My take on “Remington Under Fire”

[ 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.

Remington Model 700 Mountain LSS

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.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • HerbG

    I don’t know the “truth” of the allegations made by CNBC about the Model 700, but I can state that I have never had the kind of problem they describe nor do I know anybody who has had the problem. Typically these kinds of TV productions start with a conclusion and then the producers work to find evidence to support the conclusion they want to reach. There is little objective about this kind of reporting.

  • Hellhound

    I never trust one sided reports and you can never trust video clips of interviews or demonstrations, because they are ALWAYS edited to back up whatever point you want to make. Those SWAT or police officers that just tapped the handle and it goes off makes me think it was mod to do so. If you have a major safety problem like that wouldn’t it happen every single time you chamber the round?

    I HATE “experts” interviews, ANYONE one of us can make a video and say “My gun went off just by me looking at it.” or some BS like that. There is no excuse for messing with your firearm while loaded and if you injure someone YOU ALONE are responsible for YOUR actions, don’t take it out on the company and say the gun did it all by itself……. YOU LOADED IT DUMB ASS!!!

    Gun manufactures need to step up and recall/investigate all safety problems ASAP!!! And I agree that all safety upgrades should be done for free.

  • xstang

    …Just watched the CNBC 1-hour show on this. I have to say, if there ever was an expert, it would be the creator of the 700 series itself, Mike Walker.

    He had the guts to be critical of his own design, and made every effort possible to tell his employer of the problems he saw with it before it ever reached mass production.

    Watching the portion of the documentary where they showed military and police snipers setting off their 700’s by simply touching the bolt or the safety was the most convincing part however, and the most disturbing.

  • Robert Welch

    I contend this is another New World Order hit job against people´s right for self-defense. Stand your ground gentleman, things are going to get worst.

  • shane

    I dont trust the media on firearms topics. Next thing they will be doing is calling the Remington 700 a fully automatic assault rifle.

  • Pedro

    As a side issue, but relevant, some years ago, Mossberg issued a defect/recall notice on their (Model 650?) bolt action 12ga shotguns, stating that it was posssible to have a “slam bolt” discharge. (a round firing as the bolt was locked home without the trigger being touched).
    It only affected a certain serial number range of which mine fell into.
    Despite having fired fired hundreds of rounds through this gun, I had never had an accidental discharge.
    I turned in my gun to a certified Mossberg gunsmith, who measured, checked, blueprinted and attempted to get the defect to happen over something like ten hours of work time and a couple of weeks. No result.
    He was happy to issue me with a safety certificate stating that in his expert opinion, an accidental “slam bolt” discharge was impossible in this gun.

    To their very great credit, Mossberg picked up the entire gunsmith’s bill, probably more than the gun is worth in value.

    Not all “defects” are a serious danger all the time. Prudence dictates safety first, of course, but we shouldn’t fall in the trap of believing media hype over what may only be a precautionary measure.

  • leopard

    Rem has a video on how accidents happen on their rebuttal website. They need to add quotation marks to JOURNALISM. Just saying 🙂

  • Dave James

    …I am sorry for the man’s grief about his son…but the question that comes to mind first…is the age-old question…why was the barrel not pointed in a safe direction??? Responsibility begins with the one handling ANY machine…for machines can malfunction…that’s why we have such simple rules of safety…
    …I agree that this is another assault on gun ownership by trying to bankrupt the manufacturers…

  • Bill Rushmore

    I have actually seen this same issue on Anshutz target rifles. I teach shooting to kids and this happened a couple of time kid has managed to get the trigger in a bind so when the safety is switched off the gun fires. It seems to happen when the trigger pull is set way to loose and the kid decides to slam the bolt hard then try to pull the trigger hard with with the safety on since they forgot to switch the safety off. This was an easy fix, we make sure the trigger pull is set properly for kids. But the thing is I have never concerned this was a huge problem. First and foremost, we are absolutely strict in having the kids follow proper firearms safety so when if the gun does go off there’s no danger. The muzzles are always pointed down range.

    You never point a firearm at anything you don’t want to shoot. You especially don’t point a loaded firearm at something you have no intention to shoot and switch off the safety. So if people really are being killed by this supposed flaw in the 700 the blame can equally be distributed to the operator.

  • SpudGun

    (sigh) It’s a shame that Remington’s video rebuttall aped the original reportage and had to be done in that hysterically dramatic style – complete with angry voice over and big graphics – but such is the state of modern television reporting. News channels are more concerned about provoking a temporary emotional reaction then actually reporting the cold, hard facts.

    I’ve stopped watching television news and now get all of my info online because I grew tired of being addressed as a moron by condescending, vainglorious and ill informed television ‘personalities’. (rant over)

    Regardless of the accuracy of information, this report will provoke a chicken little reaction from the populace and have a temporary impact on Remington’s sales. I, for one, hope that Remington responds by having a ‘Sorry your wife’s dead’ sale on 700s so I can pick one up dirt cheap. 🙂

  • MarkM

    Remington’s advice about the 10 commandments of safety was more than a simple endorsement, it’s a tool to understand how they are being violated. That in and of itself is wrong, first and foremost. It’s called negligence, and that is a human fault, not a mechanism’s design flaw.

