Boberg XR9-S Reviewed

The long awaiting Boberg XR9 is not vaporware! Shooting Illustrated got their hands on an XR9-S

Recently, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one of the more unique pistols made in America today—the Boberg XR9-S Onyx edition. While gun-designer/company-owner Arne Boberg describes his pistol as using a rotating-barrel locked-breech mechanism, that alone doesn’t come close to describing the ingenuity of the design. The inspiration for the XR9-S was to create a pistol that delivered the downrange performance of the Glock 26 subcompact in a true pocket-pistol-size package comparable to the Ruger LCP.

I love the design! It is a snubnosed-autoloader.

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.


  • Gidge

    It would be interesting to see some of these design features in a full sized pistol. A full sized variant has the potential for class leading accuracy thanks to the longer barrel.

    • Giolli Joker

      I’d guess you could achieve higher accuracy with a fixed barrel than with long stroke design… but the higher bullet velocity achievable with the longer barrel would be interesting, so I sign for the request of a full size Boberg. 🙂

    • Ian

      If only barrel length had anything to do with accuracy.

      • Other Steve

        +1000 Ian

    • Laserbait

      Yes, a longer sight radius would help making more accurate shots.

  • Mr. Fahrenheit

    I’ve got an LC9 and a Shield. I think the Shield is magnitudes better than the LC9.

    From the reviewer’s experience with the Boberg…I’m thinkin’ the LC9 is going to be way better than the Boberg.

  • jay1975

    Seems a bit pointless when grip length prints much more than barrel length.

    • Laserbait

      Would you prefer the barrel to print instead?

  • Laserbait

    My buddy has 2 of the Bobergs. They are great little pistols, and very accurate (My best was 1″ using 2 hands unrested at 10 yards) & reliable. We never had any of the issues that the reviewer had, and we used Win White Box, Rem value Pack, Golden Sabres, and a couple of others. And whats with not carrying with one in the chamber? With the long DA trigger pull, and the exposed hammer, I’d feel more than safe having one in the pipe. Even better, they are more comfortable to shoot that that LC9 and the Shield, especially with 124 grain +p. Now, to put that in perspective, one Boberg costs more than a LC9 & Shield combined.

  • Sian

    Very interested in this if he gets the L version up and running. 4.2″ barrel in that compact a package is very attractive.

  • TangledThorns

    This is my ideal carry pistol however they are still damn expensive with a long wait list. It’d be great if Boberg could get funding for a larger factory since he does have a lot of great design ideas that would sell.

  • Ian

    Not sure if it’s prohibited that we post other related articles but here is one. Delete this post if it is disallowed.

    My favorite parts are the lack of follower and the extension spring used for the hammer.

  • Esh325

    I was excited, but I then I read about the malfunctioning problems in the link. I really like the idea, perhaps it needs more time to mature. Every new design has kinks to work out.

  • I think Bob would have given it a much more favorable review if he could have overcome that “first pull”, which is more effort with the XR9-S, at least before it is fully broken in.

  • jpcmt

    …oh look, another pocket gun…that claims to be unique. *slow clap*

    • Laserbait

      A closed mouth gathers no foot…

      If you had actually looked at the design of the gun, rather than just a single picture, you would find it to be quite unique.

  • bob

    Go ahead trash/judge the design before you ever get to actually experience it, most of the posters on here are from a European country that has a handgun/semi-auto ban and no self-defense laws. Gotta love the internets experts on this blog even though the majority of posters here aren’t U.S. based and will never get to use/own the platform for its intended application; concealed carry/self-defense, their all highly experienced weapons experts.

    • Simon_the_Brit

      Bob, I’m one of those European Armchair experts you are having a dig at.

      I spent 16 years in the British Army and fired thousands upon thousands of rds of all calibres, in many different firearms. While I wouldn’t call myself an “expert” I do think I’m knowledgeable. You seem to be saying that because you are American and have a gun you are an expert.

      BTW I like Americans.


      • Ben

        Simon you are a hero for your service, well done to you sir! Now, I’m from Northern Ireland and we’re allowed semi-automatics and handguns as well as to own either for self defense, so far this design seems to be great but it does have it’s downfalls just like every other weapon out there. Personally I can’t wait until I’m old enough to get a firearms licence, instead of just a shotgun licence, to try this out. Just because some people aren’t able to have hands on experience with something doesn’t mean they don’t know how they work or aren’t allowed to state their opinion.

    • Tinkerer

      Bob, your post comes out as bordering with xenophobia. Maybe I got you wrong on that, maybe that wasn’t your intention, but sadly it does come out like that.

      • Tar Heel

        I don’t think bob was being bigoted but more sarcastic about, opinions being posted by a large segment of this blog who have limited to non-existent actual real life experience, opining/advising on something they can’t legally own or much less use for concealed carry which is serious business for us in the US. Actual experience and constant training is what counts when it concerns handling a gun for a self defense application anything else is just window dressing and window shopping. Last time I was down in Florida visiting my sister, me and my brother-in-law went to the local range to shoot some of his guns and we encountered hords of british tourists weelding rental guns in a manner a video gamer would and giving bad uninvited advice. There was even a guy who despite being warned by the range master tried to shoot two duel weelding ak’s before he was asked to leave. We’re all entitled to our opinions. I won’t give advice to anyone about something I don’t have real life actual experience with and use on a regular bases, that’s just a personal opinion.

