Why you need to change the factory magazine follower ASAP
I receive many complaints about factory magazine follower from Remington 870 owners. It is cheap and easy to brake. This is number one cause for feeding problems. First Remington 870s had metal followers which were strong and reliable.

Remington 870 Followers
Remington 870 Followers

Changing factory magazine follower is extremely important to ensure reliable feeding. Remember, that broken extractor can stuck inside the magazine tube and you will have to disassemble your shotgun to fix that. And if we are talking about self-defense situation this is the worst case scenario.

Factory follower is junk, remove it as soon as possible!

Attention: new Remington 870 shotguns have two “dimples” in magazine tube and followers without slots in the sides will not work with them. You will need to drill out the dimples or modify a follower.

Factory Remington 870 follower is the most often cause of loading/feeding problems.

This is new review of the magazine followers available for the Remington 870 shotgun. There are several new followers in this review and updated information on the old ones.

One of the good things about Remington 870 is that it is extremely popular and different manufacturers release new products for this shotgun each year. From the time of the last review, I have found out about 5 new followers and the more choices we have the better.

There are many aftermarket magazine followers available for the Remington 870 shotgun:

  • Remington
  • Scattergun Technologies
  • Choate
  • Vang Comp Systems
  • Brownells steel follower
  • Brownells aluminum follower
  • S&J Hardware
  • Nordic Components
  • SBI Precision
  • GG&G

Magazine Spring

Don’t forget that good magazine follower is just half of the upgrade and you need good magazine spring. And there is no better spring than one from Nordic Components.

The price of the magazine follower spring is just about $8: http://tinyurl.com/7hl7vvf

Aftermarket Followers

Let’s start with the best of the aftermarket magazine followers for Remington 870 shotgun. Vang Comp Systems follower, S&J Hardware follower, Brownells followers and Nordic Components followers are the best followers on the market today. I have chosen the best followers after extreme number of tests on the range and several thousands of rounds.

You can’t go wrong with one of these followers, highly recommended followers which are used by me.

Vang Comp Systems Follower Recommended

It turned out that stainless steel follower from Vang Comp Systems works perfectly even without tail which is believed to prevent spring from kinking. I think that the reason of such good result is metal on metal contact which enables VCS follower to slide freely inside the magazine tube. Also it takes less space in a magazine tube.

This follower has a hole on the front side, which enables you to check the magazine with your finger.

Vang Comp Systems (VCS) Follower

Vang Comp Systems is made of stainless steel magazine follower. This is one of the best followers I have ever used. It is sturdy, reliable and virtually indestructible.

Advice: It requires a small modification – you need to polish sharp edges on the front of the follower.

Attention: The only one known problem is use of the Vang Comp Follower with original Remington magazine extension. Shells can move follower to the groove inside the extension and it will stuck.

Recommended Product:
Vang Stainless Follower for Remington 870
Vang Stainless Follower for Remington 870
Get it here: http://tinyurl.com/bwjs4vc

S&J Hardware Follower Recommended

Remington 870 Magazine Follower
Remington 870 Magazine Follower

S&J Hardware follower is well thought out follower which has very good features and made of a good material. There are several version of S&J Hardware, you can select one with the raised bump in the middle or one with a hole which enables you to check the magazine by touch. Also, followers available in orange or green colors. This follower is not hollow inside, and doesn’t have weak points (like the Scattergun follower). It will not break down with cleaning products and hard use. S&J Hardware follower for Remington 870 is CNC machined from 2″ thick piece of DuPont Delrin® material, which is a type of Teflon impregnated plastic. Delrin is hard enough to machine, soft enough for use, and is very slippery, making it ideal for a shotgun follower. Also this follower has a tail which is believed to prevent spring from kinking. Attention: one of the readers informed me that S&J follower stuck in a factory magazine extension of his Remington 870 shotgun.

Nordic Components Shotgun Follower Recommended

Nordic Components follower is one of the best aftermarket followers which can be used in Remington 870 shotgun.

