Boberg XR9-S The Bullpup Pistol Review

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The trigger guard is ample, and helps to keep fingers from drifting too far forward by eliminating the shelf the usually rides beneath the barrel.

The trigger guard is ample, and helps to keep fingers from drifting too far forward by eliminating the shelf that usually rides beneath the barrel. Price tag? $1,049.

Boberg Arms and their XR9-S aren’t household names yet. Those who know the name will understand how complex this pistol is. For those of you who don’t yet know about it, the Boberg XR9-S (and a similar .45 ACP version) are attempting to chart a new course for automatic pistols.  The Boberg design moves the grip and trigger forward on the gun, which makes it faster on target as it easier to control. This design also presents loading nightmares. The end result is the fastest and most accurate pistol I’ve ever fired. And the most problematic.

When I say it is fast, I’m not exaggerating. The problematic piece is harder to explain. The early reviews of the XR9-S have been dominated by polarized opinion. Few try to embody both opinions. The Boberg is persnickety, perhaps. Picky. It is certainly a picky eater. It is one of the best shooting pistols I’ve ever fired. It also has the potential to rip rounds in half, and shower unburnt powder all over you. The Boberg may be the most idiosyncratic gun I’ve ever seen. Yet if you get the perfect ammo in the gun, it is outstanding.

Boberg doesn’t shy away from this dichotomy. They understand that the gun is great, and that it can have feeding issues. In the media kit they sent with the XR9-S, there were some very specific instructions.  The most surprising was a list of known ammo incompatibilities. There were 23 specific ammunition types (brand, bullet shape, and grain weight) on the list. Failures ranged from case separations to failures to feed to hard primers. Some of these incompatibilities even included failure occurrence rates.

Form the business end, the Boberg doesn't look all that revolutionary, but there's no mistaking what it is. Though compact, it is easily recognizable.

Form the business end, the Boberg doesn’t look all that revolutionary, but there’s no mistaking what it is. Though compact, it still makes an impression.

This wasn’t the first impression I wanted, for sure. When this many ammunition types don’t work, it isn’t the ammunition’s fault. Brands from Hornady and Winchester, to Black Hills and MagTech. Yet then it struck me that actually owning these issues, by presenting them upfront, just may be a genuine corporate conscience. Honest and transparent act of corporate goodwill. Think about the crap we have to deal with from some of these companies. Some of America’s largest brands will pretend their guns are solid gold, and will distribute lemons, just to stay on schedule. Not Boberg. They’re handling this incredibly well.

But you have to accept this, early, in order to appreciate the XR9-S. Behind the list of incompatible rounds is a list of 60 that are known to work reliably, including great personal defense rounds from companies like Hornady, Winchester, Black Hills and MagTech.

Boberg understands this gun, clearly. They even include instruction for the application of anti-seize on the unlock block. This is another one of those features that’s unique to the Boberg design. Without the appropriate (and sparing) application of anti-seize during regular cleaning (or whenever it wears away), the gun will be even more prone to feeding and extracting issues.

What happens when things go wrong? The Boberg rips the bullet from the shell. Not inherently dangerous, unless it happens during a firefight.

What happens when things go wrong? The Boberg rips the bullet from the brass. Not inherently dangerous, unless it happens during a firefight.

What does all of this mean, exactly? I’d take a look inside. Are you a fire-and forget sort of person, or are you detail oriented and prone to fine tune machines? I can think of a lot of things that require constant maintenance in order to function. I control the humidity level on my guitars meticulously so the tops and sides don’t expand or shrink. I take care of my old truck because it takes care of me. I’ve managed to stay married for 14 years–something that I consider a bit of a miracle–by fine tuning the relationship and taking the time to work through all of the metaphorical jams, failures, and separations.

The XR9-S is no different. If you pay close attention, this gun should be great. If you want a pistol that you can buy, load, and carry without too much thought–this is not your gun. Keep walking.

Just a warning–this review is going to walk this line until the conclusion. It may get long. We’re going to ask some complicated questions and go way beyond the does-it-hit-what-you’re-aiming-at sort of basics.

The Boberg does shoot incredibly well.

The Boberg does shoot incredibly well. This 5 shot group was made from seven yards, shooting quickly, with a double-action-only trigger with a 9 pound pull. And point of aim isn’t bad, either–I was aiming at the 9.

Shooting Results

I believe that all criticism, in order to be constructive, should begin with what’s working right. The Boberg is an incredibly accurate pistol. It is a joy to shoot. Groups are uncommonly tight. The gun shoots reliably to point of aim. Recoil is mitigated by the forward position of the grip, and this makes target acquisition between shots faster. And the Boberg does all of this while also defining a sense of style. When the guns works as intended, it performs flawlessly.

When the Boberg Works as Intended

It doesn’t perform consistently with every ammo. Haters are going to start hating right there. This is a fact. There are too many pistols on the market that work with every single ammo available. Hell–there are guns that will shoot the wrong caliber, and do it somewhat effectively (not that it is recommended to shoot 9mm through a .40, but I have). But it begs the simple question–why won’t the Boberg work with everything? This is a 9mm pistol–it should shoot 9mm ammo. I’m not alone in making this argument.

Ejection is hard on brass.

Ejection is hard on brass. Even steel cased Tula (bottom left) takes a beating.

Other notable companies have faced similar resentment, and have managed to carry on in the face of criticism. The Kimber Solo comes to mind, and numerous auto-loading shotguns. That the XR9-S has some compatibility issues isn’t enough to dismiss it out of hand. So let’s look here more deeply.

What does the Boberg do that no other pistols do?

When you move the grip forward, as you would on a bullpup rifle or shotgun, you put the control hand closer to the origin of muzzle rise. On a rifle, this may be a benefit, it may not–it depends on your grip style and the recoil generated by the round it fires. I don’t really need a bullpup .22 LR, or a bullpup .223 for that matter.

On a pistol, though, it is hard to get a support hand into action in front of the grip. At best, it rides on top of the shooting hand. Forward hand grips aren’t legal on pistols. Yet this is where you would really benefit from some extra control. Having that extra hand to hold down the muzzle rise of a .357, or a 9mm could be beneficial. So why not move up the grip and trigger, just like you would on a bullpup rifle? When you move up the control hand, you get even more control.

The trigger guard is wide and the trigger itself is wide. The pull is clean and consistent.

The trigger guard is wide and the trigger itself is wide. The pull is clean and consistent. And 9 pounds.

The Boberg, in effect, is like a bullpup pistol. And this is obvious in the speed I’ve already mentioned. This gun flat out flies. No hyperbole. I shoot a lot of guns, and I’d put this gun at the top. After that first shot, I am on target faster and my followup shots are more accurate with the Boberg XR9-s than they are with any other 9mm I’ve shot.

What do you give up?

Ask a bullpup rifle shooter about the one logical drawback of the design, and you’ll hear the same answer. Loading the magazine behind the shooting hand, under your arm, can be awkward–unless that is the way you learn to do it from scratch. At the very least, it is the one element that requires the most practice and acclimation, especially for those who shoot ARs.

