How to Clean a Firearm’S Magazine Follower?

To clean a firearm’s magazine follower, disassemble the magazine and use a cleaning brush to remove debris and dirt from its surface. Maintaining the magazine of your firearm is essential to ensure that it operates smoothly and effectively.

Among the small components that make up a magazine is the follower. This essential piece moves up and down the magazine tube, pushing rounds up to the feeding lips. Over time, the follower can accumulate dirt and debris, leading to jams or misfeeds.

Therefore, by cleaning the follower, you can prevent these issues, extend the life of your magazine, and keep your firearm in top condition. In this article, we’ll guide you through the simple process of cleaning a firearm’s magazine follower.

How to Clean a Firearm'S Magazine Follower?


Understanding The Magazine Follower

If you own a firearm, it’s essential to know about a magazine follower and its importance. Here’s what a magazine follower does, and why it is significant for your firearm’s functionality.

What Is A Magazine Follower And Why Is It Important?

  • A magazine follower is a small plastic or metal component that sits inside a firearm’s magazine. The follower’s primary purpose is to push the cartridges upward, into the firearm’s chamber.
  • The follower helps control and regulate the flow of ammunition, keeping cartridges in the right position for efficient loading and shooting.
  • Without the follower, the cartridges would not remain in place and would not feed correctly, causing malfunctions and potential hazards during use.

The Effects Of Dirty Or Malfunctioning Magazine Followers On Your Firearm’S Performance

A dirty or malfunctioning magazine follower can significantly affect the performance of your firearm. Here are some points to consider.

  • Dirty or corroded followers can cause cartridges to jam, resulting in a slower rate of fire and possible misfires.
  • If the follower does not move smoothly within the magazine, cartridges may not properly load, leading to further malfunctions.
  • Worn-out or defective followers may cause feeding malfunctions. When cartridges don’t feed correctly, they may not shoot properly or damage the firearm’s components.

Make sure to keep your firearm’s magazine follower clean and functioning correctly to ensure safe, efficient, and accurate use.

Remember that maintaining the quality of the magazine follower is vital to the proper functioning of your firearm. Regular cleaning and inspection can help protect the safety of yourself and others.

Preparing For Cleaning

The Tools You Need For Cleaning Your Magazine Follower

Before we start cleaning the magazine follower, let’s gather all the necessary tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver: For disassembling the magazine
  • Cleaning solvent: To remove dirt and grime
  • Cotton swabs: To apply solvent and clean hard-to-reach areas
  • Microfiber cloth: To dry the magazine after cleaning and eliminate scratches

Disassembling The Magazine And Removing The Follower Safely

To clean your magazine follower, you should first disassemble the magazine safely. Here’s what you should do:

  • Empty the magazine: Ensure the magazine is empty and the chamber is also clear before disassembling it.
  • Remove the baseplate: Use a screwdriver to remove the baseplate from the magazine.
  • Separate the follower: Hold the magazine upright and shake it gently to remove the follower and spring. Be careful not to lose any parts. It’s recommended to do this over a towel or mat, so that small parts don’t get lost.
  • Remove the follower: Before cleaning the magazine follower, you need to remove it from the spring. Do so by gently pressing down on the follower until it is no longer under tension. Then pull it out of the magazine’s body.

Tips For Identifying And Dealing With Any Issues In The Magazine Follower

You should also check if there are any issues with the magazine follower while cleaning it. Here are a few tips to help you identify and deal with such issues:

  • Check for damages: Look for any damages to the follower, such as cracks or deformities, that could impact its functioning. If you find any, replace your magazine follower.
  • Observe the spring tension: While taking out the magazine follower, observe the spring’s tension. If the tension is too firm or too weak, it can create feeding and ejecting issues. If there are any issues, replace the spring.
  • Ensure cleanliness: Make sure you clean your magazine follower thoroughly to avoid any future feeding or ejection issues. Use cotton swabs to clean hard-to-reach areas. Apply solvent as necessary.
  • Test the magazine follower: Before reassembling the magazine, test the magazine follower by inserting it back in its slot alongside the spring. It should move up and down smoothly without any issues.

By following these steps, you can easily clean your magazine follower and ensure its proper function. Remember to always handle firearms with care and take appropriate safety measures while cleaning them.

Cleaning The Magazine Follower

Step-By-Step Instructions For A Thorough Cleaning Of The Magazine Follower

Cleaning your firearm’s magazine follower is crucial for the optimal functioning of your firearm. The magazine follower, which pushes the cartridges up into the firearm’s chamber, needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent malfunctions. Here are the instructions to thoroughly clean your firearm’s magazine follower:

  • Gather all the necessary materials, including a cleaning rod, a patch holder, cleaning patches, a cleaning solvent, a dry cloth, and a lubricant.
  • Disassemble your firearm and remove the magazine from the firearm.
  • Take out the follower from the magazine.
  • Dip the magazine follower in the cleaning solvent and let it soak for a few minutes.
  • Scrub the magazine follower with the cleaning rod to remove any remaining debris, carbon buildup or dirt.
  • Rinse the magazine follower with distilled water to remove the solvent and dry it with a clean cloth.
  • Lubricate the magazine follower using a lubricant that does not attract dirt and debris.
  • Reassemble the magazine and reinsert it into the firearm.

