The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 18, 2013, 12:19 PM   #1
Hunter Customs
Senior Member
Join Date: March 26, 2005
Location: Osborn, Missouri
Posts: 2,648
Unsafe Trigger System In Reminton 700 Rifles

I just had a customer of mine that has several Remington 700 rifles call me and ask about Remingtons unsafe triggers.
He said he was watching a TV show that claimed Remington 700 trigger systems to be unsafe and he's very concerned.

I told him in all my years of being in business I only knew of one 700 ADL that fired unintentionally and it did so when the safety was disengaged.
In all fairness to Remington that 700 ADL trigger mechanisim was full of all kinds of debris that could have caused the problem, after it was cleaned it never happened again to my knowledge.

I own several Remington 700 rifles and I've never had an accidental discharge from any of them, and mine have some fairly light trigger pulls on them.

Has anyone here had an accidental discharge from a Remington 700 because of mechanical failure of the trigger system?

Best Regards
Bob Hunter

Last edited by Hunter Customs; February 18, 2013 at 08:38 PM.
Hunter Customs is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 01:46 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 12,834
Remington triggers were redesigned in the 1970s to eliminate the AD issue with the 600, and about 5 years ago there was a rebirth of the discussion when there was a TV documantary on the issue. The Remington trigger is an OK trigger, but the use of sintered metal/MIM parts in a trigger group kinda makes me nervous. FWIW, most of the AD issues were in rifles with modified triggers, from what I have read.
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 01:52 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 8,497
It is more common than many realize. Mostly with older guns. I have a 1974 rifle that has dropped the firing pin on an empty chamber a few times with no pull of the trigger. Mine has only done it for 1 day about 10-12 years ago. Never before or since. It did it 3-4 times over about a 30 minute period and stopped. As a result I've done lot of research, long before any programs on TV. You will get some replies claiming it is all a plot by anti gunners to hurt Remington. These guys have their tinfoil hats on a little too tight.

A little history.

Remington engineers discovered the problem in 1946 and advised management to redesign the trigger. Because the new rifles were already behind schedule on production and a redesign would have meant recalling rifles and adding 5 cents to the cost of the guns management decided not to make the change.

The problem is a device called a trigger connector. With every other trigger design the trigger is connected directly to the sear. Pre 2007 Remingtons have a connector between the 2. It is a small piece of sheetmetal that slides between the 2. It is very easy for a tiny bit of debris to get inside the connector, or for the connector to malfunction. When this happen the sear releases the firing pin, but the safety prevents the gun from firing. When the safety is moved to the "fire" position the gun fires with no trigger pull. The problem is hard to duplicate or predict because what ever is messing with the connector will often fall out and the problem goes away.

It is just as likely to happen to a brand new gun as one that is 40 years old and never done it before. It might happen once or twice in a lifetime, or never.

Remington was hit with a flurry of lawsuits in the 1970's. About 2 dozen people died and well over 100 have been injuried. As a result Remington redesigned the safety in 1982 making it possible to unload the chamber while the gun was still in the safe position. This did not address the real problem, but it did drastically reduce the possibility of the inident happening. After many more lawsuits Remington finally did away with the trigger connector on guns made after October 2006.

Remingtons take is that only guns that have had the triggers adjusted improperly or are dirty will do this. This is partly true, but what they don't tell you is that a single spec of unburned powder that falls into the trigger connector will disable the gun while a handful of mud in any other design will not cause this. I have no doubt that in some cases improperly modified triggers do cause poblems, but there are thousands of cases of new, unmodfied guns doing this. Mine has never been modified.

Here is a Consumer Reports article from 1968 where a new rifle they tested did this repeatedly. Bottom left column of page 2

Remington claims they have never been able to duplicate the problem, but here is an internal memo from 1980 where 152 rifles were returned to Remington with complaints. They were able to duplicate the problem with 52.
jmr40 is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 02:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: February 21, 2010
Location: Rome, NY
Posts: 939
I have never seen this happen, so I can't really say either way. But in anycase, with proper gun handling, no one should get hurt. Personally, I find the claims exaggerated and suspect it's just a media attention gathering stunt based upon a tiny sample.
Jim Page

Cogito, ergo armatum sum
JimPage is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 02:52 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Posts: 608
Remington knowingly produced and sold defective, unsafe rifles for 50 years. I don't understand why people excuse and defend them.

I first read about this in the 1970's. Bought my first M700 in the 1990's, thinking the problem had been fixed. Mine hasn't ever screwed up, but I was kind of ticked off when I found out they hadn't really fixed it.

I don't want any rifle of mine going off until I tell it to go off. I don't want to miss a target. I don't want to wound a deer.
SSA is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 03:13 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: January 24, 2013
Location: NC
Posts: 545
I can see how they can be adjusted to make an unsafe trigger. But I do not see any way this design could be unsafe as shipped. Remington has always had a ton of sear engagement. The trigger has to move reward for the gun to fire. Reward movement of the trigger can occure when the safety is pushed forward if the force has been adjusted in such a manner as to take all of the spring force off the sear. The locking parts of the trigger seperate when you put on the safe. When you take it off safe they fall back together. If there is spring pressure on the trigger sear it will not fire. If you have adjusted it all out, it might.

