Gun Review: Boberg XR9-S Update

First, a couple housekeeping items from my preview post.  After I received the Boberg XR9-S, I read the entire manual and field stripped the gun. It was clean and nicely lubed from the factory, so I re-assembled and did nothing else. One thing I didn’t mention in my prior review is that the Boberg doesn’t have a slide lock or a slide release. It simply is not possible given the way the gun is designed. Once empty, the only way to load it is a re-rack.  I didn’t realize this when I bought it, but it’s not really a deal killer to me since I often ride the slide release with my thumb and my typical routine at the end of a mag is a quick failure drill. Plus, I always load my guns from a rack motion, never a slide release.  In other words, I don’t count on the slide locking back and can take or leave the that feature. About that off-center barrel issue . . .

I sent an email to Arne Boberg that was answered within 24 hours. Here’s the reply I received:

Eric,

None of our barrels are exactly on center due to the fact that they were made on 5-axis lathes (the outside was held by the collet).  This should have no effect on accuracy since the bores tend to be parallel to the outside.  Our new Gen 2 barrels (on order) are machined on centers and will look better.  I will send you one free of charge if you like, when we get these in.  In the meanwhile, I would shoot the heck out of the barrel you have.
Arne

I thought this was a pretty decent offer and a fast response to a customer issue. He didn’t know I write for TTAG when making the offer.

For pocket use (which is how I intend to use the gun), I cut down an old leather PM9 pocket holster and the Boberg fits it well. While waiting for a chance to get out to the range, I carried both the XR9-S and a Kahr PM9 as a comparison test. I put the PM9 in one front pocket and the XR9-S in the other.

The result: I prefer how the Boberg carries in pocket despite its one ounce weight penalty (22.50z with holster 20.5 without).  I believe this is due to the ammo weight in the grip being more forward on the gun making the XR9-S ride lower in the pocket. For whatever reason, the Boberg just feels better.

It was with great anticipation that I took the Boberg out to the range. I have three types of ammo laying around in quantity, so I decided to start with that and add others as I got the  chance. I started out with Aguila 124 grain crimped. First shot: jam, failure to go into battery. The round just sat there in the tongs but would not advance. This identical malfunction occurred multiple times throughout a box of ammo, at least once a magazine and in no particular pattern.

Finally it jammed so badly, so far out of battery I couldn’t cycle the slide by hand to remove the round. I had to gently pry the unfired round out. Inspection revealed the bullet had separated from the case slightly. I suspect the Aguila was separating a bit, but not enough to fully pull the bullet out of the case, increasing the overall length and choking the gun.

When the gun fired, it was very comfortable to shoot and naturally went to point of aim. But my irritation level was starting to grow. Ah well, Aguila is crap ammo anyway – on to something a little higher on the quality scale.

Plan B: Speer Lawman 115 grain ammo. This is uncrimped. First shot: Jam. Inspection reveals the next bullet in line had completely separated from the case.  I tried one more time and had an identical malfunction.  Case open, gunpowder….somewhere. Bullet rolling around. Okay, so Lawman is absolutely no-go in this pistol, too.

Time for plan C. I broke out my uber low-end steel cased Wolf WPA ammo. I didn’t have high hopes but hey, it liked it. I had my best strings of fire with this ammo and zero case/bullet separations. “Russian ammo break gun, gun not break ammo.”

Unfortunately, that was about the time magazine issues began to crop up. On one mag, the spring started to come out the top and had to be reseated frequently. There is no follower with the Boberg design.

This mag actually functioned fine, but I got tired of re-seating the spring every time I shot it. The second mag wouldn’t advance the rounds if I had more than two or three loaded.  They were obviously catching on something in the magazine or the spring was catching on something – either way, it was a no-go.

Sigh. A couple more observations from my limited time shooting: the mags don’t drop free when released, requiring me to grab the and pull to remove them from the pistol. I’m OK with that since I retain mags while re-loading.

What I’m not OK with is the three casings that ejected directly into my face (or bounced off the bottom of my hat bill, then into my face). Each mugshot happened when shooting right-handed toward my 9:00-10:00 position. In this stance, the gun is angled 45 degrees to the left and somewhat closer to my face than in a typical Weaver position. I had no facial ejections in other stances.

After about an hour in 90-degree temps, my frustration level was high and I’d had enough of troubleshooting the gun, mags and ammo after about 100 rounds. Time to work with the Kahr.

