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Feed Ramp Polishing

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by marb4, Jun 11, 2012.

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  1. marb4

    marb4 Member

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    How many of you polish the feed ramp of your autoloader regardless of whether or not you're having feeding problems? I have a Glock 19 (gen3) that I bought used and has been flawless through about a thousand rounds. The feed ramp just looks a little rough though. Not bad but could definitely be better with some q tips and polishing compound. I know, "if it ain't broke don't fix it". I'm just curious about how many make a feed ramp polish a routine "mod" to their pistols (or rifles for that matter).
     
  2. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Member

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  3. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    I friend did mine for me on my G34. It's worked just fine before and works just fine now. It did take a few of the tooling marks out. It's really nice and shiny but after a few rounds its just dirty again.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You won't accomplish anything with a Q-Tip except making the dull roughness shiny roughness.

    Actually polishing the feed ramp is done using a fine rubberized abrasive Cratex tip in a Dremel, or by hand with a dowel rod and very fine grades of black emery paper.

    That actually removes the tool marks that make it rough.

    rc
     
  5. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    You can never put metal back on (and polishing IS removing metal). If you're not having any issues with it, then don't "polish" anything. There are a lot of good guns that have been ruined by kitchen table gunsmiths "polishing" and "moding" this and that.
     
  6. Captain Brown Beard

    Captain Brown Beard Member

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    I learned this lesson the hard way a while back on a Springfield 1911 Loaded model. Worked just fine, but I read an article that convinced me my feed ramp needed polished. Long story short, it looks fantastic, but is now a dedicated range gun. Fails to go into battery often. Lesson learned, if your gun operates as intended, don't mess with it.
     
  7. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    If it's done right it will never be worse for reliability but as mentioned many have goofed it up including gunsmiths of the hired persuasion. I polish all of mine but didn't always though reputable brands are generally adequate for lifelong reliability. I reserve the Q-Tips for cleaning out reloading dies and extractor tunnels, and the occasional ear wax removal.

    Captain, I'd bet your Springer could be fixed unless you really went to town on it.
     
  8. gym

    gym member

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    Good advise , if the gun works leave it alone. too many things can go wrong. I had one that I just took a tiny bit off with some "mass" polish, no wheel just a cloth and my finger. It feeds fine now, tool marks are still visible but I don't care, it fired everything I put in it.
     
  9. tryshoot

    tryshoot Member

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    After cleaning and func test I always polish mine. Dremal tool walks to the gun and I meet it there.
     
  10. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    If it ain't broke, keep "fixing" it until it is. :p

    The finish on a feed ramp, within reason, is not as important as the angles, dimensions and curvature. And it is much more important on, for example, a 1911, than the relatively straight-line feeding Glock. I would imagine many a 1911 frame (in which the feed ramp is located) has been ruined by improper "polishing."
     
  11. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    Why? Don't you have car keys??

    Seriously... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  12. Captain Brown Beard

    Captain Brown Beard Member

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    I'm sure it could. I hit it with 2000g emery and finished with a light pass of dremel and flitz. Didn't touch any edges, just the face of the ramp. Shortly after I learned that gunsmiths invented the dremel to drum up more business for themselves.

    Either way it doesn't concern me too much, it's no longer a ccw piece, and I don't much care if it occasionally locks up at the range, the paper has not once attempted to return fire at me. Maybe a project down the road.
     
  13. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Closest I ever got to polishing a feed ramp was a couple of light rubs with a patch and and a smear of "Flitz"
     
  14. Captain Brown Beard

    Captain Brown Beard Member

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    Here's some photographic evidence of Danny Dremel at work. Not one of my proudest moments. It looks like I applied uneven pressure with the dowel wrapped in 2000 grit. I could possibly fix it by altering the angle slightly, but I'll leave that to somebody experienced, else I may make it worse.

    Posted a pic of it dirty, as a clean pic doesn't show much. Didn't touch the barrel throat either.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    A little touchup of the ramp on my G22 improved the feed reliability of 180gr JHPs. By a little I mean cleaning with Gunzilla then touching with Flitz and a Q-Tip, just enough to go from dull to satin. Only needed it once; now just gets cleaned.
     
  16. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    A 1911 has about a 4 1/2 degree window to function well in, as with any firearm knowing what you're doing makes all the difference. The Gunsmithing subforum includes several excellent stickies on the subject for those interested. I would never claim a square wheel won't roll but I can verify round ones do: that is the difference between it's functioned fine and it functions to the greatest degree possible.

    I don't suggest everyone jump in and go for it, merely understand the argument. Far too many people believe rough, loose, rattling, dirty, dry or dripping in oil are things that make firearms run well. They don't.

    One of mine polished by yours truly, angle measured at 30 degrees.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    I've always wondered what exactly is gained. It seems the potential gain is so slight, so inconsequential as to be unworthy of the risk of permanent damage. In comparison to the force being applied to the round as it is cycled into the chamber, the difference in friction from low to high polish just doesn't seem to be a possible game changer. It just seems that if a particular pistol's reliability is on the cusp of feed or failure, solely due to a polished ramp, then there's another larger problem afoot.

    Some of my most reliable guns are far from a high polish, yet they function just fine.
     
  18. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Some of what we get from touching up a feed ramp could be psychological.

    I can't say for sure whether the work I did on my Glock made any difference--maybe I just got better at reloading the rounds, and the higher level of consistency is what made the difference.

    Either way, amount of metal I removed from the ramp is virtually immeasurable, and I have more confidence in the gun's ability to feed the rounds.
     
  19. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    Never.
     
  20. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    I've thought about it but never have. My autos are very reliable and havent had any feed issues so far. Again if it aint broke dont fix it. I just like to keep it wiped down and clean and shiny, just use my hoppes and rag for that.
     
  21. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    The difference in a $50,000 Lexus that runs well and one that won't run at all can be a $3.00 sparkplug. No, absolutely smooth and reasonably smooth aren't that far apart but every little bit will help. Of course there's more to it than rubbing sandpaper but that's true of most things. Take that same sparkplug and mis-gap it and the car will run, but not nearly as well. The key is knowing what you've got before changing anything.
     
  22. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    I understand your analogy, but change it to; your Lexus having a wash and wax, then expecting it to be more dependable or getting better milage. This is more how I see the benefit, or lack thereof), of feed ramp polishing.
     
  23. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    No, these are internal parts that receive contact. The improved appearance is a result of the process but is not the purpose of polishing. Improved geometry and reduction in resistance to feed are the objectives. Think cylinder honing.

    There are plenty of firearm examples of improvements that seem less than they are. Tennifer for example is more than a tacticool black color scheme; it increases hardness and lubricity while protecting the base metal from damage. Checkering is more than a nifty pattern, it increases grip and by extension control and retention.

    Indeed the benefit of any given improvement may never go noticed by the owner unless or until marginal conditions exist, say night sights in low light or checkering in a downpour.
     
  24. gpjoe

    gpjoe Member

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    The only polishing that my pistols get is from the constant feeding of a variety of ammo sent down range. If I encounter a pistol that won't feed reliably (which I have not) it's going back to the manufacturer for remedy. No 'table-top gunsmithing' for me.
     
  25. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Would you specify they not alter the feed ramp, even if it's the problematic area?

     
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