View Full Version : Special abrasives, polishes necessary for working on stainless firearms?

September 12, 2000, 04:11 PM
I have a stainless revolver I want to do some light action smoothing on. I probably won't even touch the hammer or trigger; just smooth out any machining marks on the rebound slide assembly, etc. I did this on a J frame S&W many years ago and made the action a lot smoother.

I have read that I shouldn't use any ferrous metal tools or abrasives on stainless because it may imbed ferrous metal into the stainless and defeat the "stainless" properties. I'm thinking of using a small, hard Arkanasas stone for the back of the rebound slide. Would Dremel silicon grinding bits and their blue and white rubber polishing bits be OK for the nooks and crannies?

I have also read that stainless firearms are treated with a chemical process at the factory which "pacifies" the steel and enhances rust resistance. The article suggested using a polish similar to the factory chemical after doing any grinding or polishing. Is this a good idea? What products would work?

Finally, does anyone make aftermarket spring kits to lighten the pull which are made of stainless steel?

Thanks in advance.

George Stringer
September 13, 2000, 08:33 AM
AEM, as far as I know stainless steel is stainless all the way through. I use medium and fine ceramic stones for the work you are planning. The dremel is up to you but I wouldn't use it. George

September 13, 2000, 08:50 AM
Thanks, George. Yeah, I know it can be troubling to see kitchen table gunsmiths talk about using Dremel tools! The only thing I'm thinking of using the Dremel for is to polish with the rubber bits. I reconsidered the part about using the silicon grinding bits.

September 14, 2000, 08:02 PM
One thing about stainless is don't use steel wool unless there's no other option. Tiny flecks of steel get embedded into any imperfection and will accelerate rust. Remember, SS will rust, it's just much more rust resistant than carbon steel.

September 21, 2000, 01:34 PM
FWIW, this doesn't apply to the action question, but in reguard the steel wool comment. I use scotchbrite rather than sw on stainless. Works well to clean up small scratches, without leaving iron residue.