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Polishing a Kimber 1911 stainless matte finish

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Splat Shot, Jan 12, 2003.

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  1. Splat Shot

    Splat Shot Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
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    Location:
    Texas
    I have a Kimber custom classic in a stainless matte finish. I had the flats on the slide polished at the factory but am now interested in having the same done to the flats on the frame. It would cost me about $150 to have the factory do this including shipping so I was wondering if I could do it myself by hand and avoid the cost and wait time.

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to do this - what rubbing compound to use, tools and tips on how to do it right? I would like the same mirror finish the factory gave me on the slide if possible. I would also like to touch up the minor scratches on the slide while I'm at it. Thanks, Splat.
     
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Dec 26, 2002
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    This is do-able at home, BUT......
    To do it right, you will have to remove the grip screw bushings and the plunger tube.
    The bushings are usually staked and Lock-Tited in place. You run the risk of stripping the screw holes in the frame when you try to remove them, without the proper tools.

    There are a number of methods of polishing the frame, from power buffing equipment to gluing large sheets of progressively finer "sanding" cloth to plate glass, and pushing the frame over it.

    Unless you're set up for properly removing, reinstalling and staking the bushings and tube, I'd send it back to the factory and eliminate the risk of damaging the frame.

    Also, it's easy to "botch" polishing jobs. This is often attempted by non-gunsmith's, and it's almost always poorly done.
    This is simply due to the fact that proper polishing is a skill that takes time to learn and develope. Factory people practice before working on a customer's gun.

    You really don't want to make learner's mistakes on your own gun. Once "botched" it's difficult, if not impossible to correct.

    Another option, is too check with a professional refinishing company. Usually they will polish parts cheaper than the factory, and do it quicker and better, since that's what they do.

    The back pages of American Handgunner magazine usually has ads from the better finishers.
     
  3. Splat Shot

    Splat Shot Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the reply. I'm now convinced that it will be done by someone other than me. If I screw it up I could not live with it. Will take a look at American Handgunner and also check some of the local smiths around here. Regards, Splat.
     
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