It seemed only a matter of time before one of my hunting pals said something to me. And so it was walking along a wood line exiting the woods last weekend.
“Be careful unloading that 700,” my buddy ribbed.
“Oh, that’s a bunch of crud,” I said.
Remington Arms has come under a good amount of heat the last couple weeks after CNBC aired its “Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation.” The piece, which aired Oct. 20, was promoted with a good bit of anticipation by the cable channel prior to airing, and has seemed to raise a hornet’s nest worth of heartburn and debate ever since. Hosted by Scott Cohn, the show set out to go in-depth into a series of lawsuits alleging that the Model 700 is unsafe and susceptible to firing accidentally.
My family has shot Remington Model 700s long before my baby boots ever set foot on this fine Earth. That heritage held true when I started amassing my own rifle collection several years ago. In fact, nearly every caliber is represented across my immediate family’s rifle repertoire. My father has been a Model 700 Classic fan for decades. And that probably makes me a little bit biased.
Part of our attraction to the rifles is their well-documented tune-ability. You can work with the triggers, easily bed the stocks and drive tacks with the guns out to ridiculously long distances when you combine a few tweaks with the unmatched action that has helped sell more than five million guns over the last quarter century.
I didn’t watch the CNBC piece live. In fact, I somehow missed all the hullabulou leading into the program and found out about it afterwards through several online conversations that circled the outdoor world on Oct. 21. I have since watched it.
I was initially disappointed with the defensive measures taken by Remington to combat the piece, the company seemingly taking a defensive posture that seemed a little juvenile and knee-jerk. However, I was far more pleased with the response provided – and announced through the company’s Twitter feed – earlier today. Feel free to watch the piece here. I do wish this kind of response (which clearly took time to produce) came a little closer to the day of detonation.
The response by Remington makes a lot of sense to me. Especially since I have spent a lot of time handling 700s and even tried to get any kind of failed safety response out of my own rifles. I’ve never seen one fail.
It’s hard to watch the CNBC piece and not feel heartache for what some of the families have gone through. They’re the kind of accidents that you just shake after learning more about. But I think the cases featured on the program are just that – terrible accidents.
What’s your take?