Survival Gear Review: Henry US Survival AR-7 Rifle

AR7

Since 1959, the US Air Force has been using the AR-7 as a survival rifle for pilots.  We loved the idea behind the AR-7 so we decided to put it through the paces at SurvivalCache to see if it would live up to the term “Survival Rifle”…and it did. 

By the SurvivalCache.com Team

The AR-7

Let me start off by saying that the AR-7 by Henry Repeating Arms would not be my first choice of a SHTF survival gun.  I would probably lean toward an AR-15, AK-47, Glock 17, or a 12 gauge shotgun.  But I don’t think the AR-7 fits into the typical “SHTF Bug Out Weapon” category.  The AR-7′s sweet spot is really as an emergency survival rifle, not to be confused with a SHTF rifle.  If you find yourself backpacking over long stretches wilderness, on a bush plane in Alaska or Canada, or on long road trips in a car or truck, then you are talking about the AR-7′s sweet spot.  At only 3.5 lbs, the AR-7 is a purpose built survival rifle.

The first thing I noticed was the tough exterior of the Henry’s stock.  Made from ABS plastic, which has the important Survival Gun
mechanical property of being impact resistance and known for toughness, this stock felt like it was made to survive.  The next thing that I really liked was the overall length of the survival rifle when it is disassembled and all pieces were stowed in the butt stock.  At only 16.5 inches, this rifle could easily find it’s way into the truck of my car next to my “Get Home Bag.”

The assembly of the rifle was very intuitive and I quickly assembled it even before reading the directions.  I went back over the directions to make sure I did not miss anything before firing.  Once the AR-7 survival rifle was assembled, it handled very nicely and the ergonomics were great considering I was holding a rifle that was built to be tough, light and assembled very quickly in an emergency.  The 8 round magazine provides a little bit of comfort in a survival scenario, there is something about being able to quickly fire off 8 rounds accurately that is reassuring to me.  I also like the fact that you have an extra magazine (8 rounds) which you can keep secure in the butt stock or in your pocket.  When it comes to survival more is sometimes better.

When I first fired the AR-7 I noticed that both my hands found natural positions on the rifle which felt very good.  Although it  wasEmergency Weapon not the traditional way I would hold a rifle, my supporting hand quickly found a good spot along the magazine well.  Another cool survival feature about the AR-7  is that the front sight post is bright blaze orange.  This was ideal for quickly acquiring a target in all conditions.  With the rest of the rifle colored black (barrel, upper receiver, and stock), the orange front site post really stood out when looking through the rear sight peep site.

Shooting:

If you have shot a .22 LR before then this rifle is no different.  There is very little recoil and the report of the rifle was minimal.  In a survival situation the low recoil could come in handy if you had to put multiple rounds into the same target quickly. I shot through 10 magazines of ammo right out of the box with no malfunctions, not bad.

SurvivalCache Video Review of the AR-7

Features:

Action Type: Semi-automatic
Caliber: .22 LR
Capacity: 8 round magazine (comes with 2 magazines)
Length: 35″ assembled – 16.5″ when stowed
Weight: 3.5 lbs.
Stock: ABS Plastic
Sights: Adjustable rear, blade front (bright orange)
Finish: Teflon coated receiver and coated steel barrel
Country: Made in the USA
M.S.R.P. $275.00

Overall:

I was pleasantly surprised by this rifle and with features like a waterproof stock and the ability to float, it is hard to beat the Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle in it’s sweet spot which is survival.  With the low cost of the rifle ($200 to $275) and all of its features, you can see how this rifle could find its way into your car survival kit.  Put it in the trunk, sealed in a Loksak bag with a desiccant.  Store some extra gun lube and 500 rounds of .22 LR and you are prepared for emergencies for a little over $200.

Changes

The only thing that I noticed was that the stock seemed to have a lot of extra space in it.  If I was going to make changes to the AR-7, I would make the magazines 16 rounds each for a total of 32 rounds.  I would also add a fire starter and a small pocket knife to the butt stock compartment.  There seems to be enough space but I am no engineer, overall I really enjoyed the survival rifle and recommend it if it fits into your plan.

 

Visit Our New Survival Gear Store – Forge Survival Supply


Video by:
SurvivalCache.com Team
Photos by:
Henry Repeating Arms
The SurvivalCache.com Team

 

{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe July 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Great review! I've been considering an AR-7 for quite some time but haven't been convinced. Sounds like it's worthwhile.

