i like stainless steel guns, especially the SW 686 .357, i plan on getting one but my question is would polishing the stainless steel make the gun more prone to corrosion over leaving it as it is? and will the polished surface appear uneven after use and sitting? obviously all metal takes some sort of upkeep but is polished more high maintenance than non-polished?
I use Mothers Mag polish also. The shine you get depends on the effort.... If you buffed a mirror finish it will dull in time... More work brings it back. On a SW you won't take off enough to make any difference as far as metal holding oil. I use a little Mothers whenever I clean my stainless revolver.... Takes the carbon ring off the cylinder face... I use old cotton socks and t shirts. You could use a Dremel to work the mag wheel polish if you want a bright finish.
The SW 686 is a great revolver. I have the model 586 (blued) and intend to get a 686 and do the same thing - polish it to a mirror finish. There is a great video on YouTube that shows a man polishing his stainless steel revolvers to a mirror finish. He uses Mother's Mag Wheel Polish. Polishing the gun to a bright mirror finish will not in any was reduce the rust resistance of the metal. However, it will do two things. First, it will show scratches and flaws more over time. So if the gun gets mishandled, you will notice the marks on the finish. Second, when shooting in bright sunlight, you might not be able to aim the gun at all. I've had this happen to me with the old polished nickle finish revolvers; I had a Colt Diamondback with a bright nickle finish and it was impossible to aim when the sun was beating down on it. For a fun project gun, I think that a polished stainless finish is neat. It's not something I would want to use for hunting or personal protection, but sort of a bragging piece at the gun range.