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PM9 vs Boberg XR9S evaluation

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Caver 60, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Caver 60

    Caver 60

    Jun 12, 2007

    Here is my subjective opinion.

    Those who read my post know I am a fan of light weight, double action only, no need to use an external manual safety, mouse pistols. You may remember I posted about receiving my Boberg XR9S Black Onyx in November and wonder why I haven't said more about it.

    The sad fact is, the pistol had to make a trip back to the factory. After firing a few hundred rounds I was still experiencing a malfunction every 30 to 40 rounds. The good news is they paid the freight both ways. However I was very busy when I received the pistol back, and only recently have I had a chance to shoot it.

    I'm happy to report it runs flawlessly so far. I just shot 103 rounds of mixed odds and ends ammo that I had laying around. 51 WWB, 28 UMC, 16 Rem Golden Saber 124 plus P, 8 Fed 147 HS.

    I would like to compare the Boberg to my Kahr PM9 in this thread. I'll start off with size comparisons. The Boberg is smaller in all dimensions, although in thickness I can only tell the difference by measuring with my Digital calipers.

    The Boberg is seven thousands of an inch thinner than the Kahr measured at the widest point, not the slide. That's about the thickness of a couple sheets of bond paper.

    The Boberg is shorter in length than the Kahr by .388 of an inch as I measure. That's a little over 1/3 inch shorter in length. But the Boberg barrel is over three tenths inch LONGER than the Kahr barrel. Same length as a G26 barrel. This gives some increase in muzzle velocity.

    The Boberg with a standard magazine in place is .055 inch shorter in height than the Kahr with a six round magazine as I measure. That's less than 1/16 inch difference. But the Boberg magazine holds 7 rounds, verse the Kahr standard magazine capacity of 6 rounds. And the base plate of the Boberg magazine is black verse that horrible bright stainless steel base plate on the Kahr six rounder.

    The loaded SEVEN round Boberg magazine is about 1/3 inch shorter than the Kahr SIX round magazine, and over 7/8 of an inch shorter than the Kahr SEVEN round magazine. So the spare 7 round Boberg magazine takes up a significantly smaller space in your pocket. And, of course, if you carry your Kahr with a seven round magazine, that will make the Kahr quite a bit taller.

    I haven't carried the Boberg all that much yet, except around the farm before I had to send it back to the factory. But I always keep a spare magazine for the pistol I'm carrying that day in my off pocket. To date no rounds have fallen out of the spare Boberg magazine, verse an almost weekly occurrence of loosing one or more rounds with the spare Kahr 7 round magazine.

    So you get an extra round and some extra muzzle velocity in a smaller package with the Boberg verse the Kahr. Also with rounds falling out of the Kahr spare magazine, you can't always count on having 7 rounds as a backup with the Kahr. And you can shoot all the Plus P, or standard ammo you want with the Boberg, unlike the Rohrbaugh

    The Boberg is second strike capable. THe Kahr trigger pull 'stacks' more toward the end of travel. The Boberg pull is pretty uniform throughout, although slightly heavier than the Kahr. But it's trigger pull seems smother than the Kahr, even though my Kahr has WAY over 1K rounds through it. Overall I prefer the Boberg trigger pull.

    The force required to 'slingshot' each slide is VASTLY different. I have no way to measure it, but I'd say the Boberg requires about 1/3 or less the amount of force that the Kahr requires. The Boberg is extremely EASY to slingshot. However the Boberg does not lock open after the last round. You can manually lock it open if desired, but you can't drop the slide on a round as you load it like the Kahr. I don't consider that a problem.

    The only way I have to measure weapon weight is the wife's 'el-cheap-o' kitchen scales. I weighed each pistol with a loaded standard magazine plus one, with 115 grain 9mm ammo. The Boberg came in 2 1/2 ounces heavier, for a loaded weight of 19 1/2 ounces.

    But the balance of the Boberg makes it feel MUCH better in my hand than the Kahr. The Boberg does not feel as muzzle heavy. Other than the difference in grip feel, I can hardly notice the weight difference. I do notice a significant difference in the grip feel.

    The Boberg feels thicker in the grip than the Kahr. Although, as mentioned above, it's actually seven thousand inch thinner. This is due to the more 'Glockish' style squared off back strap. The Kahr backstrap is more rounded than the Boberg. And the Boberg allows a slightly better two finger wrap. I still have to tuck my pinkie finger under the base plate. But it feels very good in my hand.

    The Boberg pistol is much more accurate than I am. Today wasn't a good day for shooting. Temp about 30 with a 15 to 20 MPH wind. I fired a couple magazines of ammo in the Kahr for comparison. The felt recoil wasn't that much different, but the Boberg seemed more pleasant to shoot. I think this is due to the 'squared' off backstrap distributing the recoil force better in my hand. Even with plus P ammo it was a pleasure to shoot. If it hadn't been so cold, I could easily have shot another hundred rounds.

