Back in late August of this year, I put up a blog post about sending my Boberg XR9-S back to Boberg so it could be refinished with an all black coating. This finish was not available in April when I originally received my pistol. I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but today was the first time I've had a chance to shoot the Boberg since it was returned to me. If you follow the blog, then you know I've been working on a bunch of reviews and they've cut into my range time. Today I decided it was time to get happy with the Boberg again and make sure that it worked as well after coating as it did before sending it back for blackening.
You may wonder why I felt it necessary to retest the pistol again after it returned to me. I had a few reasons. The first was that the black coating adds thickness to the dimensions of all parts it is applied to. If you are applying it to a precisely fitted gun like the Boberg, there is a chance that parts may bind due to the additional thickness. The second reason is that in order to be coated, the pistol had to be taken apart and reassembled. That's major work that needs to be checked by me if I am going to be comfortable carrying the pistol. Lastly, I'm sure they removed the sights from the slide when it was coated. I needed to be sure the sights were put back on correctly and the gun would still still put the bullets where I placed the sights during firing.
Additionally, Arne Boberg sent me out some magazine followers to test. If you read my initial review of the XR9-S, then you know it's got some very unique design elements. The magazines are probably one of the most unique things because you load the cartridges nose first instead of base first. This is due to the unique feeding system of the Boberg pistol. My initial review is HERE if you want to read more about the unique features of the Boberg XR9-S.
You can see an example of the original magazine, without the follower, on the left in the pictures below. I installed a follower in the magazine on the right by simply removing the base plate, sliding out the spring, inserting the follower on top of the spring and compressing it so I could reinstall the base plate. Total time to convert a magazine is about a minute. Arne decided to provide followers after customers reported their springs jumped up past the magazine feed lips. While I have never had that problem, I can definitely see how the follower will keep that problem from happening in the future. There is no way that spring is getting out of the magazine with the follower in place.
After installing followers in both magazines, I loaded one with FMJ and one with JHP ammo to their 7 round capacity and experienced no binding or difficulty loading them with the followers in place.
I made a very short video at the range this afternoon that was near the end of my validation session. I shot about 80 rounds through the pistol today and let someone else run a couple of mags through it. I will admit that my first magazine of American Eagle 124 Grain FMJ was problematic. I could literally feel the slide jerking through the cycling process. I think this was evidence of the newly coated parts mating themselves. After two mags of FMJ, I jumped back to Federal HST 124 Grain +P that I had previously decided on as my carry round in this pistol. I experienced zero issues of any kind through a full box of 50. I'm now comfortable and confident in the blacked out XR9-S and also the magazine followers, but I'll still run one more box of 124 Grain HST +P through on my next range visit just because it's actually fun to shoot in this soft recoiling pistol. After that, I'll try the FMJ range ammo again and see if things have loosened up enough to allow the lower powered range fodder to cycle the pistol properly.
While we are on the subject of followers, please feel free to connect with Pocket Guns and Gear (me) on:
Facebook - Pocket Guns and Gear Facebook Page
Twitter - Follow Me on Twitter
YouTube - Pocket Guns and Gear YouTube Channel