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.
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)
115gr and 124gr (1 FTE reported) and 147gr FMJ
Flat Point 115gr and 147gr FMJ
115gr +P - see possible over crimp issue above
Subsonic 147gr JHP
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
"Canned Heat" 115gr FMJ
Pow'rBall 100gr +P JHP
Critical Defense 115gr FTX JHP
Critical Duty 135gr +P
TAP FPD 124gr and 147gr
Ultra Defense/USM4 50gr +P Fragmenting HP
147gr Flat FMC
First Defense 92.6gr Solid Copper Hollow Point
Guardian Gold 115gr +P JHP
Bronze 115gr, 124gr FMJ
+P 124gr JHP
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
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
White Box 115gr and 124gr Bulk FMJ
I re-crimp some of the factory second ammo we use for testing - by definition this stuff has inconsistent or non-existent crimps. I can't publicly recommend this to anyone since it exposes us to liability since re-crimping could also result in bullet setback, if you aren't careful. When I re-crimp, I back off or remove the bullet seating cup so all I am doing is adding crimp.
One thing I noticed when I had attempted to re-crimp the older Federal Champion ammo (with the light pink copper bullets) was that no matter how much I crimped them, there was still significant bullet pull out. I think that is because the copper jacket is so thin (kind of like a plating) that it is like squishing pure soft lead. I didn't have this issue with handloading wadcutters (which will feed in an XR9), since the lead used in that case was fairly hard.
GONRA better add some "Lee Factory Crimp Final Ammo Prep Operation" details.
1. Robustly Crimp means to crimp the bullet, with a TAPER CRIMP that still allows
the auto pistol cartridge to headspace properly, BUT grabs the bullet.
Does NOT mean OVER CRIMP, ROUND CRIMP that might be nice on
black powder or sloooow burning powder rimmed revolver cartridges.
2. Such a Final Ammo Prep Operation should guarentee free (loose) chambering.
Essential for proper operation in selfloading firearms.
Cures "case bulge" (sometimes you can't really see 'em!) suprises
from cartridge case manufacturing slop or use of el cheapo pulled bullets.
Its reallly a good idea to run ammo thru a case check gauge in any event.
Sometimes its better to doit with the disassembled barrel.
(My Para Ordnance .45 ACP WartHog sure hasa tight chamber.)
Not a good idea to run live cartidges thru pistol at home!!!
Astute cautionary advice, GONRA.
I would definitely recommend a case gauge in addition to OAL and spec inspection. Loose powder is more than a nuisance.
I just ran through 50 rounds of Remington UMC Target 124gr and 50 rounds of Remington UMC Target 115gr. The 124 fed/fired fine but I had 1 FTF when I fired a 115gr limp wristed. I think with the tight extractor of a new gun, the light 115 gr load and the additional stress of limp wristing, the round just couldn't make it into the chamber. I'll have to see if this happens again.
For fun, I bought 100 rounds each of several brands and weights that haven't been mentioned yet so I'll be running them through and updating the list as I have time. I'm not looking forward to testing some of the Russian ammo I got - I've heard they're really dirty.
If anyone out there has tried an ammo that isn't listed yet, please help us all out and give us your feedback.
I put through another couple of boxes - American Eagle 124 and 147gr feed great. Independence 115gr and 124gr unfortunately had separation issues. The 124gr is pictured below - 1 round in a box of 50.
The 115gr separations (I had 2 separations in 2 clips) did not cause the FTF as shown above. The slide went into battery as expected but I was peppered in the face with sand-like material (gunpowder) on the previous shot. I looked at the slide expecting the separation jam but the slide was fully forward. Suspecting that there was a separation, I ejected the round and the casing and bullet fell out. The other 115gr separation was a similar situation.
I presume that if I didn't check and simply pulled the trigger, the primer would have ignited and not much else since the gunpowder already came out of the case. I hope that if some gunpowder had ignited and the bullet was improperly lodged in the barrel, no injuries would have occurred.
UNLESS YOU KNOW YOU ARE USING RELIABLE AMMUNITION, WEAR EYE PROTECTION AT ALL TIMES!!!! (come to think about it, wear eye protection even WITH reliable ammo)
Another trip to the range. Still trying out different types of ammo and blazing a trail for those future Boberg owners that may try less common brands....
I am finding the XR9-S to be more and more enjoyable to shoot. After about 300 rounds, the slide has become easier to rack and I'm noticing my aim and comfort with this gun improve dramatically. Whereas I would limit my use of my other smaller guns because of fatigue from recoil, the Shorty is easy to shoot with the only limitation being my paid hour on the range.
Sellier and Bellot 115 gr and 124 gr work well. Another plus is that they are packed tightly in the box and take up much less space. Too bad they aren't made in the USA.
Aluminum Cased Blazer Does Not work well. The casings are listed as NOT reloadable and my suspicion is that the aluminum holds onto the bullets too softly assuming the bullets were crimped properly.
"Aluminum Cased Blazer Does Not work well. The casings are listed as NOT reloadable and my suspicion is that the aluminum holds onto the bullets too softly assuming the bullets were crimped properly."
Actually, aluminum cased ammo usually uses no crimp at all. Instead, there is a small shoulder inside the case to set bullet height - you can see that little ring inside the case in the above picture, and you can also see the bullets are "clean" with no ring around them that would indicate a crimp.
All ammo has worked fine in mine except S&B 115gr.
Many failures to chamber fully and I have the correct spring.
I had the same problem with Hornady Custom Defense 147gr. Had one dud with Hornady Steel Match 125gr. There was a 3rd Hornady (don't remember the exact type) that had hard primers and took multiple pulls on the trigger to get them to fire. [Not a big Hornady fan at this point.] For defense I am using Federal Guard Dog. For general use (at target range have had seperation issues and 3 duds with Federal 115gr from Walmart, apparently an old lot, which Federal reimbursed me for) RWS 125gr RN from Walmart has been reliable. Am trying Remington UMC next. At this point we are a small drop in a very big lake, but ammo mfgrs will need to step up their game on crimp quality control to keep Boberg fans happy.
Alex Dziuba said:
All ammo has worked fine in mine except S&B 115gr.
Many failures to chamber fully and I have the correct spring.
Has anyone tried the Speer Lawman TMJ? (Yes TMJ not FMJ) Thanks. :)