Followers are probably one of the most frequently upgraded parts on tube magazine shotguns. The main feature of most aftermarket followers is better visual and tactile identification of an empty magazine. Aridus Industries has introduced their version of a shotgun follower called SMRT Aridus Follower (SMRT-AF) which besides the mentioned feature also is designed to work reliably with magazine extensions. Let’s see if it is as smart as claimed.
Shotgun Upgrades @ TFB:
- Go Gauge Illuminated Shotgun Follower
- Adaptive Tactical Reintroduces the EX Performance Shotgun Light Forend
- Strike Industries’ New Magazine Follower for 12 Gauge Shotguns
- XS Sights’ New Plus 2 Magazine Extension For Remington 870 Shotguns
One issue seen in tube fed shotguns with magazine extensions is follower hangup at the transition from tube to extension. If the rear edge of the follower doesn’t have a gradual enough transition, the follower can get hung up and not move past the transition, effectively negating the tube extension. If the outside diameter contact points of the follower are too close together or too small diameter, the follower can tilt within the tube and the front edge of the follower can hang up on the transition on the way back out of the extension and will no longer feed rounds. We went through MANY revisions to dial in the perfect transition at the rear to cleanly glide past even the most brutal extension transitions. We also found the balance of making the follower long enough to not tilt inside the tube, while not being so long that it limits capacity.
Aside from the above-described geometry magic that is claimed to make the SMRT Aridus Follower work reliably with any mag extension, this follower also has an interesting construction. The anodized aluminum core is designed to give quick visual identification thanks to its bright green color, and its checkering-like texture provides positive tactile identification, decreasing the chances of mixing it up with a round in the magazine. The outer body of the SMRT Aridus Follower is machined out of 4140 steel, not to dent or gall during use, and has a black nitrided finish for smooth operation.
Aridus Industries SMRT Aridus Follower is listed on the company’s website at an MSRP of $40. This follower is compatible with Remington 870, Mossberg 500/590/835/940, Beretta 1301, and Benelli M4 12 gauge shotguns.
Pictures by Aridus Industries, www.aridusindustries.com