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  #1  
Old 09-20-2015, 11:21 AM
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Post OBJECTION to proposed Remington-Walker Class action


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For the past two years, I've been involved as an expert consultant to a group of plaintiff's lawyers, some of which I've worked for more than 20 years, in the so-called "Pollard Settlement". It became clear I was being 'played' and that's not acceptable.

This is the court the big boys play in (Read 'King of Torts' by Grisham). It's an uncomfortable position to be in but to do otherwise would be to be tremendously hypocritical of me. By objecting to the settlement I've risked everything for the sake of safer guns and shooting sports but I told the lawyers to start with they would get nothing but the truth from me. I don't dance. I invite anyone to read the court documents,Remington Trigger Recall on the right side of the page and make your own decision, but I think it's wrong to sneak through a 'settlement' that allows for inferior firearms or firearms parts. I think it is corporate irresponsibility on a very large scale and have said so in a book and now have again in court.

Anyone can object to the settlement or opt out of it, if you like (special circumstances). To do nothing is to accept it. October 5th is the deadline to file for either. You do NOT have to attend the hearing in Kansas City in December to testify.

I've told the lawyers and the judge what I'm going to testify to in open Court in December and they've read it again here. I have no secrets and the judge has ruled (for the first time in more than forty years) there will be no secrets kept in this case. I think it's important and I'd be glad to hear from others.

This is the objection, the rest is background.

Your honor, this proposed settlement is a bad deal for the rifle owners of America - and the rest of the world - for three primary reasons:

The proposed settlement places triggers known to be short-lived and unreliable, the X Mark Pro in the place of triggers known to be defective and unreasonably dangerous by design, the Walker. The XMP trigger introduces a defect in rifles unheard of in four hundred years of firearms development by simply being so fragile as to fail long before the end of the expected useful life of the rifle. Historically, the trigger should be and is expected to be the last thing on the rifle to wear out, not the first. It was told to me by plaintiff's council (and then denied) that up to 30% of returned XMP triggers are replaced due to wear or other faults instead of being cleaned and returned to service.. Documents to confirm or deny this figure were not supplied me nor were any of the rejected triggers made available for my examination. I can only surmise, from the multiple XMP triggers I've seen and examined in detail, that I am seeing a true cross-section of the triggers in use, and they are failing to maintain their specified configuration and dimensions due to accelerated degradation of critical parts of the trigger assembly. This in my opinion is clear indication of a material defect in the quality of those parts that must be corrected before rifles fitted with XMP triggers are deemed to be safer for use by the shooting public than rifles fitted with the Walker trigger.

Secondly, it is not fair to gun owners to require de-facto registration of their firearm for a very simple parts-replacement repair. There is no reason for a customer's rifle to leave his state of residence to be re-fitted with a suitable replacement trigger. To require shipment of a customer's rifle back to the factory is unnecessarily inconvenient, complicated and expensive and assures very limited response by gun owners to a very serious problem of public safety. Such a requirement is therefore obviously counter productive to the stated purpose of the suit.

Lastly, the proposed Pollard settlement has no provisions for the education and advising of customers of a dangerous condition in existence since the manufacture of their firearm. There is no provision for widespread publicly disseminated educational information whatsoever concerning what Remington has known to be a defect for more than sixty-five years. If the customer does not know the true facts about his defective product he can make no fully informed decision with regard to its ultimate repair.. This lack of basic truthful information made available by the manufacturer has created an unduly dangerous condition literally affecting world markets. It was and is my hope the Pollard case would address this factor. It presently does not. In fact, the proposed Pollard settlement does exactly the opposite by furthering improper public perceptions of injustices done to Remington Arms company by plaintiff's lawyers when in fact it is Remington that has created and promoted the dangerous confusion by continuing its mode of defense of a defective product rather than devoting its full efforts to the correction of the defects exhibited by that product. Speaking as the owner of several of the most dangerous of the Walker triggers, I would rather have the truth from Remington than a twelve dollar hat.

