Oct 24, 2010

Remington Under Fire

My default mode is that anything on television it is either wrong, misleading, overstated, or oversimplified --  any or all accompanied by contrived hyperdrama.


I just caught the "Remington Under Fire" rerun. I followed it with my  1970s  M700 (a pretty 6mm tack driver) field stripped on my lap. That Remington is now the cleanest firearm on the block, except, importantly, for the innards of its trigger mechanism.

A Remington error in responding to the CNBC report was its emphasis on proper "maintenance," a very iffy thing on an enclosed trigger mechanism. You can scrub the outside of the trigger group box, brush it, wipe it carefully, blow compressed air through the tiny openings, but short of a  bench-strip,  you can not inspect or clean the internal parts. That is a design flaw.

The Remington web site purporting to respond to RUF is weak. It relies on sales patter and appeal to its storied history. It attacks trial lawyers and the show's producers.  It does not not address the technical question. It does not react to  Walker's reservations or  those of professional  M700 users.  Disliking and mistrusting CNBC is not a rebuttal. (I understand its lawyers may be behind the insipid non-response.)

Which is not to say I think the 700 trigger assembly is inherently unsafe. It may be, but I am not competent to judge. Uninformed user tampering, gross maintenance negligence, or the truly freak happenstance can defeat adequate design on anything. There may have been -- probably was, in fact -- poor gun handling involved in some of the unintentional discharges, but he-said, she-said disputes hardly ever reveal technical fact.

I did everything I could to duplicate the reported problems, incessantly working the safety back and forth, trying and failing to get it to rest between the "fire" and "safe" positions, tapping rather hard with a mallet while the rifle was in every possible condition of readiness, bouncing its butt on the carpet. Nothing could induce the old gal to go off by herself.

But that is a long way from definitive proof of anything. For me, the jury is still out. If I decide to take her out again, I may tattoo Rule Two on the back of my right hand.

No comments: