Tips on how to polish revolver cylinder chamber?

I ended up with 2 seriously stuck cases on my Rossi snubbie. I need advice from on how to do it myself even if it involves a dremmel  😉

And I will revisit my reloads.

UPDATE: I did remove the cases with a dowel and some “gentle” tapping. My apologies for not being clearer.

6 Replies to “Tips on how to polish revolver cylinder chamber?”

  1. Penetrating oil would be my first option. Then I would try deep freezing the weapon and letting the brass contract inside the chamber. Then, while frozen, using a dowel of about .3 inches to tap out the stuck cases. Last would be the dremmel. Let me know what worked.


  2. If you already got the cases out, I would recommend some kind of “bonding” oil like MiliTec or the like.

    If they are not out yet, CLP or something.

    But me, I do not take powertools to my firearms :).


  3. I would go to the auto parts store and get a selection of sandpaper. You want the wet/dry kind for auto body repair. Wall-Mart might even have it. Get an assortment that covers from 400 up to 2000 grit.

    Cut the sandpaper into strips that are wide enough to roll into a tube that is slightly larger then the caliber of the revolver and slightly longer than the the cartridge.

    I would use either a cotton mop or a brass brush. Put several drops of oil in the cylinder. roll the sandpaper in a tube, slide the sandpaper in the cylinder, work the mop or brush in with the sandpaper and slowly stroke the sandpaper in and out, with just a little spin as you go. Sort of like spin 1/4 turn, strike twice, repeat for a dozen time. Spin in one direction.

    Start with 400 grit sandpaper. Use lots of oil, the go to 600, 800, 1000, 2000 grit. Naturally the finer grits take off less metal so you can spin/stroke more.

    You want to do more stroking then spinning. Although at the higher grits you are really polishing the cylinder and not removing a lot of metal.

    Think of it as honing a cylinder. A really small cylinder but honing it. I would think that after about 1/4 hour of work the cylinder interior would be mirror smooth.

    Now for a faster job, take a cotton mop that is a snug fit in the cylinder. Rub it down real good with you standard polishing compound. Chuck it in your drill press. Then just go for it using the drill press handle to stoke the mop in and out. Do not let it stay in the same place very long. If you do you will end up with a smooth bore but the lines will all be around the bore. You really want the lines to be in and out.


  4. “Seriously stuck case” can mean a variety of things. If I could not get the case out of the cylinder without forcing it, I would remove the cylinder, find a snug fitting deep socket that would receive the case, and then drop the largest allen wrench that will fit inside the case and tap the case out.

    Once the case is extracted is the time to seriously examine the cylinder bore. It sounds very much as if those cylinder bores might be slightly bulged. If nothing shows up, go to a good hardware store and lay in some 1/4″ dowel and the finest emery cloth they have. Cloth, not paper.

    Slit the dowel to receive the emery cloth, and spin it in the cylinder bore with a slow drill until the bore is well polished. When it is polished look sight through the bore at a window. You are checking that cylinder bore for a bulge, so check that all the mullions (the pieces between the glass panes) are straight any way you turn the cylinder.

    Regards and good luck




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