Review: Kimber K6 .357 Magnum Revolver

Since Kimber announced it’s first foray into the world of revolvers I’ve been trying to get one shipped to me for a review. After a long wait I received one a few weeks ago. This was The standard K6 stainless model. It shipped with some extras namely a belt holster as well as a cnc machined stainless desk ornament for lack of a better term. This desk ornament was machined to hold two Kimber stainless speedloaders. One stainless speedloader was also included.

After waiting for some time I was ready to get to the range and try this little revolver out. I took a sampling of 38 special, 38 special +P as well as a favorite carry load of the Federal 357 125 grn JHP. During my testing I fond all of the 38 and 38+P loads to be pleasant to shoot with follow up shots quick and easy. On the other end of the spectrum the Federal 357, known to be a hot load even for a 357, was not terribly enjoyable to shoot from the Kimber. After firing forty or so rounds of 357 I started getting a blister on the web of my right hand. I wouldn’t call it painful to shoot but not something I’d want to do all the time. I would prefer to practice with 38+P and leave the 357 for carry.

Even though the Kimber K6 is very close in size to a S&W J frame the K6 holds six rounds. The cylinder lockup is stout with a dual lockup both front and back. The most outstanding feature of the K6 is the trigger pull. It just has a wonderful trigger pull. There is no stacking just a consistent pull all the way through the stroke. The trigger pull measured 9.9 pounds on my gauge which surprised me since it actually felt lighter than that. The trigger pull is just very smooth start to finish. It’s the best trigger I’ve felt on a stock revolver in many years.

Accuracy was about what you would expect for a revolver with a 1.9 inch barrel. From the distances the K6 would be used from hitting your target is not a problem at all. I seldom used the sights but should you be a shooter who always uses the sights they are large enough to be very effective.

The MSRP for this model is right at $900.00. I would imagine the street price will be around $830–$850. To sum things up this is a well made very nice concealed carry or backup revolver for any shooter. Recently Kimber added four additional models of the K6. These can be viewed here.

The Kimber K6 has started shipping in quantity now so you should start seeing them in your local gunshop pretty soon.

From Kimber:

KIMBER HAS EVOLVED THE REVOLVER

The K6sā„¢ revolver brings an unmatched level of performance and shootability to concealed carry.

With the smallest cylinder capable of holding 6 rounds of .357 Magnum (also compatible with .38 Special), K6s compact revolvers are ideal for back-up, concealed carry and home defense.

The Kimber K6sā€™ small frame, two-inch barrel and 1.39 inch diameter cylinder are machined from the finest stainless steel for superior integrity, strength, and resistance to the elements. The Kimber K6s offers other important design features, such as: a smooth match-grade trigger that creates confidence while helps ensure accuracy; an internal hammer and edges that are rounded and blended to help prevent a hang up when the revolver is removed from concealment; superior ergonomics and grip design that creates an extremely shooter-friendly experience; and an all stainless steel construction weighing in at 23 ounces.

For those who require a small package with mild recoil, K6s provides the power needed for concealed carry, home protection and many other applications. Best of all, they offer unequaled Kimber quality, dependability and performance.

Let Kimber re-introduce you to the revolver.





Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • ShooterPatBob

    That looks like a fine little revolver. It wouldn’t be my first choice for a carry gun, but I’d like to shoot it.
    You state that you seldom used the sights, so we can assume that you were shooting at extremely close range most of the time.

    • Most of the time yes not more than 7–10 yards max. Using the sights for accuracy testing was the only time I used them. Don’t get me wrong the sights work fine I’m just used to using this type of revolver up close and fast.

      • ShooterPatBob

        Very good, no problem in using a snub nose revolver as designed. Although I’ve seen some talented marksmen wring surprising accuracy out of a 2″ barrel at distance!

  • Some Rabbit

    Great, another .357 snubbie that will never be carried with any load hotter than .38+P, nor should it.

    • iksnilol

      Extra durability never hurts.

      • ostiariusalpha

        4 rounds of .38 Sp +P, and 2 rounds of .357 Mag in case he gets within bad breath distance.

    • PersonCommenting

      At least you have the option of 2 rounds. Granted during the panic 38 was the more common round to find.

    • For carry I’d use 357 but there’s nothing wrong with 38+P. Being able to shoot 357 just means it will last a lot longer as well.

