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Some Questions Regarding the Remington 700

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kynoch, Dec 9, 2014.

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  1. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    It's interesting to read different peoples' attacks on Remington -- particularly with respect to the Model 700 rifle. If they have always been so junky, why are they the biggest selling centerfire sporting rifles of all time? Comparable Savage, Ruger, Marlin, High Standard, etc. have always been less expensive than Remington, yet even in fairly recent years Remington has consistently out sold them. Why is that? The same question could also be applied to the Model 870 shotgun that now many feel compelled to also attack.

    I also wonder what Remington's actual exposure is with this widely reported settlement? Now that we know it's not a recall of nearly 8M rifles, that it won't cost a billion dollars or ruin Remington, what will it actually do?

    I wonder about how much is covered by insurance? I wonder how long the rework/replacement will be available and for roughly how many rifles? Like the M3200 shotgun, it likely won't be forever.

    I also wonder if DuPont (past owner of Remington) shares in the liability? I do wonder how much history on this matter was disclosed when Remington changed hands?

    I wish there was more discussion on matters like this.
     
  2. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Member

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    I'm assuming they will do something like they did with the rem 742s. Offer a "recall" for a short period of time and once its gone or time has passed they will no longer offer it.
     
  3. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I love my 700's, of any production rifle made, they are my first choice. Even those with QC issues, are usually simple to clean up and get shooting well.

    I really like the triggers too!:rolleyes:

    But seriously, I've always been able to get at least a 2.0 lb. trigger that breaks nicely, with nothing more than an adjustment. IMO, the trigger issue is easy to recognize and fix, I had one that acted up back in the early 80's.

    GS
     
  4. EchoM70

    EchoM70 Member

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    Back in the day they were of good quality, priced right and marketed properly. They swooped in and fought competitively with Winchester and such. Back in the day it was Ford or a Chevy when you wanted a truck and it was Winchester or Remington when you wanted a good hunting rifle.



    Now their name is carrying them. To the uneducated masses their 700 is just as good as dads and grand dads.

    A name carries a sense of security to some. Even when the product doesn't carry the same quality as it once did.
     
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator Emeritus

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    As many have noted in numerous threads about the 700, they were generally of high quality (except for the trigger issue) for a good many years.

    In recent times, varying with increasing costs of materials and labor, a lesser amount of disposable income in the middle class plus other factors, quality has been spotty. Accuracy for group size seems to be less of an issue than fit and finish--and in some cases, durability.

    IOW, not *all* 700s have problems, and the majority of problems seem to be more in modern times. It also seems that to a great extent, similar problems are occurring with other manufacturers.

    And this is the Internet, where bad news is more commonly discussed than good news--and is more widely disseminated.

    In the absence of hard information--much of which is private--about all we can do is wonder. Generally, however, there is little instant gratification for all this wondering.

    "In the fullness of time," said the Man from Mars. :D
     
  6. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    So the Savage, Ruger, Marlin, High Standard, etc., rifles of times past were of lower quality than Remington products?
     
  7. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    I bought a new Remington 700 BDL in .30-06 and a Ruger 77 in .220 Swift both in 1990 and I would have to say the Remington is a finer finished firearm. Remington's fall must be fairly recent.
     
  8. stiab

    stiab Member

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    I have not seen people on the gun forums attacking Remington, but there have been some pointing out that the company was aware of this problem 50 years ago, and decided not to fix it. Is that what you are taking about?

    I have seen people pointing out potential safety problems caused by poor design, have seen no one saying the 700 was a junky gun.
     
  9. EchoM70

    EchoM70 Member

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    No, not at all. it's a marketing thing. Before I was a gun guy I had heard about Remington and their reputation for producing good guns. The others? not so much.

    Knowing a brand creates trust, even if you don't know the product as well as you should.
     
  10. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    That's certainly true. I sometime wonder (if the polymer and coating technologies existed) back in 1950, had Ruger brought out the American for $69.99 (or whatever it would have been), would they have torn a great deal or market share away from the other big bolt rifle builders or would they have been judged to be of "low quality?"

    I personally think the huge change in the bolt action market is because Ruger conceeded the M77 would never sell anywhere near the same level at the Remingtons and Savages so they decided to go after the price conscious shooters, without having to worry about cannibalizing the M77 market which was never a huger seller.
     
  11. tuj

    tuj Member

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    Does anybody have a link or a good explanation of the actual mechanical problem on the triggers? Is this an issue of poor fitting of parts, or an issue of tolerance-stacking? Or is it wear-related? Or user-adjustment-related? :confused: I'd really appreciate just a nice concise explanation of what is happening and why and how often? Thanks in advance.
     
  12. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    Here is a copy of the memo sent by the trigger's designer on December 3, 1946 to his superior. It reads to me like a tolerance stack-up issue that no doubt has been exacerbated by wear, corrosion, dirt, etc. over the years: http://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/editorialfiles/2012/05/03/2226703_Rem_Doc_02.pdf
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  13. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    The design isn't faulty, per se, it's just that the owner of the affected firearm won't perform routine maintenance.