The same isn’t true for the Boberg. Mags still load in through the grip. The gun shoots fast, and you don’t have to retrain for mag changes. So….The problem is the actual feeding of rounds. Because rounds are angling into the grip in a traditional manner, they present below the barrel instead of at the breech. They have to be stripped from the mag and pulled backwards, off the back of the magazine, toward the rear of the pistol where they are then caught by the open slide before they’re fed. Watch the video above, it shows you exactly what I mean. Hard to describe–easy to see. Boberg call this the reverse-feed.

The Magazine is odd, though, in that the rounds are loaded with the bullets down and in.

The Magazine is odd. The rounds are loaded with the bullets down and in. The reverse-feed pulls rounds off the back of the mag.

Most pistols rely on the magazine’s spring to present the round, and the movement of the slide itself to strip the round and push it into place. Maybe you monkey with a bit of geometry, and add a feed ramp. It is painfully simple, why is why most of us in this industry are so unforgiving of failures. Sure pistols occasionally fail to feed or extract. But what is the percentage of failure? What is an acceptable failure rate? Is there an acceptable failure rate?

I’ll tell you my opinion. A pistol must work 100% of the time. I have very inexpensive, reliably accurate pistols that have never failed me. I still train for failures, but I have to manufacture them, or have someone else do it for me to surprise me. I will not carry a pistol that won’t fire 99% of the time, right out of the box. If I fire 100 rounds, and it fails me twice in that time, I will work with it at the range, but I’m not going to trust my life to it.

Still, the chances of a pistol failing are much higher than the chances of a well made revolver failing. But I’m getting farther off track. I was talking about Boberg. And this is important. The Boberg is amazingly complex. It is beautiful in its complexity. And it is exquisite craftsmanship. Yet I can’t make it work flawlessly, even with proper application of anti-seize and ammo from their recommended list.

A Meco Hlster, one of several options suggested on the Boberg site.

A Meco Hlster, one of several options suggested on the Boberg site. You can see what I mean about the pistol’s potential to rock out.

What do you give up? It is the question that began this rambling diatribe. After running more than 1,000 rounds through the gun, I haven’t found the round that gives me 100% certainty. There comes a point when I have to ask if the benefit of the recoil reduction provided by the grip’s forward placement is worth all of the design headaches–or rather the reliability issues that come from the design headaches.

What does the traditional pistol have that the Boberg lacks?

Traditional pistols may have a couple of benefits over the Boberg design. For one, they’re typically built so that the barrel extends farther in front of the trigger guard. That means they’re easier to carry, as a holster has more to wrap around. The Boberg has enough surface area to allow for holstering, but I’d be more careful with how I carried this gun than many other pistols. The Boberg looks like it would rock back easily, and dislodge from a holster. This is far from a show-stopper–but it will require due diligence from holster makers.

Boberg’s site lists several makers who are producing Boberg holsters, and some of them seem traditional enough. Others look to be just as original as the Boberg itself.

It isn't that much farther back, but the breech doesn't line up with the magazine, as it does on almost every other pistol.

The extractor on the XR9-S rips rounds out. We had fewer failures to extract than we did failures to feed.

The second point I’d make is harder to articulate. With more than 100 years of accepted fundamentals, and more than 100 years of consistent innovations, the traditional pistol, especially those in this price range, work incredibly well. There are much less expensive pistols that will work every time, or damn near close. And this is something Boberg has decided to take head on. While the glass-half-full side of me thinks that the Boberg performs incredibly well, the glass-half-empty side feels like it is a proof of concept. This review felt much less like a typical GunsAmerica review and more like an extension of R&D.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m all for innovation. I bet the first automatic pistol makers faced a chorus of derision from the old-school revolver crowd, just like the pioneers of everything else (including odd calibers, modular chassis designs, polymer frames, etc.). Without innovation, we’d all still be protecting ourselves with sharpened sticks.

Still, when I do trip over guns that don’t work, I want to fix the problems. This feeling is amplified with the Boberg, because I want a gun that runs like the Boberg.

Yet this is a pistol that’s being sold for concealed carry. If I could find a carry round that functioned flawlessly, every time, one that feeds and extracts and doesn’t separate bullets form their cases, then I’d carry it. How many rounds would I have to put through the gun before I made such a pronouncement? I think 500 would do. I’d prefer 1,000, but I think I could realistically live with 500. 500 rounds, sequentially, no failures.


When a case separates, the powder is thrown free.

We didn’t get that. This isn’t to say that we couldn’t have, had we kept experimenting. But finding that perfect round could be an expensive quest. And remember the Boberg’s predecessors. There are lots of guns out there that can handle hundreds and hundreds of rounds without failing. Thousands, even.

I went to two competing big-box outlets, and three gun stores. I raided my personal stash of ammo, too, and managed to find compatible list ammo, incompatible list ammo, and ammo that wasn’t on the list.

The most effective brand we could find was Monarch 115 grain FMJ. While I wouldn’t chose this as a carry round, it performed very well from the XR9-S (only 5 failures in 200 rounds). In all the rounds we shot, we didn’t have a single brand that ran flawlessly.

Less philosophical

Let’s talk through some of the gun’s less controversial features. The stats are a good place to start. The total overall length is just 5.1 inches. It has a 3.5 inch barrel. It comes in under an inch wide, too. This puts the Boberg in line with sub-compact 9mm pistols, yet it performs more like a compact. The extra barrel length, buried as it is, offers a nominal increase in muzzle velocity.

The magazine holds 7 rounds. When it is empty, the XR9-S weighs in just over a pound. It is light, compact, thin, and holds more than a typical revolver. All told, there’s a lot there to consider.

The take down lever is easy to use, but has a low profile that ensures you won't flip it accidentally.

The take down lever is easy to use, but has a low profile that ensures you won’t flip it accidentally.

The trigger pull on the Boberg is long. It is designed that way. There is a short pull trigger available for those of you who don’t cotton to intentional pulls on concealed carry guns. Even with the long pull, or maybe precisely because of it, I found it easy enough to stage shots. You pull back and a paddle rocks back at the rear of the slide. That paddle is the hammer. It opens up and then snaps back, slapping the pin. And the trigger itself is wide, which simply feels good on the finger.

There are no external safeties. This is a plus for concealed carry, in my opinion. The rest of the gun is meant for carry, too. The sights are low and snag free, and adjustable. The grip is thin, textured well, and keeps in line with the guns thin profile. The controls are all accessible, though I had to practice with the mag drop, repeatedly, before I got comfortable with the motion (I have to shift my palm off the grip, slightly, to hit the button).

After all of the shooting, there was only one other thing I’d point to as a potential area of concern–and that is how you grip the pistol. Watch your off hand. If you get a solid two hand grip on this, be sure you are clear of the barrel. I can’t hold it like I’d hold a traditional pistol. Instead, I hold it more like I’d hold a revolver. It is just safer. But when I get moving fast, and draw from concealment, I find that my left hand creeps forward. While I have yet to hurt myself with this gun, I can see how easily it would be possible.

