A Passion For Excellence
After experimenting with firecracker canons at about age 9, it became apparent to company founder Arne Boberg that the longer the tube, the deeper the slug would penetrate into the pine two-by-twelve backstop. This stuck with him through the years while poring through Gun Digest books and just about every gun magazine out there, looking for handguns with the longest barrels possible. Then a trend began as concealed carry became more popular - gun manufacturers were offering shorter and shorter handguns. The big disappointment was that these new more portable weapons kept getting shorter and shorter barrels. The easiest thing for these large manufactures to do was to chop off their existing designs and then come up with clever ways to fit a recoil spring in there. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is not the best thing to do.
The problem with shortening the barrel, especially those launching smaller caliber bullets such as 9mm and below, is that hollow-point defense loads may not expand as well, causing less energy to be delivered to the target. While there are now more (and expensive) styles of ammo that expand better than before, shorter barrels still deliver less kinetic energy than longer barrels, so even an expanded bullet may not deliver sufficient stopping power, especially after penetrating heavy fabrics or other barriers.
To remedy the trade-off between small size and stopping power, the Boberg XR9 series of pistols was developed. These guns utilize absolutely the longest practical barrel for a given size gun. When comparing same-size guns, the XR9 can deliver 25% more stopping power. Couple this with a positive feeding mechanism, that can resume from any position if the slide is stopped, and you have the most powerful and reliable pocket gun money can buy.
Unparalleled Features and Superb Quality
A lot of liberties were taken in designing this totally new technology handgun from scratch. After spending three years on gun forums learning the likes and dislikes of hundreds of gun afficianados, and pros and cons of numerous pistol designs, founder Arne Boberg had enough "ammunition" to create the best gun he knew how. After 7 years and more than 10,000 hours of development, this is what the Boberg XR9 series of pistols bring to the table:
An additional 1 to 2.75" of barrel length
Having the magazine located under the chamber affords a non-barrel length of 1.75". For example, many 1911 pistols have a non-barrel length of 3.5", including compact versions of these guns with 3" long barrels. That is a 1.75" advantage for the XR9 over 1911-style pistols! For smaller pistols, such as pocket guns, the length advantage can go down to 1" or slightly less, but that still means 15-25% more stopping power in the same-sized gun!
Reduced Felt Recoil
Imagine shooting a 9mm and thinking it was a .380! Imagine shooting a .40 S&W and thinking it was a 9mm! It is no secret that rotating-barrel locked breech mechanisms reduce felt recoil. Even Beretta states on their website the significant recoil reduction offered by a rotating barrel breech design. The Boberg XR9 series of pistols are the smallest handguns available that offer a rotating barrel mechanism. You have to shoot this gun to truly appreciate what "soft recoil" really means. The many features of XR9 work together to produce the most comfortable-shooting pocket pistol available today.
Locked Chamber Extractor
Also unprecedented, the Boberg XR Technology (tm) Locked Chamber Extractor prevents any blow-back gasses from opening the extractor prematurely, which can lead to failure to extract. While the extractor looks like any ordinary extractor, there is one feature that makes it unique - it is overlapped by the barrel during cartridge ignition. After ignition, the barrel rotates counter-clockwise and uncovers the extractor, allowing it to pivot normally during ejection.
Working in conjunction with the Locked Chamber Extractor, there is an additional, rigid extractor opposing the chamber extractor that guarantees that a every single cartridge exits the chamber.
While having an ejector be a moving part may seem to be a disadvantage, this design was required to move the ejector out of the way of the next cartridge being raised by the lifting mechanism. The patent-pending pivoting ejector has the advantage of being directly behind the empty case when it needs to be, but being completely out of the way of a fresh cartridge when it needs to be. This means that the ejector does not compromise cartridge feeding in any way and requires no "tweaking" or "tuning".
Natural Rear Buffer
While it is common to expect the slide to slam hard at its back stop, and over repeated firing cause wrist pain (mostly on smaller pistols), the Boberg XR feeding mechanism absorbs most of this "slap". Some manufacturers have gone to disposable plastic buffers in their larger guns and some shooters have gone to bulky and sticky rubber grips on their smaller guns to improve comfort. None of this is necessary on the Boberg XR9 series of pistols. The recoil is soft all the way through!
Deep and Positive Grip
The problem with most pocket pistols out there today are the lack of a good grip on the gun. Often, these small guns can shift in the hand when firing multiple shots. Bob O's pocket pistol comparison chart clearly shows where the fingers lie on these itty bitty guns: http://www.mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.pdf
. The design goal of the XR9 series of pistols was to create a grip that felt like you were holding a full-size gun. When looking at theOverlays you can see the undercut where the trigger guard meets the front strap. This shape was optimized over a long period of time to allow the longest possible front strap but still not having the trigger guard rub against the knuckle of the middle finger on many different-sized hands. Many revolvers have this pronounced shape, but very few semi-autos have enough undercut in this area. Many people with smaller hands can actually fit all three remaining fingers on this front strap. For those with larger hands, the tang on the magazine floorplate gives a good purchase with the ring finger - the gun does not shift in the hand while firing multiple shots.
