Today, while waiting for it to get warm enough outside to pour concrete, I turned my attention to the brass on the old 1860.
This is what it looked like before:
And after some brasso:
It cleaned up pretty well. But the point wasn't to show that brass shines up when polished. The improvement was the triggerguard. I was pretty happy with it until I got my Colt last week and noticed that the edges of the brass were blended into the frame, whereas the Pietta had sharp edges on the triggerguard. So while I had it disassembled during polishing, I also slightly blended the edge.
with just 17 years of wear:
Pietta after sanding:
It could use even more, but I want to take it gradually and will just hit it with the 800# whenever I take it off for a good cleaning, until it looks exactly like the Colt.
(and after looking at the pictures posted: No, I didn't use the steel file in the picture, it just happened to be on the bench. I used 240#, then 400#, 600#, 800# and then Brasso.)