Switching between guns, I have to say I like the Boberg sights a bit better, but after a mag or two had adapted to the Kahr and was pinging things very nicely. The PM9 is an accurate little bugger. I also noticed that the Kahr has distinctly more felt recoil than the Boberg. But what I noticed most was that I shot the Kahr for 150 trouble-free rounds with whatever ammo I wanted to feed it.

“A dog returns to its own vomit.” This is the appetizing proverb I quoted to myself and RF when I called him on the way home from the range. I have an irrational liking for small pistols, but I also seem to have the worst luck with them. Is it luck or is it simply the physics of too much power in too small a package?

There’s no doubt that most of my issues were magazine- and ammo- related and I certainly fed the thing some cheap stuff for the most part. I don’t like to send dollars downrange until I’m sure the cheap stuff runs. Given the problems I had, though, I felt I was done with the gun and simply wanted to return it.

I had several communications via email with Arne Boberg describing my issues with the XR9-S and my desire to return it. He was professional, cordial and prompt in his replies.  He immediately offered to refund my purchase no questions asked before he knew I was writing for TTAG. At the same time, though, he strongly felt he had a fix for every particular problem exhibited and requested that I ship him back the mags and slide on his dime and give it another chance.

I was pretty set on returning the gun and calling it done, but he is such a cool, direct, straightforward and honest dude it’s hard not to let him try to make it right. I shipped the slide and mags back via UPS today. He does know I’m writing for TTAG at this point, BTW.

Arne pointed out that there’s a running list of compatible ammo at the Boberg web forums. I had not known about this prior to my range session. Speer 115 grain Lawman is a known bad actor. Aguila 124 grain isn’t mentioned and Wolf 115 grain FMJ surprisingly is considered good to go.

Writing a negative review is hard because Arne Boberg seems like a great guy who tries hard, is clearly smart and passionate about his product and servicing his customers. I also love to support little guy entrepreneurs who makes things happen. That said, I simply don’t care to spend $1000 and then have a gun I need to “tune.”

Guns – especially expensive guns – should run well right out of the box with minimal futzing. Whenever I hear about a gun that needs special ammo or fluffs and buffs to run, I fear that particular gun will be a constant drama queen. That may be fine for range use and amateur gunsmithing, but it’s completely unacceptable in a self defense firearm. It has to go bang every time.

There are plenty of glowingly positive XR9-S reviews out on the interwebs that greatly contrast with my experience so far. I cynically have to wonder at people’s motivation and/or honesty. These guns are rare and sell for a 30-50% mark up on Gunbroker.  I saw at least one reviewer bought three guns and had nary one negative word to say about the XR9-S in his review. Hmmm, is he keeping all three?

I see other gun websites that never publish a negative review of any gun. Everything they write about seemingly runs perfectly all day long with any ammo. Really? Do they get free or low-priced guns out of the deal? Do they get ad sales for their website from the company? Are positive reviews confirmation bias because the reviewer really wants to like the gun he he just paid $1000 for? I don’t know. I do know that I have no profit motive involved, I just want a great-shooting 9mm pocket self defense gun that I trust, shoots well, and is durable.

Where is that pool of vomit again?

51 Responses to Gun Review: Boberg XR9-S Update

  1. avatarScuba Steve says:

    Wow!

    If it were me, I would immediately get rid of this gun as something you simply cannot trust your life on. You would be better off throwing it at the bad guy. Even it were loaded when you threw it at him, the BG wouldn’t have anymore success shooting you than you would shooting him.

    Plus, this gun is pure ugly. In fact, one of the ugliest guns I have ever seen.

    Thank you for your honest and up front review.

  2. avatarrevjen45 says:

    Is the Boberg a long recoil locking system?

  3. avatarMatt Gregg says:

    Hideous and dysfunctional.

  4. avatarSig says:

    And yet some people might love it (albeit not me). I’m interested to keep reading in the post-op and see if they can fix the issues you’re having. Thank you for persisting.

  5. avatarDerek says:

    Aww man. I cried a little reading this one. I was/still am very interested in this gun. Like you, I would love to support not only innovation and originality(something lacking in the firearms industry as of late) but “little guy entrepreneurs” as well. I look forward to your follow up review. If they work out the kinks, I’ll def be picking on of these up.

    Also, I’m desperately hoping they make a ~Glock 19 sized model. A single stack 9mm with a 4-5″ barrel with roughly the same footprint as a 19. How cool would that be?

