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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 3/8/2006 8:57:03 AM EDT
Now, this seems like a simple enough proposition. But, I figure it's always best to ask: is polishing the feed ramp on a pistol simply taking extremely fine sandpaper to it for a bit? Or do I just have a head full of bad ideas?

Is there anything special that needs to be done? I figure this seems like an easy way to enhance feeding reliability (especially on my 1911, my XD hasn't had any feeding problems), and something I can do myself.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 11:33:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2006 11:35:32 AM EDT by dfariswheel]
Keep in mind that when we talk about "polishing" gun parts we DON'T mean "like a mirror".
What we really mean is that we SMOOTH the part, or "hone" it.

Your first question is, "Do I NEED to do anything". In other words WHY do you need to do anything?
Is your gun having reliability problems?
If not, it doesn't NEED a "polish" job.

The idea is to remove or level any machine marks or roughness that might cause problems.
Where people get into trouble is in trying for that mirror-like shine, and removing metal or changing angles and surfaces.

What you want to do is just barely enough to smooth the part, and nothing more.

So, why do custom guns have mirror-shiny feed ramps?
Customer demand.
When we do the proper "polish" job, the customer sees just a smooth surface and not a mirror shiny one.
He figures we ripped him off. He paid for a "polish job" and figures we didn't do anything.
So, since the customer expects to SEE a mirror surface, we have to do it for him.

To do a REAL "polish" job, you can wrap VERY FINE sand cloth or crocus cloth around a wooden dowel rod and use that to JUST smooth the surface.
Keeping in mind that the Dremel tool or flex-shaft is a fast way to a ruined gun, IF YOU'RE CAREFUL you can use a hard felt buff tip and polishing media to lightly "polish" the ramp.
Again, don't try for a mirror shine.

Don't change anything, don't remove ANY metal or change the shape of the ramp, don't try to "mate" the feed ramp on the frame with the one on the barrel.

You should have a 1/32" gap between the frame ramp and the barrel ramp when the barrel is all the way to the rear and down against the frame.
This means you should have "about" a 1/32" "step" between the frame and barrel ramp.
In other words, DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING, just smooth the surfaces up. Forget the mirror shine.

Link Posted: 3/8/2006 11:57:20 AM EDT
Thanks for the advice. Yes, my 1911 has failures to feed (what can I say...it's a stock Colt), that's why I wanted to do it in the first place. Based on what you've told me, I'm not going to bother with doing the XD at all.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 1:49:08 PM EDT
400 grit wet or dry to start, 600 grit when most of the major cutting marks are gone.
Cratex points also work well.
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 1:55:48 PM EDT
You can polish the 1911 but remember not to polish it so that the angle of the feed ramp is changed. Just polish till a smooth surface comes out. Remove as little material as possible.

Question: Is the gun jamming with only the factory mag that came with the gun? If so try other manufacture's mags such as Meggar mags. This is usually the easies 'fix' and you get extra mag's out of it.

If it continues to jam then polish.

Link Posted: 3/8/2006 3:24:36 PM EDT
You shouldn't remove any material, just polish it until it's smooth as glass. I polish the feed ramps, throats, and chambers on all of my pistols. I use a Dremel set to 2000RPM with the bullet shaped felt tip and some fine compound. I then go over it with a dry soft felt wheel, and finish it by hand.

This is the Kahr I did a couple days ago. Before the polishing, it was the same dull grey as the rest of the barrel.


Link Posted: 3/11/2006 2:18:40 AM EDT
I'm with dfariswheel and ar15hookem in that only the least amount of polishing is used and the goal is to just remove the high spots. It's so easy to go too far once you start. I have two small wet stones, fine and extra fine, that I reshaped so that one end has a rounded point that do a great job of removing the high spots. They are fine enough so that it's very hard to take too much off and they're what I've used for years.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 5:44:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dfariswheel:


Your first question is, "Do I NEED to do anything". In other words WHY do you need to do anything?
Is your gun having reliability problems?
If not, it doesn't NEED a "polish" job.





