Hand polishing my Taurus 686 - questions
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Thread: Hand polishing my Taurus 686 - questions

  1. #1
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    Question Hand polishing my Taurus 686 - questions

    I bought a Taurus 686 for a truck gun, intending to leave it in the truck all the time. The gun (and it seems most stainless guns today) came in with what they are calling a "satin" finish. Honestly, It's no better finish than the Caspian "in-the-white" 1911 frame I have.

    I prefer polished stainless for guns and, since the Taurus will be a truck gun, bouncing around, etc., and it's low cost, I figured I would try my hand at polishing it before tacking the Caspian for which I will care more about the results.

    I wish I had taken pictures of the Taurus before I started but I didn't. What I did was watch hours of videos of stripping and polishing revolvers. Oddly, all of the videos I found to start showed hand-polishing only so I figured that was the way to go and that's what I've been doing:

    I sanded with first 600 then 800 then 1000 and then 2000 sandpaper. Then using Mother's to polish by hand with lots of old t-shirt rags, etc. I wasn't getting the results I wanted on some areas though I seemed to be on others and so I went back to 600, 800, 1000, 2000, and then 3000 grit sand paper and back to the Mothers.

    I am doing something right because some parts are getting to the finish I want but, doing what I've been doing, I have about 4 hours of polishing, and am guessing it will take more than 40 hours to get the results I want - if I ever get there over all of the gun.

    And watching more videos while I polished, Now I have discovered videos from pros using buffing wheels and appropriate ranges of buffing sticks/wheels to get great results in very short order. One pro took an old, rusted blued revolver and stripped it to bare polished metal with absolutely amazing results.. I would love to get anything close to that. Of course he went on to blue that one because it isn't stainless.

    So, long story long I guess, views on hand polishing versus wheel polishing? Is it normal to have 40 hours in polishing a small revolver or am I just that bad at it? It seems I could get all that I need to polish the gun with a wheel system for about $300 from Eastwood.

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    RELOAD=More PEW PEW NGF Addict! Kobs's Avatar
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    Wheels and electric things will eat up your edges, I don't mind the time when i do something like this as long as I have the results I want.
    My S&W 460 was a little dull too and I only used mother's and elbow grease till the finish was the way I wanted it

    Btw I wouldn't think of using sand paper unless I saw rust, polishing compounds are for polishing
    Last edited by Kobs; 06-15-2019 at 05:22 AM.
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    Okay, I'm confused. Did Taurus make a model 686? I know S&W made a model 686 and Taurus made a model 66, but I never heard of a Taurus 686.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kobs View Post
    Btw I wouldn't think of using sand paper unless I saw rust, polishing compounds are for polishing
    Yes you can use fine sand paper to polish along with stones and compounds(which is more like buffing) When you polish something you smooth it but you also scratch it if that makes sense. You're using something abrasive and you keep going finer and finer the whole which puts smaller and smaller scratches while removing the larger scratches. It shines because you're giving it more surface area that reflects more light. To the eye and touch it's very smooth but microscopically it's very rough,......This is what a professional body guy told me. he's done some very high end work and did one of the cars from the transformer movie along with a slew of Mopars that you may have seen if you watch any Barrett Jackson auctions
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    While the gun may be a stainless looking metal, some manufacturers use pieces and shrouds that aren’t stainless or the metal you think they are or should be. The result is a different finish, a different look or even a different color all together. I’m not a metal guy but I am a wood guy. You never know what’s under those factory finishes or especially military stocks. I’ve seen birch, oak, and completely unknown wood from all over the world. You can only take a guess at what it’s going to do when you hit it with the finish. It’s the same with metals. Then there’s different blends of nickel and steel that make up stainless and different hardness to the metal. That will effect how it polishes.
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    I was confused to but...

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    Last edited by Zhills; 06-15-2019 at 06:14 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist View Post
    Okay, I'm confused. Did Taurus make a model 686? I know S&W made a model 686 and Taurus made a model 66, but I never heard of a Taurus 686.
    Sorry; I mistyped it. It's an 856. The 85 is their snubbie 5-shot. The 856 is their 6-shot version of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Levant View Post
    Sorry; I mistyped it. It's an 856. The 85 is their snubbie 5-shot. The 856 is their 6-shot version of it.
    Thanks for the clarification. I, too, was confused. I see that the 856 is a nice little +P rated 38 SPL snubby that weighs 22 ounces. Looks like a winner to me! Even though some people like to malign Taurus, I've had good experiences with them. One of my favorite carry guns is a Taurus 605 SH2 which is a 16-ounce titanium .357 mag/38 SPL.
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    I polished my tracker. But nowhere as nice as the above pic. There must have been hours and hours put into it. I used mothers and never dull.
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    Polishing on a wheel is the most difficult and demanding aspects of gun finishing. S&W always held the bench mark in the old days because their polishing was superior. I the last decade or so that is no longer the case. As Kobs pointed out the speed wheels will wash the edges. If you look close at a screw/pin hole or shoulder you will see where the hole has been wallowed out. That is caused by putting too much pressure on the face fo the wheel. It will happen no matter how hard the wheel.
    Hand polishing can also damage the critical areas if you don't use a flat block. It just take longer to get the same results.
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