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How To Polish (and Remove Rust) From Glock Slides

There are probably two types of Glock owners: those who love their slide polished and those who love it black and coated. While a polished slide gives a Glock a unique look, it is also more susceptible to rust. 

So, in addition to showing you how to polish a Glock slide, we will also tell you how to remove any accumulated rust from your Glock pistol.

how to polish glock remove rust

That way, you will know how to take care of your Glock the right way.

Let’s get started!

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How to Polish a Glock Slide

If you know what a Glock handgun looks like, then you know that its entire body is painted black. 

However, the Glock handgun is not all metal. The magazine body, frame, and other components are high-strength polymers.

polished glock parts

That said, the slide is the only major part of the Glock that you can polish. Let’s see how!

Required steps

Polishing a Glock slide involves two steps:

  1. Removing the protective black coating.
  2. Polishing it to a brushed or mirror finish.

Necessary items

You will need several items before you begin the polishing process:

  • Steel wool (medium and fine grade)
  • A polishing compound
  • A buffing compound (optional)
  • A small buffing machine or buffing wheel
  • A clean cloth.

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Polish a Glock Slide

Disassemble your Glock

The first thing to do is disassemble the gun and remove the slide. This way, you will also clean it from residue on the inside.

Start polishing (for a brushed look)

Now that you have the slide in front of you wipe it down with a clean cloth first to ensure it’s clean.

polishing glock pistol 2

Next, spread the polishing compound evenly across the slide and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. It will soften the upper protective layer and make the polishing easier. A great polishing compound to use is Lucas Oil, but you can also use any other universal metal polishing compound, like Flitz International.

Take the medium-grade steel wool and start rubbing the outer side of the slide in long even strokes. Make sure to go gently, as you only want to remove the protective oxide layer, not scratch the metal beneath.

Soak the steel wool with a polishing compound, and be patient. The black layer should start to fade until pure metal surfaces.

Once you see debris gathering from the black oxide, rinse the slide with water and repeat the process.

If you want your slike to have a brushed stainless steel look, finish the polishing with a ball of fine-grade steel wool. Make sure to rub in the direction of the metal grain for the best results.

Start buffing (for a mirror finish look)

If you want your Glock slide to have a mirror finish look, you will need a buffing tool and compound.

A buffing wheel works best, but you can also accomplish the same effect with a small Dremel tool and a buffing attachment.

how to polish glock trigger ejector

First, apply a buffing compound to the surface of the slide. You can use Meguiar’s M10508 Mirror Glaze Ultra, which gives excellent results.

Start buffing the slide without applying too much pressure. Make sure you cover every corner evenly, and don’t rush it. If needed, wipe the slide with a clean cloth and repeat the process.

How to Remove Rust From a Glock Slide

The slide of a Glock handgun is susceptible to rust, especially a polished one. Coated slides are more resistant; however, they can accumulate a fair amount of rust without the proper care.

Let’s see how to remove rust from a Glock slide without damaging and scratching the metal underneath.

Necessary items

Removing rust is not the same as polishing, so you will need the following items:

  • A lubricant cleaner
  • A copper brush and copper wool
  • An ordinary toothbrush
  • Dry and clean cloth.

Removing the rust from a coated Glock slide

If your Glock slide is coated with a protective black oxide layer, then follow these steps to remove the rust accumulated on it:

  1. Disassemble the Glock and separate the slide.
  2. Take a bronze brush or wool and scrap the rust with gentle pressure. 
  3. Don’t use a steel brush; don’t apply any lubricant oil, as they may scratch the coating!
  4. Take a clean cloth and remove the rust from the scraping. You can also use a toothbrush to remove loose rust around the dents.
  5. Repeat the process as many times as you need.
  6. In the end, wipe the slide with a clean cloth and check if any rust is left. If it’s all clean, reassemble your Glock.

Removing the rust from a polished Glock slide

Removing the rust from a polished Glock slide involves using a lubricant cleaner. That is because rust attaches more firmly to exposed metal, so you need a solvent to help soften the rust and make it easier to remove. 

disassemble glock remove rust

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Disassemble your Glock and remove the slide.
  2. Apply a lubricant cleaner on the surface of the rust. BreakFree CLP-4 is an excellent choice.
  3. Let the lubricant cleaner sit for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Take a bronze brush or bronze wool, and start scraping away the rust as gently as possible.
  5. After you remove the rust, clean the residue with a clean cloth and inspect the slide.
  6. Note that using a bronze brush may cause minor scratches to the surface of the slide. Follow the previous section if you must re-polish the slide after removing the rust.
  7. Another important piece of advice is not to use steel brushes to remove the rust. Steel brushes have stiff bristles, which will cause significant scratches to your Glock’s slide.
rust removal glock slide


Remember that polishing a Glock slide removes the protective coating, making it more susceptible to rust and corrosion. 

Now that you know how to polish a Glock slide, make sure to protect it afterward. Store your handgun in a clean and dry environment, free from moisture. 

You can also apply a thin layer of gun lubricant to protect the metal surface from corrosion, especially in wet weather conditions. 

Clean your Glock regularly (twice a month), and it will last many years!

Written By

Cody Y.


Cody is a staff writer for 3D Gun Builder.

Cody brings years of experience in firearms, 80% builds, 3D printing, and internet security.

He owns six 3D printers and enjoys spreading his knowledge of modern day gun smithing around the world.

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