+1 if it aint broke.....
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 7:57:29 AM EDT
I polish all my feedramps, too. I use a Dremel with felt tip and the metal polish compound that comes with the Dremel kits. It's always made my guns feed 100% reliably.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 1:57:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CTKurt:

Originally Posted By dfariswheel:


Your first question is, "Do I NEED to do anything". In other words WHY do you need to do anything?
Is your gun having reliability problems?
If not, it doesn't NEED a "polish" job.





+1 if it aint broke.....



Just polishing can't hurt.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 2:07:20 AM EDT
I use my little finger and micromesh.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 5:50:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By triburst1:
You shouldn't remove any material, just polish it until it's smooth as glass. I polish the feed ramps, throats, and chambers on all of my pistols. I use a Dremel set to 2000RPM with the bullet shaped felt tip and some fine compound. I then go over it with a dry soft felt wheel, and finish it by hand.

This is the Kahr I did a couple days ago. Before the polishing, it was the same dull grey as the rest of the barrel.
img.photobucket.com/albums/v384/glocker199/000_0828.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/v384/glocker199/000_0827.jpg



I remember in a post a few days ago you said your PM9 would not chamber gold dots did this fix your problem.

Mine eats anything I put through it.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 7:30:26 AM EDT
My only comment is to point out that "polishing" is usually not a good idea with aluminum feed ramps on alloy framed pistols. The aluminum has been anodized at the factory to form a thin layer of aluminum oxide, which is hard and durable. If you polish that away, the "battering" of rounds hitting the ramp will wear the plain aluminum down very quickly.

I've seen this with a lot of garage gunsmithing on alloy framed 1911 style guns in particular.

Its also a problem on other guns where a part of the aluminum frame is supposed to work as a feed ramp. Again, the al-oxide layer is thin so hitting it with anything but some fitz paste can be dangerous.

Link Posted: 3/23/2006 6:36:09 PM EDT

Or do I just have a head full of bad ideas?


Yes bad Idea.
Your problems could be the magazine or your extractor not set properly.

More often than not, good 1911's are destroyed by "polishing the feed ramp."

Try different magazines and adjust your extractor and your feeding problems may magically disapear.

Link Posted: 3/23/2006 7:16:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ThreeMan:
Try different magazines and adjust your extractor and your feeding problems may magically disapear.




+1

Chances are it isn't the feed ramp that is your problem. If it is devoid of obvious toolmarks, I'd leave it alone.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 7:27:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2006 7:29:10 PM EDT by forlornwarrior]

Originally Posted By Doucheatron3000:
Now, this seems like a simple enough proposition. But, I figure it's always best to ask: is polishing the feed ramp on a pistol simply taking extremely fine sandpaper to it for a bit? Or do I just have a head full of bad ideas?

Is there anything special that needs to be done? I figure this seems like an easy way to enhance feeding reliability (especially on my 1911, my XD hasn't had any feeding problems), and something I can do myself.



When I got my 1911 it cycled 230gr Ranger SXTs during live fire just fine. However, it would not feed the rounds if the slide was just released with the slide stop (granted I don't use the slide stop to release the slide anyway, but I still wanted it to be able to feed from that point).

I took some 400 grit sand paper to remove any HORIZONTAL machining marks. Make sure you go real lite and dont alter any angles ESPECIALLY when working on the frame ramp of the 1911. You must keep that small gap in between the barrel feed ramp and the frame feed ramp.

I then used a sanding sponge that I picked up from Home Depot. I wet it down and used it to get an even smoother polish. Finally, I ordered some rubber cratex dremel bits from Brownells and hit the ramps with the dremel and some polishing compound.

As a last touch, I buffed everything out with a felt wheel dremel bit.

The end result is that my 1911 will feed hollow points even when the slide is only brought back to just behind the round and let go.

I haven't had any failures.
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