Take Charge Carry With Confidence

Kimber K6s Review

This Kimber K6s review covers what has slowly become a very popular revolver. Introduced in 2016 the kimber k6s surprised a lot of people. 

Kimber is known for their 1911s and many were surprised to see them get into the revolver market.

I’d describe the Kimber as a “Classic Modern” revolver. While those two terms are conflicting they are an accurate description. There is an elegance to the Kimber K6s that modern guns normally don’t have.

The gun has a classic look but you can clearly tell it’s a modern design. Similar to the ford bronco remake or the Dodge Challenger the vehicles are clearly modern but draw heavily from classic designs.

Kimber K6s Review With Speed Strip

This is drastically different from other modern revolver designs like the Ruger LCR and the Chiappa Rhino.

What is the Kimber K6s For?

The Kimber K6s was introduced with a 2 inch barrel and a 3 inch barrel quickly followed.

There is no doubt the gun was primarily designed as a concealed carry revolver. It works really well with our Icon 2.0 holster.

With the longer 3 inch and now 4 inch barrels the gun has become more versatile.

It’s a solid option for a relatively lightweight gun to carry in the woods or use for target practice. 

Kimber K6s Review rght front

The gun is heavy which has it’s upsides and downsides.

Is its weight a good thing?

When you’re shooting a gun, weight is almost always a good thing. Especially for a revolver. 

But when you’re carrying it it’s always a downside. Kimber doesn’t make the Kimber K6XS if you’re looking for a lighter gun and you can read that review here.

You’ve got to decide what’s more important to you. If you’re carrying the gun on your waist the weight isn’t that bad if you’re carrying a good belt. 

But if you’re carrying the gun in your pocket the weight can become an issue.

What frame does the Kimber K6s Use?

The Kimber K6s is a small frame revolver that is similar in size to a Taurus 856 or Ruger SP101. It holds 6 rounds like the Taurus 856 but has a beefier feel like the Ruger SP101. 

For its size this gun just feels sturdy. When writing this Kimber K6s review I was really impressed with the gun’s sturdy feel.

The Ruger SP101 was the gold standard for small sturdy revolvers and while the 5 round SP101 will still handle hotter loads better than the 6 round Kimber K6s the Kimber is giving the Ruger a run for its money. 

Caliber & Barrel Lengths

Currently all the Kimber K6s models are made in 357 magnum. They have offerings in 2 inch, 3 inch and 4 inch.

Kimber K6s Review right front

What Barrel Length is the Best?

A longer barrel gives you the advantages of velocity and weight. The longer barrel increases the weight of the gun and also puts more weight at the front of the gun reducing felt recoil.

I do need to add the caveat that cylinder gap can also affect velocity. The cylinder gap is the gap between the cylinder and the barrel. 

If the gap is smaller on a gun with a shorter barrel that gun can actually have a higher velocity than a gun with a longer barrel. If the cylinder gap is the same the longer barrel will have a higher faster velocity.

More velocity means your bullet will have more energy.

Modern hollow points are designed to work within a specific velocity window. That means if they’re going too fast they’ll break apart too soon and won’t penetrate far enough to be effective but if they’re going too slow they won’t expand properly.

Classic lead rounds will penetrate at lower velocities but they are not designed to expand. So these rounds are more reliable but not as effective as a hollow point at optimal velocity.

Downsides of a Longer Revolver Barrel

When drawing from the holster the longer the barrel the longer it’ll take you to get the gun out of the holster. It also adds more weight and length which can make the gun more cumbersome to carry. 

If you plan to carry in a pocket the 2 inch barrel is the way to go.

For inside the waistband, carrying both 2 and 3 inch barrels can be good options. If you’re carrying OWB the 3 and 4 inch barrels are a sweet spot. 

If you’re concealed carrying a gun OWB a Kimber K6s with a 2 inch barrel might be the best option. There is less barrel to stick out under a shirt or jacket.

Difference Between DOA and DA/SA

The 2 and 3 inch variants are offered as both double action only(DAO) and double action single action(DA/SA). You can only get the 4 inch with a double action single action trigger system.

Kimber K6s Review hammerless

Double action only on the Kimber means the hammer is internal and you have to use the trigger to pull the hammer back. So you trigger pull will be the same every time and heavier. 

You don’t have to worry about a hammer snagging. This is a big plus for carrying in the pocket or even IWB carry.

With a double action single action trigger you have the option to pull back the hammer to cock the gun and shoot it in double action or use the trigger only like with the DOA gun. 

Single action triggers make the gun easier to shoot accurately when time isn’t a consideration.

If you’re trying to shoot quickly and accurately, shooting the gun in double action is much easier. So for self defense the double action trigger is preferable.

If you’re planning to use the gun for target shooting or hunting you’ll likely prefer the single action trigger.

Cylinder Latch

The cylinder latch is what you have to press to release the cylinder on the revolver. The cylinder must be released to load and unload the revolver.

Kimber K6s Review cylinder release

It’s very easy to use. 

Revolvers from Smith & Wesson and Taurus use a sliding release that attaches with a screw. This screw will loosen and fall out if you don’t loctite it and make sure it’s tight.

The Kimber K6s release doesn’t use a screw so that’s one less area you have to worry about maintaining. 

It’s easy to reach and use unless you have really small hands.

Sights

A unique feature of the Kimber K6s is its sights. The gun comes with really good replaceable sights. 

Most small framed revolvers have poor sights that are milled into the gun. 

