The Remington Model 700 Rumour

Major Khan

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Dear Forum Members ,

For several years ... I have been dying to get to the bottom of a mystery , involving the classic Remington Model 700 bolt rifle . And I am hopeful that all of you , knowledgeable gentle men ... Shall be able to provide me with some unbiased insight on this matter .

The rumours about some Remington Model 700 rifles discharging on their own ... Are they true ?

During my 10 year career as a professional shikaree ( From 1961 - 1970 ) ... I have had clients armed with ( A rough estimate of ) perhaps 12 dozen Remington Model 700 bolt rifles , come to India for shikar . Granted ... They were not perfect . In the larger calibres ( Such as .458 Winchester magnum , . 375 Holland & Holland magnum & .338 Winchester magnum ) ... The occasional extraction issue was present. And I much preferred the pre 64 Winchester Model 70 . However , in my ENTIRE career ... I have NEVER seen even a SINGLE Remington Model 700 bolt rifle discharge on it's own .

It was only from 1996 , onwards ... That I 1st began to hear rumours about the Remington Model 700 bolt rifle discharging on its own . After I 1st acquired access to internet , in 2001 ... I was suddenly greeted with an endless array of stories on the internet , about Remington Model 700 rifles discharging on their own . Of course ... 1 should not always believe every thing that they read .

So , I ask you , more knowledgeable gentle men . Was there any grain of truth to the Remington Model 700 bolt rifles going off , on their own ?

Yours sincerely ,
Major Poton Khan ( Retired )
 

mark-hunter

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There were law suits, and settlemts paid, and rifle recalls by Remington.

https://theproductlawyers.com/remington-700-lawsuit/

Suits were filed. Money was paid. Trigger replaced on many of factory rifles, after company announced recall.
If there was really any fault in trigger, I cannot say.

But, I have tried one of newer 700 models belonging to a friend, and I can say that brand new factory rifle has extremely heavy trigger pull, more then average for factory rifle, i suppose on advice from their lawyers....
 

CBH Australia

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I recall a recall in Australia maybe 2010 onwards, I don’t know the detail except I believe it was triggers. That could end badly if they were discharging by themselves.
 

Skinnersblade

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I've got a left hand model 700 in 270 made in 1962 that I've never experienced a problem with. It has one of the nicest triggers of the rifles I own.

IMG_0364.JPG
 
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CoElkHunter

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Google "Walker" trigger. Walker revolutionized the triggers on American factory produced rifles for Remington in 1949 when he designed this. It was the smoothest, crisp trigger of it's time in a factory rifle. However, as Walker himself found later, if/when the safety sear was subject to corrosion, it wouldn't work properly and the rifle may be able to (point of contention) fire without the trigger being engaged. Walker told Remington for ONE PENNY (U.S.) per trigger, he could change the design of the sear and problem solved. Remington refused, and here we are today. Remington replaced this trigger with their "CMP" trigger, which IS a nice trigger for a factory rifle. However, they had a recall on those. If to much epoxy material was applied at the factory, the same thing could happen. I have sent one back per the recall for the CMP trigger an it was returned with no trigger issues. I just got the recall notice for a rifle with the original trigger to send it back to the factory for replacement with the CMP trigger. I don't know if I will? It's free, but a hassle. Might just get a Timney trigger? Might just sell it to someone here? Ha! Ha!
 

Forrest Halley

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If thou dost not knowest which screw to turn...you end up with insufficient sear engagement. Not the trigger's fault. I wonder of all the self discharging rifles how many had broken nail polish on the trigger body? A clear nail polish was used on the trigger adjustment screws.
 

CoElkHunter

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Yes!

Many have went off without having the trigger pulled, but only after some nitwit with a bent screwdriver and a broken claw hammer adjusted screws he should have never touched.
Sounds about right! Hey, I know some nitwits like that! But they carry Brownings so maybe I'm safe as long as I'm always behind them?
 

PARA45

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My first rifle was a Mod 700 ADL, in 243, that I purchased in 1982. This rifle has never been touch by any straight or bent screw driver, and it went off three times on me. The first one was while hunting and chambering a round, and I thought maybe the WX had something to do with it since it was around 10 degrees. The other two times it happened after I cleaned the rifle, and closed the bolt. The rifle has been sitting in my safe since, and one day I'll replace the trigger with a Timney trigger.
 

Bonk

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Here's just one short video demonstrating the problem. There are other video examples.


I sold the one I had owned for 20 years. It never malfunctioned but I lost confidence in it. To be fair any mechanical device can fail and the chance of a malfunction occurring increases with opportunity. There are a LOT of 700s out there and the vast majority of them have not malfunctioned.

I will not own another Kimber for the same reason. I owned a Kimber that failed in exactly the same way as a Remington 700. The firing pin would release when the safety was released. It happened 2-3 times out of 5. Thank God I discovered it before I loaded the rifle. I sent it to Kimber and they replaced the entire bolt assembly, trigger and safety. As soon as I could reasonably determine it was 'fixed' I sold the rifle at a substantial loss with full disclosure to the new owner.

The Remington 700 failures are just anomalies and/or internet rumors until it happens to you. Like I said above it's a rare event compared to the number of 700s out there but how many is too many? The number was too many for my comfort so I will never own another 700. YMMV.
 

Forrest Halley

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Here's just one short video demonstrating the problem. There are other video examples.


I sold the one I had owned for 20 years. It never malfunctioned but I lost confidence in it. To be fair any mechanical device can fail and the chance of a malfunction occurring increases with opportunity. There are a LOT of 700s out there and the vast majority of them have not malfunctioned.

