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Pro's and Con's of Barrel Polishing

This is a discussion on Pro's and Con's of Barrel Polishing within the SIG Sauer Pistols forums, part of the SIG Sauer Forum category; As part of my EDE project I am considering polishing the barrel. This is not something I have done before but looking online (and we ...


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Old 01-21-2017, 08:05 AM   #1
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Pro's and Con's of Barrel Polishing

As part of my EDE project I am considering polishing the barrel. This is not something I have done before but looking online (and we all know everything we read is truth here), it seem a simple enough process.

- Soak in White Vinigar
- Scothbrite
- Polish

My question is, aside from the visual side of whether or not you like or dislike a polished barrel, what are the pro's and con's?

I assum that the Vinigar will not harm the bore, but am not sure.

I assume that with basic clean and lube upkeep it would not make the barrel more or less susceptible to rust or other issues.

Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:21 AM   #2
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I would not let the vinegar get into the bore. Plug the chamber and muzzle with foam ear plugs. I have heard that the vinegar will do to the bore what it does to the outside, eat away at the material. Be careful not to polish away too much material as you can affect fit and lockup.
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:32 AM   #3
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Why? If it ain't broke don't fix it IMHO
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:38 AM   #4
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I had a feed ramp polished, but never a barrel polished. I am going to look into this process to see what it is all about. OP, what do you like about the process that would make you want to do it?
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:05 AM   #5
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Aside from finish the process will not remove any metal and I am not going for a mirror finish. Really, just a uniform satin silver.

Plugging the bore is a good idea, I think I have some old foam ear plugs somewhere.

And yea, it ain't broke, but the barrel looks like **** after years of use and I am anal retentive about my guns and my motorcycles.

I just talked to my local GS smith and he said that the Vinigar would not be an issue for the bore, but he too said plug it regardless and clean and lube it well after I am done. Which I would do anyhow.

If I do it, and I probably will, I will post before, during and after pics here.
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Old 01-21-2017, 10:30 AM   #6
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I polished the barrel on my p238HD because the finish was wearing badly. I didn't use vinegar, just a rag and metal polish. It looks much better. I have noticed that the barrel finish durability varies between my sig pistols. My p238 barrel looked badly worn after only 1000 rounds while I have several thousand rounds through my p226SSE and it shows zero wear. As far as aesthetics, it is personal preference, but the p238 cycles more smoothly with the polished barrel. While I was at it, I polished the takedown lever, hammer and safety. Its been this way for probably 5 years and still looks good. I'm sure I devalued the gun but its not like I'll be selling it.
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Old 01-21-2017, 07:29 PM   #7
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I will post an update in my project thread here - http://sigtalk.com/sig-sauer-pistols...rk-custom.html on the outcome of the polishing.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:40 AM   #8
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i like seeing smilies on a blued barrel & can guesstimate how many rounds have been fired.

polishing a barrel or refinishing a firearm make me wonder what someone is trying to hide.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:05 AM   #9
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The thing with polishing a barrel to remove smileys is that the polished surface gets smileys too, just not as pronounced. To maintain the mirror finish, constant polishing is required. The barrel will still rub on the slide.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny D View Post
The thing with polishing a barrel to remove smileys is that the polished surface gets smileys too, just not as pronounced. To maintain the mirror finish, constant polishing is required. The barrel will still rub on the slide.
Oh, yea, without a doubt. The process is not to create an unmared or unmarable surface, but just to clean up the appearance. Which I feel pretty good about having done in this case.
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Old 01-22-2017, 09:32 AM   #11
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A polished barrel actually has more lubricity than an unpolished one which can be verified by just by running your finger over it and thats exactly why feedramps are polished, to facilitate a smooth loading of the bullet into the chamber.
The mere process of polishing will do nothing to effect the tolerances of the barrel to slide fit that would be detrimental to the function of the gun and polishing can be done with Flitz and a rag or a buffing wheel and some fine polishing compound using light pressure.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:00 AM   #12
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RBR, just remember that polish IS an abrasive! Just a very fine one, so you don't remove much material. The point was made that it is smoother, and that is true, but at the same time there are less "nooks and crannies" to hold lubrication!

If seeing is believing, then take 2 identical items, 1 polished, and 1 parkerized, held at the same height, and angle. Simultaneously apply a drop of oil to each at the same place at the same time. Which retains the oil, and which sheds it?
Polishing is great for locations that can't be lubricated, feed ramps, chambers, bores, but where parts pivot, and rub, it's best the finish is able to retain lubrication, when it isn't a sealed unit, as a bearing and race assembly.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:08 AM   #13
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Sorry, no experience here to offer. Never saw the need to do it.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willard View Post
RBR, just remember that polish IS an abrasive! Just a very fine one, so you don't remove much material. The point was made that it is smoother, and that is true, but at the same time there are less "nooks and crannies" to hold lubrication!

If seeing is believing, then take 2 identical items, 1 polished, and 1 parkerized, held at the same height, and angle. Simultaneously apply a drop of oil to each at the same place at the same time. Which retains the oil, and which sheds it?
Polishing is great for locations that can't be lubricated, feed ramps, chambers, bores, but where parts pivot, and rub, it's best the finish is able to retain lubrication, when it isn't a sealed unit, as a bearing and race assembly.
I agree completely and as long as your not polishing the slide surfaces that contact the barrel that would be where you would want to place your lube so it has a rougher surface to adhere to.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:25 AM   #15
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I have and have had more than one gun that had the barrel polished and they were fired from a former neighbor/friends Ransom rest before and after the polishing because it was something we wanted to know ourselves and there was no adverse effect on point of impact or group size between the stock factory barrel and a mirror polished factory barrel, actually one 1911 had a slightly reduced group size.
I wouldn't claim or promote that polishing your barrel will improve your guns groups because theres no way to know why it happened on this particular gun.
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