60 Minutes story about Remington 700 triggers?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Sniper66, Jan 30, 2017.

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  1. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    I missed the story that "60 Minutes" ran about Remington 700s discharging on their own. My wife told me about it and I don't see any discussion here. I wondered how the story was treated. I've heard some about the X-Mark Pro trigger but not much. I'm mostly curious about how CBS related the story. Your thoughts?
     
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The most recent news story was from 2010 I believe. But there were similar news stories done in the 1970's and again in the 1990's. This isn't anything new. But prior to the internet only a handful of people knew.

    Mike Walker, a Remington engineer designed the trigger used on all Remington bolt rifles except the 788 made from 1946-2006. Walker discovered that the trigger could release the trigger with no pull on the trigger by picking up samples off the assembly line in 1946. He drew up plans for a new trigger and urged management to make the change in 1946 and again in 1948. The re-design was going to cost an additional 5 cents per rifle so management declined.

    Walker added a device he called a trigger connector between the trigger and sear to improve trigger pull. It was a floating piece of metal that can move around inside the trigger assembly as the gun is handled. If it gets in just the right spot the sear will release with no trigger pull. When this happens the guns safety is the only thing holding back the firing pin. When the safety is moved to the "FIRE" position the firing pin is released with no trigger pull. Walkers re-design, and the triggers made after October 2006 do not have the trigger connector. Nor does any other trigger design.

    Remington was flooded with lawsuits in the 1960's and 70's which led to a redesigned safety in 1982 that allowed the gun to be unloaded while the safety was in the "SAFE" position. While this did not solve the real problem, it did dramatically reduce the number of incidents.

    The X-Mark Pro trigger is a sound design, but a mistake on the assembly line allowed adhesive to drip into the trigger while they were being built creating an unsafe condition. Many of those were recalled.

    Just recently Remington has settled another lawsuit dealing with the 1946-2006 triggers. I'm not clear on the details, but they will replace those if the rifle is returned. They are not calling it a recall nor advertising it.

    And before someone else says it, keeping the trigger clean and properly adjusted isn't the issue here. As with any rifle a trigger that is improperly adjusted can be dangerous and there is no doubt that some of the discharges were due to this or negligence. But there is also no doubt that any gun with one of these triggers could fire with no trigger pull regardless.

    I have a 1974 made rifle that has done it, fortunately unloaded each time. I just replaced my trigger with a Timney and called it good.
     
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  3. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I'm guessing Sniper66 is talking about the 60 Minutes story did just yesterday, or the day before, jmr40. You can find a preview of the story by doing a Google search for "60 Minutes Remington 700 trigger."
    I didn't watch much of it because I already know how CBS treats stories involving guns - ALL guns. But from what I saw, it started off with a story about a young man who was possibly wrongly convicted of killing his brother because a Remington 700 went off unexpectedly.
     
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  4. Nervous

    Nervous Member

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    I was deer hunting with my Remington 700 back in the late 70's. I was in my hide and flipped the safety off and the rifle discharged. Bear in mind that this was a used rifle that the previous owned had adjusted the trigger. It scared the **** out of me. Thank God no one was injured. I had my gunsmith check it out. He educated me on the trigger. Since then I have never trusted any safety on a rifle.
     
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  5. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    The only safeties I "trust" on bolt actions physically block the striker from moving forward or even cam it back off the sear. Examples include the Mauser 93/95/96/98, Lee Enfield, Winchester 54/70, Ruger 77 (non tang safety). Trigger blocking safeties give me a bit of the willies.
     
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  6. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I've never had it happen to me, but it happened to a friend of mine - with a Weatherby heck sakes! Thank God all it cost him was a shot at a bull elk.
     
  7. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    Mosin Nagant safeties for all LOL!

    Seriously though, I get there was a design flaw in the trigger. I have recently replaced my remaining walker trigger with and x mark pro. Never experienced an unintended discharge in many years of shooting. I always wondered how much Bubba gun smithing effected these rifles. The local library had a number of older (as in 1960's) hunting and target shooting books that included instructions for adjusting the Remington triggers so I suspect this wasn't an uncommon thing to encounter.
     