  6. avatarMark says:

    “I also love to support little guy entrepreneurs who makes things happen…in a self defense firearm. It has to go bang every time.” Sadly, some firearms are more interesting than useful.

  7. avatarWiebelhaus says:

    Let’s hold off judgement until the next installment, if they are able to resolve any issues he’s having, it may not end up being such a bad firearm and it’s a new platform that may take a few iterations before it’s reliable but I hear ya, a grand for a still “in testing” platform is pushing it.

  8. avatarChris Dumm says:

    Magazine issues are common, especially with smaller gunmakers. Luckily they disappear when you get a good magazine, so let’s hope your next batch is up to snuff.

    And this may be a surprise, but Tulammo 115 grain is fairly good ammo despite being incredibly cheap. I’ve shot more than a thousand of them while testing the Sig and Caracal, and I only had a single bad round. It’s tack-driver accurate in the Sig P250.

    • avatarEric says:

      I did some accuracy testing with various ammo out of the Glock, and the Wolf was up there with some higher dollar stuff. I was shocked. The only thing I don’t like is the lack of lubricity in the case when loading mags.

    • Man, you have got to be kidding “tulammo is good ammo” that statement
      right there tells me you don’t know what you are talking about. Anyone
      who shoots a lot will never use this type of ammo. Here again it sounds
      like someone is talking about something they know nothing about.

  9. avatarJay says:

    Out of habit, my left index finger goes to the front of the trigger guard. It’s muscle memory by now and I’m an above average shot. With this gun, the front of the trigger guard is dangerously close to the end of the barrel. At best, I would burn my finger, at worst, I’d pull back a stump.

    The pm9 on the other hand is accurate and reliable. Good review.

  10. avatarAustin says:

    These failures are frustrating, but I think there is an easy explanation to this. I can imagine the gun being pretty ammo sensitive due to the “bullet pulling” mechanism. Similar to the “crimp jump” you can get in lightweight magnum revolvers, perhaps the Boberg requires a specific crimp to function well. Not all auto ammo is tightly crimped, so that may explain its pickiness. Honestly, given that it is an exotic pistol, I wouldn’t expect anything less lol

  11. avatarJohn Luckett says:

    I have many replies from persons wanting to own this gun. Some peoples way of thinking will always confuse me. Why would someone want to spend $1000.00 on a gun so questionable as this one?? There are so many lower cost guns, even at half that price that are considered top quality. Again, can someone explain why someone would purchase this gun with Berettas, Rugers, Sigs, etc, out there to purchase.

    • avatarMike OFWG says:

      Maybe for the same reason I saw people dressed like cave men at the original movie run of Conan The Barbarian with Arnold. Some just have to be different.

    • avatarEric says:

      It’s smaller than nearly anything else and pushes a bullet faster with less recoil.

    • avatarJesse Pomeroy says:

      Respectfully, the reason I am purchasing a new Boberg XR9-S is simply because it’s unique, contrary to to the review we are discussing apparently most owners are more than pleased with their XR9-S’s..

      I know “going in” that any new “anything” is bound to have bugs yet unfound in the early production models.. I’ve beta-tested new guns before for Taurus, Charter Arms and Walther (unintentionally) so this is not a new process IF my Boberg has issues.

      I believe there are less than 500 Bobergs made to this date… There is a waiting list (pre-order) of approximately 1000 persons, most like myself who will not be surprised if a bug or two pops up, but will be surprised if the issues aren’t resolved under warranty by Arne.

      I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m guessing the potential Boberg XR9-S buyer already has, or had in the past, some of those Berettas, Rugers, Sigs, etc you are referring to, but STILL want something new and different.

      I have several very good compact 9′s, and I consider them more than adequate for my concealed carry self defense needs, but as a “gun nut” I’m always looking for the “next best”….

      For example in 380 cal. I have a excellent little Ruger LCP w/IA sights and CT Laser… It’s been a very, very good little carry pistol.. Even after I added the Innovative Arms upgrade and added the laser I had less than $600.00 in it.. But I also have a Seecamp LWS380… That sucker has no external sights, no laser, and bites the hand that shoots it, AND cost the better part of $800.00+ in the process. I didn’t need the LWS380, I just WANTED the LWS380 and I love it.

      I don’t “NEED” a new Boberg XR9-S, but I want one, and mine should be here in a few weeks.

      No offense to you, just making conversation..

      Best Wishes,

      Jesse

      • avatarJuan Alvarez says:

        Hello! Couldyou please tell me what is that arms upgrade you are refering to in regards to the Ruger LCP? Thanks in advance.