A good .22 rifle is one of the three weapons that I recommend that every prepper needs. The other two are a good 12 gauge and a 30.06 or 30-30.

Thanks!

Joe

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Kyler September 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Im kind of confused as to why the 30-06 (a long range rifle) and a 30-30 (a short range brush gun) occupy the same spot in your list. The 30-06 is a gun that’s great out to 300 yards or more with the proper optics, as while the 30-30 shoots a much larger, much slower bullet that isn’t accurate past 100 yards.

If you tried to shoot the 30-06 through brush or small debris, or even a window screen, the bullet could be effected as where the larger 30-30 would blow right through it with minimum problems.

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Rory March 22, 2013 at 1:35 am

Isn't obvious? If you live in an area, like PA, the 30-30 would be your best choice, but if you live in an area that is more open, then you would choose the 30-06. Kyler, I also recommend you research the 30-06 more, it comes with heavier rounds that can handle brush.

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Rory March 22, 2013 at 1:40 am

As a prepper I would also include a 22LR hand gun for self defense. It uses the same ammo as the AR-7, and at close range 22LR hollow points can slow a bad person down easily.

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CaptBart July 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm

thanks for the article. I've been flirting with the AR-7 as a 'keep it in the truck' rifle. I always have a major caliber handgun so a .22 rifle is a great hunting/signaling arm backed up by my handgun to deal with any big nasties that get up close and personal. I like it. again thanks for the article.

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wyzyrdap September 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm

LOL, CaptBart
<friendly banter>
– remember that if you're hungry and spot a squirrel (or similar small critter) , that li'l .22 can get you something to roast or stew. With the .45, it'll be sausage or 'burger:)
</friendly banter>

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Doc July 24, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Nice post, I've had mine for about 3 yrs and the author is correct, limited SHTF potential but a great backpacking rifle. Also its a little picky with ammo, first shot thunderbolt ammo had to switch to CCI ammo haven't had a problem yet.Keep up the great work guys.

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Suburban Survivalist July 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Good review. I really like the ability of the rifle to float, and it looks like the AR-7 has improved it's previous feed issues. Overall I still prefer the Marlin Papoose for a survival .22 – brand loyalty!

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Carter G July 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Great review! I just hope it can do 2.5 MOA, otherwise I would opt for the Papoose>(Which should be compared in the article)

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Don July 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I have two of these. I agree they are great little rifles. Compact and easy to pack. The only drawbacks in my opinion are the small caliber, and the rear "peep" sight is a pain.

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Matt January 17, 2012 at 8:02 am

Just got mine this weekend. At 15 yards shot an 8 round group the size of a quarter. I can live with that.

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Jacob of Kansith July 24, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Although somewhat harder to find and just a tad more expensive is the Marlin Papoose. http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/selfloadin… Very similar specs, but reputation says more reliable. I was about to purchase one until I won a free Savage model 64 in a raffle.

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PPK November 12, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Here's the problem I see with the Marlin Papoose. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but, if a person wants to add an AR 7 to their collection the Marlin Papoose is not an AR 7.

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Chefbear58 July 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm

My uncle has an AR-7, I used it many times to dispatch "furry woodland critters" (in season, -w- lisence of course) for supper on camping trips when I was a kid. His is an older model but is very compact/light/accurate/quiet and easy to maintain. The only thing I don't like about his older model is that it has a little bit of "play" between the stock and the reciever. Though in this particular examples case it might be because of the many, many years of use (he bought it used from a former Air Force pilot who carried it in his surival gear for many years). __I have also had experience with a similar firearm, it's made by Springfield and it's caled the M6 "Scout". It is an "over-under" style rifle that combines a .22LR and a .410 shotgun in one handy package. It also has some pretty handy storage slots for ammo in the colapsible stock and can be covered to "keep your powder dry". I could only find a few places with decent pictures of the M6, here is the best shots that I have come across http://www.armslist.com/posts/139643/toledo-ohio-…

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Chefbear58 July 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm

CONT-
My cousin owns another "survival rifle" which is similar to both the AR-7 and the M6. It's based on the design of the AR-7, but has the over-under style barrels of the M6 (.22LR/.410). Including the ability for everything to fold into the stock and be water-tight (Oh yeah, and it has a small storage compartment built in, aprox. 2"x4"x1"). I am not sure what the manufacturer is, and for the life of me I cannot seem to find anything similar online, but I know it's out there, I even remember seeing a similar model (not exactly the same, but very close) at a Dick's sporting-goods store a few years ago. I'll keep looking for the manufacturer, not only to share some info but also because I want to get one!