    If you drove a car with the initial fill of oil in it for the first 45,000 miles and the motor blew, I don't think the maker would be responsible. Especially if you could turn up the turbo boost to 35 pounds cause everybody else is doing it.

    The adjustable trigger on the 700 gets the pull weight turned down to target range race gun levels - like 2 pounds - for a field rifle being carried over rough terrain thru heavy underbrush. No military in the world does that, and the current American issue sniper rifles don't even offer an adjustable trigger.

    Poor maintenance + competition trigger pull + field use = negligent decision by the user. What the engineer saw in 1946 was the public's potential for abuse, and he was trying to prevent the issue up front with a liability focused redesign.

    Now? I genuinely suspect any trigger replacement for the 700 will focus on those aspects - a field pull of 6 pounds and no adjustability.

    There is also the significant issue of unloading the firearm. A bolt or lever gun usually has an internal magazine that cannot be emptied separately. So, the user has to cycle the action charging each round thru the chamber to extract it. That creates a higher chance of a negligent discharge, too, and is one of the issues reported.

    Operator error, either manipulating the gun or simply choosing one that can be.


    Yes, I own a 700. No, I no longer hunt with it. I use a design that allows me to drop a magazine out of the rifle while it's on safe, and by retracting the bolt it clears the chamber and ejects without touching any other control. That is inherently safer.

    It's commonly called an AR15. Don't know why people think it's a dangerous gun, millions of soldiers have operated them, millions of others have bought civilian versions, ND's are not a subject of massive recalls. You can't easily alter the trigger on them, they have a safe field pull of weight proven in combat. And when you are handed one, you will be required to learn how to clean it, and frequently.

    How many current 700 owners break down the action and clean the trigger after every day in the field?

    What we have are less than knowledgeable owners of the Rem 700 who refuse to accept their responsibility and have banded together to blame the company. They are called the consumer public. They rarely have any formal firearms instruction, and they are rarely prior service - just one in one hundred, vs one in TEN in the 60's.

    We may complain about the recent value engineering in the Remington line, nobody seems to accept that skills and training in firearms use have been severely curtailed since the all volunteer army came into being. Hunter safety courses are no substitute for carrying a loaded weapon for weeks at a time in close proximity to fellow humans. Most hunters only do it in season, less than a few days a year.

    It's no wonder negligent discharges and mishandling by hunters preferring traditional firearms is the focus of the Remington 700 debacle. Since the 1960's, of the ten per hundred who were experienced in handling firearms thru military training, nine no longer are. That's a massive reduction in public experience and knowledge.

    Worse than the number who no longer know how to drive a manual shift car. Think about it.
     
  14. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    The designer of the trigger brought the unsafe issue to management's attention before the rifle went into production. Changing the design would have cost Remington 5½ cents per gun, and they chose to release a potentially unsafe firearm instead. Up to 24 lives have been lost due to the firearm going off when only the safety was moved.

    In his memo he didn't say anything about the gun having to be dirty, abused or neglected by the owner for it to fail, but that different ways of calculating the tolerances made it unsafe.

    This is all on Remington.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Ford vs. Chevy; some folks are loyal to what ever brand they own and all others are worthless.

    Others own all different brands for one reason or another and don't care what is rolled into the reciever.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I will point out, though this IS the rifle forum, that the Mossberg 500 has sold the highest in the US. I do prefer the Mossberg for ergonomic reasons, more than just the safety for a lefty shooter.

    Remington rifles have sold so well because they're high quality for the money and they don't tend to have accuracy problems. They were less expensive than the Winchester M70s back in the day and after 1964 IMHO were better built, better quality.

    Today, there's a lot of competition, but I don't need anymore centerfire bolt guns. I have 3, two Remingtons and a Savage. Can only hunt with one at a time, ya know. :D Savage is a major player now, a lot of gun for the money. There are other budget guns available, seems like they've cropped up all over the place. I'm not sure WHAT I'd get now days if I did want another rifle, but the Remington 700 would still be high on my list just for familiarity if nothing else. It still offers high quality for the price IMHO, a notch above the budget guns even if it's no kleinguenther.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  17. stiab

    stiab Member

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    Me too, but I'd want one with a smooth trigger (since 2006), that had been back to Remington via the recall from earlier this year.
     
  18. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    I believe the Remington 870 is by far the largest selling pump shotgun of all time.
     
  19. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

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    You certainly parrot the CNBC line...

    For those that actually understand mechanical design, this is a fairly interesting story. The rifle was designed, its parts had both dimensions and tolerances, it obviously worked and it obviously passed Remington's functional and reliability testing because it was approved for production and it sounds as if the tooling and gauging was in the works.

    Then the designer did a tolerance study ("statistical analysis") and found that theoretically (I sincerely doubt Remington's functional/reliability testing bore this out) a problem existed. I wonder why he undertook the tolerance study? Was there a functional/reliability problem noted? Tolerance studies on a mechanism were often a product of trying to solve a known problem in years past. Today they're usually automatically a part of machine design (CAD software does it automatically.) Back then it was not.