        Juan

        • avatarJesse Pomeroy says:

          Hi Juan,
          The upgrade I made to my LCP was a Crimson Trace Laser, plus the external sight package as offered by “Innovative Arms” ((803-52-8709).

          The external sight upgrade consists of a Trijicon front (night) sight, and a reverse ramped rear sight. (reverse ramping to allow for one hand pulling the slide back against another object (leg for example) to chamber a round when one hand is disabled.

          Of course the slide is refinished at the same time the upgrade is added.

          Hope this answers your questions.

          Best wishes, and good shootin’

          Jesse

  12. avatarBig John says:

    you don’t want a $1000 gun that you have to tune?

    how has no one made a 1911 joke yet?

  13. avatarM Scott says:

    I purchased an XR-9s on a local sale from a third-party for a slight premium. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I got home I noticed that the pistol had a few cosmetic issues. I emailed Arne Boberg about it. He immediately responded and said he would take care of my concerns personally. Note that he really didn’t have an obligation to do that since the warranty is technically only valid for the original owner. Nevertheless, he paid shipping for the slide both ways and took care of the problem himself. He is the real deal: an American inventor and entrepreneur with an innovative product that he is passionate about and willing to back up with his word. You may not like his product and you may think his gun is ugly, but you have to respect the man and what he is trying to accomplish.

    Now, what about performance? So far, I have fired 150 rounds with two different ammo loads on the approved list. Every round has fed, fired and ejected properly. I have a ways to go before I’ll be comfortable carrying it, but I’m encouraged. The recoil on this 9 mm pistol is comparable to the Sig P238 in .380 ACP, maybe less. The Boberg is very comfortable to shoot and quite accurate. My carry gun, a Rohrbaugh 9 mm, is just as accurate and has a slightly better trigger, but it is exceedingly painful to shoot in comparison. Three magazines and I need a break from the Rohrbaugh. I think I got lucky with the Rohrbaugh trigger too as I have dry fired two higher dollar Rohrbaugh Coverts that do not have as nice a trigger as mine. Oh, and I have had a few FTF with the Rohrbaugh.

    You can shoot the Boberg comfortably all day long. The grip ergonomics go to the Boberg as well. External finish went to the Rohrbaugh initially, but after getting the Boberg back, they are on a par with each other. I’m disappointed with the durability of the black frame finish on the Rohrbaugh.

    I realize that not everyone wants to spend $1000 on a firearm. Personally, I have done it more often than is prudent. If you were to spend a grand on a pistol, though, wouldn’t it make sense to spend it on one you can have with you all the time?

    I’d really like to see you give the Boberg a second chance after Arne works on it. Why? Because I think you’ll be pleased. Also, because what you write on the internet tends to stay there for all eternity even after problems have been worked out, claims debunked, etc. What’s the downside?

  14. avatarTom Tman says:

    I have an XR9s, with a serial number under 200. I notice that if I don’t rack the slide vigourously, then the first round can get jammed, and it’s not very easy to unjam it. I’ve shot it with Sellier and Beloit (which I believe is NOT on the approved ammo list), WWB, and 124gr Hydra-shoks (both on the approved ammo list). It may seem funny to have an “approved ammo” list, but the way the bullet is yanked from the back of the magazine, can cause the bullet to separate from the case if it’s not crimped well. Or glued in well, I guess some ammo makers use an adhesive, which I had not heard of before owning this gun.
    So far my gun has behaved flawlessly, except for the times I didn’t give the slide a good yank to chamber the first round. For some reason the Hydra-Shoks like to hit me in the forehead. So far that is the only ammo I’ve run through it that does this, although it’s mentioned on the Boberg forum quite often. I absolutely love this little pistol, and if it were not for it, I’d probably have a Kahr PM9/PM40, or CM9 or 40. I have Kahr models CW40, which has never failed me once I learned to shoot polymer framed guns, that was my first, and I had a bit of limp wristing I had to learn to deal with, which had never caused problems on my 1911′s or any other metal framed semi’s, and a CW45, which had to go back to Kahr when the trigger wouldn’t reset. Kahr’s customer service was excellent, having my CW45 back in my hands exactly 1 week from when I sent it in.
    I carry my Boberg in my front pocket, or in the appendix position in a Remora holster. I only have around 400 rounds through it, but have had no problems that were not caused by me. I’m sorry your’s wasn’t up to snuff, but Arne will make it right or replace it. Of course if you have lost confidence in the gun, I’d be rid of it and move on to something else. I had a horrible experience with a Diamondback DB9, which ran perfectly for other shooters. I think my hands were to small to keep it from flexing too much to feed the next round. I never was able to get more than 2 maybe 3 shots out of it without it jamming. I couldn’t wait to get rid of that gun, and sold it to a guy with big paws, explained my problems with it, and told him to get back with me if he had problems, but never heard from him, so I guess they are getting along well. I guess what I’m getting at, is that no gun is perfect for everyone, and you have to carry something you are willing to stake your life on, and I am willing to stake my life on my Boberg. I spoke on the phone once with Arne, (I was very impressed by his honesty and being upfront about problems he’d had developing the gun) and he told me he was shooting for a gun that was perfectly reliable out of the box, so I took him at his word, and took the Boberg to the range without any prep and shot a couple hundred rounds with the only problems being the jams caused by me. I love this little gun, I’m sorry you had a bad experience with it. I’d also like to see you give it another chance after it’s worked on, but if you don’t have confidence in it, then I would move on to something you trust.

