[SHOT 2016] Kimber’s New K6S Revolver

Kimber, a love-’em-or-hate-’em company that cut its teeth making custom 1911s and transitioned into the high-end production semi-auto pistol market, expanded its operation with an announcement at the 2016 SHOT Show Industry Day At The Range to include a compact, six-shot .357 Magnum revolver. Kimber’s selling points for the new gun are its higher capacity than others in its class (competing directly with 5-shot .357 revolvers), magnum caliber, and small size.

_MG_72282 _MG_72292 _MG_72312

TFB got a chance to put the little magnum six-shooter through its paces on the Boulder range, and… Actually, it’s quite nice. The finish on the gun is pleasant, liquid-smooth buff on stainless, which looks easy to clean and very suitable for carry. The gun is small, but heavier, which I feel is a good trade given the caliber. The trigger on the demo guns was very good; I estimated it at about 10-12 pounds, with a smooth pull, no perceptible stacking (in rapid fire, which is the only way I shot the gun), and a clean break. The sights are low profile, but highly visible, contrasting in black against the stainless finish. I even checked out the gun’s lockwork as well as I could without tearing the gun down, and my hawk eyes couldn’t see any casting voids or heavy wear that would suggest a bolt or hand failure was on its way. It should be noted that these guns were receiving a lot of attention, and had many cylinders put through them before I got there.


It’s a Kimber, so what’s the catch? Well, it’s a revolver, and it’s not cheap. MSRP is $899, and the vast majority of folks out there would be better off with a Glock 43 or a Shield and a boatload of ammo to put through them. Now, having said that, it’s not that far off for price versus some of the other premium carry revolvers out there, so some folks reading this may feel I am comparing apples to oranges there.

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Thanks to Miles and Edward for their help with the photography.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Mcameron

    soooooo in other words, Kimber has made the SP101 and are charging 2x the price for it……

    • M.M.D.C.

      That thing has a much nicer finish than an SP101.

      • Mcameron

        yeah….but is the nicer finish worth $400 more?……especially on a carry gun, i dont see many selling, not at that price.

        • M.M.D.C.

          Yes. I think so. Here’s the thing: guns are actually pretty cheap by comparison. If you’re into cars you know this is true. Want a set of Performer RPM aluminum heads for your Ford 390? That’l set you back $1,600. That’s one component of the power plant of a car. It adds up fast.

          The truth is, we demand very high quality guns for very little cash and the guns manufacturers do a pretty good job of delivering. For a gun you really want, a few hundred dollars is not really that much money.

        • DaveP.

          You say this, on a website that regularly “headlines” $2000+ 1911’s?

        • DIR911911 .

          where are you buying sp101’s for $400?

          • Mcameron

            sp101s sell just about everywhere for $499…..

    • Salty Nuts

      it’s a six-shooter

    • Duray

      They INCREASED capacity compared with the SP101 while DECREASING the weight by two ounces and STILL being made out of 100% stainless steel. If that’s not significant to you then you can keep shooting the same ol’ guns for the next 50 years while everyone else actually appreciates the advance of the industry. Would you be happier with a SHOT Show full of only cowboy reproductions, AR’s, and “ooh look we cerakoted our 1911 a different color?”

      • Mcameron

        2 ounces is barely noticeably in the weight of a gun…….and adding 1 shot is laughable, thats like saying “ive added 5 hp to my car! so it soo much better!”

        for a gun that they were toting as “revolutionary” and “game changing”………theyve done nothing special.

        they would have been better off releasing it in .38spl and making it 7 shots.

        • RocketScientist

          Math not really your strong suit, huh? Adding a 6th shot to a 5 shot revolver represents an increase of 20%. So the only way that a 5hp increase is equivalent to a 1 shot increase, is if the car in question only produces 25 hp to start with. If that IS the case, then I would say a 5hp increase is pretty dramatic. A more reasonable analogy would be if you had a 250 hp car and you added 50 hp to it (since, once again, 50 is 20% of 250). And again, in that case, an increase of 50hp is pretty dramatic.

          • Mcameron

            you can say what you want about adding “20% more!”…..thats just marketing fluff…..your still talking about a gun that only has 6 shots…..and even though its 20% more! its only 1 shot….the HP was just an analogy………you still have a low capacity gun, and 1 shot doesnt make a difference.

            as for weight, 2 grams is = 10 dimes……you might notices that weight in an empty pocket…….but on a gun, not a chance.

            quite frankly, there is nothing special about this revolver…..and honestly, it is overpriced for the roll its used for.

          • Turd Ferguson


            Whoa, for a while there I thought you were serious. Well played.

          • RocketScientist

            Again I gotta correct your math… feels like I’m back teaching again!

