Editorial Speculation: Who will buy the K6s?

I’m not a revolver person, so when the new K6s came out I looked at it and said, “Yay! Another pretty Kimber but this one’s round and jolly!” and then that was about it because I saw the Nighthawk Hi Power and got REALLY distracted.

Then I started thinking: who is going to buy a revolver the size of an SP101 that holds six rounds instead of five? There has been some behind-the-scenes speculation that the near-$1,000 price tag revolver won’t sell. I must respectfully disagree with these speculations. While I don’t foresee the gun flying off the shelves like the Glock 43, there’s a definite niche for the K6s.

Outside of the hardcore revolver guys who are sitting with steepled hands muttering, “Yes! Yes! Six-round j-frame-sized revolver!” I am willing to bet there is a portion of the concealed carry market that is going to be excited about that extra round. I don’t necessarily think these are the most experienced shooters, but there are definitely some enthusiasts who will let that extra round and/or the Kimber name tip their buying hand.Kimber-K6s-revolver

The kind of people who buy Kimbers are totally the kind of people who will spend for a $899-MSRP revolver either for themselves or for their significant others. I can see the scenario in my head of a dedicated Kimber enthusiast taking his wife to the range and pushing the K6s on her for that one extra round and then her wanting it because “it’s so pretty.” (It is very very pretty.) I am also convinced that revolver shoppers with a little larger pockets will be more than willing to pay for that extra round and the sleek design.

Concealed carry is where the market is focused right now, and with polymer-framed single-stacks dominating the semi-automatic market, it actually makes perfect sense that Kimber would tailor its newest carry gun toward the more classically-inclined revolver crowd.

The Folly of Chasing Gear – CCW Version, Part 1

When I wrote my original post on the folly of chasing gear for competition I did so at a point where I had been competing for a little over a year and had less than ten matches under my belt.  For a reference I write this post having concealed carry for almost 12 years and in that time I have changed guns and platforms an order of magnitude more than I did with competition gear.  With Part 1 I will look into some guns I tried and what I learned.

If you are new to concealed carry this as an example of what not to do; If you are a CCW veteran this might seem familiar or even laughable to you.  Either way I present to you a method not worth repeating.

The First CCW Gun

The first gun CCW gun I bought was going to be my last – or so I thought when I paid for it – a Rock Island 1911 Officer’s model.  Presently Rock Island (Armscor) has built a reputation for decent 1911’s; mine was not made in the era of praise.  It had so much going wrong for it I can’t list it all; a sample includes: GI sights, no beaver tail, a gritty 7+ lbs trigger, sticky mag release (it would stick in!) and the worst Parkerized finish imaginable.  It would feed 230 grain ball ammo, sometimes and it would feed JHP’s exactly never.  I did a little work on it, got it to function semi-reliably and actually used it in the shooting portion of my licensing. It was accurate: when it fed.  For the record, the magazine brand or type didn’t matter, this sucker was the king of feedway stoppages!  I quickly quit trying to make it a reliable gun and relegated it to range toy, but it sucked at that as well.  I sold it, with full disclosure of the problems to a guy who wanted it for a truck gun on his ranch.  As far as I know he hasn’t shot it even once.

That was followed by a string of mediocre garbage by Bersa, Taurus, Rossi and Kel Tec.

Lesson #1: Don’t believe what you read and damn sure don’t listen to the guy behind the counter.  Find a reputable trainer/friend/co-worker and get several opinions and never, ever, ever, never, ever buy a cheap 1911 and plan on it saving your life.

The Airweight J-Frame

In my string of crap I did manage to hit a home run, at least with reliability, build quality and accuracy.  I bought a slightly used S&W Model 642-1.  I slapped some Crimson Trace grips on it and carried it often.  8 years later I still have it.  It has ridden IWB, OWB, in my pocket, on my ankle, in my console, and in a backpack. It goes bang every time and after putting untold rounds down range I can actually make decent hits with it. It is not extremely fun to shoot, but it works. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND ONE FOR A FEMALE BEGINNER! For that matter, I wouldn’t recommend any J-Frame to a female beginner. If I am really dressed up, ala’ funeral or wedding (one and the same?) then you’ll find that old 642 in my pocket. Otherwise it spends it days in peaceful solitude, secure in the fact I can never be sold because of the discoloration caused years of sweat and grime.