  15. avatarJosh2415 says:

    Harsh review. I own an XR9-S and LOVE it; I’ve had zero problems with mine. The level of innovation and engineering that went into the design is unprecedented, in this industry which has basically been unchanged for over 100 years. Boberg’s response to this review can be found here:

    http://www.bobergarms.com/forum/topics/the-latest-thetruthaboutguns-com-boberg-xr9-s-review

  16. avatarRalph says:

    I’m glad you’re not giving up on the pistol, Eric. An entirely new platform is bound to have a few furballs, and I applaud Arne Boberg for thinking outside the box. If the pistol finally works, it may be an important evolutionary step in the development of handguns. If it ultimately fails, then it’s an evolutionary dead end. Either way, you’re part of it, and that’s cool.

  17. avatarBret says:

    You think it’s ugly? Don’t buy it. It wasn’t designed to win beauty contests.

    You cannot shoot without your finger forward on the trigger guard? This gun isn’t for you.

    If you are used to shooting loose guns that admittedly shoot fine out of the box, then this one isn’t for you either, as it does need a break in. But once it is broken in, it shoots like a dream. There isn’t a similar sized pistol that is even close to how pleasant this one is to shoot. You couldn’t pay me to give mine up. At least not until my name comes upon the list again!

  18. avatarBruce F says:

    Thanks for the fair and honest review. Having only “met” Arne through email exchange and a phone call, I think he will do whatever it takes to get your pistol running to your satisfaction if you give him the chance to do so. It’s sounds like you are willing to give it a second chance. If you are really in a search for the ultimate pocket 9, I encourage you to give it a second chance as it’s the best of the pocket 9′s I’ve shot so far and my list matches up pretty closely with those you have previously reviewed. My personal XR9-S experience has been 100% opposite from yours through 500+ rounds and I only wish I had bought 2 when my name came up on the pre-order queue.

    Returning new guns stinks, and I’ve done my share of it over the last 4 years. Returning $1000+ new guns really, really, really stinks, but I’ve had to do my share of that too. I will say that after getting over the hump of the initial problems, I ended up with some sweet shooters. I hope you have similar results.

  19. avatarEric says:

    Thanks for all the encouraging words from other Boberg owners.

    It sorta killed me to write this review because I really want this gun to work out, both for myself and for Boberg Arms. I am looking forward to hopefully adding a positive update in the future once everything is back from Boberg and working well. Working well or not, though, you will get a truthful update, and I will link it back to this post for any folks doing research on the weapon in the future.

  20. avatarJason says:

    I am one of those people who might be interested in the Boberg, just because I enjoy looking at all the ways mechanical engineers have approached the task of getting firearms to feed and fire. This review totally put me off. No follower in a magazine? That’s not interesting or innovative, that’s just plain lazy. A designer who allows such a thing off the drafting table – much less out of his shop – undoubtedly has other unsavory habits.

    • avatarJesse Pomeroy says:

      Jason,
      Respectfully, until I see a pistol designed by “Jason” I have to take your comments with a grain of salt…
      The XR9-S being sold today is the result of years and years of research and testing and IF Arne Boberg had considered a follower a necessity you can rest assured the XR9-S magazines would have one.
      If you care to do your research by reading the reviews from actual Boberg XR9-S owners you will find, with the exception of the problems experienced by Eric, ZERO problems with magazine followers.
      I believe the absence of a follower in the magazine allows for an additional round.. For me personally, IF the gun feeds and functions fine without a follower, I think an extra round in a tiny pistol designed for concealed carry and personal protection would be a positive exchange for a follower.
      IF everyone who owns and has shot a Boberg XR9-S was having problems with the springs in their magazines popping out then obviously I’d say a follower would be needed.

