Consolidated List of Boberg Compatible 9mm Ammunition

Boberg's patented loading design is great for us and helps us by squeezing a longer barrel into a smaller package but some ammo that isn't manufactured up to specs may cause problems.  I don't consider this a flaw of the gun but rather a flaw in the ammo - You can't expect to put cheap tires on a Ferrari and still expect it to go 0 to 60 in 3 seconds.


The problem has been separation of the bullet from the casing because of inadequate crimping by the bullet manufacturer (remember most guns PUSH the next round into the barrel and thus don't have problems with bad crimps. The Boberg PULLS then PUSHES the next round into place.)  Plated ammunition is generally not able to be crimped very well.  The lead is too soft for the case mouth to get any decent tension on the bullet.  Full metal jacket or hollowpoint ammo, however, had a solid foundation for the case mouth to create tension during crimping.


I will update the list as people post more of their experiences - please try to be as specific as possible regarding Manufacturer, model, grain, FMJ/JHP, flat/round nose, etc.  All manufacturers are constantly updating manufacturing procedures when they identify deficiencies.  For failed ammo, if you can identify roughly when ammo was purchased, this info will be posted so as to not permanently blacklist any particular brand/model of ammo.  For me, however, I personally would not want to carry any ammo with questionable reliability in my gun as my life may depend on it in the future.


So from the posts I've seen so far and squinting at hard to read pics of boxes, here is the current list.  I have chosen to put all ammo with any reproducible issues in the incompatible list but some of these may still usable for practice or with swapping the trigger spring for a heavier one.  I would personally avoid regularly shooting ammo that separates because it is a pain to clean out and the loose gunpowder flies right into your face.  Regarding separation malfunctions, Arne is working on a 4.2" barrel that significantly reduces separations in case you want to use a particular ammo that has light crimps.

Disclaimer: Boberg Arms does not officially recommend any type of ammunition, nor does it guarantee the performance of any particular type of ammunition since we do not control the manufacturing of ammunition.  We highly recommend that you test-fire ammunition at the range before carrying it for self-defense.


Known Incompatible:

Atlanta Arms - any of their ammo (according to them)

Aguila 124gr FMJ (reported to jam 5-10% of the time, 1 hard primer report)

Bitterroot Valley Ammunition (BVAC reloads) 115gr (2 separations in 150 rounds)

Blazer Brass (5 separations in 6 magazines)

Black Hills +P 115gr (can be over-crimped - little case mouth for magazine to register on)

Blazer Aluminum Case (2 separations in 9 shots)

CorBon +P 115gr, 125gr JHP (separations and stovepipes)

Estate (possibly made in same factory as Federal Champion) (separations)

Federal Champion (separations in batches prior to summer of 2010 as well as 1/12)

Federal Range and Target 115gr FMJmultiple separations reported

Glaser (Dakota) reportedly crimps all their ammo subpar but note report below of specific grain compatibility

Hornady 125gr HAP (2 bullet shift/FTF in 21 rounds, improved after break-in)

Independence 115gr FMJ (2 separations in 2 magazines)

Independence 124gr FMJ (1 separation in a case of 50)

MagTech Guardian gold 115gr jhp that separated 1 in 7 times.

MFS Russian Zinc Plated Steel Case 115gr (extra rounds ejected)

Remington Golden Saber 147gr JHP(bullet shift reported)

Sellier and Bellot 115gr and 124gr (Hard Primers but works well with 7.5lb trigger spring or stronger, 1 reported FTF with fully loaded mag)

Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P (1 separation in 85 rounds)

Speer Lawman 115gr, 124gr FMJ (multiple reports of separations, FTF)

Tula Steelcase 115gr (Hard Primers)

Winchester Silver Tips 115gr (1 separation malfunction in a case of 50)
Winchester SXZ9 115gr JHP (FTF)


Known Compatible:


     115gr FMJ

American Eagle

     115gr and 124gr (1 FTE reported) and 147gr FMJ

     Flat Point 115gr and 147gr FMJ

Black Hills

     115gr +P - see possible over crimp issue above

     124gr JHP

     124gr +P

     Subsonic 147gr JHP

Brown Bear

     115gr FMJ

Buffalo Bore

     +P 147gr


     +P 90gr

     PowR Ball +P 100gr

     +P 115gr DPX


     Classic Hi Shok 115gr JHP (3 separations from an old 1990's batch)

     Guard Dog 105gr EFMJ

     Premium HST +P 124gr

     Premium Hydra-Shok 124 gr, 147gr JHP, 147gr +P

     Premium Personal Defense Hydra-Shok JHP 124gr, 135gr and 147gr

     Range and Target 115gr FMJ


     147gr JHP

     115gr FMJ

Georgia Arms

     "Canned Heat" 115gr FMJ


     Pow'rBall 100gr +P JHP


     100gr JSP


     Critical Defense 115gr FTX JHP

     Critical Duty 135gr +P

     TAP FPD 124gr and 147gr

     XTP 115gr

Liberty Ammunition

     Ultra Defense/USM4 50gr +P Fragmenting HP


     147gr Flat FMC

     115gr FMJ

     First Defense 92.6gr Solid Copper Hollow Point

     Guardian Gold 115gr +P JHP

On Target

     115gr FMJ


     115gr JHP

     Bronze 115gr, 124gr FMJ

     124gr FMJ


     +P 124gr JHP

Prvi Partizan

     158gr FMJ


     Performance Plus Platinum 60gr Total Fragmenting Soft Point


     Golden Saber 124gr JHP

     Golden Saber Bonded 124gr +P

     UMC 115gr MC and 124gr MC

     UMC Leadless 124gr and 147gr

     UMC Target 115gr MC and 124gr MC (1 report of FTF 10 rounds in 50)


