Book Review: "Unsafe By Design"

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Book Review: "Unsafe By Design"

Post by mtngun » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:13 pm

Is the Remington M700 (the Walker version) really unsafe? I used to be skeptical, but I was forced to change my opinion after reading Jack Belk's book Unsafe By Design.

I became acquainted with the author, Jack Belk, while shooting silhouette at the Jerome, Idaho range back in the 80's. Jack spotted for me on at least one occasion, but I don't remember him being very talkative. At any rate I did not get to know Jack well though after reading his book, I wish I had gotten to know him well! :lol:

If you're interested in the controversy surrounding the Walker trigger, this book is a must read.

Or, if you are interested in trigger design in general, this book is a good read. It's a good companion to Stuart Otteson's book on triggers. While Stuart focused on trigger pull and lock time, Jack focuses on what can go wrong to make a trigger fire when it is not supposed to.

The book is written in conversational style, so you don't have to be a gunsmith to understand it. About half the book covers the Walker trigger, while the rest covers other triggers that have serious defects.

If after reading the book you still don't believe the Walker trigger is defective, consider that Mike Walker acknowledged that both the design and the manufacturing methods had problems. Walker asked Remington to make changes but the beancounters vetoed his suggestions. :(
In the sworn testimony, Walker recalled multiple conflicts with Remington's process engineers, who were responsible for turning his designs into manufactured products.

"The process engineers were eliminating the recommendations that I had made," Walker says.
Walker told attorneys that his proposed change would have locked the trigger in place while the gun's safety was on — a feature that Walker said would have made the mechanism less likely to fail. But Remington rejected the idea.
A 1948 Remington memo obtained by CNBC said that Walker's proposal was "the best design," however "its disadvantages lay in the high expenditure required to make the conversion." The projected cost: 5.5 cents per gun.
Mind you I never experienced a problem with the one Walker trigger that I used for a while (it has since been replaced with a Jewell). Most Remington owners don't experience problems. But all it takes is a little bit of lint or unburnt powder, and BANG! :evil: