Kimber K6s

Round or flat? What’s your EDC preference?

Dave sometimes carries a .45 Commander using an IWB rig, such as this one from Milt Sparks.

One of these days I plan to retire, or at least semi-retire, and as I move into that stage of life, I’ll be making some different choices so far as everyday carry.

Oh, yeah, I’ll be packing because life as a journalist has taught me a couple of lessons:

1. Violence erupts suddenly and it doesn’t occur on a pre-arranged schedule, or when you expect it.

2. Criminals and crazy people don’t call ahead to tell you they’re coming.

I’ve narrowed things down to whether I’m heading into an urban environment or will be out in my more rural surroundings, the latter which will find me off the pavement much of the time. And, where I live out in the Pacific Northwest, when you’re off the pavement, you just might encounter things with teeth and claws. There is no quick 9-1-1 service and you are on your own.

Two years ago, a mountain lion killed one of two guys who were bicycling up a gravel logging road only a few miles from my home. Where I live, they call that an object lesson. Those who don’t learn from such lessons do so at their peril.


In the urban jungle, flat makes sense, and in my case it means either a Colt Commander or my Kimber Compact Custom pistol, both chambered for .45 ACP. The Kimber has an Officer’s Model size grip frame and a 4” barrel and slide, and it is a marvelously good shooter. I received it for a test and evaluation project some 25 years ago and liked it so much I bought it.

Workman tested this .45-caliber Kimber Compact about 25 years ago.
He liked it so much he bought it for concealed carry

I think the Commander is the perfect size for a .45-caliber defensive semi-auto pistol, and with mine I can roll around a tin can out to 25 yards, using standard 230-grain ball ammunition.

A classic S&W Model 19 snubby in .357 Magnum sometimes rides on Dave’s hip.

Knights Of The Round

In the revolver arena, I’ve got a vintage Model 19 Smith & Wesson 2 ½-inch sixgun in .357 Magnum. It’s a classic with the firing pin on the hammer, no internal lock, what I consider a good trigger and a set of Herrett’s stocks.

Then there’s always my S&W Model 57 in .41 Magnum with its 4-inch barrel, or a Ruger Blackhawk in the same caliber with a 4 5/8-inch tube. Having shot deer with those guns, I know what they’re capable of doing with the right loads.

Workman’s stop-‘em-in-their-tracks choice is a S&W Model 57 in .41 Magnum.

Is a .41 Magnum too much handgun? The late Elmer Keith is known to have carried almost daily a 4-inch Model 29 S&W in .44 Magnum, or occasionally a .44 Special, and nobody gave it a second thought.

But let’s focus on the .357 because in most situations, a full-house magnum is going to solve pretty much any emergency problem one might encounter.

And this brings us around to a sixgun I spent a bit of time looking at recently, the K6s double-action “Target” model from Kimber. It’s got a 4” barrel with an adjustable rear sight and 6.1” sight radius. Weighing 25.5 ounces empty, it certainly has the heft to reduce felt recoil and let the owner know he/she is packing hardware.

When it comes to modern .357 Magnum revolvers, Kimber’s K6s
has features any wheelgunner should like.

At 1.39” wide, the Kimber will tuck up nicely under a cover garment in a pancake-style holster. With a six-round capacity, it’s got the firepower to get someone’s, or some thing’s attention immediately. I like either a 125-gr. JHP or a 158-gr. JSP, both of which are devastating. A pal of mine once dispatched an injured elk with a 158-grainer several years ago and an elk is no small critter!

Crafted from stainless steel, the Kimber K6s is an impressive piece. It’s got a brushed stainless finish, serrated backstrap, extended checkered hardwood grip and it comes from the factory with a double-action trigger break between 9.5 and 11.5 pounds, while the single-action breaks at 3.25 to 4.25 pounds, which is right there with my Commander.

Kimber’s wheelgun comes in with an MSRP of $989.00, which is right in there with other quality round guns and less than some I’ve seen lately.

With a 4” barrel and adjustable rear sight, Kimber’s K6s will be able to deliver the goods when it counts.

The late Gen. George Smith Patton is said to have observed a revolver only requires loose ammunition to keep working. A semi-auto is a two-part handgun, and if you lose or damage the magazine, you’re in trouble. That’s not a good thing 10 miles from the nearest pavement.

When I carry a double-action revolver, there are always a couple of speedloaders in my pocket. With a single-action, I’ve got a belt slide with six spare cartridges unless I’m wearing a gunbelt with a lot more ammunition.

I’ve got plenty of handguns, but if I were going shopping for a new carry revolver, the Kimber K6s would be on my list to at least try out at a gun range.

Incidentally, I just spotted in the September GUNS print issue a brief report on rubber replacement grips for the K6s from Hogue. They’ve got a palm swell, Hogue’s trademark textured surface and finger grooves.

Subscribe To GUNS Magazine