I do not have remington triggers in my remingtons. The reason is the design. You can't reduce the force on a remington trigger.....but a little bit before its not safe.

But as shipped, it's safe IMHO.
eldermike is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 03:59 PM   #7
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 9,333
right or wrong, a good portion of my bolt action rifle collection are Remington 700's...& they are some of my favorites...

1st rule of shooting, never point the gun in a direction you would not want to shoot... I don't personally use safeties... you guys can flame me all you want, but the finger stays off the trigger until I ready to shoot, the muzzle always points in a safe direction... safeties are just mechanical devices that are doomed to fail, as are trigger mechanisms... I'm truely sorry, that people have been injured or killed, but those holding the rifle violated the 1st rule of firearms...

yes an AD is certainly shocking, & I had a stick find it's way into my trigger guard while hunting one time, & a 375 H&H fired from my hip... fortunately I was following the 1st rule of firearms, & the only thing injured was my pride...
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 04:41 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: August 12, 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 519
There are videos of 700s discharging with a slight touch of the bolt. MSNBC did a documentary on this issue. There have been several law suits that they have paid. The designer of the 700 even said there was a flaw that Remigon did not address due to a price increase in production.
A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44
militant is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 06:52 PM   #9
Hog Buster
Senior Member
Join Date: October 26, 2009
Location: Pointe Coupee, Louisana
Posts: 772
An Interesting Read on the Probable Cause

An Interesting Read on the Probable Cause
Those who beat their guns into plows, will plow for those who don't.-Thomas Jefferson
Hog Buster is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 06:54 PM   #10
sam colt
Join Date: February 11, 2012
Location: nc
Posts: 93
A Timney trigger will correct the "problem".
sam colt is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 06:56 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: October 16, 2009
Posts: 517
No, so I can not call it defending them, if it has not happen to me and I am proud of my remy's....
NESHOOTER is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 07:27 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2006
Posts: 770
In response to some pure BS, however well intentoned, previously posted above, I have to chime in. Some chose to listen to CNBC and their one sided, emotional propoganda and then bash Remington on a forum like this. There is another side to the coin, one based on logic, reason and facts, not emotions. Well worth watching before you go online to slander "Made in the USA" Remington products based upon a subjective anti-gun news report and a bunch of cut throat lawyers looking to make a buck.



And also

Makes one wonder what CNBC was up to, hunh?

Last edited by shurshot; February 18, 2013 at 08:18 PM.
shurshot is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 07:36 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: December 1, 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 461
6 remington model 700's.....pretty much every verson they problems with any of favorite rifles.......Ive seen a couple of these shows talking about the unsafe remington 700 trigger system, after a little reasearch i found that all of the instances i saw were caused from unqualified people tinkering, poor maintence, or unsafe use
k511 is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 09:03 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: November 11, 2006
Posts: 2,185
Helped a friend sight-in his M700...

prior to the MI deer season back in 2004.

He had it on a rest pointing down range and was talking to me, he flipped the safety on with a chambered round and it FIRED.

I asked if it was a pre-82 era rifle he said yes, I told him about the recall and due to his schedule couldn't do anything with it. I asked him to let me have the rifle and I would take it to local shop that is a REM Service center.

Had it back to him that following Friday, before he left to go North.
No cost as Remington covered it and gave him a gift certificate.
jrothWA is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 09:14 PM   #15
Metal god
Senior Member
Join Date: April 10, 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 3,697
shurshot your first video and the link to the internal memo from jmr40 seem to be at odds .

I'm no statistician but if one billion rounds have been fired using a 700 and the claims of a very few having AD . How many times would someone need to attemt an AD for the test to be legit . 1,000/ 10,000 / 100,000 times ? I bet nobody even came close to the numbers needed to make the test truly scientific . You would need to duplicate each and every situation that the AD was claimed . Then fire those 1,000 / 10,000 / 100,000 rounds to see if there claims are posible .
Tolerate- allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with , without interference.
If you have some time IMO this is worth a listen/watch but it takes a few minutes to really get going . or a picture of Mohamed
Metal god is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 12:00 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 3,699
Remington never "fixed" the issue until a couple years ago with their new trigger. Changing the safety to allow the bolt to work with safety on did not fix the problem. It simply made it possible to unload the rifle with the safety on. On the documentary, they show police 700 sniper rifles built in the 90's going off when the safety is released. One rifle does it repeatedly. The engineer that designed the 700 finally broke his silence and detailed the problem and Remingtons refusal to fix the problem. The designer showed copies of his memos he wrote documenting the problem.
Having said that, none of my 700's have ever had an a.d. Two of my 77's have done it multiple times.

