The Remington Model 700 and a dozen other Remington rifles can fire and maim and kill people when no one pulls the trigger. More than one hundred thousand documents have been produced in the course of litigating the trigger defect against the Remington Arms Company but most have been kept secret from the public through protective orders required by Remington in those cases. To help gun owners better understand the trigger defect and the danger it presents, Public Justice has worked with lawyers, particularly the class counsel in the Pollard v. Remington case, and with Richard Barber, a rifle expert who has worked tirelessly for many years to expose the dangers of the rifles, to collect and assemble the key documents from those cases. This website compiles and makes available those documents to explain the history of the trigger defect, the consumer complaints against Remington related to the defect, the history of testing failures, concealment of the defect, and timelines for the 700 and 710 rifle models. Power Points and Timelines provided by Timothy Monsees of Monsees & Mayer, PC, attorneys experienced representing people injured by the Remington 700 and other rifles with the defective trigger.
If you are still undecided about whether to submit a claim, please review the documents below. Every trigger replaced is a potential life saved.
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For half a century, Remington ignored complaints from its own authorized gunsmiths and thousands of consumers related to the defective trigger – the Walker Fire Control – firing without a trigger pull. Five months after the predecessor to the Model 700, the Model 721, was introduced in 1948, Remington had already received complaints that it would fire upon release of the safety. This is the history of those complaints and almost 60 years of missed opportunities for Remington to remedy the problem.
“Fool Proof” Safety
In 1947, a year before it introduced the Model 721 (the predecessor to the Model 700), Remington knew the unique trigger connector in its Walker Fire Control was “very dangerous” and that it was “possible to fire the gun by pushing the safety to the ‘off’ position.” A safer alternative was proposed as early as 1948, but Remington kept using the defective trigger and made no change until 2006, almost 60 years later. More than 5 million Remington rifles with the defective trigger had been sold by then, with an untold number of consumers injured or killed.
Remington Testing Failures
Remington’s own internal testing proved and confirmed the hazards of the defective trigger. By 1975, Remington had even developed acronyms to describe the many ways the rifle would fire without a trigger pull: “FSR – Fires When Safe is Released, JO – Jars Off, FD – Follows Down (Cocking Piece Fails to Properly Engage With Sear), FOS – Fires on Safe.” In 1995, a testing lab hired by Remington reported, “During the final cleaning, subsequent to the last test of the series, two of the rifles ‘fired’ inadvertently with the release of the safety – one each of both configurations of the Fire Control Group.”
Remington consistently denied its trigger was defective and blamed consumers when the rifles fired without a trigger pull, citing improper adjustment, improper maintenance, or inadvertent pressure on the trigger as the safety was moved. When CNBC broadcast Remington Under Fire in October 2010, exposing the truth, instead of recalling the rifles or admitting the defect, Remington attacked CNBC and falsely announced that neither Remington nor experts “has ever been able to duplicate” a fire without a trigger pull “on guns which have been properly maintained and which have not been altered after sale.” It decided not to recall the 700 because it estimated that “only” 20,000 consumers were at risk and embarked on a misleading marketing campaign instead. It even adopted and implemented a policy to destroy test results, over its employee’s objections.
Model 700 Timeline
The Model 700 timeline includes and highlights key Remington documents from 1947 showing that Remington knew the rifle’s trigger was defective, repeatedly considered taking action to fix it and protect the public, and always decided not to do so. The documents report a “very dangerous” situation in 1947; “safety malfunctions” in 1975; and “safety-related complaints” in 1980. Remington starts works on three new trigger designs in 1980, considers whether “macho hunters” are concerned with safety in 1985, and says, “R&D is working on improved safety … features which should have market value. (If they don’t, we ought to stop the work.)” It explores recalling all Model 700’s in 1994, but decides that would cost too much. It announces a new Model 700 fire control in 2005, “after 25 years of failed attempts.”
Documents cited and pictured in the Timeline are posted separately below.
