A Sniper Snubbie? The 50-Yard Accurate Kimber K6s DCR .357 Mag. – Full Review.

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To learn more, visit http://www.kimberamerica.com/k6s-dcr.

To purchase a Kimber K6s on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Kimber%20K6s.

The Kimber K6s is an amazing little .357 Magnum revolver that packs a lot of punch and has a great trigger.

I remember the hype at the SHOT Show on January 18, 2016, when Kimber announced the new gun they were launching, the K6s revolver. While parking the car and waiting in line with the other media folks, we were all discussing what could be done to the J frame to make this something other than another “me too” product. After making my way to the Kimber booth at the top of the hill, I got my first chance to see, and then handle, the new revolver. I was apprehensive of this revolver’s introduction, for several reasons:

  • Why get this over all the new compact 9mm autos?
  • Who would shell out the money?
  • When would it really be carried in the wild?

The Kimber K6s is a beautiful little snubbie .357 Magnum that would make a great six-shot companion for the CCW enthusiast looking for a great new wheelgun.

But, I was very interested in trying it out for myself and recently had a chance to test the K6s DCR (which stands for “Deluxe Carry Revolver”) variant of the design. At first blush, this new K6 looked a lot like a Smith and Wesson 642. Upon closer inspection, the differences came into focus. The extra round in the cylinder (6 rounds vs 5 rounds) was a glaring difference. The cylinder did not have flutes, nor was it round. It was a sort of muted flat between the chambers. The sights were adjustable and changeable via a rear dovetail and a pinned front sight. The cylinder release was a push button: Think Ruger SP101, but square-checkered and smooth.

The gun is small enough to disappear in your hand, while hand-filling enough to be shootable.

SPECS

  • Chambering: .357 Mag.
  • Barrel: 2 inches
  • OA Length: 6.62 inches
  • Weight: 23 ounces
  • Grips: Laminated wood
  • Sights: Fiber-optic front
  • Action: Double-action-only
  • Finish: Stainless steel
  • Capacity: Six
  • MSRP: $1,088

As I prepared to shoot the gun I began to see even less of the 642; there was no dip on the rear of the gun, but rather a flat line from the top of the grip to the matching angle of the rear sight. The whole gun had been blended, and the lines were rounded with an attractive satin finish. I loaded the slender K6s and fired the first 6 rounds. Here are the notes I scratched in a reporter’s notebook after these first shots:

*Originally by the Troggs, but the version I had in my mind was the 1988 version with Sam Kinison and Jessica Hahn.

Unboxing

But, let’s go back to the start on this. I eagerly opened the box that the UPS driver brought. The box contained the K6s DCR revolver, a speed strip, a speed loader and a loading block. The fit and finish was perfect; I could find no rough edges or tool marks anywhere on the gun. I saw nothing that could snag or catch on a person or clothing. There were no noises of any kind while shaking or handling the gun. I did a very systematic look over of the gun to spot any imperfections in the finish, and the attention to detail was outstanding.

The stainless Kimber (top) is not appreciably larger than a Smith & Wesson J-frame snubbie (below), buts packs in one more round.

The sights demonstrate the thought given to improvement in the design process. The gun has been designed to provide a longer sight radius than that of a traditional compact revolver. The sights are changeable via a roll pin up front, and a set screw and dovetail in the rear. The black rear and front fiber optic combination on my sample proved to be accurate out to 50 yards, firing offhand.

The cylinder holds six rounds as opposed to the five held by almost all guns in this class, yet it is only minimally larger than normal. This is also achieved by design, specifically the choice to use flats rather than flutes on the outside of the cylinder. The ejector rod works smoothly and easily. The choice to go with a square push button for the cylinder release has proven to be the correct one in my opinion, as it serves to make the gun snag free and does not complicate the manual of arms.

The author really appreciated the push-button cylinder release design for its usability.

The trigger is where the real magic is in the K6. Its DAO trigger is smooth, short and zero-stacking, which belies its 9½-lb. pull. The trigger gives a pause as the cylinder locks, allowing you to stage and confirm aim just before the break. The addition of a smooth, rounded trigger face makes for a best-in-class (including custom factory guns) trigger.