      But apparently they aren’t, and it doesn’t.

      Personally I appreciate Eric for his willingness to give the Boberg XR9-S a 2nd chance. When he posts his 2nd review then lets see if the same problems are present, and what his opinion of the new Boberg XR9-S is after THAT testing.

      I apologize for coming off confrontational, but for you to declare Arne Boberg “lazy”, and assume he has other “unsavory” habits simply because his new design is “different” from what you have become familiar with in the past strikes me that expressing that opinion, made from a single test and review, makes you the lazy one.

      Don’t know if you have any additional “unsavory” habits, but if Eric is willing to give the Boberg XR9-S a 2nd look, and he is a professional writer who apparently tests and reviews guns all the time, I should think the average gun lover, such as yourself, who MIGHT be considering the purchase of a new Boberg XR9-S would be equally fair.

      My apologies in advance if there is a “Jason” pistol “out there” designed by you, with or without a follower in the magazine that I have somehow overlooked..

      Jesse Pomeroy

      • avatarJason says:

        Ah, yes. The old “only chefs may write restaurant reviews” fallacy. As if one must have one’s own 5-star restaurant before one can declare an e.coli sandwich unfit for consumption. A magazine without a follower to protect and retain the spring is the equivalent of an e.coli sandwich. It might not always be fatal. But it’s something any smart shooter or smart diner will want to avoid just on general principles. Exposing yourself to such incompetence in gun design or food handling even once is foolish. Twice is simply self-destructive.

        • avatarJesse Pomeroy says:

          Well Jason ~

          “Quot capita tot sensus”..

          Lets see now..

          “A magazine without a follower is the equivalent of an e.coli sandwich”?

          Sir, you are as full of crap as a Thanksgiving turkey.

          Jesse

        • avatarM Scott says:

          Eating at a restaurant and expressing one’s opinion of the food there is equivalent to shooting a pistol and expressing one’s opinion of how it shoots. Anyone can do those things, but you’re not doing that here. You are criticizing the design of the magazine. That’s more akin to criticizing the way a chef prepares the food, which in my opinion does require some special expertise.

          I agree that the absence of a follower is unusual, but so is the rearward removal of the cartridge from the magazine. Perhaps that renders the follower superfluous, perhaps not.

          Either way, nothing in your post suggests that you possess any special engineering or firearms design expertise. If you had that experience, I suspect you would have been more circumspect in your comments, at least until you had one in your hands and could run your own tests.

        • avatarJason says:

          Did you not see that picture of the spring popping out of the magazine? Do you see that from any other firearm? Ever? No? I don’t either. There’s no “perhaps” about it. There’s clearly a problem here, one that does not exist with any other gun. This is incontrovertible fact, not opinion. And you didn’t have to be a mechanical genius to predict it, either. It’s the gun design equivalent of a chef using the toilet and failing to wash his hands. He might get away with it for a while, but it will eventually cause serious problems. You don’t have to have to be trained at Le Cordon Bleu to say, “Hey, just a minute there, pal…” This is basic stuff.

        • avatarBret says:

          Jason, I would highly recommend that you don’t buy this pistol. It obviously isn’t for you. There will be plenty of people that will be more than happy to take your place, and will thank you for it.

          A follower in push feed guns (every other pistol) has two purposes. To keep the cartridges aligned as the slide slams into the top one and drives it out of the magazine, and to prevent the rim (and after the last round the breech face of the slide) from hanging up on it and it pushes across.

          These magazines are extremely well made (not that you will ever know) of heavy gauge stainless. The spring appears to have a slightly skewed bend at the top, which evidently allows it to pass the feed lips. As Jesse stated, Boberg customers are extremely vocal about any issues, and this is the first time any magazine issues (other than not dropping free) have surfaced.

        • avatarJason says:

          The follower also has the purpose of retaining the spring something that the Boberg magazine clearly does not do. Yes, the spring does have a slight bend. Springs will do that. If you have a follower, this is not an issue. If you don’t, it is. Designing to handle these small flaws is what is known as “robust design”, or “fault tolerance.” It’s a really good thing to have in a tool intended to defend your life. I don’t want to tell a bad guy, “Oh, sorry, I can’t shoot you right now, because my magazine spring in my swanky $1000 gun got a slight kink in it. Which is a totally predictable occurrence, but the designer just sorta’ figured that could never happen, and didn’t bother to account for it.”

