Reported Problems with the Remington Model 700 Trigger
By Jeff Quinn
November 6th, 2010
Lately, I have been getting a lot of email inquiries regarding the CNBC report on the alleged problems with the Remington Model 700 trigger. The Model 700 is one of the most highly-regarded rifles ever built for sportsmen. It has been in constant production for almost fifty years, with in excess of five million rifles produced to date, and has served sportsmen and our nation’s military admirably. However, all of that does not mean that the Model 700 trigger system is infallible. Any mechanical device can fail if abused, neglected, and not maintained. Even with that preceding statement, I find no fault at all with the Remington 700 trigger, and have seen no proof that there is a problem.
First, only a fool would point a loaded rifle at another person, unless he was willing to shoot that person. There is no excuse for pointing a loaded weapon at something that you are not willing to shoot. Ever. The mechanical safety on the 700 works, and works well, but still, pointing the rifle at another human being without hostile intent is foolish. The Remington 700 is designed to fire when the trigger is pulled. While that is obvious to most of us, some folks need reminding that a rifle is designed to function in that way. Keep your finger off the trigger until it is time to fire the weapon.
I think what has suddenly brought the Remington 700 trigger into the limelight is our litigious society. In other words, Remington and its parent company have deep pockets, and hordess of immoral lawyers are willing to steal by litigation or threat thereof. Everyday, we are bombarded with ads offering to sue on our behalf if we have ever taken a prescription drug, driven a car, placed a baby in a stroller, or sipped a cup of coffee. Some lawyers are honorable folks, and are sorely needed in our society. They do a great service on our behalf to represent us in a professional manner when needed. Then there are the others. Many lawyers go after the deep pockets and easy money, without regard for right or wrong, because they are low-life scum.
Next, let’s consider the source of the “News report”; CNBC. That liberal network and those who report for them have always had a negative bias towards guns and gun ownership. The gun haters in our nation have not been able to legislate our rights into oblivion, so they are taking a new approach. They are seeking to litigate the gun manufacturers into such a position that it will be unprofitable to manufacture firearms. CNBC and their like are the enemy of gun owners. They seek to spread propaganda against gun ownership, and partner with lawyers to convince twelve people to award large sums of money as reward for irresponsible gun handling.
You can take five million of any product, and make a few of them to malfunction. However, with the Remington trigger, even that is not the case. If I am holding a rifle that is possessed of the Devil himself, and it suddenly starts firing at will all on its own, I am still responsible for the direction in which that rifle is pointed. Firearms are tools, nothing more. They have no will, and a rifle is designed to propel a projectile down the bore when manipulated to do so. The Model 700 does just that, and does it well.
Now, let’s discuss trigger adjustment. I can take almost any bolt action rifle ever produced and adjust the trigger down to a very light let-off. That is wonderful on the target range, but is safe ONLY under such highly-controlled conditions. Such a trigger, improperly adjusted, will release if the bolt is slammed shut, or if the butt of the weapon is banged upon a hard surface. When young and careless, I once had a rimfire bolt action rifle for metallic silhouette shooting which had the proverbial “hair trigger”. It was dangerous, and the bolt was never eased shut on a cartridge until the rifle was on target. Had someone unfamiliar with that particular rifle handled it carelessly, the result could have been catastrophic. Remington adjusts the 700 trigger at the factory, and then seals the adjustment screws to prevent tampering. Still, many folks do tinker with the triggers, and in the wrong hands, subject the weapon to a likely negligent discharge. Note the word used was “negligent” and not “accidental”. There is a difference. Again, any trigger mechanism made can be mal-adjusted into an unsafe condition, but the responsibility of the shooter is still, as always, to keep that muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
I have several bolt action rifles with which I hunt, of several different brands. Even those with triggers that cannot be made to fire with abuse get treated the same. The bolt handle is lifted, until I am in position to target the weapon. This is just a safe gun-handling practice that should be followed. Always.
From what I have been able to determine by looking as deeply as I could into this, and having experience adjusting Remington triggers for many years, I can find no fault with the design. Firearms are dangerous weapons, and as such, must be treated with respect. They are designed to fire when the trigger is pulled, and folks should not be surprised when they operate as designed. No design is completely foolproof, as there is always some fool willing to prove you wrong. It is very unfortunate that people have been injured by any firearm unintentionally, but in every case of which I am aware, it has been the fault of the person handling the weapon, and not the fault of a mechanical device.
Remington has put together a website to counter some of the accusations made against the product and the company, and I urge you to visit it HERE.