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Chefbear58 July 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm

CONT-
The whole idea of a colapsible "survival rifle" is a great idea, but for me personally I would like to have one of the dual caliber/gauge models. The .410 is especially interesting because it gives you the option (with some, not all) to use a .45 LC (Long Colt) center-fire pistol cartridge, .410 slugs or any manner of shot. In a survival situation this can help you to not only obtain larger game animals, even possibly deer, but it would also give you the option of a more devistating option for predators (either the 4-legged or the 2-legged variety).
If you aren't as concerned with the ability to break-down to as small of a package as the AR-7, there are options available from companies like Remington. You can get all kinds of combinations of center/rim-fire rifle & shotgun set-ups. Personally, I am interested in the 12ga/.308 over-under combo-gun. The only problem I can see with these types of firearms is they are a little cumbersome to reload, so you have to make the 2-shots you have count!

Sorry if I am going on a bit guys… I love talkin' firearms!

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BamaMan July 26, 2011 at 11:56 am

How does the .45 shoot out of a smooth bore ?

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Chefbear58 July 28, 2011 at 2:29 am

It would probably be reasonably accurate, as long as you are talking within a reasonable distance for the combination of the smooth-bore and the ammunition (50-75 yds?). It would be similar to firing a .410 standard slug from a smooth-bore firearm, but would have just a bit more power behind it. Also, if my understaning is correct the projectile upon impact would be a bit heavier with the .45LC that with the .410 slug. However the big advantage isn't specifically that it you can fire the .45LC, but rather that you can have a wider array of ammunition which is compatable with the firearm. If you were to find yourself in need of a firearm in an "everyday-life" survival situation, like being stuck in the mountains (ex. vehicle breakdown, lost on a backpacking trip, etc), you would likely have specific ammunition in your kit which was chosen to deal with whatever you may face.

Dave H July 25, 2011 at 5:20 am

Great article on an important piece of gear! First off I am a big fan of Henry rifles! I have an H-OO1 lever action that is built like a swiss watch. It is my favorite .22 rifle to shoot period. I have been intrigued by the Henry Survival rifle for quite a while but have been reluctant due my past experience with the Charter Arms version that I had about 25 years ago. I bought it new and planned on using it for working my trapping line that I did for the BLM. I could not get it to shoot reliably with any type ammo. I finally took it back to the gunshop and traded it on a Marlin. That being said I have much more confidence in Henry producing a quality firearm. Also if you ever have a problem with a Henry, their customer service is what all firearms companies SHOULD be. YMMV.

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Kevinthenurse July 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm

My father has an older one that I "plinked" around with a lot as a kid. The stock was water resistant but not waterPROOF…. I did a submersion test on it. However, it did float! I think the reason they have not added other survival gear or bigger magazines to the stock may be due to buoyancy. The only mod we made was to apply thin sticky felt inside the stock to stop any rattles when disassembled.

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Kevinthenurse July 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Also, .22-short ammo did not have enough power to cycle the chamber.

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@neilevan July 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Try CCI MiniMag. And keep it well lubricated…

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@neilevan July 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm

.22 short should not be used in the AR-7. It is designed to shoot .22 Long Rifle only.

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CaptBart July 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

@neilevan,
out of curiosity, have you tried the subsonic rounds in the AR-7? If so, did it cycle OK? Thanks.

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Chefbear58 July 28, 2011 at 2:38 am

I have tried the sub-sonic rounds (CCI "CB caps") is several auto-loader rifles, including my uncle's AR7 and no it did not cycle through properly. I kept getting "stove-pipes" or "double-feeds". It's REALLY a problem in my Remington 597, I have never had it sucessfully cycle the sub-sonic rounds.

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CaptBart July 28, 2011 at 8:41 am

Thank you, sir. I'm not surprised but I was curious. It would make a difference in what kind of ammo you stocked. I don't currently have any sub-sonic stuff but I was wondering.

@neilevan July 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

I have an older one in camo and a bunch of 15-round magazines. It's not my favorite rifle, but it's the best thing to have in the Bug-out Bag

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CaptBart July 26, 2011 at 8:55 am

@neilevan,
do you have a source for 15 round magazines for the AR-7? That could be a great addition to the rifle.

