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WesternHunter's picture
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Remington Under Fire

Anyone catch that news report on CNBC a couple nights ago?  Evidently they are talking about a rare issue with the Model 700 firing when the safety is moved into fire position.  I've heard about this issue for years, but seems to be so rare that I don't think anyone has pinned down exactly what has cause it to happen.  Anyway some military and LE snipers recorded it on camera happeing.  All I can say is that Remington should have been addressing this issue a long time ago if it was a serious problem.  As I said I have hear rumors about this happening before years ago, but only of one or two actual accounts so I didn't think much about it, considering the hundreds of thousands of 700's produced over the years.  I DVR'd the report and haven't watched it yet.  Will be interesting to see how extream of a spin the left wing media puts on it. 

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I have actually seen it

I have actually seen it happen once and it occurred at a really bad time. Luckily no one was hurt. The person who was behind the rifle was pretty shaken up and was really down on himself. It was not his fault though and because he followed one of the most important safety rules of all time -- always keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed in a safe direction-- no one was injured. I have heard of this problem over the years as well and have always wondered what the cause of the problem was. You would think that Remington would have taken care of it long ago. I love Remington rifles and swear by them but it does not look well for your firm to have a problem like that for so long without addressing it.

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 This doesn't look good at

 This doesn't look good at all. The video really makes Remington look bad. Here's the link: http://www.cnbc.com/id/39759366

 

Here's an excerpt:

“The Model 700, including its trigger mechanism, has been free of any defect since it was first produced,” Remington told CNBC in a statement. “And, despite any careless reporting to the contrary, the gun’s use by millions of Americans has proven it to be a safe, trusted and reliable rifle.”

But as early as December 3, 1946, with the gun still in the testing stage, lead engineer Merle “Mike” Walker—who would later receive a patent for the 700 series’ firing mechanism—wrote a memo warning of a “theoretical unsafe condition” involving the gun’s safety; the mechanism that is supposed to keep the gun from firing accidentally.

Four months later, in an April 9, 1947 memo entitled “M/721 Pilot Line Inspection,” Test Engineer Wayne Leek wrote, “This situation can be very dangerous from a safety and functional point of view.” 

Among other things, Leek noted, it was “possible to fire the gun by pushing the safety to the ‘off’ position.”

That same malfunction, in which the gun fires when the safety is turned off, is cited in many of the customer complaints that persist to this day.

“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, 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,” the company says in its statement.

But other documents show the company has been able to duplicate the condition.  On March 18, 1975, Research Manager John Linde wrote to a Houston gunsmith that Remington “could duplicate” fire control problems on a Remington 700 that had been returned to the factory.  And in a March 5, 1980 memo, a Remington employee named E. Hooton, Jr. notes that of 133 rifles returned to the factory for inadvertent firing in the second half of 1979, 44 of the complaints—one-third of the total—were “verified.”

Documents show that in 1948, Mike Walker proposed a change in his original design aimed at eliminating the problem. Walker drew up plans to insert a blocking device that would keep the gun’s internal mechanism from falling out of alignment while the safety is on.

“One modification of the M/721 Safety uses a trigger block in addition to the present design,” Walker wrote in an August 16, 1948 memo entitled “M/721 Modification of Safety design.”

But the change was never implemented.

WesternHunter's picture
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Yup

If it's a known problem and Remington has ignored it or done nothing about it in all these years then Shame On Them!!!  Stuff like that is just plain unacceptable from a corporation.  Looks pretty bad on their part, even worse these days in light of all those trying to sue and shut down our arms makers. 

 

I agree though that first rule of firearms safety exists for a good reason.  Muzzle should always be pointed in a safe direction at all times.  That rule exists for reasons like mechanical failure and defects and such.  Anything mechnical can fail.

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Saw this posted yesterday on

Saw this posted yesterday on a couple other sites.  I am curious about it.  I have a Remington 700 BDL in 30-06 that I just sighted in and will taking into the woods with me tomorrow, and I have never had a problem.  I also have 2 Wingmasters that I use for bird hunting and not had a problem with those either.

It all goes to gun safety.  Make sure they are not pointed at anyone, that's the first step.

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Remington

I did not catch the CNBC report on TV, but I did watch & read excerpts on their site.