     85gr Copper Matrix NTF

     124gr RN


     Gold Dot 124gr JHP or 147gr

     Gold Dot +P 147gr JHP

     Gold Dot GDHP 124gr    

     Gold Dot Short Barrel 124gr GDHP



     115gr Polymer-coated Steel Case FMJ (steel casing not recommended during break-in) 



    115gr +P+ reported compatible but beware theoretical wear issues



     NATO 124gr, 147gr FMJ

     PDX1 Defender Bonded 124gr JHP +P (Partial separations reported - bullet shift prior to firing), 147gr OK

     Personal Protection 115gr and 147gr JHP

     Ranger 124gr, 127 +P

     Ranger Bonded 124gr +P

     SXT HP

     White Box 115gr and 124gr Bulk FMJ 


     115gr FMJ




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Replies to This Discussion

John - Happy to hear you're having success with your ammo.  If any of your specific type/grain ammo is not on our list, please list your details and I will add it.  Being specific is important.  Some issues with separation may only be apparent at higher grain weights due to the greater slide recoil.

John G. Byers said:

Last week I fired Speer Lawman, Gold Dots, Winchester Silvertips, Remington Golden Sabres, all without a failures to feed or to fire and no separations.

Would someone be so kind as to add chronograph data for some of the compatible ammo from the production XR9-S?

I am very thankful that Bruce has joined the Boberg universe.  He seems to be a true scientist who has a knack for devising the most accurate testing protocols to measure what is MOST important in our choice of ammo: Ballistic performance.


So far, the members of this board have been using surrogate measurements like muzzle velocity and kinectic energy to try to figure out which ammo would be best for our needs.  Thankfully, Bruce has arrived and as evidenced by his past tests, manufacturer stats don't mean a heck of a lot when a JHP doesn't expand properly, has jacket problems, incomplete loads, etc.  As Bruce has said in another thread, he is planning on testing ballistic performance of 9mm defense loads through the Shorty in his carefully designed simulation which would approximate what we are all looking for: maximum and reliable stopping ability vs a live threat.  BTW Martin, Bruce also does chrono data as part of his testing.


I look forward to Bruce's test results and I may send him a couple of rounds to add to the test. 

Martin W. said:

Would someone be so kind as to add chronograph data for some of the compatible ammo from the production XR9-S?

I thought one of you guys might have posted this by now.  Video from last weekend.  The chronographing bit is at the end.

If you don't want to watch the video, the recorded velocities were:

Rem Golden Saber 124 grain +P - 1104 fps for 5 shot average

Federal HST 124 grain +P - 1145 fps for 5 shot average

Eventually, I'll get some others tested, but it just breaks my heart to send 5 rounds of premium SD ammo down range just to catch velocity numbers.

Martin W. said:

Would someone be so kind as to add chronograph data for some of the compatible ammo from the production XR9-S?

" just breaks my heart to send 5 rounds of premium SD ammo down range just to catch velocity numbers." 

Take heart - I've sent about 80k rounds down range just to see the slide cycle and if a round went into the chamber (including about 5K rounds of SD ammo).  Much of this ammo was shot before Boberg Arms was incorporated - you just have to love it.

Whenever I test-fire new guns, I pick off twigs and other debris in the berm at 27 yards - it is more fun, cheaper, and less trouble than punching holes in paper.  I have also learned to keep my eyes open to look for proper cycling as it happens, and where shell casings go.  I try to get as much value as I can out of each shot - no one is giving it away anymore.

You can add Remington Golden Saber Bonded 124 grain +P to the compatible ammo list.  It worked great.  I shot 42 and will use the last 8 for carry until I can try out something else.

I know aluminum cased ammo is widely considered incompatible due to separation issues, but I see from my recently received Cabelas catalog that Herter makes a nylon robed bullet in an aluminum case. Has anyone tried those?

There is a chance - a good chance - that the XR9-L barrel (at 4.2") will run the aluminum-cased ammo.  I ran 18 for 18 a few weeks ago (I ran out of the stuff) without separations compared to 2 or 3 out of 5 with the shorter barrel.  Obviously, more testing has to be done.

I noticed that the federal champion ammo listed as incompatible says made prior to summer 2010 in parentheses. I bought some with a January 2012 manufacture date and it separated on me yesterday. So it looks like the current production is also incompatible. Just wanted to let you guys know.

I will have to hunt some of that stuff down - the two Wal-marts I went to locally didn't have it.  I want to try it in the new production barrels.

Me too...... Send me one. Ha ha, just kidding. I am ready to see those 4.2 inch barrels up for sale.

Much has been made of the XR9-S' ability to handle +P loads without issues. I am currently reading Gary Klein's 1998 book "Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions" MIT Press, 3rd Printing, ISBN 0-262-11227-2. On pages 93-94 an example is given of the Denver Police Department choosing a pistol round that best satisfies concerns of the several parties to the decision. I was curious as to what round was selected. I could not find any pre-1998 references online, but I did learn that Gold Dot Hollow Points in 9mm 124 gr. +P and .45 ACP 200 gr. +P were in use in 2005. Surprisingly, Kimber 1911 pattern pistols in several sizes did not then support the use of +P rounds:

This issue appears to still be current:

Since .45 GAP is a higher pressure round than .45 ACP in a shorter case, I guess we will not be seeing any .45 GAP Kimbers any time soon.

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