It’s high noon under the Arizona sun. I stand with a six-shooter on my hip, just waiting. The wind blows dust as the tension builds. Then, in a flash, it’s on, and I draw my revolver. Shots snap off, and in a blink, it’s over. No, I’m not reliving a scene from a classic Western but rather taking advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m on the range at Gunsite, and I have unrestricted access to Kimber’s new K6s revolver. Life is good.
I recently spent several days at the renowned Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona, as a guest of Kimber. It was an exceptional opportunity that let me spend quality time with two of the finest names in firearms and firearms training. Although I had access to several of Kimber’s pistols, one that kept calling my name was the new K6s revolver. I had seen it at the SHOT Show in January of 2016, but a long line at the company’s booth reminded me of people lining up to meet Elvis. My time at Gunsite with Kimber would finally let me see firsthand what the fuss was all about, and it was time well spent.
Kimber’s Big Shift
Kimber has an exceptional reputation as one of the world’s leading 1911 builders. So, the company took the firearms industry by surprise when it announced it would add a revolver to its line. Had any other company departed so much from the status quo, it would have been seen as a gimmick or marketing ploy. But Kimber’s reputation as one of the adults in the room, so to speak, gave everyone pause and immediately launched widespread curiosity about the newest addition. I was fortunate to get extensive time with the new gun, and I’m glad I did.
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The Kimber K6s, chambered in .357 Magnum with a smooth satin stainless finish, is listed as the world’s lightest small-frame, six-round .357 Magnum revolver. The Kimber K6s’ small frame, 2-inch barrel and 1.39-inch-diameter cylinder are machined from stainless steel for superior integrity, strength and resistance to the elements.
One of the steps Kimber took to keep the gun’s size down was to design the K6s with the smallest cylinder on the market. A detailed inspection of the cylinder shows that the cartridge chambers are bored very close to each other, which drastically cuts down on size. There’s also no wasted material on the exterior of the cylinder, which gives it a streamlined feel. The result is a powerful six-shot revolver you can carry easily and comfortably. Kimber has included an enlarged, serrated cylinder release to help with manipulations. Using a smooth inward track, the release is easy to manipulate and natural to index.
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Next on the list of notables is the double-action-only (DAO) trigger. The trigger on the revolver I tested was surprisingly smooth, with a clean break at the end. Although the trigger pull is listed as weighing 9.5 to 10.5 pounds, you would never guess it. It’s butter smooth and had no jerky take-up or roughness at any point. In fact, the smooth, non-stacking nature of the action makes it easy to stage the trigger for precision shooting. Some might snicker at the words “revolver” and “precision” being used in the same article, but the K6s performed well beyond what I expected and better than revolvers twice its size.
Of course, the sights are certainly a big help. Kimber had the good sense to put real sights on the K6s, and the benefits include improved accuracy. The revolver has a standard ramped front sight and a low-profile rear sight to avoid snagging on clothing during the draw. The sights are black so they contrast nicely with the stainless finish, and they’re easy to replace if needed. This setup is more than sufficient to acquire a good sight picture and deliver rounds on target. In total, the 23-ounce K6s seemed to be a tribute to Kimber’s well-known craftsmanship. My overall impression of the gun was that it had an exceptional fit and finish worthy of the Kimber name.
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