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Ok I have a chance to buy a Ranger Stainless TPH, it is in good shape but has some handling scratches. These scratches are very fine scratches if you run your finger over them they can not be felt just seen. Is there a method for removing them? I have heard some use a very fine Scotch Brite pad to remove them. How does one go about removing these handling scratches without affecting finish if possible. As stated before they are not gouged or deep scratches, I am sure most guns get these scratches from simply setting them down when shooting. Thanks
 

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Go to the cosmetics aisle in any drug store and locate what formerly were called "emery boards" for fingernails. There are now some wide, foam-backed ones, and they come in a variety of abrasive grades. Some are practically for buffing. You want a selection of the finest grades.

They are much easier to handle, and more precise, than nylon scrub pads. If used carefully, the sticks will not "soften" (i.e., blur) the markings and will help preserve flats and sharp corners.

If refinished stainless is unprotected, it may tend to rust unless re-passivated, but that's a different problem.

M
 

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I had some fine scratches on one side of the slide. I picked up a 3M "SandBlaster" auto finish sanding sponge, 320 grit. (3M P/N: 03070) at AutoZone and it duplicated the bright, linear, buffed finish on my Interarms SS PPK/S.

The abrasive is embedded into the flat surfaces of a fairly hard, dense sponge material that gives you a well-supported flat abrasive surface to work from. It only took about 10 passes to remove the scratches. You just have to make sure that you go parallel to the "grain" of the original finish and it doesn't round or soften the edges of the markings since the abrasive surface is much flatter and less compliant than a Scotch Brite pad. You do not have to press hard for it to work.

Here's a link to the 3M product:

3M Performance Sanding Sponge, 320 Grit, 03070
 

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I have used scotchbright pads to fix scratched on a 1911 slide several years ago. Realize that if the stainless is bead blasted - you can't fix it that way. You will essentially scratch it up worse if you do.

If the stainless is more of a polished stainless, then this will work. I got a red scotchbright pad from an industrialist supply store at the suggestion of a gunsmith in the 1990s (he stated the green ones won't work well).

I basically went back and forth on the slide - WITH THE GRAIN. front to back, in as perfect of a straight line as I could. IT essentially makes little scratches on the entire surface, covering the ones that you want to get rid of. If you do it right and straight, it basically ends up looking like the grain of the metal, and comes out looking good.

If it is bead blasted, then you would need to have the gun bead blasted to resolve the scratches (usually around $100)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is why I am asking it's on side of the slide. I do not believe it's bead blasted. The ones on my PPK/S are hardly noticeable but I know they are there. I do not want in any way to make them worse. The gun is 99.9% in my opinion with the tiny scratches from handling. I guess I am anal and want it to be back to 100%. I do not carry it and shoot it every few months. I could probably show someone and they may not even see it unless it's angled a certain way. They definitely would not show in a picture.
 

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On a really beat-up TPH (the previous owner kept it in the same pocket with a paving brick), I used circuit board etchant to darken the whole surface and conceal the scratches on the bead blasted top of the slide. Be advised that the final product is darker than original, but if the gun has been run hard and put up wet, it's a far cheaper alternative than reblasting.
Moon
 

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Stainless steel should re-passivate itself over time, and it doesn't take long. What must be avoided is placing contaminants into the steel when doing the refurbishing. For example, if one were to attempt to remove scratches from stainless steel with regular steel wool, some tiny particles of steel fiber "splinters" will break off the wool pad and become imbedded in the stainless (which is much softer). These particles will rust and attack the surrounding stainless of the slide or frame. The same holds true with using any other abrasive that may be contaminated with either metal debris from prior use or chemicals incompatible with stainless steel. For example, stainless is wholly incompatible with sulphuric acid or other strongly acidic compounds found in some cleaners. If you ever want to see "stainless" steel rust like mad, put a few drops of acid from an old car battery onto a scrap piece of and observe the results.

I think if you were to use Mike's method of using abrasive pads, you should be more than safe and not need fuss about harming your PPK's finish. The "grit" material is likely either calcium carbide or garnet, both of which are alkali at heart and inert to the metal of your Walther. "Passivation" is actually a form of corrosion in it's own right, only one that protects the stainless steel from further attack... chromium oxide I believe instead of iron oxide (rust). Thankfully chromium oxide is invisible and doesn't keep attacking the metal.

-Pilotsteve
 

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In the vane of what MGMike stated....... I found a website of a knife/grip maker who sells very fine sanding sticks. Diamond with grits as fine as 2000 or so. Meant for removing and polishing scratches from ivory/tusk/bone grips.
When I make nuts or parts for string instruments from metals.....after all the filing is complete I use crocus cloth followed by various grades of polishing compounds with small buffing wheels.

found it...

http://www.danchinnock.com/ivory-grip-support.htm
 

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EZ-Lap makes sanding sticks with diamond dust bonded to a thin steel backing plate that is mounted on a plastic stick about 6" long, 3/4" wide. They come in four grits, color-coded, from coarse to super fine. If applied very carefully they will preserve a flat surface better than the aforementioned fingernail boards because the backing is not resilient. They are useful for work on sears, sights, and other flat edges where very precise cutting or polishing is required. I used to buy a handful every year at the SHOT Show, but they can be ordered. I keep a drawer full of them.

M
 

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Correct Answer!

You should listen to that guy, "HauntedMyst", he knows. When it comes to refinishing metal, 400grit until scratch is removed then use jewelers rouge and a buffer wheel if you want a mirror finish.

320grit or an emery board used in straight line strokes will give a brushed finsihed look to metal.

As you may be aware the brilliance and deep of the finish firearms is directly proportional to the level of polishing on the metal before the bluing process.

Osage
 

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I'm late to the party, but scratches a pistol picks up in normal use are inevitable. Lot's of folks think these give a gun "character". If the scratches are minor, leave them alone. If the pistol has been abused - take it to a professional.

Sometimes trying to correct a minor issue creates a "domino effect" and things can really go to heck from there.

Don't ask how I know this!
 
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