Remington Arms: A Safe, Reliable And Trusted Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 9 months ago

USA Today is carrying an editorial that has no apparent author (except perhaps Remington Arms).

For nearly 50 years, the Remington Model 700 rifle has been the preferred choice for millions of hunters, shooting sports enthusiasts and military and law enforcement personnel.

Despite emotional reporting of baseless and unproven allegations and plaintiff lawyer assertions, several undisputed facts remain:

The Model 700 is the most popular, reliable, accurate and trusted bolt-action rifle in the world, with over 5 million rifles produced and billions of rounds fired over nearly five decades.

The Model 700 is the firearm of choice for elite shooters from America’s military and law enforcement communities, and has been the platform for the United States Marine Corps and the U.S. Army precision sniper weapon systems for over two decades, both of which specifically require the “Walker” trigger mechanism.

The Model 700, including its trigger mechanism, has been free of any defect since it was first produced 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.

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.

Remington takes safety very seriously. We support hunter safety and other educational programs nationwide, and include with every Remington firearm the “Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety,” which urgently remind every gun owner that if proper firearms safety rules are followed, no accidental injuries would ever occur.

The men and women who build, own and shoot the Remington Model 700 take great pride in a product that, over the last half century, has set the bar for safety, reliability and performance.

I just don’t know how else to say it: this is false.  The evidence shows that numerous malfunctions occurred during internal Remington testing, from the firing pin moving forward during the bolt locking cycle to firing when the safety was moved to the “off” position.

As I’ve said before as a registered professional engineer, if I designed a machine that had such malfunctions I would immediately demand “stop work” on the manufacture of the machine until I understood what exactly had happened in the design or manufacture to cause the malfunctions.  Only when those problems had been corrected would I have allowed manufacture to continue.

I wouldn’t do this because I fear retribution from customers, or neglect to do it because I fear retribution from the employer.  I would do this because it is the right thing to do, because it is the ethical thing to do, and because I swore an oath to protect the safety and health of the public in order to be granted my license to practice engineering.  There are things more important than money.

Remington didn’t do any of this, but rather, fought it all the way through the process, even ignoring their own internal reports and concerns of their testing engineers.  Don’t take my word for it.  Go read the evidence for yourself.  In my estimation, Remington is suffering for their ethical failures even as I write.  And I don’t understand why Remington is still trying to rewrite the history of the Model 700.  This is just befuddling.

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  1. On December 30, 2014 at 6:12 am, Rog Jerry said:

    The USA Today article Herschel quotes carries this statement: “Remington Arms, which declined to provide an opposing view, issued this statement on Sept. 7, 2010”. There is a link within to a current editorial, “Amid court secrecy, guns continued to kill: Our view” which cites a Rem 700 trigger mechanism failures in 2000 that resulted in a death. (I’d add that the muzzle was pointed in an unsafe direction when the safety was released – which does not excuse Remington from liability.) For once, USA Today is not calling for more regulations or gun registration. They are bemoaning Remington’s success at getting court records sealed, which of course makes work much more difficult for journalists, investigators and attorneys. Remington 700s were already an established product when I was a kid over 50 years ago. It’s good the design defect is finally being corrected. I don’t understand why it has taken many decades to do so.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published December 29th, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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