In the end

You have to check this out. It is worth it. The XR9-S in the two-tone finish sells for $1,049. I’m here to say that this is something you have to experince, if only to know what is actually possible. Can I endorse it for actual carry? Of course–if you have the right personality. If you are one who trains hard, if you compulsively maintain your guns, and study ammo eccentricity–this is your platform.

The rest of us–where does the Boberg fit for us? Competition perhaps? The speed of the Boberg, and the flat shooting accuracy would be great in any practical pistol competition. And if you have a failure then, the world will continue to turn.

But for concealed carry? Out of the box, this gun ran great. Yet the issues we experienced were confidence crushing and serious. Jams were inconsistent, and harder to clear than they would be on some traditional pistols. I don’t know what to say about this, other than this–you will have to accept the Boberg for what it is, find the ammo it likes, and train like crazy before you carry this off the range.

The lettering has a radius that adds depth to the relief carving. Subtle, but a nice touch.

The lettering has a radius that adds depth to the relief carving. Subtle, but a nice touch. It is this attention to detail that makes me optimistic about Boberg’s future.

The Boberg has moved the barrel back on the gun, which makes for some serious logistical loading challenges.

Boberg has moved the barrel back on the gun, which makes for some serious logistical loading challenges. But it increases the barrel length in a pistol this size.

The Boberg lion. Will it ever be as iconic as the rampaging colt?

The grip on the XR9-S is polymer. Frames and slides are available in onyx or platinum (the color, not the metal).

The hammer is a flat paddle that opens up the back of the pistol.

The hammer is a flat paddle that opens up the back of the pistol.

The magazine is easy to load, and built of welded steel.

The magazine is easy to load, and built of welded steel.

There's no follower in the magazine. The rounds ride right on the spring.

There’s no follower in the magazine. The rounds ride right on the spring.

The sights are dovetailed in and drift adjustable, though

The sights are dovetailed in and drift adjustable. This set was dead on out of the box.

Cases from the Boberg traveled a good distance. We measured one case at more than 40 feet from the firing line.

Cases from the Boberg traveled a good distance. We measured one case at more than 40 feet from the firing line.

There isn't much barrel to tuck down in a holster. Finding the right perfect holster will be more of a challange.

There isn’t much barrel to tuck down in a holster. Finding the right perfect holster will be more of a challenge.

The sights and other surfaces are all made for snag free concealed carry.

The sights and other surfaces are all made for snag free concealed carry.

With the thumb on the trigger guard, it is easy to avoid any accidental misplacement.

With the thumb on the trigger guard, it is easy to avoid any accidental misplacement.

Wrong. Get that hand back.

Wrong. Get that hand back.

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Here you can see where the thin mainspring and guide rod sit in relation to the barrel and reverse feed system.

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The breakdown is easy, and the parts are precisely fit and easy to assemble and disassemble. The long skinny spring is the big surprise.

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This is the unlock block. The black coloration is from the anti-seize. Boberg recommends two pea-sized drops here, which spread out as shown.

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The barrel is well made, and shoots incredibly well. It rides in the unlock block and the frame.

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Another view of the reverse-feed system. I’d love to take it apart even more, but I’m not certain I could get it back together.

fdd dff

The inside of the stainless steel slide shows the attention to detail that defines the craftsmanship of Boberg. Taking apart this gun is kind of like taking apart a watch.

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  • Brent September 20, 2016, 11:54 am

    Just curious, I know Bond Arms recently acquired Boberg. I would assume they made/are making slight changes to the gun. Have you been able to shoot this gun, as manufactured by Bond yet? I would love to see a review of the Bond Bullpup for when it hits the market.

  • glenn beecher November 26, 2015, 8:56 pm

    Boberg is now wholly owned by Bond Arms – all happening since 2011. ( this should tell you something..) I feel the design is a solution, searching for a problem. Its also very expensive & finicky with ammo/reliability. Good luck to Bond Arms!

  • Keith November 7, 2015, 7:13 am

    I carry a Seecamp and that gun works flawlessly only if you use the right ammo. I don’t have an issue using the right ammo with my gun. This whole conversation is just silly.

  • Larry June 10, 2015, 12:26 am

    I have read this article (and a few others) and all of the comments that followed. And I’m sold. A large part of self defense is being confidence that you have the mental and physical ability to respond if the time comes. To that end you need to believe that the gun you are carrying is the best one you can carry, regardless of what any reviewer says or commentary pundit warns you of. It doesn’t matter that it cast $20.00, or $2000.00. If your gun is the one you want to face the bad guys with then that is the one for you. Now reviews and comments have their place when it comes to researching that special gun but if everybody were alike then there would be only one “best CC gun”. For me, I think the Boberg will fit the bill perfectly.

  • New Owner RLS April 29, 2015, 10:03 am

    It’s my under standing that the origin of the AR had similar problems. Worked great until they bought different ammo that was using a different powder. The powder was too dirty and to my understanding the cases were over pressured making them stick. I believe from the history I’ve heard it got some men killed until the problem was solved. Wrong Ammo! I know quit a few people that think it’s a fairly good rifle now. I have no idea if the Boberg will be any were close but somebody needs to take the chance, if we don’t the statement about going back to rocks seems appropriate. I haven’t even received mine yet (XR45S) but I think it will be a hoot. One more thing it is my understanding that the chambered round goes boom the vast majority of the time, with a 45 I hope with proper shot placement I won’t need a follow up shot and if it functions properly and I get another shot all the better.

    • Mike Johnson May 29, 2015, 8:39 am

      After reading all the reviews and watching the videos, I have to agree with many of the comments made here. In short, if the gun will not fire reliably, it might be fun at the range but will never be a serious consideration for me as a concealed carry weapon. The best advise I ever got concerning guns was “form follows function.” Like many of you in this forum, I have a love for guns which includes some strange and exotic pieces from different eras and countries. Unfortunately, though much has been said about the quality of the manufacturing process for this gun, the end result is a failed experiment. If I had $1,300 kicking around for fun I might pick one up. But when my life depends on it, I’ll stick with my Glock or M&P and take chances at the casino.

  • Charles February 10, 2015, 11:08 pm

    Seems as if the naysayers have not handled the Boberg, much less shot it. But they sure seem to know more than the owners that have had zero problems. But really, you whiners need to stay away from the Boberg since you really need to follow directions and use some common sense. BTW, 1,000 rounds of unrecommended crap ammo doesn’t make a review. That ammo was already understood as being a problem, so why use it? It didn’t prove a thing. The reviewer claims he had problems with everything. I call BS to that. The recommended ammo has never failed me. You can shoot this pistol upside down and sideways, one handed and limp-wristed, and it won’t fail…if you use the proper ammo.