    Who’s operating a loaded 700 with it not pointed at a target and goofing with the mechanism, instead of sighting it with a finger on the trigger? Are there that many who hold loaded guns and play with the bolt or trigger to see if it will go off?

    The network obviously has done well pushing a lot of hot buttons and getting plenty of folks to tune in. What I see missing in the responses is a clear, concise technical explanation of why the safety is allegedly defective. It’s like the Toyota gas pedal issue, it took a dozen articles over days to reveal it was the electronic “fly by wire” American made part.

    Some polite safety and technical education would go a lot further to rebut the issue, and cast the complaints as the opportunistic grandstanding it is.

  • Dale Nichols

    I have a Remington 700 Police Sniper Model with the adjustable trigger. I have run over 100 rounds through it, never an issue. I have also owned other 700’s, no problems. In the documentary, they state the riflle was always “at fault”. However, when they show the “sniper” on the ground, he had pulled the trigger, but the round did not go off, until he “touched” the bolt handle. Is it possible, that was the ammunition, and not the rifle? Many people are killed by “unloaded” guns in the hands of untrained users. Yes I agree Mr. Walker did say there was a problem, and yes I agree Remington should upgrade the rifles at no cost to the owners. We need to push for more education of gun owners, too many are rushing out to purchase firearms, with little to NO training. We do not allow you to drive a car without training, why do we allow firearms in the hands of those who have never been trained.

  • tarpon

    It would be better if the media, especially NBC, stuck with Michale Jackson funeral coverage.

    Did you think the media would cover a gun issue unbiased? I simply don’t have any trust or respect for today’s media … think the AW jive talk.

  • Topslop1

    All this anti brew-ha-ha coming up about the R700… I was just at a store fondling this and a savage weatherman. The savage looked to be a tighter built rifle but even after this I still wouldn’t steer away from a 700. Should this kind of news deter my purchase?

  • Next week CNBC goes after Dell for selling “faulty computers” that break when you jam a screwdriver, dirt, or rust into their innards.

  • m4shooter

    It’s pretty hard for anyone to credibly deny the existence of a problem in this case, where the designer of the gun has gone on record stating that the design is flawed from a safety point of view.

    I imagine that most bloggers will take the stance that “any attack on Remington is part of a larger attack on gun rights, so therefore I will vigorously defend Remington and discredit anything said by media and plaintiffs.”

    However, I believe that we should be demanding responsible gun manufacturing processes, and I for one would like to see gun manufacturers stand behind their products — for better or for worse.

    The EASY thing for gun manufacturers to do in these scenarios is simply to (a) deny that any problem exists and then (b) settle lawsuits with confidentiality agreements.

    The RIGHT thing to do is (a) admit that there is a problem and then (b) correct the problem.

  • Kyle

    Who adjusted the trigger on the SWAT rifles?

    DING DING DING

    If it was a factory trigger, and clean, and using good, factory ammo, and this happened, that’s one thing. But we have to ask these questions.

    Video means squat.

    This is a hit piece.

  • This is also a hit-piece that has been run before, I remember seeing it about ten or more years years ago on 60-Minutes – Dan Rather’s old mudhole. I think they pulled it out of the file cabinet and sold it to NBC to run, cheaper than actually having to do any work.

  • Other Steve

    I saw some of the show, the demos were pretty scary. Since this is a 20 year old issue however, I think this was more an attack on Cerberus than it was Remington or the 700 in specific.

  • Mikey D

    I had a good friend that was an Army vet and gunsmith and he told me he had encountered the Remington 700 problem several times. I taught hunter education classes with him for many years. He was extremely knowledgeable. He always advised me to replace my Remington triggers. I had never had a bad experience with any of my 700’s and so I didn’t. That said, I have studied the trigger mechanism and see how it could happen and likely has happened. For those who would criticize all news media for any negative reporting on any gun, I would say you are out of order. Although it is true that the news media in general does not like guns, there have been a few legitimate cases to be made against some gun manufacturers. I believe this is one of those cases. CNBC did a very fine job of presenting the case fairly. Unfortunately, Remington chose not to participate in their own defense. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Remington 700’s and don’t plan to get rid of them any time soon. But, after seeing this documentary, I will not be using any of them until I replace each trigger. I do wish, however, that Remington would at the very least offer a reduced cost opportunity to “upgrade” my Remington 700’s with the new X-Pro triggers. I would be happy to pay $50 to $75 per gun to have a new X-Pro trigger retrofitted on each of my 700’s. Let’s hear from you Remington!!!!!!!!

  • yamalink

    Ever since Barbara Walters’ “expertise” attacked the emotions of motorized users regarding ATVs decades ago I’ve never bought into the mainstream mob mentality. All it takes is one.

  • wizemanful

    I didn’t agree with Remington when it brought up that the CNBC’s expert couldn’t reproduce the phenomenon. That might be what’s making it so dangerous- it’s unpredictable, and we can’t tell when it will happen or exactly what the conditions are. If it was at all possible that he could reproduce the effect, this problem probably would have been solved a long time ago. I’m still skeptical, but I won’t dismiss anything.

