So I got tired of looking at the beat-up finish on my EDC's barrel today so I decided to do a DIY polishing job on it. I know there's already a thread on this somewhere but I didn't feel like hunting for it. This job took less than 1 hour. Ideally, you're supposed to use ScotchBrite pads, Flitz metal polish, and white vinegar to do this. All I had around the apartment was vinegar and steel wool, I didn't have any of the synthetic scrubbing pads, nor did I have metal polish of any kind. Therefore, the "polishing" itself was done with Brownell's J-B Non-Embedding Bore Compound that I use to scrub out my precision rifles with. The results are pretty satisfying.
What I started with (there are only about 650 rounds through this pistol and this is how bad the finish wear was):
After degreasing it, in the vinegar it goes:
After just 5 minutes you can see how thin and dulled the bluing has become:
After 10 minutes, I removed it from the vinegar and scrubbed it some with the steel wool:
At 20 minutes, you can hardly tell it was ever blued at all. I removed it again and scrubbed some more:
I left it in for another 20 minutes while I ran an errand, however I didn't notice any difference between the 20 minute mark and the 40 minute mark. At that point I attacked it with the steel wool and J-B bore compound.
Like an idiot, I forgot to take pictures before putting it back together, but here's the final product (if you right click on the picture and click View Image you can see the larger version):
I'm extremely happy with the appearance now. It looks like it should've come like this from the factory, especially from the front, since the barrel now matches the end of the guide rod that sticks out.
Total cost: $0.99