Restoring the shine to a revolver?


July 8, 2003, 08:21 AM
I got a S&W686P 4" a few days ago in used condition. It's a great gun but I'd like to give it a nice polishing up or buffing if that's what it's called. I'm having a hard time finding someone that could do this service for me. Is it called buffing or something else? I just want to restore the shine to the gun, not get a custom finish. Where could I look? Thanks. :)

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Al Thompson
July 8, 2003, 09:00 AM
If you want it to look shiney, you can do that yourself. Not sure about taking scratches out. If you'll take an old T shirt and a good polish - Flitz, Gunbrite or Simi-chrome, you can make a S&W look like nickel. I did it on a M60.

July 8, 2003, 09:19 AM
Flitz and a little elbow grease on the couch in front of the tube. It will come out better than you think.

July 8, 2003, 09:25 AM
Thanks guys. Save me money on sending it out...I'll give it a go. Appreciate it. :D

Byron Quick
July 8, 2003, 11:54 AM
I've had good results with scratches on stainless steel guns with 3M green scouring pads. Of course, these were guns that had brushed type finishes.

July 8, 2003, 12:34 PM
A multi-layered stitched cloth type of buffing wheel, mounted on a ''false nose'' is quickest way to go ..... run that in drill press .... or even with hand drill .... and use correct buffing compound ... takes all the sweat outa the operation!

Standing Wolf
July 8, 2003, 09:34 PM
I did the same thing myself, only to discover stainless steel develops scratches if you even look at it sideways.

July 8, 2003, 10:30 PM
A Dremel tool with some felt polishing heads and some Flitz, Semichrome or your other favorite polish will do the trick.
Only problem is you shine it until it looks chrome plated then the fingerprints drive ya nuts.

Johnny Guest
July 11, 2003, 11:52 AM
- - -I do suggest you be very, VERY gentle with use of any sort of power tools in your project. It is very easy to ruin the flat surfaces, and make 'em look even worse than before. Likewise the rollmarks or stamped markings. I think the hand methods are better, unless you have some really deep scratches/gouges. I like to use Flitz with muslin pads, followed by same with soft cotton pad from old t-shirt.

After all, one nice part of stainless steel construction is that the metal is the same color all the way through. :D That said, I admire a gun owner who wants to maintain the nice finish on his shootin' irons.


July 11, 2003, 06:49 PM
I mirror finished my 686 and 66 when they were new. Looks real nice, but a pain. Shows fingerprints, scratches. On my new ones I usually just give it a "brush" look with 800# paper and oil.

July 11, 2003, 08:30 PM
I had a really old k-bar knife covered with rust and who knows what. Needing and excuse to get a cheapo bench grinder I acted and purchased a couple of stitched cloth buffing wheels and buffing compounds. Bottom line that knife blade now has a mirror shine with just a little work.

I suggest getting a knife making catalog that has lots of buffing products and give the company a call. Koval Knives in Albany, OH is a good place to start. 1-800-556-4837. Tell 'em your story and see what they say. BTW, Koval is a constant at gun shows.

I remember your post about revolvers. What kind of grip do you have on your 686?

July 12, 2003, 02:21 PM
A proper polishing job on a revolver is a high skill operation. If you want to just clean up a satin or brushed finish it might be best to do it by hand with 400 grit abrasive paper.

July 12, 2003, 06:13 PM
You might consider a bead blasted finish, not hard to do yourself if you have access to a blasting cabinet. Can't imagine it would cost more than a polish job if you hired it done.

July 12, 2003, 09:18 PM
Nice looking gun! Right now I have the factory Hogue rubber grips which are great, but I may replace it at some point with their Lamo Camo grips....:D

Johnny Guest
July 14, 2003, 12:40 PM
Sisco has previously posted photos of some handguns with the "shiny trim" treatment, akin to the barrel band and cylinder flutes on the above GP100. Most attractive and tastefully understated.


July 14, 2003, 08:35 PM
Thank you Mr. Guest.

July 14, 2003, 09:06 PM
I can't do this type of finish unfortunately. Who does blead blasted work like the one on your gun? I've never seen this type of work advertised in the sites I've visited. BTW -- Metaloy whom I've e-mailed twice (I'm hearing-impaired) doesn't respond....:mad:

July 14, 2003, 09:12 PM
Did mine myself but then I have access to a cabinet. If a local gunsmith can't do it you might check with machine shops, radiator shops etc and see if they could do it. Rugers are a different animal from Smiths as far as taking the trigger assy. out in preperation for blasting, you might want to consult a gunsmith on that part.

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