Kimber K6S Practical Workout

May 15, 2019

Today’s feature follows on to the Tactical Wire feature Editor’s Notebook: Semi-Round Gun. Feel free to subscribe to the Tactical Wire for complementary information.

I’ve been interested for some time in comparative standards, handling and shooting drills to match one firearm to another, as well as variations in ammunition, carry gear – and the same shooter to his/her own performance over time. I created one some time back but it was more geared to service/service-compact guns. I’m also interested in efforts others make and I stumbled across a quantitative comparison for snub revolvers that works well for truly small autos too, found here.

These are “four well known tests that provide certain data about shooting,” amounting to the following:

Test 1: Slow Fire Accuracy Test – 10 shots from 15 yards on the NRA B-8 repair center bullseye with no time limit.

Test 2: “5 yard Roundup” (From Justin Dyal, SWAT Magazine), 5 yards, B8 repair center.

Test 3: “HiTS SUPER SNUB TEST” – B8 repair center, all shot from low ready, from ten yards, five yards and three yards.

Test 4: “Snubbie Bill Drill”: 5 shots, 5 yards, on full piece of paper.

I shot the last test on the B-8 repair center and collected time and score for that evolution.

The 3-inch K6S, being a six-shot small frame double action revolver seems to me to be closest to a pair of old S&W Model 36 Chief’s Specials I used to own, each with a three-inch heavy barrel and square butt frame fitted with S&W “target” stocks. This thing has a similar feel down to the rather thin, squirmy-but-handsome stocks. A big difference is six-rounds of capacity and excellent sights. The action is likewise good and I confess to not having used the hammer spur and single-action capability of the new gun; it’s just not needed for shooting.

The sights are superb, as is the action. The stocks are great looking, but squirm even with the low-powered target loads - creating a blister at the proximal joint of the firing hand's thumb. The ejector rod is too short, but cleared all the brass of this light-loaded Black Hills wadcutter ammo. Below, the slow-fire wasn't great, but fired cold was quite good enough.

The ‘quantitative comparison’ test was shot with the new K6S before any other gun. The test was fired with Black Hills Ammunition 148 grain flush-seated wadcutter, which is simply great ammunition. No, I didn’t shoot it with magnums for this outing, nor would I carry it with magnums. I’m old and I don’t have to.

The slowfire score was 95/100, which could have been better. I fired it cold, first shots fired of the day. The first round was low in the ‘8’ ring. I held up a ways to finish. The second test was Justin Dyal’s ‘Five Yard Round-Up,’ an excellent warm-up for close, fast shooting. I shot everything in time, 2.5 seconds par, with a 99/100.

That was no surprise for this three-inch ‘super snub.’ Since it is super, I next tried the HiTS Super Snub Test. Meant for five-shot guns and fired at ten, five and three yards from low ready, I completed the course with a 145/150. I’m happy with that score, not that I wouldn’t want to clean up that “8” and pair of close “9s.”

Finally, the Snub Bill Drill – again for five-shot guns – was fired with a time just under 2.1 seconds. The score, as I shot it on the B-8 repair center, was 49/50. One convulsive clutch gave me a ‘9,’ but I’m taking that score happily too.

So what does that mean for the K6S 3in. DASA as a carrying gun? Well, other firearms of a different class cost less, hold the same or more ammo for the same – or less - weight. If all you’re interested in is efficiency of gear and purpose, one of those other guns should do.

If you find the double-action revolver trigger minimizes your likelihood of post-ignition push, flinch, “lack of adjustment in the trigger control nut,” etc., then this gun lays them in there. Fifteen yards isn’t far and doing the slowfire precision from 25 yards is well within this gun’s area of expertise. In fact, it’d be interesting to redo the old 50 yard stage of the PPC (four positions, 24 rounds, from the draw, including reloads every six rounds, all in 2 minutes, 45 seconds on a silhouette overlaid with the ISU scoring rings – the NRA B-27). I think this gun could keep all those hits inside the “8” ring – all that’s needed for maximum scoring on the “qualification” mode of the target.

The new gun is wonderfully reminiscent of the lamented S&W 3-in heavy barrel M36 square-butt of my youth. The difference is the magnificent sights, an addition round in the cylinder and the great action.

Would I carry it? Well, I worked ambulance in my youth for overtime at the police department in police uniform. It was untoward to work that detail in the duty gear Sam Browne belt and there were times I’d use the 3” M36 of mine in a Ray Baker Pancake Holster just like Ralph Shanks, our chief of police, used for his three-inch Chief Special. I backed it with a few Speed Strips and called it a day.

The revolver can still do the job if you can. And the K6S is an excellent modern rendition of the old concept.

- - Rich Grassi