Polishing SS Revolvers?


The Rabbi
January 25, 2005, 06:53 PM
I will be getting my first stainless revolver, a Model 65 3" shortly, insh'alla. I have noticed that the finish tends towards a dull grey. Has anyone polished their gun to a high polish? What were the results?
I am intending to make this my "BBQ gun" so looks are important.

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R.H. Lee
January 25, 2005, 06:57 PM
Check into some stuff called Sheila Shine. It's for SS. If you don't like the high gloss, you can always dull it again with a Scotchbrite pad. :)

Ala Dan
January 25, 2005, 07:46 PM
Two other options are Simichrome and Flitz Metal Polish.

The first can be bought at any automotive store, as bikers use it
to polish the chrome on their bikes. Also, its available from The
Western Wood Doctor for slightly over $6 a tube. And the beauty
is, this tube will last 5 years (or more) because its kind'a like the
old Bryl-Cream; " a little dab will do ya". :D

The other can be found at most well stocked gun shops.
We sell it, but I'm not exactly sure of the price? Plus the fact,
I use Simichrome on all of my stainless firearms. ;) :cool:

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

January 25, 2005, 08:26 PM
Here's a few of mine....







R.H. Lee
January 25, 2005, 08:42 PM
So Jeff, please explain how you got them to look like that.

The Rabbi
January 25, 2005, 09:07 PM
Ditto that.

The Python is, AFAIK, nickel, so it looks like that naturally (mine does anyway). But the others??

January 25, 2005, 09:43 PM
Pythons are (were) available in bright polished stainless (the term Python Elite comes to mind) but in my experience nickel guns always looked much better. Please tell us how you got your stainless guns to look so good!

I have a new Ruger Vaquero in Ruger's bright stainless finish that need a polishing job like this. Ruger's ideal of polish and my ideal of polish are two completely different things, it seems.

Edited to add: Just checked the Colt webpage and Pythons are indeed currently offered in stainless, but the polish job doesn't look as good as the pictures above.

January 25, 2005, 10:11 PM
Thanks for thinking the Python is a fake and that it's really nickel.
Sorry to say that I don't own any nickel guns at this time.
I'll bet you your choice of any gun I own against any one you own that the Python in the above pic is Stainless.

The pics don't do them justice either.

I've been working with Mothers Mag Wheel polish (the paste not liquid).
By the way, no machines were used on any of the guns pictured. All were done by hand. Also no animals were harmed during the photos. :D


January 25, 2005, 10:26 PM
Thanks for letting us know.

I've been working with Mothers Mag Wheel polish (the paste not liquid).

No kidding. I have some of that. Didn't occur to me to give it a try.

FWIW, I had no doubt your Python was stainless. One dead giveaway with nickel finishes in comparison with stainless is that the nickel finish, over time, takes on an almost yellowish color. Most of the time this will show up in pictures quite readily. My dad once had a six inch nickel Python. Man, that gun was gorgeous. Polish was so high luster that every single hint of a fingerprint was obvious. My dad constantly worried about rust. He finally sold it to a collector for twice what he paid for it (he had it about 10 years). Given the choice between the two, I'd probably opt for the stainless.

BTW, that Mountain Gun looks really nice. Is that one of the limited first runs? I like the .500 as well.

January 25, 2005, 10:46 PM

Actually the Mountain gun just plain came out sweet looking.
If you notice, there's NO markings on either side of the gun. I also accented the high edge of Trigger and outter high edge of the Hammer to give it a little bit more polish. The gun looks very clean and Ssssmmmooooth that way.


January 25, 2005, 10:47 PM
Here's the flip side of the 629...



Standing Wolf
January 25, 2005, 11:29 PM
I polished my pre-agreement Smith & Wesson model 60 to a high, bright shine, only to discover it showed scratches if I so much as breathed on it.

Now all my stainless steel guns are bead-blasted.

January 25, 2005, 11:36 PM
Hey Wolf,

Send me your address.
I need to know where to send the breath mints... :D


January 26, 2005, 03:21 AM
Use Blue Magic Polish,You can find it at auto parts stores.

Relatively cheap and with some elbow grease or a dremel tool the finish comes out as good as a nickel plating job!

January 26, 2005, 05:08 PM
At the risk of showing my ignorance, how did you get the markings off the Mountain Gun? I have a 629 MG myself, and I would LOVE to get it to look like yours. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

January 26, 2005, 05:26 PM
You could try my method, my S&W .357 in stainless is beautifully coated in: fingerprints, burnt gun powder, partially burnt gun powder, dust, grease, dog hair and several unidentified substances. Gives the gun that "authentic" look that is so treasured! :D

January 26, 2005, 05:31 PM

At least you can't be accused of having a "pimp gun"!

