Polishing revolver chambers?

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ruger22
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Polishing revolver chambers?

Postby ruger22 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:33 pm

My two Sentinels are a bit stiff ejecting spent cases, and really bad with Winchester 333 on my last range trip. I've thought a little chamber polishing might help remove 45 years of wear and accumulated scratches.

My Bearcats are a little tight on ejecting spent cases and inserting new rounds, so maybe a little polishing would help them, too.

I've read about using Flitz on a bore mop, or maybe with patches on a jag? I've also heard about using Scotchbrite wrapped around a bore brush, but I don't remember if that's red or green Scotchbrite, or how long to swirl each chamber.

I know to go as slow as my variable speed drill will go, which is maybe 200 rpm. I just want to smooth imperfections, not remove significant metal.
*2 Bearcat stainless, w/ EWK ejector housings & Wolff springs
*SP-101 .22LR, w/ Wolff springs
*SP-101 .357 snub w/ Wolff springs
*10/22 Deluxe Sporter, unmodded!

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charlesb
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Postby charlesb » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:56 pm

Flitz on a bore-mop sounds good to me. Do it a little, clean it and check for improvement, then if necessary do it a bit more. It's better to 'sneak up' on just the right amount of polishing than to over-do it.

Before polishing though, I would use a magnifier to examine the cylinders for possible firing pin 'peening' on the edge of the cylinder where the firing pin strikes. Over a period of time, the firing pin blow can move a tiny ridge of metal into the cylinder bore, making loading and extraction more difficult.

One way to look for this problem is to examine the fired brass for a tell-tale scrape-mark. Black up the cartridge with a Sharpie or Marks A Lot, chamber it, then take it out again and look for a scrape. Then try firing a blackened round and check the fired brass out, the same way.

If this is the problem, polishing is not the solution, and may actually do more harm than good. Be certain that it is not a peening issue before proceeding with a polishing regimen.

If it is a peening issue, I would take the cylinders to a gunsmith. Brownells sells a special tool to iron out peening without removing any metal. I have not checked, but it may be that a cylinder peening iron may be rented. If it turns out that you want to try renting one rather than visit a gunsmith, let me know and I'll be glad to look around and try to find an outfit that has them.

If you just file off the little ridge, then there is still a dished-in area where the firing pin strikes the cylinder (where the metal for the ridge came from) and this dished-in area may bring on ignition problems. The peening iron pushes the metal back where it goes, so the gun will go back to behaving itself properly.

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stork
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Postby stork » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:03 am

If it's just built up fouling and lead deposits, just wrap a few strands of ''ALL COPPER'' Chore boy pot scrubber around a used 22 brush. Chuck it into the drill and give each chamber 10-20 seconds at low speed. Keep adding strands if it gets packed into the bristles.

Very important to use an all copper pot scrubber. NO COPPER WASHED products.

This works better than anything I've tried for cleaning up my 45's, although there's no drill involved there. Just about 5-10 back & forth strokes. Should work as well for 22's.
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"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” – George Washington

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Postby Bullseye » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:02 am

The copper wool was my thought too, if a regular bronze bore brush chucked up in a drill didn't do the trick.

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ruger22
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Postby ruger22 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:13 pm

No sign of any peening, nice clean edges on all the chambers. The Bearcat chambers look clean, just not much of a shine. The Sentinels show a lot of fine, lengthwise scratches with a magnifier.

I'm going easy. Just a stripe of polish down the side of the mop, then about 10 seconds per chamber at slow rpm. A weekend project, since I'm doing four cylinders. I expect clean-up to be a pain. Then who knows when I'll get a dry, free weekend for the range. Sometime next month, I hope!
*2 Bearcat stainless, w/ EWK ejector housings & Wolff springs
*SP-101 .22LR, w/ Wolff springs
*SP-101 .357 snub w/ Wolff springs
*10/22 Deluxe Sporter, unmodded!

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Postby ruger22 » Wed May 06, 2015 10:49 am

Got it done. I settled on 15 seconds per chamber, and it took about an hour from set-up to done.

The Bearcat chambers are a bit more glossy than before, but not a mirror shine. So they did what I wanted. The Sentinels show a big improvement. All the fine scratches are gone, but there's still just a hint of a line where the front edge of a cartridge case is.

The stainless Bearcat cylinders were easy clean, just held them under a hot faucet with a nylon bore brush. The Sentinels took some time having to patch clean them, then touch up and oil. I had to reclean them the next day, had a gooey film in the chambers. I think I rushed the blue and oil the first time.

Now I just need a no honey-do list, dry weekend to go shoot! Probably the Memorial Day Sunday.
*2 Bearcat stainless, w/ EWK ejector housings & Wolff springs
*SP-101 .22LR, w/ Wolff springs
*SP-101 .357 snub w/ Wolff springs
*10/22 Deluxe Sporter, unmodded!

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ruger22
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Postby ruger22 » Wed May 27, 2015 11:47 am

Finally made it to the range Sunday. I just took one of each model gun, since the other half of each pair should have the same results. The Sentinel did well, extracting cases easily until about 150 rounds. Then a quick pass with a nylon bore brush got it back nice again.

The Bearcat was an improvement, but could maybe be a little better. Maybe a few more seconds of polishing was needed, since stainless is basically harder than carbon steel. It's good like it is, so I'll think about doing any more.

I was shooting Golden Bullets. 524 of them fired, and sounded consistent. ONE round had the case head separate, in my Sentinel. Quite a bang, and it took a few minutes to wiggle the cylinder open. No damage except a red spot on my forehead where some brass fragment came back. I haven't had that happen in a long time.
*2 Bearcat stainless, w/ EWK ejector housings & Wolff springs
*SP-101 .22LR, w/ Wolff springs
*SP-101 .357 snub w/ Wolff springs
*10/22 Deluxe Sporter, unmodded!


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