  8. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    CNBC did a story and it didn't take much to see that t was created to give a negative spin.
    The editing, the leading statements, the lack of addressing other issues (or showing what would have been revealed if they had).
    If people followed the 4 rules there'd be no story.
    The guns in question were very poorly maintained.

    I myself have bought two rifles with unsafe triggers, because idiots messed with them and didn't know what they were doing.
    One a hunter for years, buys custom stuff..... still doesn't know diddly.

    The factory reset spring is short on length. It has a minimal working range. One could argue that as being poor design, or execution.
    You don't set your trigger where you want it and go from there. You set it where it can be safe.....and you test to ensure it.

    Most don't. Many don't seal the adj screws once done.
    The solution if one had half a brain, would be to change the spring to one that actually had a working range.
    Yeah, they cost $10.

    The military would not send snipers out with guns that go bang when they aren't supposed to. My guess is that segment was a video of how a trigger can be set unsafe.But the way they showed it............and commentary..............was to make folks believe there was this big problem.

    I'm sure with all that were made a few were of error.

    But not to the high number the show tried to imply.

    I have seen too many morons ride their fingers on the trigger side, not get them out of trigger guards............and slam rounds in and out of the chamber to unload their guns..........and wave them around doing it.

    Unfortunately these folks hurt and or kill others, rarely themselves.
    And we all know screwing up in today's world means it was somebody else's fault, and an attorney can make you rich for it.

    Dig a little, watch the Remington rebuttal...............spend time on ranges and gunshops..
    You'll see that most people are stupid and or careless.
    Some have guns (and shouldn't).
    They also breed and vote.

    Some jerk wanted to have his dust cover on a 9mm measured.........at the gun shop. Pulls it from holster and waves it around. Salesman snags it, drops mag (full) and pops one out of the chamber. Yeah, this 60 yr old gent in decent clothes, stylish glasses...........says "uh, didn't think about that".

    I am so damn sick of these types.............having worked gun retail for a few yrs.

    Seriously, these jackweeds blow up family members or neighbors and some anti gun lawyer is all too willing to have their tears put on TV and go after the corporate wallets.

    Dangit, one can unload a bolt rig without running every round through the chamber.
    If you can't, sell the gun and go play golf.
     
  9. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    I have a seen a non adjusted, clean 700 go off in person while elk hunting. My friend was taking aim at a cow and switched off the safety as he came up on her. The rifle, to everyone's surprise, discharged and the round hit the ground about halfway to the cow. From where I was I could clearly see his finger was not on the trigger. He is not a tinkerer and keeps his firearms clean. The rifle was thoroughly inspected after the fact and no trash or anything was found. The trigger pull had never been adjusted from the factory settings. It does happen, and while it may, or may not be, rare, it does happen. People are dumb, but Remington was told by the designer there was a flaw and they chose to do nothing about it for decades. My friend put his 700 in the closet and bought Tikka T3.
     
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  10. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    Excellent summary.

    We've talked about this here at length - the forum search feature will drag up lots of heated discussions. :) There will always be those that have not had it happen to them, and therefore discount the concern (and media reports) as some kind of anti-gun ploy. There are others who will hate on Remington because, well, it's Remington and they're easy to hate on. Neither of those two factions puts out much in the way of facts, but rely on anecdotes to support their position. It's entertaining to read, maybe, but it's not useful.

    What is useful is to understand is that, from a purely factual, engineering perspective, the Walker trigger design was/is known to have a dangerous failure mode. It is also important to understand that Remington did nothing about it because it cost less to ignore it than to fix it.
     
  11. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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    I was hunting Javalina in Arizona. I had stalked one down an arroyo. I flipped the safety and bang. It was my fault. The Remington trigger can be set so light. I can not resist that sear engagement screw. I expect most of these accidents are operator errors.:D
     
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  12. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob member

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    The basic facts are that Remington has never in the history of the 700 managed to make a trigger they didn't have to recall due to weapons discharging without a trigger pull. I will never own a rifle with a Remington-made trigger and although I do own one Remington action I will never buy another gun from them due to the massive contempt they showed for the customer covering up their failed designs as people died.
     