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CaptBart July 31, 2011 at 6:35 pm

@neilevan,
I found a site for AR-7 stuff – http://ar7.imoutdoorshosting.com/store/page71.htm… Can't speak to their prices but they have a lot of stuff for the AR-7

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PPK November 12, 2011 at 8:33 pm

But those magazines won't work in the Henry model. Just the older versions.

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CaptBart November 13, 2011 at 6:18 am

That's good to know – it wasn't clear to me from the website. Thank you.

TINDERWOLF July 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I had an opportunity to purchase this rifle for $204 and sometimes kick myself for not getting it. However, when I handled it did not feel the best when I shouldered it. I should mention that I was in a gun shop wearing plain clothes and not gloves or outdoor clothing) The buttstock felt extremely bulky when I put my shooting hand in place to shoot and didn't feel right trying to hold the front end with my left hand. Looking back on it I think I should have looked past those things because it is not meant to feel and handle like a normal rifle. It is made to break down and be a small survival package. I wish I would have a chance to shoot one because I think now I would like it much better keeping these things in mind. I have a lever action henry and absolutely love it so i am curious to see how this dude handles in person. Thanks for the article Joel and keep us up to date if you use the rifle any more.

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fng1970 July 4, 2012 at 1:48 am

My nearest Walmart has one for sell for $220. Thought about getting one myself

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high desert livin July 25, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Another op is the H&r survivor ,mine is 410 w removable choke n a threaded barrel for 45 LC . Anothe cool thing stock is hollow . I have : small bick ,fishing kit , space blanket ,2 3" 000 , 2 #6 , 2 remington 230 Gr.jhp . 2 corbon 300 Gr +p ( not rated but the breach is huge , good for a couple}. The barel throws long colt w/out choke , w/ 000 and smaller . A realy cool gun . I also hace a savage mod 24 410/22 mag . a m6 410/.22 , and 2 AR7 one is a armalite pat pending , and one of the newer henrys . Need a papoose for collection . stay safe

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daegar July 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I have owned the Charter Arms ar-7 ( same thing) for ten years now, even took a turkey with it at a hundred yards in Montana a few years back. I have found some add ons to it as well: a 30 round mag, and a vented heat shield for the barrel. Of course with these things on it wont pack down into the stock. The only drawback is in cleaning it, you really cant get into the internals very easily and it flat out doesnt field strip. I just spray a lot of cleaner in there and blow it out, then oil it.

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Eugene April 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Its very easy to clean, remove the barrel and push the action back and little bit then remove the bole and it will all come out the front.

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BamaMan July 26, 2011 at 11:58 am

Never seen one of these rifles but looks to be a good idea for concealing your weapon. Upon first sight I would think it was part of a replacement stock but I guess the weight would give it away.

Looks nice and would pack well. Might get one… for the kids of course!!!

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CaptBart July 27, 2011 at 10:02 am

"for the kids of course!!!" ??? Un-Huh … I guess if you're like me you're the biggest kid in the room so it is, strictly speaking, the truth. Sort of like my first train set when I was 7 – after about 2 weeks I ask my mom when daddy was going to let me play with my train! He finally got all of the "BUGS" worked out of it so I got to play too :-) Just for the kids of course.

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BamaMan August 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

Uh-Huh sounds like my wife but I tell her it is better to get for the boys now while they are "cheaper" and they can grow into them!

Some of the best stuff I got from Dad to use in hunting and fishing was b/c he wanted it too! Win – win situation and everyone is happy.

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Rescue7 July 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

It aint perfect but it works. Small, light and easy to pack. Ammo is light an cheap. Lots of accessories can be found at: http://ar7.imoutdoorshosting.com/store/page12.htm…
Hard trigger pull for such a small caliber. Max effective range is about 100 yards… Best effective range inside 50. Like many survival weapons it is best suited as an ambush weapon. Good security weapon at night when you are hunkered down. CCI Stingers are hard to beat in close.
Has anyone found an effective way to add a sling?

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Chefbear58 July 28, 2011 at 2:55 am

Have to agree on the "stingers", the Remington "yellow jacket"rounds are pretty good to (and a hair cheaper around here at least)… They work especially well for dispatching coons. I managed to dispatch 3 the other night with 5 of the "yellow jackets" (one took several shots, he was a monster!).

