Clean Brass On A Gun

Polishing the brass on an antique firearm will cause it to lose value.

Brass is a metal traditionally used in producing firearms. Strong, lightweight, and attractive, the yellow-colored metal was used in butt caps, fore-end nose caps, receivers, screws and other areas. Modern day firearms do not use it much, but reproductions of older firearms still use it quite extensively. Brass comes from the factory with a clear coating that protects it from tarnish. With use, the coating wears off and allows the brass to become discolored. Cleaning the brass is easy with the proper tool and peripherals. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Put on rubber gloves to protect the hands from chemicals and the brass from body oil and sweat.

2. Wash and dry all the brass parts, ensuring there is no dirt, gunpowder carbon, or oil on them.

3. Turn the rotary tool on low speed and dip the polishing wheel into the medium rouge compound until the wheel is coated. Very gently polish the brass parts until the remains of the previous coating and any tarnish come off. Do not move in a circular motion but go back and forth. This needs a very light hand as you do not want to remove any metal but only the very top layer.

4. Wipe the brass part clean of all polishing solution with the cotton cloth. Change the wheel to a new one, and coat it the same way with the fine compound. Very gently polish the brass parts until all the small surface scratches are no longer visible and it begins to resemble a mirror finish.

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5. Wipe the part again.

6. Change to the buffing wheel and buff the metal until it gleams. Wipe one last time.

7. Dip a portion of the clean cotton cloth into the acrylic urethane sealer and gently rub an ultra-thin layer on the brass. Be careful to overlap the strokes and do not allow the edge to dry before you put a new stroke on.