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  13. Dog Soldier

    Dog Soldier member

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  14. Sun Tzu warrior

    Sun Tzu warrior Member

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    I have had a 1969 model 700 discharge while unloading after a hunt,
    thankfully the 4 rules were followed, I did some research and found that the safety could be modified allowing the gun to be unloaded with the safety in the "SAFE" position. While this does not solve the real problem, it made me feel a little better about the situation.
    I still have the rifle, but don't use it anymore, I now hunt with a single shot with an external hammer, and transfer block safety. Striker fired guns scare me now.
    I also had a Steyr model m Mannlicher, there was a recall on that rifle because the trigger group was housed in some sort of pot metal, and attached to the action using 4 small ears with holes in them, and two pins. The pot metal would corrode if not maintained properly. While mine was in good shape, I sent it in for the repair.

    "I'm not clear on the details, but they will replace those if the rifle is returned. They are not calling it a recall nor advertising it."
    Does anyone have more details about this?
    Even though I dont use the Remmington anymore, I'm concerned about it being a problem for anyone after I'm gone.
    STW
     
  15. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    Don't forget the big knob Arisaka's. They physically lock the FP. Ain't going anywhere :D

    And yeah, they are being targeted, but they made a serious mistake. One that no other US rifle MFG has made AFAIK ...
     
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  16. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob member

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    It wasn't just one mistake. And they lied about making the mistakes and instituted fixes they knew didn't work while people died. Frankly the fact that they're still in business is amazing.
     
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  17. Moparnut

    Moparnut Member

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    I have not watched this one yet, but I am going too. The original CNBC report (Remington under fire) was very one sided. The way they badgered that old man, on the original, was disgusting. I understand wanting the truth but, he had nothing to do with the final decision. The reporter should have had his hind end handed to him in a very physical manner. As I watched it, I could tell he was agitated and the reporter kept on. I was truly disgusted. If it is anything like that, I will be disgusted again.
     
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  18. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Mechanical safeties may fail. The safety to count on is: to treat all guns as lethal weapons, keep muzzle in safe direction, finger off trigger until sights on target, clearly ID target and any collateral damage in line of fire.

    Remington messed up by making it finger off safety until sights on target with that design. Jeez. With my two old Mauser rifles and my Mauser C96 pistol, safety "on" pulled the rifle striker or pistol hammer off the sear and safety "off" fully re-engaged the sear. I am going to pull my M700 ML out of storage and double check its trigger/safety system now. It's due for preventive maintenance anyway. Pulling the trigger with safety "on" should never preset you for a hair trigger or actual discharge when you move the safety to "off".
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  19. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker Member

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    So why is a design that locks the firing pin (i.e. Model 70) inherently safer? If the sear were released while the safety were on, wouldn't the firing pin fall once the safety was disengaged, or is that mechanically impossible?

    The Blaser R8 safety cocks/de-cocks the firing pin, that would seem to be the safest design (though obviously that would increase the effort required to disengage the safety as you have to exert enough force to cock the firing pin).

    I avoid these problems by carrying cold, though that has costs me a few deer where I hunt (the cocking noise is sometimes enough for them to bust me).
     
