Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    The Arizona Desert
    Posts
    1,950

    Default Polishing the ramp on a semi-automatic pistol

    I was in the store the other day looking for some ammo and got talking to the sales person and we got on to the conversation of polishing the ramp on my semi-auto pistol to improve cycling of rounds.

    Has anybody done this? To me it does not sound too difficult. What should I watch out for and what would the best approach be? I am very handy and mechanically inclined, just not real brave when I'm not sure how to do something.

    Thanks in advance,

    Grey
    Last edited by greyheadedguy; 01-07-2011 at 12:40 AM. Reason: Typos
    If you think gun control is the answer, look what happened in Australia when they banned all hand guns in 1996? NEW LINK! 8/3/2013
    Try here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4tS0DGDf0I
    or here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyS3CEIbpJo

    English Warning "Our Gun Ban caused 40% jump in Gun Crime" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTyCD2n6HAQ


    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    350

    Default

    I have done a few, but the key word is polishing. I use my dremel, cloth polishing wheel and a couple different grits of clay(harbor freight or Ebay). Your barrel will get pretty warm, so I clamp them in my vise with some heavy 1/2" thick nylon blocks.
    You don't want to take any real material off, so little by little and keep checking your work is the best way to learn. You could pick up a couple old barrels @ a show to practice on. I learned by doing Hi Points, so there wouldn't have been a loss anyway.
    Tony
    "I didn't say it was your fault." I said "I was going to blame you."
    You can have my guns when I run out of bullets.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    Are you having a feeding problem? Is it ammo brand/type specific? Is the ramp damaged, rough or scored?
    If the answer is no, don't fix what ain't broke!
    If there is some obvious pitting or scoring hanging reliable feeding, a Dremel with the fine grit polishing wheel followed by 1600 grit wet/dry sandpaper should smooth out any rough spots.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Oldsmar, FL (Tampa Bay)
    Posts
    23,246

    Default

    I've used a ceramic knife sharpening rod by hand to avoid the Dremel out of control syndrome. On a pistol like an unramped barrel 1911 it'll prevent a step from the frame part of the ramp to the barrel part.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Eastern England
    Posts
    1,242

    Default

    Did a lot of mods to 1911's during my practical pistol days in the 70's, including to the feed ramp, the operative word is POLISH not file or grind, once you have removed material you can't put it back, easy does it!
    ukrifleman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wild Wonderfull, WV
    Posts
    2,374

    Default

    Dremel makes polishing tips. They come in different shapes and are made of a felt type material. They also have the polishing paste. It's looks like clay as Tony said. I just used them to polish the sear spring on my MN 91-30. You would have to polish for days with these to "remove" any amount of metal so I think it would be perfect for doing a feed ramp. The chance of doing any harm from a "slip" is minimal at best.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Oldsmar, FL (Tampa Bay)
    Posts
    23,246

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Motor View Post
    The chance of doing any harm from a "slip" is minimal at best.
    Obviously you haven't seen me at work with a Dremel, blowing up a polishing tip and then spending a couple hours polishing out the track the shaft made.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wild Wonderfull, WV
    Posts
    2,374

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jjk308 View Post
    Obviously you haven't seen me at work with a Dremel, blowing up a polishing tip and then spending a couple hours polishing out the track the shaft made.
    Thanks!! I havn't laughed that hard in a while but I know what you mean. I do that at work all the time. I'll be deburring a corner and catch the edge and run down the other side then have another 10 minutes blending the "skid mark" out. Titanium is a real b*%#h to polish!!
    Last edited by Motor; 01-08-2011 at 09:12 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Most people hear "polish" and think..."like a mirror".
    That's incorrect. What we mean is that the ramps should be smooth and any machine marks should be leveled just enough to prevent a bullet nose from catching.
    a better term is "honed" or "de-burred".

    Trying for a bright mirror shine is how barrels and frames get ruined.
    So why do custom guns have a mirror-like shine?
    Simple. Because if we didn't put on a mirror shine the customer will think we either forgot or we're trying to cheat them by charging for something we didn't do.

    The difference is, we know how to do it without ruining the parts.

    I did my work with a Foredom Flex-Shaft, hard felt "bullet" tips, and jewelers polishing media. Brownell's also sell good polishing media.

    But, as above, if the gun is working properly and no bullets are failing to feed due to a rough ramp, exactly how is polishing the ramp going to "improve" it or make it work "better"?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wild Wonderfull, WV
    Posts
    2,374

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
    Most people hear "polish" and think..."like a mirror".
    That's incorrect. What we mean is that the ramps should be smooth and any machine marks should be leveled just enough to prevent a bullet nose from catching.
    a better term is "honed" or "deburred".

