View Full Version : Remington 700 Trigger "froze" then fired on it's own

December 23, 2010, 02:17 PM
Hey everyone, I've spent a great deal of time over on the Art of the Rifle and even just posted this same question there, but I think it's probably better placed over here.

When shooting my dad's 1974 Remington 700 ADL in .30-06 yesterday, the trigger just "froze". I couldn't pull it back no matter how hard I pulled. I unchambered the round, looked to make sure it was ok and rechambered it. When I locked the bolt (ie, pushed the bolt handle down) the rifle fired the round off by itsself. This was about the 6-8th shot of the day. All shots before and afterwards (took about 10 more after that) were exactly as would be expected. The trigger was tuned in the past. I cannot get the rifle to duplicate this. I've hit it on the floor, my leg, shook it, etc and the rifle always works as it should. I've locked the bolt easily, with average force and with excessive force, but it always works like it should.

Any ideas? I'm thinking some kind of dust or particle got in the way and wouldn't allow the trigger and/or firing pin to do its thing. Any chance the trigger is wearing out or was adjusted to unsafe settings? I'm going to take the rifle apart today and see if I can find anything that looks out of the norm. Let me know if theres anything I should be looking for! Thanks.

Hog Hunter
December 23, 2010, 02:26 PM
I adjusted the trigger on my 700 to almost as light as it would go with still being safe when I got it. Bout 5 or six years ago. Since then I have adjusted it to a lil bit heavier because I had something similar happen to me except it just fired when I closed the bolt. Nothing bad happend and maybe I just brushed the trigger with my pinky or somethin. I dont know, but from then on i've made it habbit to put the safty on right after it goes off unless im unloading on a pack of hogs!!:p:p But I have herd that trsah can get in there and cause this. It only happend to me once and it could have been me.

James K
December 23, 2010, 03:32 PM
"The trigger was tuned in the past."

"I adjusted the trigger on my 700 to almost as light as it would go with still being safe when I got it..." Or maybe not so safe.

Remington says, and I believe them, that all but a very few of the complaints about the 700 trigger have involved deliberate tampering by the gun owner or by some self-styled "gunsmith."

Those Remington factory triggers are good; there is no reason to adjust, hack, file, grind, hammer or otherwise assault them. If you do, and someone is wounded or killed, it is NOT Remington's fault, it is YOURS. But you bet the anti-gun gang will use it as more evidence of the need to put Remington out of business and ban rifles.


December 23, 2010, 05:17 PM
Whoa, Jim! Calm those horses down. :) I didn't say if a qualified gunsmith did it or not. And yes, those triggers are good, but they are capable of being much better than they come out of the factory. Not to mention my father nor I will ever kill someone with our weapons accidentally because we rely on sound safety rules (like never point your weapon at something you aren't willing to destroy and always keep your weapons pointed down range), not a mechanical device that some company told me will work. Truth is I have no idea idea how Remington's safety and triggers work.. so I don't really trust them when it comes to saving someone's life. I do, however, fully trust myself.

I would still be very interested if someone has insight as to what type of problem I may have. Thanks!

December 23, 2010, 05:24 PM
When's the last time you cleaned the trigger mechanism?

I had problems with a 721 ....... sticky trigger and weak firing pin strikes..... stripped it down and it was packed with crud ...... years of dirt/congealed oil. Cleaned it up and the problems were gone with the crud.

December 23, 2010, 05:56 PM
You should contact remington. Get a call tag and send it back to the factory.

WildtheywilltakecareofitAlaska ™©2002-2010

December 23, 2010, 06:10 PM
You should contact remington. Get a call tag and send it back to the factory.

Why? mehbee they'll clean it for free?

More than likely they will replace the trigger with a Lawyer Proof (8 lbs or so) model......

December 23, 2010, 06:21 PM
More than likely they will replace the trigger with a Lawyer Proof (8 lbs or so) model......

Actually, I call them Lawyer or Idiot Proof Models since the only reason they are set so high is because idiots use them and have lawyers get them out of it. :D

The new Xmark triggers can be nicely and professionaly adjusted.

WildnoteverygunownerissafeorageniusAlaska ™©2002-2010

Hog Hunter
December 23, 2010, 06:30 PM
Hey there mr. keenan, I never said I blamed remington for my fault, and even said it was probally me that done it. I am very familiar with these trigger and saftys on just about any rifle that I pick up. PPL get on here to figure out there problems and to learn more. If you dont like to adjust the triggers on your fireamrs to suit you then more power to you, but some folks do and dont need you or anybody else to jump down there throat about it. By the way I havnt ever filed or cut or hacked on any trigger, just adjusted the creep and seir.

December 23, 2010, 07:05 PM
By the way I havnt ever filed or cut or hacked on any trigger, just adjusted the creep and seir.

Well maybe you didnt do a good job on it :)

WildwhatsaseirAlaska ™©2002-2010

December 23, 2010, 08:19 PM
there was a program on tv lately about remington trigger problems that sound like that. ypu should do some research on the problem to see how it relates to yours. i personally wouldn't trust remington until this problem has been resolved and they don't seem to want to recognize the problem.

