The Boberg XR9S Is Now The Bond Arms Bullpup [NRA 2016]

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At the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting, Texas gunmaker Bond Arms announced that they would be bringing a new incarnation of the Boberg XR series of pistols to the market. Bond Arms bought Boberg last year, and seems very determined to bring that unique pistol to the market at a lower price and with the high reliability expected of a modern carry gun.

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The new incarnation of the Boberg will be called the “Bond Arms Bullpup”, and it comes with a host of changes to improve functioning and reduce cost. Instead of the Boberg’s lubricant, the Bullpup will be NP3 coated on the barrel and locking block. The magazine will finally receive a follower (the original Boberg did not feature one), and the mainspring weight will be adjusted to improve function and reduce the acceleration of the slide. Bond Arms’ goal is to eliminate the problem of spontaneous cartridge disassembly during functioning, and they seemed very confident that they would be successful. Instead of the rubberized polymer grips of the original, Bond will be shipping the Bullpup with wood grips similar to their derringer offerings.

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Like their derringers, the Bullpup will come with a lifetime warranty, they said, but they will also stand by the warranty of the original firearms, too; current Boberg owners will be able to claim the warranty originally guaranteed by the now-defunct Boberg Arms.

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The first 300 pistols will be assembled from original Boberg parts; these will be sold for above $1,000 per unit (similar in price to the original Bobergs). However, the new production Bullpups are expected to retail at $850, Bond Arms representatives said.

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Finally, Bond Arms hinted that a suppressable variant, and Bond-made suppressors to go with it, may be on the horizon!



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • OJS

    These are growing on me, but not $850 growing. No worries, though because California.

  • El Duderino

    “Spontaneous cartridge disassembly”

    These things sound like Italian sportscars from the 70s. Pretty, fun, but prone to “spontaneous disassembly”.

    • HSR47

      The reason they do that all boils down to how they work: The cartridges are pulled out of the magazine as the slide travels to the rear, rather than the standard practice of chambering a fresh cartridge as the slide returns to battery. This means that cartridges are removed from the magazine with a significantly greater impulse than other pistols, and the stresses applied are also fairly unique.

  • John L.

    Any word on support for the .45 version?

    • I believe they will be supported under Boberg’s warranty by Bond Arms. The Bond Arms Bullpup .45 will reportedly take more development, however.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    These look much better than the originals with the wood grips.

    I still don’t understand what problem these handguns solve.

    • cwp

      You get a 3 1/4″ barrel in a 5″ gun — an inch and a half more barrel than a J-frame Smith in an inch *less* of overall length. An inch shorter than a Shield with an extra 1/4″ of barrel.

      It’s a lot of effort for not all that much decrease in size, but I can see the appeal for people who really want to have the smallest possible carry gun without dropping into .380 or below.

      • Franco

        I understand that felt recoil is less too

    • iksnilol

      Longer barrel in smaller gun.

      Would be especially good for Canada which restricts pistols based on if the barrel is shorter than 4.2″.

    • HSR47

      In addition to allowing a longer barrel to be squeezed into a pistol with a shorter OAL, the loading system more or less shoves cartridges straight into the chamber which allows it to be tighter. As a result, these pistols tend to have slightly higher muzzle velocity than more standard designs with the same barrel length.

    • Franco

      You get the benefit of a long barrel in a very small package. As a result you get added velocity over other guns this size.

    • CommonCents

      Less recoil muzzle rise, easier to control faster followup

      It’s going to be a real popular appendix carry

      I’ll eventually get the new version, have shot the originals and impressed.

  • Jack Morris

    Such an interesting little gun. I’m excited Bond Arms revived the design. I truly want this little thing to succeed. Lets hope Bond can remedy the reliability issues.

    • Franco

      I agree 100% having successful guns is good for the sport and us. I like the fact that they pushed the envelope in the design. That cost money and they do give something in return. A super compact handgun that doesn’t sacrifice barrel length.

  • Vhyrus

    Or, you can open carry your full size or service size pistol and save yourself $850.*

    *void where prohibited.

    • abecido

      I am interested in these $0 full size pistols and would like to know where they can be obtained.

      • Vhyrus

        It’s the pistol you used to take your concealed carry course. Check your nightstand and/or safe.

        • HSR47

          You had to take a course? I bet your license cost more than $20, too…

      • Under the driver’s seat of any pickup truck in the parking lot with a bunch of gun stickers on the back window, duh.

  • iksnilol

    I want one.

  • TechnoTriticale

    So was there a reliability problem beyond the reported tendency to act like an inertial bullet puller during cycling?

    And can they really do anything to make it insensitive to cartridges less than solidly assembled? Their own brand of dimple-crimped ammo, perhaps?

  • Bj

    Hope they fix the God awful trigger.

    • Trigger seemed fine on the ones at the show.

      • Laserbait

        I’ve shot a few of them, and they all had nice triggers.

  • Dracon1201

    Cool, I am actually interested in these. The suppressable models sound cool!

  • SP mclaughlin

    The name’s Arms, Bond Arms

  • Grant

    If an integral suppressed version is offered, this might actually make some sense.

