This unfortunate incident is a really good heads up on how to deal with a company when there is a potential product safety defect. I know all good intentions just to get the rifle replaced but whenever you give up the product back to the manufacturer, you have lost leverage and evidence. I am not an attorney nor do I know if this list is all inclusive or even if legal requirements have been met under any circumstance but this is what I would do if I had a firearm product safety related incident.
- Document date, time and place, weather included.
- Get statements from witnesses if any.
- Photograph everything involved.
- Document any injuries and any treatment rendered. Even if it was "just a scratch" I would have it looked at by a medical professional to document the extent and treatment. Obviously photographs of injuries are absolutely necessary.
- Identify every component involved in the incident, manufacturer, model, serial numbers, age,modifications etc. Identify and photograph gun case used for transport as well.
- Ammunition whether factory or reloads. Yes, I am well aware of reloads and warranties but that is for an attorney to provide actual legal guidance on. Internet attorneys are just that, internet so it must be true.
- Purchasing records are important especially if warranties are involved or even if you want a replacement.
- Document evaluation by an "expert" for the product to confirm condition such as a "certified" gunsmith.
- Consult with an attorney that specializes in product safety even if it is a telephone call to determine validity of potential claim or replacement.
- I would depend upon the attorney to provide guidance on return of the rifle to insure I have still leverage and control.
- When in doubt, photograph it!