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nitrohuck

Polishing 2011 controls?

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So this is purely for cosmetic purposes and if it is a bad idea then I will just forego it, but what would someone need to do in order to polish up their 2011 controls/parts (slide stop, safety, grip safety, hammer, mag release button, etc)?

The 2011 I have on the way is all black with a brand new graphite black cerakote finish, and IMHO would look pretty badass with polished controls but I don't want to send them off to be hard chromed because that is sort of a vain expenditure of cash for a purely cosmetic firearm look.

If I were to just hit it with some Flitz and a dremel on low setting would this be a bad move?

Anyone else polish their own 2011 controls?

Thanks in advance,

Edited by nitrohuck

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Are the controls you want to polish Stainless?? Is so then yes, you can get to this with them.....

post-16185-0-91944500-1404780986_thumb.j

Edited by NoSteel

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Well this is sort of embarrassing, I don't know!

The 2011 that is en route has new Extreme Engineering fire control parts, that is all I was told, but I don't know what that covers specifically, if it is just the trigger parts or if it includes the slide stop, safties, etc.

Aren't most 1911 parts stainless steel?

Are you guys getting the picture here as to how clueless I am about metal working? :blush: I know how to polish things with a dremel and some compound, my skill set sorta ends there.

(P.S. Awesome looking pistol! That is basically what I am shooting for here)

Edited by nitrohuck

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I willing to bet that already has a gunsmith fit fire control. Shoot it first. And know that the dremel can ruin parts much quicker than a stone or file!

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As stated above, even just a polish on certain fitted parts (especially the ones you mention) can render a component worthless.. It takes time and some precautions on components your familiar with. If you do plan to attempt, do some further research.

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Yeah this is beginning to look like it may cause a lot more trouble than it's worth,

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Well, I have polished a lot of my fire controls on many different guns with one caveat: do not mess with the sear/hammer engagement surfaces. Of course my trigger jobs are by Kodiak Precision. I have watched Don work on my sear and hammer.

Fundamentally, a polished surface has less friction than one with bluing or non-slick coating. If a part moves, I also put a synthetic lube on it to help reduce friction. Does it work? I am not sure but my trigger jobs last a long time due to the fact they are SV parts and Don's skill.

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I wouldn't be touching anything internal, especially the sear/hammer engagements. The gun already has a great trigger job on it apparently, can't wait to try it out.

This is purely cosmetic, NoSteel's photo posted above hits the nail right on the head, I am looking to give a highlight look to my otherwise all black pistol by removing the bluing from the visible outer controls, notably the grip safety, thumb safety, mag release, slide stop, grip screws.

again I'm not trying to improve the firearm functionally in any way, only trying to give it a preferred look outwardly... vain, sure :) ... then again this is my first 2011, so why not be happy with how it looks

Edited by nitrohuck

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For fun, I've polished some controls before for a blingy stainless 1911 i had. The external cosmetic portion of steel parts like a magwell, barrel bushing, grip safety, slide stop and thumb safety all took well to the polishing process. The prep for the parts depends on the current state of the metal in that there may be more individual steps of polishing with increasing grits of polishing media to get it from dull to mirror finish. Cast parts with a matte or even porous surface will require the use of fairly course grit to smooth out the surface of casting or tooling imperfections before you can begin applying a shine to it.

Generally speaking, you will need two different types of media to do this. 1. Wet/dry automotive grade sandpaper and 2. polishing rouge for a dremel or polishing wheel.

To start, you should have on hand some 600, 800, 1000 and 2000 grit wet/dry. Starting with 600 for rough porous items like a magwell or a grip safety, wet the paper with a spray bottle with water and use long, smooth, controlled strokes in a single direction with moderate pressure. Watch the material to see when that particular grit paper no longer produces any further change to the material. Wash the grit/residue off the part with the sprayer, then move onto the next higher grit.

