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Practically Shooting

Kimber K6s 3”


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I now have one coming.  I’ve liked the K6s since handling them at the 2016 NRA Convention.  Very nice trigger.   I already had a S&W 640, so didn’t see the point of getting a Kimber too.  At least, not for almost twice what the 640 cost.  


The 3” Kimber though, that got me thinking.  That’s a different beast. I like 3” revolvers and have had a few in various frame sizes.  They carry like a 2” and shoot like a 4”.   The 3” S&W 36 I had was probably the best example of this   


I’ve wanted to replace a 3” S&W 65 I used to have, but those are bringing a lot of money now.  I was recently in a revolver class and one of the other students had a Kimber K6s 2”.  After shooting it, I “needed” one more than I previously thought.  These facts combined to give me the push to try out a Kimber.  


The only complaint I have so far about the 3” Kimber is they didn’t put a full length ejector rod on them.  It uses the same stubby rod as the 2”.  

Why Kimber?  Why has thou forsaken me?

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I’ve handled maybe five or six of them, and all had nice triggers.  I just hope the one I’m getting sight unseen will also.  

The one I borrowed for a few shots recently was probably the best of the bunch, but he had shot several hundred rounds through it that I know of.  The others I’ve tried were brand new.


I can’t think of a direct comparison offhand.  Maybe I’d compare them to a S&W K-frame with a conservative spring kit?  Not one slicked up by a true revolver smith by any means, but better than the average stock one.   Still not a very accurate comparison because the Kimbers have a shorter pull that changes the feel.  

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I’ve had it a few days but haven’t shot it yet.  


The trigger is smooth, but I don’t think it’s quite as smooth or as light as the few I’ve handled before.   Those, however, had been shot and/or dry-fired a lot.  One was used by a fellow student in a class.  We shot around 500 rounds each in that class, plus he had owned, shot, and carried it for months previously.  The others were all on display at trade shows where people had been walking up and dry firing them over and over.  I guess I shouldn’t compare an out-of-the-box gun to those.  


It is between S&W J-frame and K-frame size.  Maybe a little closer to J.  The old Colt D-frames (Detective Special, Agent, etc) is a close match, and HKS D-frame speedloaders work.  

Its a loose fit in a K-frame holster and won’t go into most J-frame holsters unless they are worn.  


Many early reviews mentioned that the inside of the frame was actually well finished without a single tool mark.   Then I read one recently that complained about how rough it looked inside.  This had me wondering if Kimber has let things slide since they brought these out three years ago.  I had to look. 

It appears to me that either the negative reviewer got a bad example or “told a story” (no pics were included) because mine matches early descriptions.  


A small detail or two.  The K6s sideplate comes off about like a S&W.  The three screws have hex/Allen heads.   I was nervous about taking them out the first time, since they might be ridiculously tight and I’d mar them.  They were about right for torque and broke free without drama.  The S&W sideplate is usually so tightly fitted it’s hard to get off, but due to minor differences in how the Kimber plate is made, it’s not as bad.  It’s still tight, but not bad.  


The front sideplate screw is pointed, and secures the crane, and therefore the cylinder assembly, in the frame.  Remove that screw and the cylinder comes right off.  I don’t know why, but it seems easier than on a S&W even though it should be no different. 

I would love to see Kimber offer an accessory cylinder in 9mm.  Or why stop there- .38 Super or even 9x21 for “non-permissive” countries.  


This one (3”) has the longer grips.  The shape feels great, but the wood is so smooth I’m afraid they may be too slick in some cases.  They seem like they will be OK with a proper grasp, but so close to not OK you can’t afford to lose any traction.  We’ll see.  Some checkering or stippling would’ve been nice.  There aren’t a whole lot of replacement grip options out there, but there are at least a couple.  


But none of this means much without shooting it.  I’m getting to it. 

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  • 5 months later...

I realized I haven’t posted anything since shooting the Kimber, which I’ve since done.  A lot.  

I like it.  It’s comfortable (enough) with Magnum ammo, but I’ve been carrying Speer .38 Spl +P 135 grain Short Barrel Gold Dots in it.   Another good choice might be Remington .357 Mag 125 Golden Saber which is a mild Magnum.   


I’ve been using it as my motorcycle gun*, carried in a highly raked crossdraw from Azula Holsters.  More or less a “driving holster”.  This was my intended use for this gun.   I wanted a revolver for motorcycle carry in case I had a need to shoot without the ability to lock my wrist.  I would like to add a lanyard ring for a little extra security.


I love the grip shape.   They are so smooth as to be slick, but there is a stippled version that should take care of that.  The grip on the 3” version is a little longer than the 2” but not by much.   It is just long enough to get about 3/4 of my pinky finger on and that’s enough.  

In a word, the grip is efficient.   There is only enough material to receive the hand and no more.   It’s pretty interesting, really. When gripped with one hand, the only wood visible is a small wedge between my fingertips and the heel of my hand.

That got me thinking more. 


“Efficient” is a good word to describe the entire gun if I had to choose only one.   I just described the grip, and the cylinder is well-known.  It is only a couple hundredths of an inch larger than a J-frame cylinder yet holds a sixth round.  If you look at the cylinder window of the frame, it is cut close at the front and rear.  No wasted space there.   Every detail was carefully thought out.


I still don’t think the trigger is as good as in some other Kimber revolvers I’ve tried, but it HAS improved with use.   


*BMW R1100RS and BMW K75S.

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  • 2 years later...

Lightweight coming?

Recently, Kimber let slip (on purpose?) that a lightweight model was coming.   They listed a K6xs on order sheets.  Then some images appeared online claiming to be of the 2022 Kimber catalog.   The specs listed weight as 15.9 ounces for a 2”, or 7.9 oz less than the all-steel K6s.     That’s around 1.5 oz more than an Airweight S&W J frame.  

EDIT: .38 Special only. 

The picture shows a couple more changes.  There is a grooved topstrap for a rear sight instead of the separate dovetailed sight the K6s uses, and more traditional cylinder flutes. 

This started maybe two months ago.  Since then, nothing.  
The SHOT Show is this week, so maybe there will be an announcement.  Or maybe it was all a ruse.   An internet hoax, if those even exist.  


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  • 1 year later...

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