The only way you’ll improve the sights is to send them to a very competent gunsmith and have them create custom sights for the gun. This is extremely expensive and time consuming.

Kimber K6s Review sights

The K6s sights are really good for a revolver. You can get both night sights and painted white dots from the factory.

They have a sight picture similar to novak style sights. 

I’d like to see more of an air gap between the sides of the front sight and the rear sight. This would make them easier to see and shoot more accurately.

Now the downside of these sights is they’re designed to be shot with 158 grain 357 magnum. While the guns are chambered for 357 magnum they are still a handful with this ammo. 

Most people are going to shoot the guns with 38 special which has significantly less recoil. 

When you’re shooting 38 special the gun won’t have as much recoil but it’ll also shoot 3-5 inches lower than the sights. 

XS sights does make a replacement sight that’ll shoot to 38 special. These sights also have a colored front sight which will stand out more than the factory front sight.

Trigger

Triggers and how they feel are very personal. Especially double action revolver triggers. There is often some breakin involved. So handling a trigger on a new gun in the gun store won’t give you the full story.

The Kimber K6s triggers are no exception and you’re going to need to dry fire or live fire them a couple hundred times to smooth the trigger out.

Unfortunately I don’t have access to a gun with the DA/SA trigger so this Kimber K6s review will only cover the DAO trigger.

Kimber K6s 2inch Review with speedstrip

The trigger is interesting when you pull it fast all the way through it seems like it’s a smooth rolling trigger but when you slow things down the feel changes completely.

When pulling the trigger slowly it feels smooth and the cylinder rotates quickly. Then you hit a definite wall. 

At that wall you can slow things down and put more effort into making a precision shot. 

One most double action triggers that wall is very definite when trying to pull all the way through the trigger and it can cause a disturbance in your sights. 

Basically your trigger pull is smooth and then when you hit that wall it’s like hitting a speed bump with your car. 

The K6s trigger isn’t like that at all. If you’re stroking the trigger quickly you don’t feel the wall. But if you slow down it’s there and you know you’re getting towards the end of the trigger stroke and the hammer is about to drop, igniting your primer sending a bullet down the barrel.

I have to preface that triggers are personal preference. 

That said, the Kimber K6s trigger is the best trigger offered in a mass market defensive revolver.

Grip

The guns come from the factory with a variety of grips. You can get Crimson Trace Laser grips, Boot grips, Houge grips or wooden grips. I’ve tried them all and they work great.

The boot grips won’t allow for a full grip if you have larger hands. The hogue and longer wooden grips are longer and will allow you to get a full grip with your pinky on the gun.

Kimber K6s Review grip

I personally kept the boot grip on my 2 inch and the longer woodend grip on the 3 inch gun. The 3 inch gun is more shootable but less concealable. 

Aftermarket

There are a lot of leather holsters, a couple of Kydex holsters including our Icon 2.0. Most of these options exist for the 2 inch guns.

You have the grips we mentioned above plus a couple other aftermarket options. Sights can be upgraded but there aren’t a lot of options. 

The aftermarket could be stronger but the options that are there are quality.

Aesthetics

This is all personal preference but I think the Kimber K6s is a good looking gun.  It has that modern classic aesthetic we covered earlier.

Kimber K6s Review right side

If you’re looking for a classic Smith and Wesson then you’ll want to buy that or if you’re looking for a utilitarian look then check out the Ruger LCR. If you want something that’s in between then the Kimber K6s is for you.

Finish

While there have been other finish offering in the past on limited production models the matte stainless is their stainless finish. It doesn’t easily scratch and keeps the gun looking good. 

That said it will scratch and show wear over time but it’s still more durable than most of the finishes out there.

Shooting

The most fun part of this Kimber K6s review was shooting the gun. I’ve been shooting the Kimber K6s 2 and 3 inch DAO variants for the last 6 months.

These revolvers are just fun to shoot with 38 special. 

If you’re shooting 357 they aren’t fun to shoot at all. It’s a painful experience. While you can do it I don’t suggest it. 

The sights being decent and the triggers being really good are what make these guns fun to shoot. The trigger really is the heart of the K6s and it’s what sets it apart from the other revolvers on the market.

Kimber K6s Review right side

The only disappointing part is when shooting 38 special your rounds will go low. I plan to replace the sights with the XS sights that are regulated to 38 special.

Price

MSRP starts at $985 and goes up from there. So these guns aren’t cheap. But out of the box they have good triggers and a decent set of sights which is more than you can say for most revolvers. 

Concluding Thoughts

Overall the Kimber K6s is a solid revolver option but it is on the higher price side. If you’re looking for a 6 round 357 magnum in a small frame there aren’t any other options that have as much aftermarket support. 

That said, the aftermarket is still small.

The trigger, sights and 6 round capacity make these guns really appealing. If you’re on a tight budget I’d probably look at the Smith and Wesson J frames, Taurus 856 or Kimber K6XS instead. 

But if you’ve got the budget this is a solid option for an all steel snub nose revolver. I suggest checking out the articles on Revolver Guy as they’ve covered some great information on the Kimber Revolvers.

Pros

  • Looks
  • Sights
  • Capacity

Cons

  • Cost
  • Aftermarket

One Reply to “Kimber K6s Review”

  1. Frank says:

    Beautiful gun, albeit with problems.

    Mine is 4 months old and has been back to the Kimber factory for firing pin issues twice already.

Comments are closed.