How Remington Can Make Lemonade From the Rifle Trigger Recall

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As we noted yesterday, Remington has settled a class action suit, the terms of which require the company to offer free replacement trigger jobs on over 7.8 million rifles in circulation. RF dusted off his Burroughs adding machine and grokked that the job would take them somewhere on the order of a decade to complete. And that assumes they hire 50 people to do the job, working seven days a week. Neither of those things is likely. On the other side of the equation, Remington will only get a fraction of those guns back  . . .

What they will get, however, is a bigger stain on the Remington name, which after the Marlin debacle and the abortive R51 launch is that last thing Big Green really needs now. But there may be a way to make the best of an ObamaCare launch-like situation.

Remington doesn’t want to fix all those triggers. It will be a huge and  expensive undertaking that will only further tick off owners of their rifles.

From the gun owners’ perspective, they’ll be reluctant to send in their rifles. First, if they’ve never had a problem, they may figure their gun is fine, so why go through the hassle? That’s risky, though, because their rifle may still decide to go bang on its own some day. Who wants to risk that?

The other factor is the delay. If you own a cherry Model 700 SPS Tactical, do you really want to mail it off and be in customer service limbo for a year? Two? Who knows how long? No, no you don’t. Which is why Remington shouldn’t fix the guns. They should let someone else do it.

Remington’s triggers are probably fine (the new, non-automatically firing kinds they’ll be using as replacements), but who wouldn’t rather have a Timney replacement? Or a Shilen? Or a Jewel? Here’s the idea: Remington works a deal with one or more reputable replacement makers to sell a new, better bangswitch to affected rifle owners for, say, $50. Remington picks up the difference between that price and the full (or a lower, negotiated) cost from the trigger maker.

Unfortunately changing out the triggers isn’t as easy as it would be on an AR, These aren’t drop-in deals. So Remington would also give those who take advantage of the third party trigger option a voucher good at any Remington dealer to have the trigger swap done by a qualified smithy.

Using super-accurate back-of-the-envelope math, the cost to Big Green for a deal along these lines would run them somewhere between $150 to $250, depending on how good a deal they can negotiate. Not cheap, but Almost certainly no more than the nightmare unfolding before them as a result of the settlement. It also has the virtue of making owners of their rifles as happy as can reasonably be expected. They’ll be getting what they know to be a quality trigger in their gun and they’ll have it done significantly faster than if they’d sent their rifle in to Remington.

Is it ideal? No. There is no ideal solution given the magnitude of the fix facing Remington. But an option along these lines has the virtue of leaving gun owners with a better gun than they have now. And it could be done without the process dragging on for months or even years. A lot of rifle owners would probably jump at the opportunity, thanking Remington for the upgrade. And given recent history, Big Green can use all the positive customer impressions they can get.

comments

  1. avatar cag404 says:

    That’s a heck of a good, dynamic solution.

    1. avatar ken says:

      And a solution that will never happen, because Remington is counting on those twenty dollar an hour trigger replacers to do ten per hour for two dollars labor plus a dollar in parts. To a corporation run by cerberus capitol, three dollars wins over a hundred and fifty, everyday and twice on Sunday. They don’t care about the customer, just look at what they did with the r51 and what they did to AAC.

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    Remmy won’t have to replace all those triggers. Many of the guns have been lost in tragic boat accidents, and the others should have been.

    1. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

      Hahahahaha

  3. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Id happily go for a replacement upgrade. If my rifle was collecting dust as the ones I currently own are. Why not??
    Who owns just one rifle anyway?? No one I know.
    Go for it Remington use an after market upgrade a win/win for all.

  4. avatar Pwrserge says:

    Two issues.

    1. It more than doubles the incremental cost to Remington.
    2. Can the third party suppliers make that many triggers?

    On the plus side, Remington is shure to get them at a bargain basement discount, given the quantity.

  5. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    Not sure why they threw in the towel. Seems like that is admitting they had a problem dating back to the very first 700 they ever sold and that would open the flood gates to even more litigation. Has to be the lowest dollar cost estimation from the bean counters. And yet, I’ve never seen a 700 go off by itself…

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      It is now court ordered, you can read the article from yesterday. Currently on page 2. How many 700s have you shot, seen shot or have friends that shot 15, 20, 100? Out of 7.85 million?