The K6s’ grips were colored a deep red tone that accented the gun, and their form made the gun easy to fire. They were small and smooth on the edges, making concealment and reloading easy.

Arguably better than the features the gun has, are those that it lacks. It has no key locks or safety of any kind. Nor is it covered in useless babble imploring me to read the manual. This is an adult gun, and for that, I say “thank you”, and ask all others to take notice.

The author tried the K6s out on the range and discovered it to be extremely accurate.

The author and a fellow shooter wrung the Kimber K6s out at the extreme range of 50 yards with some amazing results.

On the Range

I often mention that I prefer to take guns to the range several times while doing a review. There are a few reasons I find this important. I want to make sure that I was not having an unusually bad or good day and allowing it to spill over on the gun. I will often go to different types of ranges (indoor vs. outdoor), which will sometimes expose something about the gun I had previously missed. Multiple trips also allow me to offer up the gun to other shooters, with different preferences and priorities from my own, to avoid confirmation biases from my circle of friends.

This gun went to the range with me on a few occasions, and each time it was offered up to all the shooters at hand. There were several themes that came to the surface: It was not painful to shoot, the trigger was easy to use, and “I can hit with this little gun!” One or more of these comments came from each person who got their hand on the K6s.

I was able to do some accuracy work with the revolver, but in truth what I was most impressed with was the following scenario. The last time I was at the range, a fried and I were shooting a pistol with a red dot mounted on it at an 8-inch steel plate from 50 yards. When I was not looking, he grabbed the K6s and began to bang away. He could hit the plate with ease once he got his windage down. This is a challenge with a full-sized service pistol, so I was super impressed with the 2-inch Kimber revolver for managing it. I tried it myself with some success, as well as on a silhouette target at the same distance. I also ran some Black Hills and Sig Sauer Elite Performance ammo through it at 7 yards with some very tight groups (see accompanying pics).

The Kimber shot some very tight groups with the Sig Elite Performance ammo that the author had on hand.

The Kimber also liked the Black Hills ammo that the author had on hand for testing as well.

Companions for my Little Friend

I wanted something to add to my carry gear when I was toting the Kimber, and I chose a knife from Joe Adams, the Personal Belt Bowie. Take a look; it offers the choice of carrying with the blade down or horizontal, and I like the idea of having a knife I can access with either hand. Joe is selling these knives for $150.00; they are crafted one at a time, so there’s a six-week lead time. You can reach him at Joe.adams1776@gmail.com.

I also wanted something that was worthy for the Kimber K6s to carry it in. So, I reached out to the folks at Milt Sparks Holsters in Boise, Idaho. I settled on two holsters: The PMK for belt carry and the Versa Max2 for inside the waistband.

The author tried the K6s out with a Milt Sparks PMK belt holster during the testing process.

He also tried out a Milt Sparks Versa Max2 inside-the-waistband holster with the Kimber K6s.

The PMK is hand molded around the actual model of the revolver. The mouth of the holster is reinforced with metal to keep the holster from collapsing and preventing re-holstering. The belt slot and rear loop work together to pull the gun into your body with the revolver retained by the fit of the molding.

The Versa Max 2 is the most copied IWB holsters ever. With a one-piece design that allows the front loop to move with your body, it will not pinch or bind. While the belt snaps allow removing the holster without removing belt. The metal reinforcing around the mouth of the holster prevents collapsing allowing one handed draws and holstering.

The author thoroughly inspected the Kimber and found the details, fit and finish to all be excellent.

Final Thoughts

This gun is not cheap, but if you value quality fit and finish along with great design and the best trigger in its class, you owe this gun a look. To those who say “Well, I can buy a polymer revolver, or this other revolver, and slick it up on the kitchen table,” well, good for you. I doubt it will ever be this nice. It certainly won’t have this great a trigger. Oh, and it will still probably only have five rounds. So, take my advice and give this one a close look.

To learn more, visit http://www.kimberamerica.com/k6s-dcr.

To purchase a Kimber K6s on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Kimber%20K6s.

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Doug K. June 4, 2017, 7:08 pm

    While I am glad Kimber decided to start making revolvers, there are 3 major mistakes that are going to hurt their sales.

