View Full Version : Polishing actions

10-20-2006, 11:48 PM
Getting ready to build up some mil surp Mausers into some scout rifles. Would like to know the best way to clean up actions with out using a buffing wheel. I dropped some small parts in blue and rust remover (acid) and did not get the results I was looking for. The color was a dull grey and moddled. I am not looking for a mirror like finish, just an even color that can be blued.



10-21-2006, 09:06 AM
[smilie=1: Oopps, should have put this in the Gunsmithing section.[smilie=1:

10-21-2006, 09:43 AM
Why without a buffing wheel?

You can always sand blast it and pait it with that oven cure Brownells Gunkote. I used it on my 45 frame and it turned out pretty good.


Always an option

10-21-2006, 09:50 AM
my surface preparation of choice is bead blasting followed by blueing, no polish. don't like shiny guns. But thats just me. Electrolysis will remove the rust but will do nothing for polishing.

10-21-2006, 11:30 AM
The whole intent is to keep this project low tech and inexpensive. Right now I am looking at maybe two actions. If I find that I like this type of project, I will likely invest in the propper tools (buffing wheel, action wrenches....)

Would something as simple a emery cloth, though a lot of elbow greese, produce a "hunter"/ matte finish. If so what grit would one start with and finish with.

10-21-2006, 01:57 PM
For your purposes I would look into doing your own black parkerising, it is a lot more rust resistant than bluing, and unlike bluing you CAN do park in stainless steel tanks, which are IMHO much easier to find improvise than the black iron required for bluing.

You could hand sand the actions with emory cloth, and then sandblast them, and black parkerise.


10-21-2006, 06:09 PM
FYI, Over at surplusrifle.com they have a recipe for some home made park. solution.

Will a bead blaster clean light rust and bluing or is it just a surface prep for the final finish?

10-21-2006, 06:41 PM
Yes the beadblaster will remove all rust and blueing.

10-22-2006, 07:03 PM
Years ago, I brought some short action Mauser's out of Mexico and they were junk and I salvaged the actions. I found a formula in Roy Dunlaps books for an acid bath that would strip the old finish and junk off. I did that and then hit the actions on a fine wire wheel and had a nice clean actions in the white.

10-23-2006, 07:50 PM
Harbor Freight has a cheap buffer for under a $100.


10-23-2006, 09:02 PM
I was thinking that I may be able to fit a small buffing wheel to my bench grinder. What compound to use on the wheel?? Tripoli, rouge....

As you can see, I am not much of a metal worker I am more of a carpenter.

10-23-2006, 09:23 PM
You don't need a buffing wheel. It is not great chore to hand polish an action (or an entire gun) to prepare it for blue. You can remove any serious dings with files and use emergy cloth backed up by various sized wood blocks, dowel rods etc. Start with 220 grit, go to 320 grit, then finish with 400 grit. The last step is to hit the metal on a very fine wire wheel to blend it all together and it is ready to blue.

10-23-2006, 10:53 PM
I was thinking that I may be able to fit a small buffing wheel to my bench grinder. What compound to use on the wheel?? Tripoli, rouge....

As you can see, I am not much of a metal worker I am more of a carpenter.


You can do that easily; just remove the guards and end-bellhousings from at least one side of the grinder (I have an old Sears stand-mounted 1/4-hp 6" grinder modified (both sides) this way for wire wheels and buffs; I have a second one for grinding, but use the buffer at least twice as often). Check the "woodworkers' porn" catalogs for sets of buffs (hard and soft, shaped polishing bobs - you can mount an "economy" 1/2" chuck on the right-hand end of the shaft for these - etc.) and polishing compounds - the latter usually come in sets of four or so, and you generally should use separate buffs for each one. But BEWARE! You can really remove metal FAST with these, and "wallowed-out" screw-holes are the hallmark of the beginner, so take it EASY at first.


Four Fingers of Death
10-24-2006, 07:48 AM
Whats going on? everything I looked at last night, you are talking about today. Try this link:


Cheers, Mick.

10-27-2006, 07:20 AM
Thank you for the all the input. I hope others have found this useful as well. If and when I am able to get all the parts together, I may have to do a build along.