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Old 03-10-2010, 05:35 PM
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Default Polishing the feed ramp

I have several automatic handguns and I want to polish their feed ramps.

I know how to break each gun down, so that's not the advise I need.

Can anyone tell me what to use and the steps that they take to do a good job of feed ramp polishing?

i.e. do you use a dremel tool or do it by hand - what grain wet / dry sand paper do you use (or do you use wet / dry sand paper at all)

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 03-10-2010, 05:51 PM
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I use a dremel tool with some sort of jewelers rouge ( spelling?). Works quite well and goes pretty quickly. I suppose some kind of emery paper would work as well. Maybe start with 400 grit and then 600 and maybe something finer. Maybe 600 is plenty fine. I would keep it lubricated with oil.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:07 PM
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You guys do know polishing a feedramp can ruin feeding and reliability if done incorrectly right?
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:25 PM
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Default polishing feed ramp

i'm going to chime in behind shovelwrench advising against
the polish job without experienced guidance.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelwrench View Post
You guys do know polishing a feedramp can ruin feeding and reliability if done incorrectly right?
And it won't take but half a minute or less with drimmel and 400 grit paper. For someone with no experience and the feed ramp has no scratches or burs, I would recommend that you not mess with the gun. If scratches & burs present have experienced gun smith do the job.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:41 PM
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Default Why?

I am curious as to why you feel the need to do it. If your pistol is functioning properly it would not be advised. But if you still want to I would recommend some 600 or 1000 wet dry paper on a dowel. I would also be very careful not to change the angle or width of the ramp. If you have any deep scratches or pits I would go ahead and let a qualified gunsmith handle that. Good luck

Sammy
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:13 PM
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You can take lesson from the Glock crowd and use Flitz or Simichrome polish. Polish only, remove no metal; less is more.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:02 PM
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All good advice about going about it cautiously... it's all too easy and quick to f'up using a dremel.

An all too common mistake is to try to polish the ramp to a mirror finish and end up deepening the feed ramp, which in effect moves the top of the ramp farther forward into the chamber.

Take too much metal off and you can end with the cartridge case head being unsupported above the feed ramp.

If your goal is to increase the reliability of feeding non round nosed bullets, all I do is "break" the edge at the top of the ramp leading to the chamber, so it's slightly rounded off giving the angular edge of a hollow point bullet (or other similarly shaped bullet), or a case mouth edge nothing to catch on as it makes it's way off the ramp into the chamber.

It doesn't take much to achieve that... Flitz, Maas, Mother's Mag polishing cream, etc. with an old t-shirt and some elbow grease will do it.

As wisely said above... less is more.

Last edited by Gunhacker; 03-10-2010 at 08:07 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:03 PM
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I have found that most autos with a ramped barrel (such as most S&W's) rarely need any polishing as the feeding is extremely reliable as is.
Now if you are talking about a 1911, that's a different story. I have had success on these by disassembling the weapon and then attaching the barrel back to the frame using the slide stop. Rock the slide to its farthest rearward position and hold it there while you work on the area where the barrel and frame meet.
I do not use a dremel for this kind of work, I do it all by hand. I keep pieces of 1200 and 1500 grit sandpaper around that have been worn down from other projects and use these. As other posters have advised, the idea is to polish the surface, not remove metal. Work slowly and stop frequently to examine your progress.
As previously stated, this is something better left to someone who has experience with it.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:25 PM
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Now we're getting advice


Simple, if it works as is, Leave It Alone
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:11 PM
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I used a felt buffing wheel and some kind of green polish that came with my dremel kit and got my feed ramp to a mirror finish without any ill results.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
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Now we're getting advice


Simple, if it works as is, Leave It Alone
So, my 4 1/2 inch angle grinder.... too much or just right?
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dondavis3 View Post
I have several automatic handguns and I want to polish their feed ramps.

I know how to break each gun down, so that's not the advise I need.

Can anyone tell me what to use and the steps that they take to do a good job of feed ramp polishing?

i.e. do you use a dremel tool or do it by hand - what grain wet / dry sand paper do you use (or do you use wet / dry sand paper at all)

Thanks in advance for your help.

It is not needed unless you are having reliability problems.

If you have to ask how, you are not qualified. You can ruin the pistol beyond repair if you do not do it correctly.

