Kimber K6s: Six-Shot .357 Mag for CCW [A Review]

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It’s a time of uncertainty, and in circumstances like this, the most logical thing for people to do is equip themselves. This feeling of uneasiness is reflected greatly in the gun market as sales skyrocketed while the ammunition supply took a nosedive

With so much change all around, an everyday carry (EDC) gun gives people the assurance they need. However, which is better for concealed carry: semis or revolvers? Here we go again with that million-dollar question. 

Revolvers not only belong in the Wild Wild West, but in your concealed carry weapon (CCW) list as well. From Colt Paterson’s 7.5-inch, we saw the barrel length game steering toward the snub-nosed selection. Colt Cobra even made a comeback for it in 2017.

Not that long ago, a new player emerged when Kimber joined the party and introduced the Kimber K6s. The brand is also famous for its M1911s, but the Kimber K6s didn’t disappoint. If anything, it became an instant favorite.

Kimber K6s: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Smooth and rounded profile
  • Six rounds in a five-shot frame
  • Small and well-trimmed cylinder
  • Hassle-free release button
  • Excellent factory trigger
Cons
  • Premium price
  • Not a lot of customization

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Down in History With Kimber

Let’s head down the Kimber history lane before we go to the nitty-gritty of the K6s. Kimber needs no introduction as it has been around since the late 1970s. Father and son duo Jack and Greg Warne established the brand in Oregon and named it Kimber of Oregon. 

So, where did the name come from? It’s inspired by a South Australian town, called Kimba, where the founder grew up. 

Kimber K6S
Kimber K6S

John “Jack” Llewellyn Warne was early in the gun-making business. The young Australian founded Sporting Arms Limited (Sportco) at age 23. It was the only private gunmaker in the country at the time. In addition, he designed and helped produce high-quality rifles during his stint. 

Omark Industries of Portland, Oregon, purchased Sportco in the 1960s. This brought Warne to the United States where he continued his career in firearms. When Omark left the business, Warne went on to found another legacy, the Kimber. 

The Kimber became a household name with their rifles and 1911 pistols. Additionally, government organizations partnered with the company and used their firearms. This includes the U.S. Marines, the Los Angeles Police Department special weapons and tactics team, and the Team USA Shooting Team. So, when did their sneaky wheel guns come in?

The Kimber K6s Enters the Scene

Kimber announced their first line of .357 Magnum revolvers in 2016, called the K6s. The first edition has a small and light profile with six rounds, 2-inch snub nose, and operates in double-action only (DAO). Having an extra round puts it ahead of similar-sized J-frame guns, like the S&W Bodyguard.

About a year after its launch, the K6s added more models and versions of the line. It includes the K6s DCR and, of course, the double-action/single-action (DASA) lineup. They even have a Texas-inspired special edition. 

The most recent additions in the lineup are K6s Target and K6s Combat, which came out in 2020. These 4-inch DASA handguns are tailored not only for concealed carry but also for shooting at the range. 

While it’s true that revolvers are less problematic than the semis, it does not mean that they are 100% flawless. A short barrel means more recoil, so the small size shouldn’t be taken lightly.

It’s safe to say that the K6s is not for total beginners as the .357 gives you some hand-whacking recoil. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s totally unmanageable. Practice and familiarity will get you there.

K6s Specs

The K6s started as double action only (DOA) but, to give more options and flexibility, added the DASA models. Kimber claims that the series is the world’s lightest 6-shot .357 Magnum revolver.

The barrel length ranges from 2 inches to 4 inches. You can see the other differences in their weights, grips, and sights. Since it is a .357 Magnum, you can also load it with .38 Special and .38 Special +P. Here’s a look at the numbers and specs.

Double-action Only

The double-action-only models include the 2-inch, 3-inch, and the DCR. Aside from the beveled cut, the internal hammer makes them even more snag-free. These revolvers also have a push-button cylinder release instead of the usual slide latch that we see in many Smith & Wessons.

ModelHeightWeight (Empty Cylinder)Length
K6s Stainless4.46 inches23 ounces6.62 inches
K6s Stainless 3-Inch5 inches25.1 ounces7.62 inches
K6s DCR4.46 inches23 ounces6.62 inches

The K6s models all have the same six-round capacity and cylinder width of 1.39 of an inch. Interestingly, their recessed chamber reminds me of a moon clip. 

The material used for the frame and barrel is stainless steel. The DCR has a satin silver finish while the other two are brushed. The standard 2-inch version and the DCR are, as expected, smaller and lighter than the 3-inch barrel.