            “as for weight, 2 grams is = 10 dimes……”

            Ok, first off, the weight reduction compared to a hammerless SP101 is 2 OUNCES not 2 GRAMS. And you’re still not right even if you were working in grams, as 10 dimes weigh in at 22.68 grams, not 2. Lets assume you meant ounces, but typed grams for some reason, your math is STILL way off, as 2.268 grams (the weight of a single dime) is 0.08 ounces. As such 10 dimes would only weigh in at 0.8 ounces (not 2). To get to a weight of 2 ounces, you’d need exactly 25 dimes (2/0.08 = 25). For reference, that’s a stack of dimes a little over 1.3 inches tall. 25 dimes sounds like a fair bit of weight if you ask me.

            To your larger point, that at only 5 or 6 shots, its still “low capacity”, that is an accusation that can be levied against all revolvers. So yeah, big surprise, if you are a person who doesn’t like revolvers, you’re not going to like this revolver. If you want to compare it to full-size semi-autos with 15+ capacity, or an AR with 30, or a belt-fed M249, its probably not going to measure up. But that would be as idiotic as complaining the new Miata doesn;t have the towing capacity of an F150, or the trunk space of a Lincoln (to continue your car analogy). Fact is, compared to OTHER SNUB-NOSED .357 REVOLVERS (you know, the products against which it is actually competing), and a market niche for which there is a fair bit of demand, it brings some noticeable improvements by adding a significant increase in capacity and reduction in weight compared to those competitors.

            By the way, if you need some math tutoring, I’d be happy to recommend some great online resources. My kid was struggling with arithmetic last year and I have some great sites bookmarked.

            Also, it “role”, not roll.

          • Laserbait

            ROFL, Bravo!

      • Edeco

        Yep, one can place higher or lower importance but capacity and lightness are more-is-more things. If they can improve on a few fronts at once, without going nuts and having to recall of course, it’s a solid achievement.

    • Duray

      Plus the msrp on a SP101 is $719, compared with $899 for the Kimber. Horror of horrors, how dare they charge $180 more for a more nicely finished gun with better sights, gorgeous grips, and 20% more capacity for less weight? The nerve! The last thing people want at the largest firearms expo in the free world is to see a gun that dares to cost as much as an iPhone.

      • Mcameron

        hahaha, yeah, no SP101 sells for anywhere close to 719…..ive bought all of mine for <$500.

        theyve added 1 shot and made it lighter by 2 ounces……..that is hardly the "revolutionary" and "game changing gun" they were toting it as.

        they would have been better off releasing it as a .38spl and making it 7 shots, that would at least be something different, and more practical.

  • Giolli Joker

    I think it can directly compare with the Chiappa Rhino (another 357 six-shooter), that I’d still prefer.

    • BattleshipGrey

      The Chiappa would have less muzzle flip as well. I’d prefer the Chiappa as well between the two.

      • Giolli Joker


    • Anomanom

      Agreed, if i want to spend that much on a revolver, I’ll go with the Rhino.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, after seeing shipment after shipment of Rhinos get sold…and then brought back to be returned to the factor under warranty, I’m never going to dream of carrying one for defense. I had one poor customer who returned a Rhino three times in a row, and each time the action broke within the first box of ammo.

      • Giolli Joker

        Well, that sucks. Hopefully those issues are being sorted out, but I get it that if you get burnt like that, it hurts for quite a while.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I’m not a Kimber guy. I’ve just heard enough (and seen their prices) that I’ll shy away from them. However, this has a nice simple look to it. I like that the rear sights aren’t machined into the top strap and the unconventional cylinder cuts. I’m also impressed they threw in an extra chamber.

    • Giolli Joker

      Cylinder cuts scream Mateba. Still rather unconventional, indeed.

  • smartacus

    I’m OK with my J-frame sized 6-shot 327 Federal

  • Don Ward

    And the most important factor which again is not addressed is that this doesn’t have a hammer so that’s an automatic no-go for most serious revolver guys. Any ideas on whether this “option” will be coming down the road?

    • Laserbait

      Why? No serious revolver guy I know (myself included) shoots a DA gun in SA, except for long range (100+ yards).

      • Giolli Joker

        Yep, defense revolver and SA are two terms not usually associated…

        • Laserbait

          I think he’s hoping to play the Lone Ranger if he gets attacked.

      • Don Ward

        If you want to do it wrong that’s on you.

        • Laserbait

          Hahaha! Wrong is manually cocking a hammer on a DA gun! Well, if you’re fingers aren’t strong enough for a DA pull, then you really should have a Blackhawk.

  • AD

    It’s a nice looking gun, and it’s just nice to see a new manufacturer enter the revolver market.

    It doesn’t seem to have side-plates; does the frame split in two halves or is it a one-piece and the trigger group slides out somehow?