          And that’s before we even get to the whole issue of it operating along the exact same principles as a Dillon bullet puller. Why anyone is shocked when it proceeds to pull bullets is beyond me.

  21. avatarBret says:

    The follower has traditionally retained the spring, but that isn’t it’s purpose. The feed lips purpose is to align the cartridges for feeding towards the barrel ramp. They happen to also hold the follower in place. But since the XR9S eliminates the functions for the follower that I listed above, then your only reason for the follower is to hold the spring. If the spring is the correct width, then the feed lips do the exact same thing. I would bet that an out of spec spring (too narrow at the top) slipped thru QC. I would also bet an out of spec follower could cause the same problem. So how is that a design flaw?

    I examined both of my magazines, and the spring is well captured by the feed lips. As in, I cannot wiggle it to get it to pop out that way. With pliers. I can extract the spring to the rear, but the bullet would have to be hook shaped to do that. No bullet profile I have ever seen could pull the spring to the rear, and the case would have to be rubber coated to get that much traction.

    As for your bullet puller analogy, you are right. But consider this. What came first, the design of the cartridge case, or the design of a semi auto action (of any type)?

    So if the rear extracting auto design came first, vs the pushfeed that Borchardt/Luger/Browning adopted, do you think the case design would have added more emphasis on bullet crimp? Of course it would have. When the case was designed there was no rear kinetic force. Just like the change in design from rimmed to rimless which took place in rifles and machine guns. The XR9S doesn’t need a change to cartridge design, just adherence to the higher end of the crimp spec.

    • avatarJason says:

      It’s a design flaw when a part that hasn’t traditionally been high-tolerance or highly critical becomes highly critical. That’s the opposite of fault-tolerance. A fifty cent sheet steel follower can be stamped out to the right dimensions far more easily than making springs to exact specifications. You don’t even need modern CNC milling machines to get it right. Remember, 1911s were designed back when electricity was still a newfangled invention. And that one little piece renders the dimensions of the spring almost totally irrelevant. Nor is it expensive. I can buy excellent 1911 Check-Mate magazines (OEM for Colt and Dan Wesson, and a few others) complete with a follower for under $20, every day, all day. There’s really no excuse not to use one.

      The simple fact of the matter is, pull-feeding didn’t win. You can “what if” all day, but we don’t live in the world of “what if”. In the real world, pull-feed went nowhere, and cartridges aren’t designed with that much crimp.

      I don’t expect that to change.

  22. avatarBret says:

    The fact that the follower holds the spring is a design feature. If the cartridge didn’t need the follower to perform the two criteria I listed above in order the feed, the feed lips of any pistol would adequately hold the spring in place without a follower, given a flat coil at the top of sufficient width. The XR9S does not need the two criteria, thus a follower is superfluous. But it does mean that the spring has to have a higher tolerance for width variation. I bet this is spring QC issue (too narrow), and I also bet that a QC error resulting in a too narrow follower would cause a similar issue.

    Imagine if the rear extraction feed method had been developed before Borchardt/Luger/Browning’s pushfeed action. Do you think additional emphasis on the specification for bullet crimp would be observed? The fixed metallic cartridges were designed long before any semi auto action. These new actions had enough force to cause severe bullet setback during feeding that hadn’t been encountered before. Crimp specs became much more important at that point, and that issue was addressed by the ammunition manufacturers. And this is no different. The tolerance is just on the higher side of the existing specification.

    IIRC, the original Seecamp LWS32 required one specific type of ammo to function flawlessly. IDK if that is true today, but it didn’t hurt sales and no one called them junk. At least no one that had a clue.

  23. avatarJimmy says:

    I bought two of these guns, both serial numbers below 50.. sold one due to pressing medical bills, but have kept, and routinely fired the remaining one.. needless to say, I am impressed by it.. it is easy to shoot, as well as carry.. and it has not failed again, after my initial testing with cheap ammo (which caused 2 malfunctions, both were head/case separations).. currently, I’ve put approx. 550 rounds through her, and I trust her completely w/ my life.. she rides in a custom “switch guard” holster made by side guard holsters.. I would not hesitate to recommend this handgun to a family member, or a friend..

