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Old 03-06-2010, 12:29   #1
SIGShooter
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Stainless Steel/Aluminum Follower or "NO"?

I did a search and only turned up 4 threads on the subject. They really didn't answer any of my questions.

Here's what I've got:

Wilson Border Patrol 12 Ga.
6+1
870 Express
(And no, I didn't spend thousands of dollars on it. I got it when they were still in the 800 dollar range. Awesome shotgun!)

I am doing a couple of upgrades to it right now.

So far:

Remington 870 Police Trigger Assembly group (Got a thread about that too)
Speed Feed "Short LOP" stock
TacStart Side Saddle
Upgrading to Wolff Tube Springs

What I would like are some Pros and Cons of the metal style followers vs. the synthetic followers.

Currently I have the Wilson style synthetic follower. I haven't had any problems with it. However, if a metal follower is a better upgrade, I would like to start using them.

Pros to Steel/Cons to Steel

Pros to Aluminum/Cons to Aluminum

Pros to Synthetic/Cons to Synthetic

I appreciate the help!
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Old 03-06-2010, 14:53   #2
aippi
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No to the stainless steel follower. This is right out of the mouth of the senior Instuctor at the Law Enfocement Armorers Training Center at the Remington Factory in Illion.

Here is why. Reach into the mouth of the mag tube on your 870. You will feel a slight lip. that lip is the follower stop and as you can feel it is very thin. A stainless steel follower is a harder metal then that lip and over the years of that follower banging into that lip it will damage it. Of course not in the first couple of years that you own the 870 but if the weapon gets heavy use the damage will happend sooner then you think.

Yes, to polymer like the Wilson or to some of the aluminum ones.

Now for all you guys that are going to post that you have been using a stainless steel followers for years and there is no damage and this post is wrong, please call the Law Enforcement Training Center at the factory and tell them to stop giving out wrong information to their Law Enforcement Armorers 'cause you know more then those Instructors who have only been there for 30+ years.
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Old 03-06-2010, 15:14   #3
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Thank you very much sir!

I read a couple of your posts during my search. I just wanted to get more information.

I noticed that Remington is now doing upgrades to their line of 870/1100/11-87 in regards to upgrading to Aluminum followers.

I went ahead and ordered the anodized aluminum follower from Brownells.

Any thoughts on the upgrade to the Police model Trigger assembly? I've got my other thread on that as well.

Thank you!
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Old 03-06-2010, 16:08   #4
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I use the polymer trigger plate assembly on all my 5 personal 870's as it is more durable then the cast metal. On the "Build your Weapon" link of my web site there is a video of a drop test conducted by Ruger that proves this.

all the parts in the Polymer trigger plate assembly that comes on the 870 Express are the exact, yes exact as in the same as in not different then the ones that come in Police or Wingmaster trigger plate assembly, except one $3.40 spring.

So to pay over $90 for a Police trigger plate assembly is a total waste of money and serves no purpouse in the performance of your 870.

You are researching inter-net threads so look at the qualification of the person giving the advise before you start putting your money out. I was trained at the factory in Illion and I only answer based on that training and what is in the Remington Law Enfocement Armorers manual. If you can find better information then that, take it.
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Old 03-06-2010, 17:06   #5
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^^^Awesome, thank you!
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Old 03-07-2010, 14:16   #6
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Anyone have problems with their vang comp followers or vang comp shotguns?
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Old 03-07-2010, 16:15   #7
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I don't believe that a steel follower will cause damage to a mag tube steel lip. The reason is, there isn't enough force to cause any damage. With the last shell in the mag tube the follower is only about 2.5" from the lip and most of the force is lost pushing the last shell out. So it doesn't hit the lip with any force.

If the spring and steel follower got hung up in a empty mag tube and it was free and slammed into the lip that could possibly damage the lip. This wouldn't likely happen.

I guess you could run into a few shotguns that the lip wasn't properly heated treated. In that case damage could occur over time.

The Vang stainless follower is excellent and they know few things about 870 shotguns.

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Old 03-07-2010, 16:33   #8
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I choose to listen to the experts. I paid for that training and went right to where these weapons are being built and to then not to benifit from their expert knowledge would be follish of me. So, no stainless steel followers in any of my custom builds. If a client wants one he can add it when he gets the weapon.
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Old 03-07-2010, 17:02   #9
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Originally Posted by aippi View Post
I choose to listen to the experts. I paid for that training and went right to where these weapons are being built and to then not to benefit from their expert knowledge would be foolish of me. So, no stainless steel followers in any of my custom builds. If a client wants one he can add it when he gets the weapon.
The facts don't support them.