    I believe it's ludicrous to buy the story that Remington would not implement the change because it added $.055 to each rifle. In reality I suspect there was a honest question over whether or not there was a real problem (tolerance study or not), whether it would otherwise harm the performance of the trigger and other potential problems the proposed change might introduce into the mechanism which had already survived Remington's functional and reliability testing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I will be the first person to start attacking Remington. The differences between then and now can be astounding pertaining to cosmetics.......but they still shoot straight and function well.

    Recently, I wanted a rifle project. Something I could experiment with and test the changes I made. The Remington 700 was the obvious choice. They still shoot well and there is a ton of aftermarket support for them from stocks, triggers, and barrels to accurizing kits.

    If your Remington 700 shoots poorly, which it probably is not the rifle's fault, then you can get anything imaginable to improve it.
     
  21. jdduffy

    jdduffy Member

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    I own 6 model 700's and love them all.every single one will shoot 5 shots into one ragged hole at 100yds with handloads .that being said my newest one is almost 20 years old so I don't know what they are turning out these days.
    my son bought a 700 heavy barrel .308 a few years back that shoots decent,but you can't even get close to the rifling with the bullet.seating just enough to hold the bullet still won't reach the rifling!!!
     
  22. TheVision

    TheVision Member

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    Not exactly what you were wondering, but Remington introduced the Nylon 66 in 1959.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014
  23. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Let me try to explain. I've owned a 1974 manufactured rife new since 1975. I first heard about the trigger issue in the late 1970's. Like most I brushed the idea aside and forgot about it. Until my rifle dropped the firing pin on an empty chamber with no trigger pull one day in the early 1990's. I was able to get the rifle to reproduce the problem 2-3 more times within about an hour. That was 20 years ago, and it hasn't done again. I started doing some research. This is what I've found.

    In 1946 Mike Walker, the Remington 721 designer discovered that the trigger could discharge with no trigger pull. This is not a manufacturing defect, but a design flaw. Walker used a connector between the trigger and sear to improve trigger pull. No other gun has ever used such a design. The connector is a free moving tiny piece of stamped metal. It can freely move around inside the trigger group and in rare cases will bump the sear hard enough to release it. If the trigger is even slightly dirty the connector will stick and do the same.

    Internal memos from Walker and other engineers to Remington management.

    http://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/editorialfiles/2012/05/03/2226703_Rem_Doc_02.pdf

    http://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/editorialfiles/2012/05/03/2226704_Rem_Doc_03.pdf

    When this happens the guns safety is the only thing holding back the striker. Release the safety and the gun fires. While at least 99% of the guns ever made will never do this, 100% of them could. A gun could be 20 years old and never have an issue and suddenly do it once and never do it again.

    This has nothing to do with an improperly adjusted trigger. Brand new guns right off the assembly line will at times do this even with a 10 lb trigger pull. An improperly adjusted trigger could lead to a similar incident with any gun, but the 700 series will allow it to happen regardless.

    In 1948 Walker designed a trigger without the connector. Remongton management declined to use it.

    In 1968 Consumer Reports magazine had a brand new rifle do this while testing a 700 for an article. Bottom left of page 2

    http://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/editorialfiles/2012/05/03/2226713_Rem_Doc_13.pdf

    By the late 1970's Remington was flooded with lawsuits and agreed to change the safety so that it was possible to unload the gun with the safety in the "safe" position in 1982. This was part of the agreement of one of the 75 lawsuits. In 2006 they finally redesigned the trigger without the connector that is the real cause of the problem

    The new trigger is safe. The current recall is due to the fact that some adhesive "May" have dripped into some guns triggers during assembly. Not because it is mechanically unsafe.

    It has been estimated that Remington has had well over 10,000 complaints of rifles doing this since the 1940's. It is impossible to determine exactly since Remington management decided they needed more file space during the 1970's and destroyed all of the old files. There is only 1 known document showing 133 rifles returned to Remington over a 6 month period in 1979 claiming their rifles did this. Remington was able to get 55 of them to duplicate the problem according to this document. Yet they claim they have not. That does not mean the other 76 didn't do it at least once. Remember, this is 131 rifles returned in 6 months. With a 68 year old design that means a lot more problems than Remington admits.

    http://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/editorialfiles/2012/05/03/2226709_Rem_Doc_08.pdf

    Here is a detailed writeup on the technical stuff including a diagram of the Remington trigger and connector.

    http://www.rifflawfirm.com/areas/pdf/remington4.pdf
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Appears you're right having to google it. Mossberg is number 2 by a hair. i had a wingmaster once, didn't really like it. Prefer the Mossy or the Browning BPS as pumps go.
     
  25. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    I remember the show, and the interviews with Walker, especially the part about the $0.055/ gun. And the interview with the mom that accidentally killed her 9 year old son. I don't recall if the son was in the room with her or if he was outside and the bullet went through a wall striking him. Doesn't matter, all she did was flip off the safety to open the bolt.
     
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