  • Question I have for the SWAT guys getting their guns to go off by tapping the bolt or receiver: Is this weapon as it came from Remington?

    I’m willing to bet that they’ve had trigger jobs done on them.

  • Nadnerbus

    Ok, so does this problem still happen on modern 700s? From the stuff I’m reading here, some people are saying the problem was brought to light and remedied in 1982. Do modern 700s still have the potential to fire without a trigger pull? If the latter is true, then yeah the piece has validity. If not, then of course it’s a hit piece.

    I’m just a little confuzzled.

    Either way. Firearm safety rules. Period. You are supposed to treat your weapon like it is loaded and could discharge at any time for exactly this kind of reason.

  • Enchilada

    Guys…

    1. The designer of the 700 at Remington, Mike Walker, SAID there is a problem with his original trigger design. It came out of his mouth on the show.
    2. Mike Walker designed an alternative trigger system specifically to solve the defect back in ’46 that Remington did not implement because changing the tooling would have cost them an extra $.05 a rifle in 1946 dollars ($.59 today). In the 80’s or 90’s when they had a judgement against them they calculated that fixing all the 700’s in circulation with the new trigger would cost them $20+ million (oops!). They never did that either.
    3. The Remington X-MARK PRO™ TRIGGER SYSTEM is the revised Walker 1946 trigger design: http://www.remington.com/sitecore/content/Remington/pages/xmark-pro-trigger.aspx

  • jeffrey

    How can you tell if your 700 has the walker trigger or the newer X-Pro triggers?? I am not sure which I have on mine.

  • jeffrey

    Steve,
    Is there a way to tell without removing the stock? I am planning on hunting in the morning, and don’t want to disassmble the firearm if I do not need to. My wife saw this show last night and has been concerned all day.

    • jeffrey, I don’t have a pre-XMark Model 700, so I am not sure how to check. Removing the stock is not going to change the zero of the rifle.

  • Stella

    If the 700’s designer states that the rifle has a problem, and, in the past at least, advocated a fix for his engineering mistake, its pretty damning.

    Whether or not someone followed firearm safety to the T is not a defense of an egregious design flaw: a firearm should not fire unless the trigger is actioned. Period. Ruger, Colt, Sig and Berreta have all recently recalled weapons for problems that were, in some cases, nearly theoretical. The 700’s faults seem very, very real.

    Apologist and dismissive bloviation about the “main stream” media is myopic considering their may be a rife (perhaps chambered for some uber canon cartridge) in your safe that is a disaster waiting to happen. There is no truly safe direction to point a weapon unless its on target: rifle rounds will punch through walls and carry for hundreds if not thousands of meters if shot towards the sky, raining down like an arrow on whomever is in its path. There are no excuses for a faulty design.

  • Mikey D

    Jeffrey, don’t take the stock off. If you do you will need to go to the range and re sight-in your gun. Any time you do anything to your stock, you will need to recheck the point of impact of the gun. The Walker triggers have ridges in the trigger face where your finger contacts the trigger. The new X-Mark Pro triggers have a smooth trigger face. You can tell just by looking at your trigger.

    The fix that Remington put in place in 1982 was to fix a problem with the safety only. It did not address all the issues with the trigger. Remington may have made it sound like all was fine and wonderful with the trigger after the 1982 fix, but they knew full well that they only fixed one of the two big issues within the trigger group. And yes, you can make an unaltered factory Walker trigger go off with only the most minimal touch to the rifle, if some of the trigger parts are defective or dirty. Remington may try to say that proper maintenance of the trigger is not being followed. But, what they define as proper maintenance is not realistic for the average gun owner. Thus, they put out a product that they knew or should have known was going to get a certain number of people in trouble.

    Some of the triggers on rifles that Remington sells today are the same old Walker style triggers. If I had the choice, I would buy a Remington rifle with the new X-Mark Pro trigger. I have one of these new triggers and they are wonderful!!! I love Remington 700 rifles and I congratulate Remington on the new X-Mark Pro trigger. Now, Remington needs to quit selling the old Walker triggers and offer an affordable upgrade to the new X-Mark Pro trigger for all the owners of 700’s with Walker triggers.

    • Mikey, thanks for that comment. Good point, I suppose POI will change because of the non-freefloating barrel.

  • tehshiv

    I don’t know anything about that reporter who did the story, but he looked very uncomfortable holding that rifle in the opening scene. On top of that, HE HAD HIS FINGER IN THE TRIGGER GUARD, ON THE TRIGGER! You’d think they would’ve at least put a reporter on the story that had some basic gun handling skills. Also, sad to hear about that little boy…but why on earth would you point the rifle AT the trailer to unload it!? I have to say though, I have my grandpa’s old rem 721 sitting in the safe and was going to use it for deer hunting next month…now I’m on the ruger site looking at a M77, bravo CNBC for increasing gun sales!

  • rodney

    Plane and simple case of people not being safe with their fire arms. I was always told to NEVER EVER point a fire arm at something unless I intended to destroy it and every gun is loaded until I know its not and it still gets treated as a loaded weapon. If some of those people bothered to follow the gun safety rules their would never had been an injury.

