View Full Version : Hand polishing a barrel for bluing

February 25, 2011, 05:56 PM
I am in the process of hand polishing a barrel for bluing. I began by sanding lengthwise with 100 grit. I will then go to a shoeshine method with finer grit and continue this process until I have a high polish. I ran into a problem though. While sanding with the 100 grit some spots showed up that appear to be some shallow pitting. Can I go to a coarser grit to remove the pitting quicker and then progress to finer grits? Is there a better method to remove this pitting? Any help is appreciated.

Bill DeShivs
February 25, 2011, 09:52 PM
100 grit is mighty coarse for polishing a gun barrel!
Pits can be draw filed out, then sanded-if they are not too deep.

February 27, 2011, 02:18 AM
Greetings gallen85, and welcome aboard.

Listen to Bill, he knows about what he's talking about.

February 27, 2011, 12:51 PM
Well I guess polishing would not be the proper term for the 100 grit. I was mostly using it to get the old bluing off and remove any small imperfections. Could the sandpaper do this? I was thinking the file may allow me to move too fast and I could go slower with the sandpaper. Is this not the case? Youre help is greatly appreciated.

February 27, 2011, 01:33 PM
i always start with 100 grits and polish to 320. iv heard any higher of a polish doesnt take the blue as well. also heating the barrel up alittle helps.

Bill DeShivs
February 27, 2011, 04:23 PM
Sanding pits dishes them out. They should be filed or stoned out, then sanded.

February 27, 2011, 04:41 PM
Well to avoid that I am using a block as a backing for the sandpaper and I am not spot sanding the pits. I am sanding the whole barrel the same amount.

Bill DeShivs
February 27, 2011, 10:25 PM
Block sanding is good, but the paper itself is cushioned. Carefully filing the pits out, and then removing the file marks by block sanding is the way to go.

February 28, 2011, 09:11 AM
Are you cold bluing out of a bottle, tube, etc. or hot salt bluing? I have hot salt blued mirror finished guns and had no problem. The salts do not coat but penetrate the steel .0003-.0004 and do not change sizes. The salts are a nickel salt from Heatbath corp.
As far as the pits are concerned, if they are too deep to be easily removed you could have everything bead blasted for a matte finish. Early in my bluing education I found if I did not remove or blast pits prior to bluing when the items came out of the tank the pits would actually turn a nice bright orange (rust) color after awhile. It was terrible, my almost black gun with orange pit pox.

ps. The blasting media I used at the time was: Potters quality Ballatoni impact beads

February 28, 2011, 05:41 PM
I will be using bluing salts. The pits themselves are not that deep, or do not appear deep. They are just small dots at the end of the barrel.