Under fire: Remington recalling Model 700, Model Seven rifles

Trigger problem could lead to ‘unintentional discharge’

Staff Report

Ilion, N.Y. — Remington Arms Company is voluntarily recalling its Model 700 and Model Seven rifles manufactured over an eight-year period to address safety issues that could cause the firearms to “unintentionally discharge,” the company announced last month.

A company announcement also urged owners of those models manufactured from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014 not to use the rifles until the safety issue is addressed.

“Remington has determined that some Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with XMP triggers could, under certain circumstances, unintentionally discharge,” the company said in the recall notice last month. “A Remington investigation has determined that some XMP triggers might have excess bonding agent used in the assembly process. While Remington has the utmost confidence in the design of the XMP trigger, it is undertaking this recall in the interest of consumer safety to remove any potential excess bonding agent applied in the assembly process.”

The recall involves the company’s signature Model 700, one of the most popular bolt-action rifles in U.S. history. That model is also the focus of a class-action lawsuit against the company that alleges the company was aware of a safety issue with the Model 700 trigger as early as 1975 when its own tests showed the rifle could discharge without the trigger being pulled.

A CBS “60 Minutes” segment last month highlighted the case, which is now before a federal judge in Missouri.

While the company has downplayed the potential danger, noting the complaints represent only a fraction of Model 700 rifles in circulation, attorneys for the plaintiffs wrote, “There are potentially as many as 7.5 million defective rifles at issue,” and claim “Remington knows or should know…they are unreasonably dangerous.”

Remington officials issued a statement following the “60 Minutes” report, saying the company “reliability of its products and vehemently denies allegations that there is any design defect in the walker trigger mechanism. Firearm safety remains our number one priority.”

Remington stopped short of issuing a recall notice a decade ago, instead switching from the original Walker trigger mechanism to the X-Mark Pro.

The recall involves the first eight years of production of the Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with the X-Mark Pro trigger.

The recall could be a crippling public relations blow to Remington, which has a major manufacturing plant in Ilion, N.Y. (Herkimer County) but in recent years has shifted some of its operations to North Carolina and Alabama. The company’s headquarters are now officially located in Madison, N.C.

Herkimer County earlier this year recognized the 200th anniversary of Remington Arms, presenting company officials in Ilion with a plaque commemorating its history in the county.

“Since moving operations to Ilion, N.Y., in 1828, Remington has been instrumental in supporting the economy of Herkimer County,” the plaque read. “We are honored to house the oldest continually operating manufacturer in North America and America’s oldest gun company. Herkimer County is proud to be ‘Remington Country.”

The company remains Herkimer County’s largest employer, with about 1,100 workers.

The recall

Only Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with XMP triggers are being recalled. To determine if your rifle is subject to the recall, you should:

• Find the rifle’s serial number where the barrel meets the receiver. For a right-handed rifle, the serial number is located on a user’s left. For a left-handed rifle, the serial number is located on a user’s right.

• Identify the serial number and provide it to Remington’s recall support team, either by entering it at xmprecall.remington.com or call 1-800-243-9700 (Prompt #3 then Prompt #1) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will be informed if your rifle is affected by the recall and supported with free resources to return the rifle for inspection and specialized cleaning. You may also determine if your rifle is subject to the recall by a visual inspection. If the face of the trigger is ribbed, your rifle does not have an XMP trigger and is not subject to the recall. If the face of the trigger is smooth, your rifle has an XMP trigger and is subject to this recall.

• If your firearm is part of the recall, Remington will send you pre-paid shipping tags, boxes and written instructions. Remington will cover all related shipping, inspection, and cleaning charges. Only return your rifle with the designated shipping tags and boxes, since they are marked to expedite the rifle to a dedicated Remington facility.

• Upon return of your rifle, you will note a punch mark on the bolt release. That mark confirms your rifle has been inspected and specially cleaned under the recall program.

“Remington has also corrected the XMP trigger assembly process to eliminate this problem in rifles made after April 9, 2014. Rifles made after April 9, 2014 will also have a punch mark on the bolt release,” the company said in the recall notice.

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