Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track that I’d put myself on the waiting list for a Boberg XR9-S. Or maybe it was just a senior moment; I ordered the gun back in November. Since then I bought a Kahr PM9 for my pocket pistol predilection. The Kahr replaced a rejected Rohrbaugh R9. When I got Boberg’s email notifying me that my number had come up, I decided to take the risk and pull the trigger. The XR9-S arrived a couple weeks later . . .

The Boberg XR9-S’s owner/inventor/manufacturer claims his pocket nine delivers Glock G26 ballistics out of a Kahr PM9-sized package. The key to this accomplishment: a longer barrel.

To keep the package small, Boberg uses a unique loading process; the gun pulls each round out of the magazine rather than giving them the typical push. Yeah, it is weird. But in addition to helping to increase muzzle velocity, the bullet pulling motion is said to decrease felt recoil, too.

A little slower:

Initial impressions: the gun has adequate fit and finish although the barrel looks to be not drilled dead center. I don’t know if this is a manufacturing flaw or a design feature. I’ve emailed Boberg to find out.

Size-wise, the Boberg’s slightly shorter and slightly taller than a PM9. Capacity concerned consumers note: the Boberg loads 7+1 rounds to the PM9’s 6+1. The Boberg’s grip feels good in the hand with a grip angle that’s closer to that of a Glock than a PM9. Ergonomically, I’d rate them thus: XR9-S, then the PM9, then the R9. All day long. YDMV (Your Digits May Vary).

The proof of that pistol pudding lies in the firing. Meanwhile, dry firing the Boberg reveals a heavy DAO trigger with a long pull and a reset to match. It breaks cleanly with minimal stacking. I prefer the Kahr’s trigger. The Rohrbaugh R9’s trigger was the best of the three as far as silky smoothness goes. Trigger preferences on the trio would be R9>PM9>XR9-S, but they’re all pretty darned close.

The XR9-S’s recoil springs are lighter than a Reese Witherspoon chick flick. Racking the Boberg is a breeze compared to the Kahr, R9 or even a Glock 26. Field stripping is not particularly difficult; I figured it out without once wondering if I should RTFM. It’s much easier than the Rohrbaugh, and probably a tie with the Kahr.

That’s no HK ad, the bullets are in the magazine properly.

Boberg claims the XR9-S is reliable with and rated for +P ammo. That longer barrel pushes a bullet about 100 ft/second faster than a similar sized gun with a traditional action. The only ammo issue: whether the bullet will stay seated during the rather violent jerk of the cartridge out of the magazine. Some cheaper brands have given owners issues with bullet-case separation and the factory recommends against Federal Wal-Mart ammo.

So, will the Boberg run or will it puke all over its shoes?  Stay tuned.


  1. I didn’t know this article had anything to do with springfield XD’s *7th paragraph*
    All spellcheck jokery aside, that looks like a neat gun. I’m curious about bullet separation too though… Especially for times that you’ve had to chamber the same carry round several times *as some people do who don’t shoot their ccw often*.

    • The way the article is written makes it sound as though the issue of cartridge separation has more to do with the violence of the rearward impulse *when firing* than anything else.

      Thus, I doubt it would be an issue in the way you suggest. In fact, it might help in the OTHER extreme; with traditional pistols, loading the same round multiple times can result in enough setback to cause a KaBOOOM; the impulse applied when jerking a cartridge out of the magazine may well help combat bullet setback.

  2. Whoa. When I saw the cartridges loaded backwards, I though it was the Bloomberg XR9-S.

  3. $998 list? Really? My interest just took a nose dive.

    Great tabletop review though. Looking forward to shooting review.

    Say, that reminds me of the MPA Protector that Robert was going to review… they are about the same size.

    • Same here, a grand for an unproven system of this caliber is about 6-700 too much.

  4. Guys,

    Take a look at their website: http://www.BobergArms.com

    Yes a Boberg is not a local gun store cheapy. The forum on the site gives you all the information and plenty of user reviews. I placed my name on the waiting list 10/3/2011 and was emailed the first week of May and quickly confirmed my order. I expect to receive notice of shipment any day.

    Arne Boberg’s customer service is exemplary!

  5. I’ve had the XR-9S for a couple of years, and the XR-9L for a year. I like the guns, both of them. The springs that give you a hard trigger pull can be replaced with one with less tension. The heavy spring comes with it and insures strong strikes on hard primers. Lighten the spring, and if you don’t use hard-to- set-off primers, you’ll be pleased.

  6. By the way, unlike most pistols, the “unlock block” that Boberg’s use, the unlock block is to be lubricated exclusively with a couple of dabs of very specific (LPS meets the requirements) anti-seize compound. A anti-seize compound is to be used that does not have copper or aluminum as an ingredient. Most compounds don’t mention their ingredients in detail, LPS all-purpose anti-seize meets their specifications. Other parts of the pistol are lubed with a drop here and there of any good oil (like CLP).

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