I am one of those that believe that Boberg Arms has an underpriced product and will eventually raise their prices when it becomes incredibly clear that they cannot make enough guns to satisfy orders at the current introductory price....at least that is what I keep repeating to myself so that I can justify paying more on gunbroker to get my gun earlier.

 

I live in New York. Up here, we are impatient.  We don't like to wait.  We don't try to sugar coat our opinions and smile at strangers and other time-wasting things like that. Life is too short to play games. I like to tell it like I see it and move on.

 

I've been reading all the posts, reading all the reviews, posting my own irrelevant, unfounded opinions but now that I finally have the XR9-S in my hands, this is my impression: I am more convinced that Boberg Arms will need to raise their price because they have a winner on their hands. If the price stays the same, Boberg Arms will not be able to invest in expanding their production and will have many unhappy people if their waiting list gets to 5 years long.

 

Others have posted that their guns are solid and feel great. I would agree with that. This is something that is VERY difficult to describe. I'm sure that there will be people that will not feel comfortable with this gun's grip. This is what makes each of us unique. At my FFL, many different people with different sized hands and different preferences held the gun - some who prefer Kahrs, Glocks, Sigs or Kimbers. All of them liked the feel of the Boberg.  These people are hard to please, picky people and I was surprised when they all felt comfortable with the Boberg.  One of the more stubborn people initially said "It feels OK" but, as he held it longer, upgraded his opinion to "not bad for a new company."  This translates into a rave review from a New Yorker.

 

Comfort and preferences vary from person to person. Honestly, the gun LOOKS different and the slide to trigger/grip position is different than almost any other gun I've seen. I had reservations before holding the gun as to whether I'd like the feel. Most guns have their grip at the end of the slide so most of the slide weight is forward. Static balance on the Boberg is a different feeling because the grip is closer to center under the slide. Sights are easy to see unlike other mouse guns with tiny nubbins for sights.  Target acquisition is easy and the gun points well with excellent balance.

 

The gun has a quality feel to it. Tolerances are tight. Buttery smooth trigger with a full, consistent pull.  There is a strange flap-type hammer that is in the field of vision when looking down the sights.  Not sure if I'm going to find this distracting when I go to the range but I'm sure not going to notice it if I am trying to stop a threat.  One of the first things I looked at was the unique trampoline grips as some others have noticed a "gap" between the plates. I don't know if my gun had the same gap that they are referring to but any joint seams are consistent and appear like they were designed to be there.  This gun exudes quality workmanship (As if Arne cared so much he slept with it a couple of nights before letting it leave the factory).

 

The XR9-S is not the lightest gun but not extra heavy either. With the predominance of plastic frames on the market, this Boberg definitely feels more dense than most.  This feeling is possibly due to the metal frame, solid slide and substantial barrel. The longer barrel appears to have a much thicker wall than other .40 cal guns I own (HK P2000, Kahr P40, see pic).  I don't have a micrometer handy but I would estimate that the external diameter of the 3 barrels are very close.  The 9mm bore is much smaller thereby the thicker wall of the XR9's barrel - and more weight. 

Barrels are all equidistant from the camera but the other 2 slides are locked back.  Boberg slide has OBI inserted.  Left: HK P2000 .40, Center: Boberg XR9-S 9mm, Right: Kahr P40 w/ beveled barrel tip

 

Head on view of HK P2000 .40cal barrel with XR9-S to the right

 

Head on view of Kahr P40 beveled barrel tip

 

For comparison:

Empty w/ magazine:

Ruger LCP .380 cal - 9.72 oz

Boberg XR9-S 9mm - 17.98 oz

Kahr P40 .40 cal - 19.68 oz

 

Loaded:

Ruger LCP .380 cal - 12.02 oz

     Loaded 6+1 w/ Hornandy Critical Defense 90gr FTX JHP

Boberg XR9-S 9mm - 21.55 oz

     Loaded 7+1 w/ Speer LE Gold Dot 124gr JHP +P

Kahr P40 .40 cal - 23.35  Oz

     Loaded 6+1 w/ PMC Starfire 155gr JHP

 

Personally, the weight of a fully loaded Boberg is something that would dissuade me from front pocket carrying this gun. Also, the thickness of the gun is substantially more than that of my current pocket carry, the Ruger LCP. Wearing jeans, I find the LCP with a nylon pocket holster to be a snug fit. Just to check for feel, I tested the XR9 in my front jeans pocket with no holster. (Disclaimer: For safety, I would not pocket carry any gun without the protection of a holster.) Even without the slight added bulk of a holster, I was not confident I could use the Boberg from a front pocket carry position in jeans. The extra length of the grip makes the gun difficult to draw smoothly and I don't feel comfortable that I could draw it with the additional stress of a threat. Plus, the added thickness of the gun creates a more obvious print (that may be partially obscured by some pocket holsters at the cost of even more depth).  I'm sure many people have bigger pockets than me and will be happy pocket carrying this gun.

