Remington 700 Bolt-action Rifle

Remington Arms Company has recently come under fire yet again for the alleged defective trigger mechanism used in the Remington 700 bolt-action rifle. This defect can cause the gun to fire without ever touching the trigger. The Remington 700 is widely used by both law enforcement and hunters.

In Montana in 2000, a woman was unloading her gun with the barrel pointed towards an empty horse trailer. The gun fired and the bullet went through the trailer’s wall, striking and killing her son.

The “Walker Fire Control System”, patented by Merle H. Walker and Philip R. Haskell on July 11, 1950, utilizes an internal component called a connector. The connector floats on top of the trigger body inside the gun. However, and more importantly, it is not physically bound to the trigger in any way other than tension from a spring. The trigger connector can be pushed out of alignment by debris or even when bumped or jolted.

A review of U.S. Patent Number 2,514,981, indicates the issues detailed above were known at the time the application was filed:

“. . . should the trigger be operated while the safety is engaged, the trigger and sear springs will immediately reposition the mechanism to catch the firing pin upon release of the safety.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a sear and control therefor which operate on barely perceptible movement of the trigger, yet releases the firing pin instantly and completely”.

In 2007, Remington released the X-Mark Pro trigger mechanism. This mechanism is only installed in some of Remington’s bolt-action rifles.

A lawsuit filed in the Western District of Arkansas alleges that Remington has known about the defect for 60 years, has received in excess of 4,000 documented complaints and has paid over 20 million in settlements since 1993.

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