    1.) Kimber took way, way, way too long to get the K6S out to consumers after the new product was announced. The K6S is still hard to find on the shelves of gun stores 18 months after the annoucement. Kimber should of had the K6S out a year ago, before Colt released the new Cobra. Basically, they should of beat their competition to the punch, but failed miserably.

    2.) The MSRP and price paid by consumers are way too high. Ruger, Colt, and Smith & Wesson have just as high of quality small frame revolvers that are much more available to consumers and are lower priced.

    3.) Regardless of how smooth the trigger may or may not be, 10 pounds for a double action only pull is extremely heavy and ridiculous. The length of the trigger pull can and should be shorter. For example, the new Colt Cobra has a single action trigger pull of 2-3 pounds and a double action pull of 6.5 to 7 pounds. That is a huge difference.

  • Ralph Jinks April 10, 2017, 10:15 am

    I saw this snubbie advertised in the NRA Rifleman or the CCW mag. I can’t remember for sure. It was well over a year ago. My wife and I both conceal carry with Smith snubbies. The first handgun I ever owned was a J Frame Smith & Wesson 38 Chief Special, five shot snub. After 40 years I still carry it in an ankle holster. My wife carries a polymer Smith Body Guard 38 hammerless snub. It came stock with an in site laser which in my mind is a bit of a joke. She carries in her purse which is designed for CC. The only complaint she has is that the recoil makes the web of her hand black and blue. She wears a shooters glove at the range. I also CC a Sig Sauer P238 380. Much smaller than the snubbies but good for 7 shots semi. I would love to have the Kimber but a bit too pricey for me unless I unload one of my other guns.

  • steve hammill April 9, 2017, 1:31 am

    Big Kimber fan with a question about the K6 trigger:
    Got to fondle and test out the trigger on a K6 at our Cabela’s after a long wait and even longer search.
    The trigger was smooth as silk advancing the cylinder to lockup; after that there was a mile of travel to trigger break. The travel was smooth, but I could feel no indication of impending trigger break.
    ??? Was the trigger defective or in need of adjustment???
    My DA revolvers go bang with just the slightest squeeze after cylinder lockup; that’s how I like my revolvers.
    If that is what is being described as a great trigger, I am terribly disappointed.

  • scaatylobo April 6, 2017, 10:24 pm

    Really liked the review.
    I am one that owns 2 scandium .357 S&W’s.
    And they are not at all fun or pleasant to shoot with magnums,AND they recoil MUCH more than that pistol.
    I also own and shoot a Ruger SP101 with a 3″ barrel.
    This just might be the next ‘wheel gun’ that I buy.
    It will be for more the woods gun while hunting,than for CCW = but it will see some of that too.
    Most likely as a BUG.
    Again,thamn you

    • J. A. R. April 9, 2017, 4:53 am

      Say am real happy for your comment. Because am me personally likewise feeling that too much hurt happens to my hand from hi-power handguns. Once found some rounds (.357mag) and liked the sure size and feel, however. Survive today we make sure the gun will be all it can be while loading the cartridge makes it in-time to be fired.
      That brings us to the next of my specific considerations: so please bear with me. Just the other day have spied rifle made conveniently noticeably remarkable for us if affordable enough.
      1 question: isn’t the .357mag cartridge reload to .357 a possibility? Meaning, am hobbyist only haven’t considered another more serious endeavors.

  • Rick April 6, 2017, 9:12 pm

    I am glad to see a company like Kimber go all out on a revolver. Yes at that price point it will be a niche gun (one I wish I was in). While everyone has horror stories about every gun maker on the planet, Kimber has a great rep and everyone I know with one likes it.
    I sure as heck would not know how to make a knife like that for $40. I don’t know how to cut, heat treat, grind, polish, and sheath a knife. Which is why I ordered one of Mr. Adams’ knives. I can hear people’s eyes rolling but I carry a fixed blade nearly everyday. I am no ninja (mall or otherwise) but a fixed blade is handy as heck for all kinds of tasks.
    While everyone is entitled to their opinion I have given several of mine just now. What I have never understood is a keyboard warriors need to slam, degrade, or belittle someone else’s hard work, carry method, weapon choice, or anything else for that matter. Believe it or not there are people that cannot shoot your preferred wonder gun, have trouble opening a folding knife one handed, or don’t carry their pistol in the same place as you (notice the words their and you). People even want to carry a $1,000 pistol and a $150 handmade knife.
    Sorry that i have wandered away from this great pistol and knife combination. I guess civility is dead and the world is a worse place for it.

