Boberg XR9: High Tech Pocket Pistol

The XR9 is a prototype 9mm pocket pistol by Boberg Engineering. What makes it special is that the magazine located directly under the chamber. This allows it to have a full size barrel (4.2”). Think of it as a bullpup equivalent in a pistol (not the best analogy but you get the idea)!

What a beautiful looking pistol

Xr9-My Hand
Standard black frame, Gen II prototype

The Boberg feed mechanism differs from traditional feed mechanisms in that it draws the cartridge backward from the magazine (see video).

What is not obvious from this view or the video is the rendundancy of the mechanism. The lifting device, consisting of the lifting linkage and the ramp, imparts a kinematically balanced motion to the cartridge as it is lifted. This is important because the cartridge is accelerated rearward an upwards of 2000 g’s. Any impact on the cartridge by the ramp is absorbed by the resiliency of the ramp. This combination, along with containment of the case flange, is sufficient to feed cartridges; however, a top stop is added to prevent any further upward motion of the cartridge.

Even a poorly designed lift mechanism would feed cartridges somewhat reliably when using the top stop alone; however, the Boberg XR9 uses both kinematic balance and the top stop to provide complete and redundant control over the cartridge as it is picked from the magazine, lifted to be in-line with the barrel, and placed into the chamber.

Cross Sec

The video:


Caliber: 9mm
Length: 5.8”
Height: 4.2”
Width: 0.95”
Weight: 19.5 oz with magazine
Barrel Length: 4.2”
Capacity: 7+1
Action: Rotating-Barrel Locked-Breech
Sights: Dovetail windage, 5.1” radius
Trigger Pull: 6.5 lb DAO
Safeties: 3

It will be very interesting to see what becomes of this pistol.

More info here.

Hat Tip: Ahab

UPDATE: The pistol is expected in 2009.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • steve

    looks like a big peice of crap.

  • Tony

    Ooh, that looks nice! I wonder what the real-life reliability is like, though?

  • the raj

    While I think it will take many years of unfettered ahndgun dvelopment to make this a more common design trait, this is a potential game-changer, especially for small pistols. Getting full-size performance out of a compact gun means better expansion with hollow-points.

  • This action reminds me of a flipped-over M2 machine gun. I wonder if it’s going to have chronic headspace and timing issues too?

  • Brente

    It seems to me that the lifting mechanism is the weak link. Too many moving parts to be totally reliable. The backward and then forward motion of the bullet seems to me that the gun will jam more often than a conventional automatic, especially from a shooter with a limp or weak wrist.

    A conventional auto just pushes the bullet up and the slide slams it home. Jams occur with the same wrist weakness but are limited to the barrel and slide making it easy to clear a jam. If this happens because of the lifting mech, it would seem that the gun would need to be dismantled.

    You also have an extra spring for the lifting mech as opposed to a genuine blowback design. Springs tend to be problem areas

  • Bob

    Wheather or not it works, what’s the point? Yes the chanber has been moved back significantly, but it’s also devoloped this huge growth on the back end. Overall length seems about the same for such a huge increase in complexity.

  • Dallas

    I think is is great, but I can see where the problems will lie. As much as conventional systems have problems feeding different types of ammo and different loadings, I imagine this would have even more problems, especially since it will likely require a shorter COAL. The weak/limp wrist issue can be negated by a lighter spring, just as it is in lower pressure/power catridges. As for the timing issue, if sufficient room is allowed so that the timing can accomodate the lowest and highest power loadings, it shouldn’t have the timing problems I suppose Crypto is alluding to in the M2. This is the first I’ve ever heard of this firearm and so we’ll see hwere the company goes from here. Looks pretty novel to me.

  • tommy dawson

    I would like to have a basic engineering drawing of the XR9.

  • Howard Johnstone

    This is just a modern version of the “Mars” handgun 110 years ago.
    Carl Walther´s team did a lot of research on this matter before coming
    to the PPK design, rejecting this design, because of complexity and
    not that much better after all.

  • Carl Walther, bless his soul, did not have a CAD system nor high-speed cameras. Nor did he foresee that guns even smaller than in his day would be chambered in 9mm Luger. Also, how could Carl Walther know about future +P ammo, and that tilting barrel pocket guns would not be rated for this ammo because shots would go wild due to the barrel unlocking before the bullet had left? Just because someone in the past said something couldn’t be done or wouldn’t be practical, doesn’t mean that someone in the future can’t figure it out. The Boberg XR9-S pistol is proof.

  • wayne

    it looks like great gun. im always looking for a small pocket pistol .lets face it if you cant conseal it. you wont have it with you so i think size does matter.cant wait to see one in the gun store i will buy one .

  • Roger

    Arne did well. i have a Boberg…neat pistol. Beings it is a semi-auto. Will you still be able to get one?