I am in favor of a nationwide advisory and I would be in favor of a replacement program for Walker triggered guns, but only if the replacement is safer and of better quality than the Walker. Remington claims the XMP is better. So do plaintiff's attorneys, but they have denied me the triggers and the information needed to support their position. I therefore have no choice but to oppose the proposed settlement of the Pollard suit for the above reasons.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Belk Certification.pdf (6.3 KB, 176 views)
File Type: pdf Belk Objection.pdf (16.1 KB, 179 views)
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2015, 11:55 AM
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Mr. Belk,
I neither Own nor contemplate Purchasing a Remington rifle with either the Walker or Follow on XMP Trigger assemblies.
I do Possess a M1903A3 rifle which MAY have some Remington components in it from wartime production.

That being said: Is It useful for me to file a protest/Objection with the Court in this case?

Best Regards,
Chev. William
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2015, 12:38 PM
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No, it isn't. Only members of the 'class' can object to it. Those are owners of Walker triggers, there's a whole list of them in the documents, and those that returned or bought XMP triggers during a previous recall.

The judge reads the objections (and I'm sure listens in court) but he does not have to act on it in any way or give it value. This judge has asked for the truth to be told and that gives me hope.
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2015, 07:36 AM
Dom Dom is offline
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Des this mean my one Rem 700 purchased new in 1964 & my other 700 bought new in 1971 fit into this trigger recall. Thanks Dom
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2015, 08:28 AM
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Yes it does. In fact, both your rifles also should be altered to remove the bolt lock feature. Your '64 gun is probably a double sear Walker and is more dangerous than most.
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2015, 02:17 PM
Dom Dom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBelk View Post
Yes it does. In fact, both your rifles also should be altered to remove the bolt lock feature. Your '64 gun is probably a double sear Walker and is more dangerous than most.
If I were to put an after market trigger on both these rifles would that cure the problem. Thank you for your info. I do appreciate it. Dom
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2015, 02:19 PM
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You still have to be careful of course. All over-ride triggers are 'fragile', but any aftermarket trigger is better than what you have now. Aftermarket triggers do not have a connector. That's the part that makes the Walker dangerous.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2015, 01:14 AM
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JBelk, thank you for your efforts on behalf of the shooting public. It takes a certain amount intestinal fortitude to stand up for the truth in situations such as this and I can appreciate that.

I have three Rem 700s. One is late 1980s, one is early 1990s, and one is around 2000. I would assume that all three of these are subject to the recall. I am planning on replacing the triggers with aftermarket triggers. Can I do that and still be part of the litigation so that I might get some sort of reimbursement or compensation from Remington to offset the cost?

Initially, I had decided to just replace the triggers and forget about getting anything out of Remington,, Do you have any insight into whether or not the consumer is going to get any meaningful compensation when all is said and done? You are the only one close to this case that most of us can talk to and I, for one, find it very interesting.
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2015, 04:42 AM
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Thanks Calicocat--

The sad reality is that Remington will most likely not pay for a good replacement trigger and they seem to have no interest in making a good trigger as a replacement. There are no provisions in the current proposal to pay for any aftermarket trigger, but those that paid Remington for an XMP get their money back.

There are customers that believe they're the victim of consumer fraud and would like to get that before the courts in hopes of recovery some of the money they've spent in making their rifles safe but that brings in a whole new group of lawyers with few means of getting paid....which severely limits the number of interested lawyers. For such a move to get much traction would take states attorney generals to get involved and I don't like to mix politicians and guns any more than absolutely necessary.

Information seems to be the key. It is what Remington seems to fear the most and have spent millions trying to hide. My book laid bare the history and the effect it's had on the firearms business. It ain't pretty, but it's the truth.
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2015, 06:51 AM
Dom Dom is offline
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What do I do. Do I just contact Remington on the phone or is there a specific e-mail site to go to. Thank you so much for your help. Dom
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  #11  
Old 09-22-2015, 07:16 AM
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Interesting case Jack. I'm curious in the twenty plus years you've worked this case how many courts or jurisdictional changes and law firms have been involved. Also curious how many times you've been deposed and how many pounds of legal documents you're holding and storing. You may hold a record for forensic witness longevity.