      1. avatar ken says:

        I’ve owned about fifty, going all the way back to a 721 in 300 H&H. Shot them many hundreds of rounds, many handloaded. Never saw one just “go off”. Ever.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          I never actually saw a drunk driver run over anyone. So that means it never happened.

        2. avatar WRH says:

          50 of 7.85 Million = An extremely small sample size. It’s actually embarrassingly small, to the point that you shouldn’t mention it as a sample at all.

        3. avatar Accur81 says:

          @Ralph,

          Well, I’ve seen a drunk driver run someone over. Heck, I’ve seen a drunk driver sentenced to less than 3 years in state prison for killing two people in a DUI crash. CA is pretty weak with sentencing criminals.

          @Everyone else,

          If the courts have said the Remington triggers are bad, and you ever have an “issue,” like a negligent mechanical discharge possibly resulting in injury or death, don’t expect any sympathy whatsoever from the anti-gun media. Or the courts. Or from me.

          I have a 700 LTR with a Timney trigger upgrade set right at about 4 pounds thanks to Remington’s debacle. It was installed by a reputable gunsmith.

          Maybe your trigger is “fine,” but the risk isn’t worth it. And as gun owners, the media and anti-gun politicians blame us for the ballistic mistakes made by others. While that isn’t fair, we should all make every possible effort to ensure that our guns are working safely and reliably.

  6. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    I just wish they made a Timiny for the 710, even though the trigger would cost more than the rifle. Don’t hate on the cheap rifle, it shoots deer just fine.

  7. avatar Tommy Kocker says:

    You might want to grab another back of the envelope to calculate the following: Big Green starts printing up coupons and delivering them to every gunshop in the entire known universe. Comes down to this. Hand us your gun for meltdown or whatever BG wants to do with it, and you get a 200 dollar discount on next NEW Remington gun of any kind (with current safety triggers). Lemons into lemonade. Classic business tactic. Turn a recall into NEW SALES. The factory doesn’t have to be distracted with a job of swapping out triggers. They do get to sell MORE GUNS THIS YEAR. Even if you run this concurrent with a swap out program it reduces load and you get to sell more guns, therefore financing the swap out program.

    1. avatar cynical bastard says:

      You’re kidding, right? Trade a $800 rifle for $200 discount? Full list price of a new comparable model, cash, and I may think about it.

      1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

        LMAO … have you seen the crap that is in the used gun racks across America. 90% of the idiot gun owners let their guns rust away. The stocks look like they were used to hold up the mailbox. Sights damaged or missing. 800 dollars ? Don’t know what alternate universe you are in.

        1. avatar cynical bastard says:

          90% are welcome to take $200. Mine is in perfect condition, but if Remington wants it, they can have it. On MY terms.

        2. avatar Tiru Maru says:

          So who the heck is talking about buying used???
          From Remington.. MODEL 700™ BDL™ Starting at $995.00
          Let me know how far that $200.00 gets you…

    2. avatar Nick says:

      I have well over $1k in me Rem 700 and would never trade it for such a piddly ROI. However, there are those who have bought the cheaper models, or have mistreated theirs, that would be delighted to take such an offer. It could work well for them.y first 700 I got for $450 at Dick’s a few years ago. Im sure there are a lot of people out there with the same model (cheap sells, remember), and many would jump at the possibility of trading a “dangerous” gun for a new off the shelf model with a steep discount.

  8. avatar Jack says:

    That’s a totally logical proposal. Which is exactly why it will never happen.

  9. avatar =BCE56= says:

    Anybody here have any experience with the M 40?
    Anectdotes?

    P.S.
    Has anybody here handled a Mossberg Patriot yet?

    Or *cough* seen an in depth review?

  10. avatar JeffR says:

    Uh, lawyers and their client companies do not agree to a settlement without knowing how they are going to fully comply with it. As a class action attorney, I guarantee they are counting on a low response rate to the settlement. In consumer class action settlements, the response rate is usually below 5%. Often, way below 5%. They’ll do it in-house.

