This Kimber K6XS Review will deep dive into this lightweight 38 special concealed carry revolver. The K6XS is an aluminum framed 38 special version of Kimber’s all stainless steel Kimber K6s.
You can’t write a Kimber K6XS Review without talking about the Kimber K6s since it’s the foundation the K6XS was built on.
With a starting MSRP of just under $1000 the K6s has a lot to offer but is price prohibitive for a lot of the market. It’s also all stainless steel making it too heavy for a lot of concealed carry methods.
Kimber was smart to introduce the Kimber K6s that’s considerably more affordable and lighter than the Kimber K6s.
Kimber just didn’t change the frame material; they also made some other significant changes to lower the price point. This
What is the Kimber K6XS For?
The Kimber K6XS is purpose built for concealed carry. It’s lightweight and snag free. Due to the lightweight shooting this gun is a handful. It’s not a gun you’ll want to take to the range and shoot a couple hundred rounds through in an hour.
I shot this gun half of my time at the revolver roundup event at gunsite. One day I fired approximately 200 rounds through the gun and by the end of the day my hand was feeling it.
I don’t suffer from arthritis but if I did this gun would be painful to shoot.
This is a snub nose revolver that you throw in your holster and carry. It’s still shootable enough to stay proficient with but you’re not going to want to do long range sessions.
Shooting 25-75 rounds through the gun per range session will go a long way to maintaining proficiency while not killing your hands.
Is its weight a good thing?
As mentioned above the lack of weight is not going to help felt recoil mitigation. At 16 ounces the gun can be carried without a belt.
I’ve been carrying my Kimber K6XS in an Icon 2.0 holster.
This is the setup I grab when I don’t want to wear a belt or just want the lightest gun in my carry rotation.
Lighter guns tend to work better when carrying in the pocket. I’m 6 foot 185 pounds and don’t wear skinny jeans and this gun will not fit in my pocket.
If you are larger or wear husky fit clothing then you might be able to pocket carry it. You’ll likely have to change the grip from the stock Hogue to a boot style grip.
What frame does the Kimber K6XS Use?
As mentioned earlier the Kimber K6xs uses an aluminum frame. This allowed them to cut the cost and weight of the gun.
Unfortunately this also means the gun will no longer accept 357 magnum. It still holds 6 rounds of ammunition which is more than most revolvers in it’s class.
Caliber & Barrel Length
The Kimber K6xs has a 2 inch barrel and holds 6 rounds of 38 special. I would like to see a 3 inch version offered eventually but the 2 inch version is definitely the most versatile.
Just like the K6s the K6xs has a Ruger style push button cylinder release.
It’s easy to reach and use. Most revolver cylinder releases slide and are attached with a screw that can backout over time. It’s another weak point you have to maintain.
The push button release on the Limber K6xs doesn’t have this concern. In my opinion it’s the superior style of release.
One of the unique features of the Kimber K6s is its dovetail mounted sights. This is a big selling point to a lot of people and it’s one of the features the Kimber K6XS deletes.
I assume they got rid of it to cut costs. Milled in sights on revolvers are notoriously bad.
You can barely see the rear sight and the front sight blends in with the front of the gun. Kimber stepped up the game when it came to milled revolver sights.
The rear sight has a deep rear sight. I do wish it was a little wider but it’s still better than all the other revolvers at a similar price point. The extra depth really helps when you’re lining it up with the front sight.
Unfortunately the front sight is also fixed. Their design is more squared off and it has a hole in the middle filled with orange paint.
This makes it much more visible than other milled front sights.
The only other improvement they could have made was adding a night sight tritium vial. This would make the gun better for low light encounters.
I do wish they have gone with a pinned front sight like the Ruger LCR. This would make it easy to replace the front sight with other aftermarket options.
Even though the sights are milled they do shoot well with all the 38 special ammunition I’ve tried. At 15 yards all the ammunition I’ve tried has shot within 2 inches of point of aim.
The trigger is what’s really special on this gun. If you’ve read our review of the kimber K6s you know that the gun has a great trigger. The Kimber K6xs is no exception.
It uses a double action only trigger. The DAO trigger means that when you pull the trigger the force pulls back the hammer vs a single action trigger where you manually pull back the trigger.
So a double action trigger will be heavier and longer since you’re not only releasing the hammer but cocking it.
What’s unique about the Kimber K6s is the ability to either stage the trigger or stroke it.
Stroking a trigger is pulling through the trigger at the same consistent pace while staging it is when you pull through part of the trigger pull and then slow down as the sear get’s closer to dropping the hammer.