  • Anton

    Whenever I buy a gun, I always get rid of the safety first, if it’s an automatic one.

  • HerbG

    Before we give too much credence to Mike Walker’s comments, we should remember that we saw what CNBC wanted us to see! Did they show all of Mike’s comments? Certainly not, and you can rest assured that CNBC edited anything that did not support the idea that the Model 700 is faulty. We still don’t know how Mike feels about the gun.

  • 700 Owner

    I haven’t seen the CNBC piece yet but, I had one round fire while closing the bolt on one of my Model 700 rifles over this past Summer. I was breaking in the barrel and firing Remington Core Lokt 150 grain ammunition chambered for the rifle, which is 7mm Remington Magnum. The rifle has the older style trigger, as opposed to the X-Mark, which is in two of my other Model 700 rifles.

    Fortunately for myself along with everybody around me, the weapon was set atop a Hart rest up front, along with being supported at the rear with an Eagle rear bag, with the muzzle pointed down range. The misfire only occurred once, with twenty rounds being fired during the course of the day.

    Both myself, as well as my long range shooting partner looked at each other in astonishment after the misfire, as this has never happened before to either of us and we’ve been shooting Model 700’s in competition, as well as hunting for over twenty years.

    I can’t understand why Remington would charge the customer [consumer] to repair a defective rifle. I would think that if there’s a potentially dangerous condition with any product, the manufacture would make the necessary repair(s) with the least amount of inconvenience to the owner(s) of the product.

    I’ll just purchase a different trigger mechanism and be done with the issue.

  • Haus The Gunsmith

    I have seen this “problem” would anyone like to know why this happens? too bad.. I will explain it anyway.
    first the “police officer’s” gun was a highly modified gun, most assuredly a trigger with too little engagement, and a 1.5 pound trigger pull or lighter. I have run into this problem in my own shop.. guys familar enough to know which of the three screws that adjust the trigger pull, over travel, and engagement. too little engagement (less than .005″) will make the gun unsafe and if you bump the bolt, it will dislodge and fire the gun. if your are going to use a very light (target/varmint) trigger the engagement should be at least .015″ and the trigger pull should be around the 13 ounce to 1 pound 4 ounce weight. anything less will cause things to act weird. I have made a safe 8 ounce trigger pull, just because it was a challenge, however its on a varmint gun I own. then I put the trigger pull back up to 1 pound 4 ounces and loctited it so no one could mess with the trigger. with this hatchet job the CNBC did; I believe Remington had every right and basis to be suing CNBC and the reporter and anyone else involved with the “expose”. every bit of this could be explained by someone altering the factory setting on the trigger, dirt in the trigger, worn parts, or the fit of the stock. there are too many things that could have gone wrong. I would like to check out these guns and see what actually is wrong with the gun. I am a Sako, Winchester, Tikka and Remington owner. Remington triggers are the most adjustable you can get, with that comes ease of making it unsafe. good maintenance and replacement of worn parts becomes essential.

  • Ed

    Remington’s response attacks the two “experts” retained by the plaintiffs….and they are certainly less than impressive. And it makes an excellent point that the reporter’s handling of the rifle is just the type of carelessness that leads to an accident, and that the persons injured could have probably not been injured had safer handling taken place. And that it has sold millions of the 700 and many, many users have had no problem. But what I’m not seeing is any statement by Remington, including in its “Remington Responds to CNBC’s ‘Documentary'” press release denying that the phenomenon can happen, albeit rarely.

  • Jacob Smith

    Wouldn’t this be considered slander?

  • Haus The Gunsmith

    Jacob, you are right it is slander and libel by the “expose’s” very nature.. unless it was the unbiased truth, which it is not. its biased to the point of creating a fictitious problem via alteration and lack of maintenance. in the most basic of terms the videos are rigged and the experts have a bone to pick with Remington Firearms Company.

  • JC

    You can go to this site to see Remington’s official response:

    http://www.remington700.tv

  • Joe G

    Wow, I guess I was part of a small handful of people that believed what Merle Walker said. He’s not really in a good position to tell someone that an unsafe condition exists though, he just invented it.

    I, for one, will vote with my dollars and buy elsewhere. Seems to me that Remington could just have said, “out of 5 million rifles, some may be flawed. Send your gun to us to have it inspected and if it is out of spec we’ll fix it, if it’s not, you owe us $15 plus shipping. If it was modified, pay to get it unmodified.”

  • Leanne

    A youth that is hunting with me this year just purchased the new Remington 30-06 bone collector edition rifle, This rifle fires when moving the safety into the off position. We will be taking it to have Remington’s trigger removed, and I believe it is the x-mark pro as it is a brand new rifle. I would like to know if there is anybody else that has had this problem with the new rifles?
    I know that I will NEVER own a Remington rifle after seeing this, create your own opinion, but I saw with my own eyes this rifle dry fire over and over again just my moving the safety from the on to the off position without the trigger being touched, this is a brand new rifle, the trigger was never tampered with.

