Beartooth Mercantile

On our site we offer both brass and stainless steel followers and people often want to know which is better. The truth is that it is really a matter of personal preference. The two materials produce very similar performance in the application of a magazine follower in a Marlin lever gun.

It is true that brass on the steel magazine tube does slide more easily than a stainless follower, but the movement of the follower is small. The advantage provided due to lower friction of the brass follower is negligible compared to the stainless steel follower since there is such a little amount of movement in a magazine follower's operation. A brass follower also looks similar to a cartridge and makes it difficult to determine if you are out of ammo or not. Slightly more care might be needed for a brass follower since over time brass will tarnish while stainless holds up to corrosion very well. 

There is not a large amount of friction between the follower and magazine tube created during typical use of the rifle. It is not a fast moving, excessively dynamic action, but over time and through heavy use, the parts will wear. Brass might 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 fail before the magazine tube. This will likely only be an issue over the long term and through heavy of cycling many rounds of ammunition. Adequate lubrication in the magazine tube will also prevent excessive wear between the follower and mag tube.

I personally use brass followers in my rifles because I like the smoothest action possible. However, it is really 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 wearing and large thermal expansion and contraction in extreme temperatures. 

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


Follower sizes for 1894 and 1895 Marlin Lever action rifles.

Written by Honus Titcomb — August 23, 2012


George A Heeres:

l have two Marlin lever rifles,45-70cal. and 1 Winchester 38-55 cal. l would like to know when you get them back in stock, so l can order them in the stainless steel. THANK YOU, GEORGE

December 15 2014 at 05:12 PM

Thomas Turtzo:

I want to buy a stainless saddle ring when you have them in stock again.
Please let me know. The lawyer button cross bolt safety goofier than wearing a belt and suspenders.

September 12 2015 at 04:09 PM

David Page:

I also would like to order the SS Follower for my Marlin 1895 SBL 45-70

September 25 2015 at 02:09 PM

Beartooth Mercantile:

Stainless followers expected back in stock for the 30-30’s mid next week (9/30); 45-70 will likely be the week after. Thanks for the interest everyone!

September 26 2015 at 08:09 PM

Robert Cope:

Looking for stainless saddle ring for my 1895. Could you let me know when you will have back in stock. Thank you.

December 06 2015 at 07:12 PM

jean Surville:

I installed the new stainless follower for Rossi R92 in 44 mag. The plastic follower had got rough in touch and sometime blocked in the tube, creating “trafic jam” for the next cartridge into the chamber
The stainless follower is a little bit wider in diameter than the plastic and gives better fit in the tube. As a matter of Adequate lubrication in the magazine tube, I suggest the very fluide oïl used by musician for trumpet valves.
A great solution for such a low cost even from France
Thanks a lot Beartooth Mercantile.

April 01 2017 at 02:04 AM

Beartooth Mercantile:


Thank you very much! Glad we were able to help you out. We appreciate the feedback.

Beartooth Mercantile

April 02 2017 at 12:04 PM

Mike pauli:

When is the blued up down marlin 1895 sadle ring saftey delete back in stock? Love mine and now my uncle wants one.

July 26 2017 at 09:07 PM

Beartooth Mercantile :


I added you to the mailing list to be notified when the saddle ring safety deletes are done. Sorry about the delay, should be about 3 weeks.

Thanks for your support and patience.

August 03 2017 at 08:08 PM

John hall:

Do you instructions for replacing follower. I got the saddle ring on easy enough bou not sure on the ss follower.

October 15 2017 at 04:10 PM


i would like a saftey delete for a rossie rio grande 40-70 ss saddle ring

November 19 2017 at 05:11 PM


i would like a saftey delete for a rossie rio grande 40-70 ss saddle ring

November 19 2017 at 05:11 PM


Please notify everyone on the list when you have brass saddle rings back in stock!

November 22 2017 at 06:11 PM


I put the Blued Saddle Ring Delete on My Marlin 1895 Cowboy 45/70, Plus a Brass Magazine Follower. Love both of them, Thanks.

January 20 2018 at 08:01 AM


Question..Can the Brass magazine follower for the Marlin 336 in 30-30. Be used in a model 94 Winchester 94 also in 30-,30?

April 17 2018 at 03:04 PM

Linus Brown:

Any chance of a Rossi R92 follower in 357 mag in the future? That and a saddle ring are in the works for mine. Thanks.

June 04 2018 at 05:06 PM

Johnny Nel:

I would also like to buy a Blued Saddle Ring and a Brass follower for then Rossi ’92 in .357Mag. Will the Marlin one work in the Rossi?

July 11 2018 at 06:07 AM

Jim Dunn:

I will purchase a brass follower for my 30as .30.30 Do you make a follower for the Henry Big Boy Steel .44 mag?

September 05 2018 at 07:09 AM

Freddie Hovatter:

Which stainless follower would fit a 338 Marlin

January 20 2019 at 10:01 AM

Beartooth Mercantile:

Freddie, I think the 338 Marlin uses its own specific follower, but am not sure. It might be the same as the 30/30. Sorry, but I will have to do more research on that with the 338 being relatively new.

March 21 2019 at 09:03 PM

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Thanks for visiting Beartooth Mercantile. We specialize in accessories for Marlin Lever action rifles including 1894's, 1895's, 336's and Guide Guns. We also make other items and accessories, so please browse the site.

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