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.