Sometimes the experts are wrong or have been misguided. Sometimes you have think for yourself, listen and go by your own experience. I have some experience with shotgun mag tubes and I have never seen or heard of any damage ever being caused by a steel follower. I have used them in several of my shotguns for going 7 years now. Steel followers have been used for many years and if it was common, threads on the subject would have already been posted on the forums.

The Vang stainless follower is a very heavy duty follower. If it was causing damage to shotgun mag tubes it would have been pulled long ago.

At one time the experts thought the Earth was flat.


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Last edited by MAX100; 03-07-2010 at 17:18..
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Old 03-07-2010, 20:08   #10
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I don't know if it's an issue or not. I do know that few things are harder than anodized aluminum. If hardness is an issue, anodized aluminum would be just as bad, if not worse, than stainless.

What I don't understand is how is it an upgrade to replace a known follower that works? Will the new one somehow work better? Replacing things that work with things that are unknown doesn't qualify as an upgrade in my book.
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Old 03-07-2010, 20:25   #11
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I don't know if it's an issue or not. I do know that few things are harder than anodized aluminum. If hardness is an issue, anodized aluminum would be just as bad, if not worse, than stainless.

What I don't understand is how is it an upgrade to replace a known follower that works? Will the new one somehow work better? Replacing things that work with things that are unknown doesn't qualify as an upgrade in my book.

Well, as I said before, the synthetic follower isn't an issue. I consider it an upgrade if it performs better for me and my platform that I am using it in.

If I can get a longer life out of a metal follower with the same reliability, then that's what I'll go with.

For me, it's more of a longevity thing. I can tell you this…I've had my shotgun for 5 years now, not many rounds down range, 300+, but I have noticed that my follower is chewed up and needs to be replaced. If I can get double that time or even triple that time, I consider that an upgrade.

YMMV with your equipment.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:27   #12
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I just got off the phone with Remington.

Couple questions I asked:

870 Police Trigger Assembly: Cast aluminum, current upgrade part for most 870 series shotguns, current part for ALL 870 Police model shotguns, recommended by remington for a more solid trigger assembly and longer life.

Aluminum Follower: Current upgrade part for all remington shotguns and the future part for all followers. There are no negative side affects from using aluminum followers due to the fact that there isn't enough force hitting the (I can't remember the proper name) follower stop lip. There is no extra care needed when compared to the polymer (Synthetic) followers. Definitely longer life out of these followers and the possibility of them breaking are next to none unlike the polymer followers.

I did not ask about the steel followers as I went with the aluminum one instead.

The original trigger plate for the 870 Police was a parkerized carbon steel assembly. Remington went to the cast aluminum a while back. After I got off the phone I got a call back from the same Tech person I was talking to and she gave me that last bit of information.

Very nice person to talk to, made sure she hit all the points of our discussion and even gave me a call back to reconfirm the information she gave me and asked if I had any further questions.

Just thought I'd share the good CS experience I had with Remington.
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Old 03-08-2010, 13:22   #13
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Gongrads on getting a decent rep to talk to. I call in about 80K in parts orders a year and can't get a decent answer from most of them. If I can't get my LEO rep on the phone I don't even try to ask a question. Sounds like the customer service is improving.
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Old 03-08-2010, 13:54   #14
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I have some experience with shotgun mag tubes and I have never seen or heard of any damage ever being caused by a steel follower.
I'm not sure I understand the reasoning here. Do you think the folks at Remington have less experience with their shotgun mag tubes, or that they just made something up out of thin air and decided to tell everybody it was a problem?
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At one time the experts thought the Earth was flat.
Umm, no. The experts knew the Earth was round. It was the folks who had limited experience/understanding, and who thought they knew better than the experts, who thought the Earth was flat.
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Old 03-08-2010, 14:04   #15
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I just got off the phone with Remington.

