By David E. Petzal
Editor’s Note: In light of the recent controversial CNBC program that deemed Remington Model 700 rifles unsafe, we asked Rifles Editor and Gun Nut blogger David E. Petzal to view the broadcast and offer his thoughts in this extended post. Petzal, a 54-year shooter, NRA Certified Rifle Instructor, former Army Drill Sergeant, and one the country’s foremost gun authorities, had this to say:
On October 20, CNBC ran a program entitled “Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation.” Claimed to be the result of 10 months’ of investigation by CNBC, it was narrated by a Senior Correspondent named Scott Cohn. The focus of the program was the trigger designed in the late 1940s for the Remington 721 (the predecessor to the 700) by Remington engineer Mike Walker. According to CNBC, the trigger was known to be defective almost from its inception; its design allegedly allows the rifle to be fired without the trigger being pulled. This has resulted, the program claimed, in thousands of complaints caused by accidental firings, as well as injuries and deaths.
Those are the bare bones. As I expected, “Remington Under Fire” was a hatchet job. The verdict is guilty from the get-go. No one from Remington would come on the program, nor would anyone from Cerberus, Remington’s parent company. This is not because they have something to hide, but because they know that if they appear on a program like this they will be made to look like liars or fools or both. If you’d like an example, consult any of the “documentaries” made by the lovely and talented Michael Moore.