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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Rather than hijack another thread, I would like to pose this question.

What is your preferred do it yourself method to polish the barrel feed ramp ?

Use fine emory paper. Flitz. Mother's metal polish. Dremmel tool, and if so, which attachments. How do you remove the Nitron coating off the SIG barrels before it is polished ?

I know a lot of people will say just sent it to the SIG Shop. I am looking for advice from official Sig tinkerers and amateur armorers and old timers ( with all respect I am one too). I like to fiddle with anything mechanical and the best way is to hear from like minded members.

I have searched for the info in the STICKY's but can't find anything. Maybe we need one.
 

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Black emery compound on a rotary tool with mini-buffer wheel. it cuts through the Nitride. Go slow, try not to round anything off, it will remove metal. Finish with chromium-oxide (green) compound I plug the chamber so I don't have to scrub the overthrow out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Black emery compound on a rotary tool with mini-buffer wheel. it cuts through the Nitride. Go slow, try not to round anything off, it will remove metal. Finish with chromium-oxide (green) compound I plug the chamber so I don't have to scrub the overthrow out.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
That anodized coating (Nitride) is impossible to remove with Flitz.
 

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that's because Flitz is non abrasive. Its the best cleaner I have ever used, sucks oxidation off aluminum, fiberglass... even takes the water spots off your shower. But to polish, you need something mildly abrasive, like a rouge. Mothers has always been a great, mild polishing compound for my gun needs. Even gently lapped a few barrels with it. Hammerman's trick with the pencil is what I have done, but with some mothers on a cleaning patch. It works great.
 

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Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
That anodized coating (Nitride) is impossible to remove with Flitz.
that's because Flitz is non abrasive. Its the best cleaner I have ever used, sucks oxidation off aluminum, fiberglass... even takes the water spots off your shower. But to polish, you need something mildly abrasive, like a rouge. Mothers has always been a great, mild polishing compound for my gun needs. Even gently lapped a few barrels with it. Hammerman's trick with the pencil is what I have done, but with some mothers on a cleaning patch. It works great.
Couple of points:

Anodize is a different process than Nitride, being a controlled corrosion process with positive voltage applied to the item and submerged in sulfuric acid. It's done to several non ferrous metals like aluminum and titanium. Steel, which would get quickly eaten up in the anodize acid bath, can be Nitrided, a thermal/chemical process.

The Flitz site says it is non-abrasive. I'm not buying that. Like Semi-Chrome polish, Fritz contains what they call, "polishing powder". On page 4/12 of their SDS, the first ingredient listed is Aluminiumoxide - Oxide of aluminum IS an abrasive. It can be super fine (and I know it is), but sorta like the abrasive in toothpaste and many other such cleaner polishes, you can call the abrasive a polish, you can even say it's "not abrasive" - though semantics notwithstanding, it still is - it just depends on where you draw the line between polish and abrasive.

a non-scientific commentary:

https://www.shootersforum.com/general-discussion/296-flitz-abrasive-not.html

Post #2
Simichrome Polish vs Flitz | BladeForums.com

Keep in mind that you can get the same or similar results buying polishing compound in larger sizes. For hard metals (and feed ramps), a courser compound like "black emery" is as fine as needed. If machine marks and scratches are coarse, you will be better off starting with a scrap of 600 (or maybe even 400 if it's really rough - then 600), then go to the emery. Do not mix felt buffs (keep the black emery and red rouge separate).

I use a Foredom rotary tool, as it's more powerful and convenient at the gun bench than is a Dremel - - but a Dremel is good too, and trades portability for the foot speed control and finesse of a Foredom.

Don't have a rotary tool? No need for one if you are doing just a couple of guns. Sit in front of the TV and do it all by hand. It'll take longer, and look just as good.
 