Nordic Components Follower
Nordic Components Follower

This follower is really good, it is Teflon coated which makes feeding smooth. I have tested it and it works perfectly. Nordic Components follower is also used by members of my shooting club and they told me that they never had any problems with this follower. Feeding with Nordic Components follower becomes much better and smoother because it is polished and Teflon coated.

Recommended Product:
Nordic Components Follower
Nordic Components Follower
Get Nordic Components Follower here: http://tinyurl.com/cxpposr

Brownells Stainless Steel Magazine Follower Recommended

When you hold it in your hands you feel that it is heavy and reliable, it is thick and made of stainless steel, it is even thicker than Vang Comp Systems follower. Looks good and works well, I didn’t have any malfunctions during the tests. Brownells Magazine Follower has grooves and will work with Remington 870 shotguns which have dimples but don’t have extension.

Stainless Steel Magazine Follower for Remington 870 (by Brownells)
Stainless Steel Magazine Follower for Remington 870 (by Brownells)

Brownells Stainless Steel Magazine Follower is very good alternative to Vang Comp Systems follower. It is machined, it is stainless, it is thicker than Vang Comp Systems follower. It will last forever.

Get it here: http://tinyurl.com/n9cdzr8

Brownells Aluminum Follower Recommended

Remington 870 Aluminum Follower by Brownells
Remington 870 Aluminum Follower by Brownells
Brownells Red Aluminum Follower for Remington 870
Brownells Red Aluminum Follower for Remington 870
Brownells Orange Aluminum Follower
Brownells Orange Aluminum Follower

Here are other followers from Brownells but now they are made of aluminum and have a bright green, orange and red colors.

They are very good followers! They are lightweight and bright. I like the green, orange and red colors because they are higly visible and you can easily see that shotgun is unloaded.

Brownells followers are good and you can choose whether you want heavy stainless steel follower or lightweigh bright aluminum one. Followers are available in different colors.

Get it here: http://tinyurl.com/n9cdzr8

Scattergun Technologies (Wilson Combat) Follower Not Recommended

Scattergun Technologies Shotgun Follower
Scattergun Technologies Shotgun Follower

This follower was one of the first aftermarket followers and became very popular, it can be easily found everywhere. There are a lot of positive comments about it.

This is high-visibility, fluorescent green follower which has a tail which is believed to improve feeding and projection in the head which allows to check the magazine by your finger. It is made of ABS nylon.

Attention: This follower has weak point. The middle part (projection) of the follower is not solid and I was able to brake it loading a magazine (it stuck and I had to use force on it).

Choate Follower Not Recommended

Choate Shotgun Follower
Choate Shotgun Follower

It is orange, made of plastic and has a very long tail. The tail is too long and takes too much of a magazine tube space. Also it doesn’t allow you to check a magazine by your finger but it is made of highly visible orange plastic.

I didn’t have problems with it but I know shooters which had problem with it: follower is too big and diameter need to be reduced to slide freely in a magazine tube.

New! Go Gauge Tactical Light LED Follower for Shotguns Review

The Go Gauge Light is a simple but very interesting accessory to install in your 12-gauge shotgun. It is basically an upgrade of the existing factory follower in your shotgun.

With the Go Gauge Light upgrade, you will be getting an additional function to your shotgun. It will now have an illuminating red color coming from the magazine tube which is easy to see in the dark.

It is not a follower which glows all the time, it will start flashing when you chamber the last round. It starts glowing when your magazine becomes empty and follower hits the stop lips.

Go Gauge Tactical Light LED Follower for Shotguns
Go Gauge Tactical Light LED Follower for Shotguns
Go Gauge Tactical Light LED Follower for Shotguns
Go Gauge Tactical Light LED Follower for Shotguns

The idea is very interesting! You can quickly grab the next shotshell and place it into the magazine tube with the red light coming from it. You will only see the light after your weapon is out of ammunition. That way, you will know it is time to reload.

Actually, I always teach shotgun owners to load a shotgun without looking at loading port. It is good idea to learn how to load a shotgun with eyes closed. But this glowing follower will be handy for new shotgunners.

Sometimes it will not work and will not glow, but it worked in about 90% of tests. I have tested it in front of the mirror and I could see some red light in a mirror. So it is can be very slightly visible to the “enemy”.