SightsTypeRadius
K6s StainlessBlack serrated3.5 inches
K6s Stainless 3-InchWhite dot sights4.6 inches
K6s DCRFiber optic3.5 inches

The K6s 2-inch barrels have black serrated sights which help lessen the glare. The 3-inch version, which has a bigger radius, has easy-to-spot white dots. Alternatively, the DCR’s fiber optic sights make it ideal for shooting on a bright day.

GripsMaterial/ Features
K6s StainlessBlack rubber/ Kimber logo
K6s Stainless 3-InchLarge smooth walnut
K6s DCRLaminated wood/ Kimber logo

As you can see in the side-by-side photo above, the K6s have options for elegant wood grips. The larger profile of the walnut grip compliments the longer 3-inch version. Recoil is easily absorbed with the smaller K6 2-inch versions, thanks to the rubber grips.

The K6s have non-stacking triggers with a factory setting of around 9.5 pounds to 11.5 pounds. That is much lighter than most S&W J-frames that are around 12 pounds. The MSRP is $958 for the 2-inch and 3-inch models.

Double Action/ Single Action

The Kimber K6s DASA models have several versions. The most noticeable difference they have with DAOs is the exposed hammer. This line offers a wider selection of barrel lengths with the addition of the 4-inch barrel option.

ModelHeightWeight (Empty Cylinder)LengthBarrel Length
K6s DASA4.46 inches23 ounces6.62 inches2 inches
K6s DASA 3-Inch5.0 inches25.1 ounces7.62 inches3 inches
K6s DASA Target5.25 inches29 ounces8.62 inches 4 inches
K6s DASA Target GFO5.25 inches29 ounces8.62 inches4 inches
K6s DASA Combat5.0 inches29 ounces8.62 inches4 inches
K6s DASA Texas Edition4.46 inches23 ounces6.62 inches2 inches

The DASA line has the original DAO as inspiration. The lauded cylinder width is retained as well as its 6-round capacity. It feeds on the same .357 Magnum and features the same push-button release also seen in the Rugers. 

K6s DASA 2-inch and 3-inch versions have the same height, length, and weight as their DAO counterparts. The rest are larger and heavier since they have longer barrels. 

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Kimber made the frame and barrel of the DASA models with stainless steel and a brushed finish. They all wear serrated backstraps. Meanwhile, the special Texas edition stands out. It has a smooth satin finish with some patterns that give you that Western vibe.

SightsTypeRadius
K6s DASAWhite 3-dot3.5 inches
K6s DASA 3-InchWhite 3-dot4.6 inches
K6s TargetCompact target adjustable6.2 inches
K6s DASA Target GFOCompact target adjustable6.2 inches
K6s DASA CombatWhite 3-dot5.5 inches
K6s DASA Texas EditionWhite 3-dot4.1 inches

The DASA models have similar white dot sights except for the Target models. These new additions have adjustable blacked-out rear sights. These sights are the only adjustable ones in the K6s series. One has red fiber-optic front sight while the other sports a green fiber-optic (GFO) front sight. With longer barrels, the Target versions also have a better sight radius—a feature maximized for precise shooting.

GripsMaterial/ Features
K6s DASAWalnut Book Grip
K6s DASA 3-InchWalnut 3-finger grip
K6s DASA TargetExtended 3-finger grip
K6s DASA Target GFO3-finger combat grip
K6s DASA Combat3-finger combat grip
K6s DASA Texas EditionIvory G10/ Texas motif

The classy wood grip that is common among the K6s DASA ensures a solid grip. They have diamond checkering except for the special edition which is made up of ivory G10. 

The DASA trigger’s factory setting is the same as its double action only equivalents. Meanwhile, its single-action press is around 3.25 to 4.25 pounds. 

Since they are operating in both DA and SA, the MSRP is $1,074 for the 2-inch and the 3-inch. The Target and Combat models are at $1,087.

Kimber K6s: Up Close

Kimber K6s: Six-Shot .357 Mag for CCW
I didn’t get a photo of mine, so photo courtesy of Guns.com

The Kimber K6s DASA 3-inch comes with a soft case inside, a safety lock, and a 6-shot speed strip. At first glance, I couldn’t help but notice how rounded the overall profile is. Since it is brushed stainless steel, it has a matte touch to it, which is easy on the eyes. 

At the center of it all is the smallest 6-round .357 cylinder in the market. It locks from both the front and back and has an unmistakable flatness to it.

Kimber K6S Open Cylinder

The less than 4-inch diameter cylinder is impressive, but some say the walls are just too thin. I don’t see any issue with it whatsoever. If anything, the cylinder only makes the K6s more ideal for concealed carry. A less-rounded cylinder translates to less print and snagging. 

For me, the K6s DASA 3-inch is the middle ground among the K6s models. First off, it allows for both single- and double-action mechanisms. The barrel length doesn’t have the same recoil as the 2-inch but is also not as long as the 4-inch. It’s the right size for EDC.