    • Stuki Moi

      Short barrel 357 Gold Dots will be popular for it. A bit hotter than .38+p, but still much more suitable than full house service loads.

      And, Kimber, now that you have proven you can build a good shooting, well specced gun; please go on to fill the hole that has been staring every wheelgunner in the face for 50 years: A 6 shot, L/GP sized 41 Mag, worthy of Elmer Keith’s universal use goal for that under served caliber.

      • Oh how I wish! The older S&W 41 mags and even model 29 44 mags are super high priced these days if you can find one.

        Those Gold Dots for short barrels are a good choice.

      • El Duderino

        If the L Frame worked with 6 .41 Magnums, S&W would have capitalized on that years ago. It can’t…chamber walls are too thin. It would be nice if they did a 5 shooter though, a la the 69. Not sure what the model number would be since they’re running out…

        It might work with 6 10mm…now that would be something. Or a 7 shot 10mm N frame. Get to work, S&W.

        • Stuki Moi

          S&W and Ruger don’t do 6 shot Js either…….

          I don’t doubt you are right regarding .41 in an “exact” L sized replica. But Kimber is not bound by tradition the way the two big guys are. They can make an L-frame gun just exactly as big as it needs to be to hold six .41s. Just as they did here with a 6 shot sortakinda “J.”

    • jonp

      I carried a SP101 snub with full house 357Mag loads but rarely shot those. Almost all practice was with 38sp. I suspect most people carrying these types of revolvers do the same. I’m no shrinking violet when it comes to recoil but that SP101 was a little stout for my taste.

  • Brick

    Phil, is it just the pictures or does the finish look a bit rough? Even for a low lustre finish it seems blemished.

    Or did I miss something somewhere and this is pre-production?

    • ostiariusalpha

      It’s a T&E gun they send out to media types, it’s just Phil’s turn to shoot it. There’s probably some finish wear on it from previous users, though that looks like a lot of plain old lint sticking to it to me.

      • True enough these do go out to other writers. It really is in good shape. I have to apologize for the lighting. I usually take my photos outdoors but these were done inside and believe me it took awhile to correct the tint this much.
        We had computer problems and everyone was trying to get one of their post up without the page crashing and having to start over. Normally I wouldn’t use these photos but it was these or nothing. Sorry guys—

        • ProudAmerican

          When does Kimber release the model with a shrouded hammer?

      • Stuki Moi

        Wow! All it took was some different lighting, and it went from “barn find” to “Giorgio Armani”!

      • Brick

        Thanks, Phil! Looks sweet.

  • Ed Ward

    While one could easily opt for an SP101 or the like, life is both short and, moreover, precarious these days so why not opt for the ‘better things in life’ ;). Seriously though, I wouldn’t buy the Kimber simply because of costs and I’m not really a revolver Guy. But if money were of no concern I would pick up one just because…

  • SPQR9

    Is it me or is that fugly ?

    • Not to me but it’s a matter of opinion. The fit and finish is really good. I like the looks šŸ™‚

    • Edeco

      More saccharine than I’d like. Like a Harley motorcycle, too many thick, straight lines. It’s hard to fault them in this case because it’s competitively trim. Usually it would be unnatural and mean extra weight and or space being used.

  • nova3930

    Gah. Nice little revolver I’d like to have but I can’t stomach $800+ for one….

    • One of the readers posted seeing it for $700. It’s always good to shop around.

      • nova3930

        $700 might be justifiable for a high quality revolver for carry. I just can’t personally see carrying something that’s pushing 4 figures

        • I can understand that. You aren’t alone many shooters won’t pay that much and chance getting it beat up from years of daily carry.

      • Paul B.

        In my area they are going for 749-779 + tax.

        Personally I think the price is reasonable. You are getting the best trigger on any small frame revolver, plus good sights you can actually see. Cost is about the same as a S&W 640 Pro or a Ruger SP-101 Clapp edition, with a better trigger than either and one additional round.

    • Ced Truz

      For Kimber I was expecting it to be in the $2500 range.

      • 2ThinkN_Do2

        The only Kimber’s in that price range are their Custom Shop models, most of the 1911’s are around $900 – $1500 MSRP.

