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Rem 700 Rifle Question & Some Comments

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Old CW4, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. grolaw


    Nov 8, 2004
    The first big case, Lewy v. Remington, 836 F.2d 1104, 1106-07 (8th Cir. 1988); the Eighth Circuit upheld a finding of punitive damages against Remington in a 1985 court sanction (no trial).

    Remington refused to provide discovery: the manufacturing / development records and complaints / reports of accidental discharge. They told the trial court that all of the documents had been destroyed. The "win" in Lewy (a discharge that killed a child) was a "sanction" against Remington for spoliation of evidence ( “district courts have inherent authority to impose sanctions when a party destroys evidence that it knows or should know is relevant to potential litigation and thereby prejudices its potential adversary.”)

    There were three other lawsuits that went to trial - with substantial verdicts against Remington and the "destroyed" documents suddenly started appearing. I've attached a 1947 Remington memo (used as evidence in the three cases following the 8th Cir. case) and it speaks for itself.

    Finally, read this gunsmith's analysis of the Walker Trigger: http://www.gunsmiths.com/articledetail.php?id=87

    Attached Files:

  2. dttomcat


    Apr 14, 2007
    Unbelievable. While examining my rifle. It just inadvertently dry-fired itself when I switched off the safety. What do I do?
  3. Quirt


    Oct 10, 2005
    Rule #1 - All Guns are Always Loaded (all guns/always)
    Rule #2 - Never point the firearm at anyone or anything you do not intend to shoot (including your child, wife, and yourself)

    Rule #3 - Not pertinent to this discussion at this time
    Rule #4 - Know your target (which is not your foot or child or wife) and know what is in front of it and behind it

    Granted Remington may have a faulty fire control group (trigger, safety, trigger assembly) that is unacceptable, faulty, and needs to be corrected. For educational and discussion purposes...let's just assume they do...but regardless if the safety malfunctioned, was at fault, or didn't work as engineered you NEVER - EVER under any circumstances (working or not) point a firearm at another human who isn't justified in receiving deadly force.

    So what this Docu failed to point out and these law suits did not reveal is all these firearm's were pointed at other humans when they "flip the safety off to unload..." These deaths are not the result of a single causation (a faulty fire control group), but rather people pointing loaded (which they always are) firearms at themselves or other human beings. Granted these rifles have a faulty fire control group which needs to be re-called/repaired/replaced.

    However if these guns were pointed at a safe impact area when the owner/operator intended to flip off the safety to unload and then the firearm discharged these people would still be alive today...albeit extremely shook up, ticked off and scared but still alive nevertheless.

    I'm in no way defending Remington or taking their sides...I'm just pointing out regardless if the safety is working properly or not...you are not justified pointing firearms at your friends and family - period. This is one reason why I don't go to rock pits, target ranges or other public places when other people are using firearms....there is way too much careless muzzle sweeping of themselves and me and my family. And according to this Docu apparently in most of these cases the rifles were covering another human being or themselves when they took off the safety and it discharged killing or injuring people.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  4. grolaw


    Nov 8, 2004
    Have a new trigger assembly installed by a qualified gunsmith or send it back to Remington for a retrofit with their new assembly.
  5. UffDa

    UffDa Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 1999
    Everyone has an opinion. Like a certain part of the human anatomy, most of them stink.*

    *That's just my opinion. :D
  6. dttomcat


    Apr 14, 2007
    Yep. I've had it a little over three years and the warranty is two. I guess I bought mine JUST before they switched to the new XP system. This totally blows. Last Remington I ever buy. Can anyone recommend a quality (and safe) after-market system? :mad:
  7. grolaw


    Nov 8, 2004
    The Lewy case involved a female hunter unloading her rifle with the muzzle pointed UP - unfortunately, the child killed was in their bed, on the second floor. The round hitting the child was an extraordinary bit of bad luck.

    This was not a safety issue - this floating trigger assembly can discharge the weapon at any time - including just opening the bolt (as in Lewy).

    Where the company has known of the defect since 1947 - and ignored it - I suggest that had Remington followed its own engineer's reports back in 1947 none of these deaths and the hundreds of (reported) accidental discharges would have happened. When you make a defective product you make a defective product.
  8. hlee


    Dec 5, 2005
    My dad has a remington 700 (270 win) bdl that's got to be nearing 35 years old. His brother has one that is even older. I've got one that was bought around '94 or '95. My wife has a 700 bdl in 7mm mag (bought around 2004-2005). To my knowledge neither my dad's gun nor his brother's gun has ever inadvertently fired. Neither my nor my wife's gun has ever fired inadvertently. Mine has seen nearly 1000 rounds without a mishap.

