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Stainless Steel 686+, to polish or not to polish?

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Hey everybody!

While I have read a ton and learned a lot here, I believe this is my first ever post on this forum!

I recently purchased a brand new S&W 686+ with a 6" barrel. First range day was two days after purchase and I am absolutely smitten with this revolver. It is absolutely great!

I am pretty strict/diligent about cleaning and maintaining my firearms; I always thoroughly clean whatever I ran immediately after a range session, and while I was cleaning my fresh new 686, I got the idea to polish it in hopes of achieving a mirror-shine.

My questions for those who read this post are three-fold:
1. Does anyone have any photos of stainless S&W revolvers which have been highly polished? I'd love to see finished results and what I could hope to achieve.
2. If so, what polish was used and what can you recommend?
3. Is it best to leave this incredible piece of living art as it was intended by the factory, or make it shine?

This is just a range gun for me, as it is far too large for me to carry, so reflections/glare are not a concern for me with this one.

Wonderful forum and collective body of knowledge. What say ye?
 
Hey everybody!

While I have read a ton and learned a lot here, I believe this is my first ever post on this forum!

I recently purchased a brand new S&W 686+ with a 6" barrel. First range day was two days after purchase and I am absolutely smitten with this revolver. It is absolutely great!

I am pretty strict/diligent about cleaning and maintaining my firearms; I always thoroughly clean whatever I ran immediately after a range session, and while I was cleaning my fresh new 686, I got the idea to polish it in hopes of achieving a mirror-shine.

My questions for those who read this post are three-fold:
1. Does anyone have any photos of stainless S&W revolvers which have been highly polished? I'd love to see finished results and what I could hope to achieve.
2. If so, what polish was used and what can you recommend?
3. Is it best to leave this incredible piece of living art as it was intended by the factory, or make it shine?

This is just a range gun for me, as it is far too large for me to carry, so reflections/glare are not a concern for me with this one.

Wonderful forum and collective body of knowledge. What say ye?
Wow, joined in 2012 and this is your first foray into posting in the threads? That said I've seen both and I prefer the dull shine if that makes sense. Here's a peak at mine:
52970177415__6846A683-F15D-42A1-B84F-175DCF301BAC.JPG
 
OP
T
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Hey there Jack.

It's obviously a personal preference, but there are a ton of polishes out there if that's what you like. I don't think it'll make much difference in the end which you choose.

But my opinion? Blacken that sucker.
I nearly went for a 586, but knowing it was going to be a range toy, I decided stainless would be more "fun" for me.

Perhaps it is just that it is new and I want to customize it a little? I am entirely torn, hence why I ask popular opinion and for photos. :)
 

x2ndxall

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I nearly went for a 586, but knowing it was going to be a range toy, I decided stainless would be more "fun" for me.

Perhaps it is just that it is new and I want to customize it a little? I am entirely torn, hence why I ask popular opinion and for photos. :)
You can always give it a shot. It'll be temporary anyway.
What grips? You have picture?
 
OP
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Wow, joined in 2012 and this is your first foray into posting in the threads? That said I've seen both and I prefer the dull shine if that makes sense. Here's a peak at mine:
View attachment 557742
Yes. In 2012 I was involved with a gal and we shot regularly. This forum proved to be a tremendous resource for us each to learn a lot, but things happen, life changes and I stopped shooting (and frequenting the forum) for a while. It is crazy that it has been 7 years or so!
 
OP
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You can always give it a shot. It'll be temporary anyway.
What grips? You have picture?
At this time, the 686 is bone stock, with whatever S&W branded rubber-like grip it comes with. Looks exactly like the stock photo on their website.

EDIT:
Will any shine I am able to polish up and achieve eventually resort/revert back to the factory "dulled" polish look?
 
OP
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I polished mine. I have an older prelock that had a few scratches on it. A little 1000 grit sandpaper and mothers mag polish brought it to a nice shine.

It gets dirty really fast, but it is easier to clean the carbon build up from the polished surface.View attachment 557743
Is that a full-on mirror finish!? As in you can see your reflection in the steel? Looks lovely.
 
Oh that's a peach.

Now I need to start saving. That looks small enough to actually carry as well! The 6" model is just too big for me to carry (I stand 5'5" on a good day, and tip the scales at about 118lbs soaking wet).
Mine's a 3 inch and it's still a bit bulky (Weight wise) to carry, but I do carry it when I'm feeling fancy...LOL
 
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Yankee Marshall has a YouTube video about polishing S&W revolvers. He used a museum grade polish that has to be mail ordered. I used. Mother's on mine. It's a 1980's 686+ . I like to polish my knives to keep them from being tarnished.
 
OP
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Yankee Marshall has a YouTube video about polishing S&W revolvers. He used a museum grade polish that has to be mail ordered. I used. Mother's on mine. It's a 1980's 686+ . I like to polish my knives to keep them from being tarnished.
Thank you for the resource! Looks like I've got something fun to watch with dinner!

You mentioned polish preventing tarnish, someone else suggested polishing makes clean-up easier? Have you, or anyone else who is reading this thread, experienced the same?

Is it easier to clean the carbon residue/build-up off of highly polished stainless vs. the standard factory stainless finish? That would truly be the icing on the cake and make the decision easy.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. This forum is fantastic.
 
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That's why I polished mine. I wanted to make it easier to clean. I used the Mothers on the burn rings to eliminate the last trace. I used a cordless drill to clean the crusty area in the front. I have an old beat up S&W Model 64 which will get the treatment next.
 

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