  • bronc

    I had a 700 go off twice in a row with the safety off, when I closed the bolt. I also have witnessed a friend disengage the safety and the weapon fire on his 700. I know for a fact that he did not touch the trigger as I was there. We both still shoot model 700’s and have had the trigger switched out to the x mark.
    For all of you who think it is a hit on gun manufacturers, do your research before speaking. Remington knew about the problem when they were putting the triggers assemblies in the weapons.
    Also it upsets me to hear people be so critical. “Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy”, is B.S! No person that has ever shot much can tell me that they have never crossed a person with a loaded or unloaded firearm. If you say that you have never done it, you’re a lier!!
    And if the saying about never pointing your gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy is the law, then why do you point it at the ground, air, gun case, gun cabinet, tree, rock, etc!??
    Seriously people, do some research and think before you open your mouth and make yourselves look stupid.

    • bronc, no it is not BS. Many people, including myself, live by those safety rules. You should also.

  • bronc, I teach hunter safety for the state of Colorado. If you don’t understand the value of the safety rules, I would strongly urge you to cease handling firearms.

  • Hellhound

    “Seriously people, do some research and think before you open your mouth and make yourselves look stupid.” Hey bronc, follow your own words. And that “B.S.” you speak of, you need to take more seriously. If that’s your mindset you need to sell your weapons and stay away from the range.

  • Mikey D

    Hey Guys, Bronc is right. Yes, and I have taught Hunter Safety for over 12 years. There is just no way that you can be 100% safe all the time. I too never point any gun at anything that I do not intend to shoot. However, it is simply impossible not to ever point a gun at anyone ever. You can try your best and you will still fail. Now, most of us on this blog are gun nuts and are extremely safety cautious, but the average person handling a gun is nowhere near as safe as we are. They simply break the rules a lot of the time. If guns were only sold to people who were trained in firearms safety and who exercised gun safety religiously, we might be ok. T

  • Mikey D

    Let me finish that thought (I cut myself off by accident): But, we must be careful, we don’t want to make the anti-gun argument for the opposition. Owning guns is our Second Amendment right and we don’t want gun ownership to be restricted only to those who have passes some “Safety Course.” Yes, even the average bozo has the right to buy and own a gun and I want to keep it that way! However, as a believer in the Second Amendment, I want guns to be reliable. If Remington has a trigger with a problem, even a minor problem, they need to acknowledge it and offer to fix it. It’s the right thing for them to do, both for their own benefit and for ours. The sooner we get these triggers fixed and quit talking about them, the less we feed the anti-gun fire. That’s what Toyota figured out the hard way.

  • To eliminate all the political smoke and shed some light and facts on the Remington model 700 -600 Walker trigger inherent design flaw, please read:

    http://www.rifflawfirm.com/areas/pdf/remington4.pdf

  • Steve, your comments regarding Remington’s bolt lock rework mistated the cause for the 1982 design change. In fact, if you follow the Remington link you posted, you’ll find a clear explanation and you will notice the modification has nothing to do with the firearm’s characteristics while “stalking”. The change was made to allow the bolt to be opened with the safety switched “on” while unloading a firearm.

    In regard to your comment, “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.” I assume you mean accidentally discharged, rather than “automatically fired”, a term which would be more consistent with full auto fire from a semiauto firearm. Additionally, would you be so kind as to provide any first person cite, reference or source for these sweeping generalizations? I’ve been associated with firearms for fifty seven years and have had field and range experience with literally hundreds of Remington Model 721 and 700 firearms. I’ve not arrived at the conclusions you’ve stated, nor have I experienced or observed any of the product maladies you’ve described.

    I have seen Remington, and virtually every other brand of firearm, malfunction when a person lacking in applicable skills attempts to modify a mechanical assembly and violates the premise of the original design. I’ve seen the same with abuse of power tools, automobiles and all of the other targets of DIY abusers. I’ve also seen firearms that have failed when subjected to abusive use and an absence of basic maintenance.

    “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.” You heard? Google? Steve, why not leave the reporting to sources with first hand knowledge or the facts, access to the actual firearms and the details of assertion and testimony, rather than using Internet spam to tar and feather a good American institution that is made up of hardworking folks.

    I checked with Remington regarding your disclaimer regarding Remington, or its parent advertising on your blog. They have no idea who you are. For that matter, neither do I. Who are you Steve? What are your affiliations? What is your background? For that matter, what is your name? I’ll assume I’ve breached your policy regarding all things you don’t like and this will not appear as a comment in response to your blog statements.

  • In response to Jack Morkal’s comments and link to information that is suppose to “elminate the political smoke” from the issue. Pleae notice the link connects to a law firm and that the H.J. Belk is on record from the CNBC piece as confirming

    One of the experts featured on the CNBC show, one H.J. Belk, claims that the Walker system is unsafe even if it never malfunctions, and that the fact none of the experts have been able to duplicate the claims doesn’t mean that the trigger doesn’t have a design flaw. The analogy he uses is that “The fact that the plane you’re flying in has not crashed is no evidence that crashes don’t occur.” Which while true, is really not applicable to the allegations made about the Walker trigger.