The Go Gauge Light is currently priced at $21.95 on the Go Gauge Tactical website. They charge a flat shipping rate of $2.99 for this order, although you can get free shipping if you spend more than $30 with them. The Go Gauge Light is supposed to be compatible with virtually all 12-gauge pump-action shotguns. Some of the models which have already been tested successfully with the Go Gauge Light include the Remington 870 Series, Mossberg 500/590 Series, Maverick 88 Series, Kel-Tec KSG, and Benelli M1 Super Combat 90.

This is an interesting upgrade for shotguns. The biggest benefit is that it is a high-quality follower made of self-lubricating Delrin plastic. It does not require any special modifications to your weapon, so don’t worry if you are not a gun expert.

There is also non-LED version which is a very nice follower which I really liked too. Both followers work with Remington 870s with dimples.

Not tested yet:
CDM Gear
SBE Precision
GG&G

What to do with Remington 870 Shotgun Magazine Follower Jam or Stick

Sometimes you may experience situations when your follower jams or sticks in magazine tube. How can this be fixed?

There are several possible solutions:
1. Check if follower is not broken, this could happen to a factory Remington follower, because it is not very durable.
2. Oil the magazine tube a little.
3. If you have installed magazine extension be sure to check that you have removed “dimples” completely.
4. Replace weakened magazine spring with a new one. Also, you can install an extra power Wolff spring.
5. Replace magazine follower with the one which has a “tail” that prevents kinking of a spring.

Hope this helps.

Related Post:

10 Steps to Upgrade Your Remington 870 Express to Police Version

10 Must Have Upgrades for Your Remington 870 Shotgun

Magazine Extensions for Remington 870 Shotgun (Nordic Components, Choate, TacStar, Remington, ATI)

7 Remington 870 Upgrade Ideas for Less Than $20

36 comments

  1. I had bad experience S&J Hardware follower: it sticks in my magazine with NC extension very often. I’ve replaced with NC follower and have no problems now.

    1. Stan, thanks for your comment, I have heard several complaints about the S&J follower and factory extensions, now we have problem with Nordic extension too.

  2. Paul Chaplin

    Does anyone use the brownells extended S.S. magazine spring in their 870? I have a new 870 with a one piece, 6 round magazine tube and this spring seems a bit long.

  3. Stephen Hubert

    I will have to make a recommendation against the Nordic follower when using the factory Remington +2 magazine extension tube. The added length of the Nordic follower will cause you to lose a round due to the indentation that is near the front of the tube. I spent a good 2 hours today cutting off the long tail of the follower and dremel/sanding the base flat just to gain my lost round back (and just barely!).

    My personal opinion is that the Remington +2 magazine extension is of better design than all aftermarket models. The indentation serves to prevent the sling clamp from moving under recoil, and also prevents the follower from compressing the spring too far. The clamp reduces the chance of the magazine extension coming loose as well (the clamp would have to slip on the barrel AND the extension to allow it to come loose.

    While I am somewhat satisfied with my modification to the Nordic follower today, I will probably be giving the GG&G follower a try. It appears to combine the good parts of the Vang Comp with the high visibility of the aluminum followers. Hopefully, they ironed out the factory Rem. tube issues that the Vang Comp was reported to have (which I have my doubts about… if the follower had a correct outside diameter, it should not have slipped past the indented ring).

  4. Matthew Livingston

    which follower have you determined to be the best with a factory extension?

  5. Michael Sharpe

    I am looking for a follower to fit a one year old 20Ga LW Wingmater. It has the dimples in the mag tube and buil on the small frame. Any suggestions.