  • Jon Hodoway April 4, 2017, 10:08 pm

    Hay nunya, (Read Below for his comment)
    Wow that name must be a family name because I have not heard that since grade school.
    I think Clay is awesome as well. I don’t quite have the same man crush on him as you but we do have that in common. I don’t share your proclivity for looking a “grown ass men” and their panty dribbling. However, I am the “mofo” who paid 150.00 for a knife. I was not aware anyone can make the Personal Belt Bowie for 40.00. I would like to apologize for making you sad. Perhaps some form of cognitive therapy could help or you could just try some retail therapy. I know that a new set of tactical pants helps me to feel like a new man. I have been told that others take a liberal dose of distilled spirits when reading my review.
    Thanks for your careful insights, Damn I think I just cut myself on the Personal Belt Bowie.
    Cheers
    Jon

  • Archangel April 4, 2017, 8:06 pm

    Nice gun, yep.
    $1000 worth of nice gun, nope.

  • Jay April 4, 2017, 7:26 am

    Nice review but why does it seem all the gun reviews are starting to sound more like commercials? I for one believe for a real life review, the one doing the review shouldn’t be sent a gun but go out and buy one off the shelf just any of us would, your not going to get the same product most of the time! It looks strikingly similar the S&W 638 Bodyguard Airweight. It wasn’t mentioned but anyone new to revolvers the snub nose guns are more of a specialty weapon and are not the best choice for most situations requiring a hand gun! I owned a Kimber ultra carry and it was problematic and Kimber was little help in repairing it, so off it went to someone else, problems disclosed of course. It does appear they did some home work in building this snubby!

  • David M. Blunt April 3, 2017, 6:56 pm

    Hmmm , I’m glad you ‘discovered’ a DAR that works and for such favorable words of praise is in deed nice to see in print. However I must give a little TAURUS kudos for being first in this, because I and my wife both have 357 snubbies since the mid 90’s and they like the beautiful kimber are double action only and carry 6 rounds they are models 606 and the only way you will find out about them is to call them or on their website via serial number. My wifes’ is ported and gun metal blue, mine is nickel plated . the Taurus cylinders are round ( kudos to kimber for their tweeking there and the push button release ) other than that pretty much the same in design . Oh and thank you very much for giving a company name for holsters for these beauties as I’ve had to do some modifications on the holsters we use right now. and for proving like I and my wife have done so many times on the range to others that it is possible to keep it ON the paper at 50 yrds with a snubby and inside a pie plate at 25yrds. _ Dave and Nancy

  • Mike April 3, 2017, 4:04 pm

    Great to see 50 yard accuracy….certainly makes common sense to defend yourself if under direct fire…are you supposed to wait until you are being shot at from 25 or 7 yards. My sense is handguns are not reviewed from that range distance because most reviewers cannot hit a target from this distance. Obviously not a legal shot for self defense, as the first shot under self defense, if not in an imminent deadly threat! Terrific eye for gun reviewing-nicely done.

  • Bob Manzo April 3, 2017, 3:39 pm

    Great article, very well written. Truly enjoyed the photo with the side plate off.

    I am a long time user of snub revolvers, over the years I had most of them. Still have six Smith’s, my favorite is a S&W model 10-5 .38spl, very smooth trigger, etc.

    Had two Kimber 1911’s in .45 acp, they both were total junk are are long gone. But this little Kimber snub looks very good to me, looked at one recently and it looked real good. Of course it is smaller than my favorite Smith model 10, would offer easier carry, etc.

    Thanks for a great article.

    • PaulWVa April 3, 2017, 7:55 pm

      Hmmm….well I have a first year Kimber 1911, .45acp, with around 10,000 rounds through it that will hold it’s own on any range. At a recent CCW I let several people shoot it, including the instructor. The conclusion was it was far and away the best gun there. One called it magic. Two others wanted to buy it. In my experience it’s rarely the gun that’s the problem.

