This is not new news, it was announced last month but I misplaced the link and thought I had already posted it.
Kimber announced two variants of their six-shot revolver platform. Two are (mostly) cosmetic variations of the original K6 and one is a longer barreled version of the snubbie.
The CDP is a (mostly) cosmetic two tone version of the K6 with wood grips. It does feature three dot night sights as standard.
The DC is also a (mostly) cosmetic variant featuring a solid black finish, matching G10 grip and night sights:
I have to say that is definitely my favorite of the two but then again, anyone who has seen my collection of snubbies with black finishes shouldn’t be surprised by that. Unfortunately, with an MSRP of $1,155 It won’t be joining my collection anytime soon.
Kimber also announced a new version of the K6 with the same finish as the standard K6 bit with wood grips and (drumroll please) a three inch barrel called the K6 Stainless 3″.
Despite my affinity for snubbies wearing black, this is the model I am most excited about. Sporting an MSRP of $899 I might actually be able to afford one. It also gives a bit of improvement in size and usability over a snubbie without going to a larger frame size. It seems to have many of the advantages of the SP101 (which I really like) but with an extra round in the cylinder, a little less weight and without the exposed hammer.
The firearms blogs like TFB, American Rifleman and Guns.com are all announcing that Smith & Wesson has released the “new” model 360 today. I don’t know about the new part, I can recall other model 360s in the lineup for sometime (I even own one in .38 Special, see link) so maybe it would be more accurate to say that Smith & Wesson has released a new variation of the 360.
Anyway, here is the “new” Model 360:
It is a scandium alloy framed J-Frame chambered in .357 Magnum (basically the same frame as the 340 PD). The cylinder is stainless steel but not fluted. The extra material in the cylinder combined with the larger “combat” grips means the 360 weighs in about 1.1 ounces heavier than the 340. Not a huge difference and it is still about three ounces lighter than the Ruger LCR when chambered in .357 Magnum.
Besides the baby poop FDE combat grips the 360 also features a red ramp front sight that (like the 340) is pinned so it can be replaced and upgraded.
The MSRP is $770 which is around $100 more than the Ruger LCR.
So there is a lot of “info” floating around out there about the effectiveness of .357 Magnum rounds out of a snub-nosed revolver. Conventional wisdom (at least what I have heard) is that, due to the short barrel length, there is no advantage of .357 Magnum over .38 Special out of a snubbie. This guy puts that to the test in his video and the results surprised me:
As you can see there is a good bit of difference in performance and the hollow points he tested did, in fact expand. Now as to the extra recoil and muzzle blast, I’ll have to get my new Hand Cannon out to the range and check that out for myself.
It also includes a video version of the review if you prefer watching over reading:
While I really don’t think this should be called a Cobra, I am very excited for another player to be (back) in the revolver market. I also hope to be able to fondle one before too long. If money allows, I would like to add it to my collection because…well…I just want one.
The the Range Report I posted last month (link) I shared my initial thoughts on the Glock 43 magazines from ETS.
The main selling point, for me, on these magazines is that they are designed to have a seven round capacity while still fitting flush in the firearm. At the range I was unable to fit seven rounds into either of the magazines. A quick call to ETS’ customer support line (very nice folks by the way) resulted in a suggestion to load the magazines and let them sit for a week or so. This would “loosen up” the springs an allow them to be loaded with the extra round.
As you can see, it worked.
I am now able to load the magazines to their advertised capacity.
The spring is now 100%, fully compressed. There is no more give AT ALL. So inserting a fully loaded magazine into the firearm requires some serious brute force and effort. Once inserted that same pressure is now applied to the inner workings of the firearm. I think there is a strong possibility that the pressure and resulting drag on slide operation could cause feeding issues. I have not tested it at the range yet so maybe with the energy of a full powered self-defense cartridge working the action it won’t be an issue. We will see.
I can see this possibly being a good choice for a “spare” magazine. Loading the magazine on seven rounds while the slide is locked open no problem and once the pressure of that seventh round is relieved the magazine should operate normally. Despite the extra pressure on the top round is seem to feed fairly easily and properly.
