Brass or Stainless Followers?

Brass or Stainless Followers?

Posted by W Kunz on Apr 12th 2019

On our site we offer both brass and stainless steel followers and people often want to know which is better. The two materials offer similar performance as magazine followers in a lever actions with some minor differences.

Brass on a steel magazine tube does have less friction and slides more easily than a stainless follower although this  advantage may only be slight. There is not a significant amount of movement taking place between the follower and magazine tube during typical use of a lever action rifle, but over time the parts do wear. Brass should have a slight advantage over stainless steel followers since the brass is softer than the steel of the magazine tube; therefore, the brass follower will wear out before the magazine tube. This will only be an issue over the very long term and after cycling many rounds of ammunition, but it is better to replace a follower than a magazine tube.  

A brass follower looks similar to a cartridge and can make it difficult to determine if the magazine is empty without looking closely. 

It is mostly personal preference after weighing the differences related to corrosion resistance, mechanical operation, and visibility. Either way, a brass or stainless follower far exceeds the quality and reliability of a factory plastic part. The plastic followers are subject to rapid wear and over time likely will need replaced. 

The high quality and reliability of the Marlin lever guns should not be undermined by a cheap plastic follower. Whether a person chooses brass or stainless, replacing the plastic follower or upgrading from a carbon steel one will add to the overall performance and reliability of the firearm. 

Follower sizes for 1894 and 1895 Marlin Lever action rifles.