    • Brocus

      the right side seems to have a plate

      • raz-0

        I was going ot say the right side seems to BE a plate.

        • AD

          Huh, I completely missed that. Weird. Thanks for the correction.

  • W.P Zeller

    A new revolver design that doesn’t come cut for moonclips is a misfire. This is the 21st Century, now.
    There are two important good things: the sights, which appear excellent and would be an expensive upgrade on your J-frame, and the increase in capacity, while still not quite making the size of a Colt D- or SF-frame.
    Still, they left the trigger guard small, so no gloved-hand shooting;
    The weight is considerable. 23 ounces empty is barely less than the stainless Colt DS-II and not that far from the Colt Magnum Carry, yet both of these guns are easier to shoot and more ergonomic, I would gather from what’s seen.
    People buy J-frames because they’re light and unobtrusive. A Colt DS-II is a dream to shoot, but it requires special, reinforced pockets if it’s not going in a belt holster.
    I’m not understanding the comment below that “serious” revolver guys will reject the hammerless design; the first thing that happens to a revolver that falls into my clutches (apart from collector’s items) is that the hammer spur is gone. Most of my range buddies think of me as a revolver guy but I haven’t fired a revo single-action in many, many years. Nor will we even allow someone in one of our classes to fire their personal protection revolver SA, because it’s the worst habit imaginable for emergency use.
    The .357 chambering is sort of academic: the blast and flame of the .357 in a two-inch barrel is disconcerting, to understate things. Loosing a few rounds in a dark house is literally staggering. I’ve shot my Magnum Carry (a Colt .357 small-frame derived from the DS-II) in a darkhouse and I was, to understate it, dissuaded from loading it with magnum ammunition for personal protection.
    Finally, the price. Good heavens! For nine hundred bucks, we should be seeing a modern Python, not an overweight J frame.

    • Madcap_Magician

      The cost of the gun is actually probably more like $500, there’s a $400 surcharge to cover the cost of full-color back page ads in every magazine in the world.

    • John

      Not that cutting the cylinder for moonclips really detracts from anything else, but I wouldn’t even use moonclips in this given it is a CCW revolver and if the moonclips bend then you’re not putting those rounds in the gun.

      • Laserbait

        Plus, who wants to carry around a bunch of golfball sized lumps in your pocket? Even if the clips don’t bend, they print badly, and are uncomfortable. I’ll take speedstrips any day.

        • HSR47

          It’s apparently possible to mill a revolver cylinder such that it will accept cartridges both with and without a moon clip; Several of S&W’s revolvers are apparently cut this way.

          With such a revolver, you could have the ammunition in the gun loaded in a moon clip (to aid in it’s extraction) and then carry spare ammo however you wanted.

  • Truenorth

    It just seems that Kimber really wanted a firearm that went Bang every time. I guess they have finally learned what the rest of us have known for years.

    • Madcap_Magician

      I bet they still somehow manage to have FTE issues.

  • Paul O.

    The Kimber looks smaller than the Rhino making pocket carry an option.

    • Giolli Joker

      Pocket carry of the Rhino 20DS is definitely possible, a friend of mine does it daily… its unusual shape might actually help a bit with printing. Regarding the size, I’d guess that the Rhino is actually a bit smaller (although it may look bulkier due to the lug over the barrel) but I can’t find yet the size chart of the Kimber.

      • Just say’n

        “Is that a Rhino in your pocket or are you just excited to see me?”

    • Giolli Joker

      Found Kimber’s size chart:
      Height: 4.46″ – Length: 6.62″ – Width: 1.39″ – Weight: 23oz
      Chiappa Rhino:

      Height: 4.90″ – Length: 6.50″ – Width: 1.40″ – Weight: 24oz

      VERY similar indeed… I’m quite surprised that the cylinder width of the Kimber is so low, considering that they kept a circular section in the rim area… Probably chamber walls are somewhat thinner compared to the Rhino.

  • Brocus

    Do S&W J-frame grips fit that thing?

  • Full Name

    Are these actually made by Kimber in the US, or are they imported?

    • Dan Atwater

      Don’t quote me on this, but I think they’re French imports, manufactured by Manurhin

      • tsubabaka

        hence the price 😉 like mr73 worth gold these days

      • Giolli Joker

        That’s what I’m finding online as well. And I think it’s positive.

        • Dan Atwater

          Was going to update but Laserbait above beat me to it, but yeah, Kimber is claiming that it’s not imported. Kind of too bad, as I hear Manurhin makes a nice gun, but on the other hand kind of cool to see another US based gunmaker get into the revolver game, even if it is Kimber

    • Laserbait

      According to Caleb on Gun Nuts Media page on the K6S: “Kimber has said that the gun is not in fact an imported Manurhin, and was developed entirely by their engineers in Yonkers, NY where it’s built. Cool”

  • HSR47

    So it’s basically a ruger-looking clone of Colt’s Lawman MK III?

