The Diamondback Sidekick .22 Revolver — “A Whole Lot of Gun”

The .22 revolver market is as strong as it’s ever been, with several companies putting out quality, affordable models that are both fun and useful. In the video linked below, Boge Quinn of gives us a quick and informative rundown of the new Diamondback Sidekick, a gun with a strong argument for being the best of the bunch in that category.

Diamondback Sidekick .22 Revolver: “A Whole Lot of Gun” Boge Quinn
Boge Quinn of serves up a good review of the Diamondback Sidekick along with some nice Bluegrass.

Not Exactly What It Seems

At first glance, the Sidekick looks a lot like its competitors: a basic single action cowboy-style revolver chambered in .22 Long Rifle. Look a little closer and you’ll see something else. The gun is a unique design in that it looks exactly like a single action revolver, complete with an ejector rod housing along the barrel, but it’s actually a double action gun with a swing out cylinder. The ejector rod housing is one of the two cylinder release mechanisms, along with the normal double action ejector rod on the front of the cylinder. Either one works.

Diamondback Sidekick .22 Revolver: “A Whole Lot of Gun” ejector rod housing
The Sidekick preserves the single action look with an ejector rod housing along the barrel. But this rod is pushed forward to serve as one of the two cylinder releases.

Boge says the Sidekick reminds him favorably of his first gun, a Harrington & Richardson 929 that he bought at a sheriff’s auction as a boy for seven bucks. Those were the days, huh?  It is chambered in .22 Long Rifle, but there’s one more surprise: it also comes standard with an extra cylinder for .22 Magnum. The cylinders easily swap out and Boge says that once you do it a few times, you can make the change in seconds. All you need is a small punch or Allen wrench.

Diamondback Sidekick .22 Revolver cylinder ejector rod
The Sidekick .22 revolver also has the traditional double action ejector rod on the cylinder.

As we all know, .22 Long Rifle is great for small game and plinking without spending a lot of money. .22 Magnum allows you to take some medium game as well and Boge says he uses it for coyotes. He also recommends the magnum to recoil-sensitive folks as a self-defense round. The Sidekick’s capacity is another advantage. No matter which cartridge you choose, you have nine rounds in the cylinder, nearly fifty percent increase over standard six guns. The double action feature makes it faster to fire and the swing out cylinder makes for much quicker loading and reloading.

Diamondback Sidekick .22 Revolver cylinder change
The cylinder is easy to change with a punch or Allen wrench. Just be sure to hold in the cylinder spring when pulling it out (middle).

Specs and Features

  • .22 Long Rifle/.22 Magnum
  • Action: Single and Double
  • Capacity: 9 rounds of either cartridge
  • Barrel: 4.5 inches
  • Overall length: 9.875 inches
  • Weight: 32.5 ounces
  • Trigger Pull DA: 11 lbs. 11.3 ounces
  • Trigger Pull SA: 2 lbs. 6.8 ounces
Diamondback Sidekick .22 Revolver extra cylinder
The Sidekick comes standard with cylinders in .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum.

The Sidekick’s light weight is attributable to the zinc alloy frame and grip frame. The barrel, cylinder, hammer, and trigger are steel. The grip panels are glass-filled checkered nylon. Boge notes that the width and shape of the grip is just right if you’re used to handling a single action six gun. “It feels great in the hand,” he says.

Diamondback Sidekick .22 Revolver calibers
The Sidekick gives you two calibers in one pistol.

The gun’s finish is a dull black Cerakote on the frame and the steel parts are blued. It makes for a nice-looking pistol. The Sidekick Logo is engraved on the barrel and the hammer, which is a cool look.

Diamondback Sidekick hammer
The Sidekick has a nice finish and the logo on the barrel and hammer is a nice touch.

The sights are basic but effective. The front sight is a rounded blade and the rear a groove cut in the top strap. Boge notes that the sights are not especially quick to pick up, but they are very precise. He hopes to see adjustable sights introduced down the line to account for the performance of different rounds in the two chamberings. He says he knows the folks at Diamondback and believes that will eventually happen.

Diamondback Sidekick sights
The Sidekick’s sights are basic but precise

The trigger is described as being simultaneously “not so good” and “excellent.” Of course, he’s talking about the double and single action functions. The DA is a heavy eleven plus pounds, but Boge says that “the heavy is all on the front end.” Once the hammer starts moving it’s easy to follow through. The SA is light at just over two and a half pounds. Boge says it’s “smooth and creep free.”

Ruger single six holster
The Sidekick will fit holsters for the Ruger Single Six. See the video for info on this particular holster.

All in all, the Sidekick .22 revolver looks like a nice little gun. With an MSRP of 320 bucks, Boge concludes that it’s “A whole lot of gun for the price.” Check out the video and hang around to end. Boge hits us with some nice Bluegrass, and he plays all the instruments himself.

Diamondback Sidekick on saddle in horse barn
The Sidekick looks to be among the best in its category. (Diamondback Firearms)

Do you have a Sidekick? What do you think of it? If not, do you want one? I think I do. Hit us up in the comments below.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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