How to Polish a Glock Slide


The Glock handgun slide comes factory-coated with a black-oxide finish that some gun owners consider ugly. Polishing the slide to strip away the coating is inexpensive. If you take care, your handiwork can turn out quite attractive. You can aim for either a brushed-stainless look or a mirror finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium- and fine-grade steel wool
  • Polishing compound
  • Buffing machine and wheel
  • Buffing compound
  • Remove the front sight.

  • Spread the metal polish on the outer slide and let it sit for a few minutes.

  • Dip a small corner of the medium steel wool and begin to gently rub along the side of the slide with long, even strokes. The goal is to remove the oxide, not the metal underneath. The black oxide should begin to peel off eventually.

  • Continue to dip the steel wool and rub the slide until all the black oxide is gone. You may have to stop occasionally and rinse the slide with water to remove the oxide debris from the surface. Dry completely before you resume.

  • Skip the cocking serrations, as trying to remove the finish between them might accidentally round off the edges.

  • Continue to rub the slide with the fine steel wool and metal polish after the black oxide has been removed. This will remove the leftover yellow hue. Be sure to rub in the direction of the metal grain for optimum smoothness. At this point, the slide should look like satin or brushed stainless steel.

  • Continue to polish the slide with a buffing wheel and polishing compound if you wish a mirror finish. This step requires a great deal of experience with a buffing wheel and a very steady hand, as one small step too far, or too hard of a push, can take metal off from the slide.

  • Wash the slide again thorough to remove any metal polish. Dry it completely.

  • Coat the slide with a synthetic lubricant. Follow the manufacturer's directions.

  • Reinstall a new front slide.

Tips & Warnings

  • A light touch-up every few months of heavy wear will keep the slide looking new.
  • Buffing the top of the slide to a mirror finish can cause problems with the sunlight reflecting back into your eyes when shooting. This might pull the muzzle off target.

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  • Photo Credit ballyscanlon/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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