Rifles > Semi-Auto

Diamondback DB15B AR-15 Rifle

The DB15 is an all-American AR-15 with well-thought-out features from a four-year-old, pocket-pistol company.

Located in Cocoa, Fla., Diamondback Firearms LLC made its way into the shooting market back in 2009 with a.380 ACP polymer pocket pistol called the DB380. It was soon followed by the DB9. Still in its infancy, Diamondback jumped into the competitive AR-15 market with the release of its DB15 series in 2012, and the timing couldn't have been better. At that time, the AR-15 style of rifle (or Modern Sporting Rifle if you prefer) was already securely anchored as one of the most popular rifles available. The recent political upheavals in relation to 2nd Amendment rights have caused these rifles to fly out the doors of gun dealers with even greater haste.

In becoming an AR-15 manufacturing company, Diamondback decided to launch its DB15 rifle series using the U.S. Military's tried and tested gas-impingement system. Diamondback also chose to deliver a product made entirely in the United States, using components machined in its CNC facility. The model used in this evaluation is the DB15B, with B indicating that the rifle sports a matte-black finish from head to toe. Other finish options include tan, camouflage and a nickel-boron.

Chambered in 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem., the rifles feature a 16-inch 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel with a 1 in 9-inch twist rate. The free-floated barrel is threaded to accept muzzle accessories and arrives with an A2 flash hider installed. The upper and lower receivers are constructed of forged 7075 T6 aluminum, with the upper being of the A3 flat-top variety. The upper receiver's Picatinny rail meshes neatly with the milled in full-length top rail of Diamondback’s proprietary 8.75-inch aluminum one-piece hand guard, which extends over the gas block. The other three integral rails of the quad-rail accessory system are 2.25-inches long and located at the muzzle end of the hand guard.

The MilSpec 8620 bolt carrier is shot-peened and subjected to a magnetic particle inspection (MPI). A commercial-grade stock tube supports a six-position collapsible stock. Both the polymer stock and the A2-style pistol grip on this rifle are supplied by TAPCO with additional stock options available. The DB15B’s controls present no surprises. The magazine release, bolt release and charging handle are all standard AR-15 fare, shaped and located in the normal positions. This rifle arrived with one aluminum 30-round magazine.

At the shooting range, the DB15B nicely demonstrated the handling characteristics that make AR-15 carbines a popular shooting option. It successfully fed, fired and ejected test ammunition flawlessly using the provided magazine and some of Brownell’s aluminum after-market magazines. The trigger gauged at 7 pounds, 1 ounce, which is dead center of the typical factory 6 to 8-pound trigger pull weight. The curved, smooth-faced trigger was as comfortable to work with as a factory trigger can be.

The aluminum handguard is a little heavier than some, but once the rifle was shouldered it was not too noticeable. Diamondback deserves a pat on the back for not covering every single square inch of the hand guard with Picatinny railing. Instead, the company wisely limited the length of three lower rails. They're just long enough to add some gadgets while leaving plenty of smooth, hand-friendly space for holding the rifle with the support hand. It’s comfortable and functional instead of "Tacticool."

Two sighting options were tested with the DB15B, as the rifle comes without sights. For iron sights, the rifle was fitted with flip-up battle sights from XS Sight Systems. Teaming up with Troy Industries, which provides the Picatinny sight bases, the rear sight was fitted with the XS CSAT aperture. Designed by Paul Howe, the top of the CSAT rear sight is squared off and cut with a square notch, like a pistol sight, for engaging targets at close range. Below the square notch is the traditional small aperture for shooting out to 100 yards. The rear sight can be flipped to a large aperture as well. The front sight was topped with XS Sight's new 24/7 Tritium Stripe sight. It’s a .100-inch wide square-top post with a white stripe for daylight and half-light sight acquisition, and a Trijicon tritium lamp for low-light situations. During informal accuracy testing, this XS sight configuration proved to be accurate and easy to use. It only took a little practice to transition from close to distant targets using the CSAT aperture.

For formal accuracy testing, the XS sights were folded down and a Leupold VX-R Patrol 1.25-4x20 mm FireDot Special Purpose Reticle (SPR) scope was attached using a Mark 2 IMS scope mount. The VX-R features a fixed crosshair with a red dot at the center that can be adjusted for brightness. The combination of the fixed cross hair, the red dot and the adjustable magnification allows this scope to support most of the applications for which a combat carbine like the DB15B would be employed, including close-range defense and extended-range competition and target shooting. The quick-release base makes it easy to remove the scope if needed and keeps the zero when the scope is re-installed. Shooting five consecutive, five-shot groups from a bench rest at 100 yards, groups ranged from 1.5 inches to 2.25 inches in size. As expected, recoil was mild with all loads tested.

The fit and finish of the DB15B is top notch with all of the components coated properly. The tolerances are what you would expect to see from a new gun, with all of the controls running smoothly and the Picatinny rails cut properly to provide a secure fit for sights and accessories. The Diamondback handguard hits the mark in both the comfort and practical application departments. The DB15 arrives ready to shoot, once you have your preferred sight system in place. The Diamondback DB15B demonstrates all of the positive qualities most folks are looking for in a reasonably priced AR-15.

Manufacturer: Diamondback Firearms LLC; diamondbackfirearms.com
Model: DB15B (AR-15 Rifle)
Action: Gas-impingement semi-auto
Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington
Finish: Black Anodized hardcoat
Barrel: 16-inches, 4140 chrome-moly, M4 contour, free floated
Bolt Carrier: Shot-peened, magnetic particle inspected MilSpec 8620
Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 aluminum
Upper Receiver: A3 flattop forged 7075 T6 aluminum, T-Marked
Handguard: Diamondback aluminum modified four rail
Pistol Grip: Tapco A2 style
Stock: Tapco six-position collapsible stock
Overall Length: Collapsed 32.5”; expanded  36.25”
Sights: None
Weight: 6.65 lbs.
Capacity: 30+1 rounds
Twist: 1:9” RH
Accessories: One magazine, lock, owner’s manual
Suggested Retail Price: $958

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28 Responses to Diamondback DB15B AR-15 Rifle

Joshua Steele wrote:
June 19, 2014

I bought my db 15 back in may. only shooting about 100 rounds through it Im very pleased with it. I took a chance on the price and was quickly surprised of how well this weapon was made. Excellent rifle

Glenn wrote:
June 08, 2014

Just bought mine yesterday. Only shot a handful of rounds through it but I do do like the feel of the rifle. Looking forward to see what it will really do.

Will wrote:
June 05, 2014

Bought my DB-15 about 3 months ago - easily zeroed it. Great feel, forward fixed stock lends to good groupings. Only issue was 2nd round cook off with trigger release. 6 weeks back at factory for new trigger and now I'm ready again for range.

charles Blackmon wrote:
May 04, 2014

Bought my DB-15 on 4/27. Took it to my range on Tuesday and fell in love with it. Shoots great, very accurate. Ran different manufactured ammo thru it, no problems. I like the whole package. Great job!

mike smith wrote:
April 27, 2014

Got to shoot my db15 today for the first time and it out performs and feels better then many other AR's I have shot, this is including a colt as well, although I also have absolutely nothing against them. I bought this rifle for 639 dollars brand new and a local gun store and it is worth far more then that. The only thing I have put on it is a rear magpul flip-up sight and magpul hand guard. So I will end with saying this is not a entry level AR, but a mid-level AR.. And anyone reading this contemplating buying one. Just stop.. You won't be disappointed. And its only a matter of time before the prices on the DB15 go up..good investment...

Stacey D Taylor wrote:
April 18, 2014

I GOT MINE DB AR 15 FOR MY BIRTHDAY HAVE NOT SHOT IT YET BUT I TOOK IT TO GUN SHOW HAD SO MANY PEOPLE AND GUN DEALERS ASKING ME TO SELL IT TO THEM ON THAT NOTE IT LET ME KNOW I REALLY HAD A GREAT RIFLE ON MY HANDS GOING TO TAKE IT OUT FOR A RUN ASAP

Clay Woods wrote:
April 17, 2014

I carry a Colt ar15 everyday at work. although I have nothing against Colt. My personal DB15 is by far the best AR ,for the money. Friggin awesome rifle. I shoot about 2000 rds. through the Colt per year. After they get hot and the lube is gone, they start to fail. Not the case with the DB. This thing keeps shooting with accuracy. I believe the DB15 will soon be the new benchmark to were all other ARs are judged.

Mike Millard wrote:
April 06, 2014

I just purchased a DB 15300 FDE which is the Diamondback 300 Blackout. It should arrive this week. It appears, from what I've seen and read, to be identical to the DB 15 except of course for the barrel. Has anyone heard anything good or bad about the Blackout. I'm glad to read the good things that are said about the DB 15 but have not been able to locate any input concerning the DB 15300. Thanks.

Jumpmedic wrote:
April 04, 2014

I had been searching for an other AR and I ran across the Black Diamond in a sports store. I got home and shot the weapon and realized that I had purchased a fine milled, high quality weapon. The quality amazed me for the price and I never expected to get such a deal on this weapon. I never thought I would find a gun that was equal to my Colt, but I did. Quality and perfection must be their motto, because that is the best way to describe my Black Diamond AR 15.