  20. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Worked at a shop with a range. Grew up on outdoor shooting ranges. Pops was a gun dealer too.
    Been around a ton of people and guns over the decades.
    Seen a few AD's.................and a few blow ups.
    Always they say............"my finger wasn't on the trigger" and "I dunno what happened".
    Either they dunno, or they lie..............in 99.9% of the instances.
    Actually watched for it, saw it, and heard the lies.
    Lawyers don't care about the truth, if there is blood there's money.
    Worst offenders, people that probably should know WTH they were doing, cops and military.
    But when they blast the floor or a foot,or somebody else...............not following the 4 rules.......................by golly there was something wrong with the gun!
    Like I said, I bought two rifles idiots messed with. Fixed em too.
    Saw a gunsmith set a trigger on a Mauser for a guy, tapped the bbl on the bench a couple times, called it safe.
    ??????
    I sure wouldn't trust that guy's adjustment/testing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    But yeah, he was a "pro".
    Whatever.
    I actually had foreign object cause a gun to fire. Blew a nice hole in the dirt.
    Follow the rules and the only thing you ruin is your underwear.
    Pulled the lock off that fairly new MZ and found a chunk of wood floating about.
    All wood stocked MZ purchases after that were taken apart and inspected/cleaned up................even when new.
    Stuff happens.
    It happens more now because we as a species have gone full friggin' stoopid.
     
  21. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    60 minutes.
    That stuff from the same guys that did "the guns of autumn"
    Nuff said.
     
  22. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    That is exactly right. Majority of accidental firing results from amateur attempts to adjust trigger pull, and many more accidents are due to mishandling. The consulting firm I work for once did a remote camera study of shooters at a public range and we were astonished at how often the fingers of some shooters brushed the trigger as they closed the bolt. Combine this with dangerously adjusted trigger mechanisms and the result is accidental firings for which the gunmaker, not the individual, is invariably blamed. And there have been many.
     
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  23. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    When I bought a 700 early last year, the first thing I did when I got it home was install a Timney. The gun was beyond the recall years but the safety on the Timney actually blocks the trigger, not the sear. Plus, it is just a better trigger all the way around. Tried my damnedest and couldn't get it to release unintended.

    I didn't mind the x-mark after trying it out on snap caps. But it doesn't hold a candle to a Timney. Ended up putting my x-mark in a buddy's rifle that did have the recalled trigger. Was a great upgrade for him.
     
  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yeah, great reporting. Just like the Chevy trucks they put the wrong gas caps on and lit off with rocket engines, back in the 90's



    I pretty much quit watching them in the 80's when they had a show on how dangerous ATV's were and had a clip showing one on an incline then showed how a little push on the handle bars caused it to tip over. Wow! I thought, then I realized if one were to simply let go of a motorcycle on level ground, it too would fall over....
     
  25. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Been around guns all my adult life, and agree w/all comments about following 4 safety rules and no one gets hurt. Also agree that many, if not most FORS (Remington's own acronym for Fire on release of safety) are caused by dirty or poorly adjusted triggers, but, this happened to me personally and my finger was no where near the trigger guard.

    Bought a 40XC new sometime in the '80s. The 40X series rifles are built in Remington's custom shop on model 700 actions. The XC is a repeater, in a special stock, built for NRA cross the course competition. Took mine to the range to sight it in and, after bore sighting, strapped sling on it and assumed prone position. Loaded rifle and, with my thumb and trigger finger pushed safety forward (again, hand no where near the trigger guard)......you guessed it, first round thru the new rifle was a "FORS". Yep, all four safety rules were followed and no drama other than scared the *** out of me. Never happened again, because I never put the safety on again (not used or necessary in HP rifle competition), but will never trust a 700 safety again. Actually I don't trust any safety, for that matter, because any mechanical device is subject to failure.

    As stated above, the trigger had not been adjusted and if it was dirty, that's how it left the factory.

    "Dangit, one can unload a bolt rig without running every round through the chamber.
    If you can't, sell the gun and go play golf."


    Later model 700 safeties were redesigned by Remington to allow unloading with safety engaged, but the earlier versions (which mine was) locked the bolt when safety on; therefore, if you loaded the rifle, as most hunters do, then apply the safety, the only way to unload the chamber is to take it off safe with live round in the chamber. I did alter the safety on my 40XC to allow unloading while safety on, a simple alteration which can be made by any qualified gunsmith.

    Anyone who has an early Walker trigger that still locks bolt when on safe, should have a competent gunsmith correct the potential problem.

    Not knocking Remington, but everyone who owns, or hunts with someone who owns a 700 needs to be aware of the possibility of a FORS.

    Regards,
    hps
     
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