    Probably of greater consequence and as a way of placing Belk’s comments into real context is the CNBC quote – “Both Remington and experts hired by plaintiff attorneys have conducted testing on guns returned from the field which were alleged to have fired without a trigger pull,” Remington’s statement says, “and neither has ever been able to duplicate such an event on guns which had been properly maintained and which had not been altered after sale.”

    I think my summary would be, if you are too stupid to read a manual and follow the most basic rules of safety, don’t shoot firearms. Reminds me of the current Sears table saw manual that, under the things not to do section, shows a little stick figure putting its face against a rotating saw blade.

  • Andrew

    I just started watching this video and I already think it is bullshit. This is why you always point a gun in a safe direction and don’t chamber a bullet until you are ready to fire. When I am hunnting I inadvertantly point the gun at my fellow hunters many times but it is not dangerous because I don’t have a bullet chambered. I have had guns misfire on me when I’ve been playing with trigger weights but it wasn’t an issue because I never chamber a bullet until I am ready to shoot. If the animal moves I move the bolt back into the half cooked position.In response to the guy who says that there are no safe way to point a gun, you are wrong. Straight down is safe. And up at an angle more that 45 degrees is safe unless there is someone above you. Any bullet fired up more that 45 degrees starts to tumble and is completely non lethal if it hits you in the head. Think about how light a bullet actually is and falling at terminal velocity it is non lethal.

  • JoeM

    I have been hunting since I was 17. I am now 42 and received a my 30-06 Remington from my father in law when he pasted away. I got an buck and a bear with it so far. last season I was standing beside my friend (only two of us there) and went to unload it outside the cabin and when I switch the safety off it fired! I had the barrel pointed away from us as I am always about safety. but I must have shifted to the left a little and shot through the cabin on a 45 degree angle. I was in shock. did I touch the trigger? I knew I didn’t! I don’t trust the News stations to tell the truth about anything today. But it happen to me. Thank God I still have my friend. Now what do I do with my gun? Always be safe. I watched the show 3 times so far, I am lost for words.

  • Jay

    I think what is very telling is the fact that Consumer Reports did an evaluation and experienced multiple unintentional firings.

  • Haus The Gunsmith

    JoeM,
    you have warn parts in the fire control Joe. it needs to be fixed and made correct again.
    what you can do with your firearm is this. send it to me, a certified gunsmith,(for that matter any competent gunsmith that knows the Remington trigger well enough) and have me put on a trigger/fire control on your gun and set it to decent specs then send it back to you and it should not ever happen again. I will tell you, I have NEVER had this happen on a gun that was stock out of the factory, I have however had this happen on guns home ‘smithed by people whom know what they are doing up to a point. if you read my posts you will find lots of people have done this and I have had to reset them and make them safe again.. also you will find that since this is a trigger with some very soft parts, they need more maintenance than other triggers of higher quality parts. I can put in an X-mark trigger for you for $165.00 (100 dollars for the trigger, 30 to install, 35 postage to return) I could install a Timney for 200 ( 135 for the trigger, 30 to install and 35 postage), or a Jard for 210 (145 for the trigger, 30 for install, 35 for postage), Shilen 185 (125 for trigger and safety, 30 install, and 35 postage) or Jewel for 375 ( 310 for the trigger, 30 install, 35 postage). your choice, and I will set it for the poundage you want, then make the engagement and over travel very respectable then you can stop worrying about if it will do it again.
    you can reach me at freddiej1970 [at] att.net
    take care Joe

  • Charles C

    I was skeptical of this program. I also worked and currently work for a large automotive company with liability exposure. Remington tried to cut unit and investment costs and as the sales grew so did the liability exposure. Faulty designs and manufacturing happens.

    In the end it was cheaper to settle suits than to issue a recall. Dollars and cents. Gun and cars are always going to be involved in deaths because these products are necessary but dangerous if mishandled. I agree that “falling bullets” are dangerous, so there really is no “safe” direction, just a “safer” direction. If that barrel was pointed at the “big sky” that boy would be alive, but maybe some kid two miles away would be hit.

    If you have the money to buy ammo, and travel to the range, or go hunting, you have the money to replace the trigger group. Stop being a cheap a$$ turd, and get it fixed. Remington should man up and make a “safer” trigger group, advertise the recall and charge the customer a minimal cost for the part and shipping and do the labor at the factory so the triggers are installed by professional gunsmiths. However, CEOs are typically gutless so don’t hold your breath. Treat yourself to a nice trigger from Bushnell’s.

  • OldFart

    Where to begin with the farce by CNBC and several posters including Mickey D., who seems to post that same thing on may web sites.

    Second design flaw or defect is a term of art of trial lawyers!

    What’s interesting in this debate is mechanical engineers with either a professional engineering certification and/or PhDs are starkly missing from the debate.

    As a professionally certified mechanical engineer with a PhD, I deplore and advise against the use of the terms defect or flaw until you have provide the results of you analysis of the mechanism in question.

    As has been observed Mr. Belk is not qualified to speak. And Mr. Walker never said the Remington trigger was or is defective. Product and design improvement happens all the time.