    I agree that IF remington has a problem with their trigger assembly then it should be fixed, however, I wonder how many of these reported safety failures are due to home gun-smithing gone wrong...

    I COULD tear into the trigger and make it lighter, but I don't as I don't have the requisite experience or expertise. Many people proceed with the WILL but without the ABILITY.
  9. grolaw


    Nov 8, 2004
    It is defective - Remington should replace it out-of-warranty.
  10. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006
    Interesting read. It seems most times there are "Accidental shootings", the first thing to be blamed is the gun... Not saying there hasn't been isolated incidents of discharge.

    I do all my own trigger work on pistols, but I won't attempt a trigger job on a rifle. I'm just not that comfortable with it.
    I have to say though, after reading this, the next time I buy a used 700, I will thoroughly test the trigger/safety function. Although, it is something I
    always check, no matter who made the rifle. Once a gun has been owned by someone, you never know who has worked / modified it
  11. grolaw


    Nov 8, 2004
    Try reading the gunsmith link I posted. The entire assembly is discussed, in detail, by a man who makes his living as a gunsmith. This is not an anti-gun post - it is a gunsmith's take on the Walker Trigger.
  12. dttomcat


    Apr 14, 2007
    I thought I had a snap cap around here somewhere but I guess it's in my hunting pack which is stored elsewhere. I'm going to pick one up and see if I can't replicate the situation. If it happens one more time someone at Remington is going to get an ear full from me. This is bad. :mad: I guess I'll be hunting with my muzzle loader. Guess I owe an apology to that girl. I really let her have it for the accidental discharge.
  13. UffDa

    UffDa Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 1999

    Dang! My wife hit plastic tub with her 10 year old Camry and cracked the plastic thingy under the front bumper. Toyota won't replace it for free. That's the last Toyota I'm going to buy. :mad:

    The first thing that you need to do is use a little common sense. Life isn't fair.:rolleyes: First, contact Remington and see what they say. If they won't do anything, take your rifle to a GOOD gunsmith and/or try this:

  14. dttomcat


    Apr 14, 2007
    Just got off the phone with Remington repair. They want to see the gun. Guy said to expect 5-6 weeks. :grumpy:
  15. dttomcat


    Apr 14, 2007
    Not going to dignify your first comment with any further response.
    I was on hold with Remington as you were typing.
    Thanks for the advice on the Timney.
  16. grolaw


    Nov 8, 2004
    That's not a defective product.

    Put very simply: a defective product is one that, when used as directed by the manufacturer, fails or causes damage. The Ford Pinto had a gas tank located just behind the differential. The bolts on the Pinto's differential would tear open the gas tank in a relatively mild rear impact. (Canada had a 5 mph rear impact law in place and Canadian Pintos had a sheet of plastic to deflect the gas tank away from the differential bolts.)

    Ford knew that the tank would rupture in a rear impact and Ford calculated the value of the lives of the typical Pinto buyer as against the cost of implementing the Canadian rear impact deflector for Pintos sold in the US (and, other nations).

    Profits from Pintos would have been impacted by $1.00/car - and Ford decided that they were better off paying the wrongful death cases than correcting the defective design. It was a matter of how much each would cost. Ford calculated that paying for deaths was cheaper than fixing the defect.

    Today's news says that we have Cilantro in the food chain contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7 - a potentially deadly situation. The Cilantro is food to be consumed. Food contaminated with deadly fecal bacteria is a "defective product" as are eggs from Wright County Egg Co. that have salmonella contamination.

    The first thing that you do is to avoid the problem, if possible. If you have been harmed by a defective product - then you have a right to be made whole. That's entirely different than damaging a Camry through negligence.
  17. cramsey3006


    Aug 2, 2010
    The real deal is that it's been an issue with the rifle for over 60 years. Period.

    For everyone who says, "I've had one for 45 years with no problem.." that doesn't mean shit, really.

    Sure there are lots of people who haven't had a problem... They've made over 5,000,000 rifles since then. I don't care if Petzal has handled and shot 1000 Remington 700 rifles, that's still an insignificant number in the scheme of things. I promise you that many of the rifles he's had came straight from Remington and they are hand picked guns. If you were a gun company and wanted a gun review by a nationally recognnized and read author, would you take the chance that he gets a gun that's less than 100%. Probably not.

