BRM Official Blog

How to Finish and Polish Shotgun Bores

Posted by Heather Jones on Jan 23, 2016 1:07:15 PM

Shotgun HoningAre the bores of your shotguns hiding something? They may look bright and shiny, but appearances can be deceiving. When you visually inspect shotgun bores, the brightness that you see could just be the glare from reflected light. Small pits and tiny scratches can be difficult to detect, but these surface finish irregularities can cause moisture to collect, which can lead to rusting.  

Shotgun bores with rougher areas can also accumulate fouling from carbon, lead, or plastic. If this fouling becomes severe enough, higher pressures and even patterning problems may result. New shotguns need a clean, smooth surface finish, too. If the bores of your long guns have tooling or machining marks, plastic from the shot cup could scrape off and build up with each successive shot.

Choose the Right Shotgun Polishing Tools

Shotgun Barrel HonesAre you ready to target these gun maintenance challenges? Then choose Flex-Hone® for Firearms tools from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM). These Made in the USA gun tools remove fouling, improve surface finish, and make gun cleaning easier and faster. Self-centering, self-aligning to the bore, and self-compensating for wear, BRM’s gun tools mount in handheld electric drills and are easy-to-use.     

Flex-Hone® for Firearms tools feature distinctive abrasive balls that gently smooth metal surfaces and impart a bright, wear-resistant finish. Their low-temperature, low-pressure abrading process doesn’t remove significant amounts of material, and keeps the bores of your guns at the precise dimensions required. Flexible honing doesn’t require any special training, but what should shooters keep in mind?   

Follow Shotgun Polishing Best Practices

Shotgun_Chamber_Hones.jpgIn “How to Smooth Up a Shotgun Bore,” an article in Shooting Times magazine, gunsmith Reid Coffield explains how to use Flex-Hone® for Firearms tools with shotgun bores. First, secure the shotgun bore in a padded vise. Next, chuck the Flex-Hone® tool in a handheld electric drill and lubricate the tool generously with a good-quality honing oil, preferably Flex-Hone® oil. (This instructional video from BRM also explains).

Before entering the bore, rotate the Flex-Hone® for Firearms tool at a low-to-moderate speed. Then enter the bore and use smooth, even strokes without over-honing. Exit the bore while the gun tool is still spinning. If your shotgun polishing project requires flexible honing tools with different grits, start with a coarser grit tool and then use a finer grit tool. 

More Shotgun Maintenance Tips

Remember that the Flex-Hone® for Firearms is not a heavy-duty material removal tool. If your shotgun barrel is severely pitted, you may need to ream out the bore first. Consult a shotgun specialist or professional gunsmith if you need assistance. Also, if your shotgun has a ported barrel, avoid using the Flex-Hone® over the ports. Otherwise, the tool’s abrasive balls could smooth the port’s sharp edges.

Finally, keep the Flex-Hone® for Firearms tool away from the part of the barrel where the rear end of the screw-in choke tube skirt is seated. This ledge or shoulder is supposed to be sharp, so don’t polish it down. By choosing the right shotgun maintenance tools and using them properly, shooters can improve shotgun surface finish. Ready to learn more? Get the Flex-Hone® for Firearms brochure.

Flex-Hone for Firearms Brochure


Topics: flex-hone for firearms, shotguns