    But I’m not concerned about the comments here since anyone wanting a serious piece of engineering in that price range isn’t going to be stupid enough to run crap ammo. You are the same people that will run regular gas in a high compression motor. You just don’t care. Regardless of instruction, you will continue to believe that your Bersa will shoot crap ammo so you don’t see why the Boberg shouldn’t and you’ll feed it with that crap until it fails, by golly. Then run to the keyboard. You’re the same people that get kicked off of airplanes, for cryin’ out loud.

    Stick with the firearms you like and quit your whining. I deep carry a Boberg in a Kydex, and have shot it without failure for a couple years now. It’s the ultimate IWB appendix carry pistol. It’s a ‘real’ t-shirt CCW weapon that won’t print. And you can shoot +P anything to your heart’s content. And it’s the softest shooting sub-compact 9mm you’ll ever know. And so damned accurate. And better ballistics, And it’s only 5.1″ long and 17oz. And 8 shots. BUT…it probably will have problems with non-recommended ammo, so let’s all jump in here, put on the dunce caps, and fire away.

    • Mark Urban April 20, 2017, 10:37 pm

      My father just gave me his Boberg XR9-S what would you recommend for ammo.
      Thanks Mark Urban

  • DaveR January 22, 2015, 7:23 pm

    I love all the self-professed “engineers” here in the comments. Sheesh. Y’all drive trains or what?

  • Gunslinger October 6, 2014, 8:34 am

    With so many “disadvantages” …..Whats the point??

  • m September 24, 2014, 1:56 pm

    So a guy walks into a gun store and asks the clerk,
    “Do you have any guns that don’t work”
    And the clerk says
    Yeah, but there gonna cost you extra”
    Ba du bump!

  • Bounce September 24, 2014, 10:41 am

    Too much for what amounts to nothing more than a interesting conversation piece. Guns must function reliably first and foremost. This explains HiPoint. Ugly, yes. Cheap, yes… but always works.

  • Bob Bray September 23, 2014, 7:26 pm

    9mm cases are extremely strong.
    Separating cases tells me the breech is opening up too early while pressure is too high.
    Either the breech isn’t locked or it unlocks too early.
    Flinging fired cases 40 feet reinforces that premise . That’s energy wasted.
    The advantage of this pistol is an inch longer barrel in a shorter than normal overall pistol length.
    HiStandard once tried a .380 on their 22 blowback frame and it didn’t work well.
    There was once a .30 Carbine pistol that also separated cases, relying on friction to keep the breech locked.
    That gun also separated very strong cases.
    The pluses of a 3/4-1″ longer barrel don’t offset the negatives of an unreliable pistol.
    In ’53 Korea, I converted a PPSH41 blowback submachinegun to .30 carbine. It also separated cases more often than not,
    regardless of slide spring strength. High pressure cartridges need a locked breech to allow pressure to fall before opening.

    • Jug October 21, 2017, 10:08 pm

      It isnt the case itself that seperates, its the case from the bullet!
      When the slide does open, (never until the pressure is down, and this thing has a cannon breech), it yanks the case right off of the bullet!
      That is the problem, not enough case mouth tension on the bullet.
      Some ammo has plenty normally, others do NOT!

      Stay away from the low tension stuff, good to go!

  • m September 23, 2014, 11:23 am


    pres·tige noun, often attributive \pre-ˈstēzh, -ˈstēj\

    : the respect and admiration that someone or something gets for being successful or important


    Full Definition of PRESTIGE


    : standing or estimation in the eyes of people : weight or credit in general opinion


    : commanding position in people’s minds

    — pres·tige·ful adjective

    See prestige defined for English-language learners »

    See prestige defined for kids »

    Examples of PRESTIGE

    Her career as a diplomat has brought her enormous prestige.
    The job has low pay and low prestige.
    The family has wealth and social prestige.

    Origin of PRESTIGE

    French, from Middle French, conjuror’s trick, illusion, from Latin praestigiae, plural, conjuror’s tricks, from praestringere to graze, blunt, constrict, from prae- + stringere to bind tight — more at strain
    First Known Use: 1829

    • Luke G September 24, 2014, 7:51 am

      Your mastery of the irrelevant and inane is truly breathtaking.

      • s September 24, 2014, 2:01 pm


        Is taken from the BOBTURD website!

        Buy our gun, it doesn’t work, but, it will give you PRESTIGE!!!

        • Administrator September 24, 2014, 2:07 pm

          +1 on that

  • Dumb September 23, 2014, 11:08 am

    As I read this article and watch the video, I can not believe that there is even one SUCKER out there that thinks this is worth there life? Really, I have no problem spending $1000 on a pistol in fact I have spent two and three times that on CCW pistols.
    This seems like a SNL skit, where you try identify dummies. I hope this is a CIA scam where anyone who buys one of these is automatically rendered sterile. Lets see if people are dumb enough to pay twice as much for something half as good? The fanboys inability to admit they made a mistake is worrisome to say the least. You just need to pay more for your ammo to make the gun work properly? Shouldn’t the gun I paid more for be better not worse?

  • Smart September 23, 2014, 10:51 am

    “If you own this pistol there is an idiot staring at you in the mirror!!!”

    That about sums it up!

  • Supermatic57 September 23, 2014, 10:48 am

    I purchased a XR9-L in Onyx early this year. Following the guidelines on ammo selection I’ve never had a problem in feeding or extracting in roughly 750 rounds fired. Arne Boberg is a visionary and I, for one, am happy to follow his less-traveled path.

    And for those who may have forgotten, the original Seecamp pistols were designed to fire one – and only one – brand of ammo: Winchester Silvertips. Anything else and you were on your own. Now that’s restrictive in my book. If Seecamp had listed all the ammo it WOULDN’T accommodate I doubt it would have ever taken off.

  • Will September 23, 2014, 8:51 am

    Although this is a very well written piece and a good gun test this piece of s*** does not need to be on the streets. I do not enjoy the author trying to suck up and polish a turd while trying to get a free pistol. ask yourself this question Higginbotham would you carry this piece of crap to defend your wife and children? Exactly then it shouldn’t be on the streets.

  • Will September 23, 2014, 8:51 am

    Although this is a very well written piece and a good gun test this piece of s*** does not need to be on the streets. I do not enjoy the author trying to suck up and polish a turd while trying to get a free pistol. ask yourself this question Higginbotham would you carry this piece of crap to defend your wife and children? Exactly then it shouldn’t be on the streets.

  • Skeezix September 23, 2014, 2:54 am

    Why bother? For much less money you can get a 100% reliable handgun that works on the time tested John Browning designs, and which is basically just as small. Sounds like a ridiculous attempt at “being different,” and I don’t see this being a rousing success; As a matter of fact, I see it as another item on the historical trash heap of inane handgun designs that includes the Gyrojet, Dardick, Schwarzlose, et. al.

    There’s just no real reason for its existence.

  • Jack September 23, 2014, 1:00 am

    Those pistols won’t make you feel special!
    Everyone uses the Gun that work, it takes a real man to pay double for a gun that don’t!!
    If you own this pistol there is an idiot staring at you in the mirror!!!