Once you run through all the paper, you can then decide whether you want to polish with rouge or not. 2000 grit will produce a nice shine, but will not make a mirror shine. For that, you need polishing rouge. Generally a rouge kit will include a variety of polishing compounds color coded to thier grit equivalency such as black, brown, red and white. Using the finer grit rouges like red or white on the polishing bit will take the part to the mirror shine you desire.

IMG_1399.jpg

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That's basically what I am shooting for here...

Although honestly I don't need it to be a COMPLETELY mirror finish, just a nice enough stainless look is good enough for me,

So is it really that bad of an idea to take a dremel with a buffer wheel and some flitz and just shine it up on the outside?

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I think you got conflicting advice in this thread. As long as you are staying on the externally visible surfaces you will be fine to sand/buff/polish away. It's polishing internal parts that can get you in trouble in a hurry. Especially with a dremel. For instance, on your slide stop, just work on the part you can see while the gun is assembled. Don't work on the shaft that goes through the gun as most of these parts are fitted.

I am looking for the same finish but I may just take mine apart over the winter and send those few parts to have them chromed to a mirror finish.

Edited by Sarge

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Thanks Sarge, I think you're right. I worded my first post sort of poorly and edited it try and avoid confusion, indeed I have no intention of polishing internals, only externals.

Now for the true idiot question of the day: How do I know if these parts are stainless? Will they rust overnight if I remove bluing?

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Thanks Sarge, I think you're right. I worded my first post sort of poorly and edited it try and avoid confusion, indeed I have no intention of polishing internals, only externals.

Now for the true idiot question of the day: How do I know if these parts are stainless? Will they rust overnight if I remove bluing?

Stainless typically does not stick to magnets so try that and see what happens.

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Aren't most 1911 parts stainless steel?

No. That's why they are blued or plated, because they need that to keep them from rusting. Carbon steel is actually better than stainless in most respects (tensile strength, hardness, does not gall) but stainless is less prone to rust. I prefer to have internal parts made from good carbon (tool) steel.

If you do polish the coating off that does make them more likely to rust.

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Will they rust overnight if I remove bluing?

I don't know if they will rust over night, but acids and salts from sweat will do it over time since your hands ride on the controls.

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And the easy way to tell if it is carbon steel is to just hold a magnet to it eh?

From what I understand the magnet test can't 100% confirm it is stainless, but it can indeed confirm it is NOT carbon steel?

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Previous owner just informed me that all the controls are stainless and that he actually had them blued at one point, and that he actually was going to recommend I take the finish off for a bi-tone look, hah go figure. looks like I am in luck

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Are the controls you want to polish Stainless?? Is so then yes, you can get to this with them.....

NICE pistol !!!

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And the easy way to tell if it is carbon steel is to just hold a magnet to it eh?

From what I understand the magnet test can't 100% confirm it is stainless, but it can indeed confirm it is NOT carbon steel?

Some stainless formulae are magnetic, though typically not strongly so.

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Previous owner just informed me that all the controls are stainless and that he actually had them blued at one point, and that he actually was going to recommend I take the finish off for a bi-tone look, hah go figure. looks like I am in luck

Interesting. Never heard of anybody bluing stainless, although SIG has a black nitride type finish they use to black their stainless guns.

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Previous owner just informed me that all the controls are stainless and that he actually had them blued at one point, and that he actually was going to recommend I take the finish off for a bi-tone look, hah go figure. looks like I am in luck

Interesting. Never heard of anybody bluing stainless, although SIG has a black nitride type finish they use to black their stainless guns.

My apologies I do not think it was blued, it must have been cerakoted or similar.

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We've all pimped a gun up ay one time.... I recall way back when I "mirror polished" the flat sides of the trigger and hammer on a SW nickel revolver because the mottley blue color of those parts looked so ugly to me.

I suspect SW purists are still carrying a rope with my name on it.... but make it look beautiful to you.

Edited by bountyhunter

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