Lesson #2: The Airweight J-Frame’s are fine firearms, IF and only IF you are willing to learn it. It is not a gun for people who are recoil sensitive and it is not range toy.  It is ultra reliable, easy to carry and will always be there for you.

380 ACP? I’ve owned a few

An old FI Industries D380 1911 look-alike, a Kel-Tec P3AT, the Bersa Thunder CC and most recently a Ruger LCP. After shooting way too many rounds of over-priced 380 ACP I can safely say I am done with that cartridge. Fixed barrel blowback operated 380’s have more muzzle flip than an equivalent size 9mm with a normal recoil operated action. The smaller guns hold fewer rounds and with a shorter barrel you generally get weaker performance compared to the S&W 642. Before some smart ass says it, no I don’t want to be shot with either one. The small LCP/P3AT carried great in my pocket, but so does my 642 and it is not as susceptible to lint and if I am shooting from an odd grip or odd position I won’t be the recipient of a  stove-pipe.  For me, the small 380’s and 5 shot revolvers fill the same role.  Choose wisely.

Lesson #3: Carry the most powerful handgun you can conceal, all else being equal. Any handgun cartridge is a poor man stopper, don’t make the situation worse by compromising.

With that I will wrap up Part 1.  If this offended you just wait for Part 2!  The mathematical constant in all of these lessons is wasted time and wasted money that could have been spent on training and ammo.

Do you feel I am grossly wrong?  Have you made similar mistakes?  Tell me below.

Dan Wesson 715: The Gun Nuts Review

Dan Wesson 715 muzzle

Dan Wesson revolvers occupy an interesting place in the world of enthusiasts. The company itself was founded by the great grandson of the original Daniel Wesson, and Dan Wesson II’s roundguns eventually gained a respectable cult following in revolver circles. Their party trick was an interchangeable barrel system, which allowed the end user to swap barrel lengths at their leisure, making a 6-inch silhouette gun into a 4-inch duty gun or a 2-inch carry gun with relative ease.

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Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt accuracy testing

225 grain pdx

Last week, I took the Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt to the range for accuracy testing. I worked with three different loads, Hornady 185 grain Critical Defense, Winchester 225 grain PDX, and Fiocchi 250 grain LRN cowboy ammo. The above group is from the Winchester PDX, and it shot into a hair over 2 inches at 50 feet from a standing freestyle position.

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Revolver Tour #14: Colt Cobra

Colt Cobra

Today’s revolver tour is the only gun in the safe that isn’t actually mine, it belongs to Shelley Rae. It’s actually been in her family for three generations now, and that makes it special. It would be special anyway, because it’s a Colt, and I have a soft spot for Colt revolvers.

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Revolver Tour #10: Ruger Vaquero .45 Colt

Ruger Vaquero with Winchester PDX

I’ve only had this gun for a couple of days, and I already love it. There’s something deeply satisfying, something good and right about a big steel revolver chambered in .45 Colt. It looks nice. It feels good in the hand. It provides those wonderful clicking noises as you slowly thumb the hammer back, and you feel a connection with the cowboys of old as the gun thumps and rolls in your hand as you send 250 grains of lead downrange.

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Gratuitous slo-mo recoil comparison: S&W 625 vs. Ruger Vaquero

When you have a camera that shoots 240 fps in your pocket, you do stuff like this:

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A revolver tour #6: Shot Show Edition Korth Sky Marshal 9mm

Korth Sky Marshal 9mm

We’re taking a break from revolvers that I own and looking at some cool wheelguns from SHOT Show. First on the list is the Korth Sky Marshal, a 6 shot, medium frame revolver chambered in 9mm that doesn’t require the use of moonclips.

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