I've seen the NBC show and done a good bit of research myself on the subject. The Rem M710 has nothing to do with the subject, by the way. For those of you who may not know, the Rem 700, 600 & 660 were/are the models most affected by the "defect". Also, for those who may not know the fire control system used to work in a very different manner, when it was first produced in the new (1962) M700 and the Models 600 & 660, made in the 1960s as well.
The big difference? The rifle could NOT be unloaded with the safety in the SAFE position as it can now (fire system modified in the early '80s). This meant (means) that rifles of that era had to be both loaded and
unloaded with the safety in the FIRE position. The rifle could not be unloaded with the safety left on SAFE as this locks the bolt closed
. The problem identified in some rifles was that it (they) would fire, unexpectedly, simply by placing the safety into the FIRE position. Think about that for a moment.
The Models 600 & 660 had a full recall issued and production was ultimately halted on those rifles in the early '70s. The recall is still in effect and Remington will still modify those fire control systems for free if you return the rifle to Remington. The reason I know this is because I owned a M660 that had an AD (accidental discharge). The consequence? Nada, because it was pointed towards the ground and went off, firing into the ground. This rifle was being handled by the safest hunter I know, my Father.
He finished unloading it, handed it to me and never touched that rifle again. I did some research, identified the defect and sent the rifle to Remington who then fixed it for free. Many
Model 600s & 660s were identified as having this problem/defect. They use(d) the same fire control system as the M700.
The change to the fire control system that allows the gun to be loaded and unloaded with the safety in the SAFE position means that millions of rifles, manufactured over the last 25+ years no longer need to be held loaded and then the safety moved to FIRE every time the rifle was used or even simply loaded.
This difference is staggering and allows much safer handling, defect or no defect
, obviously. Here's another article that might be of some interest to some. Page one here is something of a re-hash of the NBC show's content. However page two here has some very interesting information that those interested in understanding the idea there may be a serious problem should most certainly read (note the date this article originally ran!):
Hunting and Shooting - CBS News Targets Remington Model 700 rifle as Having a Defective Safety