December 23, 2010, 08:25 PM
there was a program on tv lately about remington trigger problems that sound like that.

I saw a TV program that there are aliens in Area 51:p

WildifitisntonoreillyitisntthetruthAlaska ™©2002-2010

December 23, 2010, 08:26 PM
take some lighter fluid and clean it.. then no oil and try it

December 23, 2010, 10:06 PM
Google Rem. Walker trigger

December 24, 2010, 01:24 AM
I found an article by Jack Belk here (http://www.gunsmiths.com/articledetail.php?id=87) on gunsmiths.com. It had a lot of information. Can anyone vouch for Mr Belk's or gunsmiths.com credibility?

Under "FBO and FBC--" he specifically mentions improperly adjusting the sear and dust/debris as possible culprits, both things I suspected. Since he said "easy to reproduce", that lowers the likelihood it's a sear adjustment problem, at least in my mind. My father specifically mentioned a couple of times how it seemed our shooting area was dustier than everyone else's because everytime we shot, dust kicked up everywhere, but we didn't notice that on other people's area. Very interesting. I'll take the rifle apart tomorrow (hopefully.. I said that yesterday :) ) and see what I find.

Ultimately it's my dad's decision cause it's his rifle, but thanks for the different perspectives!

December 24, 2010, 04:08 AM
I confess,in my own case,as a high school kid about 1969,I "tuned" my Rem 700 trigger by monkeying with the screws till I figured out what they changed.I got by but I cannot say that trigger had a safe or proper adjustment.Seat of the pants figuring it out is tampering,and likely will not get it right,and likely the trigger's ability to function as designed will be compromised.
It wasn't all that long ago I hesitated to do one for a brother.He found,on a website(may have been 6mm something) a procedure to properly adjust one.
The proper adjustment includes language like "from this point turn this much to set depth of sear engagement"
Proper depth of sear engagement is an entirely different concept than "getting all the creep out"Same with overtravel.spinning the screw and pulling the trigger,then tuning the screw till it breaks plus just a teeny bit,is not right.Some overtravel is a requirement.
I don't think we need 8 lb lawyer triggers,They at least used to be called adjustable triggers.
It is reasonable to say doing it right can be a matter of life and death.Even if you follow good gun handling practice all the time,that rifle may get sold some day,or passed to a grandson.It won't be in your hands.
You might try some websearching for a procedure.Maybe a clean and retune is in order.Maybe a new Timney or Basix or the new Rem trigger is in order.For now,that rifle needs a n "out of service" red tag.

December 24, 2010, 09:53 AM
There is room for dirt/ corrision to get in between the trigger and sear,and cause this malfuntion,to light a trigger ~2lbs,will be hard to hold on this trigger....it's time for a good cleaning,adjustment by a quailified gunsmith...
BTW,this has happened to me on my Sendero also,but I had the trigger adjusted to light<2lbs.

My 2 cents ,Jim

December 24, 2010, 03:04 PM
For anyone interested, I got the rifle apart today. The trigger area was definitely kind of gunky. Oil had mixed with dirt, so I wiped it down wherever I could. I didn't take the trigger apart or even off the rifle as I've never done that and am not comfortable experiementing on someone else's rifle.

The trigger adjustment had only been to the weight of pull, not the sear or the backtravel. The 2 screws had the same type of "locktite", whatever the factory used, and the weight of pulled looked like clear finger nail polish. Just as a precaution I pushed the screw in, adding in my guess about half a pound of weight to the trigger pull.

We decided to go ahead and give it a trip or two to the range to see if it happens again given that it got a decent cleaning and everything looked kosher. A trip to the smith may be in its future though.

Thanks for your help.

James K
December 26, 2010, 11:44 PM
Hog Hunter, all I can say is that I hope that arrogant attitude and ignorance of the consequences of tampering with firearms doesn't result in your (or worse, some innocent person's) injury or death.


December 27, 2010, 07:51 AM
I just skimmed through, don't mean to repeat. It's probably a little dirty, out of 'tune' or a combination of both. I'd consider just doing a simple replacement with a Timney(#510) I believe. It's not hard to do, no more worries & you will have a more enjoyable trigger, highly likely anyway. JMHO

December 29, 2010, 03:16 PM
I've heard the stories too, but have never had it happen to me with any of my 700s from 1980 to present new ones. I do however keep my actions and triggers clean and dry. I rinse everything with pure acetone or denatured alcohol and am always surprised how much gunk collects in a very short time frame. But even if it did happen, there is no chance anyone would get injured because I am always aware of the direction of my barrel, and I never chamber a round with the safety off unless I'm taking a follow up shot while hunting.