  • Stuki Moi

    The 3″ barrel one looks real sweet! “Snag free” sights and hammer, 6 shots, per this test great trigger….. And half a pound less than even a 3″ K frame… Perhaps the ultimate daily carry revolver!

    • I’ve always liked the 3 inch barrel on a revolver. I found a 3 inch 686 that was retired from the Marshall service. I’ll never get rid of that one. A 3 inch model 64 is a lightweight one and easy to carry if you don;t mind 38+P.

  • Giolli Joker

    This needs a full comparative review vs a Rhino 20DS.

    • Anomanom

      I second this motion.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Not much fun to shoot the Rhino in DA, I hear. The Kimber’s trigger pull is a pleasure, smooth and light.

  • Blumpkin

    Nice. It looks like Kimber put some thought and time into the development of this revolver. I hope they put an equal amount of care into manufacturing controls for production guns.

  • Blumpkin

    If price was not a consideration, would you recommend the K6 or a J frame for a first 357 snub nose purchase?

    • ostiariusalpha

      J-frame is cheaper, and they do work; so long as you have no scruples about the internal lock, and no worries about it being a 5-shot, then a S&W isn’t a bad choice. Statistically, over 50% of conflicts that result in shooting are resolved in 4 shots or less; and that’s not counting when just presenting the weapon puts off the criminal. Personally, I can’t stomach the stupid IL, and I want as many rounds as can be had in a small revolver, so my choice is the Kimber. My 2Ā¢.

  • RogUinta

    Having little love for Kimber due to my poor experiences with their 1911s, I kind of wrote these off at first. I got to play with one at my local gun shop, however, and was pretty impressed. I’d like to shoot one sometime. I hope someone at S&W is taking notes – it seems to me like Kimber is paying more attention to where the market is going. S&W seems to think that painting a J-frame beige is something to get excited over.

    • ostiariusalpha

      I was the same: the era when Ron Cohen was at the helm of Kimber really turned me sour on the company’s reputation. Even to this day, I have zero interest in their overpriced 1911 line, but the K6s really seems to be worth the asking price. (Mostly, I mean, $2000 for the First Edition? Nope.)

      • RogUinta

        Fortunately for us all he moved on to SIG, where there’s little harm he can do. Oh wait…

  • Veritas

    “357, was not terribly enjoyable to shoot from the Kimber. After firing forty or so rounds of 357 I started getting a blister on the web of my right hand.”

    Call the Whaambulance!!! Is this what wearing footie pajamas and hot cocoa has turned men into? “Give me a 9mm, for the follow up shots, that’s it, follow up shots.” Pop the blister and keep shooting. These are the moisturizer men.

  • scaatylobo

    I would truly LOVE to shoot it and then see if its for me.
    I own 2 scandium S&W’s and they do really hurt with 125 grain .357’s.
    And I had 2 S&W 640-1’s and they were too heavy and as I aged = they kicked more.
    I still woods carry a Ruger 3″ sp101 that is nice,but crappy trigger.
    I might be very tempted to EDC this as a BUG,or around the house gun.
    IF there was a chance to T&E it.

  • James Young

    Normally James reviews snubby revolvers. This was good too though

  • ostiariusalpha

    Sounds like it.

    • Giolli Joker

      Well, other than my words, to quote a few good sources on the Rhino, there are 2 TFB-TV videos from James (review and nomination in a “5 most” commentary with indirect comparison with S&W J-frame), an article on a 6″ from Nicholas C., a video from Hickok45 (he starts saying something along the line of “this thing is ugly AF” to end up liking its features), a video of JM beating the timer with a 6″.
      Actually a clip from James with these 2, a Ruger LCR and a S&W J-frame would be great.

  • jerry young

    Don’t get me wrong I love revolvers, I grew up shooting revolvers and the .357 is my favorite, I like shooting mine but in todays world where everything has to be automated why jump on the antiquated line of revolvers? is there a growing market for them? At least they could have made a double action with a hammer, why the trend of hammerless? I know someone will say it’s for concealed carry but don’t people carry semi autos that have hammers? I have both and then the self defense sights suck, for the money how much more could it cost to put a set of adjustable sights on the thing? now that I’ve vented and after seeing a decent picture of the thing I’d like to shoot one just to see how it handles.

    • DangerousClown

      Kimber wants to offer something that goes bang every time.

