Remington 700 trigger safety issue investigated by CNBC.

The manufacturer of the world’s most popular hunting rifle has…

The manufacturer of the world’s most popular hunting rifle has been wrestling for decades with a critical safety issue, and at least twice considered a nationwide recall of the gun, according to corporate insiders and internal documents revealed in a ten-month CNBC investigation.

But the Remington Arms Company has never alerted the public to the internal concerns, and insists the gun is free of defects, despite thousands of customer complaints.

The controversy over the 700 is explored in a CNBC Original documentary, “Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation,” premiering Wednesday, October 20 at 9pm ET/PT.

The Remington Model 700-series rifle—with more than five million sold—is famous for its accuracy and smooth trigger. In addition to being popular with hunters and target shooters, a version of the 700 is also widely used by law enforcement and military snipers.

“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,” Remington says in a statement to CNBC.

But the customer complaints, and more than 75 lawsuits, have alleged the 700 is susceptible to firing without the trigger being pulled. At least two dozen deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to accidental discharges involving the 700’s trigger mechanism.

They include the death in 2000 of nine-year-old Gus Barber of Manhattan, Montana, who was killed on a family hunting trip when his mother’s Remington 700 went off as she was unloading it. Barbara Barber has said she is certain her hand was nowhere near the trigger. Her husband Rich Barber, who witnessed the accident, learned within days about similar reported incidents involving the 700.

Source: Scott Cohn for CNBC.

Load Comments
  • James

    I love Remington rifles,and I love Jesus. Remington is not Jesus. They are not perfect. They are a company of people, who can make mistakes. Just like some of the cases of the 700s going off are without a doubt operator error. But that does not mean ALL of them are errors. When the man who designed the rifles says there is a problem with the safety, and a Police Department experience this problem then it’s not just “operator error” that explain every issue. And I do not want to hear about muzzle control. At best I just might be lining up a buck in my sights and the gun goes off before I’m locked in and I miss and curse the gun. At worst, a police sniper is aiming at a bad guy holding a hostage and the gun goes off…

  • PC

    Yes, you should treat every gun as if it’s loaded and ready to fire, but a “safety” implies that the gun is safe. This isn’t the case with the 700. The problem here is that they knew about the problem, and rather than fix it they rationalized accepting user deaths. It was a money decision. And, I own 41 guns btw.

  • Right Coast

    Take everything with a grain of salt. Remember Ed Bradley’s 17 minute “investigative report” on the Audi 5000 and the “sudden unintended acceleration” on 60 Minutes back in 1986? It was more or less bunk. Google it.

    “…The report concluded that the Audi’s pedal placement was different enough from American cars’ normal set-up (closer to each other) to cause some drivers to mistakenly press the gas instead of the brake. 60 Minutes did not retract their piece; they called the NHTSA report “‘an opinion.'”

  • LivingInReality

    Yes everyone should use safety when handling a gun. But what happens when your neighbor, who doesn’t have kids or isn’t married, decides to chamber his 700, clicks the safety and it’s pointed at “nobody” in the room. it goes off and travels through several walls and hits someone?

    Drunk people shouldn’t drive, but you know what. They do, and if caught are arrested. If a car manufacturer had a defective accelerator that just got stuck for no reason they would be forced to recall that car. Because it is a danger even when someone follows the rules.

  • Cody

    If people followed the 10 commandments of gun safety, serious injury from a Remington 700 rifle will be averted.