Is the "Walker" trigger named for Mike Walker ? And if you don't mind since the 700's are named I assume those sweet 600/660 actions are too --thinking same trigger module ? And if you further don't mind sharing how about the 788 's -- aren't they a different animal completely ?

I've got some reading to catch up on with your name on it but recovering from shoulder replacement right now.

Regards

Sorry for the asking on specific actions. I just now read your thread below with all the answers except about Mike Walker. People taking pain medicine should be banned from posting --perhaps ?

Last edited by garbler; 09-22-2015 at 07:24 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-22-2015, 08:06 AM
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Garbler-- You mean the pain killers got you garbled?

Twenty-three years of talking to hundreds of lawyers in just about every state with about three dozen depositions and a dozen court appearances thrown in, too. Just one case can have a foot-locker full of paper with it, but I don't store it. I give it back so I don't have to worry about it getting in the wrong hands. A company DOES have a right to protect their secrets that don't affect public safety and I keep those secrets.

M.H. (Mike) Walker was truly a great engineer, shooter, inventor and human being. He died at a still sharp 104 and saw the trigger named after him cause great heart-ache. He testified in several cases it was agonizing for me to read it. He knew his trigger but he was also an honorable employee of DuPont that tried to do the right thing. I'm sure more will be written about him in some future book. We, that love accurate rifles, have more to thank Mike Walker for than most any other engineer iin history. (Most our heroes are mechanics, not engineers.)

Dom-- Go to this site http://remingtonfirearmsclassactionsettlement.com and follow directions if you want to get on the list for a new XMP trigger. That website belongs to the class action Administrators for this suit in Philadelphia. I understand they have about 2600 on the list now and about 5,000 have called the toll free number to ask about it.

I welcome the discussion.
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  #13  
Old 09-22-2015, 11:17 AM
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Jack all I can say is these attorneys and this case have consumed a big chunk of your life so I hope your billing out regularly and deeply. I'm no stranger to the witness stand but I've never heard of anybody working a case so long. For those who've never done work of this type it is very strenuous and taxing and has caused many an expert to burn out and beg off after just one or two depositions. You get pretty thick skin after years of opposing attorneys calling you incompetent, stupid, deceitful and who knows what.

Sorry to hear but certainly not surprised that they drug Mike Walker onto the stand. It must have been exceptional though since judges routinely dismiss people of that many years unless they are extremely lucid and sharp and both sides agree. I hope they didn't beat him up -- that would have been a moral crime.

Oh BTW the term Garble or Garbling is a very old word dating back to square rigger days and freight. The meaning will surprise you

Thanks and regards

Last edited by garbler; 09-22-2015 at 11:23 AM.
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2015, 11:40 AM
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This particular case is my own deal. Nobody to pay for the work on it but me.

I was told ten years ago that I was the 'top dog' of 'un-papered' expert witnesses. I'm sure the canine references weren't by accident! About four years ago I ran across the same gal and she said I was becoming a legend among the few that keep track of such things.

The neat thing is to see what gunsmiths usually don't see. To have an hour with an operator on a scanning electron microscope with parts to look at is semi-orgasmic to a mechanic and I don't have to write the checks. I've spent days at NSI in Roger, MN looking at CT scans of firearms innards and hours in some of the best metallurgical laboratories in the country and talking with people with more degrees on the wall than I can count ancestors.

When the lawyers sneer and say, 'You didn't even go to college, did you?'. I testify, "Yes sir I did, I taught at one."

Poking dragons is hot and dangerous work and sometimes you have to look for the fun parts, but they're there.

Walker-- He was a hundred years old and sharper than most engineers half that age in his last deposition. It was limited in time and scope and the lawyers did a great job of allowing his humanity to shine through. They got the information they needed and everybody was smiling at the end.
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Last edited by JBelk; 09-22-2015 at 11:43 AM.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2015, 12:00 PM
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I cannot say the number of times I have been "scolded" by M700 owners who claimed that anyone even hinting there was actually a problem with M700, M600 & M660 was anti-gun and supporting those that were/are.

