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A settlement covering 7.5 million guns and 13 different models produced since 1948 is bound to be complex. But some have argued in court that Remington's trigger replacement program for its popular bolt-action firearms is needlessly complicated and confusing.
The company and plaintiffs have set up a website about the settlement, but fair warning, it can be tough to decipher. So here are some plain language answers about how the settlement is supposed to work. Note that none of this is final until the court approves it, which means there could be changes. Watch this space for updates.
Most likely, if you own any of these Remington firearms: Model 700, Seven, Sportsman 78, 673, 710, 715, 770, 600, 660, 721, 722, and 725 rifles, or the XP-100 bolt-action pistol.
Under the settlement, you may be entitled to have your gun retrofitted with a new trigger mechanism free of charge. However, some models — specifically the 600, 660, 721, 722, 725 and XP-100 — are considered too old to be retrofitted, so Remington is offering owners of those guns a product voucher worth between $10 and $12.50.
Only some of the guns are subject to a formal recall, in which the company is urging owners to stop using them immediately and return them to the company to be retrofitted. That applies to Model 700 and Model Seven rifles manufactured between May 1, 2006, and April 9, 2014, and equipped with an X-Mark Pro trigger. Remington admits those guns may have a manufacturing defect that could cause them to fire without a trigger pull, and is offering to retrofit them with a new X-Mark Pro trigger. If you are unsure when your gun was manufactured, Remington has set up a website where you can enter your gun's serial number. The site is only for the guns that are formally being recalled.
For the rest, Remington offers a free retrofit or a product voucher if you want it. Those guns have what is known as a Walker trigger, which includes a tiny part called a trigger connector. Multiple lawsuits have alleged the connector can become dislodged, making the guns susceptible to firing without a trigger pull. Remington has always denied the allegations. Nonetheless, the company is offering to replace Walker triggers with a "connectorless" trigger, in most cases the X-Mark Pro. However, for the older guns, the company is offering a coupon instead. Remington introduced the X-Mark Pro in 2006. It is an externally adjustable trigger that Remington claims is so smooth, it "breaks like glass."
In the case of the 2006-2014 Model 700s, everyone agrees the guns may be defective and should be retrofitted.
As for the rest of the guns, you ultimately will have to make that judgment for yourself.
Remington maintains that guns with the Walker trigger are safe, despite dozens of lawsuits and thousands of customer complaints about the guns firing without the trigger being pulled. Even so, while benefits under the settlement generally will not be available until the court gives its final approval, Remington is offering a free retrofit now for those owners who certify that their guns fired without a trigger pull and caused injury or property damage.
But critics including plaintiffs and some firearms experts say every gun with a Walker trigger is dangerous and could fire unexpectedly. They urge all owners to take advantage of the settlement offer.
Regardless, always practice proper firearm safety, including always pointing the gun in a safe direction, never chambering a round until you are ready to fire, and keeping your gun clean and well-maintained.
Fortunately, you do not need to disassemble the gun to determine which firing mechanism it has. Simply look at the face of the trigger itself and compare it to the pictures below. If it has grooves, it is a Walker trigger. If it is smooth, it is an X-Mark Pro.
Only in some cases. If you had a Model 700 or Model Seven rifle with a Walker trigger, and you had it replaced with an X-Mark Pro between May 1, 2006, and April 9, 2014, not only are you entitled to a new X-Mark Pro under the recall, but Remington will also reimburse you up to $119 for the original replacement. You will either need to provide a receipt, or sign an affidavit indicating how much you paid.
The first step is to submit a claim, which you can do right away, even before the settlement is approved. If your gun qualifies for a retrofit, the claim form explains what happens next. If your gun qualifies for a coupon or a refund, you will receive it after the settlement is approved.
Yes. You will have 18 months from the date the settlement is approved to file a claim. With as many as 7.5 million guns involved, it is probably not a good idea to wait until the last minute.
Depending on the model, you will be able to bring or ship your gun — at Remington's expense — either to a company-authorized repair center or to Remington itself.
Remington is currently estimating it will take 12 weeks from the time your gun is received until you get it back.
Not anymore. The deadline to opt out or object to the settlement was Oct. 5. That means if you own one of these guns, you are automatically a member of the class and you are entitled to take advantage of the benefits once the court gives final approval.