The correct advice is to send each pistol to the factory Performance Center (if S&W) or equivalent if other brands, or to nationally known and top notch pistolsmiths ONLY for this type of work. S&Ws to the Performance Center, 1911s to Springfield Custom Shop, Cylinder and Slide, Novak's or Wilson's or someone of similar reputation.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:53 PM
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It doesn't seem like he wants to cut a 5906 down to a 6906 then add a supressor, just polish the feed ramp. A lot of people like to tweak or tinker with their guns, and it seems to me from his post that is all he wants to do. If that is true I think you already got some good advice. Just remember that you cannot un-polish it.

Quote:
You can take lesson from the Glock crowd and use Flitz or Simichrome polish. Polish only, remove no metal; less is more.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:40 AM
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I sent my 5906 into S&W last year to have them replace a grip pin, and they did it a quick once over. Noticed when I took it apart they had half polished the feed ramp. Not to say they were sloppy as the gun functions extremely well, but it looks like it took them about 5 seconds. As they is some shine towards the top of the ramp just underneath the barrel, and lower on the ramp it looks like the tool they used just got swirled around a couple times. So it looks partially polished in erratic movements. The gun functions fine, and don't really see a need to touch it up, where the gun functions well.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:17 AM
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Using a dremel with the felt and the red polish (jewelers) will hardly remove any machining marks or metal for that matter. It will polish the area and make you feel as if you did something but not do much to make it more functional.
I'd leave it alone if it isn't causing you any issues. If it is, send it off if you are not familiar on how do do it correctly.
No, it isn't a very complex procedure like some would have you think. Yes, you can do it yourself with a little patience and careful use of 800 thru 2000 grit wet / dry, followed by the Dremel polish.
Go slow, check constantly and remove only enough to make it function 100% of the time.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:19 AM
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Dremel tools are the reason I don't buy used guns.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:32 AM
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I only polish feed ramps on guns with roughly finished feed ramps. I never use power tools like the dremel.

I use fairly soft, die makers stones and draw polish in the direction the bullet feeds. This cuts across the machine tool marks from cutting the ramp and eliminates the roughness with minimal metal removal.


Using a rotary tool may make the surface brighter but doesn't as effectively eliminate the roughness or waviness of the surface. Might get similar results using fine sandpaper wrapped around a properly sized wooden dowel. You draw polish with strokes in the same direction the bullet feeds/case extracts. Not in a rotary or circular motion. That only hides the roughness not eliminates it.

I also never polish to a bright finish. Just use a 320 grit stone and remove the tool marks or roughness. I've never made a problem worse using this approach.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:20 PM
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Agreed, leave it alone. If you must have it shiny, try this. I use 1000 grit wet sandpaper and then finish with Mother's mag polish. Looks nice, but that's about it.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:52 PM
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IMO Best advice repeated many times above is don’t.
If you have a cylinder exactly the same diameter as the ramp section when the cylinder is wrapped with 2000 wet-or-dry and are very, very careful you will probably not do much damage. One of the many problems with the Dremel tool wheel is that it is not the same size/shape as the ramp.
You are very likely to change the angle or the radius of the ramp, both very ill advised.
A mirror polish looks nice but really doesn’t change the feeding.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:27 PM
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Don't fix what ain't broke!
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:08 PM
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Talking polish

be safe not sorry later....send it to a factory gunsmith at s&w...
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:45 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your help.

Well this was a interesting post for me.

I asked the same question on 4 different gun sites to gather as much info as I could.

I got every answer under the sun - here are a few :

If you have to ask how, you are not qualified.
It's easy anybody can do it .
Use a Dremel on low speed.
Don't let a Dremel in the same room with a gun.
Dremel tools are the reason I don't buy used guns.
Use a Dremel with the felt pad and the red polish (jewelers).
So, my 4 1/2 inch angle grinder.... too much or just right?
Use car polish.
Use toothpaste and a q-tip.
If it aint broke, don't fix it.
It's a 20 minute job.
It will take a long time if done right.
Use wet and dry 600 or 1000 wet dry paper on a dowel.
Use Fitz Polish or Mother's Mag Wheel Polish or use a little Clenzoil

And on and on.



Last edited by dondavis3; 03-13-2010 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:44 PM
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Yes, sometimes forums are useless.

You ask a simple question and get everybody's axe they have ground into into a razor blade. Some people love to show off how rich they think they are with condescension of any non-professional work (Dremel tools are the reason I don't buy used guns. If you have to ask how, you are not qualified.). I wonder if they realize that professional means you get paid; it does not mean the work performed is better. Who bakes better bread your wife or Hostess? What about hookers? Are they better?