    Trying for a bright mirror shine is how barrels and frames get ruined.
    So why do custom guns have a mirror-like shine?
    Simple. Because if we didn't put on a mirror shine the customer will think we either forgot or we're trying to cheat them by charging for something we didn't do.

    The difference is, we know how to do it without ruining the parts.

    I did my work with a Foredom Flex-Shaft, hard felt "bullet" tips, and jewelers polishing media. Brownells also sell good polishing media.

    But, as above, if the gun is working properly and no bullets are failing to feed due to a rough ramp, exactly how is polishing the ramp going to "improve" it or make it work "better"?
    Very good post. We also call it blending. I know it's hard for the average person to get what we are describing. Very often a machined and blended surface is actually a lot smoother than it looks. As the above states you should try to achieve a smooth consistent surface without sharp edges.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    The Arizona Desert
    Posts
    1,950

    Default

    My problem is the snubbed tip of a hollow point or JHP causes the round to drag as it is being loaded. So I was looking at 124gn JHP rounds for my 9mm. All I need is just a slightly rounded tip or slightly longer tip. They feed as is but I would feel a little more at ease is they would run a little smoother.
    If you think gun control is the answer, look what happened in Australia when they banned all hand guns in 1996? NEW LINK! 8/3/2013
    Try here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4tS0DGDf0I
    or here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyS3CEIbpJo

    English Warning "Our Gun Ban caused 40% jump in Gun Crime" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTyCD2n6HAQ


    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    1,491

    Default

    If they will feed now, but its kind of clunky, just run a bunch through it by hand and get the exact polish you need in the right spots.
    "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that." -- Shane




    Who is John Galt?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    The Arizona Desert
    Posts
    1,950

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shucks View Post
    If they will feed now, but its kind of clunky, just run a bunch through it by hand and get the exact polish you need in the right spots.
    I read somewhere that is was a bad idea to run live rounds through a gun like that, that it could make them unstable or undependable or something.
    If you think gun control is the answer, look what happened in Australia when they banned all hand guns in 1996? NEW LINK! 8/3/2013
    Try here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4tS0DGDf0I
    or here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyS3CEIbpJo

    English Warning "Our Gun Ban caused 40% jump in Gun Crime" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTyCD2n6HAQ


    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    1,743

    Default

    Whatever the pros and cons you guys come up with, here are two more: don't do it to a Walther P1 and don't ask how I know this.
    You know all the words and you sing all the notes but you never quite learned the song.
    I can tell by the sadness in your eyes, that you never quite learned the song.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by greyheadedguy View Post
    I read somewhere that is was a bad idea to run live rounds through a gun like that, that it could make them unstable or undependable or something.
    You bet it will.
    It pushes the bullet back in the case.
    The shorter length causes pressures to skyrocket, but the real risk is the shorter rounds will fail to feed.
    The police discovered this in the early days of the change over to auto pistols.

    When they inspected the gun, they emptied the chamber and inspected. then they'd chamber they next round in the magazine and replace the first round in the magazine.
    This meant the same two rounds were being chambered over and over, pushing the bullet back into the case.
    The police started having failures to feed the second round, and traced it to this procedure.
    They changed the procedure, and manufactures now make law enforcement ammo rated for about 3 to 4 chamberings before it has to be fired in practice or discarded.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    The Arizona Desert
    Posts
    1,950

    Default

    Thank you, after I read about the problems of cycling rounds, I could not understand why it would cause problems. What you said makes sense as to why it creates a problem.
    If you think gun control is the answer, look what happened in Australia when they banned all hand guns in 1996? NEW LINK! 8/3/2013
    Try here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4tS0DGDf0I
    or here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyS3CEIbpJo

    English Warning "Our Gun Ban caused 40% jump in Gun Crime" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTyCD2n6HAQ


    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    4,074

    Default

    I think you are describing an ammo problem rather than a feed ramp problem. Plain and simple, if the ramp was designed to feed a particular bullet weight, with a round nose or particular shape, angle and mechanics may not match lighter, shorter or more flat nosed JHP rounds.
    Back in the day when the great migration to semi-auto 9mm was sweeping the police community, and is was soon discovered 9mm was not reliable as a man stopping round, makers started churning out all sorts of 9mm load with every configuration under the sun. Some guns, designed for a full size round nose, just flat out refused to reliably eat them. I recall going through that with several brands that were totally unreliable for feeding.

    dfariswheel is correct! There was very good reason why we routinely replaced all ammo twice a year at qualifications and made sure all old ammo was shot during the qualifications. Cycling rounds through the gun without firing will eventually lead to nicks and dents in the case and bullets pushed back deeper than they should be seated.
    Which reminds me ... that I am guilty of doing this right now charging my 1911 before I put it on and emptying it when I put it away! I'll empty that magazine next range trip!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wild Wonderfull, WV
    Posts
    2,374

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dfariswheel View Post
    You bet it will.
    It pushes the bullet back in the case.
    The shorter length causes pressures to skyrocket, but the real risk is the shorter rounds will fail to feed.
    The police discovered this in the early days of the change over to auto pistols.