  • Thomas Mitch September 22, 2014, 10:47 pm

    An interesting design. I’d like to see a variation designed for compitition. Imagine timed compititions with the fast accurate followup shots.

  • David Lango September 22, 2014, 10:01 pm

    I’m glad for this article, thanks for the effort. It makes me love what’s in my pocket right now even more. S&W J-frame hammer-less 38 for everyday sweat and mistreatment for me. I’d rather shoot a bigger gun when I get to the range, but I have to practice with this, even though it’s uncomfortable to shoot compared to a K, L, or N. I love my X-frame but it’s totally not concealable. The J goes in my front pocket always. My home made wallet/holster makes it ride high in the pocket for easy draw.

    There. I wrote my own article about what I trust.

  • Oregon Jimmy September 22, 2014, 9:57 pm

    Good article. Thanks. I wasn’t aware of this new breed. I carry .357 S&W 360PD. 11 0z. 5 rounds of blazing power, and no failures…ever…Just practice and place your shots well.

  • Jak September 22, 2014, 9:26 pm

    There is no way I will pay $1000.00 for a novelty pistol that you have to buy or use certain ammo with to have any kind of reliable function! Most importantly I would never trust my life with this thing! Never! We can buy 100% reliable pistols for less than half of this thing, time tested and will shoot anything you shove in them as far as ammo!

  • william bryant September 22, 2014, 6:22 pm

    I wish this web site would stop dropping all the way down to the bottom of the comments section, I have to backspace all the way back to the top of the page to read the article then read the comments

  • Jack September 22, 2014, 5:28 pm

    I have a safe full of firearms that have 98 percent less problems and a lot of the ammo they say I can’t use.
    Now ….what’s your point?

  • glenn September 22, 2014, 4:54 pm

    This gun is a solution searching for a problem.. Needs more r&d time..overpriced

  • K.MacKellerann September 22, 2014, 4:49 pm

    Given the pistol’s ammunition situation, I’d call this a good idea that needs more R&D. Honestly, I agree it probably shoots well. It’s probably very controllable. It has one slight problem that would keep me from using it anywhere but at the range for target work.
    It is not reliable.
    Providing a list of “approved” ammunition and “disapproved” ammunition means you are now tied to specific ammunition, which of recent notice is not always available. In some locations the approved ammunition might be illegal to possess. In others, it might not be available.
    A pistol that can rip rounds apart and spill powder all over the place is not something to depend on, not even if otherwise it is second-of-angle at 200 yards. If it is not at least usable with most ammunition, it’s still in research and development IMHO. I like the design. I like the way it works. Would I carry it? For defense, no way. Keep developing it and eventually it’ll shoot anything.

  • Russ September 22, 2014, 3:21 pm

    Dave Higginbotham just tore this pistol up without understanding it in the first place.
    I guess old school shooters have a hard time adjusting to new school innovative design, and miss out on superior function because of that.
    I see this a lot in the firearm crowd.
    All shooters sure are different, aren’t they?
    For instance people love 1911’s and think they’re the best pistols ever.
    That makes me laugh.
    To me they’re heavy and a big hassle to take care of, and feel like I’m holding a candy-bar or wood stake.
    They’re antiques and I like them in that way, kind of like revolvers, I play with old guns.
    For practical use I run a Walther PPQ, a S&W M&P, and a Glock.
    The Boberg is a Great New Small Pistol with Large gun qualities.
    I’ll be sticking it in my pocket as soon as California lets me, or I move.
    Of coarse it doesn’t fit those holsters, its more of a micro or “Pocket Pistol”.
    A grip or safety issue that came up was because of the way some people grip a pistol.
    If your one of those guys/girls that sticks their index finger on the front of the trigger guard, well good luck.
    You have a poor or lesser grip on your pistol and will shoot less accurately.
    Debate that physics fact all you want.
    If you can’t get that in your head you may be old school, stubborn and not willing to move forward.
    Watch Crucible Arms for a more reasonable review.
    He’s old school, but succeeds at adjusting very well to innovative new school designs.

    The biggest negative (failure) with this pistol that Dave had was with the ammo he used.
    Nothing against you Dave, I like you and your reviews, but……
    Why the hell would you put crap ammo in this gun when they tell you not to?
    Do you fill up a Porsche with regular?

    I’m just going to blame it on that ingrained old school rigidness again.

    If you are going to treat your very important CC firearm like crap, then you should think again about a lot of other poor decisions you make in life.
    Or just no brainer it and go with those antiques you run.

    People sure are different, and so are firearms.
    This guns made for me.
    Especially when you talk about the .45 version.
    When comparing .45’s it’s even more attractive than the 9mm. design.

    • Ron September 23, 2014, 12:37 pm

      1911’s are too heavy and ergonomically compromised. I much prefer a Glock or one of the many polymer copycats. The Bobeck is a nice but unreliable “proof of concept” rather than a serious pistol.

      I guess if I had spent $1000.+ on this weapon, I too might argue for it also, to not appear quite so foolish as I was.Ron

  • TPSnodgrass September 22, 2014, 1:49 pm

    Never have liked being an unpaid beta tester, for any firearms company. For the price point of the Boberg, I can do a LOT better with another brand, I would choose any two Kel-Tecs over a Boberg any day and never feel personally “diminished” because I chose to eschew the Boberg brand. At this point in my life, I’ve worked hard and can afford anything I want to carry, however, it will not be a Boberg. That’s just MY personal preference, am I a “hater”? If some choose to think that, so be it. I just don’t care, I’m worth having a firearm that isn’t extraordinarily “ammunition sensitive” or “peculiar”.

    • Luke G September 22, 2014, 4:01 pm

      Have you shot it?

  • Joseph Marotta September 22, 2014, 1:38 pm

    Striker fired technology would take care of the jamming problems in the slide. The problem is you have everything too forward in this gun. It appears that the slide is catching on the casings making it seem that certain ammo is not friendly in this gun. My bag is its the gun not the ammo.

    • Jug October 21, 2017, 2:23 am

      And you couldnt be more wrong!
      The big problem is the ammo!
      Not enough neck tension on the bullet and the gun will rip the case right off the bullet in the magazine! Now, you have a mess! About 500 through mine, one of the last made by Arne Boberg, and not a single problem! But I have steered away from those that they warn about!

      Now, I also tried quite a number that there was no mention of, and still no problem.

      Some posts back, someone mentioned “tearing” brass apart.
      I think the writer made a mistake there in wording and this poster jumped on the gun coming onlocked with pressure still in the chamber.

      That ISNT the scenario at all!
      It IS the slide operating so fast, that inertia overcomes the neck tension on the bullet!

      Dont use ammo that the instructions warn you about!

  • Scotty Gunn September 22, 2014, 1:23 pm

    Handled these at SHOT last year. The 45 drew my interest. Nice small package. Seemed to be very well made, like some have already said like a Swiss watch. The price is a bit prohibitive for me. There is a lot of proven compacts out there for much less. The XD-s comes to mind. Perhaps as production ramps up the costs will lower a bit,as is the norm. Definitely a good backup gun. The people at SHOT representing it (I suspect the owner and designer) were very nice and accommodating, so I wouldn’t be afraid to buy one, as they impressed me to be very honest guys! It is a nice piece of ‘machinery’ I have to admit. They did think out of the normal parameters in design. It definitely is not a cheap plastic type gun. I’d be curious to see more stuff in the future from them.

  • Luke G September 22, 2014, 1:20 pm

    I’m an early adopter of the Boberg platform and have no regrets at all. While it is true that the Bobergs require a longer break-in than most of the big name brands (I would say optimally 500 rounds at a minimum), once thoroughly broken in, all of mine have performed flawlessly with high quality compatible ammunition, and even some ostensibly incompatible ammo in my case (Sellier & Bellot, known for hard-primers) with the 9 pound trigger spring installed.

    My Bobergs, once broken in, have all performed flawlessly up to at least 150 rounds down range in a single trip to the range. After that, I tend to do a quick bench cleaning, as accumulated residues can cause either FTE’s or Failures to feed the dirtier the gun gets. It is important to understand that this platform has extremely tight tolerances, so residues tend to build up far faster than they do in a Sig P226.

    Most important to understand is that the Boberg is NOT a range gun (even though it is a joy to shoot at the range). It is – in my experience – an extremely accurate and reliable self defense pistol that properly cared for (meaning cleaned and lubed per the manual’s instructions) and handled, performs flawlessly every time, after break-in.

    As for those comments tendered by people who have never shot this precision firearm, your opinions are valueless because you know nothing about the gun. What’s the old saying? “Best to stay quiet and let people wonder whether you are an idiot than to open your yap and remove all doubt.”

  • Peyton Quinn September 22, 2014, 1:16 pm

    Clearly as you good people point out not a gun to have for SD purposes for sure. But I was impressed with the computer animation of the weapon’s action. That is very good job of computer animation ( I do some animation myself).

  • Roger Bullard September 22, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Just wondering if coated in NibX would help?

  • m September 22, 2014, 12:58 pm

    If you own this pistol you are a pretentious idiot. There is really no getting around it. You bought a pistol that does not work because it cost more than one that does? You are by definition a maroon!!!
    I design a pistol that does not work, no one buys it.
    Charge them double and wait for the fools to line up!!!
    We truly are a nation in decline!

    • Bobturd September 23, 2014, 12:51 am

      That is the most well thought out post on this “uh, umm a weapon”.
      Gun that works= $500
      Gun that doesn’t = $1000
      Need to feel different, special ,= priceless

    • vr430 September 23, 2014, 4:34 pm

      Ferrari and Lamborghini are doing just fine – and they are some of the most unreliable, uncomfortable vehicles ever made. You are just jealous you can’t afford it!

    • mark dante September 24, 2014, 12:38 pm

      this pistol is not for everybody.

      there are folks out there that prefer a smaller barrel. they shun superior ballistics. handling and recoil are not an element they care about.

      thousands of pistols out there, shooting thousands of rounds every day… but put one of the handfull of rounds in it you are told to stay away from, well, thats just plain old silly.

    • Jug October 21, 2017, 2:28 am

      Now, we just found out who the real “maroon” is!

      He just stood up! Lol, lol!

  • m September 22, 2014, 12:45 pm

    What a complete pile of crap! I would not buy this turd for $99. Unreliable useless junk for the uniformed!!!

  • Joseph Marotta September 22, 2014, 12:44 pm

    Striker fired technology would take care of the jamming problems in the slide. The problem is you have everything too forward in this gun. It appears that the slide is catching on the casings making it seem that certain ammo is not friendly in this gun. My bag is its the gun not the ammo.

    • Jug October 21, 2017, 2:30 am

      Striker tech wouldnt help a bit!
      Read some more, you dont really understand the “non problem”!

      You dont put gasoline in a desel truck!

  • Mark Dante September 22, 2014, 12:21 pm

    the image of the projectile and case separation is a case of OPERATOR ERROR and NOT SYSTEM FAILURE. due to the nature of the reverse feed mechanism, a cartridge with a good press fit or good crimp is needed. this is detailed in the owners manual and in the forums.

    while there is a small hand full of rounds that do not meet these qualifications, there are hundreds that do, including all good defense rounds.

    if the operator chooses NOT to follow manufactures recommendations, nor test fire rounds at the range BEFORE utilizing them as a defense round, and utilize plinking or range ammo as their defense round, well then you may get a case sep during a defense situation. but if a shooter follows BASIC firearm handling, KNOW YOUR WEAPON, BE PRACTICED WITH YOUR WEAPON, this issue will not arise. If a round proves to be of lesser manufacturing standards, stay away from that round for good.

    • Bobby Johnson September 22, 2014, 7:59 pm

      Mark, you remind me of the guys over at Bud’s gun shop. Offer up a little criticism in a comment forum and it’s met with hostility and anger. Lighten up. Some people here feel it isn’t worth the gamble, on such an expensive pistol, for a marginally acceptable failure rate. Others just shy away from something that hasn’t been well-proven and adopted by copycats. Maybe try explaining how Mr. Boberg’s company is working to overcome these unusual challenges, instead of telling us we’re wrong for being a bit concerned?

      • Luke G September 24, 2014, 7:21 am

        Bobby: perhaps you should give more weight to the comments of those who have said that they have owned a Boberg for some time now and that they are having no issues at all with their firearms than to the nearly incoherent responses of those who have obviously never even shot a Boberg pistol.

        Dave’s review was in part fair, but where it fell apart was in his decision to select and shoot ammo that was clearly identified as incompatible with the gun. It is NOT a long list. Most ammo works just fine, especially after the break-in period. The Boberg design incorporates very tight tolerances which make it susceptible to fouling at a much faster pace than – for example – a Sig P226. In my experience, feed and extraction failures occur after about 150 rounds have been shot from an initially clean and well lubricated gun. What this tells me is that the Boberg IS NOT intended to be a range gun, but rather as a GREAT personal defense carry gun. Let’s face it, in a personal defense scenario, it is beyond improbable that much more than two 7 round magazines – if even that much – would be expended before such a defensive encounter was over. Obviously, range time with it is mandatory, but it should be spent as practice for some future defensive scenario that hopefully never occurs. Once I stopped thinking of the Boberg as a range gun, my work with it at the range became much more enjoyable, with ZERO failures as long as I didn’t use “budget” or otherwise we’ll documented incompatible ammo.

    • Jug October 21, 2017, 2:34 am


      If you dont get it with that, you never will!