January 26, 2005, 08:35 PM
Holy crud, Kwazy...those are gorgeous.

How about detailed "how to?" Or is it just Mother's Mag Polish and a LOT of elbow grease?

What kind of cloth did you use, how much time, any tricks, etc...

January 26, 2005, 11:34 PM
I polished my GP100 using a Dremel and semichrome polish. Looked real good but the fingerprints drove me nuts so I bead blasted it.

January 27, 2005, 06:07 AM
Everytime I've gotten into this before regarding my methods to polishing. It always starts out nice and ends with some YaHoos telling everyone to just put the guns to some type of buffing wheels and compounds or Dremmel tools.
All my guns are done by hand period. That's my preference.
I've seen the results of people that have polished guns with machines that don't know what they're doing. It's not pretty. They turn out shiney but people tend to round the sharp corners along the frame and also tear into the factory stampings of the guns and destroy a perfectly good gun.
It takes longer to do it the way I do it, but the results are worth it.
This again is my opinion.
My main polish that I use is Mothers Mag Wheel polish. The paste, not the liquid. I also use a soft cotton cloth. Old T-shirts and old used dish towels work well. Generally ones with-out prints. Old cloth diapers work great for final polish and rubbing the gun just to clean it. If they won't scratch your kids A$$, it shouldn't scratch your guns.


January 27, 2005, 06:17 AM

How long is "longer"?


January 27, 2005, 07:17 AM
I bought a 4" S&W 629-nothing from an Indiana depury sherrff in the mid 90s.

He had carried it a LOT and it showed.

I used Semichrome and Flitz and did it by hand.

Yes it took a while but it not really all that long. And the result was well worth it.

I did it in front of the television. Just light rubbing it all it takes. You pay close attention at first but as you go you get a feel for how hard you need to press and how fast you need to rub.

After 10-15 minutes you can just sit bad and rub, glancing down occasionally to keep an eye on progress.

As I recall it took a couple of hours a night for about 5 or 6 nights.
It was actually quite relaxing.


January 27, 2005, 07:58 AM
I have tried to polish my new Taurus matte finished stainless gun but since it is matt(bead blasted) it will never come up like the guns pictured if done by hand. Its just too 'rough' to be polished by hand to mirror smooth.. now my S&W 686 was NOT matte stainless and it came up like a mirror when done by hand.. So I guess it depends on how the stainless was finished from the factory on wether it can be polished..



January 27, 2005, 08:34 AM

Nice work! I have 'cleaned up' a police trade-in 65-3 with Flitz/Semichrome and elbow grease... even a 6" cotton buffer charged with red & white rouge on the gouges. My first 'attempt' was my 4.6" .45 Colt BHG Vaquero over a year ago. The 'bright' finish was easy to match after I had scratched the barrel up with 320-1,500 grit Si/C w/d paper... removing that Ruger paragraph. I highly reccomend it - a great improvement. I have removed it from all of my SS Rugers now, icluding Vaquero's, BH's, SBH, and RH. The satin finish of the SBH & RH was returned via some maroon ScotchBrite pads. I used a Porter Cable Profile Sander's concave-shaped sanding profile to follow the barrel's curve, but an old-fashioned felt chalkboard eraser works as well. I used WD-40 as a lube... it took hours, of course, but it is worth it. The beginning and end seem to have a deeper 'dot' than the rest of the roll-marked paragraph. Your .44 SRH will look a lot better...

My MG's, a .45 Colt 625 and 1 629, are laser-etched, I assume like your 629MG was. That would make them candidates... my roll-engraved ones would be too much trouble. The Si/C w/d paper can be had at any home-improvement store - an assortment of 320-1,000 is available at Wally World, even. I also like Ace hardware stores - usually very eager to special order goodies for you. I ordered a bottle of Flitz Metal Polish from my local Ace - it is green - like the case tumbler additive they make, unlike the pink-orange color of the previous (several years old) polish. Doesn't work as well, either. Hopefully, Semichrome hasn't changed. Try auto paint and body supply stores for the finer (1,500+) grit papaers.


January 27, 2005, 08:41 AM
I polish all of my stainless guns with either Mother's Mag polish or Flitz. Unfortunately I don't have the capability of posting pictures at this time. I prefer to have them polished to the point where they are bright but not like the Colt .38 Supers or bright polished Pythons. I just finished my 3" GP100 two nights ago. I used Flitz and I spent two evenings one hour each while watching TV. This is all it took to achieve the level of shine I wanted.

