Part of a new series of articles we’ve been hoping to get started is a number of How To articles! The first of which will be How To Swap a Remington 700 trigger. There are a number of reasons you might want to do this, not the least of which is the less than stellar X-Mark trigger that comes on Remington 700’s from the factory. You might have heard about the recall of a large number of X-Mark triggers recently. What you probably didn’t hear is that merely sending the trigger to Remington isn’t an option, you have to send the whole rifle back. Then you have to wait for them to make the fix and return the rifle. Why not skip the hassle and swap the trigger yourself? What if you’re progressing in your shooting and you just want a nicer trigger than what comes on the gun from the factory? Well, this article is for you, then!
Swap a Remington Trigger
So how’s it done? It’s pretty simple, there’s really only one spot that can hang you up a little and even that isn’t a big deal. For starters, have a look at the rifle and the trigger assembly. I recommend a padded set of vice jaws so you can hang the action up in front of you so working on it is easier. Once you have the rifle out of the stock and in a padded set of vice jaws look at it from the non-ejection port cover side. You should see something similar to this photo.
Immediately above the shoe you can see one of the pins holding the trigger assembly in place. If you then look left you can see the second trigger pin partially obscured by the bolt stop lever. The trick is to tap those pins out. Start with the rear pin, use a 1/8th inch punch. If the pins are tight, you can use a 1/16th inch punch to get things started. Tap the rear pin out, don’t smack it and send the pin flying just tap it out. As the pin moves from the left side of the action to the right, the bolt stop and bolt stop spring will fall free. Catch them, don’t lose them! The trigger will probably drop down and hang from the front pin. Tap that out the same way! You should then have the trigger, two pins, the bolt stop, and the bolt stop spring on your counter or bench! Success you just removed the trigger!
Installing the New Trigger!
Like anything in life, taking it apart is easier than putting it back together. This isn’t that bad though. You are going to install the new trigger in reverse order from how you took the old one off. Slip the front of the trigger into the action and tap the front pin in. Which is which? Short pin goes in the front, rear pin goes in the back. Tap the pin in so the trigger hangs from the front pin like the old one did right before you removed it. Now comes the tricky part, if you can call it that. Setting up the bolt stop and spring. It’s not that bad, but it can be a PITA sometimes and it’s why custom actions all have side bolt releases. They work just as well or better and you can skip all this sillyness when doing trigger work!
The bolt stop has a big ear sticking up on the left, and a small ear on the right. This is how you should orient the bolt stop. The big ear faces toward the front of the action. The bolt stop spring has a long leg with a little ear, a loop, and a small leg with an ear. You want to orient the bolt stop spring just like this. The long leg with the ear should face the front of the action, the loop goes behind the hole in the bolt stop, and the little leg and ear will hook under the center of the action. It makes more sense once you’ve done it a few times.
Bolt Stop Bitchery
This is the only part that can be frustrating. After you have the bolt stop spring set up behind the bolt stop, you have to push them up into the slot, align both the bolt stop and spring loop with the hole for the rear pin, and push the pin in to get it started. Once you’ve got that started, you can push the pin back out, not all the way! Just enough so it doesn’t block the trigger from swinging up into place. Then you can push it back through the trigger and out the right (ejection side) of the action. You want the pins to sit flush.
If you made it this far, congratulations, you did it! You swapped the trigger on your Remington 700. I’ve done this many times and even now, that damn bolt stop and spring occasionally give me a hard time. So if it does the same for you, don’t let it get you pissed off. Walk away for a few minutes, have a beer, come back and try it again. I never thought much of it until I had a side bolt release installed on a Remington 700 action. It makes life a lot easier when you don’t even have to goof with it. The video below goes through the same process, hopefully some guys find it useful. If you have little tips or tricks for how to simplify the process, please drop them in the comments below!