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I Carry: Kimber K6XS Revolver in a Galco Holster with CRKT Tactical Pen

Firearm: Kimber K6XS (MSRP: $679)

Designed as a smaller, lighter companion to the company’s line of .357 Magnum revolvers, Kimber’s new enclosed-hammer K6XS revolver is chambered in .38 Special and offers six-round capacity in a size we normally associate with a five-shot revolver. Weight is less than one pound – barely – at 15.9 ounces, with an overall length of 6.8 inches and a height of 5.5 inches. That makes it the same height, but half an inch shorter, than a Smith & Wesson J-frame, with the Kimber slightly heavier than the Smith Airweight revolver by 1.3 ounces.

Of course, the weight difference becomes more pronounced when each gun is loaded—because the Kimber carries an extra round. Now, granted, even with six rounds the K6XS isn’t as capacious as a micro-9 mm like the SIG Sauer P365, but if you’re used to carrying a small revolver as your everyday pistol, you’ll gain a round while not seeing a major increase in weight. This isn’t meant as a revolver-versus-semi-auto discussion here; let’s leave it that if you’re a fan of wheelguns, the Kimber provides both another excellent option for carry as well as an additional round over the expected five.

One advantage to the .38 Special chambering of the K6XS is the wide variety of ammunition available. There are lead semi-wadcutters, hard-cast projectiles, precision-engineered jacketed hollowpoints for defense and even shotshells for use against snakes and other small pests. Since the revolver is loaded manually, there’s no need to worry about the shape of the projectile hindering operation like how some jacketed hollowpoints can be troublesome in certain semi-automatics. The Kimber K6XS is rated for +P ammunition, as well, meaning that pretty much anything short of .357 Magnum will work. Lighter +P rounds aren’t going to be fun to shoot, but the full-three-finger rubber grip will certainly help.

There’s no denying that the revolver’s true Achilles’ heel is reloading. With a semi-auto, one drops the empty magazine, inserts a fresh magazine, releases the slide and is back in business. With a revolver, it’s more complicated—open the cylinder, tip the muzzle skyward, eject the spent brass, then load with fresh rounds. Speedloaders and speedstrips are faster ways to recharge your revolver, but will require practice. It certainly couldn’t hurt to take a revolver-centric class like Gunsite’s 150 Revolver or 350 Intermediate Revolver, or something similar. Of course, quality training for any gun you carry is a splendid idea.

Holster: Galco Front Pocket Horsehide holster (MSRP: $94)

We’ve opted for a leather pocket holster to carry the Kimber K6XS, as that’s one of the more common manners in which small, light revolvers are carried. The Front Pocket Horsehide holster from Galco is, well, constructed of premium horsehide with a smooth interior to facilitate a rapid draw and the rough-out texture on the outside to help keep the holster in the pocket. It’s available for a number of small revolvers, can be used with either hand and is only available in tan.

One of the advantages of carrying a pistol in a front pocket is the ability to acquire a firing grip on the firearm without attracting undue attention. Naturally, it’s one of the better methods for deep concealment as well, as it’s far less likely to inadvertently show the gun or the holster should the cover garment ride up, move, open, whatever. It takes practice to smoothly draw from a pocket holster, being especially careful not to draw both the gun and the holster at the same time, and for best practices, remove the holster from the pocket before reholstering. Dry practice at home is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with this method, and again, make sure everything is unloaded, no live ammo in your practice room and follow all the safety rules.

Accessory: CRKT Williams Tactical Grivory pen (MSRP: $40)

For the last piece in today’s kit, we’ve opted for the Columbia River Knife & Tool Williams Tactical Grivory Pen as a less-lethal option. What immediately drew us to this particular tactical pen is that, well, it doesn’t look like a tactical pen. It looks pretty much like a bone-standard writing implement, meaning that it shouldn’t even raise an eyebrow anywhere you go. I mean, more than carrying any sort of writing implement in this day and age of smartphones, that is.

Constructed of, as the name might suggest, grivory, the pen is 6 inches long and weighs less than one ounce. Should you wish to actually use it as a pen, you’ll find two things: First, the cap is on quite tightly, but should break in over time. Second, it’s refillable, so you can write to your heart’s content (or, realistically, your wrist). Noted trainer Steve Tarani put together a primer on tactical pens here at shootingillustrated.com, and specialized training is encouraged for best practices.

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