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Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
That anodized coating (Nitride) is impossible to remove with Flitz.
that's because Flitz is non abrasive. Its the best cleaner I have ever used, sucks oxidation off aluminum, fiberglass... even takes the water spots off your shower. But to polish, you need something mildly abrasive, like a rouge. Mothers has always been a great, mild polishing compound for my gun needs. Even gently lapped a few barrels with it. Hammerman's trick with the pencil is what I have done, but with some mothers on a cleaning patch. It works great.
Couple of points:

Anodize is a different process than Nitride, being a controlled corrosion process with positive voltage applied to the item and submerged in sulfuric acid. It's done to several non ferrous metals like aluminum and titanium. Steel, which would get quickly eaten up in the anodize acid bath, can be Nitrided, a thermal/chemical process.

The Flitz site says it is non-abrasive. I'm not buying that. Like Semi-Chrome polish, Fritz contains what they call, "polishing powder". On page 4/12 of their SDS, the first ingredient listed is Aluminiumoxide - Oxide of aluminum IS an abrasive. It can be super fine (and I know it is), but sorta like the abrasive in toothpaste and many other such cleaner polishes, you can call the abrasive a polish, you can even say it's "not abrasive" - though semantics notwithstanding, it still is - it just depends on where you draw the line between polish and abrasive.

a non-scientific commentary:

https://www.shootersforum.com/general-discussion/296-flitz-abrasive-not.html

Post #2
Simichrome Polish vs Flitz | BladeForums.com

Keep in mind that you can get the same or similar results buying polishing compound in larger sizes. For hard metals (and feed ramps), a courser compound like "black emery" is as fine as needed. If machine marks and scratches are coarse, you will be better off starting with a scrap of 600 (or maybe even 400 if it's really rough - then 600), then go to the emery. Do not mix felt buffs (keep the black emery and red rouge separate).

I use a Foredom rotary tool, as it's more powerful and convenient at the gun bench than is a Dremel - - but a Dremel is good too, and trades portability for the foot speed control and finesse of a Foredom.

Don't have a rotary tool? No need for one if you are doing just a couple of guns. Sit in front of the TV and do it all by hand. It'll take longer, and look just as good.
Great and informative post, as usual, bumper.
I agree, black emery is as fine a compound that is needed. I go to the green just cause I have some and it makes it really shiny, but it's completely unnecessary.
 

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May I ask why you feel the need to polish the ramp?

Sure. (more than you asked, but I may forget and need to come back are read this later)

Picture, if you will, a gun safe with many SIGs, all with unpolished ramps. We will examine one closely and find many machine marks across the ramp. Under magnification, we would see parallel ridges and valleys, much like a dull file.

As the projectile is stripped, ideally the magazine feed lips will help lift the front of the cartridge. Then the bullet shape, ogive and meplat, will facilitate a smooth transition up the feed ramp and into the chamber as the cartridge base is forced to slide up the breech face and under the extractor claw as the slide goes fully into battery.

BUT, the common metals used in bullets, lead, zinc, tin, copper, are all very soft and malleable compared to the steel feed ramp. At first impact with a rough feed ramp, the ridges of the ramp peen into the metal, causing the soft metal to flow into the microscopic (well, bigger than that) valleys of the ramp - all this on a tiny scale.

Lets do a stop frame here. We have a projectile who's meplat or ogive have just hit a rough surface which has stamped itself into the bullet metal, drastically increasing friction and starting to rapidly decelerate the slide. One of two things will now happen. The projectile will have some tiny amount of metal removed* as it is forced to slide across the rough feed ramp surface. Make no mistake, the forces are tremendous as they are focused on only small area of the projectile. Nevertheless, the round chambers and our blissful shooter may not even be aware of how close to a feed failure he has come. If it were colder, the gun was dirtier, less lubed, who knows? But one thing for sure, reliability is lessened by that rough feed ramp.

*No doubt you seen a feed ramp with copper or lead streaks on it? That's why.

In the second scenario, the friction between the bullet and ramp is simply too great to be overcome by the inertia of the moving slide and the power of the recoil spring. A fail to feed occurs.

