It depends on your tool access of course.
+1., the air or electric angle or mini die grinder with the scotchbrite pads that Mr Nobody detailed will not gouge the metal. Nor a bench wheel with the 8"cotton wheel and 80 grit cutting rouge and lighter grit after or hand polish..
They remove quickly, evenly and with lighter pressure or less aggressive compound or pad to a nice shine. No gouging at all.
I have polished stainless 1911 pistols and some gun parts or trigger assemblies using both methods.
Sand paper is a really long process and 2000 grit is really., really fine on a firearm. But it depends on the desired outcome..