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  #1  
Old 03-11-2017, 11:38 AM
MackTech MackTech is offline
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I have 10 mags for my 4026 after ordering 3 more used ones a week ago. I have 5 of each kind, the law enforcement only mags have different color followers than the standard mags, yellow versus blue. Is one better or more improved than the other?
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:04 PM
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I have 10 mags for my 4026 after ordering 3 more used ones a week ago. I have 5 of each kind, the law enforcement only mags have different color followers than the standard mags, yellow versus blue. Is one better or more improved than the other?
Assuming everything you have is factory original, the yellow follower magazines are all pre-bans (pre-1994). The ban period magazines (1994-2004 - marked LEO/Export restricted) and every 4006 magazine made thereafter used blue followers, which are still available today as replacement parts.

The only small controversy about these magazines is exactly when the blue followers started appearing and why? They seem to be pretty much identical to the yellows except for color. There are many who claim that the blue followers appeared before the ban started, which tends to discount the notion that the color change was made just because of the ban. S&W did not change the color of the followers in any other hi-cap magazines just because of the ban so that also tends to further weaken the argument that the color change was made just because of the ban.

While there is evidence that the change happened at some point before the ban started, most in my moonbat state of MA use the yellow vs. blue followers as indication of the pre-ban vs. post-ban break point anyway. It's more about what a cop or prosecutor might believe and having to prove in court that your blue follower 4006 magazine was actually made pre-1994.
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:39 PM
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The blue followers are the "current" (latest) color.

I've asked a few guys (reps, armorer instructors, customer service LE contact, etc) about the color change from yellow to blue for the .40 followers, but I've never really gotten a definitive answer.

I've not been able to eyeball a difference, like you can sometimes do with other follower revisions, but that may only mean that whatever revision or change was involved, it's not something you can see with the naked eye.

I've also been told that sometimes S&W may change a vendor, and if they do, that might involve a color change (plastic or paint) to ID parts from the different vendor.

Or, it's been speculated it might involve a specified change in the material used (plastic formulation), for some reason known only to the engineers.

Whatever the reason, I've not been told that any yellow follow .40 followers "must" be replaced with blue ones. If you ordered new ones, though, you'd get blue.

I was told that one large agency changed out all of their yellow .40 followers for blue, simply because it was the newest part and that's what they wanted to do.
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Old 03-11-2017, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for the 'insight'.
My 40 double stack 'stash'
-1 9rd yellow
-3 9rd blue
-5 10rd blue
-3 11rd yellow
-2 11rd blue marked export & LE & Gov
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Old 03-11-2017, 03:37 PM
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I bought my Model 4006 brand new in August 1990. Serial#TFF0108. It came with 2 blue follower magazines. I ordered this pistol in early 1990 ( February I believe ) and I'm assuming once LEO orders let off they finally sent some of these to dealers for the civillian market.
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:00 PM
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I bought my Model 4006 brand new in August 1990. Serial#TFF0108. It came with 2 blue follower magazines. I ordered this pistol in early 1990 ( February I believe ) and I'm assuming once LEO orders let off they finally sent some of these to dealers for the civilian market.
That would be pretty amazing if that's an original follower. As I'm sure you're aware, the first full-size .40's came out in 1990 and yours is clearly one of the first. It has always been my understanding that the 11-round .40 magazines used yellow followers for at least the first 3 or 4 years with the swapover to blue occurring in either 1993 or early-1994.

But then again, I'm old and I've been known to be wrong before.
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:17 PM
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I still have the pistol/ box etc. I would take some pics of the mags but the pistol is in Canada and I'm in Florida. I've posted pics of the pistol here on the forum several times. I wasn't aware of the yellow follower magazines until now.

Last edited by 824tsv; 03-11-2017 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 03-11-2017, 05:19 PM
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I still have the pistol/ box etc. I would take some pics of the mags but the pistol is in Canada and I'm in Florida. I've posted pics of the pistol here on the forum several times. I wasn't aware of the yellow follower magazines until now.
There are billions of them out there! That's about half my stash in the photo.

But blue followers appearing very early in the full-size .40 3rd Gen world would certainly solve some long unanswered mysteries (e.g., like how my very early 4046 came with a blue follower magazine - I always thought it was a later replacement)... but it would also create a brand new mystery! Like why would S&W switch from blue to yellow followed by a change back to blue?

This is exactly why we need a chapter on magazines in the next iteration of the Bible!
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2017, 06:18 PM
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I don't have any yellow follower mags.
All of my .40 magazines have blue followers.
All my blue follower mags are marked "Accu-Glide".
A quick scan of GB seems to indicate yellow follower mags are not marked "Accu-Glide".
"Accu-Glide" markings brought a change in follower color to .45 mags.

Anyone here care to verify?