    • Hallan

      And even if not suppressed would make a good pistol replacement for James Bond. Instead of the pistols getting bigger, they’d get smaller. Also if it does use a silencer it would solve the ‘attaching silencer’ problem.

  • abecido

    As long as they’re reviving baroque feed mechanisms, how about new Mars pistols in .50 AE.

  • Drunk Possum

    Still god awful expensive. Get the price down another $150 and I would be more interested in something beyond looking.

  • “My momma always said ‘If ‘ya ain’t got nothin’ nice to say…’ “

  • gunsandrockets

    Pricey. Complicated.

    For a super compact design, how about a pistol using this mechanism instead?

    I would think it fairly easily adaptable to .380 ACP.

    • Camilo Emiliano Rosas Echeverr

      I think the whole point is to have a compact package that doesn’t waste the 9mm potential, while avoiding stepping down to .380

      • gunsandrockets

        I guess it all depends on your pain threshold. How small a gun with how large a caliber do you want to shoot?

    • Probably because blow-forward has never worked well.

      • Kivaari

        Did they perform poorly? I’ve only seen one or two of the guns illustrated Without shooting it, it seemed OK but would be less accurate compared to the competition. A sloppy barrel instead of a sloppy slide.

        • That’s the scuttlebutt, although I’ve never shot one, much less evaluated it.

      • gunsandrockets

        thanks for the scuttlebutt

        I prefer the video

    • Franco

      Excellent video

    • Kivaari

      50 years ago they were still around. I never met anyone that fired one. It seemed to make some sense.

      • gunsandrockets

        I found another video from a collector who had one in really excellent condition. And he described ergonomic issues which probably contributed to the pistols failure. One issue is that a blow-forward action has no recoil mitigation, unlike a conventional blow-back.

  • LCON

    little off topic but why is it whenever I see a Pistol with a Star set in a circle on a set of pistol grips my mind automatically tries to classify it as a product of the Former USSR, PRC, North Korea or Cuba? When I saw the image I thought for half a second I was looking at some Secret Officer’s pistol from behind the ol’ Iron Curtain.

    • Franco

      I’m not crazy about that grip either. The star seems to belong on the guns you mentioned or an old western six shooter

      • 2ThinkN_Do2

        It’s all conditioning; I automatically think Texas.

  • AD

    Cool, hopefully they’ll bring out longer-barrelled versions at some point.

    • Iggy

      Agreed, while it would completely defeat the purpose, I really want to see a long-slide version of this.

      • Fruitbat44

        Thinking as an armchair pistolero it wouldn’t *completely* negate the purpose of the design. You’d, in theory I’d guess, get a full length barrel in compact size pistol.

  • Martin törefeldt

    Sounds promesing,
    but only time will tell.

  • William Johnson

    OK, now Bond really needs to have a shooting lane at the next Texas Firearms Festival.

  • Madcap_Magician

    Wow, very cool. Excited to see the magazine change, too, I was on the original Boberg order list and backed out after considering the magazine issue and handling one in person. It was not as ergonomic for me as I was hoping.

  • lol

    For that matter, you shouldn’t be completely depended on crimp to hold the bullet in.

    There is a bit of leeway that is supposed to happen when you seat the bullet, to where the case expands to fit (Generally because the case is .001″ undersize after going through the sizing die.)

    This is supposed to hold the bullet firm in the case, especially in loads like .45 acp which headspace on the mouth of the case (so you cannot get too crazy with crimping)

    If your ammo from a manufacturer is deciding to spontaneously unseat the bullet from recoil forces, Throw the rest of it away and go find another brand.

    • kzrkp

      exactly. that’s what gets me about the “Boberg destroys ammo” complaints. it’s bad ammo and it’s doing bad things in your other guns, just unrecognized.

  • smartacus

    i never would have suspected Bond Arms of all people to buy out Arne Boberg’s company.
    He’s a great guy and have chatted with him on his forum a coupla times before.

    NP3’s PTFE (Teflon) on the barrel and locking block is a step in the right direction.

    I do like the addition of cocobolo grips.

  • Leigh Rich

    The wood grips are sweet on these new ones. Ive a Boberg 9MM. It is good they are hitting the market again.

  • Hugo Stiglitz

    I like Bond Arms derringers but I’ll pass on this. Too expensive for a gun that’s finicky about what ammo you use and not known for reliability. Size dimensions are not that different from Ruger LC9, Springfield XDs or Glock 43 which are all very reliable and half the price.

  • Franco

    The gun should be worth the risk given the compact design. I wouldn’t want to carry it for SD until I tested the ammo I planned to carry in it fully. With that said I’ve never had issues with my hand loads pulling out or seating deeper as a result of the action. I load single stage with a taper crimp die and do test every round by hand by pressing firmly on the bench before they go in the box.

  • James will be doing a video on this gun before long.

    • Franco

      Looking forward to reading it

  • S.smith

    Sooooo… What makes this pistol a “Bullpup”?

  • akim h lettner

    Call me wen it is in .45

  • RickOAA .

    It’s a great concept, but bulky, heavy, and awkward in execution.