January 27, 2005, 12:25 PM
I don't know if I want supergloss on my 4 inch 686, but I know I'm going to try some of the things mentioned on my stainless Vaquero real soon.

FlyinGN, you said you used the polish on your stainless Taurus, but couldn't get a high gloss due to the initial rough finish. Can you post pics of how it came out? I'm thinking of trying this out on my 650, but it also has the bead blasted finish.

January 27, 2005, 01:01 PM
MikeJ, got a pic of the GP 100 after you did it?

Gunkwazy, very nice sir!

January 27, 2005, 02:13 PM
Holy smokes, those are some suh-weet Smittys!

January 27, 2005, 03:59 PM
southpaw-- It did not change anyway at all. It still looks like I did not polish it at all. Here it is..



January 27, 2005, 06:32 PM
Hey Frank,

Shouldn't that be posted over on the rifle board ? :D


January 27, 2005, 07:17 PM
its only an 8-3/8" barrel.. It just looks longer at that angle..



January 27, 2005, 07:58 PM
Another vote for "Flitz". Easy to use, works great.

January 27, 2005, 10:35 PM
A year ago last Christmas my wife bought me a 4" stainless Python Elite. The finish is a matte stainless so I decided to polish it bright. I used Flitz (amazing stuff) and the semi-soft shop cloths that you can get at Costco. I also used my Dremel at first with the cotton polishing wheels but liked the cloth- backed by tongue depressors when necessary-method better. I'm proficient with the Dremel, just preferred fingertip control. The job took many cold Vermont winter nights but was worth it. The finish looks and feels like mirrored glass. Fingerprints? A quick wipe with the Flitz or Mother's Mag Wheel Cleaner eliminates them quickly. -Asa

January 27, 2005, 11:09 PM
When my 629 was in the S&W PC for some work, I asked them to give it the "High Bright Polish." They told me that highly polished SS scratched very easily, so I left the satin finish. BTW just from general cleaning and handling it's getting there, only very slowly. My 625 is a different story. I hated the bead blasted finish, but I could see that there were some flaws that the dull finish seemed to hide. My solution was to use some Maas paste to take it down about half way. Right now it's still matte, but smooth as a baby's bottom.

January 28, 2005, 11:19 PM
My Pics don't hold a candle to anyone elses but, I tried the Mothers mag polish on my little Model 60 .357............it works!



January 30, 2005, 08:18 AM
Good job Marshall,
I for one have been using Mothers for YEARS and am very happy with the results. The gun looks good. Thanks for the pictures.
Just trying to be helpful here, but it looks like you need to work on better lighting and your pictures will come out much better. What kind of light source are you using ? It looks like maybe just a 60 watt bulb. Try a brighter bulb or an additional light and make sure they are on the camera side of the subject. Sometimes outside sunshine can work great for lighting the subject as well. That is if you live where the sun comes out to play. I'm in Arizona, no problem there. :D

Good luck, Jeff (GUNKWAZY)

The Rabbi
January 30, 2005, 10:50 AM
The pics have been very inspirational and quite beautiful.

Do people carry these pieces and if so what is the result of the polish job on a gun carried and shot for a while? Does the finish show scratches like cat hair on a black sofa? Does it look smudged?

January 30, 2005, 11:51 AM
Hmm. A local shop has a new ladysmith that has been sitting around for some time. I've been tempted but never liked the Ladysmith logos. Maybe......

Drill Sergeant
January 30, 2005, 03:20 PM
Hey, guys, the polishing work looks really nice. I have a couple that I would like to try.

I have a question about practicality, however. I live in AZ, where the sun almost always shines. Is it very difficult to shoot tight groups in direct sunlight? Seems as if the reflection of the sun would present quite a problem. I also suspect that these handguns are not used for hunting. Correct?

Thanks! :)

January 30, 2005, 04:56 PM
Don't polish the sights. :what: Most quality stainless revolvers come with the entire sight rib as well as the sights bead blasted or whatever you want to call it. Bottom line is this is the one area of the gun you don't want to shine.

January 30, 2005, 05:13 PM
Shining up stainless revolvers has recently become my favorite way to relax.

Thank you, 'Kwazy.

(Yep, I even did my Huntin' Gun.)

January 30, 2005, 06:08 PM
You're welcome Ronnie.
Hey Drill, like Southpaw said, keep the top strap and the rest of the topside in the blasted or rough finish and you should be fine.