  24. avatarsteve says:

    comin up on 6 weeks since this was written I’m dying to read the follow up!

    • avatarEric says:

      I actually wrote the first draft today. Just need to get the massive quantity of photos uploaded. Hard to believe I get paid to do this…..

      Oh wait a sec…I don’t!

  25. avatartiii says:

    I wanted to stop reading when you mentioned their magazines are designed to have “no follower”.
    In some of your pics it looks like you have cartridges loaded primer side fwd? Or is that a view from the back of their magazine?

    • avatarBret says:

      You need to reread the whole article. They are loaded into the mag nose first, and the gun pulls them out from the rear. So yes, that is the back of the mag showing the primers.

  26. avatarrogertc1 says:

    I have a Boberg coming next week. I am excited. they sold for $2000 last year and I saw them in GB now for only a grand. I am a gun collector and have about every guns out there to include a Semmerling and Downsizer to list some of my exotics.
    A Springfield EMT and Roughbaugh (no +P) cost more than $1000. Yep I have Kel-Tecs, Kahr, AMT, and other main stream guns.

    Waiting on a NAA 22MAG Sidewinder for 34 months.. The Heizer derringer is now a vaporgun..

    I’m excited!!!

    Forgot to say i also ordered a 4.25 barrel, red and green grips and 6# trigger spring and other good stuff.

  27. avatartoto says:

    You can buy 10 Hi-points for the price of this joker.

  28. avatarRussell D. Barrett says:

    I purchased a Boberg XR9s about a year ago and I have never had a hang-up, jam,
    or other problem with the gun. I have shot around 300 rounds and no problems. I
    would recomend this gun to anyone. I carry it every day and would bet my life on it.
    Arnie Boberg is a fine, honest and fair man and his whole life is in this gun and I
    truly believe this gun is as fine a handgun as any made no matter the cost. I hope
    he keeps up the good work. Russell Barrett

  29. avatarBoris says:

    Glock 26 or 27 when every shot counts. Leave the stuff made in somebodies living room to the gunbroker clowns.

  30. avatarRey says:

    My quest for an everyday carry took me to this website. I have pretty much narrowed it down to almost getting a Glock 26. I held back. I wanted a S&W snubnose(any flavor), then a CZ PCR which I love CZ’s. I already have a CZ75 pre-ban, CZ40P hybrid. Also the RAMI was considered. Talked to friends with XD’s and checked out the XDs in 9mm. I liked the weight size, not so much the thickness of the slide, and I hate that sharp grooved grip which I wondered why they didn’t just go the Glock way. Smooth and grippy like the CZs. A sleeve would make it thick. I also looked at the ultra expensive Rohrbaugh. Then this gun, the XR9s. Nice finish, unusual style. Not for me. And I liked the honest review that was made here. And compared to another consideration I have, the Kahr PM9. Also checked the CM9, PM9′s less sexy sibling. I liked both and the review on this website pretty much made me decide on what to get. PM9 it is when I have the money or CM9 when I came up short on the finance department.

  31. avatarNews Poster says:

    All I can say is it states any ammo on their site and from reading these threads it apparently works with this ammo, but not that, this is a POS BS company! Go to their site and see….”Using any factory ammunition (including a steady diet of high-pressure +P ammo that most other micros can’t hold up to) you can now have full-sized Glock 26 performance in a micro-sized package!”

  32. avatarEric says:

    News Poster… I can guarantee you this is not a POS BS company and to state so is ignorant. They are simply stating that you can get the same performance as larger firearms in a smaller package and that is the truth. Not all brands of ammo will feed flawlessly all the time and they make it very clear this is the case and provide a list of ammo that is both trouble free and those that are less reliable due to bullet crimp. The pistol is as advertised when the proper ammo is used.

  33. avatarroger says:

    New Poster. As a collector and owning the worlds smallest pistols including the Boberg. Most small heavy recoil 9s are picky about their ammo and how you grasp the pistol. The Boberg actually has less felt recoil than a Kahr PM9, Kimber Solo, or a Rohrbaugh R9 and is smaller than either. However this quality pistol as with most is out of the price range of some people.

  34. avatarJMB says:

    I have a SA XDs 45acp very reliable with a 5+1. I do want the best as I can afford. The 1911s weren’t really designed to optimally function miniaturized or for that matter with less than 45acp. I read quite good articles regarding Boberg, in fact I have a XR45 on preorder I really am skeptical regarding bullets shaking loose from their crimp. Is this still a problem.

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