In 2016, Kimber shocked the market with the introduction of the K6 revolver. The initial pistols were offered with a 2” barrel and were billed as having the smallest diameter cylinder capable of holding six rounds of .357 Magnum. When Kimber introduced a 3” version, it certainly got my attention. The new 3” model was sleek, sexy, and looked like a serious man’s pistol. I reviewed the 3” barrel K6 in August of 2018, and in June of this year, I reviewed the K6 Deep Cover. While many were initially skeptical, the K6 has earned a reputation for being solid, well designed, and reliable.
Last year, Kimber brought out the K6 SADA, single action/double action model, with an exposed hammer. The initial K6 SADA models were offered with a 2” or 3” barrel. Now, Kimber has brought out the K6 Combat DASA with a 4” barrel. As with all K6 revolvers, the Combat is an all stainless revolver that, according to Kimber, does not contain any MIM components. The internal design of all K6 revolvers closely resembles the mechanics of a Smith & Wesson.
Introducing the new Kimber K6 DASA Combat
The K6 DASA Combat has a 4” barrel but is still very easy to carry, with an overall length of 8.62” and a height of 5”. Like other K6 models, the cylinder diameter is a mere 1.39”. The K6 Combat weight is 25.5 ounces. This is 3 ounces lighter than Colt’s 3” King Cobra and almost 12 ounces lighter than the Smith & Wesson Model 19 Classic. The overall size is slightly smaller than a Smith & Wesson K frame and marginally larger than a J frame. This places it in the Colt D frame category. Every edge on the pistol has been smoothed and rounded, leaving the pistol void of any offending edges. Instead of traditional flutes between the chambers, the cylinder features Kimber flats. This increases cylinder strength and gives the K6 a unique appearance. The recoil shields have been scalloped and the cylinder release is a raised checkered button. Kimber rounded the edges on the cylinder release so there are no sharp edges that, under recoil, can cut the shooter’s thumb.
The shape of the trigger guard is elongated to provide ample room for shooters with large fingers or who may be wearing gloves. The hammer spur is nicely shaped with a checkered cocking surface. The trigger is polished with radiused edges. The contour of the barrel is more teardrop than oval and has a full underlug. The K6 muzzle is cleanly beveled and contoured. The stocks are a compact, three groove, combat style that are nicely checkered and extend slightly below the frame. The design fills the space behind the trigger and serves to protect the knuckle of the middle finger during recoil. They are very compact and ideal for concealed carry. Removing the grips reveals that the actual frame is almost identical, in shape and size, to a J-frame Smith & Wesson.
The K6’s action, on our test gun, was very smooth with no grit or stacking. The single action was crisp and broke cleanly at 4 lbs. For those not familiar with the K6 guns, the double action is different. The lock up is very positive and the remainder of the trigger pull is smooth and consistent.
The K6 sights are some of the best on the market. While they are low profile, they present a fast and positive sight picture. The profile of the rear sight is blended into the top strap and the rear of the frame and the edges are beveled. This eliminates any sharp edges that could cut the shooter’s hand or abrade clothing. The rear sight is buried in the frame via a dovetail and is similar in sight picture to a Novak 1911 rear sight. The front sight is a fixed post that is pinned in place. I found the three white dots easy to align.
Range time was somewhat limited due to the COVID 19 panic and the bare shelves at the local shops. I dug into the locker and broke out some Federal .357 Magnum, 158 grain Hydra Shoks, Speer .38 Special, 125 grain Gold Dots, and some Lawman .38 Special, 125 grain TMJ’s. The smooth action made the K6 Combat a joy to shoot. As with the other K6 models, I noticed that the lockup of the cylinder occurred quicker than on a Smith & Wesson. This reduced the trigger pull after lockup and made the double action shots very easy. It was especially helpful when shooting at longer ranges or shooting groups for this review.
The Hydra Shok averaged 1,260 fps and produced significant recoil. The Gold Dot load averaged 868 fps while the Lawman load averaged a very mild 831 fps. The Hydra Shok magnums were a handful, especially given the small boot stocks. As with other smaller frame revolvers, the K6 Combat is best suited for a high performance +P .38 Special. This has a number of advantages, to include easier follow-up shots, reduced recoil, and extending the service life of the pistol.
Gunfights happen very quickly and, most of the time, at very close ranges. I shot the Kimber K6s using a modified 10-10-10 drill. The drill is shot using an NRA, 25-yard, bullseye target, and is scored using the numbered rings. For revolvers, I modify the drill by firing 5 shots, in 5 seconds, from 7 yards. I shoot the drill twice on the same target for a total of 10 rounds. The K6 Combat performed well but, on the second string, I let the gun ride high left. I lost two rounds into the 9 ring and one round into the 8 ring. I shot the drill cold and always claim my first score. In this case, it was a 96/100.
I did notice two issues that the K6 Combat shares with the other K6 pistols. The first is the shape of the stocks at the top of the frame. The top edges of the stocks, while beveled, are still significantly square enough to cause some discomfort when shooting magnum loads. This is easily resolved by simply rounding the edges a little more. The second issue is more significant. Kimber chose to retain the shorter ejection rod found on the 2” barrel models instead of lengthening it for the 3” and 4” models. As a result, the K6 has a shorter ejection stroke than most 4” barreled revolvers. It would be nice if this was changed in future models.
I do wish there were more options for aftermarket stocks. VZ Grips offers two models but both are boot stocks that are actually smaller than the factory stocks. Hogue offers their Monogrip and Bantangrip and Altamont offers stocks similar to the factory shapes. Still, these are smaller boot stock designs and I would like to see a larger service style stock. If I have missed an option, please let me know in the comments below.
The Kimber Store carries a full line of accessories to include holsters from Galco, speed loaders, stocks, and replacement sights. I appreciate a manufacturer that supports their products making it a one-stop-shop.
I found the Kimber to be well thought out and superbly executed. In a world of polymer wonder nines, I appreciate that Kimber has dedicated significant resources to designing and manufacturing a solid wheelgun. Kimber has also announced a K6 DASA Target model that has a 4” barrel and an adjustable rear sight.
Some will contest the K6 Combat’s MSRP of $989.00. For comparison, the MSRP of the Smith & Wesson Model 19 Classic is $843.00 and the MSRP for the Colt King Cobra is $999.00. I would remind readers that a quality revolver is more complex to manufacture than most semi-auto pistols.
In my opinion, the K6 series of revolvers are some of the best personal defense revolvers on the market. If you have not taken a look at the Kimber series of revolvers, consider visiting them at Kimber K6 line of revolvers.
|Kimber K6s Combat Specifications|
|Cylinder Capacity||6 rounds|
|Action||Double Action Only|