One of the first upgrades a lot of folks do to their shotty, is replace the factory follower (usually plastic or thin stamped metal). There are many different offerings, from many companies, but really only 2 designs.
Design 1) A heftier follower with a deeper cup, like a GG&G follower.
Design 2) A tailed follower, or an anti-kink follower, like from S&J.
All are made from various materials, and come in a variety of colors, are smooth sided or ribbed… But the concept of the follower has not changed. Our weapon platforms have evolved dramatically, but not the follower.
Aside from the tail. A tailed follower is an evolution of sorts, but unfortunately often results in the loss of a round.
The first thing you notice about our follower, is it’s fluted. Debris will eventually accumulate in your mag tube unless you clean it regularly, like any other part of your shotty (Most people never clean their mag tube, OR their spring, OR their follower). A shotty can only chew it up and spit it out if it’s fed properly.
Ever fumble a shell, pick it up, knock it on the side of your leg and chamber it? Ever been out in a harsh dry & gritty environment? Ever notice how quick dust will accumulate, even on a weapon locked inside a cabinet?
The flutes allow egress/passage; the follower will NOT jam up on a few grains of sand or grit.
Next we’ve installed a spring inside the length of the follower. That spring resonates with every sound or movement of or from the weapon. It becomes an active device as opposed to a passive device. The spring vibrates, causing the follower to vibrate, causing any debris around the follower to vibrate and take the path of least resistance, down the flutes…
The spring is locked inside the follower via keyways. These keyways are designed to allow the tail to compress inside the body of the follower. Your tail will never bottom out, even with a short mag spring.
Those are the physics behind our “Workhorse” follower.
Now take those ideas and add a trepan cut to the body, allowing the mag spring to begin its compression in much the same place as your factory follower. You now have an enhanced, tailed follower and you will not lose a round. Period.
That’s what the “Defender” model is all about. The follower, evolved.