    IMO, if there is 10% of the rifles with a problem, that's still over 500,000 unsafe rifles floating around out there. OVER HALF A MILLION. If it's only 1% that's still 50,000 rifles. That's unacceptable. Even more so because although it would cost a significant amount of money to fix the rifles, it's an easy fix for them, yet they refuse to acknowledge it for the most part.

    It amazes me that there has been no government enforced recall on the rifle. With all of the stuff that gets recalled for the smallest reasons nowadays...

    I wonder if the fact that the military uses the gun as an issue weapon has anything to do with it?
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  18. Quirt


    Oct 10, 2005
    This is tragic on many levels...the gun needs to be recalled, problem fixed once and for all. But mechanical safeguards are only part of the safety/accident causation chain of event. Irrespective of mechanical devices one can never replace following a strict and disciplined safety protocol which begins by operating under the four firearms safety rules I posted earlier.

    Someone said this is not a safety issue...so if this statement is true, then does this mean is it okay to unload a rifle while violating the three of the four safety rules I posted earlier? Does this mean you can be careless in where you point a rifle? Can you just unload it any place you want without accounting where everyone from your hunting party is at?

    So in otherwords, as long as we know the fire control group is functioning correctly we can unload a rifle while pointing it up in the air (violation of rule #4) which has no impact area to absorb the impact of the bullet and you as the operator can predict where the round will come to rest? Or we can point a rifle at our own foot which is what one person did in the Docu and flip the safety causing this person to lose their own foot? So this is not a safety issue?

    In the Barber case... the boy was standing on the other side of horse trailer. The mom points the rifle through an open door to the family's horse trailer with only a thin sheet metal panel between the muzzle of the .243 Win cartridge and her son. When it went off it went through the sheet metal into her son. Clearly this is a violation of Rule 1, 2, & 4.


    So if it is only a mechanical issue and not a safety issue then that means it would be okay for her to point the rifle at her son on the other side of the trailer as long as the safety will work? I don't think so...
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  19. hlee


    Dec 5, 2005
    How many defective guns are we talking about. Is it 10% or 1%? The program made it sound like it was 100%. That is fear mongering at best and describing it as a "hatchet job" is pretty right on. I've only owned a few remington 700 rifles. All told my extended family has probably owned 20 or so. NONE of them have ever accidentally fired. 20 is insignificant. 1000 is insignificant. 1% is also a pretty small number, especially when you consider that all, ALL of these accidents could be avoided by adhering to three of the ten commandments of firearm safety.

    1.) Treat every gun as if it were loaded.

    2.) Know your target and what is beyond.

    3.) Never point a gun at anything you do not intend to shoot.

    (Honestly, I can't recall the rest as I think that these three sum it up pretty well.)

    Mom shoots son unloading gun while son sleeps in upstairs bed? Did mom not know that son was asleep directly in line of the muzzle of her firearm? (Failure to adhere to 2 and 3). Why was she unloading the gun in the home? I was taught to unload hunting arms in the field. I rate unloading in the home as a failure to adhere to 1.

    Shoot yourself or someone else while cleaning gun? Failure of 1.

    Shot while crossing fence, when gun falls off rail? Failure of 1.

    Shoot a hunter? Failure of 2.

    Shoot an animal out of season while "glassing?" Failure of 1 and 3.

    I still wonder how many of these failures of the trigger/safety/assembly are the result of home "trigger jobs."

    Earlier this year I was on a hunting trip in northern CA. We were driving the ranch roads, and getting out to stalk what looked to be good bedding areas. At one stop I opened the pickup door to put my rifle away, propping it on the seat like I normally do. Before I could get the door closed, the rifle did a cartwheel out of the pickup on to the ground. It did not go off- the chamber was empty. That being said, the firing mechanism had not been triggered.

    Remington MAY have QC problems on their 700 line, but to say that 700s are all defective and have been so for 45 years is rubbish.

    Edit... Apparently Quirt was posting as I was gathering my thoughts, and has already posted on the rules of firearm safety...
  20. dttomcat


    Apr 14, 2007
    The ten commandments of firearms safety:

    1. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
    2. Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.
    3. Don't rely on your gun's safety.
    4. Be sure of your target and what's beyond it.
    5. Use proper ammunition.
    6. If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care.
    7. Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
    8. Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.
    9. Don't alter or modify your gun and have it serviced regularly.
    10. Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using.

    I would like to add that anyone who handles any firearm should always treat the weapon as if it is loaded (even if you know it is not). That, to me is the most basic rule that there is.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010

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