Polishing internals-Risks and Rewards


March 14, 2013, 08:56 AM
I have never done any sort of done modifications. I have a Ruger SR 9C and I absolutely love the trigger. However I have seen many people with many different guns talk about polishing the trigger internals and feed ramp. Again, I have absolutely no issues with the gun. Everything is really perfect. However I think it might be fun to see what good might come from polishing and such. My question is what are the risks? What could go wrong? Is there a chance I could make things worse? I'm pretty good with mechanics and machinery so I'm not worried about taking it apart and putting it back together. Any insight is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If you enjoyed reading about "Polishing internals-Risks and Rewards" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 14, 2013, 09:00 AM
The risks? If you polish the wrong surfaces the wrong way, too much, or change the angles, round over edges that are supposed to be crisp, you could make the gun into a dangeous item that can go off unexpectedly, and can even go full-auto uncontrollably.

If you don't know EXACTLY what you're doing, DON'T polish any of the fire-control parts!

March 14, 2013, 09:03 AM
Dang! I see it talked about so casually. The last thing I want is a full auto carry pistol!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

March 14, 2013, 09:54 AM
Well, some things are safe to polish (mostly the sides of parts where they rub against the frame) and some things that aren't (engagement surfaces of sear and hammer, for example). Knowing what is what is really important.

And yeah, both guys who know what they're doing and guys who don't tend to talk about a "fluff & buff" as if it's perfectly safe to dig in there with a Dremel tool!

March 14, 2013, 11:14 AM
Well, I love the trigger as it is, with 1k+ rounds in it. I like to tinker but I think I may leave this one well enough alone.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Old Fuff
March 14, 2013, 11:40 AM
You can safely burnish internal parts by simply dry firing (or for that matter actually shooting) any handgun and not get into trouble. When parts rub together under pressure from springs or whatever, they will in time wear down burrs or rough surfaces, and smooth them, but only where they're is contact.

One time I watched a well known 'smith working on a S&W revolver. He started by detail stripping the parts and coating them with a machinistís layout dye called "Dykem." He then reassembled everything, dry-fired the action a few times, and then disassembled the parts again. As he did so he pointed out that very little of the dye had been rubbed off, and explained that doing any polishing in those places where it hadnít would be an absolute waste of time and accomplish nothing. He only paid attention to those places where the dye had rubbed off, and for the most part left them as they were, as they would burnish themselves. He was careful to be sure everything was adjusted as it should be, and replaced at least one part because it was incorrectly fitted it the first place. The resulting trigger pull was extremely smooth.

March 20, 2013, 09:13 AM
Well, I do plenty of that! Thanks

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

March 20, 2013, 09:06 PM
Also remember, when we talk about "polishing" gun parts, we DON'T mean "like a mirror".

The idea is to SMOOTH parts just enough to level machine marks that may cause roughness between parts.
Polishing to a bright mirror shine does absolutely nothing good, and often ruins parts.
Some parts are surface hardened. Polish just a little too much and you can break through the thin surface and ruin the part.

For the most part, you can get the same effect, safer by just shooting the gun and let it polish itself where needed.
And as above, unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing you can easily ruin parts or guns.
A big source of repair money for gunsmiths is restoring guns that someone who didn't know what he was doing decided to "improve it" by a little polishing.
You can learn to do this, but you have to learn how before risking a gun.

March 23, 2013, 11:15 PM
if you have a great trigger and love it, why mess with it? nothing good will come from the garage gunsmithing done to a good trigger. If you cant afford the ammo to keep shooting it frequently, buy some snap caps to protect the firing pin and dry fire, dry fire and dry fire some more. This will smooth out the trigger as much as any polishing. As the part rub against each other, they smooth out over time. Dry fire is also the best practice you can do for free to improve your trigger pull!

March 24, 2013, 08:52 AM
If you polish with a Dremel set on its lowest speed and soft, white polishing pad that attaches to a mandrel with a screw and use Simichrome, you won't live long enough to change any angles or do any damage.

I polish all the mating surfaces of my Glocks' firing mechanisms. Never had a problem yet.

Recently acquired several Ruger Mark III 22/45s. I've become pretty good at honing and polishing the engagement surfaces of the sear and hammer, using an EZ Lap fine diamond hone and the above-mentioned Dremel/Simichrome method. Makes for much better triggers and, again, no problems so far.

Jolly Rogers
March 24, 2013, 09:51 AM
Don't know where you are from your sig. line. Can you post your location for me so I know what area to avoid when I want to go shooting?:scrutiny:

March 24, 2013, 11:48 AM
I'm located in an area where folks understand antecedents. :cool:

Jolly Rogers
March 24, 2013, 03:14 PM
Well I'm just a poor (but skilled) technician. I know when to avoid someone that does something that may be dangerous. Perhaps you should stick to parsing posts instead of polishing trigger group parts.:evil:
Well respected smiths advise people to only use jigs to dress sears and hammers. Free handing is specifically discouraged.
I'd still like to know where you shoot. To avoid your future mishap, of course.:uhoh:

If you enjoyed reading about "Polishing internals-Risks and Rewards" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!