  • Mark Dante September 22, 2014, 12:20 pm

    the image of the projectile and case separation is a case of OPERATOR ERROR and NOT SYSTEM FAILURE. due to the nature of the reverse feed mechanism, a cartridge with a good press fit or good crimp is needed. this is detailed in the owners manual and in the forums.

    while there is a small hand full of rounds that do not meet these qualifications, there are hundreds that do, including all good defense rounds.

    if the operator chooses NOT to follow manufactures recommendations, nor test fire rounds at the range BEFORE utilizing them as a defense round, and utilize plinking or range ammo as their defense round, well then you may get a case sep during a defense situation. but if a shooter follows BASIC firearm handling, KNOW YOUR WEAPON, BE PRACTICED WITH YOUR WEAPON, this issue will not arise. If a round proves to be of lesser manufacturing standards, stay away from that round for good.

    we have had reports from customers that have large amounts of a

    • Rbrittne September 22, 2014, 9:21 pm

      At the end of the day when all is said and done……This is a thousand dollar handgun with serious reliability issued……PERIOD! This one is going the way of the Dardick. I feel bad for the owner/investors.

  • shanon September 22, 2014, 12:18 pm

    I purchased the XR-9 shorty when they first came out. I liked it so well I bought the “longer” version also. I have put many
    rounds through the shorty and have never had a failed shot,not one! Granted, I am a fan but I am also putting my life in the
    hands of this little guy and you do need to practice for a failure but I have not experienced one yet. The rest of the review
    I can agree with as far as the complexity and workmanship, accuracy etc. It is a very accurate pistol and it does sling your
    brass a long distance. I have a pocket for a holster so I have not had to find a holster. As an owner, I would and have
    encouraged friends and family to look into this little guy. The price point is prohibitive to some but I am very pleased with
    my purchase.

  • Lyndon Johnson September 22, 2014, 12:10 pm

    If it ain’t broke, fix it til it is. Whatenhell is wrong with old slabsides? I’ve carried a 1911 in one shape form or fasion for over 50 years as a civilian and throught 3 seperate armed conflicts with 5 years of front line combat and never once did I have any doubts that I could trust my life to old slabsides. As always the old firstsoldier Hatchet Jack.

  • John Bibb September 22, 2014, 12:02 pm

    As an engineer–sure looks like the OVERSUPPLY OF CUTENESS curse is back! And one of the above commenters brings up a good point. You may very well be called 3 FINGER JACK–or TWO TOES–if your grip slips and it moves or flips over after the first shot! The double tap may be on the shooter. This design seems like a hand grenade–never sure who it’s gonna hit!

  • Anonamous September 22, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Looks like to me a 1000 dollar experimental hipoint con job to me…

  • ChrisS September 22, 2014, 11:44 am

    I have a personal bias against any handgun that does not at least have a moderate dustcover between the end of the triggerguard and the muzzle–I just think it’s a poor industrial design from a safety perspective. In my opinion, under stress, it presents a larger risk to shoot off digits from your supporting hand. As an experienced shooter, I know, practice and understand the rules about only pointing a firearm in a safe direction (which, of course, is not at your hand). In general range and recreational use, I don’t think the Boberg would be much of a concern, but in the high stress, self defense situations for which it is designed, I think it’s a riskier option. I realize others will disagree and I’m not looking for an argument–simply my opinion based on years of shooting and handling firearms. . I have no other bias against the Boberg other than the need to be more than usually diligent about laying in a supply of appropriate ammunition and avoiding shooting it with the problematic stuff! I would not own one personally with so many good alternatives out there, but respect others who feel these pistols meet their own needs. I do not recommend this pistol to the novice or casual shooter–this is a piece for someone who will do their homework on the firearm and train and practice diligently to achieve proficiency and safety.

    • Ed September 22, 2014, 2:52 pm

      Then do not shoot a revolver, as the area forward directly below the cylinder gap is not a good place to have your support hand.

      • ChrisS September 23, 2014, 9:52 am

        Ed: Thanks for your reply–you raise a reasonable point in this discussion. One can be burned by powder using a revolver in this fashion and care should be exercised, no doubt. There is also a SLIGHT danger of more serious injury from fragments if you have some misalignment at the cylinder gap and the revolver still manages to fire. Still, getting burned, while painful, is not the same as having digits completely removed because, under pressure, your support hand happened to slide too far up the trigger guard. Also, while I personally don’t shoot or teach this way (I believe the support hand belongs atop the primary hand, UNDER the trigger guard), some (especially Europeans) train using the front of the trigger guard as a place for the index finger, and, as noted, under stress, someone who has either trained in the European style of shooting, or, sadly, not trained much at all, may find their fingers more likely to be in harm’s way using the design employed by Boberg on this model. For instance, in my opinion, the Boberg is not a good option for Granny, who may keep a gun in her nightstand, but may not go to the range very often to shoot it.

        I think the larger point here is that the Boberg is a enthusiast’s gun and I, personally, would only recommend it to someone who was a serious shooter, willing to train with it regularly, understanding it’s limitations and particular potential dangers. Personally, off the top of my head, I can think of several firearms that fill the same role, in the same size class that I’d rather carry from the SIG 239 (from which I’ve never had a FTF, FTE or any other malfunction with a broad spectrum of ammo) to the various others including Glocks, Smiths, Rugers, Springfields and Kahrs, etc. All of which companies make reliable, compact 9s that shoot a broad spectrum of ammo. I also don’t subscribe to the opinions, expressed by others here, that this is a gun for snobs or idiots. For the right user, I’m sure the Boberg can provide a fun, safe and effective option–it’s just not for me, and IMO, not for a newbie or a casual shooter.

        Please understand too, I am merely expressing my own opinions and biases and I’m not out to “flame” anyone or denigrate anyone else’s ideas. I’m not offended in the least if others don’t share my views–only they know can what works best for them.

    • Cliff Mugnier November 30, 2015, 5:48 pm

      Does that admonition also apply to the MP 5 submachine gun? The most common work-related injury for FBI Special Agents is when they shoot off the first digit of their index finger.

  • mitchbar September 22, 2014, 11:27 am

    No thanks. I’ll keep shooting something reliable like my hi-power. Sounds like it is too picky when it comes to ammo.

  • Alan Lane September 22, 2014, 10:12 am

    Was that bullet ripped out while loading or unloading?
    If the pistol came out in 2012 and your testing it now assuming you have a currant production model, no Issues have been addressed?

    • Nick B. September 22, 2014, 11:17 am

      I’m an engineer and have been involved in designing machinery. Sometimes you come up with a mechanism that just doesn’t work and despite all the alterations and adjustments you make it never functions reliably, as intended. At that point you need to go back to the drawing board and change the fundamentals. I think this pistol is like that, they are trying to achieve something that isn’t possible. The weak link to me is the ammunition, Boberg are stuck with something made by other people that wasn’t designed to be used in this manner. To achieve reliability, they need to make their own ammo with everything dedicated to work with this operating system right down to the shape of the casing. This however is likely uneconomic in commercial terms because the “Boberg 9mm” would likely be a pricey round being produced in small numbers for one firearm.