Truth be told, I think the guns clean up easier after shootin' when they are polished. That's just my opinion though.
And if you don't like drawing attention at the range, don't polish your guns. People are always asking why my guns look better than the others ones around town.


Drill Sergeant
January 30, 2005, 06:17 PM
OK, guys, I am convinced to try one. I have a SS 5" Ruger Redhawk in 45 Colt that is demanding some changes. I won't be able to get to it until mid February (after my business trips).

I will let you know how I make out. :)

January 30, 2005, 08:23 PM
It's hard to tell but, I used Flitz on my 686.


January 30, 2005, 09:53 PM

Thanks for the Mothers tip buddy! I just happened to have a can of it in the garage, never thought to use it until I saw your photos.

Thanks for the lighting tips. You have to understand though, that's from a cell phone cam and indoors, it's capabilities regardless of lighting are very limited. LMAO. My oldest daughter took my nice one to college and I haven't seen it since. But she's my daughter.......anymore need to be said? LOL :D

January 31, 2005, 02:44 AM
BluesBear says:

Yes it took a while but it not really all that long. And the result was well worth it.

I did it in front of the television. Just light rubbing it all it takes. You pay close attention at first but as you go you get a feel for how hard you need to press and how fast you need to rub.

After 10-15 minutes you can just sit bad and rub, glancing down occasionally to keep an eye on progress.

As I recall it took a couple of hours a night for about 5 or 6 nights.
It was actually quite relaxing.

Harrr-har-harr-har!!! I read that and cracked up laughing!
Man, you got a sense of humor! :D

Sam's Gun Shop in Everett is within striking distance of either one of us if you'd like to meet there to shoot the bull and get some target practice in.
I'll even buy you a beer afterwards.
Let me know...just do your 'polishing' before you get there! :neener:

Drill Sergeant
January 31, 2005, 08:40 AM
Just one question:

Where will I find "Mothers"? :confused:


January 31, 2005, 09:55 AM
Mothers ?

A lot of your Auto parts stores will carry it.


January 31, 2005, 10:05 AM
I gave this one a little more shine and also polished the Lady Smith Logo off. Used Weenol Polish and Kleenbore Lead Remover Cloth.


February 24, 2005, 07:42 PM
I've seen Mothers chrome polish at Wal-mart and Kmart.

February 24, 2005, 08:01 PM
I've seen Mothers chrome polish at Wal-mart

That's where I got mine.

Also have something called Nevr-Dull. I used this to clean up some primer overspray on my stainless twin exhaust on my Mustang after a recent repainting. Shined it up really bright. Absolutely gorgeous. Haven't had the nerve to try it on a gun yet.

HogRider, you're really tempting me with those picks. The local shop has a new 65LS for $489. Not a terribly good price, but pretty decent for an LS in this area. Only thing is, if there's one thing I don't need is another gun. Even less I need another K-frame .357. I have very few 3-inchers, though (lots of 2 and 2.5s).

February 24, 2005, 08:12 PM
I hope you're using the paste and NOT the liquid.
You're loking for the Mothers Mag & Aluminum polish.
It does NOT come in a squeeze bottle, but a short plastic jar.


February 24, 2005, 08:40 PM
I have the paste. Worked wonderfully on my Interarms Walther PPK/s. The sides of the slide now sport a very high gloss. I'm debating about doing to the frame to match.

February 24, 2005, 10:27 PM
What does polishing a stainless gun do the the value?
I will probably try polishing my new Security Six, But if I had something nice and valuable like the earlier mentioned Python, I would be worried about messing with the finish.

February 24, 2005, 10:38 PM
I was referring to the paste, in the short red and white jar.

February 24, 2005, 11:47 PM
I'd forgotton about this thread and asked the same questions on the Ruger Forum.
My main concern is the degree of abrasive qualities among the different polishes.
Anyone have an idea of how they stack up?

BTW, I've used the Nevr-Dull since the days when I helped MY Dad polish up the exhaust tips on his hot-rod station wagon... :D
That's good stuff, but more for use on something that already has a shiny surface.

Great thread. I'm looking forward to getting my new Super Redhawk and doing a bit of detail work, all to be 'enhanced' by having the stainless steel BLACKENED!!! :evil: It should be very interesting.

February 25, 2005, 07:10 AM
Odds are that your Ruger Security six does not have any real collector value.
If you like polished guns, go for it. You'll enjoy doing it and the end results will be worth it.



