Okay -- I didn't have to sell either one of them, but I wanted to pick up a Saiga .410 shotgun for developing experimental shotgun ammunition and when you've got as many projects kicking around as I do it can be good to dispense with a bit of sentimentality in order to keep things rolling.
After pulling the action from the stock, I just couldn't shake the impression that the fire control system of the 700 looked like it had been built in a Chinese mouse trap factory, so down the road it went.
The safety of the Remington 700 is in debate, though truthfully the guns have been involved in, at worst, a truly rare handful of accidental discharges that may be due in part to a design weakness that Remington apparently refused to allow the gun's designer to remedy. Unfortunately for Remington, a dead child is a dead child is a dead child. It only takes one to seriously damage your corporate image if the public feels it's likely that you put profit above safety and willfully ignored the consistent and repeated pleas of your own expert to make an inexpensive change that would put things right. If this is true, then Remington deserves whatever it gets in the way of fallout. If it's false, then it is unfortunate but probably could be managed much better by the firm.
Personally, I'd like to see exhaustive cold weather tests of the 700 to determine if congealed gun lubricants might be causing these accidents. Cold weather is the only common denominator I'm seeing in the accidents that appear to involve un-altered rifles. This is beyond my resources here at KIR. In fact, I should be clear that my personal experience with the 700 is slight. The one above is the only one I've owned, and I must admit that it was a remarkably accurate rifle that carried well in the field. i did experience a couple of failures to extract with the weapon, in less than 40 rounds, and never could find an explanation for the failures however, and in general I would caution that the 700 -- despite its military applications -- is at heart a light duty civilian hunting rifle.