Last edited by reynolds357; February 19, 2013 at 12:40 AM.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 12:12 AM   #17
.300 Weatherby Mag
Senior Member
Join Date: September 6, 2008
Posts: 1,777
after a little reasearch i found that all of the instances i saw were caused from unqualified people tinkering, poor maintence, or unsafe use

I've had it happen to me... On a new unmodified Remington 700, with my finger nowhere near the trigger... I had my father shoot it and it discharged when he disengaged the safety as well... Sent the rifle back to Remington and they replaced the trigger... None of my other 700s have done it...

So there are some rifles that do have a problem... Not all of this is the result of stupid people and poor gun handling...
.300 Weatherby Mag is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 02:15 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: July 10, 1999
Location: High Desert NV
Posts: 2,576
So there are some rifles that do have a problem... Not all of this is the result of stupid people and poor gun handling
The fatalities all were. Any of those tragedies could have been averted by application of Rule # 2: "Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy."

This subject has been well and truly beaten to death. Pretty extensive thread on the subject from last year:
emcon5 is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 08:42 AM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: February 7, 2008
Location: pa.
Posts: 1,840
why not the bitch about winchester and marlin lever actions being unsafe? i think a lot more AD,s have happened with with those type of actions over the last 153 years starting with the 1860 henry-winchester than any other firearm. i don,t remember any recalls of older lever action to put the new type push button safetie on them. i have adjusted several rem 700 triggers the right way(three adjustments need to be done in order). most only adjust one screw,the weight of pull. as posted already the best safety is between your ears,use it. eastbank.

Last edited by eastbank; February 19, 2013 at 08:47 AM.
eastbank is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 09:29 AM   #20
Join Date: January 22, 2013
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 40
From what I understand, the AD issues are caused by a dirty trigger bar, and by dirty I mean a barely dirty.

If the original designer said it was unsafe and asked Remington to change the design several times with no avail.... Then it must be a conspiracy.

That being said, MY 700 has never fired a round that didn't hit the paper or plate that I was aiming at, and all rounds were intentional.
Korey - Shamrock Armory
Glaine ár gcroí, Neart ár ngéag, Beart de réir ár mbriathar.

Purity of heart, strength of arms, and truth in words.
ShamrockArmory is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 09:54 AM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 3,323
Many years ago, I'd adjusted "newly out-of-the-box" 700 triggers for minimal "competition" engagement, but in the normal "wearing-in" process, they've become too short and refused to cock, but haven't had firing pins drop without touching the trigger. Since that time, many years ago, I've refused to adjust the older 700 trigger design until they've been fired enough to stabilize the mechanism.

Having repaired and "tuned" many types of firearms over the years, I've noticed that many competition shooters and some varmint hunters want triggers as light and as short as physically possible, yet either don't know how or simply fail to maintain them adequately. They use lubricants like WD40 which, in time, congeal in trigger mechanisms, preventing or inhibiting forward trigger movement on cocking. They also fail to protect guns from the elements by not using proper protectants. Yet, they continually use them in terrible weather until they ultimately fail to operate.

For example, people who have driven old, rusty and poorly maintained vehicles for years, should never own a Ferrari or XKE. They simply don't know how to take care of them properly. To some extent, the same goes for finely-tuned guns. Novices also shouldn't be adjusting triggers.

I second the statement by a previous poster about older Winchester 94s being the rifle with the most accidental discharges. I've replaced hammers with broken half-cock notches that caused accidental discharges and have witnessed several hammer thumb-slips that fired the rifles, just after loading. It happens mostly in cold weather when people are wearing gloves or mittens.
Picher is online now  
Old February 19, 2013, 12:19 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Posts: 2,139
It's a real problem, caused by a poor design.

Cars have them, vacuum cleaners have them but for some reason people refuse to believe that a gun could possibly have a poorly designed component.

Read more here
natman is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 12:26 PM   #23
Join Date: January 22, 2013
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 40
Something else that's interesting. If a car, or almost any other product, has a defect that effects over X% of units sold, it has a mandatory recall. But the firearms industry doesn't have that regulation. Seems like they should, if you ask me.
Korey - Shamrock Armory
Glaine ár gcroí, Neart ár ngéag, Beart de réir ár mbriathar.

Purity of heart, strength of arms, and truth in words.
ShamrockArmory is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 01:40 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 3,699
You do NOT want the firearms industry to subject to recalls. That puts a lot of faith in our government to do the right thing and I have absolutely no faith in our government. Why do we expect trigger mechanisms to work 100 years without failure? Cars last that long? Air conditioners last that long? Lawn mowers last that long? Why are firearms expected to never wear out or tear up? Did Remington have a perfect trigger in the 700? No. They had one that statistically performed better than most products we have available to us.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 01:53 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
With the exception of cars, mandatory recalls are kind of a new thing. The FDA only got mandatory recall authority in 2011, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission didn't have mandatory recall authority until 2010.

As for what kind of a flaw is serious enough to warrant a mandatory recall, I don't know, but I don't think it's as simple as meeting a threshold for the percentage of affected products.

If a particular flaw is near-universal in a company's product, but no one is likely to be hurt as a result, then there won't be a mandatory recall. But a demonstrated flaw that has the potential to maim/kill someone will probably generate a recall, no matter how few units are affected.
ScottRiqui is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10299 seconds with 9 queries