K6s Firing Pin Update

Kimber K6s DC

We previously reported about firing pin failures in the excellent Kimber K6s revolver. This situation was troubling, because it represented a safety risk for the defensive user, and also risked hurting the reputation of this strong design.

We’ve continued to remain engaged with Kimber on this issue, and we’re exceptionally happy to report that the problem has been resolved.

The original firing pin was made from Titanium, and featured a long and thin nose profile. Unfortunately, this firing pin broke in a very small number of K6s revolvers, as a result of stress induced by dry firing the revolver.

A redesign of the firing pin incorporated a new and more robust nose profile, and also changed the material to steel, in lieu of Titanium. Steel can be more ductile than Titanium, which is an advantage in a part subjected to impact stress. There have been no reports of problems with this new firing pin design.

The new firing pin design was introduced on the DA/SA models sometime in 2019, and in the hammerless models sometime in 2020. All new production K6s revolvers now incorporate the new firing pin design.

Kimber reports that the number of guns returned for firing pin issues has been extremely small, and they believe the problem was isolated to a very small number of guns. As a result, they don’t believe it’s necessary to retrofit all guns with the old firing pin design on a precautionary basis. If an owner experiences problems with their K6s firing pin, Kimber will repair the firearm with the upgraded part at no charge, but if your gun is running well, they don’t believe it’s necessary to send it in for proactive service.

Revolverguy recommends the use of Snap Caps for dry practice to protect the firing pin on all guns, and also recommends conducting periodic function checks on guns used for self defense duties. These are appropriate precautions, no matter what type of firearm you use.

Conducting a periodic function check of your defensive firearm is an important habit, regardless of make or model.

We’re very happy this infrequent, but nagging problem was resolved on the K6s. We’re very enthusiastic about this excellent revolver, and don’t want anything to detract from its reputation. Kudos to Kimber for being so responsive!

Now, about that sight regulation . . .

 

 

 

 

Author: Mike

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Mike Wood is a bonafide revolver nut, a handgun, shotgun, and patrol rifle-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, and the author of Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis, the definitive study of the infamous, 1970 California Highway Patrol shootout in Newhall, California. He also wrote the "Tactical Analysis" column at Police1.com for 8 years.

13 thoughts on “K6s Firing Pin Update”

  1. Good to hear that Kimber continues to actively work on the K6s. Perhaps one day I’ll pick one up myself, when things are less crazy. Carrying my old Model 12 again makes me realize just how beneficial the extra shot and improved shootability is to me compared to my 642. If the Kimber K6s can provide some of those same benefits over a J-Frame, then I’d absolutely be open to getting one.

    1. Axel, if you’ve got a Model 12 already, I don’t think there’s any need to consider the K6s. Personally, I find a K-Frame fits my hand better than the K6s anyhow. I think you’re in the sweet spot already!

      1. Mike,

        Are you trying to talk someone out of buying a revolver? How could you? And what about the fact that the K6S is 0.056″ narrower than the Model 12? Shouldn’t everyone own at least one revolver in each cylinder width that exists? I thought I could rely on you guys and gals to be my enablers, but I guess I’ll have to go elsewhere for that.

        (The proceeding was intended as humor, just in case that didn’t come across successfully).

  2. Thank you for the update Mike.

    My K6S is my EDC and I would feel more comfortable if they would sell me the part to swap out, but Kimber most likely would not do that.

    Tim

    1. Unfortunately, it’s more complex than just a FP replacement, Tim. The bushing in the frame must be replaced as well, because the nose of the new FP is too large to pass through the current bushing. They have to be replaced as a set, and while you could swap out the FP yourself, the bushing would be much more difficult.

      I share your discomfort, by the way. My two samples have the original FP and I’d much prefer to have the upgraded part in them. Maybe I need to embark on a dry practice marathon.

  3. I have a 2″ K6 and a 3″ DA/SA K6. Neither have had firing pin problems. I’ve owned the 2″ since 2018 and purchased the Da/SA late 2019. The 2″ is a great snubby, especially when gripped with the rubber Evolution grip by Kimber. The DA/SA 3″ is a great companion field gun. Love the large “blocky” sights and the superb “Smith clone” action. My favorite small revolvers.

  4. I called Kimber last week asking if my K6s model needed a firing pin replacement and their rep said he was unaware of reports of firing pins breaking, and that I’d have to pay for the OEM part out of pocket to ship it in and have them replace it.

    It would seem they will only replace the firing pin if it has already broke, which is very disappointing because now I can’t trust my primary carry for fear the revolver will fail when needed most.

    1. I hear ya, Matt.

      Their perspective is that the gun is functioning properly if the FP hasn’t broken, so they don’t feel obligated to “fix what ain’t broke.”

      That’s not how other manufacturers have dealt with similar situations, and it’s not how it should be done. Ruger wouldn’t do it that way.

      Fortunately, if it’s important enough to you, they will do the work at your cost. If I was relying on a K6s as my carry gun, I think it would be worth the investment.

      In the meantime, use Snap Caps for dry practice and do those function checks.

  5. To hedge my bet on the older K6 I purchased a factory firing pin replacement kit (spring included) from Midwest Gun Works a couple of months back.

  6. I really appreciate these honest updates. I purchased a K6S DASA 2″ this Spring and am seriously impressed. It’s a really phenomenal revolver, right up there with my Colt King Cobra.

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