Thursday, March 29, 2012

Remington's Quality Control

A common theme in some gun related forum discussions is how Remington’s quality control seems to have taken a turn for the worse in recent years. My current experiences seem to back that up.

I took my Remington 7615 rifle back to my gun shop today. There are a couple of problems with it that, in my opinion, make it unusable.
Firstly, the scope mounting rail doesn’t seem to be level. Between myself and the gun shop, we’ve tried three different scopes and 2 different rails and all are way out. When I was out test firing and sighting in my Redfield scope the other day I found that with the scope elevation and windage zeroed it was shooting very low at 100 yards. When attempting to adjust the elevation I ran out of adjustment well before the barrel and scope were even close. The Redfield 3-9 x 50 scope has 56 MOA of adjustment. In typical bush fashion I took the scope of and laid down four layers of black insulation tape in the rear lower scope ring to raise the rear of the scope. I replaced the scope and tightened the rings down. This did the trick and I was able to zero the scope at 200 yards with reasonable accuracy. Obviously this is not ideal as the scope rings would be out of alignment, putting stress on the scope tube.

As the rings I was using were 1.5” high, I grabbed a set of lower rings to try to see if that would help. It didn’t. The rings were too low for the objective lens and the edge was touching the barrel when mounted.
When I took it back to the dealer he confirmed that it was way out with another set of scope rings. He swapped out the mounting rail and re-attached the rings... same result. I suggested that a 20 MOA mount or shimming the existing mount would solve the problem, but I’m no expert and I will wait to hear back from him, once he has contacted the Australian Distributor, Raytrade. If the Redfield scope has 56 MOA of total elevation adjustment (28 MOA up and 28 MOA down) and it took all of that and more to achieve a 200 yard zero, then a 20 MOA mount would be the minimum it needs if I ever want to shoot at longer ranges with it.

What is the root cause of this problem? A machining issue with the receiver? Mis-aligned barrel compared to the receiver? A bent barrel? (When I put it like that it makes me think I should get it sent back to the distributor for inspection)
The second problem was with the rear open sight mounting. The front allen head bolt of the rear sight was spinning freely when I first noticed it. I took it out and attempted to tighten it down, but it would only screw in about one thread deep. I removed the sight and inspected the hole. It looked like the thread was buggered or non-existent.
I guess I have three choices with the second problem.
      1. Ignore it. I don’t think I’ll be using the rifle without a scope anyway. BUT... if I ever want to sell this rifle, I’d probably sell it without a scope and remount the open sights. My conscience wouldn’t let me sell it with a loose bolt that can't be tightened.
      2. Get the dealer to send the rifle back to Raytrade under warranty. This would mean being without the gun for quite a while, but it would be fixed or replaced.
      3. Get the dealer to attempt to drill it out and tap a new thread. Not ideal, as they are not gunsmiths. 
So really, the rifle in it's current state is unusable. I can't mount a scope and I can't rely on a insecurely mounted rear open sight.

Is Remington’s quality control slipping? Am I the only one with the scope mounting rail issue?
Let me know your opinion.

UPDATE 30/3/12:  Had a call this morning from the dealer. He had spoken to the Australian Remington distributor and they have requested the rifle be sent back for them to inspect. I've dropped it off. Let's see how long this takes and what the result will be.

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