Aluminum Follower: Current upgrade part for all remington shotguns and the future part for all followers. There are no negative side affects from using aluminum followers due to the fact that there isn't enough force hitting the (I can't remember the proper name) follower stop lip. There is no extra care needed when compared to the polymer (Synthetic) followers. Definitely longer life out of these followers and the possibility of them breaking are next to none unlike the polymer followers..
It would be the same when using a steel follower as well, not enough force hitting the lip.

Most manufactures don't put aluminum or steel followers in their shotguns because they cost more and they can save a few bucks per gun.

Mossberg puts a high quality heavy duty steel follower in the 930 SPX.


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Old 03-09-2010, 08:31   #16
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Originally Posted by aippi View Post
No to the stainless steel follower. This is right out of the mouth of the senior Instuctor at the Law Enfocement Armorers Training Center at the Remington Factory in Illion.

Here is why. Reach into the mouth of the mag tube on your 870. You will feel a slight lip. that lip is the follower stop and as you can feel it is very thin. A stainless steel follower is a harder metal then that lip and over the years of that follower banging into that lip it will damage it. Of course not in the first couple of years that you own the 870 but if the weapon gets heavy use the damage will happend sooner then you think.

Yes, to polymer like the Wilson or to some of the aluminum ones.

Now for all you guys that are going to post that you have been using a stainless steel followers for years and there is no damage and this post is wrong, please call the Law Enforcement Training Center at the factory and tell them to stop giving out wrong information to their Law Enforcement Armorers 'cause you know more then those Instructors who have only been there for 30+ years.
I can't comment on damage to the internal lip in the tube, but I will agree on the solid plastic followers.

Vang or Wilson are the way to go. I only use lime green - it seems to be the "best" color for checking an unloaded mag tube.

They are more slippery than the metal ones and less prone to jamming.

FWIW Choate makes a follower that I used to use but for the last 10 years I've seen problems with them.
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Old 03-09-2010, 13:05   #17
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Originally Posted by MAX100 View Post
It would be the same when using a steel follower as well, not enough force hitting the lip.

Most manufactures don't put aluminum or steel followers in their shotguns because they cost more and they can save a few bucks per gun.

Mossberg puts a high quality heavy duty steel follower in the 930 SPX.


GC

Remington is now going with aluminum followers in all their shotguns.

Currently it is available as an upgrade to the current followers with an XP magazine tube spring. I believe Wolff is the manufacturer of the springs. I forget who is manufacturing the followers though.

I was thinking of going with the steel, but I figured the lighter weight aluminum would mimic the weight of the synthetic followers better.
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Old 03-09-2010, 13:08   #18
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I can't comment on damage to the internal lip in the tube, but I will agree on the solid plastic followers.

Vang or Wilson are the way to go. I only use lime green - it seems to be the "best" color for checking an unloaded mag tube.

They are more slippery than the metal ones and less prone to jamming.

FWIW Choate makes a follower that I used to use but for the last 10 years I've seen problems with them.

I currently have the Wilson follower (Lime Green) in my shotgun.

I have not had any problems with it in regards to reliability. However, I have noticed that the follower gets chewed up pretty quick.

YMMV with certain followers you may use. I figured using a metal follower would be a better option and more cost effective over the years. I plan on shooting more shotgun than what I have been.
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Old 03-09-2010, 14:36   #19
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David Armstrong: I'm not sure I understand the reasoning here. Do you think the folks at Remington have less experience with their shotgun mag tubes, or that they just made something up out of thin air and decided to tell everybody it was a problem?
If Remington believes that a steel follower will damage the mag tube on their 870 it would give a warning in the manual that it will void the warranty.

I have explained why a steel follower won't damage the steel lip on a mag tube.

Please explain how you think that a steel follower can cause damage. Have you ever seen a mag tube that was damaged by a steel follower?


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Old 03-10-2010, 13:41   #20
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If Remington believes that a steel follower will damage the mag tube on their 870 it would give a warning in the manual that it will void the warranty.
You know, I bet Remington believes that taking a hammer and beating the frame on my 870 until it bent would damage the the frame. But I don't see anything in the manual about that. As an armorer I assure you there are plenty of things the factory recommends avoiding that they do not mention in the manual.
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I have explained why a steel follower won't damage the steel lip on a mag tube.
And I have explained that the folks who are most in the know, the folks who build the gun and have probably seen far more of them than anyone else, disagree with you. your argument seems to be "I know more about the gun than the folks who build it and have worked on it the most." I don't buy into that argument, sorry.

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