Remington Arms has faced thousands of lawsuits over the safety of its model 700-bolt action rifle. The M700 fire control trigger mechanism used in the rifle, also called the “Walker fire control,” poses a danger of accidental discharge due to a unique connector component not found in other trigger mechanisms.
Thousands of customer complaints regarding misfires and accidental discharges involving the Walker fire control mechanism brought this issue to the company’s attention. An internal memo from the company’s product safety subcommittee acknowledged that some of its model 700 rifles were susceptible to firing accidentally. Despite the danger, Remington decided not to issue a product recall.
The Walker fire control trigger mechanism uses an internal connector that—unlike other designs—is only held in place by a spring. It is not connected to the rifle’s trigger. This means that foreign objects, including dirt and debris, can become lodged in the trigger mechanism.
Danger of Misfire
Debris can stop the connector from moving into the correct position after the gun is fired, sometimes causing the gun to fire unintentionally. Although Remington later developed a trigger mechanism that removes the connector and the risk of misfire, the company continued to use the Walker fire control in its 700 and 710 model rifles.
Remington’s Initial Response
Remington reasoned that the defect became a problem in a small percentage of rifles. The company would have to recall millions of guns to fix just a few thousand. Some at Remington argued that a recall would undermine efforts to educate the public about gun safety. The company expressed the concern that a recall might encourage gun owners to blame accidental injuries on malfunctioning equipment, rather than careless firearm use.
No government agency has the power to force Remington to recall the defective weapons. The company has the sole responsibility of protecting the public from the dangers of its products.
Remington has settled dozens of lawsuits involving its 700-model rifle. The company has also acknowledged the need for modification to the fire control mechanism. In 1997, the company went forward with the design of its Model 710 rifle, initially planning to include a safer firing mechanism. Cost concerns led the company to use the malfunctioning design instead, despite knowing of the danger to the public. 
Remington went ahead with the model 710 bolt-action rifle with the same the Walker fire control mechanism found in the model 700 rifle. Soon afterwards, the company began to receive new complaints about accidental discharges and resulting injuries. The company faces more than 75 lawsuits from consumers who were injured or killed because of this product defect. 
If you or someone you love was injured or killed by a misfire or accidental discharge from a Remington firearm or another defective product, contact our office. We will tell you more about the lawsuits pending against Remington Arms and provide you with a free consultation.