  • Steve H.

    Here is an interesting photo montage of how the XR9 operates.

  • DaveR

    And for those shooters used to resting their support hand forefinger on the trigger-guard…maybe no more forefinger for you!

  • D

    It’s interesting; definitely compact. Be interesting to see how the action felt to cycle.



    Well I happen to own a Boberg XR9-S and have approximately 500 rounds of Fiocchi 9mm “Police” through the pistol. I have never had a malfunction during normal operation of the pistol. I did jam a round once caused by my partially racking the slide.

    I also carry the pistol every day for personal protection as I am blessed to live in a state (NV) that trusts its honest citizens!

    I have found that the pistol fits my hands well, carries in a front pocket holster all day long with no problems. The pistol has proven to be very accurate and it is a comfortable pistol to shoot with the hotter 9mm rounds on the market today. Unquestionable the Boberg XR9-S is the softest shooting “compact” 9mm I have owned/shot!

    I did have the problem of the rusting grip screws and when I emailed Boberg Arms about a set of replacement screws and a few other questions I had I found that Arne’s personal and prompt response was was exceptional given today’s corporate gun manufacturing facts of life!

    As a custom rifle builder I have found the XR9-S to be one of the nicest manufactured firearms on the market today. Arne’s efforts to design and manufacture the XR9-S represents untold hours of very hard work! Arne’s willingness to work through the early manufacturing challenges with his customers deserves recognition from everyone who does not support todays “bean-counter” approach to building “cost effective” firearms!

    How can anyone who has recently seen/purchased a rifle with a five dollar injection molded stock suggest that mass produced firearms are getting better and the manufactures are doing a good job of supporting their customers?

    Is there any one firearms that meets the needs/wishes of every shooter?

    I think that Arne has a superior design and is making an excellent pistol. And I don’t believe he has every had the audacity to claim it is perfect….

    Happy Safe Shooting,

  • Vhyrus

    So let me get this straight: For literally twice the price of the most expensive brand name pocket pistol and a 12 month waiting period I can have a gun that is a quarter inch shorter and based on extremely complicated and unproven mechanics…

    gee, where do I sign?

    • roger

      Some people want drive a Cadliac Escalade and some drive Impalas. Your call. I have a Boberg!!

  • JT

    I want one, but I wonder if it can handle the violent racking of the slide that seems mandatory to prevent it from misfeeding and needing to be carefully dislodged. At least that’s what I got from the article and trying to visualize how magazine changes would work in an emergency

  • Mike Knox

    It’s really hard to believe how slim the recoul spring and guide rod is in this pistol..

  • Kevin L Dearth

    I put myself on the Boberg waiting list 10/3/2011. I just received my order 6/28/12 and fired one of them for the first time Tuesday 11/10. I had dry fired the gun several hundred times with Tipton snap caps and lubed it extensively with Breakfree CLR. You can also rack the slide and load/eject the snap caps if you want to show how the gun works.

    At first I didn’t care for the DAO trigger (heck most DAO triggers are lousy). but the gun loosened up and my initial reaction faded as I really enjoy the trigger – it is smooth! I often read reviews where a gun is called a natural pointer and the Boberg fills the bill! It just feels great in my hand, which btw is large enough that I can sometimes palm a basketball.

    My Ruger LCR-38 stings my hand as I can’t get a tight grip on the small revolver but 50 rounds through the XR9-S was nothing. It was a pleasure to shoot. Meet me at the Powder Room in central Ohio if you’re curious.

    • Kevin L Dearth

      Should say I fired it for the first time 7/10.

  • roger

    I just got a Boberg on Gun Broker. Neat ass pistol Hes i have a Kel-Tec 9. Glock 26, SCCY, and Kahr too. It was only $1000. an I will have it next week. Even ordered red grips and 4.2″ barrel too. $160. I get it causde i can and i want it. It is great being in the USA!!

  • Roger

    I live in the USA and have a base Boberg on its way to me and should have it by next week.
    Last year they were going for $2000 on GunB but when I looked I found one for only $999. from a reputable dealer. I jumped on it. Also ordered a 4.2″ barrel, red and green grips, extra parts like springs for the heck of it. From my research it looks like a pocket holster is the way to go but i will see. I usually carry concealed in a OBH.
    The Springfield EMT (1911 copy) and Rohrbaugh cost more. The Rohrbaugh is not +P. The Kimber Solo is close in price.
    As for other countried posting. Welcome. Once on a euro based web sight I mosted my ratyher extensive firearms collection which is displayed in 1 room much like a museum. A few of the Brits were upset and said it as ignorant to have so many.