For the moment these will not be in my carry rotation. Until and unless I can get a lot more comfortable with their reliability I will continue to depend on my tried and true six round magazines.
For Father’s Day I ordered myself a new Spike’s Tactical lower receiver. It is for a new build that I am planning and has an image engraved that I particularly liked:
Well, the lower finally came in and I was eager to pick it up. Wonderful Wife suggested I get some range time in too. I sure do love that woman but I suspect it may have had more to do with her wanting to go shopping for the grand kids than me getting some time on the range. Regardless of the motivation behind it I was eager to get back to the range especially after the challenges I had last time out.
First and most importantly, whatever was affecting my shooting last time out seems to have been resolved. No idea what was causing my inaccuracy last time out but I was able to tear the “X” ring out of targets at 3 and 7 yards pretty easily. It was obvious that I still need to get back to practicing more regularly but I was back on track with both the Glocks and the revolvers.
My secondary goal for this range trip was to test out the new ETS magazines for the Glock 42 and 43. I loaded the Glock 42 magazine first and immediately had issues. Two or three malfunctions per magazine. I repeated the test and got the same results. As a test I tried one of the Glock factory magazines I had with me and although it seemed slightly more reliable I still had issues. I only brought one box of .380 (Sellier & Bellot FMJ) but I did have a full magazine of my carry ammo for the G42 (Hornady Critical Defense) which seemed to run fine. This is probably an ammo related issue but until I can bring some different ammo to the range and test it out the G42 goes back in the safe.
Short Revolver Rant
This is one of the things that I truly appreciate about carrying a revolver. I know revolvers can fail and when they do it is rarely something that can be fixed in the middle of a fight but with a revolver I don’t have to worry about magazines failing or wearing out, ammo that doesn’t feed right, or weak extractor springs or any of the other small parts that can affect the reliability of a semi-auto. Semi-Autos are pretty darn reliable these days when it comes to feeding and extracting but they are still not as reliable or worry/hassle free as revolvers when it comes to feeding and extraction.
So, it appears the issue with the feeding on the Glock 42 was not related to the ETS magazines. The G43 (9mm) magazines from ETS all seemed to perform well and none had issues with and feeding or extraction issues. They all dropped free when empty. However, the big selling point for me on these magazines was that they are advertised as carrying an extra round in flush fit magazines. For whatever reason I could not seem to be able to get that extra round in there. Here is a photo of the 12 round magazine loaded up but only holding 11 rounds:
It is possible that after the springs wear in a bit I will be able to load the extra round but in the meantime, other than cost, I don’t see any reason to use these magazines instead of Glock factory magazines.
All in all, it was a really good day at the range.
Note: I did call ETS support and they suggested loading and unloading the magazines a few times or leaving one loaded for a week or two and then trying again…
In the last range report I posted, I mentioned how poor my performance was with both the Smith & Wesson 442 and the Ruger LCR. My accuracy was definitely not what it should be and I feel that deficiency could cost me or a loved one our life in a self-defense situation.
The issue is not related to the firearms themselves or the ammunition. It is either that I haven’t spent as much time practicing as I should (most likely) or the trouble I have been having with my shoulder and elbow are impacting accuracy. I am hoping that with a little more range time I can get back to where I think I need to be but
In the meantime I have put my snubbie’s away and will carry my Glocks instead. The lighter trigger, better sights and reduced recoil of the Glocks will help my accuracy and the extra couple of rounds provide a little insurance for my (temporarily) reduced skill set. The G42 is almost as light as the snubbies and will take over as my daily carry while I am working from my home office. I am not a big fan of .380 for self-defense but the G43 is a very soft shooter and should get the job done with seven rounds on tap. It will ride in my pocket when working from home where I am literally within arms reach of my gun safe.
I have also been known to carry a snubbie when heading out on quick trips around the neighborhood but until I sort out my accuracy issues with the snubbies the G43 will get the nod on all trips out of the house for a while.