700 Remington Timeline
Chronology of events surrounding the Remington Model 700.- 700 Remington Timeline
April 9, 1947
Daily Progress Report – M721 Pilot line Inspection- April 9, 1947
July 11, 1950
Patent No. 2,514,981 – Walker Fire Control – Walker Patent- July 11, 1950
June 27, 1961
M700 Bolt Action Center Fire Rifle Memo- June 27, 1961
May 2, 1975
Chart – Safety Malfunctions – Gallery- May 2, 1975
December 1, 1975
Bullis to Linde; Progress Report- December 1, 1975
May 10, 1977
Process Record Change Authorization 275943 M600, M700, M788- May 10, 1977
July 11, 1977
Research Presentation M700-600 Fire Control Improvements- July 11, 1977
November 20, 1978
Memo from Merle Walker to Others – Bolt Action Fire Control Review 11-14-78- November 20, 1978
January 22, 1980
Product Safety Sub-Committee – Recall of M600- January 22, 1980
March 7, 1980
Memo RE: Safety-Related Complaints, July 79 to January 80- March 7, 1980
August 27, 1980
Joint Operations Committee, Ilion Division- August 27, 1980
February 5, 1982
New Product Development Research Department RE: New product development- February 5, 1982
December 30, 1985
Sporting Goods Memo, Darby to Preiser Et. Al- December 30, 1985
October 28, 1988
Memo from T. Bauman to Hutton Etc. RE: Nbar Meeting- October 28, 1988
January 25, 1990
Memo from Jim Stekl to Ken Green RE: M700 Rifle Returns- January 25, 1990
March 31, 1992
Firearms Business Team Meeting Minutes- March 31, 1992
June 1, 1994
Memo to Bob Haskin from Ken Green RE: M700 Trigger Replacement Campaign- June 1, 1994
June 16, 1994
Draft of LTR to be sent to M700 Rifle Owners RE: “Safety Notice”- June 16, 1994
January 4, 1995
Minutes of Planning Meeting on 12/7/1994- January 4, 1995
January 27, 1995
Fire Control Business Contract- January 27, 1995
March 28, 1995
Powerpoint: Fire Control Design Review; Fire Control Requirements- March 28, 1995
April 28, 1995
Minutes PF Planning Meeting on 4/27/1995 Attendees: Tommy Millner; Bob Haskins; E.S. Rensi; Hubbard Howe; Tony Hancock- April 28, 1995
August 15, 2005
Summary Page of Powerpoint- August 15, 2005
April 11, 2007
Remington Settlements Post 12/1/93 for Models 700, Seven and 710- April 11, 2007
Model 710 Timeline
The Model 710 was a low-cost descendent of the Model 700 manufactured between 2001 and 2006 with the same defective trigger. This timeline includes and highlights key Remington documents from 1981 showing Remington originally planned to use a different fire control, not the Model 700’s defective trigger, but, after deciding to seek “the highest possible profit margin” and considering the low cost involved, chose to use the Model 700’s trigger and make plans for who should receive “calls AND firearms” when “a consumer calls with a safety concern (ie, FSR [fires on safety release], fires when closed, personal injury or property damage, etc.).”
Documents cited and pictured in the Timeline are posted separately below.
710 Remington Timeline
Chronology of events surrounding the Remington Model 710.- 710 Remington Timeline
Slam Test- Not Dated
Listing of Bench Check Items on all bolt action rifles- Not Dated
Parts and Repair Training Outline- Not Dated
February 10, 1997
Project Description of Low Cost Bar- February 10, 1997
September 5, 1997
Memo from Jim Ronkainen to Danny Diaz; Copy to Kenneth Rowlands, Dale Danner, Will James, Vince Norton, Derek Watkins, and Dave Wolterman RE: 1998 Patent Activity- September 5, 1997
November 3, 1997
Remington Arms/Iams Kickoff Meeting M710 Project- November 3, 1997
January 12, 1998
M710 Concepts for High Margin and Ease of Manufacture Prepared by Derek Watkins 1/12/98- January 12, 1998
January 21, 1998
Printed Powerpoint RE: Design Concept Review 1- January 21, 1998
February 23, 1998
Link Design Fire Control for M/710- February 23, 1998
May 12, 1998
Project Description of Sportsman M710 Bar Quad Chart- May 12, 1998
September 28, 1998
M710 Centerfire Bolt Action Concept Review 2- September 28, 1998
September 28, 1998
M710 Cost Enhancements Blowup Powerpoint of “Sportsman M/710”- September 28, 1998
December 18, 1998
M710 Centerfire Bolt Action Concept Review 3- December 18, 1998
March 9, 2000
Memo from Joe Zajk to Mike Keeney, Matt Golemboskin and Danny Diaz RE: Suspending 710 Trigger Design- March 9, 2000
March 10, 2000
Test Lab Work Request Form RE: Field Debris TLW 001AN From Engineer Jr. Snedeker- March 10, 2000
November 1, 2000
M710 Trial and Pilot Test Plan Revision #4- November 1, 2000
November 6, 2000
Email from Franz to Bristol; Golembroski; Diaz; Keeny; Snedeker and Danner RE: M710 T&P Conference Call- November 6, 2000
December 7, 2000
Memo From Danny Diaz to Jim Ronkainen Re: Must Haves in Their New Program Goals- December 7, 2000
List of 700 Fire Control Design Projects and Design Teams with Dates 2000 or Earlier- 2000
December 31, 2001
Consumer Team Meeting RE: 710 Safety Injury Calls 12/13/01- December 31, 2001
The Remington Rifle Trigger Defect Document Repository is a collection of documents assembled during the process of litigation against the Remington Arms Company.
These documents contain detailed information about the defective trigger in the these Remington rifles. Some documents are internal communications, some are design documents, and many other types exist as well.
If you would like to search the repository of documents, please click the button below to launch the Document Repository.
NOTE: Public Justice created this web site to provide public access to the Remington trigger defect documents and prevent as many deaths and injuries from these rifles as possible. This web site does not provide legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship between anyone and Public Justice.
Public Justice was not involved in negotiating the proposed settlement in Pollard v. Remington Arms. We believe strongly, however, that, to the extent that the proposed settlement leads to the replacement of the defective triggers in these rifles – or even stops these rifles from being used – it will have performed an important public service.
If you have questions for us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.