  • Geoff Timm

    I am seeing them in quantity at my local Kimber shop. They do not have a hammer. Geoff Who is a S&W Model 638 fan.

  • will ford

    IF, I carry or use a revolver, I prefer a hammer. I was trained to use single action. Now my muscle memory Just does it in auto.

  • vietvet656667

    When they make a 4 or 5 inch bbl ,Let me know …

  • Charlie Victor Alpha

    Give me a three finger grip and I would give it a whirl.

    • ostiariusalpha

      The 3″ barrel version has a 3-finger grip length.

      • Charlie Victor Alpha

        In researching it last night, I saw that new edition to the line up. I’ll have to check it out.

      • richard kluesek

        Will Kimber offer different grip options ? In comparison a J frame S&W round butt can have hundreds of choices.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Err… I don’t have that kind of powers of prediction, but sure, why not?

  • HubbaBubbaD

    That is pretty pricey – I’ll stick with my LCR which cost half that

    • ostiariusalpha

      The LCR is a less expensive option, but let’s not pretend that an MSRP of $669 is anywhere close to half of $899. We all know that over the counter price is not the same as suggested retail price.

      • 2ThinkN_Do2

        LCR in 357, I paid $458 + tax; that was December 2013.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Sure, and as I already mentioned to Phil here in the comments, there is a K6s here locally for under $700 and Paul B. has seen them at $749. Every gun can be had for under the MSRP.

        • DennisBechtel

          hmm might just stick with my 586 combat magnum or an an older e model python

  • Don

    What does it matter what it is made of …it’s NOT the gun …?

  • Ced Truz

    I was expecting it to have an oak wood grip and marbled frame. The gun certainly doesn’t look like a Kimber.

  • Old Gringo

    Forgot to mentioned., I have chronographed lots of the belly guns. I bought a pair of the SW model 637, for my wife and I to carry if we ventured into California in our motorhome, don’t want to carry anything with a magazine in that goofy state. Tried several plus Ps in them. One gun averaged about 875 fps with 125 grainers, and the other averaged nearly 950, go figure. Same ammo two identical guns. Now, I also have a model 60 SW with 3 inch barrel and adjustable sights, it shoots factory 357, 158 grain version at 1,250 fps. That is nearly double the energy. If you are on the beach and have to shoot a bad guy in his bathing suit, no big deal. But if you are being attacked my a pit bull, feral hogs, rabid raccoon, mad badger ( attacking my dogs) a cougar, a bear, or some big guy on drugs, there is not substitute for that extra power. To me it is nuts to carry 44 special in a 44 mag or 38s in ad 357. Just buy the smaller gun if you cannot handle the recoil. I am 68 with disc disease, worn out shoulders, carpel tunnel, and do not enjoy recoil much any more. But you only need to fire 3 or 4 cylinders of ammo now and again to stay sharp on the gun. The two inch barrel is really wasted on the 357 as it actually loses about 100 fps per inch which is about 20% in actual power loss in these short guns. And as we know, all that neat expansion in in gelaton does not equate to wild hogs and bears. lol

  • Jim Glunt

    I wonder about the logic & efficacy of practicing with .38 & carrying .357. Granted any practice session with a .357 snubbie can be torturous regardless of the manufacturer but not practicing with your intended carry ammo doesn’t make any sense.

  • richard kluesek

    A plus for me on the Kimber is the omission of a politically correct internal lock in the mechanism… LCRs have these as do almost all S&W offerings. Colt does not but presently is offered only in Special not Magnum. Taurus, Rossi and Charter quality are not even in the same league. Hope Kimber will offer more after purchase accessories and options

  • Zebra Dun

    Looks like a tank. Built to Russian specs no doubt.

  • vietvet656667

    Why not moon clips for suck a thought out revolver!

  • DennisBechtel

    now if we can talk Kimber into making a six inch target k-6 that would be a revolver i would buy in a heartbeat

  • PaulWVa

    I have a K6S and I really like it. It is a bit harsh with heavy .357 loads and it is pretty nice with .38s. The DA trigger takes some practice and you’ll want .38s for that. Find one with the dot or fiber optic sights….the all black ones are just bad, really hard to see for any accuracy work. I found a “like new”, used one with very few rounds through it for $679.00.