Boberg XR9-L Review

Last week I posted a review of a very much not-forgotten pistol over at TheFirearmBlog.com – a brand new Boberg XR9-L.  It doesn’t have any historical significance yet, but it’s a pretty interesting mechanical design, so I figured I should cross-post the video of it here:

The backwards magazine feed will immediately suggest a similarity to the English Mars pistol of the very early 1900s, and the two guns do share some features (mainly the claws to pull cartridges backwards from the magazine). The Boberg, however, is a short-recoil, rotating barrel design where the Mars was a long-recoil action with a 4-lug rotating bolt. Feed issues are the Achilles’ heel of both guns, though. It sheds some light on the ammunition problems faced by Gabbett-Fairfax with the Mars when I see the cartridge separations in the Boberg…

I had the chance to speak to Arne Boberg at the SHOT show earlier this year, and he seemed to be a pretty cool guy. I didn’t have the chance to get him outside the confines of a booth being swarmed by interested potential customers, though. However, Kevin at Crucible Arms had the opportunity to drop in on the Boberg factory to interview Mr. Boberg on video. Turns out he’s been building guns since he was 14 (and that first one looks pretty slick to me for being made by an 8th-grader):

I do think the Boberg deserves a place in any comprehensive collection of mechanically interesting firearms, although I can’t quite bring myself to trust it as a carry gun (and I don’t have the thousand dollars to drop on one either – that would be a non-trivial chunk of my Chauchat!). The interview video suggests that a .45 ACP version will be released in December, and that has me drooling right through my reservations about the ammo sensitivity…