  • Rip April 3, 2017, 3:11 pm

    Now make one for lefties

  • Lee April 3, 2017, 2:39 pm

    That is one of the dumbest things yet. A grand for a snub nosed revolver ? I have a M-19 Snub nose that can do exactly the same thing if need be but what is the point ? Isn’t this why we have Carbines and Rifles for serious distance ? Just another attempt to gain market share.

  • pat rogan April 3, 2017, 12:50 pm

    Is it legal in our F’-up State of California ?

    • Brian B April 3, 2017, 10:01 pm

      Nope, it shoots real bullets

  • Ranny Cullom April 3, 2017, 12:49 pm

    Great review Jon and a great gun!

  • nunya April 3, 2017, 12:28 pm

    nope and more nope, the practical side says more rounds gives better odds for edc defense. The pistol is nice, maybe a good back up, but for the price there are better options to fill that role. Just another toy for the gun geeks, besides I think its hilarious you had to “accessorize” with that over priced belt bowie “tactical fighting knife” look, haha. ‘rawr, imma bad ass but i have to stop and catch my breath when i go check the mail.’ I can see it now,lol. To each his own as they say, but i’d rather see good reviews over yet another veiled infomercial to buy over priced toys that doesn’t have any real everyday use.

  • Robert April 3, 2017, 12:01 pm

    I have to say, I really like your reviews. They seem genuine and honest. It may not be nice, but I am just sick of Clay.. He comes off as an arrogant know it all and his responses to people in comments show what a thin skinned punk he is.. Keep up the good work. I will look for your future write ups.

    • nunya April 3, 2017, 12:46 pm

      haha, Clay is awesome. He calls it as it is and doesn’t kiss or powder anyone’s ass. I personally get sick of the tactical toy geeks that nit pick over the tiniest detail and look of things. Don’t get me wrong its ok to like certain things and have specific tastes that you want. When I’m reading these “reviews” I’m looking for quality and purpose of use as a tool, because that’s what really matters when shit gets rough. or maybe a good affordable hunting pistol that’s made well. I’m sick of seeing grown ass men play dress up and dribble their panties when their gear doesn’t match or doesn’t have “just the right look i want” like this mofo who had to buy a new 150 dollar knife anyone can make with the same material for 40 bucks to “go with” his new set up, its laughable and pointless, just down right sad.

  • singleshotcajun April 3, 2017, 11:55 am

    Thanks for the picture of the internals. I’d wondered about their design, sure looks real Smithy.

  • chris quake April 3, 2017, 11:30 am

    I hope it to be inevitable but are there any rumblings at this time about a 4″ tube on this sweet little guy?

  • Jerry April 3, 2017, 11:19 am

    It looks like a nice little revolver. Unfortunately, I suffer from “Terminal Cheap Bastard Syndrome”, so I’ll probably never own one. Well, maybe I can talk someone into buying me one as a gift.

  • Tom April 3, 2017, 10:16 am

    It seems that if you are going to carry in a holster, why not a 2 1/2″ or 3′ barrel? This would make a nice pocket gun though, but it’s not near as light as my 11.4 oz. S&W 340PD was..

  • Tim Esplin April 3, 2017, 9:39 am

    I’m trying to figure what sniper would call any pistol a sniper anything.

  • Alan April 3, 2017, 9:25 am

    My experience in life is that those who snub “snubbies” for accuracy can’t shoot.
    My Lady back in the day could put all 5 .38 Spcls in a 3″ group at 25 yards with both hers and mine.

  • ron April 3, 2017, 9:15 am

    For that much money I’d like to see a Ti cylinder and under 20oz.

  • Mike April 3, 2017, 9:11 am

    I’m glad to see revolvers are coming back into EDC fashion. I gave up my Glock 27 several years back for a S&W PC Model 60-15 and haven’t looked back! 3in, .357 magnum, that’s about as accurate as any compact pistol I own! In my opinion, the industry has become more concerned with capacity and less about comfort and quality.

  • Larry DeGraw April 3, 2017, 8:11 am

    I saw my first one last month at the Frinds of the NRA dinner. Bought it and it shoots like a dream. The attention to detail is Kimber all the way. This is my new carry everyday revolver .

  • srsquidizen April 3, 2017, 7:55 am

    Nice, but EDC for whom? Aside from an active shooter jihadi or a professional hit man (you’re dead already) can’t think of too many EDC scenarios where a civilian shooting somebody 150 feet away will be a slam dunk for self-defense. And in how many situations are you going to have time to feel out this “cylinder pause” that lets you take better aim than a typical DAO?