    When they inspected the gun, they emptied the chamber and inspected. then they'd chamber they next round in the magazine and replace the first round in the magazine.
    This meant the same two rounds were being chambered over and over, pushing the bullet back into the case.
    The police started having failures to feed the second round, and traced it to this procedure.
    They changed the procedure, and manufactures now make law enforcement ammo rated for about 3 to 4 chamberings before it has to be fired in practice or discarded.
    Very interesting post thanks. This failure to feed thing is like voodoo sometimes. My Ruger 22/45 will not cycle the Federal bulk HP's at all but is as nearly flawless as is practical with the Remington bulk HP's. The difference between the 2 bullets can't be very much but what ever it is it's dramatic. I just avoid the Federals. You should do this with your center fire autos too. Find something it likes and stick with it. I'm not saying don't polish the feed ramp. If there is an edge or rough spot on it most likely that will help but often finding the "right" ammo for your particular gun is the best way and often you can find a few that will work so it will give you a choice if your local source is out of one.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    The bottom line is, guns can be maddeningly perverse.
    Not all guns "like" all ammo.
    It's common to see a gun that will shoot one brand or type of ammo and choke on another of the same type.
    Try them in another gun of the same brand and type and both may shoot, neither may shoot, or the one that failed in the other gun will shoot and the one that didn't will.

    This is why a smart shooter gives a gun, magazine, and ammo combination at least a 100 and better 200 round verification.
    A number of people simply decide they're going to use a specific ammo in a gun and when it won't work, they get determined that it's GOING to work or else, instead of simply choosing another ammo from the huge number available.

    These days, bullet technology is at the point where virtually any brand of premium American made defense ammo is about as close to 100% effective as we're going to get.
    Worrying about what's "the best" ammo is an exercise in futility.
    Test fire until you find ammo that's RELIABLE in your specific gun and buy lots of it.
    Accuracy in a real defense gun is of very little importance.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Unknown
    Posts
    2,548

    Default

    I've used a some Mother's mag wheel polish and a Q-tip to polish.
    Yes, it's slow and time consuming, but there's less of a chance of taking off too much metal or changing angles.
    Fine Print:
    The preceeding opinion should be considered only as an opinion and not legal advice. In no event will the poster, Unbekannt, be held liable to any party for any damages arising in any way out of the availability, use, reliance on or inability to use poster's opinion or any information provided by or through the poster, or for any claim attributable to errors, omissions or other inaccuracies in, or destructive properties of any information provided by or through the poster.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    1,491

    Default

    I have seen myself shooting a hundred or two rounds through a jam o matic of something it loved to feed, and then switch to the things it didnt like, and have them work then.
    "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that." -- Shane




    Who is John Galt?

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Oldsmar, FL (Tampa Bay)
    Posts
    23,246

    Default

    You really need to address the basics before you start cutting into the feed ramp.
    This addresses 1911 types but all the Browning designs and most other autoloaders have similar issues.
    First, the recoil spring has to fit the load and heavier isn't better. Too heavy causes jams. Too light, it'll run fine but batter the frame. Look for tables of spring weight vs loading.
    Second, you need good reliable mags with spec springs. Many aftermarkets stink, plus mag lips wear and bend or are bent, and springs wear out if cycled a lot. I've found all sorts of strange problems showing up with extended capacity mags especially.
    Third, you need a good extractor, not sticking, not worn, with a spring or bend that exerts the proper amount of pressure.
    Fourth, a lot of pistols will not work with a weak grip.
    Get these worked out with a rounded nose bullet loading and then you can think about ramping and throating to get it to work on various hollowpoints.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    8,521

    Default

    jjk308: very sage advice.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Lousyiana, USA
    Posts
    4,499

    Default

    Grey,

    Ya' can polish the ramp with the dreaded Dremel tool with a felt bullet tip and Flitz polish, no harm. Have done file work before but there was a nick.

    LB

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •