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Old 06-23-2018, 06:35 PM   #1
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Kimber vs Smith & Wesson .357 revolvers

Newbie(today) here: why are Kimber .357 stainless steel revolvers so much more $$ than comparable S&W .357 SS revolvers...which are also outrageously high. I’m aware of S&W’s “Performance Center” quality workmanship, however. What .357 Kimber model number/name is the best quality out of the box? Trying to decide purchase of Kimber or S&W. Leaning to Kimber but need specific reasons why I should buy them. Would appreciate hearing from current owners of both brands. Sorry for excessive wordiness. Thanks in advance to all who respond!
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:22 PM   #2
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Ron, I have a few S&W revolvers in several calibers including a few in .357mag. This is just "me." I have not bought a K6S and probably won't, I won't say never it's just low on the to buy list. First IMO the K6S can't do anything better then any of my S&W revolvers. I don't think I would CC it so it would be another range gun. I didn't even like the K6 at first, I finally came around and decided it might be cool to own a Kimber Revolver. I don't know why the price is where it is. I won't blink an eye spending $1,200 bucks on a nice big bore snub nose pre-lock Smith but 800-900+ for a K6S bothers me a little.

**Here is my tip** Before buying a K6S I suggest going to Cabela's, Bass Pro or some place you can hold one in your hand. I got serious about buying a K6S and did just that. I had the cash in my pocket and that's where it stayed. I hated the way it felt in my hand, held it for a long time sales guy waited on other people while I was checking it out. Why, I don't know but would have been dumb buying if it didn't feel good in hand.

All you die hard K6S owners, again "this is just me" I know you love yours, feels great, shoots great, blah blah blah.

The very few times I CC a revolver it would not be a K6S even if I had one.

Try one out...maybe you have already held one and are past this but maybe it will help.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:31 PM   #3
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Like 2sharp, I don't want to be a critic....everybody likes something different, I get that, believe me. I can only relate my own personal experiences.

I presently own five S&W revolvers three .357s...an 8", 5" and 3". two .38 J-frames, both Airweights, a Bodyguard and a Performance Center Centennial. I carry the 642 Centennial as my EDC.

Being a big revolver fan and Kimber fan I picked up a very lightly used K6s from my LGS. The story goes a lady bought it and a box of Fed. .357, 125gn JHP. Fired it 12 times and brought it back and traded it for a small 9mm auto. He threw in the part box of ammo.

I took it to the range six times and fired about 200 to 250 rounds of several .38 and .357 loads at combat ranges. It shot nice tight groups. But I found that with all magnum loads it tried to tear off the front half of my trigger finger to the point of breaking the skin. Not too bad with .38s but even some +Ps took a small bite.

Note: I have pretty big hands, XXL shooting gloves that are a little tight and can easily palm a basketball with either hand. I found the K6 to be a too small .357 or too big .38. Too bulky and heavy for a .38 carry gun, compared to the 642 and too short of a sight radius for a range gun.

I took it to a local gun show and traded it for a Sig 1911 TACOPS and never looked back.

Just my 2 cents ok, maybe 3 your mileage may vary.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:13 AM   #4
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Excellent advice all. Will rethink Kimber. Appreciate everything.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:23 AM   #5
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I agree the gun needs to fit in your hand.
That said,
as the owner of a number of steel, alloy, and scandium S&W revolvers, I found the Kimber to be a interesting choice primarily because of the fantastic trigger, great sights, and the extra round it offers. The K6S is a very well thought out revolver and the fit and finish on mine is excellent.

I bought one with factory laser grips and it is often carried, in fact it was my daily carry until Sig introduced the P365. But that is a different story for another time.
BWT, since buying the Kimber, I have sold two S&W's and not fired my 340PD, 640, or 640 Pro Series, since the K6s came home with me.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:56 AM   #6
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I tried one out before I bought mine. Since I have small hands the K6s fits me perfect. The other things I liked were the 6 shot capacity, the great trigger (which you can "stage"), & the "dehorning" that removes all the sharp edges. The K6s weighs 3 oz. less than a Ruger SP-101 & the same 23 oz. as an S&W 640-1/640-1 Pro Series. This is according to an article by Ed Buffaloe comparing the K6s & above mentioned S&W's.
If you took the Smith to a gun-smith for de-horn & trigger job you'd probably spend about $100.00 for the trigger, another $100.00 +/- to dehorn. But you'd still only have 5 rounds.
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Old 06-25-2018, 02:16 PM   #7
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I believe the K6s to be of equal quality to a 1975-1985 or so Smith and Wesson or Colt. Current S&W's are simply not at the level of Kimber revolvers. The K6s had recessed chambers-something not seen in decades. It's no longer really necessary, but it's nice. My two Kimber revolvers have closer tolerances, I believe that a currently manufactured S&W, certainly better than the 642's I own. Kimbers also have no "lawyer lock." Yeah, I can learn to live with it, but S&W offers LE models without it. WTH? Accuracy is another issue. Perhaps it's just me, but I am more accurate with the Kimbers than the Smiths. One drawback to the K6s is the lack of accessories. There are a million for the S&W, and darn few for the Kimber.

I'm not a big Kimber fan, I only owned one prior to the revolvers, a 1911. I do love the revolvers, though.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:33 PM   #8
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I have a Kimber K6s, and quite a few S&W revolvers.

The closest to the Kimber in class is the 686. However; I don't carry it because it's larger than the Kimber. But I do consider them to be a quality/price match.

I do carry my 642, and it's a similar size to the Kimber. But, it's much lighter, and only 5 rounds of .38 Special. Also about half the price. It's light weight makes it very easy to carry. It also makes it a little harder to shoot.
These two guns are in completely different classes. Both are good values for thier class and use.

It appears it's not always easy to make head to head comparisons between the Kimber and various S&W offerings. I'm very fond of the Kimber, and my S&W revolvers.
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:15 PM   #9
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if I was buying a revolver, the only real choices in my opinion, are Smith and Ruger. Or a Colt Python.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:37 PM   #10
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Ditto 340pd. I went from the Smith J pocket rockets to a Smith 640 Pro. When I found a K6s with NS I sold the 640 and got the K6s. I carried the 640 long enough to get used to the 23 oz. Smith quality has declined over the years and I can shoot better with 23 oz of K6s than I can with 13 oz of Scandium. Since the 365 the K6s does not get a lot of EDC duty, but sits at my bedstead next to the 870 every night.
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