I will not own another Kimber for the same reason. I owned a Kimber that failed in exactly the same way as a Remington 700. The firing pin would release when the safety was released. It happened 2-3 times out of 5. Thank God I discovered it before I loaded the rifle. I sent it to Kimber and they replaced the entire bolt assembly, trigger and safety. As soon as I could reasonably determine it was 'fixed' I sold the rifle at a substantial loss with full disclosure to the new owner.

The Remington 700 failures are just anomalies and/or internet rumors until it happens to you. Like I said above it's a rare event compared to the number of 700s out there but how many is too many? The number was too many for my comfort so I will never own another 700. YMMV.

The rifle in the video has insufficient sear engagement. He's getting it by the way he preps the bolt. It's probably coming from a combination of reducing the pull weight and failing to check for positive sear reset...a good reason why you should have to take the action out of the stock to adjust the trigger. Most people are not going to take the time to check these things on their rifles after adjustment. I slap the hell out of the stock, run the bolt soft and slow, run the bolt hard and fast, pull the trigger with the safety on. I take the safety off after each test. Then I have faith in the action being sound and the trigger repeatable.
 

PARA45

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Buy the Timney and install it. Simple fix and you can enjoy the rifle again. Were it me, I'd be getting one their 8oz triggers.

This rifle has a lot of sentimental value, since I bought it with my own money and it was my centerfire rifle. I've shot a lot of animals with it. Not something that light, and I will get the Timney trigger one day.
 

35bore

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Major, in my military, law enforcement and personal experience I have never seen it myself. I've heard the rumors and read about the lawsuits and such, but have never seen it first hand. Excluding the my time in the Army and as a LEO, I have probably owned, more or less than 75 Remington 700s and currently more than half of my safe contents are 700s. Some of mine have over 2000 rds down the tube, yet no premature discharge, no extraction issues, no issues at all from any 700 I have ever fired. I'm sure it has happened in the past to other folks, but again, I have never seen it happen.
 

Forrest Halley

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This rifle has a lot of sentimental value, since I bought it with my own money and it was my centerfire rifle. I've shot a lot of animals with it. Not something that light, and I will get the Timney trigger one day.
I figured as much. I personally like light triggers and spend a lot of time getting them right. I find they improve my accuracy, but I have some time behind them. Funny thing is, when you get the fever even that light trigger weighs five hundred pounds and takes a year to pull.
 

fourfive8

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As I understand it, the basic problem with the Rem 700 trigger/safety was mostly due to operator error. One thing that is overlooked or not discussed very much is that it was assumed but never proven that the problem originated as a basic design flaw. The only real design flaw I was ever aware of, was that the design allowed for easy consumer adjustment of all aspects of the trigger function. Because that trigger could be completely and easily adjusted by the owner for tension, sear engagement and over travel... a sure recipe for unintended discharge with a safety linked trigger. Soooo- John Q sniper, junior gunsmith, benchrest wannabe champion would set the sear for minimum tension, minimum engagement and minimum over travel. Then cock the bolt, set the safety with the sear positioned on a literal "knife's edge" for let off and sure enough it occasionally let off as the safety was flipped to fire. And such discharges were then labeled as unintended, unexpected discharges due to a design flaw. A veritable field day for those predisposed to litigious solutions... no matter the actual fault.

I too, while having several 700s over the years, was never fond of that type trigger- not because they are easy to adjust and require understanding for best/safest use but because of the safety/trigger linkage and the box design. Sure, they are easy to adjust but it does require a basic understanding of how the system works and the potential problems that may result from NOT completely understanding how the system works... what sear tension means, what sear engagement means or what over travel means. The only other actual "flaw" I know of (other than being too easy for ignorant junior gunsmiths to tinker with) is that type trigger, as with any such boxed type triggers, is going to be prone to accumulation of debris and may trap moisture/ice and may corrode over time. Not just the 700 trigger but ALL such box enclosed triggers may be prone to those issues. That is exactly why the super simple, exposed design of the original Win 70 trigger with a separate striker block type safety is such a superior system, IMO... especially for hard use type hunting rifles. Again just my opinion and 2 cents worth. :)
 

sestoppelman

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Remington changed the design and paid fines to get the idiots off their back. Agree it was mostly operator error, messing with the trigger etc. Its one of those things that was not able to be produced on command to prove it.
The most infamous case involving the supposed failure was when the woman hunter
shot and killed her own son tragically, when obviously exhibiting extremely unsafe gun handling. She sued Remington for her grossly poor and tragic lack of knowledge or care in handling. Why was her rifle pointed at her son?
To answer the OP's question, its like so many things, ask 10 people and get 10 different answers, this thread is further proof of that.
https://www.krtv.com/news/montana-a...s-action-lawsuit-against-remington-finalized/
 

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When I rebuilt my dads old Rem. .30-06 I had the trigger replaced with a Timney which is one of the first improvements I do to any rifle I currently own. Because my dads rifle fell into the law suit recall, the labor was free for the install provided I use an accredited gunsmith to do the work. I got his name from their extensive list over the phone and while I paid for the new trigger, he did the work and Remington paid for the replacement. Both Remington and the gunsmith were pleasant to work with.
It is not really fair to say always human error-Walker admitted there was a problem which was ignored by the manufacturer and just like cars or other machines, over time some of those machines however they were used, cared for, cleaned or operated did have issues. The issues were very effectively resolved some years ago.
 

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