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Fixing an idiot scratch on stainless steel

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by doubletap007, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    I bought a springfield 1911 stainless with an idiot scratch not only on the bottom but up the slide in 2 spots too.
    It was my first 1911 so I didn't know about idiot scratches when i bought it used.
    I really love this gun,its such a nice shooter and never had a misfire/bad feed with it so
    I really would like to clean it up if there is a way to without cerakote or parkerizing it.
    I really want it stainless but does anyone know of a way to fix it?maybe some 2000gt sandpaper?wetsand?the good side is i dont have to worry about banging it up a little now but it's such a good gun i would like to fix it and pass it down to my 1st born daughter someday.

    also to put an ambi safety on it do i need to modify anything or just put it right in?
     
  2. Armchair Operator

    Armchair Operator Beaverton Active Member

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    Ok. I'm a total newb when it comes to 1911's, but have seen the term "idiot scratch" used several times....so what are we talking about here? Obviously its a scratch in the finish of the slide or frame, but what actions result in said scratch?

    -AO
     
  3. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    when field stripping the 1911 you remove the slide stop and it pops right out,but when replacing it it is a little more tricky and newbs will slide it up into place rather than straight in resulting in this ugly drag mark in the trigger area of the frame.hence the name idiot scratch.though it should be newb scratch or rookie scratch we like to make people feel even more stupid for their mistakes by calling them an idiot for it.so everytime you look at the gun you can say"im a fricking idiot!"
     
  4. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Haven't made one, but if a 1911 having one means the seller kicks $50-$75 off, fine. A perfect example is always waiting for that first scratch anyway.

    I have seen threads on other forums about people using Scotchbrite pads to remove idiot/other marks off stainless 1911s. I guess that is one advantage to stainless.
     
  5. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    i might have to try scotchbrite in a little area.couldn't look worse than a big drag mark on the frame right?
     
  6. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Send me a pic of the damage. I cam either tell you how to fix it or, if you like, I can fix it for you. No charge of course since I am not an ffl.
     
  7. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    stuff happens even when you think you are paying attention. mounting scope mount on my brand new rifle last spring i got two screws mixed up the long one went in the short hole. had the bolt captive and put an IDIOT scratch on it. fairly light and easily fixed. I dont generally consider myself an idiot [after thinking about that for a second, probably most idiots dont consider themselves idiots] or a newb. s--t happens.
     
  8. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    3 cheers for noisycow,the scotchbrite works great,the scratch came all the way out and cleaned the frame up very nice with no scratchy look.
    looks like a new gun now.
     
    sheepdip and (deleted member) like this.
  9. michaels

    michaels oregon Active Member

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    I got a beautiful stainless 1911 with the mark, and a few other scratches too.

    What I did is taped the "frosted" ss with blue masking tape, then I took a drill with a buffingwheel and rouge paste.
    CAREFULLY go longways down the frame.

    A buffing wheel on a bench grinder would work too.

    YMMV so just be real careful. Polishing is an art, its easy to mess it up and create waves and valleys.

    I finished it up with a can of mothers aluminum mag wheel polish.

    Just by hand, it really made a nice mirror finish.
     
  10. michaels

    michaels oregon Active Member

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    Just saw your reply, congrats! I'll have to give scotch brite a try sometime.
     
  11. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Scotchbright will only work if the surface is only marred. If it is actually scratched it will not work. Then you will have to remove actual material around the scratch. If when you run your fingernail over the scratch your nail drops into the scratch you will have more work to do.
     
  12. Hardwood floor guy

    Hardwood floor guy Beaverton Active Member

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    mine had a pretty deep scratch(you could feel it with your fingernail)and i used scotchbrite too and it came all the way out.
    first i used 220 sandpaper lightly over the scratch to smooth it out then scotchbrite and it looks like new now too.
    also first pass with sb go dry and final sand it with wet scotchbrite.
     
  13. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Geez I am glad it worked out DoubleTap - didn't mean to come off as an expert or anything. Would have felt bad if someone tried it and ruined their gun. There is always duracoat. :)

    Was it the gray pads or the green(?) I think I have some gray pads. I might try mine. A Kimber Eclipse stainless.
     
  14. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    Glad you got it out. ON bead blasted guns - it's easy enough to have the affected are re-blasted. On polished guns, you can do buffing wheel, scotch brite, or if it's really, really bad - polish the whole side.

    I did that with a 1911 of mine one (stainless steel, got a scratch in the slide). I used a piece of glass, taped a square of 1200 grit wet-dry sand paper on it, wetted the paper, and started the slow polishing process. You have to maintain pressure on it, and not tip it (don't want to get waves or wobbles in the slide) and use even strokes. After a while I switched up to even higher grits. Polished the side of the slide up better than the factory - it literally was a mirror when I was done. Looked really good with the beat blasted top and frame.
     
  15. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    im glad you mentioned the idea noisycow,it made my springer look like new.thank you for that!
    i tried it under the grips first to make sure it wouldn't hurt the finish.
    I used the green,it was a sponge on one side with scotchbrite on the other.
    i did as hardwood floor guy said and did a dry s/b first then final sand with wet s/b.

    Kimber eclpise w/idiot scratch?ouch thats gotta hurt.i love the look of the eclipse.
     
  16. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    by the way noisycow,keep the direction of the grain or it takes forever to get the sideways scratches back out.
     
  17. EMP9596

    EMP9596 Two Trees West of Camas, WA. Active Member

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    Here is a mod you can do to keep the slide stop from marking... Just take your time and it will work.

    This is a modification I have done my slide stops as it allows easy installation and doesn't affect function. It is easily done with a needle file. To install, the slide stop is positioned directly on top of the plunger and you can feel it saddle over it and push it straight in. Bingo!

    Slidestopmod1.jpg

    Slidestopmod2.jpg

    Slidestopmod3.jpg
     
  18. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    I don't know what the hell I am doing and I'm scared LOL. Seriously, if/when it bugs me enough I will try. Some things I do really well. Metal polishing is not one of them.

    EMP - that is really a good idea. That trick, plus don't have more than one beer before starting.