    1. avatar Bob in MI says:

      /\/\. This. I worked at Gander Mountain during the last recall. I sent in 97 store guns. I sent in 5 customer guns. Me thinks most people don’t give a shit, or they don’t know its going on. On the flip side Gander Mountain company wide had to send in close to 15,000 rifles during the last recall and it took them 2 1/2 months to get them back to us. Its a pretty simple fix. Nothing was more damning for remington than the giant empty space On my wall where the 700s were supposed to be. I ended up printing a sign that explained the situation because I was sick of doing it. F Freedom group. Glad that I have cleansed my personal safe of their putrid qc and lack of attention to detail.

  11. avatar onezero says:

    RF “Drank Fully”?

  12. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    A couple of observations;

    First, there’s a reason you don’t have to wait 8 weeks for General Motors to send you a box so you can return your Chevy for warranty service. That’s how long I waited just for the box, 7 1/2 weeks longer than it took to decide to just replace mine with a Timney, order it, receive it, and install it myself. They’d be in a much better situation if they had a network of certified gunsmiths that could do the work while you wait. It only took me an hour or so, so a qualified technician shouldn’t require more than 15 minutes. That’s probably less money than they’d spend on shipping alone.

    Second, (someone correct me if I’m wrong but) from what I’ve heard the problem is that the rifle can fire when it’s taken off safe (and rarely at that). I haven’t heard of any other situations that they can fire unintentionally. If you’re happy with the trigger and since you really should have your rifle pointed down range or in a safe direction when you unsafe your weapon, is it really a big deal to just remember that it’s even more important with your Rem 700? If you’re rifle ever does fire unintentionally you could, and definitely should have the trigger replaced, but I’m guessing most are being replaced unnecessarily.

  13. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I don’t think Remington would take this approach. It would cost them too much.

  14. avatar Mike_M says:

    I wrote to Remington suggesting this exact thing. Here was their reply.

    Mike,
    According to your serial number your rifle might be affected. If it has the smooth face trigger it is part of the XMP Recall. We are not offering vouchers for any aftermarket triggers at the moment. If you do wish to just send in your trigger mechanism and not the entire rifle that is an option. Please provide me with your physical address and I can set up your ticket to have your trigger unit sent in and replaced.

    Thank you and best regards,
    Remington Customer Services

    I’ll replace the trigger myself with a Timney or the like and then, if they come around to it, I’ll gladly let them buy me one. They should, at the very least express ship a “good” trigger with a postage paid label to return the “bad” one. I’ll not have my rifle sitting disabled for some random amount of time. Besides the fact that I never leave my rifle loaded until I’m ready to fire it and it’s never pointed in an unsafe direction, loaded or not, they couldn’t reproduce the issues with the actual rifles supposedly involved in the magical misfire incidents.

    I will add, this is the first and last remington firearm I will own. Even before the recall I found my model 700 to be of very disappointing quality.

  15. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    Sadly, at this point, I wouldn’t trust Remington’s management to run a lemonade stand.

  16. avatar Nick says:

    Never gonna happen. Why? Because replacing them with factory triggers alone at a qualified gunsmith would be expensive, but an upgrade? That’s gonna get really expensive. Also, they’re counting on almost nobody sending them in for replacement. As soon as people hear they can get a semi-free Timney or other higher end trigger, Remington is gonna see a lot more requests for the replacement, and that’s gonna run up the cost significantly.

    1. avatar Mike_M says:

      Sad, but probably right on the money. In a better world, they’d do whatever would get the most triggers replaced. I just don’t think the current recall is as cheap as everyone thinks it is. One person in this thread calculates it at less than $20. How can that be? My uneducated guess is that it costs them AT LEAST $100 if not more. Between shipping, handling, storage, repair/inspection, more storage, more handling and shipping again.
      I’m holding out hope, against common sense, that they might issue a coupon or voucher for a replacement trigger or a trigger itself. I can dream.

  17. avatar BlueBronco says:

    Or they could send out an X-Mark Pro.