  • John

    People are hating on this for terrible reasons. It isn’t a chiappa rhino- well good I don’t want a chiappa rhino. It’s similar to a j frame- yeah I think that is the point, except you’re getting 6 rounds of .357 mag instead of 5, and the cylinder was intelligently flat fluted so the horizontal profile is smaller.

    Go look on gunbroker and see how much a used, prelock snub nose k-frame is and this will seem much more reasonable in price, especially since it is most likely better for carry than those used guns that have exposed hammers, hard to change sights, wear and tear, and larger size profile.

    • Giolli Joker

      I can’t see anybody hating, just comparing to the competition, it seems a normal process to me.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Seems twice as expensive as an SP101 (granted, it holds an extra round). Around the same price as a S&W, but given Kimbers quality as of late, is that really a good thing?

    Is this going to be like their current lineup of 1911’s? Sub-par components and quality, but excellent marketing?

    • Jack Burton

      No MIM at all apparently, so it’s probably a safe bet the components are better quality than any modern S&W – including the exorbitantly priced Performance Center pieces.

  • Phil Hsueh

    This will probably end up selling well in CA starting next year when everything pretty much falls off the list and we’re with revolvers as the only handgun that we buy new.

    • Cymond

      I thought that the roster exemption only applied to single action revolvers, with a minimum barrel length of something like 3 inches.

  • Doom

    What the? why did I click the underlined oranges link expecting a competitor high end snubby and get sent to the home depot with an orange ice pack?? Also like 3 times the price of a Smith and Wesson snubby, and even with the newer less nice smiths I highly doubt you are getting 4-500$ more gun.

    • TJbrena

      Are you seeing out-of-place links in text-heavy pages? If you are, it might be malicious adware. My computer had adware a year or two ago, made all kinds of text into random links. If that’s the case, do a scan with your anti-virus, which has hopefully been updated within the last couple years at least once.

      The less harmful possibility – which hopefully is the case – is that on your screen all links on TFB are orange (I see them as red, and my experience with malicious adware added orange/yellow links, which is why I made the mental connection) and it was a glitch or mistaken copy-paste by the author when entering the URL for the link.

      I need to ask my dad what model that revolver he used to have was. Can’t remember much about it aside from gun safety lessons I learned from making mistakes with it as a kid. That, and he sold it to a friend in San Diego, IIRC.

      • Doom

        Nope, this is literally the only site that I see this on, And My Antivirus doesnt pick anything up, but im not actually sure how effective it is, I dont like it very much. It looks like it is put there on purpose, it says link is added by “viglink”

        • Cymond

          Yup, viglink is a marketing thing. It’s automated. Sometimes links point to logical websites, sometimes they’re nonsense.
          I’m still a bit bugged about being told that it was just me when they first showed up.

      • It’s a dorky automatically added marketing link thing that I have no control over. Just hover over links on PC, or don’t click them on mobile, I guess.

    • Marcus D.

      It’s a Kimber. All Kimbers are overpriced, or they wouldn’t be Kimbers. It’s like Colts; you are paying for the name, not the product.

  • Robert V Martin

    I HATE slab-sided barrels on a revolver. Seriously, unless I get so rich that I can afford to have new Revolvers rebarreled before I ever shoot them, slab-sided Barrels on a Revolver is a Deal Breaker.
    Remember the old joke about the Hillbilly telling his son: “Pie are Not Square. Cornbread are Square. Pie are Round!” Someone needs to tell the Manufacturers: “Revolver are Not Square. Semi-Auto are Square. Revolver are Round!”

    • Edeco

      Yeah, I’ve considered buying a revolver and having it de-lugged. Not a fan of bull barrels on em either. In and of itself flat is OK with me since Webleys are that way.

  • CommonSense

    Wusses. It’s a REVOLVER, not a plastic 9. No stovepipes, no striker, no decock, and only one shot from the pocket. If’n I didn’t already use a 657, the slab forward (reduce flip), no external hammer, smooth sides (less to catch) and shaved wheel is appealing, as is firing all six rounds from a pocket – if necessary.

  • 33Charlemagne

    I have two concerns about this new revolver, First the Ruger SP101 sacrifices one round cylinder capacity in order to have enough meat and strength to handle a steady diet of full bore .357 in a small frame platform. Will Kimber’s new wheelgun, with its six shot capacity, be able to handle a steady diet of full house loads?

    Second I don’t like the hammerless design. As far as I am concerned the ability to fire single action trumps having one less protrusion from the firearm.

  • Hyok Kim

    For the price, I’d rather for Korth Sky Marshal.

  • freethinker1

    whats the price point?