Best Practices For Cleaning Different Types Of Magazine Followers

Magazine followers come in different materials and shapes, and each requires different maintenance techniques to ensure their longevity. Here are the best practices for cleaning different types of magazine followers:

  • Metal magazine followers: These followers require frequent cleaning to avoid rust and corrosion. Use a lubricant that can protect against rust and corrosion and remove carbon buildup.
  • Polymer magazine followers: These followers require less maintenance compared to metal followers. Use a polymer-safe cleaning solvent to avoid damage and prevent any buildup of dirt and debris.
  • Coated magazine followers: These followers require extra care to avoid scratching the coating. Use a soft cloth to scrub away the dirt and use a lubricant that will not damage the coating.

How To Maintain And Extend The Life Of Your Magazine Follower

Regular maintenance and proper handling can help extend the life of your magazine follower. Here are some tips to help you maintain your magazine follower:

  • Clean your magazine follower after every use to avoid the accumulation of dirt and debris.
  • Store your magazine follower separately from the firearm, to avoid damage or scratches.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents that can damage the magazine follower.
  • Use a lubricant that does not attract dirt and debris.
  • Check for any wear or damage to the magazine follower and replace when necessary.

Keeping your magazine follower clean and well-maintained is essential for your firearm’s optimal functioning. By following these step-by-step instructions and best practices, you can keep your magazine follower in top condition, ensuring reliable ammunition feeding in your firearm.

Reassembling Your Magazine

Cleaning a firearm’s magazine follower can be a daunting task for most gun owners. However, it is an essential maintenance procedure that ensures the firearm functions optimally. In the previous section, we discussed cleaning the magazine follower, and now we will talk about reassembling it.

Reassembling The Magazine

Proper reassembly of your firearm’s magazine is crucial in ensuring it functions correctly. Follow these steps:

  • Begin by placing the spring on the magazine follower.
  • Ensure the magazine follower is positioned correctly.
  • Place the base pad on the magazine tube and press it down until it snaps into position.
  • Check the magazine follower’s movement and ensure it moves up and down freely within the magazine tube.

Inserting The Magazine Follower Safely

Insert the magazine follower back into the magazine tube by following these simple steps:

  • Hold the magazine follower in your non-dominant hand.
  • With your dominant hand, insert the magazine follower into the magazine tube.
  • Use your non-dominant hand to guide the magazine follower into place.
  • Press down on the magazine follower to ensure it is locked into position.

Performing A Function Check

Once you have reassembled the magazine, perform a few simple function checks to ensure it is functioning correctly.

  • Insert the magazine into the firearm.
  • Test the magazine’s sliding movement within the firearm.
  • Confirm that the magazine feed lips engage positively with the cartridge’s rim.
  • Test the magazine release button, ensuring it releases the magazine smoothly.

Tips For Troubleshooting Any Issues

If you encounter any problems during the reassembly process, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Ensure the magazine follower is positioned correctly.
  • Verify that the spring is installed correctly on the magazine follower.
  • Check the feed lips for damage or deformation.
  • Double-check that the base pad is snapped into place correctly.

Reassembling a magazine is a straightforward process that any gun owner can perform. Regular maintenance of your firearm and its components ensures that it functions well when you need it most. Follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll have a properly functioning magazine, ready to be used next time you go shooting.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Clean A Firearm’S Magazine Follower?

How Do I Remove The Magazine Follower?

To remove the magazine follower, separate the magazine base plate from the magazine body. Push the spring and follower up and out of the body. Clean thoroughly and reassemble.

What Materials Should I Use To Clean The Magazine Follower?

Use a cleaning solution specifically designed for firearms, a bore brush, a toothbrush, and a clean cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or wire brushes that could damage the magazine follower.

When Should I Clean The Magazine Follower?

Cleaning the magazine follower is recommended after every use to ensure consistent functioning. It is also important to inspect the follower periodically for any signs of damage or wear that may affect its performance.

How Can I Check The Functionality Of The Magazine Follower?

To check the follower’s functionality, load the magazine with dummy rounds and cycle them through the firearm. If the rounds feed properly and the magazine locks in place, the follower is functioning correctly.

Can I Lubricate The Magazine Follower?

No, it is not recommended to lubricate the magazine follower. Any excess lubricant can attract dust and debris, affecting the magazine’s performance. Only the magazine spring should be lubricated with a light oil.

What If I Notice Any Damage Or Wear To The Magazine Follower?

If you notice any damage or wear to the magazine follower, it should be replaced as soon as possible to ensure proper functioning. Contact your firearm manufacturer or a qualified gunsmith for assistance.


As a responsible firearm owner, keeping your firearm in top-notch condition is crucial for your safety and those around you. The magazine follower plays an essential role in the smooth functioning of your firearm, and regular upkeep is necessary. Cleaning the magazine follower isn’t an arduous task, and with the right tools and techniques, anyone can do it in no time.

Whether you own a handgun or a rifle, ensuring that the magazine follower is free from dirt and debris is vital. Keeping the follower clean adds to the longevity of your firearm and ensures that your shooting experience is hassle-free.

Therefore, it’s imperative to inculcate proper cleaning habits regularly, not overlooking the simple yet crucial parts of your firearm, such as the magazine follower. With a little bit of effort, you can keep your firearms performing at their best for years to come.






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