Prof Young
December 31, 2010, 09:06 PM
I've seen the "Remington Under Fire" special and read the NRA response in American Hunter Magazine. Both the TV special and the magazine article seem relatively balanced to me. Frankly, I think Remington has a flaw that shows up in a very small number of guns . . . but with sometimes disastrous results. I also find it interesting that some are vehement in their defense of Remington, as if Remington can do no wrong. I own a wonderful remington shot gun, but sold off my Remington Model Seven rifle cause it didn't alway chamber smoothly. (I kind of like that second shot to chamber well when the coyote is getting away.) Anyway, big companies do make mistakes . . . and individual people do to. I don't think the final say on this one has been said. We'll see what happens. I need to research and see if I can find out more about what Remington has to say on the matter.

Live well, be safe
Prof Young

January 5, 2011, 02:25 PM
"it was packed with crud ...... years of dirt/congealed oil. "

And that is THE "problem" with Remington's triggers. Eventually, dry oil will gum the works, preventing the floating "connector" on the trigger from properly setting. A blast of carborator cleaner/gun scrubber every five or six years and use a non-gumming oil will allow things to work properly. All will be well.

"Both the TV special and the magazine article seem relatively balanced to me."

The Rem/Walker trigger was designed to be an excellant hunting trigger that could be built and sold within the reach of most sportsmen; it is that. It looks much like a fully adjustable target trigger but it was NOT intended to be so. Adjusting the trigger pull too light and with marginal, hairy edge travel is an invitation to disaster no matter how clean and lightly oiled it is.

The TV show did exactly the same as they do any other successful "news" media lie. They mixed a little lop-sided truth and a heavy dose of emotional tragedy along with a some "tests/demonstrations" rigged in the same dishonest way they doctored auto gas tanks to explode for the cameras some years ago to "prove" how dangerous they were. And, as usual, they highly edited their interview with a still very sharp 90+ year old Mr. Walker himself. Truth never impeded a good story line for "news" folk.

January 5, 2011, 06:43 PM
Several years ago I purchased a new .243 Rem 700 VLS. I took it to the range and after setting it up on a gun sled, loaded it with Remington factory ammo with the safety on. As I began releasing the safety, the rifle fired the round in the chamber. There was nothing touching the factory standard trigger. Of course, I immediately unloaded it and took it off the line.

At home, I tried to duplicate the problem with a snap cap in the chamber. It repeatedly fired when the safety was released after each operation of the bolt. I then removed the action from the stock and inspected the trigger/safety assembly. Aside from it being very difficult to get the action out of the stock because of the tight fit of the wood against the front and rear of the trigger housing, there was no apparent problem.

I then repeated the test with the action out of the stock. The safety and trigger operated normally with no malfunction. I reinserted the action into the stock and tightened the mount screws. The problem with the unintentional discharge returned. So I disassembled it again and relieved the area of the stock in front of and behind the trigger housing until the trigger housing no longer touched the wood. Upon reassembly, I tested the rifle with no further malfunction.

Just to be sure, I removed the trigger/safety assembly and shipped it to a qualified gunsmith. He disassembled it and found no problem with it. I had him tune it and return it to me. I had no further problem with it even after firing several hundred rounds.

Apparently the trigger assembly of the Remington 700 cannot be under pressure in any way that distorts it slightly and still be safe.

Prof Young
January 6, 2011, 12:26 AM

The guy who rigged the gas tanks was booted out of the media. They do police their own.

The videos included in the CNBC report show a military snipper touching the bolt of his gun . . . and it goes off. If that was all fabricated by CNBC then Remington could sue them for enough $$$ to shut them down.

Yes, fair and balanced.

Did you read the article in American Hunter. It's more about media bias then about the Remington 700.

I belong to the NRA, and will continue to belong. Hey, where else are we gonna go for the work they do to protect our rights. But they have bias in their "reporting" too. Remember that list of things that the NRA claimed would happen to gun rights if Obama was elected? They had a clip and carry card in the NRA publications to remind us. None of those things have come to fruition. In fact so much was made of the perception that Obama was anti gun that his election was one of the best things to happen to increase gun purchasing in years. The NRA, love them as I do, is not flawless either.

Yes fair and balanced.

The media has serious flaws and remington made a rifle that has a serious flaw.

Live well, be safe
Prof Young

January 10, 2011, 09:14 PM
gentlemen I personally know two people who shot holes in their floorboards]of their trucks trying to open the bolts of their rem 700s and i was in the truck with one of them i dont own any rem rifles and dont foresee me ever owning any ,, my winchesters all shoot one hole at 100 yds and dont go off unless i pull the trigger

January 11, 2011, 10:17 AM
Back in the early 70s I had a 700 BDL 25.06 that did the same thing tried to squeeze the trigger and nothing happened when I raised my head to see if I had left safety on it fired and when I bolted spent round out and tried to rechamber another round it fired again scared the hell out of me. I took it to a good smith I knew and he cleaned bolt and tuned trigger never happened again but I never trusted it again so I got rid of it hated to because it was a shooter.

January 11, 2011, 02:16 PM
I'm paying $25.00 for factory Rem. trigger assemblies. Seriously, If you are scared of it and replace it with something else, I'll buy it.