    I've always liked the way my Kahr point shoots. But the Boberg seems to point shoot even better than the Kahr. I am a fan of close range point shooting. But even one hand point shooting from the waist at a small rock 50 yards away, I was l was hitting within 2 feet or so of the rock I couldn't do that well with the Kahr. It was to cold and windy to fool with putting up targets, and my primary purpose was function testing. At close range about 3 yards, I could point shoot from the waist and blast leaves and small pebbles on the ground. Aimed fire at 50 yards was better than with the Kahr.

    Several holster makers are producing holsters for the pistol. I've ordered two so far. However I've found several of my Kahr PM9 holsters will also work well with the Boberg. The Nemesis, the Remora, the Smart Carry, the Truss, and the 511 Tee shirt, of course, are fine with the Boberg.

    My CrossBreed Supertuck required only a slight modification with a little heat to make it work with either the PM9 or the XR9S.

    My CTAC absolutely won't work with the Boberg. I sure wish it would, because it's my favorite OWB holster. I emailed the company and they said they have no plans to make any holsters for the Boberg.

    Got the same response from CrossBreed, although it's easy to modify the Crossbreed, as mentioned above., if you know how to work Kydex.

    Overall I really like the Boberg and it will have a place in my carry rotation as soon as I get another couple hundred rounds of target ammo and a hundred rounds or so of carry ammo through it. In fact it'll probably be carried more than my Kahr PM9.

    And night sights just became available. I'll be ordering a set as soon as I recover from Christmas. Also the backlog has been eliminated, so you no longer have to wait a year, if you order one now.
  2. Bob Hafler

    Bob Hafler

    Sep 13, 2011
    Great review. Thanks. You must really like the XR9S if your willing to replace your PM9 with it. I've been CC my PM9 with the factory installed night sites for a couple of years and I believe it to be the perfect size 9mm pistol that is high quality and very reliable. (mine has been flawless ) I've looked at all (except the XR9s) the latest and greatest product of the month small 9mm's and have not found one that I'd rather have on me than the PM9. However I've never even seen a XR9S in person to make any kind of comparison.
    If I ever do see one in a GS I'll certainly give it a good looking over. Thanks

  3. Caver 60

    Caver 60

    Jun 12, 2007
    Bob, the Boberg is different than the Kahr, that's for sure. I own three Kahrs. All now run 100%, although one required a trip back to the factory at my expense, and the other two had some issues which I corrected myself. I like my PM9 very much.

    My MK9 has well over 3K flawless rounds through it. I quit counting a long time ago. It's my favorite 9mm range pistol, but I consider it too heavy to carry, for a 9. If I want to go that heavy, I'll go with my older generation double action only Mil Pro PT 145 with 10 plus one rounds of 45 ACP. I can't remember which generation my Taurus is, but it's the one before the newer generation Taurus model. I don't like the new generation Taurus.

    If the Boberg proves successful, I may switch my preference for a 9 mm carry and range pistol. Today I was out and about the farm. I fired 20 rounds of WWB and concentrated on TRYING to induce a MALFUNCTION in the XR9S. I'm happy to report, I did NOT succeed.

    I tried everything I could think of to 'limp wrist' it. Held it loose as I could, fired upside down, sideways (Hollywood style), etc. My favorite test was to hold it crossways to my shooting hand. I put my thumb on the trigger, and the last joint of three fingers on the backstrap. Squeezed the trigger and it fired and loaded perfectly.

    Then I turned it around 180 degrees and put only the last joint of my thumb on the backstrap, and two fingers on the frontstrap with my trigger finger on the trigger, and squeezed the trigger. The recoil caused the pistol to fall out of my hand and into the tall grassy area at the firing line of my private range. When I picked the pistol up, it had loaded itself and was ready to fire again. I don't think you can 'limp wrist' it more than that.

    I'll be gone a couple of days to visit the grandkids starting tomorrow. See you next year.
  4. AlexTheSquid


    Feb 17, 2012
    Norfolk, VA
    As an owner of one, I can say it is well worth the money spent. While I am not from a pocket pistol background, I own and have handled many different handguns, and this one oozes quality and reliability.

    Arne Boberg is a very ambitious person who strides in perfection. Since most of these are still considered "hand built", it is understandable to have a few issues along the line. But I've never seen someone so personally dedicated to ensuring nothing but the best from their product.

    I have shot over 300 rounds through mine as a break in, and so far not a single hiccup of any sort. And it is quite pleasant to shoot, as OP stated. At some point I was considering selling it to buy a Shield for carry - but when logic kicks in - I can't ever let this little gun out of my hands.

    Not to mention the looks from people at the range when I take it out of my bag!
  5. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Thanks for the review.

    If Boberg ever makes the larger model, I'll pick one up.