If you missed the CNBC investigation on the Remington 700 rifle it is well worth seeing. Before the investigation and all the hype I was definitely siding with the Remington Arms Company. I’m a hunter and like most of us, I cherish my right to own a firearm and as long as I can remember the Remington brand has always been a part of that. After watching the special “Remington Under Fire” I would say that I have mixed feelings now.
It does seem that the Remington company is, and has been for sometime aware of a trigger safety defect in the model 700 rifle. Even though my gut tells me there is a huge political web spun inside this whole thing, I do feel bad for Remington. It is pretty obvious that there is a huge pile of evidence proving there is a problem with the gun going off unexpectedly. Small particles of rust or dirt can actually misalign the trigger mechanism causing the gun to go off when other parts of the gun are touched like the bolt or safety.
Remington representatives were quoted saying, “The Model 700 is the most popular, reliable, accurate, and trusted bolt-action rifle in the world, with over five million rifles produced and billions of rounds fired over nearly five decades.” That is a pretty powerful and true statement. It almost reminded me of how the world hears of a plane crash when one occurs and how the airline company is put in a corner while everyone points their finger at them.
What most on-lookers don’t stop to think about is that there are thousands of flights every single day. So only one crash once in a great while is really a huge accomplishment in my eyes and nothing short of a miracle. Flying has always been safer than driving. But when that one accident happens, we all hear about it. Remington is a hugely profitable company, is this the same case? Are the anti-gun lobbying organizations and followers just trying to point their finger at them?
Despite what I think, the mountain of apparent evidence, lawsuits, and complaints are starting to look like Mt. Everest to the firearm company. Remington has seemingly known about the problem for decades. They have even contemplated a recall not once but several times and then thought better of it. Instead of a recall, they came up with the 10 Commandments of Gun Safety as a marketing tactic for public gun safety.
In 1970 Consumer Reports did a report on the model 700 gun and during the testing the gun actually went off accidentally several times. Consumer Reports stopped doing testing on firearms many years ago. It is also mentioned that with most any other product the Government can step in and enforce a recall but can’t do that with firearms because of firearm rights and gun protection laws.
It is also worth mentioning that in 1947 the original inventor of the trigger, Mike Walker wanted to propose a design change to keep the trigger from falling out of alignment but with the gun already over budget, the idea was shot down (no pun intended). Back then the cost to redesign the trigger would have cost 5 1/2 cents per gun. Now that cost is between $75-$100 per gun. Multiply that by over 5 million guns sold worldwide and that equals an arm and a leg for the makers of the worlds most popular rifle. A mass recall would actually cost more than the net worth of the company.
Despite all the talk, I still can’t help but to think gun safety, or lack of, could have easily been a part of the few deaths that have occurred with a 700 series rifle. Remington says their guns are safe if proper firearm safety rules are followed. The problem is you can’t make people follow all the rules, so I guess by default it is today’s nature that the gun company gets the blame.
Thanks for reading and happy gun safety!