Butter-smooth, Constant Trigger
We were inspired by the smooth, constant-force trigger actions of high-quality double-action revolvers. Our goal was to achieve a smooth, constant Double Action Only (DAO) trigger pull so that the shooter can train himself to eliminate flinching habits that can develop from triggers that "stack" (significant or sharp increases in trigger pull). We have also toleranced our parts to minimize trigger creep, which is the amount of travel of the trigger before it starts doing anything. One thing to note - the trigger position is in line with the web of the hand, providing straight-back trigger pulling comfort. Some guns may have mechanisms under the barrel that force the trigger location down and can force the trigger finger joints to bend sideways to reach the trigger. Here is one example of a low trigger: Boberg XR9-S vs S&W M&P Compact - Boberg Arms
Locking Lugs Made for +P
Locking lugs are at the heart of any locked-breech system and contain the extreme pressure of percussion. Our locking lugs are made of extremely hard and tough stainless steel that resists peening, galling and wear. Each Boberg XR9 pistol contains two pair of locking lugs - one pair in the slide and one pair on the barrel. While one locking lug is more than sufficient to do the job, we have provided two for extended life if the owner intends to shoot a lot of +P ammunition. Our locking lugs provide double the suface area of pocket pistols from many of our competitors. Since all of our competitors in the pocket class of pistols (with locking breeches) use the tilting-barrel approach, they are limited to the amount of locking lug area they can achieve without having the barrel tilt too much. Plus, as the barrel tilts, the locking lug area rapidly declines due to the contact surfaces no longer being parallel. That limitiation does not exist with the Boberg XR9. The locking lugs maintain full, and parallel, contact area for .15" of slide travel, and then diminishing but parallel contact area for the next .10" of travel.
Our special locking lug design also allows us expandability to more powerful calibers, such as .40 S&W, .357 Sig and 10 mm Auto, which have been considered by many as "too much to handle" in a pocket-sized gun (see "Reduced Felt Recoil" at the top).
Easy Racking of the Slide
Pocket pistols (and even many large pistols) are notorious for having difficult-to-rack slides. On smaller guns, slides have much lower mass, so to compensate, the recoil springs are extra-heavy to delay the breech opening and to absorb recoil. The total force required to rack the slide on a Boberg XR9 is about 6 lbs. In fact, most rotating barrel, locked-breech pistols out there, including the Beretta Cougar and the Sig Mauser pistols have very soft recoil springs to facilitate chambering that first round. As it turns out, any rotating-barrel, locked breech pistol does not need a heavy recoil spring. Just the nature of having the barrel unscrew itself from the slide produces enough locking delay and recoil softening that these guns would work well without a recoil spring even with +P ammunition ( without the recoil spring, the gun must be pointed straight down to keep the slide cycling).
Extended Recoil Spring Life
Some high-caliber pocket pistols have recommended (or required) slide spring replacement after 150-200 rounds. Any spring takes a set after just a few cycles, but traditional pocket pistols have had very little space to cram in enough working wire to reduce stress and provide long life. The highly-engineered Boberg XR9-S recoil spring is longer than the gun itself and resembles one of the recoil springs used in the Desert Eagle pistol. With a small wire diameter, 75 total working coils, and long working length, the rust-resistant XR9-S recoil springs have shown little degradation in performance after thousands of rounds.
The ultra-smooth chamber of the Boberg XR9 has a special shape. While the chamber dimensions meet SAAMI specifications, it has a compound shape that minimizes the gas leakage common in other pistols that have excessive clearance or "lead in" for the cartridge to wiggle in from the magazine. The XR9 requires no such lead-in and can afford a tighter chamber entrance to reduce leakage and minimize noise. Tighter chamber clearance means higher velocity for all bullets, especially heavier bullets. This is why a 4.2" Boberg XR9 barrel performs similarly to a 4.5" barrel in competetive guns using 147- grain bullets. A tighter chamber entrance also means that "special operatives" will produce less noise when using suppressors.
Magazine loading is one of those activities that few people look forward to. One, you would rather be shooting the gun instead of loading it, but two, "busting your thumbs" has become a popular expression when refering to magazine loading. Sure, there are tools out there to make it easier - but do you always carry that tool with you? Wouldn't it be better if you didn't need a tool to load your magazine? Well, the Boberg XR9 magazine spring has half the average force than the lightest magazine springs out there. The reason for this is that a high spring force is not needed to make the XR Technology (tm) feeding mechanism work. The magazine only has to deliver the round to the feeding position (see animation ) for the tongs to grab it. A conventional magazine has to push hard to get the next round under the extractor to keep up with the slide's fast return stroke. Loading a magazine may still not be the most fun, but it certainly shouldn't be a chore!