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topic 10187

Polishing Stainless Steel slides on Colt pistols


Q. Frequently, the polished stainless steel slides on Colt pistols become "worn" and show very light surface scratches usually called "hairline scratches". To restore a pistol to "as new" condition, I have tried very non-aggressive methods of removing the scratches. Is there a way to "polish" the scratches and leave a shiny polished surface?

Bryan Graham
- Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Gun parts & schematics at Brownell's
November 18, 2009

A. You first must start out with a sandpaper grit coarse enough to remove the scratches. Then gradually go to a finer grit. You may want to start with around a 180 or 220. Work on up to a 600 or 800 grit. Oil the sandpaper before you begin polishing. Oiling it will prevent the paper from loading with metal shavings (this enhances the life on the paper and prevents the metal from being scratched more). Use either a pencil eraser or wrap the sandpaper around a file, this way you will keep all lines sharp. If it is an extremely bright finish, you can work on up to a 1500 or 2000 grit. Then to remove any polish marks, take a Dremel [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] with a felt wheel. Load the wheel with stainless or aluminum polish. Allow it to dry for a few moments. Then you may remove the polishing marks. If your stainless is a brushed stainless, after you have polished it out with a very very fine grit sandpaper, use a maroon colored scotch brite pad to restore the brushed finish. As when working with all power tools, WEAR SAFETY GLASSES.

R Everett
- Jayess, Mississippi

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