April 6, 2005, 08:57 AM
All right guys...after reading this thread I started polishing my 65LS last night in an attempt to remove the bead blasting and the LadySmith etching. I was using the only polish I had at the house which was Kleenbore Gun Polish (similar to Flitz). I was able to get most of the etching off but I can still faintly see the words and the area is extremely bright. Brighter than I want for the rest of the gun. Can I knock that area back down now with sandpaper and oil or something else? I tried 000 steel wool but that really didn't do anything. Suggestions?

The other areas that I have been working on look great by the way. Not too shiny, not too dull.


Drill Sergeant
April 7, 2005, 07:31 AM
OK. I sat down and tried Mothers on my Redfield. Looks great. I am pleased. It also eliminated some minor imperfections. Thanks for the input.

Now I need to refinish the original wood grips. They are looking old and tired.

Any ideas on how to refinish?


July 3, 2005, 09:28 PM
I tried the Mother's Mag polish on a Smith. I didn't spend as much time as I could have, but the little time I did spend made a difference.
I don't think I want a mirror finish on it anyway, it's a shooter.



July 3, 2005, 09:48 PM
I polished up the sides of my Interarms Walther to a mirror finish. Looks great. I may never shot it again. Been working for a month on a stainless (Ruger's "High Polish") Vaquero and not gotten very far. I'll keep at it.

Mother's is real good for removing light scratches and I'm happy I tried it.

Old Fuff
July 3, 2005, 10:00 PM
When you're done with all of this polishing, apply one or two coats of a good paste wax. Mother's will do, as will Johnson's paste floor wax. It helps with the fingerprint problems. You'll find they'll wipe right off.

July 3, 2005, 10:23 PM
Nice job Grimjaw,
Nuttin' like a couple a shiney wheel guns to brighten your day. ;)



Drill Sergeant
July 4, 2005, 12:29 PM
One more time. . .

Any ideas on how to best refinish the stocks on my Ruger Redhawk?

1 old 0311
July 4, 2005, 12:37 PM
Hi Jeff,

You just gave away my 20 year secret :mad:. Semichrome is what I use. I still have the same tube I bought 20 years ago. It does take a little time but the results are worth it.


July 4, 2005, 05:45 PM
grimjaw, your model 67 seems to have some peening around the indexing notches too. What year is yours from?

I hope yours is shooting better than mine. I'll have it shipped back to S&W sometime this week for repair.

July 4, 2005, 07:12 PM
grimjaw, your model 67 seems to have some peening around the indexing notches too. What year is yours from?

SeanSw, this thread


gives it 1982 vintage.

I got this one very used. Yes, it shoots OK in the 150 rounds or so that I've put through it.

edit: TarpleyG, much thanks. I will start a new thread rather than steal this one.


July 4, 2005, 07:38 PM
Irregular wear around the index notch pictured here...



July 17, 2005, 08:50 PM
Gunkwazy, do you just take the grips off the revolver and go to town on it, or do you disassemble it further? (sights, cylinder, etc.?)

July 17, 2005, 11:03 PM
Usually just the grips come off.
You need to make sure you spend the time equally over the entire gun.
Also get into those tight corners with the tips of your fingers. Don't just polish the easy places and ignore the tough to reach places.

I just recently did a S&W 617 that the factory had a fairly crappy finish on even though the gun looked unfired.
I left the flutes on the cylinder rough and polished the rest.
It gave it a very nice contrast.
I'll try to remember to shoot pictures soon.
I think you guys will like it.


July 19, 2005, 11:31 AM
Here are a couple of mine.I usually remove the thumb latch to polish mine.

July 19, 2005, 05:52 PM
Ooops, forgot to mention that.
That too.
Thanks Lanceman.



September 5, 2005, 04:42 AM
:D hey out there i took the advice out here about the mothers mag polish but i bought the mothers incredible billet metal polish and rubbed it on my ruger sp101 ss gun then off and man i was like that is awsome the more shine you want the more buffing and polish you add try some you will be a believer too. dont have a pic but looks like jeff's ;)

Drill Sergeant
September 5, 2005, 08:52 AM
Third and Last Try:

Any input about how to refinish the grips on my now 'shiny' Ruger Redhawk?


Old Fuff
September 5, 2005, 10:14 AM
Drill Sergeant:

Sorry, thought someone had got to you by now ...

Anyway, do you want a high-gloss finish, or something more satin looking? Refinishing smooth (as opposed to checkered) stocks is easy. I will go into more detail when you respond as to which "look" you want.

September 5, 2005, 08:39 PM
hey there not sure on refinishing but check out badger custom grips they have different ones to choose from also if you email jim at bager he will email you back ask him about what you want to do im sure he will have advise for you on where to start etc, he emailed me back on some stuff i asked him so best of wishes for now :D

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