No announcement yet.

Polishing a stainless gun

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Polishing a stainless gun

    I'm getting ready to purchase a brand new handgun that is all stainless. Most of it is a satin finish, some is a kind of rough, media blasted finish/texture for a contrasting effect. I want it all to look like a mirror.

    I do have a large air compressor, several die grinders, a corded dremel tool with a flex shaft, an orbital face buffer, a random orbital sander, and would buy a buffer or other tools needed as long as they aren't really expensive. I've got a very weak buffer now, it doesn't have near enough hp. I believe it is an old 1/3 hp.

    I'd like to know exactly what tools, abrasives, buffing wheels, cloths, etc. that I will need to do this job. I'll buy any extra items needed, within reason, I can't afford a ton on this project. But I may want to do a few others in the future. For instance, what is the best tool and abrasives to get into the small nooks and crannies on this particular piece? Please be very specific.

    I need to know what tools, abrasives, etc. and in what order.

    I will completely disassemble the pistol. There are some flat areas, but there are a bunch of very tiny areas and many curved sections. Plus I have to get rid of that textured blasted area.

    Here's a picture of what it will look like when I get it:

    You will notice the 'gray' areas on the bottom edges, this is the media blasted type finish I mentioned above.

    Here is what I want it to look like when I'm done:

    That gun is nickel plated, but resembles what I want mine to look like when I'm finished.

    I have two more pics that I will post in the next message since there is a two picture limit..

  • #2
    Re: Polishing a stainless gun - part 2

    Here are two pics of a gun done by another guy who polished his own. Its the same gun in both pics, just different grips. The problem is that I think it could have a better quality finish. He had never polished anything before and he did the whole thing by hand, no power tools, no buffer! So I'm seeking advice from the pros.

    What about vibratory polishing? Do you have one large enough to do this? The gun is about 9" long and 7-8 inches tall, less than 2" wide. Would that provide a mirror-finish if left in long enough?

    There is a big shop in a nearby city that has very large vibratory polishers. They will polish things, or lease the equipment.

    If this would work, is there some way to mask/block off the inside areas so that they won't get polished? I'm afraid any material removal at all will negatively effect the tolerances.

    I have done some polishing on aluminum and stainless before. Not a lot, but some. Never anything to a mirror-like finish before though.

    Please help me to accomplish this task. Thanks for your help.


    • #3
      Re: Polishing a stainless gun

      from my polishing experience of almost 1 year, at 4-6 days a week and 2-4 hrs a day, i have found that this kind of finish is extremely difficult to achieve. as for the photos the work is incredible and should be giving its dues as such. as for your ability to do this or better i cant say since i dont know your experience level. as for vibratory polishing it work up to a certain level.the only way i know to stop the polish effect on the internals is to mask off that area with a good quality duct tape. then it will most likely to need to be buffed after.
      when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
      G2 Polishing and Powdercoating


      • #4
        Re: Polishing a stainless gun

        obsesive + perfectionist = usually pretty fine results.

        I'll probably just whittle it down to a tiny stainless nub before I'm done.

        As I said, I have done polishing before, just not to this fine of detail, so I'm tring to determine the correct abrasives, buffs and tool recommendations for the fine detail areas.

        I know that the end result quality is in direct proportion to the time spent on the piece, it will take a long time. I plan to work on it over several weekends. Disassemble/strip, polish, clean, reassemble, wait until next weekend, repeat.

        I didn't mean to say he didn't do a fine job, he did and I'll be thrilled when mine gets to that level. But he told me that he still want to do more work to it to take it to a higher level, I'm guessing in the fine detail areas. The large flat/open areas are easy...well, quicker.


        • #5
          Re: Polishing a stainless gun

          if you have access to a vibratory polisher i would start out with glass bead to even out all the surfaces then throw in the vibrator. sfter that is to its best then start out with a vented wheel and emory on a inconspicous place and see if it improves. if not then use tripoli. work this combo till it wont get and better. then move to a spiral sewn and green bar. same again, work till it gets no better. then move to spiral and white bar. after all this you can use loose white. at that point you will most likely have to move to something like flitz or autosol and a soft lint free towel. options would be if you cant get to the vibrator then after glass bead go to greaseless and a spiral wheel. also i have had good success lately with a solid felt wheel and bar compound as an alternative. it works good on knife blades. i was able to get a super shine but only spent a few minutes so i am unsure if it will remove all the grain lines. best of luck bro.
          when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
          G2 Polishing and Powdercoating