One of the best small revolvers on the market, the Kimber K6S is accurate and offers excellent ergonomics.
Revolvers are back in a big way, and a slew of major gun manufacturers are looking to capitalize on the trend. Best known for their M1911-style pistols, Kimber has entered the revolver game with the K6S, a .357, stainless three-inch barrel offering.
First, the basics. The baseline K6S comes with a smooth walnut grip. The slightly more expensive double and single-action (DASA) version of the gun blends the smooth walnut grip in the upper section with diamond checkering below, an ergonomics-friendly design decision. The revolver comes in three barrel lengths: two, three, or four inches. The K6S comes in several unique variants depending on your choice of barrel length, including rubber grip and deluxe-carry models for the two-inch version. Collectors may be interested in the two-inch Texas Edition, featuring a striking Ivory G10 grip and an engraved stainless steel frame.
At 25.1 ounces unloaded, the K6S is just heavy enough to mitigate the potential performance issues of ultra-light pocket revolvers while being light enough for carry purposes. While pure weight is always a key metric, it’s important to be mindful of how weight is distributed throughout a firearm. Shooting front-heavy pistols will likely wear you out faster. Thus, it makes for a less pleasant experience. The K6S, however, is well-balanced while feeling solid in the hands.
The K6S is a six-shooter, as opposed to some of its competitors. The revolver features a contrasting black 3-dot sight. With aggressive beveling and a distinct lack of sharp edges, there should be little printing (i.e. when the contours of your weapon protrude through clothes during everyday carry). The severity of recoil partly depends on the choice of round, and then there is the question of how well your hand will wrap around the relatively small grip. Small or medium-hand shooters may get more mileage out of the K6S, though everyone will be able to appreciate its crisp trigger action and potential for accurate performance at close ranges. As a revolver, the K6S is eminently reliable. In fact, there’s an extremely low chance of malfunction, which is one of the main reasons to run a revolver over something like semi-automatic handguns. In short, the K6S justifies its steep price tag by offering good output value in the types of scenarios you’d be using it for.
The K6S retails at $965, while the K6S DASA is $1,033. There isn’t a whole of customizability, though you can swap out the sights (though your choices there are somewhat limited) and grip, and Kimber offers plenty of holster options. Still, there isn’t a ton of enthusiast/high-performance aftermarket support for the K6S at this point.
With the K6S, Kimber has staked out a strong position in what is a saturated revolver market. The K6S comes close to being an ideal all-rounder revolver for most people. It offers the handling and accuracy that can be expected out of a general home defense weapon and competent range gun while being small and ergonomic enough for a comfortable everyday carry experience.
Mark Episkopos is a national security reporter for the National Interest.