By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
DefenseReview’s (DR) friend Christian Lowe at Kit Up! just published a piece on the CNBC Investigation “Remington Under Fire”, which deals with a possible design flaw in the iconic Remington 700 7.62x51mm NATO (7.62mm NATO)/.308 Win. bolt-action rifle. Used by military snipers, law enforcement SWAT snipers, and hunters around the world over the last four decades, the Remington 700 has become the most prolific bolt-action rifle in the world, and is a favorite base rifle for precision riflesmiths who build custom sniper rifles.
So, what’s the alleged flaw? According to multiple lawsuits and law enforcement demonstration video footage, the Remington 700 will fire without the trigger having been pulled. In a video obtained by CNBC, a Portland Maine police sniper causes the weapon to fire by simply touching the bolt with his thumb while a live round is in the chamber. It’s a disturbing video, and you can watch it in the second embedded video below.
Jack Belk, who, according to CNBC is “a gunsmith, a former cop, and a recognized authority on firearms”, has been hired as an expert witness by plaintiffs in several lawsuits against Remington. He believes the Remington 700 rifle is currently unsafe, and has testified about this.
In response to the CNBC investigative piece, Remington has released the following statement:
We provided CNBC with a lot of factual information and background materials, but it appears that the story will be based upon unproven allegations from trial lawyers. The Remington model 700 is the most popular and trusted bolt action rifle in the world with over 5 million rifles produced and billions of rounds fired since 1962. Remington takes safety very seriously. As always, we strongly urge everyone to practice the ten commandments of firearms safety.
Mr. Lowe has also courteously provided the 10 Commandments of Gun Safety, which DR will republish, here:
1. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
2. Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use.
3. Don’t rely on your gun’s safety.
4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
5. Use proper ammunition.
6. If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, handle with care.
7. Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
8. Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting.
9. Don’t alter or modify your gun and have it serviced regularly.
10. Learn the mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using.
If the Remington 700 does indeed currently have a deadly design flaw, Defense Review sincerely hopes the company is able to rectify it as quickly as possible, and that they (Remington) handle the situation in an ethically and morally correct manner. It would be a shame to see any more people unnecessarily severely injured or killed, and an iconic firearm (Remington 700 rifle) and brand (Remington Firearms, one of the oldest U.S. firearms companies) potentially severely and permanently tarnished.
The one-hour documentary was reported by CNBC’s senior correspondent Scott Cohn, and it premieres on CNBC tonight, Wednesday, October 20th at 9PM ET/PT.
Company Contact Info:
Remington Arms Company, Inc.
870 Remington Drive
P.O. Box 700
Madison, NC 27025-0700
Military, Law Enforcement, & Federal Agency Sales
Hat Tip: Kit Up!