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Old 02-13-2013, 03:28 PM
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Default Satin or polished stainless steel finish

Just wondering what your preference is. Post a picture if you've polished your S/S revolver. Also, provide any tips on how you achieved the shine.

Last edited by avigar; 02-13-2013 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:38 PM
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I much prefer the original satin finish. To me, some polishing jobs make the guns appear gaudy but I know that others prefer the "high-shine, chrome-plated" look. My main concern regarding polishing a stainless S&W revolver - especially an older, no longer made version - would be the damage to its collector value. I know S&W can refinish those guns but that's just an unnecessary extra expense.

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Old 02-13-2013, 08:15 PM
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I like the high polished look. I used Mothers Mag polish then finished it off with Mothers Billet polish. I put about 2 hours into it.




Last edited by HockeyPuck; 02-13-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:01 PM
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This is one of those things that is so much a matter of individual preference there is not right or wrong answer.

My preference is a satin finish. In fact I like it duller that even the factory finish. I have a 681 at my gun smith being customized and I specified that when everything is done he should fine bead blast the whole thing (except the custom front sight - smile).

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:08 PM
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I polished my Model 60 using Flitz and I think it did a great job. As far as what it does to the value of the gun, I don't really care because I learned a long time ago to keep all the guns you have and just buy more as your budget allows. Oh, and you have to keep shooting them as well.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:13 PM
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Default Satin or polished stainless steel finish

I love the satin finish - beautiful understated elegance.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:16 PM
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If my stainless revolvers are in as new condition, I leave them that way. However, if they are used and have some finish issues, I get out the Mother's Mag & aluminum polish and polish to my heart's content. Even then, I don't try to bring them to a mirror finish.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:39 PM
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I like that semi-polished look, not mirror finish. Not sure if it will devalue the pistol any. It may even make it more marketable if I decide to sell later.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wproct View Post
If my stainless revolvers are in as new condition, I leave them that way. However, if they are used and have some finish issues, I get out the Mother's Mag & aluminum polish and polish to my heart's content. Even then, I don't try to bring them to a mirror finish.
^^ This is exactly how I do it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:59 PM
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As for me I like the factory satin finish. My 629 is a working gun and shows much less wear marks than a gun that is highly polished. Now maybe if it were a " Safe Queen " I might consider polishing it. To each their own and what ever floats your boat.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
I like that semi-polished look,
As do I. I did my one S/S revolver to a semi-polish finish, it looks clean and cared for that way. I used Mother's mag polish buffed off with an old cotton T-shirt.

If someone is going to try this remember to use a lite touch and take your time.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:08 PM
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Another consideration here is the factory treats the surface of stainless guns (I can't recall the method or name of the process), and polishing removes whatever the factory applied. I think I have the post bookmarked elsewhere and will edit if I can find it.

Edited to add: "passivation", creates a surface film making the surface more corrosion-resistant.
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Last edited by murphydog; 02-14-2013 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:27 PM
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From How To Passivate Stainless Steel Parts : Modern Machine Shop

"Passivation is a post-fabrication method of maximizing the inherent corrosion resistance of the stainless alloy from which the workpiece was produced. It is not a scale removal treatment, nor is it like a coat of paint.

There is no universal agreement on the precise mechanics of how passivation works. But it is certain that a protective oxide film is present on the surface of passive stainless steel. This invisible film is considered to be extremely thin, less than 0.0000001 inch thick, which is about 1/100,000 the thickness of a human hair!

A clean, freshly machined, polished or pickled stainless steel part automatically acquires this oxide film from exposure to oxygen in the atmosphere. Under ideal conditions, this protective oxide film completely covers all surfaces of the part."

It then goes on to describe how iron can be left behind in the machining process, and that needs to be removed for passivization to occur.

Thanks, Murphy! Fascinating! I was unaware of all this metallurgical stuff. But it seems (from my reading, at least) that we're OK to polish away, as long as we're not using anything iron-based. Can't recall ever having a problem with any stainless gun I've shined up, but it's sure good to know why.
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:26 PM
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Polish a stainless steel revolver or not is solely up to the owner and whether they like shiny or dull. The major difference to me is when a factory finish gets wear on it like rubs and light scratches on its surface they look bad and show the wear. On the polished revolvers they clean up nice and don't exhibit the wear like the factory finish. You just polish the rub or light scratch until it's gone.
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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present Thread, Satin or polished stainless steel finish in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; Just wondering what your preference is. Post a picture if you've polished your S/S revolver. Also, provide any tips on ...
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