Monday, August 15, 2011

Polishing Chrome Guns

As a small project, I decided to polish a chrome gun. The subject in this little project was a Raven 25 that had seen better days. The finish on the gun was intact, but had become hazy and scratched over the years. Considering the style of safety on this particular Raven, it most likely dates from the mid-80s or before.

The gun cost all of $40, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on fixing it up. All I actually bought for this project was a tub of chrome polish from Advance Auto Parts. I wanted Flitz, but couldn't find it in either Wal-Mart or Advance Auto Parts. The tub of Blue Magic chrome polish worked well. I already had the other things needed for this project, which were a microfiber towel (for cleaning) , some q-tips (for spreading the polish), a paper towel (to protect my work surface), and a Dremel tool with cloth wheels (to speed up the polishing process).
I started the project with the microfiber towel, slowly and gently polishing the slide of the unloaded and disassembled Raven. This process worked, but it was painfully slow. I got out the Dremel tool and things went much more quickly. I was able to get into the slide serrations with greater ease using the Dremel. The cloth wheels I used came in a set of accessories and are probably some kind of felt. They are rigid and worked great on the hard edges and valleys found in various locations on the gun.

As far as technique, I made sure to keep applying a thin layer of chrome polish with a q-tip. I didn't want to have too much of the Dremel's wheel touching the chrome with nothing inbetween. I didn't want to burn or scratch the chrome finish, so I kept the wheel somewhat lubricated with chrome polish. I also constantly moved the wheel on the surface to avoid any heat buildup or damage.

After finishing on the slide, the frame looked really bad by comparison. I chose to take the parts out of the frame so I could polish the frame, so I needed tools for that. I used a small pin punch and a screwdriver. The screwdriver handle doubled as a hammer for punching out the pins holding in the trigger and magazine release.

Its really amazing what $7 worth of metal polish and some time can do to an old chrome gun. I'm very happy with the way this project turned out. I worked on it when I couldn't sleep, which made good productive use of my time. The "After" picture of the whole gun was hard to take because of all the reflections. The pictures do not do this gun justice, and bring out more scratches than are really noticeable with the naked eye. Get out there and polish some chrome guns.

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