The walnut grip adds up to the compact yet classy look of the revolver. Instantly, it felt at home as the web of my hand found its way up the serrated backstrap naturally. The laminated wood has some diamond checkering on it. Also, the Kimber logo is there, which I liked as the combination adds more texture.

Kimber K6S Right Side
Kimber K6S

The grip of the K6s DASA fits three fingers as advertised. But if you have big hands I don’t think it will be as snug. I like the extended shape as I am not a fan of grooves. However, the boot grips of the smaller versions are more suitable for concealed carry.

The hammer has a texture to it, so I don’t have any problem cocking it with a sweaty thumb. It is nicely aligned and doesn’t get in the way of the sights. The pinned front sight of the K6s goes well with the serrated rear, making the three white dots pop even more. 

I heard about the smooth K6s trigger and tried to dry fire it. True enough, it was nonstacked and the single action was remarkably crisp at around 3 pounds. 

There’s no denying that the K6s is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. The manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the DASA 3-inch is $1,074 while the other versions are also not less than $900. While it is pricey compared to revolvers of similar size, I wouldn’t mind spending a little more if it’s worth it ― and it is.

Action Time

After examining the K6s, it’s time to put it to the test.

Kimber K6s: Six-Shot .357 Mag for CCW

The out-of-the-box trigger is light and smooth. Given that it has a short barrel, I expected a lower velocity. So, I aimed for a good distance of 7 to 10 yards.

The fact that it’s 25.1-ounce unloaded means that recoil won’t be as bad as an Airweight, which it wasn’t. The muzzle rise was minimal when using .38 Specials. Also, precision was about 2 inches for a five-shot group and accuracy was spot on. 

I felt the thinness of the 3-inch DASA grip after some rounds. Comparing it to the rubber grip of the 2-inch DAO, the smaller one is notably plumper at the lower part. This thickness helps with muzzle rise. Also, the ejector rod of the K6s that I have is as long as the 2-inch version, but still, it does the job. 

Though the K6s is a .357 Magnum, the length is something you should consider. You don’t want your hands to be whacked up by an unexpected kick of powerful ammo in a short barrel.

With that in mind, loading it first with .38 Special helped with getting the feel of the K6s. The .357 Magnum came in after about 100 rounds. The recoil was strong but pretty manageable. The group tightness proved consistent with the .38 Special. Also, staging the trigger gets you more or less the same result at 12 yards. 

All in all, it’s an ergonomic revolver with a great aesthetic that feels as good as it looks. It’s reliable and is best suited for closer encounters while also giving you the option of taking it to the range.

What Competes With the K6s?

Perhaps one of the closest K6s competitions is the Ruger SP101. They are both stainless-steel guns made for .357 Magnum, operating with double and single action. They also sport the same push-button cylinder release. 

What sets the K6s apart from SP101 is its plus-one capacity. Although they are about the same weight and size, an additional chamber can make a big difference. 

The Smith & Wesson Model 640 is another .357 Magnum ideal for concealed carry. This J-frame revolver weighs 22.2 ounces and also carries five shots. It has no exposed hammer and is double action only, similar to the standard K6s.

The Taurus Judge is also a similar-sized gun in the DASA mechanism. With the same 3-inch barrel length, it’s a bit heavier than the K6s at 29 ounces. It has a 5-round capacity using .45 Colt and .410 shotshell. The overall black matte look of this revolver is as pleasant to the eyes as its price is to the pocket.

Check out a wider selection of CCW revolvers in our best concealed carry revolvers roundup.

Spice It Up

While there isn’t much to change with the K6s, you might want to add your personal touch to it. If you’re not a wood grip fan you can style your K6s DASA with a Hogue Rubber Bantam grip. Trust me ― it’s your hand’s best friend against recoil. 

A great inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster like the CrossBreed SuperTuck is terrific for the K6s. If you are planning to bring some extra rounds, the Kimber K6s speedloader will bring you that.

Conclusion

The K6s deserves all the hype it’s getting. It has great aesthetics and even greater function. The trigger is top-notch. It’s light and smooth, which is what you need during fight or flight situations. 

It’s the size and overall roundedness of the K6s that made me want to take it home. I mean, it packs .357 Magnum in such a small frame. The additional capacity is equally as important. 

The sight and the cylinder are well-put and planned for concealed carry applications. Personally, between the K6s DAO and DASA, I’d have the hammerless DAO specifically for EDC. But, for some trips at the range, the DASA provides more flexibility. Generally, I’d use it more as an all-around shooter. 


If you’re looking for another self-defense tool, our best pepper spray guide will help you gear up for extra carry protection.

And as always shoot responsibly and make sure you are prepared for the day you fire your CCW in self-defense.

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