 

I typically wear dress slacks which have bigger front pocket openings. This makes for an easier draw but the added weight of the Boberg's sturdy build loaded with ammo makes for lopsided pockets. I suspect that frequent carry of a loaded Boberg in the front pocket would probably result in more frequent pocket repairs.  With my luck, my pocket would rip and I'd have a Plaxico Burress accident.  Back pocket carry is something that I have never gotten used to so I can't comment. Arne feels comfortable with back pocket carry but I don't like sitting on my lifeline. I think my XR9-S would best be carried IWB and I will keep an eye out for a holster that piques my interest.

 

Miscellaneous observations:

I find the grip on the Boberg to be about as long as my Beretta PX4 Storm SubCompact (but not as thick due to the PX4's double stack mag).  I can comfortably put 2 of my skinny fingers on the grip with room for another 1/3-1/2 finger.  This is where I wish that Boberg or another aftermarket company will come out with a floorplate similar to the retractable pinky extenders that Beretta has for their PX4s.

 

A loaded mag doesn't jump or fall out when pressing the mag release button.  In fact, it needs a small but purposeful pull to get the magazine out.  This is because the tongs are holding onto the next round in the magazine.  When the magazine is empty, it will fall out with gravity when you push the release button but doesn't jump out like most people are used to.  No follower in the mag is a little strange to look at.

 

I LOVE my Maglula UpLULA Mag Loader.  When I am at an extended range session, I don't want to have sore thumbs or waste too much time loading the mags and the Uplula has been a godsend.  Unfortunately, mine (the universal 9mm-45ACP version) doesn't fit the Boberg magazines.  (see pic)   I have even used it on my .380 LCP mags without a problem.  The flange at the top of the Boberg magazines curve in too much.  No big deal.  I guess I'll have to buy a Baby UpLULA (.22LR-.380ACP) for the XR9-S.  I hope the reverse tilting angle of the magazine doesn't cause a problem.

My UpLULA with some magazines - can you guess which one is the Boberg?

 

 

Conclusion:

The Boberg XR9-S is a DIFFERENT gun but all in good ways.  This is what happens when you have a new guy on the block that is smart enough not to take anything for granted.  Sure, there is the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  Well, if it weren't for people like Arne Boberg with good, old-fashioned American ingenuity, we'd still be reading by candle light and pedaling our bikes to work.

 

I have yet to fire the gun but already I can see that this gun is a winner.  There have been enough other positive reviews of the firing aspects that I am confident my Boberg will go bang when I pull the trigger.  I find it very humorous when other manufacturers advise you NOT to fire your gun frequently or change parts every 200 rounds.  THAT doesn't inspire confidence in me.  I look forward to using my Boberg for many years to come, not just for carry or show. 

 

In our society, people can pay $15,000 for a basic car or pay triple or more for a car with a better name and more bells and whistles.  Either will get you where you want to go.  In the gun market, Boberg Arms has set themselves apart by offering a quality, semi-custom gun at less than comparable premium gun manufacturers (Kimber Solo CDP for $1223 or Rohrbaugh R9s for $1195).  On top of this, Boberg is throwing in extra features that aren't available at any price.  The technical advances in the gun are impressive but no less impressive are the responsiveness and personalized care that Boberg Arms provides.  A great gun at a great price with a great company that stands behind it....that's what I think of the Boberg XR9-S.

 

Range Report to follow....

Conan

 

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I had a nice discussion with Robert on the double-sided smooth inner lining option.  IIRC, leather thickness is measured in pounds.  Presumably a standard based on weight for a fixed surface area.  I believe Robert uses a 7 or 8 pound leather for his IWB holsters.  He said the double sided leather option is roughly the same thickness because he bonds two pieces of 3-4 pound leather pieces together.

 

I forgot to ask Robert about his recommendations for leather care and possible products to condition/soften the leather.  I would also be interested in knowing which products to use that would not excessively alter/damage the nice mahogony coloring of my holster.

Not much problem in takinging care of the holster wipe it with a clean soft cloth and once in a while put a coat of

neutral shoe wax on it this will take care of it for a while
 
Thank you
Robert

Robert,

I have been using products from Obenouf's for my leather. I have been pleased with the result on car seats, boots, and gloves. Have you any experience or recommendations about their products for your holsters?

Yes Sir

The holster needs to stay stiff  to hold the retention of the gun in the holster you can reach me at 210-626-2370 

 

Take care

Robert

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