By Mike Searson
Back Up Gun
U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Years ago I began carrying a backup gun not totally dissimilar to the Kimber K6s. I’ve found the practice beneficial for a number of reasons. Primarily it allows me to be able to arm my wife or another loved one should they find themselves in harm’s way without their own defensive tool present with them.
I carry a Smith & Wesson Shield or (most often) a Smith & Wesson J frame revolver in this role. The 340 Pro (no lock) is my favorite J frame for this task, but alas, I don’t own one at this time so the 642 goes with me and serves me well.
Kimber K6s .357 Magnum Revolver
Several friends have raved over their Kimber K6. After much encouragement from friends and family, I reached out to Kimber asking if they’d be interested in yours truly writing about their revolver. They kindly acquiesced, and here we are.
The Kimber K6 with a Galco IWB holster. IMG Rev Norris
The sophisticated black revolver that arrived at Gun King (my partner FFL) had a cylinder release reminiscent of a Ruger SP101, but this little pocket rocket was 3 ounces lighter and held one more round.
Over the past several months, it’s taken lots of trips to my home range— Take Aim in Pageland, SC, and to the Prepared Patriot Pit. I’ve had friends and family members shoot the gun, and I’ve observed its strengths as a number of shooters from various skill levels operated the pistol with ease and were able to achieve good results. Most of the shooting was done from 7 to 15 yards.
The Kimber next to my S&W 642.
The Kimber comes in at 23 ounces and is purported to be the lightest production 6 shot revolver on the market today. That tracks; my favorite revolver, the S&W 340 is a 5-shot gun that weighs right under 14 ounces. However, heavier is not always worse. Heavier helps when it comes to shooting characteristics and .357 magnum rounds shot through this K6s are much more enjoyable than the same rounds through the model 340.
The 3 dot sights on my example were outstanding. They are tritium night sights and are replaceable on both the front and rear— which is a big bonus in this category of firearm. The cylinder has no wasted metal. It’s refined and as slim as it can be while retaining its capacity of six rounds. The frame opens up with an Allen key which makes more sense than standard revolver designs from other manufacturers. It’s one of the first indicators communicating to the user that this is a modern revolver.
The K6s next to Taurus 605
The question is sometimes asked if there’s a place for revolvers in the modern world. I believe there is. If you don’t care about my opinion, go sit at the feet of teachers like Clint Smith and John Farnam and listen to what they have to say. If you don’t care what they have to say, you’re as wrong as your girlfriend’s mustache. Revolvers make great get-off-me guns, but their advantages over semi-autos are not limited to that singular category. In addition, They make good backcountry guns and offer a wider range of use within each caliber per your selected load. A .357 or .44 magnum are very useful tools indeed.
My friend James Yeager says that shotguns and revolvers are experts’ weapons. If you haven’t yet seen his “A Revolver is NOT the Answer” and “A Revolver is the Answer” videos on YouTube or LiberTV you should go check them out.
The K6s is one of the most refined, shootable, and overall capable pocket revolvers I’ve ever encountered. This pistol doesn’t just look nice; its 2-inch barrel and silky smooth, non-stacking, 9 lbs trigger come together to make it an unexpectedly accurate tack driver. My best groups came from Hornady 110 grain Critical Defense .38+p ammunition.
Ringing Steel at 14 Yards
The 6.62-inch length, 1.39-inch width, and nearly 4.5-inch height make this gun perfect for a jacket pocket, ankle, or inside the waistband carry in my book. If you carry a backup gun on the ankle (as I do) it’s similar to carrying a Shield or a G26. For reference, a Loaded S&W Shield weighs 23.7 ounces and the K6s loaded weighs 25.9 ounces. The hammerless non-snag DAO variety is what I selected and what I’d recommend to those considering this gun in a defensive role— particularly if as a backup gun. If you’re thinking about purchasing a Kimber K6 as a primary handgun, a backcountry candidate, or a target gun, Kimber offers 3 and 4-inch models that are worth looking into.
Kimber K6s loaded weight S&W Shield Pro loaded weight
I like to take guns through a 500-1500 round course of fire before writing about them, but there’s an ammo shortage out there, folks. You’ll have to be ok with just north of 250 rounds through this little fella. I shot a mix of .357 and .38. hot + all the way down to light recoiling .38s that almost felt downloaded for competition. Everything I shot was factory loaded. I cannot tell you how much it pained me to conserve ammo on this project. This gun is a shooter, and I would have enjoyed shooting it many more rounds. In fact, I may have to own one of these pistols down the line.
The ammo goes away.
In summary, I would recommend putting the Kimber K6s toward the top of the list for those looking for their next revolver, especially if you’re looking for a backup gun or pocket pistol for defensive purposes. It’s a little heavy for ankle carry, but with a good ankle holster like the Galco Ankle glove or Ankle lite, you’ll be just fine. This fine weapon would be as appropriate for a Wall Street Banker as a Wyoming woodsman. That’s sophistication at its best!
About Brian (Rev) Norris:
Brian (Rev) Norris, in addition to writing and talking guns and gear via video, is a pastor (hence the “Rev”) who specializes in mentoring young men in the urban context. If he catches a moment of free time, you’ll likely find him enjoying his family or heading to the range on his motorcycle. Brian has enjoyed the shooting sports since his father introduced them to him as a child. He’s an outdoorsman who enjoys life to the full.