    Good job Kimber, but won’t be trading my S&W that’s half a pound lighter real soon.

  • Larry Chisholm April 3, 2017, 7:44 am

    Love revolvers

  • Larry Chisholm April 3, 2017, 7:43 am

    Always wanted a small revolver

  • Tom April 3, 2017, 6:53 am

    I qualified for score for years out to 25 yards with little revolvers and 50 yards with 4 inch duty guns. That includes body armor drills. I always found the Smith snubbies less accrate than the little colts. When Ruger came out with the SP101 I soon discovered it was the most accurate snubbie I had ever fired. I shoot the qualification course for score and on the out door range I do it out to 35 yards. Eight inch steel at 50 yards with the little Ruger is redundant. This little Kimber seems like a great little revolver. I would have liked to seen some groups at 25 yards but if you are keeping them in a 8″ gong at 50yds it’s plenty accurate for a snubbie.

  • J. April 3, 2017, 5:03 am

    Don’t percieve this as a negative comment, it isn’t being written as such, but Elmer Kieth proved, years before many of us were born, that snubbies in the right hands (in the right hands being the key phrase) could be quite accurate.
    The Kimber seems like it will be a great pistol for the niche group it will attract.

    • BOhio April 3, 2017, 6:26 am

      It’s Elmer “Keith”. Widely credited as the father of the .44 magnum, and quite the character to boot. He derided the capabilities of the .30-30, yet considered the .44 mag to be adequate to take deer at 200y — despite the .30-30 having similar or more energy at that range than the .44 mag does at the muzzle.

      • J April 3, 2017, 12:58 pm

        So what does that have to go with snubbies? Thanks, but I know his history.

      • Manshooter April 4, 2017, 5:09 pm

        I could be wrong, but, I doubt if you chopped a 30-30 down to a 6 or 8 inch bbl, that it would do much against a 44 mag to write about.
        Where if comparing apples to apples, I am sure a ’06 would make a 30-30 look pretty puny as well.
        My personal favorite revolver that I own is a S&W .41 mag, with an unfluted cylinder in SS. It will still shoot full power loads all day into sub 2″ groups at 25 yards, and sub 3″ at 50, if I do my part anyway. Sometimes better! But, it’s an 8″ bbl, so no big deal there.
        I did have a snubby .357 Colt Trooper that was the BEST shooting revolver under 6″ that I EVER shot in my life! Stupid me swapped it in for a Python that I was always in love with. Snubby bbl too. You couldn’t hit the wall of a barn with it..From INSIDE the barn!! I would have GLADLY swapped it “even up” to get my trooper back! But I was too late, of course. I Never understood WHY it wouldn’t shoot?? I had Colt screw a 5″ bbl on it, ( just to be different than a 4 or a 6)..And it shot like a rifle! But it wasn’t a snubby any more! (It DID make a nice down payment on my latest pick up truck however! People are Snake Crazy these days!!) I still have my 6″ safe queen though. NIB! Always afraid to shoot it after the snubby..I knew the 5″ shot, so I just never bothered to test it. Now it’s worth to much to shoot, for no real reason! (Laugh)
        Elmer was a short guy with a short guy chip on his shoulder. Always trying to prove himself recoil proof! Which he did many times over! (Laugh!) That’s just one of the reasons I loved him.
        I am not short, but I make a point out of making short friends. They are always a ball. Maybe that’s why I love SHORT snubbies​ too..??
        I am sure Elmer would have loved this snubby, as would Bob Munden, if he were still around as well. (Another very shy guy, especially in public! Laugh! You are missed by all old friend. Rest in peace!) But, I am glad to see the snubby is alive and well still.
        Great job Kimber! The price is pretty strong, so I dont expect to see many around. Maybe that would be a good enough reason to buy one?? 😉

  • Ron English March 29, 2017, 7:59 pm

    Looks like a gun I could love! As a side note … why are there cars parked down range?

    • Jon Hodoway March 30, 2017, 5:47 pm

      The cars are for a class on gun fighting in and around cars. They came from a salvage yard.
      Jon

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