This is something I don’t think anyone saw coming… the most interesting thing at the 2016 SHOT Show was a snub-nose revolver. I don’t think a new snubby has been the most most interesting new gun for the year since maybe the 60’s. Or when the SP101 came out.
The Kimber K6 is a pleasant surprise though. It’s the same size and weight as a S&W 640. Yet it has a 6 round cylinder. That’s a significant upgrade. But that’s really not the point.
The question is if a little revolver is still a viable self defense option. If the answer is yes, then this is certainly the most viable option. So… to the question. Is a revolver viable?
The round we’re working with here is the .357 Magnum. A cartridge that was the most significant advancement in handgunning since the 9mm Luger. And speaking of the 9mm Luger, it is the chief self defense cartridge choice these days and the most over rated at that. Comparing most 9mm self defense pistols to .357 Mag options it’s hard to find an apples to apples. Generally speaking though, the .357 Magnum will hit about 100 to 200 FPS faster and harder with similar bullet weights out of similar barrel lengths. This is a big advantage in exterior and terminal ballistics for a handgun. And you want as much of that as possible. The biggest advantage though comes in the heavier Magnum loadings with bullets that can weight almost twice that of some of new hottness 9mm loads.
Now combine the flexibility of a wide variety of ammunition for your selection. Now mix that in with a firing platform that is inherently reliable and accurate. You trade some capacity in exchange for greater power, accuracy, and reliability. But is that really a big deal?
Most self defense shootings are between 1.2 and 1.8 rounds, depending on the source of the stats. What do they have in common? The 1. Generally the one who hits first wins. That being the case, that 1 hit needs to be as big of a hit as you can make it. So yes, indeed, .357 Magnum is a great option for self defense.
In the realm of small snub nose .357 Magnum revolvers, the K6 is going to be a great choice. And it’s not just because it’s a +1. It’s a premium quality revolver that’s priced less than something from S&W’s Performance Center, yet is reported to be smoother. And the K6 is cool looking. Solid stainless construction, no MIM, and all made in the USA… and it’s a plus one… Yeah, I really like it.