[ Full Disclosure: Remington's parent company advertises on the blog. ]
This weekend the CNBC documentary “Remington Under Fire” is going to be the hot topic of discussion at ranges and gun stores around the country.
The CNBC exposé, which they are making out to be a major 10 month investigation, is about 30 years late. This issue with pre-1982 rifles is well known. I wrote this last week …
I am interested to see what CNBC alleges is wrong with the Remington 700. It is widely known, and acknowledged by the company, that pre-1982 Model 700 rifles can fire automatically when the safety switched to the “Fire” position.
The problem with the pre-82 models was with the bolt-lock mechanism design. The bolt lock was enabled when the safety was turn on. The bolt lock prevents the bolt from being accidentally opened slightly, and therefor being unable to be fired, when stalking game. This mechanism was removed in 1982 after a lawsuit against the company.
The lawsuit was an unfortunate incident in Remington’s history. The company knew about the problem, as did users of the Remington 700, but they had done nothing about it. But that was over 30 years ago. Since then the company has, and continues, to offer a Safety Modification program
I even heard that 60 Minutes did an exposé on this back in the 80s. I am not sure what CNBC’s crew were doing for 10 months. A quick google search would bring up just about everything uncovered by the investigation.
CNBC also claimed that you can disable the safety by the use of a screwdriver jammed into the mechanism, or with dirt or rust. Do I really need to comment on this? Keep screwdrivers, dust and rust out of your trigger mechanism, regardless of the type of rifle.
Most telling is what was not shown. They did not go into stores and purchase Remington rifles, hand them over to gunsmiths and demonstrate the rifles firing without the trigger being pulled. They did show a video of two men, said to be police, demonstrating a problem with a Remington rifle but the problem they are having appears to be caused by a different issue.
Remington has published a video rebuttal of the interview with expert witness Jack Belk. During the 2007 trial, he admitted not being able to reproduce the problem …
Where I did agree with CNBC was when they questioned why Remington charges $20 for the safety modification upgrade. I think safety fixes should always be free to the consumer.
Remington’s side of the story is at Remington700.tv. If you have not already seen the CNBC investigation, it will be on again this Sunday, next week Thursday and next week Sunday.
What did you think of the investigation? Please post your opinions in the comments below.