    I would strongly urge people to remember that they can be prosecuted libel and/or defamation if statement(s) they make that can not prove to be true.

    There is just way to much hyperbolae on this subject.

  • Forrest Shoemaker

    Your comment completely disregards the fact that Remington not only covered up this information but egregiously disregarded correcting what they knew was a fatal flaw in the manufacturing from the beginning and for many years. Consequently this company should be shut down! For the record I am an avid second amendment advocate and a member of the NRA BUT these kinds of malicious decisions by a firearms company should not be tolerated!

    By not taking a stand AGAINST Remington we are by default placing our second amendment rights in jeopardy handing the anti gun advocates good and just cause on a silver platter. We as gun rights advocates must take responsible and reasonable stands on issues to prove that we are that…responsible. The conscious decisions and choices that Remington made shows they are NOT responsible gun manufacturers and should thus be held accountable.

  • Ray

    I had an accidental discharge with my Dad’s 700 when I was younger right in front of my Dad. Thank God the gun was pointed in the air. He was mad but gave me a lecture and let it go. About 30 years later the same thing happened to him at deer camp in front of his pals. Long story short the gun was sent to Remington and was fixed and I got an apology. That gun has a problem and it’s horrible how they have handled.

  • DWAYNE CHASE

    being a rifle nut ive opwned a lot of rifles . among them wrer two 700 remingtons that would fire when the safety was disengaged or or delay firing once you pulled the trigger. The 700 is a very accurate rifle but my experience is it can be unsafe and I do not care to own another one.

  • Toypig

    Have 3 Model 700’s never had a misfire in 40 years. SAFETY FIRST!!!!

  • tom

    I work for a major corporation. In fact, one once related to major firearms production. Believe me, you can’t trust a major corporation to what is right for consumers.

  • Tom Brooks

    I had a Remington Model Seven that discharged in the same way. I was hunting with my brother, NYC police Lt and a family freind NYC police Capt. There is no doubt in my mind that this gun was defective. I called Remington in Mohawk NY and sent it back. When it came back
    I GAVE the repaired gun away. I could not feel comfortable using that gun. Shame on you Remington for trying to “dodge the bullet”

  • Major thanks for the post.Really thank you! Really Great.

  • KH

    I’ve flown on planes and several of my friends have flown on planes and never once have one of us been in a plane crash. So what is this BS I hear occasionally on the left leaning news sources about planes crashing?

    • Dave Jacobs

      Whereas, I do not believe that CNBC did a very good investigation, or even the reporting on the issue, I do know and feel that Remington has done much to cover up a problem with the Walker trigger as they felt it would be too expensive an undertaking to correct the number of rifles they had sold.

      A previous report on this was quite good as it included an interview with inventor Merle Walker, the man who invented it when he worked for Remington. He had even found the problem and informed his employer. He then came up with an inexpensive method to correct his mistake. At the time Remington had already sold fifty to sixty thousand rifles. At the cost of
      $2.00 each to repair, Remington thought it too expensive a task to recall them to fix. Instead, Remington just ignored the fix, and the problem. All of this had taken place within a couple of years of the invention and use of the Walker trigger.

      Now, if a drug company is selling a drug that has even four reported deaths associated with their drug, the FDA has that drug pulled from the market. A further investigation may prevent it from ever being sold again.
      I believe this type of action should be done with firearms manufacturers
      as well. It would not take many, if any, additional employees with the
      ATF who would do no more than handle and investigate complaints of this nature. If they found such issues as with the safety that is the current issue with Remington. they should be in a position to freeze all sales of the affected firearms, and issue a recall notice on those firearms for the company to repair, or replace at no charge to the consumer.

      This safety issue is not something new, nor is it restricted to just the Walker trigger. There have been quite a few different types of an accidental discharge of a Remington firearm from a number of Remington
      firearms.

      I have an old Remington Model 10 I had gotten into my shop back when I was dealing with firearms. In checking this shotgun I found that it would
      discharge many times with any bumping, vibration, shock, or just pumping in a round. There just was no pattern as to when, of from what action it
      would go off. I thought about repairing it, but decided against doing so.
      I still have that shotgun with it still doing the same accidental discharge
      of rounds. I have found it an excellent example to use in teaching safety education classes on firearms. There are two types of examples one can use in teaching others. One is, of course, a ‘good example’. Most people
      today never really understand this, and never seem to take it to heart,
      but you had better believe that they will definitely remember the ‘horrible’ example when that shotgun goes off in the classroom. (I remember one class where the first two rows of students knocked each other down in trying to get out of the way when the discharge happened. Boy, did they ever jump!) A very light load of powder, and a a very thin paper wad will still make some good noise in a room, and never hurt the ceiling or wall.
      (I have found that the younger students, mostly teen ages, are much more receptive to my classes than are the adults. Adults rarely learn much as they already ‘know it all’.

      I did have one professional in a class he had sponsored. He said that I had convinced him that there was much yet for him to learn. He was well known in his field as ‘Grizzly Wernsman’. He had produced many tapes on
      calls, and sounds for hunting. He was so upset over missing two questions on a 100 question test that he sponsored another class just so he could retake the class. After he started telling people about his experience I got very busy.

