My oldest 10/22 circa 1984 has a magazine with a black follower. My newer 10/22 rifle magazine has a red follower. My Ruger American .22LR rifle has the same magazine with a red follower. I don't know why any difference in color exists. What got me thinking was that I came across even a third color today. The gun store owner was showing me his stash of 10/22 magazines he bought in error. All of the followers were bright green because they were all for left handed 10/22 rifles. Never saw a left handed 10/22, and it never occurred to me the magazine might be backwards. Sure 'nuff they exist!