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 certified law enforcement instructor in handgun, shotgun, patrol rifle, less-lethal, and diversionary device disciplines, and the author of Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis, the definitive study of the infamous, 1970 California Highway Patrol shootout in Newhall, California. Mike wrote the "Tactical Analysis" column at Police1.com for 8 years, and enjoys teaching both armed citizens and law enforcement officers.

22 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.


    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.

  7. I own one of the originally released K6s revolvers and my firing pin broke after about 6 months. I did dry fire it a lot. Kimber upgraded the pin at no cost to me. Excellent customer service also so they made it pain free. Tip for checking firing pin function: After ensuring that the revolver is completely unloaded, hold the revolver skyward while inserting a pencil, eraser end towards firing pin. Dry fire allowing the pencil to slide down inside the chamber allowing the eraser to contact the firing pin hole. If pencil moves forward when the hammer falls and trigger stroke has completed then firing pin checks okay. If no movement forward, then check firing pin. A functioning firing pin will also leave an indent in the eraser.

    1. Glad they took care of you Marty. Did they replace the FP with the old style, or with the new design? When you say “upgraded,” I presume the latter, but just to confirm . . .

    1. Funny you ask, Doug. I just received a kit from TK Custom to evaluate. More to follow, soon. It sounds like they’ve been selling a lot of them and customers are happy!

  8. I just purchased a K6S Dasa four-inch barrel. I shot approximately 200 rounds and the trigger hung up several times. The cylinder release malfunctioned as well. I sent it back and hopefully they will get it back to me within 2 to 4 weeks. I have never dealt with a Kimber customer service before, but this isn’t my first Kimber firearm. I also made changes to the grips as I have a physical disability, which makes it harder to comfortably shoot 357‘s I can’t wait to get it back so I can use the beautiful firearm. From what I’ve shot so far, it’s extremely accurate right out of the box in my experience, this is got to be the finest designed six shooter in 357 caliber that I have ever seen. I’m sure Kimber will make things right . The only thing that sucks about getting a new firearm, is having to wait to get it back more to come…

  9. I bought a K6S Jan 15, 2024.
    It failed to fire at all at the range today.
    $1K revolver. Dead. Out of the box.
    Turns out that it didn’t have a firing pin.

    1. Frank, I’m sorry you encountered that. There’s no excuse for a gun to leave the factory missing a firing pin. Hopefully they made it easy to return the gun and get it fixed.

      I’m curious: Was there no firing pin at all, or did the tip just break off?

      We avoid hyperlinks in the comments for security reasons. However, readers can find a video of Frank’s gun by searching YouTube for: “Brand new Kimber K6S dead out of the box. Found the problem.”

  10. Sorry to be the one to inform you but I know of two broken firing pins in the new Kimber K6xs guns. One of them is mine and the other is one in a review at Bud’s Gun Shop online. The one at Bud’s broke after one cylinder of +P 38 Spl. My K6xs pin broke after 120 rounds of +P 38 Spl. and some dry-firing using snap-caps. Many years back I purchased a K6s and the firing pin broke on that gun also, which I returned to Kimber and they replaced the pin. I hesitated buying the K6xs because of the problem with the first gun but, I heard Kimber had solved the problem by designing a new type of firing-pin made from steel. I put a TK Custom firing-pin in the old K6s because I no longer had faith in the second original pin Kimber put in it years ago. I will be putting a TK Custom pin in the K6xs in the future.
    You can read more at Reddit Revolvers under the title, FYI: Kimber K6s and K6xs firing pins

    1. Jeffrey, THANK YOU for sharing this valuable information. It’s not good news, but it’s important.

      For readers who didn’t see our conversation in another post, Jeffrey reports a broken firing pin on his new K6xs and also points out a similar report from another source. We’ll try to gather more info from Kimber, but encourage readers to share reports about their personal experiences if they encounter the same.

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