      • mark dante September 22, 2014, 2:57 pm

        ammunition is only a weak link if you ignore manufactures recommendations as the tester did.

        it is a robust system with thousands of guns out there shooting thousands of rounds. MOST rounds will work fine. suggesting a specific type of round needs to be manufactured is a silly statement indeed.

        the design of this firearm is from Boberg Arms and we are not using something “designed by someone else” as our patents show. although the gun does “reverse feed” that is all it shares with belt feds or a pistol developed long ago.

        and again, a case separation is not only not a system malfunction, but it has nothing to do with case “shape” as it is designed, just as all firearms are, to adhere to and work with SAAMI specs. case separation is a matter of poor projectile to case fit, and a lack of dual diligence by the shooter/writer!

        • Joe Jackson September 22, 2014, 7:52 pm

          Seriously? That’s your defense? Your design doesn’t work reliably because the ammo manufacturers are incompetent? The fact is that SAMMI standard center fire pistol ammunition isn’t designed to be yarfed backward by the rim with the force of your average 9mm semi-auto’s recoil. The inertia of the slug – particularly one of the heavier grain slugs – simply overcomes the ability of the casing to hold on to it. Please try not to blame the ammunition when those exact same rounds would have run perfectly through a more traditional feed mechanism. This design is a great idea, and highly intriguing; but the simple fact is that its reliability has to be much higher in order for it to become a viable competitor in the market.

        • Bob September 23, 2014, 11:17 am

          “case separation is a matter of poor projectile to case fit, and a lack of dual diligence by the shooter/writer!”

          What exactly is “dual diligence”?
          would you recommend the Bobturd for a dual?

      • Jug October 21, 2017, 10:34 pm

        Nick B, I too spent my working life as an engineer.
        You are “off base” by just a little bit there.
        There IS PLENTY of ammo out there that works perfectly!
        But there is also a minor amount that wont.
        Now, they tell you which is which, just like a normal manufacturing procedure!

        Dont violate the procedure and all is good!
        Violate it, and you have reject junk!
        Follow the damned directions, its all laid out for you!

        Any tester that would blantently NOT FOLLOW PRINTED INSTRUCTIONS, which even state EXACTLY WHY, should LOSE his job and become unemployed!

        He certainly needs to be given a wide berth by the shooting public at the very least!

  • Roger September 22, 2014, 9:41 am

    Everyone has an opinion and preference on everything, huh.

  • Crucible Arms September 22, 2014, 9:35 am

    I’ve owned the XR9-S for about two years now. I feed it PMC ball ammo for plinking and Hornady Critical Duty 124 Grain +P as the carry round. Using primarily these two rounds I’ve had zero issues to date. It does have a break in period. It is a complex design, and I can’t disagree with the review in general. What I can say is once it’s broken in and you find ammo it likes, it’s a champ.

  • petru sova September 22, 2014, 9:13 am

    Blow forward pistols are nothing new. They were on the market 100 years ago. They failed then and they will fail now. If you want an oddball gun in your collection get one now as they will not last in the market for very long.

    • Jug October 21, 2017, 10:35 pm

      Its NOT a “blow forward” pistol!

  • JC September 22, 2014, 8:49 am

    Detailed article but I couldn’t handle a gun with a 2.5% best case failure rate. Heck I wouldn’t shoot or own a gun that fails 5 times out of 2,000 let alone 250. If you can’t get your reliability higher than this then your gun isn’t ready for market…range queen or not.

  • Andy September 22, 2014, 8:19 am

    I have the same issues as the writer. Love hate relationship. Very comfortable to carry. Still a range gun.

  • Steven September 22, 2014, 7:44 am

    If I bought this pistol, it would be for novelty. Tearing the bullet out of the casing and showering me with powder is reason enough for me to stay away. To be honest, pulling the rounds into the gun backward is enough for me not to trust this pistol. Sure, I could get my eye back on the target quicker… but that doesn’t justify the laundry list of other problems you described. I mean, I wouldn’t buy a car that sometimes sprayed me with gasoline or randomly ejected my spare tire from the trunk if it was going to be my primary vehicle.

  • John F. Brainaxe September 22, 2014, 7:41 am

    Any gun with this many “idiosyncrasies” by definition, is NOT a gun. It may be a mechanical device intended to detonate ammunition, but that is not what ANYONE should want for self defense. – If you buy this gun, do so with the notion that you are experimenting with form and function the way you might have when you were 10 and had your first erector set! It is a curiosity and a hobby. But not a firearm. Keep it on your workbench or in a glass case for display. It is nice looking, after all.
    One more thing about this article; Please check your spelling-grammar-and punctuation. And your sentence structure could use some work too. And throw away your “word of the day” calendar. – Idiosyncratic just means; It don’t work. And dichotomy; should read; incongruity. Keep your verbosity in your compendium. — Otherwise, I enjoyed the article, Thanks!

    • Nick B. September 22, 2014, 10:22 am

      It doesn’t seem worth having a gun whose major benefit is control for a follow up shot when the chances of it not firing a follow up shot are so high. If it works like this in controlled conditions, I cannot imagine the difficulties that might occur when carrying it everyday when things could get dusty, lube could dry up/evaporate and ammo starts to stick to the magazine walls etc. as it does when sitting in there over time. When you bring in all the disadvantages, like your fingers being too close to the muzzle (particularly with my big hands) and holstering it, that are fundamental to the design, it simply becomes a very expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t exist – for me at any rate..

    • Chris September 22, 2014, 10:45 am

      Oh good, and english lesson. Can you get any more off-topic?

      • Bob Jackson September 22, 2014, 7:34 pm

        Oh for Pete’s sake, Chris. Particularly when you’re admonishing someone for correcting another person’s writing, could you at least proof read your own smart mouth remarks before you hit “submit”?

  • Steve Gee September 22, 2014, 7:14 am

    Yes, a nice idea but still in R & D as far as I’m concerned.
    So, after being pampered with anti-seize and a special diet, the BEST it performed was FIVE failures in only 200 rounds?
    No thank you. Not good enough.
    That kind of best-case failure rate would drive me nuts at the range, and I wouldn’t even consider the Boberg for defense.
    Some might call it a thousand dollar pet project, for me it would be a cool paperweight.

  • derp September 22, 2014, 6:36 am

    oh look another unreliable gimmick gun

  • Steve K September 22, 2014, 6:33 am

    I just like extremely WELL BUILT guns. I compare the build quality of the Boberg to Seecamp and Bond Arms. When you hold one of those guns in your hand YOU WANT IT!

    • m September 22, 2014, 1:03 pm

      What does that have to do with this turd?

      • Larry June 9, 2015, 9:50 pm

        Very mature, and informative.

  • rogertc1 September 22, 2014, 6:24 am

    I have had my Boberg XR-93 since they first came out in 2012. Beautiful compact pistol made like a Swiss watch. Stay with well crimped defense ammo and she is 100% reliable. Here is a link to the Boberg site and forum. The only manufacturer who you can discuss the firearm with the owner and designer Arnie.

  • Ray September 22, 2014, 5:16 am

    The magazine pictured is an example of furnace brazing, not welding.

    • Mark Dante September 22, 2014, 12:07 pm

      the magazines are welded. not furnace brazed.


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