Some people have no clue of what they are doing (It's easy anybody can do it.).

Some people are totally illogical (Don't let a Dremel in the same room with a gun.). This may be good advice if the word "Dremel" was switched with oxygen, which is actually harmful to a gun.

As somebody that has done this successfully (improved feeding function), I would advise caution and use a mild abrasive. Jeweler's rouge (the stuff that comes with the Dremel tool) is about as strong as you want to get and you risk changing the geometry and dimensions of the ramp if you are careless or aggressive. Using a q-tip with toothpaste (which has a very mild abrasive that breaks down) is probably too cautious. A very good product is 3M Micro-abrasive, which is extremely consistent and effective if a bit of it is stuck to the end of a dowel. You can get it from auto refinish places. Otherwise use a q-tip with rouge or valve lapping compound or some other very fine abrasive. Even a finger may work well. You don't want to remove any more metal than is necessary to improve the finish. Also motion in the direction of bullet travel is good. Do not make cross-wise marks; they should be up-down motion. If the pistol works fine, then why polish it?

Better yet, read up on feed ramp polishing from an authoritative book. Public libraries often have this stuff, especially vocational college libraries. That way you will know that the person giving you advice knows more than you do, which is more important than just about anything else in this situation. That's how I figured out a method, and even then there is disagreement among established gunsmiths.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:04 PM
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+1 curioushooter

I laughed out loud at your first 4 paragraphs ... Lot's of know it all advice available.

I race Corvette's as a hobby also and have learned from the corvette forums - It's good to ask for advice - but take the answers with a grain of salt.

Good advice with a touch of common sense seems to work on most things.

Thanks for your funny answer.

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Old 04-13-2010, 01:42 AM
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I laughed at the fact that the identical question was asked on four different Forums. I see this all the time and the answers are usually all over the place.

If the question was simple and the answers consistent, why place the question in four different places? If the question is tough or controversial and nets multiple answers, what's the tie breaker in determining the correct one? This, of course, is assuming that the object is to get a correct answer and not just stir the pot in order to obtain opinions.

Incidentally, I'm in the "don't fix what isn't broken" camp.



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Old 04-13-2010, 07:41 AM
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I often post a question that I need / want an answer to on multiple forums because everyone is not on the same forum.

I could be wrong, but I feel I get better (more accurate) info that way.

You're correct - I get different reply's from different forums.

That's what I'm looking for.

I feel I can use my own common sense to weed my way through the internet commando answers and so I usually get a broader view this way.

It works for me - it might confuse others.

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Old 05-01-2014, 10:00 PM
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I have used a dremel on low speed using a mother's wheel polish to clean after wet sanding with a wooden dowel. Using the proper tool(s) is what separates amateurs and people that work with metals on a daily basis. People that spin a dremel to max speed with abrasives is what damages firearms.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:18 AM
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Default Thanks dondavis3 for your OP

I won't join the battle in what is the right thing to do and what is wrong. I think just about every possible opinion has already been expressed. However I am grateful for the OP and all the members who took the time to answer and all those who took the time to dissent. And if all of the posts were carefully read, I think it will be pretty clear to almost anyone on what to do or what not to do regarding this issue. This thread is a great example of why I love this forum.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:13 PM
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I used a couple of Cratex bits in a rotary tool to remove the sawteeth from the feed ramp of my 2206. You have to have the right touch and take it slowly. Now the bestest way to smooth a ramp would be by burnishing it. This would move, rather than remove, metal. The downside to burnishing a feed ramp is that it would require a special tool. Such can be made w/drill rod and patience, but it would require knowledge of basic metalworking and heat treatment. I could have gone this route, but I'm lazy and going to go for the easiest fix that works.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:12 PM
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All you need to do is polish off the burrs and you will have a pistol that will not give you a feed problem due to the ramp..

Nothing to it just take the burrs off at the edge.
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:27 PM
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Default A Different Take

The potential problem with Dremels and similar tools is that the polishing action is usually "against the grain" or side to side, perpendicular to the cartridge's travel. I hand-polish using a bit of fine emory cloth followed by crocus cloth, polishing the feed ramp in the direction of the cartridge's travel.

The trick is not to take too much off. I might add that I have several guns, including my S&W M&P, that have never been polished and don't seem to need it.

I might add that since the advent of hollow point pistol ammo, starting in the 60s, gun manufacturers have since learned how to finish their feed ramps while ammo manufacturers no longer use hollow point designs with exposed lead, which, really dragged on rough feed ramps. So, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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