John
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:18 PM
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my 3 yellow don't have AccuGuide,
my 2 blue have AccuGuide.
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:30 PM
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I don't have any yellow follower mags.
All of my .40 magazines have blue followers.
All my blue follower mags are marked "Accu-Glide".
A quick scan of GB seems to indicate yellow follower mags are not marked "Accu-Glide".
"Accu-Glide" markings brought a change in follower color to .45 mags.

Anyone here care to verify?

John
You are correct in that S&W's initial use of its "Accu-Guide" (or "Accuguide") trademark (applied for in 1990 and granted in 1991) also marked the switchover from yellow followers to blue followers in its full-size .40 magazines. But exactly when that changeover was made is still up for debate. I'd love to get some accurate information on that via known gun shipping dates with those newer magazines included if at all possible.

But what Brother 824tsv is talking about is very interesting. I checked my own Model 4046, shipped in 1990, and the blue follower magazine that came with it is not marked Accu-Guide. Is it just a yellow follower magazine that got updated before I bought the gun? Or, as Brother 824tsv says, were the earliest full-size .40 magazines shipped with blue followers prior to a switchover to yellow (and then back to blue again with use of the "Accu-Guide" trademark)?

I think Brother 824tsv is right. The earliest full-size 40's must have been shipped with blue followers. I'm going to have to change my thinking on this. I wish I could dig out my very early 4006 (shipped in 1990 also) to check the magazine(s) that came with it... but it is in deep, deep storage right now.
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Old 03-11-2017, 08:13 PM
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Oops!
I typed Accu-GLIDE instead of Acc-GUIDE.

I guess I've spent too many years around Electra-Glides, Wide-Glides, Duo-Glides, and Hydra-Glides!

Anyway, I digress.
The OP's question was which follower is better, not when were they instituted.
If, in fact, the blue follower does indicate switch over to the "Accu-Guide" design/improvement (whatever that may be) then it would seem that "Accu-Guide" magazines (with blue followers?) are the better ones to have.

John

Last edited by JohnHL; 03-11-2017 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:06 PM
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Thanks guys for all the info. To update , I now have 11 mags as I just found another magazine in the console of my truck while cleaning it. A few weeks ago Gunmagwarehouse had used ones and l ordered 3 and when they showed up I had 2 of one color and one of the other. I guess I need to inspect to see what I actually have in the gun room.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:24 PM
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Thanks guys for all the info. To update , I now have 11 mags as I just found another magazine in the console of my truck while cleaning it. A few weeks ago Gunmagwarehouse had used ones and l ordered 3 and when they showed up I had 2 of one color and one of the other. I guess I need to inspect to see what I actually have in the gun room.
Realizing that followers can be changed, is there any correlation between the color of your mag followers and the word "AccuGuide" stamped on your magazines?

John
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:59 PM
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All the LE restricted Accu-Guide mags have blue followers. All the non-marked mags have yellow followers plus just above the floor plate on the front of the magazine body there are 4 hash marks. All my 3913 mags have red followers. I have yet to pull out all the 4566 mags and check them.

Last edited by MackTech; 03-11-2017 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:43 PM
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Best I can tell, Accu-Guide is a design whereby small rectangular dimples are impressed into the feed lips of .45acp magazines.
These dimples don't appear on the .40s but some other small dimples do.
They seem to be on both AccuGuide and non-marked mags so apparently the design improvement was incorporated at the beginning of .40 production.
AS TTSH has pointed out, S&W applied for the patent in 1990 and were granted it in 1991.
1990 is when the .40s debuted so it's possible that S&W had bunches of unmarked mag bodies and bunches of marked mag bodies. (When these manufacturing companies produce or order components, they will order a very large number that is produced in a relatively short time, and then not re-order for years.)
And the same is probably true for the yellow and blue followers.
The blue follower was probably less an improvement than an easy way for S&W parts people to visually identify the marked mags.
But in the high demand days during the introduction of this pistol, by the time S&W was able to fill civilian orders, I don't doubt that they put whatever they had at the time in the box.

John
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:03 PM
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John, I think you hit the mark with the thinking that S&W threw whatever magazines they had on hand at the time in the box for civilian orders. I'm sure we all know the first rule of thumb with S&W....there are no rules...
TTSH,
Looking at pics I have on photobucket the spec.ord code on my box is 0222 (Aug 10th, 1990).
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:32 PM
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Very interesting info on stuff most people don't really think about.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:33 PM
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Very interesting info on things most people don't think about or notice. Sorry double post!
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:53 AM
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AS TTSH has pointed out, S&W applied for the patent in 1990 and were granted it in 1991.
Just to be 100.00% clear (and rather anal about it), the S&W trademark "Accu-Guide" (or "Accuguide") and the patent for certain improvements in magazine design (mainly related to accommodating more powerful cartridges including the .40 and 10mm) are two separate things.