  6. I just finished my 870P build and tried out the SBE Tactical Aluminum follower and it jammed up were the magazine extension connects. I believe the issue is that the SBE Tactical Version on the follower has flat edges and lacks the tapered or rounded edges to prevent the follower from catching and because its aluminum it is going to catch that much easier on steel. I decided to round the edges off my self with some 2000 grit sandpaper and I would imagine that has fixed the issue. Keep in mind that regardless what follower you are looking at, Seel, Aluminum, Delrin, or Plastic, You should only choose followers that have rounded off or tapered edges on the front and back of the follower when using a aftermarket magazine extension. I think I’ll try either Vang Comp, GG&G, or S&J Hardwares Follower next. I feel that SS or Delrin is going to have less chances of hanging up and if you consider Aluminum I would support Nordic Components Low Drag follower since it is Teflon coated.

  7. John Matthews

    There were metal followers before! Had no idea. From what you are saying, I feel that the Vang Comp Systems Follower is the best option for me. I like the whole metal on metal idea and even if I will have to do that small modification, that’s all right. I will probably avoid getting an original Remington magazine extension because of what you said.

  8. I agree with you on the Vang Comp follower but I disagree with your spring recommendation. Go with Wolff if you can. I’ve tried every spring, extension, and follower out there and the best combo is Wolff XP spring + Vang Comp follower. Trust me on this one.

  9. Hi?
    Anyone knows about the small torsion of scattergun highviz follower ? I have three of them and the same problem. Is it normal ?
    Thanks a lot

  10. Has anyone had experience using the VANG COMP SYSTEMS – REMINGTON 870 SHOTGUN TUBE EXTENSION ?

  11. Nemat Heydary

    Stainless steel are not recommended by Remington Armorers because they say it damages the stop lip in your mag tube.

  12. Eric K.

    So what would be a good simple upgrade to the cheap plastic follower on my marine magnum? I want to keep the Remington plus 2 extender. I’m thinking that any metal follower would wear down the internal nickel plated.

    1. Scattergun Technologies (Wilson Combat) Follower if you are not afraid of its weak point or S&J Hardware plastic follower.

  13. Eric K.

    The S&J seems like a nice upgrade but doesn’t it get stuck with Remington’s extensions?

  14. Goody Goodrich

    When did Remington go from the greyish colored polymer follower to the bringht orange? I cannot find one anywhere? ‘Im restoring a 870 and would like to know? I have used the factory followers for years and have never really had a serious issue. Mulatery and Law Enforcement also use the factory follower? 5 bucks.just saying? Love your page..Thx.

    1. Orange followers were introduced more than 10 years ago.. don’t know exact date when they replaced old followers with new ones.

  15. What would be the best follower to use in a 20ga 870 with the dimpled magazine tube? It doesn’t look like Brownells makes one with the cutout for the dimple.

  16. I got the Nordic Components Spring in today, and I am using it in a stock gun, I trimmed it leaving about 4 or 5 inches more spring than the stock. Should I leave it this way, or should I trim it to the same length as stock since it is a heavier spring than the stock spring?

  17. Brian F

    Most of these aftermarket followers seem to get stuck in Remington factory extensions by the looks of the comments. Is this only on the newer guns or does this also apply to the old Wingmasters? Or is there an aftermarket follower that doesn’t get hung up in the factory extensions?

    1. I like Nordic follower, works perfectly with my 870. I have made about 10 000 rounds with it :)

  18. ANTHONY MICHAEL KARNES

    got s&j follower..it would stick in the unloaded position..had to beat on it to unstick it..loaded it then next time i emptied gun it stuck again.couldnt determine problem and threw it away..put their machined extractor in and worked its action and it stuck out and wouldnt return to normal position..had to grind and grind on it to get it to work properly..im steering clear of s&j from now on.

  19. boopiejones

    I’ve had trouble with the GG&G follower getting hung up when feeding the mag tube with a stock Remington extension. Follower hits the transition from the mag tube to the extension and will not allow any more shells to be loaded. I switched to a Nordic follower and the problem went away. I’m currently running Nordic follwers, extensions, springs and clamps on all my shotguns.

  20. Gunwinger

    Hi, Just curious if anyone has yet to tried the NDZ Performance High Visibility Low-Drag Aluminum Follower ? They look cool

  21. After reading several reviews here and other places online I settled on the shorter S&J follower without the tail. It’s been a few years now and I’ve had zero issues. And I’ve been using the +2 extension. I recommend it and would buy one again.

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