companies. Diamondback is able to use its engineers and production folks on a tightly focused product line, and TD Distributors uses their industry infrastructure for sales and distribution.

By partnering with Taurus Holdings, Diamondback also gives Taurus Holdings a chance to reach a new shooting demographic, the MSR owner. Taurus sells a lot of pistols, but it just recently got into the rifle market with its CT9, which is definitely not an AR. MSR owners tend to be younger and are often newer shooters, coming into the sport in the last 10 years. The joint venture between Taurus and Diamondback allows the two companies to provide a solid product to this customer. Alone, neither company would have as much access to that demographic. Taurus lacks the product, and Diamondback lacks the sales, distribution and customer service network. However, the two work well together.

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