Staging a DAO trigger can help you when you have a little more time to take the shot and really want to work the sights and trigger.
Most revolver triggers are either completely rolling that has no warning before the sear drops the hammer or they have a stagy feel that is so abrupt it can throw off your trigger pull.
The Kimber K6XS trigger somehow has zero staginess when stroking the trigger quickly but if you decide to slow your pull down and stage the trigger there is a definite wall right before the sear drops.
So if you want to fire the gun fast you don’t have to worry about a bump in your trigger pull but if you want to take more time there will be a wall that’ll warn you right before hammer is about to fall.
This trigger is the best of both worlds.
The gun ships with a Hogue monogrip that covers the backstrap and extends far enough down past the frame you can get your pinky on the grip.
Covering the backstrap does help with recoil mitigation but this gun is still a handful. The shape of the grip gives you a lot of control over the gun but you still know it’s a fiery little beast.
You feel the recoil when you shoot this gun but you still feel like you’re in control.
I 100% attribute this to the grips.
With the factory boot grips you can buy off kimber’s site the gun doesn’t feel quite as controllable but the recoil feels the same.
With the hogue grips this gun feels like you’re driving a performance car track car. You can feel everything that’s going on but the gun is very responsive to your handling.
I have wrapped the grip in Goon Tape to eliminate the tacky feel that Hogue grips have. It’s still aggressive when I tighten my grip but the Tape doesn’t rub my skin as much.
Altamont makes wooden grips for this gun and Kimber has a variety of grips on their website.
We make our Icon 2.0 holster for the Kimber K6xs and there are also a variety of other kydex and leather kimber k6sx holsters on the market.
Take this portion of our Kimber K6xs review with a grain of salt. The attractiveness of a gun is always a personal preference.
This gun is attractive but not as good looking as its older brother the K6s. This is all due to finish.
It’s similar to a truck with with lowest trim package vs a truck that fully loaded. They’re still the same vehicle at heart but there are clearly some differences.
The finish on this aluminum gun has been durable. It looks similar to the finish on the Smith and Wesson 642 airweight revolver. That said, it seems to be more durable.
The cylinder finish is somewhat porous and has collected lots of carbon but the frame isn’t as bad.
I’ve carried this gun and used it to test fit 100s of holsters and while there is wear the finish doesn’t look that bad.
This gun shoots extremely well. The sights allow me to get a good 4inch group at 15 yards on a good day. The center of that group will be within 2 inches of my point of aim with most 38 caliber ammo.
This gun does pack a punch but if you’re not shooting 100s of rounds you’ll likely be able to handle it unless you’re recoil sensitive. If you’re recoil sensitive you’re probably better off looking for a gun like a Ruger LCR in 327 magnum or the new Smith and Wesson 432/632 series.
You can shoot 32 S&W long out of those guns and it’ll feel like a 22.
The Kimber K6xs shoot surprisingly well. It’s a very responsive gun just like I mentioned earlier when talking about the grips. If you’re looking for a low recoil gun this isn’t for you but if you can handle some recoil and like a shootable gun then you’ve found your match.
The MSRP is right around $650 and street price can go as low as $600 but that’s rare. Kimber’s usually sell for close to MSRP.
It’s almost twice the price of the Taurus 856 but it’d argue it’s literally amost twice the gun. It’s not much more than a baseline J frame like a 442 or 642 but it has much better sights and a better trigger as well as an extra round.
That is well worth the slight price increase. It’s barely more than a Ruger LCR and for me personally it makes the 38 caliber LCR extinct unless you really need to save an extra 2 ounces or so.
This gun literally shoots above its weight class and is great for IWB or off body carry. It’s going to be too big to fit in a pocket for a lot of us.
You’ll need to checkout the size and see if it’s right for your needs. The sights and trigger on this gun just pair very nicely. While $650 isn’t cheap it’s also not that expensive in the world of revolvers.
My primary carry gun was a Glock 48 for years and I’d occasionally carry a J frame. While I’ve been carrying J frames more over the last few years the K6xs has completely replaced it as a carry gun and I’ve been carrying the K6xs as much or more than my Glock 48 the past couple of months.
I’m playing around with pocket carry and because of that the J frame still does get carried occasionally but 98% of the time I’m carrying IWB and the K6xs is my gun of choice.
To be honest I’ve never been a Kimber fan but the K6s warmed me up to them and the K6xs has straight up won me over. At least when it comes to revolvers. It’s a hard gun to beat.
Revolver Guy has some really good articles on the Kimber K6 series.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Kimber K6xs review. Let us know your thoughts on the gun in the comments.