      The point here is if the FDA, and the automotive watchdogs, and instructors on firearm safety can have effects on the people, and companies, why can’t the ATF on firearms companies where issues exist? This issue with Remington has existed for many years, caused many complaints, law suits, and even deaths.

  • Dave Jacobs

    Whereas, I do not believe that CNBC did a very good investigation, or even the reporting on the issue, I do know and feel that Remington has done much to cover up a problem with the Walker trigger as they felt it would be too expensive an undertaking to correct the number of rifles they had sold.

    A previous report on this was quite good as it included an interview with inventor Merle Walker, the man who invented it when he worked for Remington. He had even found the problem and informed his employer. He then came up with an inexpensive method to correct his mistake. At the time Remington had already sold fifty to sixty thousand rifles. At the cost of $2.00 each to repair, Remington thought it too expensive a task to recall them to fix. Instead, Remington just ignored the fix, and the problem. All of this had taken place within a couple of years of the invention and use of the Walker trigger.

    Now, if a drug company is selling a drug that has even four reported deaths associated with their drug, the FDA has that drug pulled from the market. A further investigation may prevent it from ever being sold again.
    Even the automotive watchdogs of government can take action when a safety issue is found with automobiles.
    I believe this type of action should be done with firearms manufacturers as well. It would not take many, if any, additional employees with the ATF who would do no more than handle and investigate complaints of this nature. If they found such issues as with the safety that is the current issue with Remington. they should be in a position to freeze all sales of the affected firearms, and issue a recall notice on those firearms for the company to repair, or replace at no charge to the consumer.

    This safety issue is not something new, nor is it restricted to just the Walker trigger. There have been quite a few different types of an accidental discharge of a Remington firearm from different models of Remington firearms.

    I have an old Remington Model 10 I had gotten into my shop back when I was dealing with firearms. In checking this shotgun I found that it would discharge many times with any bumping, vibration, shock, or just pumping in a round. There just was no pattern as to when, of from what action it would go off. I thought about repairing it, but decided against doing so. I still have that shotgun with it still doing the same accidental discharge of rounds. I have found it an excellent example to use in teaching safety education classes on firearms. There are two types of examples one can use in teaching others. One is, of course, a ‘good example’. Most people today never really understand this, and never seem to take it to heart, but you had better believe that they will definitely remember the ‘horrible’ example when that shotgun goes off in the classroom. (I remember one class where the first two rows of students knocked each other down in trying to get out of the way when the discharge happened. Boy, did they ever jump!) A very light load of powder, and a a very thin paper wad will still make some good noise in a room, and never hurt the ceiling or wall. (I have found that the younger students, mostly teen ages, are much more receptive to my classes than are the adults. Adults rarely learn much as they already ‘know it all’.

    I did have one professional in a class he had sponsored. He said that I had convinced him that there was much yet for him to learn. He was well known in his field as ‘Grizzly Wernsman’. He had produced many tapes on calls, and sounds for hunting. He was so upset over missing two questions on a 100 question test that he sponsored another class just so he could retake the class. After he started telling people about his experience I got very busy.

    The point here is if the FDA, the automotive watchdogs, and instructors on firearm safety can have effects on the people, and companies, why can’t the ATF on firearms companies where issues exist? This issue with Remington has existed for many years, caused many complaints, law suits, and even deaths. Remington is a horrible example of a company that police’s itself.

  • I am not Joe the plumber nor am i Gus the gunsmith. I am a 67 year old, retired from the USMM and all the kids call me grandpa. I have owned countless firearms in my time, some good some not so good. My favorite is the Remington 700 and when younger the fantastic Remington model 30 in fact i have had 5 or 6 of them through time. I have been reading about the Remington 700 going off without pulling the trigger, BS is what i say.Over the years i have slipped and lost grip on many 700’s in all seasons and weather from 100 degrees + to minus 20. All were loaded with safety on, was up on top of a silo, for you city boys that’s were we stored feed for the cows, and i dropped a 30.06 that landed on it’s but plate and on this one the safety was OFF because i was just about to shoot a buck and slipped in the moist corn. We had a fellow who lost his 700 in the swamp one year and i found it the next year by stepping on it. Cleaned it up and put a new stock on it and she was just like new well almost it went from a prom queen to a biker chick but it shot well and never any safety issues. I could go on but don’t need to. Remington is one of the safest rifles on the market today and years ago. I am sorry about the young man who was shot and have prayed for him and his family a lot. I am just a man no better or worse then anyone who reads my words. Granted if man made it it will break at some point.” But i have never in my life had a Remington go off by its self or if i took off the safety dropped in fallen from a tractor or silo” ho it is so.

  • caleb

    I have owned a few guns in the past… Lately i own a mosin nagant and the gun has no safety as far as im concerned and guess what… Never missfired. Not saying its anyones fault but i bet u 90% of the time its from people being stupid..guns are powerful tools and should b reggarded as such. Im willing tp bet that alot of these people were not as safe or caring as they should have been. Not providing excuses for the manufactures as it is their responsibility to make a safe product