My husband and I have owned several Remington 700s over the years, and one of my husband's favorite's was a 700 BDL in 30.06. It worked flawlessly for many years, and then one fall (about 10-15 years ago) he went to sight it in at the shooting range and it went off without even touching the trigger. It of course shocked him. Like we always should, he had it facing downrange in a safe direction. He tried to reload a couple more times, and each time the rifle fired without having touched the trigger.

He promptly took it to a gunsmith, and was told this was actually a known problem and easy to fix. It cost him $50 to fix and he never had a problem with it again.  He has other calibers of 700s and no others have had misfiring problems (yet!).

It appears a firearm can suddenly develop this misfiring problem. Once it has that glitch, just like in the video on CNBC, it will do it frequently, so definitely not a safe firearm any longer.  We're lucky that ours flaked out at the shooting range, and not during a hunt or elsewhere.

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There has been a Remington

There has been a Remington safety recall on 700 for years now.  There used to be a link on their website but I don't know if it is still there.  It only affected rifles made before a certain date(not sure of the date but mid 90's I believe)  Remington was replacing the trigger systems with the new safety system.  It affects the rifles that don't have the ability to work the action with the safety on.

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I will have to look into

I will have to look into that, as I believe mine is from the mid-90's.  And, funny thing is, while I have had no issues with mis-fires, the one thing I don't like is the trigger pull.  It seems to be around 50 pounds.  Don't know if that's part of the problem for the recall, but maybe.  I wonder if there is still a link somewhere.

WesternHunter's picture
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Owned a few

I've owned a few 700's over the years and have never had a problem.  Even after firing what must be thousands of rounds when you add it up through all of them over the years.  But as I said before I have heard about this problem existing and have heard that it has been a rare problem for decades. It's just a shame how firearms makers and even ammo makers are not exactly forthright about recalls or concerns about public safety.  I remember when Speer/CCI had a recall on certain lot's of 9mm and .40 S&W Gold Dot ammo back at the end of 2001 early 2002, you could not find a thing about it on their website.  I heard about it second hand through friends in law enforcement and only after contacting Speer did they confirm they were recalling certain lots of ammo.  Granted, almost all of those lots were intended for DoD and Federal Agency contracts, but as it turned out I later found, much of that recalled ammo had actually made its way through various commercial retail channels.  After checking the lot numbers being recalled I discovered that I had bought some of that ammo unknowingly and had been keeping it for home protection.  Imagine relying on ammo for protection, only to find out at the worst possible moment that it does not fire!!  You use that companies product to protect the life of you and your family and that company doesn't even have the integrity to make a reasonable effort to let you know when their product might be defective!!  Unacceptabe!!

 

As far as the Remington 700 problem goes, Remington seems to have practically allowed it to slip into the cracks and become urban legend until some professional snipers video'd it hapening and the press got ahold of it.  This is what happens when a company has no integrity or concern for public safety, trying to cover stuff up only makes things re-surface with a vengence eventually.  Beretta isn't exactly forthright in the recalls they've had either.  Stuff like that just speaks volumes to the lack of integrity some operators of a company have.

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I have 3

OK, now this is really getting my attention!  I have 3 700s; two in .270 and one in 30-06.  One of the .270s is 25+ years old and is my go-to rifle of choice.  It has spent a good share of time busting brush, climbing up and down ravines, and sitting on its bi-pod.  It also has its fair share of notches in its side.  I always practice the golden rule but now that I am hunting with my young boys, I am going to have to look into getting these checked out.  My son is using a Ruger and I haven't heard of any problems with his model but if I am carrying alongside him and my firearm is known to have unintentional firing issues, I think I might have to carry the Weatherby until I get these Remingtons inspected and/or fixed.

Thanks for the heads-up!

 

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Hey Jim, I posted in another

Hey Jim, I posted in another location a link that Remington has put up in response to the press.  They have alot of good info there, including some stuff about the "experts" that were cited in the report.  One of them apparantly has never even worked on a Remington, even though he offers up his expertise on them.

I think you should take it with a grain of salt.  If you have been using them all this time and never had a problem, then I don't think it's a concern.  Do you know how many millions of these guns have been produced, compared to the relatively small amount of misfires?  No misfire is good, but it's not like they are happening all the time.  Plus, look at how many other guns have misfires.  Evry manufacturer has a problem at one time or another.

Like you said, practice good gun safety, and I think you'll be okay.

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