Polishing a feed ramp isn't 100% necessary. Many guns function fine without such doting care. Too, other guns function fine when torture tested or run without cleaning to see how many thousands of rounds can be fired to point of failure. None of those guns belong to me. On that gun run dirty to failure, how reliable was it a few rounds prior to failing? An extreme? Sure. I want my gun's extreme to be in the reliable direction.

Polishing a feed ramp may be gilding the lily, but it's never a waste of time, even on a gun that runs fine with a factory finished ramp that gets "color" from bullets. What is does for that already reliable gun, is increase the "reliability margin" by some amount. You won't quantify it, but it's there. I want my gun to be as far from that ragged edge of failure as it can be. My feed ramps sparkle like a diamond in a goat's behind.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Since I have been a member of this forum I have enjoyed BUMPER's detailed explanation of various gun subjects. When I posted this thread I was hoping for his and others instructional explanations.
Thank you for all your forum help. We are never to old to learn a little bit more. :bow::bow::bow:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Black emery compound on a rotary tool with mini-buffer wheel. it cuts through the Nitride. Go slow, try not to round anything off, it will remove metal. Finish with chromium-oxide (green) compound I plug the chamber so I don't have to scrub the overthrow out.
Thanks for the advice. Just ordered from Amazon the black and green compound. I already have a Dremel tool with the polishing wheels.
I'll give it a shoot when it arrives. Never enough for my shop !!!!!
Have plenty of old parts to experiment with.
I see you are from Louisiana. My mouth is still salivating about Crawfish Town USA in Henderson, La. off I-10. It was a must for me in my many trips from Florida to Texas and back.
 

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Sure. (more than you asked, but I may forget and need to come back are read this later)

Picture, if you will, a gun safe with many SIGs, all with unpolished ramps. We will examine one closely and find many machine marks across the ramp. Under magnification, we would see parallel ridges and valleys, much like a dull file.

As the projectile is stripped, ideally the magazine feed lips will help lift the front of the cartridge. Then the bullet shape, ogive and meplat, will facilitate a smooth transition up the feed ramp and into the chamber as the cartridge base is forced to slide up the breech face and under the extractor claw as the slide goes fully into battery.

BUT, the common metals used in bullets, lead, zinc, tin, copper, are all very soft and malleable compared to the steel feed ramp. At first impact with a rough feed ramp, the ridges of the ramp peen into the metal, causing the soft metal to flow into the microscopic (well, bigger than that) valleys of the ramp - all this on a tiny scale.

Lets do a stop frame here. We have a projectile who's meplat or ogive have just hit a rough surface which has stamped itself into the bullet metal, drastically increasing friction and starting to rapidly decelerate the slide. One of two things will now happen. The projectile will have some tiny amount of metal removed* as it is forced to slide across the rough feed ramp surface. Make no mistake, the forces are tremendous as they are focused on only small area of the projectile. Nevertheless, the round chambers and our blissful shooter may not even be aware of how close to a feed failure he has come. If it were colder, the gun was dirtier, less lubed, who knows? But one thing for sure, reliability is lessened by that rough feed ramp.

*No doubt you seen a feed ramp with copper or lead streaks on it? That's why.

In the second scenario, the friction between the bullet and ramp is simply too great to be overcome by the inertia of the moving slide and the power of the recoil spring. A fail to feed occurs.

Polishing a feed ramp isn't 100% necessary. Many guns function fine without such doting care. Too, other guns function fine when torture tested or run without cleaning to see how many thousands of rounds can be fired to point of failure. None of those guns belong to me. On that gun run dirty to failure, how reliable was it a few rounds prior to failing? An extreme? Sure. I want my gun's extreme to be in the reliable direction.