  18. avatar arsh says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Remington is garbage and I’m glad I bought a Savage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Savage sales shoot up as they cost less than a 700 but actually work

  19. avatar Michael says:

    I searched my serial number, found my 700 XCR was recalled. Contacted Remington, they sent a Box with shipping labels and padding, I sent it out and tracked it. The total turn around may have been six months. I have other Hunting Rifles, Remington’s always been a top choice for me.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      I still like my 700 but 6 months is unacceptable. I had a problem with a Mini-14 and Ruger emailed me a shipping label and the total turn around was 2 weeks (including shipping both ways). It took Remington 8 weeks just to send me a box, but that was 7 weeks after I put in the Timney.

  20. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Dan – Ever consider running for President? Man, what an awesome idea!

  21. avatar Uncle Fester says:

    As a lawyer, I would never allow my client to:
    1) buy a 3rd party trigger for a rifle. Why would I want any product liability issues they might have? OR
    2) allow a 3rd party (who I don’t have a relationship with) to “fix” my rifle.

    If anything goes wrong (say they set the trigger at 1 lb), my client is on the for any liability.

    1. avatar WuzNtMe says:

      What would your client not be liable for…? Your client has a 10lb factory trigger so he gets away with what?

      1. avatar WuzNtMe says:

        *What WOULDN’T

      2. avatar Uncle Fester says:

        When you take a car subject to a recall to the dealer, the “fix” is the responsibility of the car company. If the “fix” isn’t done correctly and someone gets injured, the courts will hold the car company (and possibly the dealer) responsible.

        Remington is NEVER going to trust trigger work to a “gunsmith” they didn’t train.

        1. avatar WuzNtMe says:

          Sorry to pick on this example but it’s not working so well for me. With a car you can be following all the safe driving habits and still blame the accident on a million different things. Not only because it’s a complex machine used in complex situations but also because no one takes driving as seriously as guns.
          IN the case of the Remington recall, in order for an accident to happen because of the trigger you must be breaking one of the basic safety rules, namely pointing a loaded (or unloaded) gun in an unsafe direction.

          In both examples, a 3rd party commonly performs work on the car/gun and liability is rarely an issue.

          I’m not debating that Remington will ever allow it in their recall. I agree on that. But when it comes to guns, when is the owner ever off the hook?

        2. avatar Uncle Fester says:

          Wuz – as a gun owner, I basically agree with you. While there are defective guns that “just go off,” they are few and far between. But, juries aren’t necessarily made up of gun owners. If the guy who accidentally shoots his hunting buddy says he had the safety on and his finger off the trigger, a jury might just believe the rifle had a defective “hair trigger” and target Big Green for a big verdict.

        3. avatar Uncle Fester says:

          Wuz – as a gun owner, I basically agree with you. While there are defective guns that “just go off,” they are few and far between. But, juries aren’t necessarily made up of gun owners. If the guy who accidentally shoots his hunting buddy says he had the safety on and his finger off the trigger, a jury might just believe the rifle had a defective “hair trigger” and target Big Green for a big verdict.

        4. avatar Ken says:

          The whole thing is stupid, but is adjudicated by lawyers,judges and juries who dont understand guns. If they did they would understand that remington triggers are adjustable, and can easily be user adjusted to as low a trigger pull as they desire, including one ounce. Go too low, and it will go off if you just barely bounce the gun on its butt on a carpeted floor. At two pounds or so it wont go off that way, but if you put the safety on, and then pull the trigger, it will release the sear, but the safety will stop the striker from falling. In that situation, now the only thing stopping the gun from firing is the safety, and when you push the safety off, the piece will fire. It is very easy to end up in this situation if the trigger is user adjusted by a user who doesnt know any better, any most of them dont. I understand that these “defective’ triggers have just all been misadjusted(by somebody), and very likely not remington, but the judges and juries do not. And I hate remington enough that I refuse to even capitalize their name. But still, this is not their fault. Many others of their problems are totally their own stupidity, but not this one. OFC, these facts make no difference at all.

  22. avatar Rem870 says:

    The idea is good but the price of the aftermarket triggers is to high to replace triggers in 7.8 million Remington 700 rifles.

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