TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's one of the most popular rifles ever made used by millions of hunters, even U.S. military snipers. But, a recent report now has gun manufacturer Remington in the cross hairs, after claiming the model 700 rifles can go off, without someone pulling the trigger.
"I bought one with a friend back in 1968," said Tim Taylor, who still hunts with the same Remington model 700 series rifle. "As far as reliability and dependability go 100%."
For the majority of users the Model 700 series has offered accuracy at a fair price. But a report into its past found more than 75 lawsuits and at least 2 dozen deaths linked to popular model. The study stated the guns could fire without warning due to a loose piece of metal allowing the gun to go off when its safety was pushed.
We tested the theory before firing the gun but were unsuccessful in causing a misfire to occur.
Gunsmith Steven Prater has seen thousands of guns on his workbench over the last 20 years including many 700's. "[I've] had people come in and say you know what it went off, it went off and I did not pull the trigger," said Prater. "But when I get into them I can always tell there's been a problem."
Remington echoed Prater's find in its response into the incidents mentioned in the recent TV report. The gun company stated incidents only occurred when the rifle wasn't pointed in safe direction, properly maintained, or when the rifle's trigger was altered. Misuse of the gun's safety was also deemed a factor.
"If there was something really inherently wrong with it you'd see a lot more accidents than are being reported right now," said Prater.
Remington has offered a public apology to all injured by the gun, but Prater says the issue of safety falls first on the user.
You can view Remington's response to the gun's safety concerns here.