As the owner of a M660 that did fire on it's own as the safety was moved to OFF so as to unload the rifle, I felt I knew better. I did my proper dliligence and found out (prior to the computer age!) that there was a recall by Remington (still ongoing AFAIK) and then I shipped them my rifle to be "fixed" which simply consisted of modifying the rifle so the bolt could be opened with the safety in the ON position. I'd have to figure that this change made by Remington, while not curing the defect, did at least help prevent what could have been many more discharges that then could have resulted in many more injuries or deaths.

Those rifles, so built and modified, have now reached into the multiple millions in number and are at least are safer if not actually "safe". I do now hope people will see the truth in how Remington schemed for decades to lie and deceive the shooting public all while selling guns they know had defects.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:26 PM
Dom Dom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBelk View Post
Garbler-- You mean the pain killers got you garbled?

Twenty-three years of talking to hundreds of lawyers in just about every state with about three dozen depositions and a dozen court appearances thrown in, too. Just one case can have a foot-locker full of paper with it, but I don't store it. I give it back so I don't have to worry about it getting in the wrong hands. A company DOES have a right to protect their secrets that don't affect public safety and I keep those secrets.

M.H. (Mike) Walker was truly a great engineer, shooter, inventor and human being. He died at a still sharp 104 and saw the trigger named after him cause great heart-ache. He testified in several cases it was agonizing for me to read it. He knew his trigger but he was also an honorable employee of DuPont that tried to do the right thing. I'm sure more will be written about him in some future book. We, that love accurate rifles, have more to thank Mike Walker for than most any other engineer iin history. (Most our heroes are mechanics, not engineers.)

Dom-- Go to this site http://remingtonfirearmsclassactionsettlement.com and follow directions if you want to get on the list for a new XMP trigger. That website belongs to the class action Administrators for this suit in Philadelphia. I understand they have about 2600 on the list now and about 5,000 have called the toll free number to ask about it.
I welcome the discussion.
Thank you Sir. I have both my Rem. 700 rifles enrolled in the trigger replacement program. Your diligence is most appreciated. Dom
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2015, 01:59 PM
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This may be a bit off topic but relevant considering the scope and depth of defective triggers on so many popular rifles. Anyway as Calicocat , TNhunter and I'm sure others I have three 600's and one 700 Mtn Rifle. I will be looking for a moderately priced hunting grade adjustable trigger to swap out on two or three of these guns. I've install in the past a sweet Canjar adj set ( they're gone no ?), two Timneys I was not impressed, and a Jewell fir a Mike Walker built 40X.

So Jack, not to put you on the spot but what's out there these days that's reliable, adjustable and moderately priced if you don't mind

Thanks
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  #18  
Old 09-22-2015, 02:30 PM
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Triggers that don't use a 'connector' are safer than the Walker and all aftermarket triggers are such triggers. So is the XMP. You pay for fit and finish and some are better than others. They're all good.

In my shop, I repair more Walkers than I install aftermarkets. It's been that way for 45 years. I assure proper sear lift on safety and fix the connector solid to the trigger. then precision grind the proper angles to make it work as a different design. If the sear lift is not proper (.008 to .015") in install another safety. There is no way to 'rebuild' a safety, no matter what Remington says and did. The trigger cannot be 'repaired' by my method without a very good understanding of micro-geometric tool grinding and the tools to do it properly.

The bolt lock should be removed in all Remington Walker triggers. Its a simple home job if you have a bench grinder or Dremel and pair of pliers. Just understand that 'repairing' the safety bolt lock does not make the trigger more safe, it can still fail, but the rifle is more safe because you can unload it while it's on safe.

FSR-- Fire on Safety Release has proven more deadly than the other failures identified in the Walker. In fact, FSR is probably more than half the total failures and the first defect identified by Walker in 1947.
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:13 PM
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The "fire on safety release" was an extremely dangerous flaw. Those that owned later M700s seemed to never understand that particular "problem" as their rifles could be used for a long time, including days when hunting and no game was seen, without ever sliding the safety to fire when the did NOT intend to fire the rifle.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:12 AM
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This mourning I took my Dremel tool & carefully, slowly cut off the bolt lock portion of the safety lever. Now I can open my bolt with safety on. Makes me feel much safer. It was your information that allowed me to do this. Thanks again.
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