Diamondback's new rimfire Sidekick, a nine-shot, single and double-action rimfire revolver with a swing-out, interchangeable cylinder, certainly is interesting. 

Set to start shipping later this month, we have been looking at the Sidekick up close for the past couple of weeks. First off, the specs and stats. 
 

Diamondback Sidekick 22 revolver
The Sidekick is initially offered with a 4.5-inch barrel having a 1:16 RH twist and six-groove rifling. The alloy-framed revolver weighs in at 32.5 ounces and has an overall length of 9.875 inches. (Photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
The Sidekick gets its name from its swing-out cylinder, which belays the impression it gives as just another rimfire clone of the old Single Action Army. Despite the styling, it is a DA/SA revolver with a star-extractor in the cylinder.
Diamondback Sidekick
It comes chambered in .22 rimfire and includes both .22 LR and .22 WMR cylinders, each capable of holding nine rounds.
Diamondback Sidekick
Note the cutout in the cylinder to accommodate the rimfire firing pin, making the gun safe to dry fire. 
Diamondback Sidekick
The cylinders swap out easily by depressing the release plunger, inside the port on the front of the frame, with a small screwdriver or punch then lifting the empty cylinder assembly out and inserting the other. 
Diamondback Sidekick
Note the hammer block that prevents the hammer from contacting the firing pin when at rest. 
Diamondback Sidekick
The faux ejector rod assembly is spring-loaded, but only in the respect that it can be used to release the cylinder. You can also pull out the knurled knob at the end of the cylinder to release it, akin to an old-school Colt Detective. The cylinder itself has an integral star extractor that works very well in our tests. 
Diamondback Sidekick
Sights are rudimentary, with a notch groove to the rear and a fixed front blade. This is a plinker, not an Olympic competition gun. 
Diamondback Sidekick
The Sidekick is black-on-black, with a thick Cerakote finish. 
Diamondback Sidekick
The gun wears branded checkered glass-filled nylon grips, and it is not clear if you can replace them with, say, those used on the Ruger Wrangler or Single-Six, although the pattern looks similar. 
Diamondback Sidekick
The trigger is seriously heavy and exceedingly long in double action, running around 14-15 pounds (our trigger pull scale didn't go high enough to read it accurately). About the closest thing I can compare it to is the DAO trigger on a British Enfield No. 2 Mk. 1* "Tanker" or a Russian M1895 Nagant revolver. In single action, it breaks cleanly at around 3.5 pounds.

 

Double Action: 

 

Single Action: 

Diamondback Sidekick
So far, we have run a 333-round box of Winchester's 36-grain copper-plated hollow-point bulk pack through the little Sidekick in .22 LR and it has proved both accurate and dependable, with two rounds failing to fire likely due to issues with the ammo rather than the gun as they had nice hard strikes on the rim. 
Diamondback Sidekick
The MSRP on the Sidekick is $320, which will likely put it under the $299 mark or less. Release is currently set for Nov. 22, just in time for Christmas. At that price, it will likely prove popular as both a plinker and for use in pest control around the ponderosa.

 

The new Diamondback reminds me a bit of the old H&R (NEF) 929 Sidekick, a neat little 9-shot DA/SA .22LR with a 4-inch barrel that ended production over 20 years ago. As that gun had an MSRP in 1999 of $175, which works out to about $290 in today's dollars, that is about right. Plus the 929 didn't have a .22 Mag cylinder included. 

Stay tuned for a more extensive review as we continue to hit the range with this interesting revolver. 

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