Polishing a feed ramp may be gilding the lily, but it's never a waste of time, even on a gun that runs fine with a factory finished ramp that gets "color" from bullets. What is does for that already reliable gun, is increase the "reliability margin" by some amount. You won't quantify it, but it's there. I want my gun to be as far from that ragged edge of failure as it can be. My feed ramps sparkle like a diamond in a goat's behind.:rolleyes:

I can understand that. And if we were talking about 1911s maybe I'd say sure let's do it. But it's RARE to see a Sig not work. Like Glocks and Timexs' they take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. Sure it can't hurt. But I asked the op to see if his reason was 'because I can and want to' or if he is having genuine feeding issues with his gun is all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I can understand that. And if we were talking about 1911s maybe I'd say sure let's do it. But it's RARE to see a Sig not work. Like Glocks and Timexs' they take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. Sure it can't hurt. But I asked the op to see if his reason was 'because I can and want to' or if he is having genuine feeding issues with his gun is all.
I agree with SIG's reliability. But using your own words " I can and I want to".
I am just looking for more things to do in my retirement. I need to spend the kids inheritance. :eek:
 

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Thanks for the advice. Just ordered from Amazon the black and green compound. I already have a Dremel tool with the polishing wheels.
I'll give it a shoot when it arrives. Never enough for my shop !!!!!
Have plenty of old parts to experiment with.
I see you are from Louisiana. My mouth is still salivating about Crawfish Town USA in Henderson, La. off I-10. It was a must for me in my many trips from Florida to Texas and back.
No problem. Remember to "load" the wheel with the compound very often. At least every 15-20 seconds of actual polishing. Seems like a lot, but 15 seconds is a long time when in contact the surface. When the wheel wears down to a tapered shape is when it works the best. The bullet shaped felt tips come this way, and probably work better.
The last one I did was nitride and it went a lot quicker if you scuff it up with 320-400 grit wet/dry paper first. (Hmm, Just like Bumper said ;) ).
I also polish the chamfer on the top of the chamber too (opposite the ramp) and the break over where the ramp enters the chamber. Be careful here though. You don't want to modify the dimensions or take away any case support.

I grew up boiling and eating so much crawfish that I guess I'm burnt out on it. I haven't eaten any the last two seasons. Henderson is about 2 hour south of me, but hell, every town in southern La is a "crawfish" town. Henderson don't own that :lol:.
 

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I can understand that. And if we were talking about 1911s maybe I'd say sure let's do it. But it's RARE to see a Sig not work. Like Glocks and Timexs' they take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. Sure it can't hurt. But I asked the op to see if his reason was 'because I can and want to' or if he is having genuine feeding issues with his gun is all.
It's mostly about "making it better", unless it's being done to address a feeding problem. I agree with you, the SIG is a good, quite reliable production gun. It is not hand fitted and so relies on reasonably consistent parts tolerances, at least where it matters.

If you return a gun to SIG with feeding issues, I bet polishing the ramp is one of the things they'll do (from return reports here and other forums, that seems to hold true). If you send your SIG to most any gunsmith for an action job, you can better betcha the feed ramp will get polished, problem or no. It's easy to do, just takes a bit of time, and return on investment is a better bet than sending a donation to the Clinton Foundation.

So why doesn't the factory do it? Time and bottom line. It hasn't been about how can we produce the very best gun possible for a good while, which concept has been replaced by increase profits and "good enough".
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree with SIG's reliability. But using your own words " I can and I want to".
I am just looking for more things to do in my retirement. I need to spend the kids inheritance. :eek:
I agree with Bumper. It is the fact that I am trying to make it a better gun and the enjoyment that I can accomplish it.
 
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I polish all my feed ramps because I can. It's relatively easy, economical, and self gratifying. Mine run fine before the polishing and run fine after said polishing. You get to take a Sig apart and grope it for hours....what's not to love about that?!

I use dremel with buffing head and fitz. Reapplying every 15-20 seconds. Before I get my dremel out I take 600 grit paper and wet it. Then roll it to the diameter of a pencil and rough it a bit then polish with dremel.

My wife is pretty and practical and works just fine but a nice, shiny accent sure didn't hurt things either.


"God created men and Sam Colt made them equal"
 
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