10-14-2011, 10:17 AM
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B&C 140 Class
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Join Date: Dec 2007
The Rem 700 & 710's problems are not the same ones. The M700's safety issues date way back to when that rifle first debuted (1962, I believe). Back then, the M700 could NOT be loaded or unloaded with the safety in the SAFE position. A person needed to both load & unload with the safety in the OFF position, thus increasing monumentally the opportunity for a problem, mistake, mechanical failure, accident or trajedy occurring.
The main issue is two-fold; is the safety/fire mechanism perfect in it's function and could it be "tricked" into dropping the firing pin (firing) when the safety is simply placed to OFF? I would recommend that people interested in this issue also do some research on the Remington M600s & 660s. I have owned both and learned a lot in doing so.
The safety/fire system of these three models is identical. The Models 600 & 660 only lasted a few years as factory offered Remington models. About the same time they "left", Remington also redesigned their safety on the M700 to be able to be left ON or SAFE when the bolt was opened, thus allowing all loading and unloading to be done with the safety engaged or ON.
This simple change caused the number of accidents to go down and logically so. There were literally millions of times now that guns were loaded & unloaded with the safety ON rather then OFF.
I said I owned both a M600 & 660. With my 660 in .308 there actually was a classic occurrence of unintended firing from that rifle. The result? The gun fired into the ground, as one would hope, due to safe handling practices. That gun was being unloaded by the person who is the safest gun handler I know, my Dad. He finished unloading that rifle, handed it back to me and never touched it again. His finger was nowhere near the trigger, when the safety was pushed to off and the rifle simply fired (as many others have claimed). Actually, his trigger finger was on the safety when the rifle fired!
What did I do with that rifle? I researched it (this was the early '80s) and found that Remington would replace the safety (by recall) for free. It was replaced and then I ended up selling that rifle. That recall is STILL in effect now.
There are lots of other rifles that still need to be placed off safe when loaded and unloaded, but you do not hear of these troubles from them. In my opinion, there is a flaw in the safety/fire system adopted way back when. They had a chance to change it & improve it and they did not. Remingtons no longer have this same system.