SHOT Show: The New Diamondback SDR Self-Defense Revolver

Diamondback has successfully moved past a reputation for extremely small 9mm pistols and budget ARs into a rather interesting market. In that market, they’ve finally brought out a revolver. Who saw that coming?

The latest from Diamondback is the SDR, which stands for Self Defense Revolver. It’s a revolver aimed at the concealed carry market, and at first glance, it might look a little plain, but a deeper dive reveals a well-thought-out revolver.

The Diamondback SDR In Living Color

The SDR is a .357 Magnum revolver with a two-inch barrel and a six-shot cylinder. The revolver utilizes a stainless steel frame, and it has an exposed hammer for those single-action shots if you so choose to take them. What really impressed me was the presence of real, actual sights. The rear sight is a high-visibility fiber optic design combined with a high-visibility front sight.

Sure, revolver shooters know how to use trench sights, but most new shooters don’t. Real sights make the gun easier to shoot. I watched a shooter at the Industry Range day who had never, ever fired a revolver and had barely fired any guns. Yet, she still managed to land four out of her six shots. The big, bright sights are a very nice touch.

The cylinder release is a button that’s intuitive and easy to press to open the cylinder. The ejector rod has a full-length lug that gives the gun a beefy appearance. The SDR uses a grip that fills your whole hand, which makes it easy to control and was much appreciated by my great big hands.

We only fired .38 Special rounds through the gun, but it was mild and easy shooting. The trigger was especially nice. It was heavy but very smooth and didn’t have any stacking that I noticed. The single action proved light and sweet, which is always appreciated. The SDR made quick double-action double taps easy and accurate. It was a short spin, but it made me excited to try and get one in for a true review.

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