Eric M wrote:
March 28, 2014

I recently just received my DB15FDE and I was extremely impressed by the craftsmanship and finish. Not what I would expect for the price I paid. The FDE color is amazing and I outfitted mine with DIAMONDHEAD sights with the money that I saved and a few magpul FDE windowed pmags. Awesome combination and an overall outstanding rifle. Looking to buy another for my son's first AR. Thank you DB!!!

Dennis M. wrote:
March 17, 2014

I have put 250 rounds through mine and i love everything about it, i use it on Duty and at our firing range and everyone has been impressed with the craftmansship and quality of the gun for the price

johnathon wrote:
March 16, 2014

I have had my Diamondback ar 15 for about a year it is the best gun i have ever owned.

d dowell wrote:
February 09, 2014

Got a DB15 AR15 for my birthday. LOVE IT!!!!! I have shot a varity of ARs. Love the Diamond back best.

jackson wrote:
February 01, 2014

My DB15SB basic is a tighter fitting gun than my S&W M&P15. Perfect rail fit with a spare rear MBUS and had it zeroed with just three shots. Absolutely Zero FTF's with everything from brass big box store bulk, metal cased import, or custom handloads. It loves pmags or metal gi mags with indifference and puts the brass in a tight little pile. Find the bullet it likes and accuracy is top notch. No complaints on my DiamondBack AR. I'd buy another one.

bear wrote:
January 11, 2014

this is an awesome rifle,I shoot about 200 rounds threw the gun, no problems at all!

Daniel wrote:
December 23, 2013

I've had mine for a couple months shot over 500 rounds and I love it. No problems at all. Even had people ask me about it at the gun range. Also it has an amazing ejector.

Cisco P. wrote:
December 12, 2013

Just got mine last week, haven't fired it yet, but most of my friends who has the sam DB AR15 told me it is dependable. I can't wait until I can test it myself. Hoepfully this weekend.

eric wrote:
December 08, 2013

Had the gun since it came out last year and shoot it all the time and don't have any problems

johnny henson wrote:
November 30, 2013

just bought a diamond back ar15 I think its the best ar on the market I,ve shoot 200 have not had any problemes whats soever grate gun

Micah wrote:
November 16, 2013

I have a smooth countour medium barrel I noticed they have switched to Barrels with the m4 grenade launching mounting groove this rifle was so impressive I own two one under my bed and one I keep in a pelican case with a nikon 3-9x40 p223 scope with bdc and a holographic sight on a 45* mount I have stripped cleaned and lubed this thing til in shines like new money now if only it wd quit raining long enough for me to sight it in

Jerry wrote:
November 02, 2013

Bought the pistol version and like the weapon but having one issue. You can load a round in the chamber but you can not unload round manually. It's like the round is stuck. Any solutions to this problem?

Jamie wrote:
September 29, 2013

Love this gun will like it even better after new sights are installed, shoots high brass and cheap without any misses or jambs.only complaint (which is my fault) I should've waited on a lefty but its ok Love it

Art wrote:
September 25, 2013

Bought mine from an Auction site and have had no problems, have shot both cheaper Wolf and ammo and Remington Ammo with no hickups both .556 and .223 Iike it a lot better then my son inlaws DPMS Plus it just lookd good :)

MrZak wrote:
September 24, 2013

I have owned this rifle since the beginning of 2013. This is a heavy rifle that gets hot fast and only likes to eat 5.56 premium rounds. I get the majority of FTF with 223. I've had to add a lot to this gun to get it where I want it to be. I just wonder how far past 1,500 rounds will mark it's break-in period. I run 90 rounds through it twice a week. There are lighter guns that will fire anything and not need a 30min break after 30 rounds. If I could do it all over again I would not have made this purchase. The FTF issues keep this gun in a range bag instead of next to the bed. Will an AR ever replace my bedside 930 mossy-auto?

Jimmy Quinn wrote:
September 22, 2013

Having only put 10 each of 3 different ammunitions through this gun, properly breaking barrel in, this rifle is definitely capable of 1.5' groups at 200 yds. At 100 yds, the rifle held a 3 shot 5/8' group laying in prone position shooting off of a bipod. I'm very pleased. Thank you Diamond Back!!!!! This is NOT a cheaply built rifle. And it shows.

michael wunderlee wrote:
August 21, 2013

Mine is on layaway right now

Jimmy wilburn wrote:
August 08, 2013

Glad to this company expanding their product line. They offer quality products at reasonable cost and great customer service.

Bob wrote:
August 03, 2013

Looks like a good firearm.