Here is the trademark: ACCUGUIDE Trademark of Smith & Wesson Corp.. Serial Number: 74020716 :: Trademarkia Trademarks

Here is the relevant patent: Patent US5014456 - Cartridge magazine for semi-automatic firearms - Google Patents

The trademark didn't depend on the patent or vice versa. But it's pretty clear looking back that someone at S&W must have felt that a trademark needed to be applied to its improved magazines for the first time in S&W history. Why? I have no idea.

Note that S&W did not hold onto the trademark for very long and it is now owned by an unrelated company.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:12 AM
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John, I think you hit the mark with the thinking that S&W threw whatever magazines they had on hand at the time in the box for civilian orders. I'm sure we all know the first rule of thumb with S&W....there are no rules...
TTSH,
Looking at pics I have on photobucket the spec.ord code on my box is 0222 (Aug 10th, 1990).
One of these days when I have the time, I'm going to dig my very early Model 4006 out of double-deep secure storage and see if I kept the "as-bought" magazine(s) with it. You've now got me very curious regarding whether or not it came with early blue follower magazine(s).

Like I said above, that would change everything regarding how to tell a genuine pre-ban magazine from a possible post-ban magazine.

It would also have me running back to one shop that swore up and down that a blue follower magazine they had was a pre-ban. Now I know that I have to check the magazine body as well... and if no "Accu-Guide" trademark, it's good to go!
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:47 PM
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Is it possible that 824 (a Canadian) purchased his gun with his LEO credentials (if he was an LEO in Canada) and that is why he got blue followers in the yellow follower era? And/or any other blue/pre-yellow mags were issued to LEO agencies? Just a thought.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:25 AM
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Is it possible that 824 (a Canadian) purchased his gun with his LEO credentials (if he was an LEO in Canada) and that is why he got blue followers in the yellow follower era? And/or any other blue/pre-yellow mags were issued to LEO agencies? Just a thought.
No,
I purchased the pistol from a local gun shop that was a Smith & Wesson dealer. I have the original sales receipt. If I could figure out how to link pics from photobucket using an iPad I would post some pics.

Last edited by 824tsv; 03-18-2017 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:38 PM
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Time to add to the confusion...

Today, in my pre-ban magazine hunting travels up in the "live free or die" state, I found a LEO/Export-marked 4006 Magazine (from 1994-2004, obviously) with a yellow follower. It didn't look tampered with (it was in a wrapped, labeled package but not the well-known S&W retail package of the period. And it had the "Accu-Glide" roll mark on it.

This would be the first evidence I've ever seen that you may not be able to assume that a yellow follower 4006 magazine is always a pre-ban.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:12 PM
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That would be pretty amazing if that's an original follower. As I'm sure you're aware, the first full-size .40's came out in 1990 and yours is clearly one of the first. It has always been my understanding that the 11-round .40 magazines used yellow followers for at least the first 3 or 4 years with the swapover to blue occurring in either 1993 or early-1994.

But then again, I'm old and I've been known to be wrong before.
Bought my 4006 in 1990....Both magazines have yellow followers.......
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:33 AM
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Bought my 4006 in 1990....Both magazines have yellow followers.......
Interesting. I really need to dig out my 1990 Model 4006 and see if I kept the original "as-bought" magazines with it. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't when I don't get a box with a used gun.

On my post above re: yellow follower in a "ban-period" magazine, I still don't know what to think. So many years later, who knows if it's "as-shipped." There's just no way to ever know.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:18 PM
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Bought my 4006 in 1990....Both magazines have yellow followers.......
Okay, I finally dug my 1990-vintage 4006 out of deep secure storage just to check the 11-round magazines that came with the gun.

Drum roll please...

Both magazines that I got with it are yellow follower magazines without the "Accu-Guide" roll mark. Same as another dozen or so pre-bans I've acquired here and there.

So it's just Brother 824tsv's 1990-vintage 4006 and my 1990-vintage 4046 that came with blue follower magazines... pre-"Accu-Guide" roll marking.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:11 PM
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Although I'm quite positive mine are blue, I'll post picks when I'm home in early April.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:34 PM
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Okay, I finally dug my 1990-vintage 4006 out of deep secure storage just to check the 11-round magazines that came with the gun.
Did that involve using a shovel?
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:00 PM
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Although I'm quite positive mine are blue, I'll post picks when I'm home in early April.
Oh, trust me I believe you. If you want, I'll even post a photo of my 1990 blue follower magazine from my old "boat anchor" Model 4046.

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Did that involve using a shovel?
Ha!!!!!!! Not quite but close! When I say "deep secure storage" I'm mostly talking about how crazy congested we live in tiny little TTSH Manor. I have to move about 4,000 pounds of stuff, including ammo, to get to that back safe.
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