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Straydog July 29, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thanks for the website. The last place I had seen these accessories was at "Franks Center", years ago before I aquired my Charter Arms AR7 used.

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T.Rapier July 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

It sounds good for it intended purpose . Never was a fan of .22s and like the 410 combo idea . Flotation ability could be easily compensated for by a bladder for the extra weight if you wanted to pack some extra things into the stock or more ammo as suggested above .

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SWATDUDE July 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

just bought a used one for $100, feel pretty good about it after reading the review.

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tackshooter July 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

nice review

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Tom July 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm

The stock is NOT WATERPROOF in the sense that it keeps the stored rifle components dry during floating or temporary submersion. The stock material is waterproof and the stock construction is buoyant, but it is most certainly not watertight (as of the last time I contacted the new manufacturer). This may or many not be an issue but I am disappointed in the manufacture's claim of "waterproof." The stock wont sink or rust, but your components are not sealed in a watertight compartment.

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CaptBart August 16, 2011 at 10:21 am

thank you for the heads up …. good to know info.

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Henry guy August 8, 2013 at 7:48 am

The parts are coated with Teflon so the water should not matter anyway

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Jack August 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Have had the Henry AR-7 for a year or so now. While I like it, the type of .22 ammo it consumes is limited, and seems to be consistent across versions and companies that have manufactured it. I get the best results with CCI coated rounds. If I am using a plain lead round, it jams up quite a bit… Does anyone know if they have fixed this feed issue with the newer model that was recently released?

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bob August 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm

ive heard this is a smooth bore and has no rifling. i can shoot my marlin at 200 yards within i inch of the red top on a water jug, with scope. does the ar have a scope mount? and a ten round mag seems like a lot of haveing to reload for ten shots. . tubular feed is a lot easire to deal with in my humble opinion

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Eugene April 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm

The current selling model has a rifles barrel and 8 round magazine

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Mike August 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hey I always feel bad about leaving unrelated comments on Survivalcache, but since theres no "forum" area for general discussion I was just gonna leave a question on their most recent article-
I just got done switching out my B.O.B. and realized I had all kinds of first aid and medicine but I have no form of a laxative. In a SHTF scenario do you think something in that department would be good to have? (I have room for it)

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CaptBart August 16, 2011 at 10:29 am

Mike,
A laxative might be good to have; I think having Immodium or some such might be more necessary. If I had room for only one, it'd be the anti-diarrhea as I suspect (based on "field" experience) that is the most likely result. Most often, the change in diet, fluid intake, and exposure to outdoors tend to lead to diarrhea.
Not thinking about this could lead to more than a little discomfort so it is good that you considered it. If you had room, I'd have both but more Immodium than laxatives. As an aside, I'd do a quick look-up for treatments for Amoebic Dysentery – been there and done that and lost 50 lbs. At 6ft 2in my weight was 108 lbs. If this is a possibility, having a treatment for that is a very good thing (it is different from Immodium).

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Jeff October 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm

for a good laxative look up the properties of the ash from your fire….white ash will help with constipation while black charcoal will help with diarrhea

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Jim August 8, 2011 at 10:44 am

This Rifle looks interesting indeed and may be worth picking up. But, how does it compare to a Kel tec SU-16A. It has .223 cal bullets fold in half and can be accessorized. Both seem to be relatively similiar in price. I tend to lean toward the .223 myself but what do yall think?

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Rescue7 August 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Ever shoot a rabbit or a dove with a .223?

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CaptBart August 16, 2011 at 10:42 am

Jim,
My quibbles with the .223 vice 5.56 aside, I think the .223 is both too much and too little. For really small game their is way too much kinetic energy into the target. It is a good, solid flat shooter but if you want to eat what you shoot as something other than hamburger, the .223 is, I think, too much and very noisy for the purpose.
For bigger game, (deer, large hogs, etc.) I just don't think the .223 is enough gun. I'm a .30 caliber bigot (just like I'm a .45/ 1911 bigot) but I just am not confident that the .223 will routine get the job done when used by the average shooter. I've heard of excellent shots taking larger animals with both the .22 and the 5.56 but for the average shooter (me for example) with readily available ammo I just am not confident in one shot hunting stops on larger animals.

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LesStroudfan August 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Instead of buying more mags, what you could do to increase your ready-n-available ammunition supply for your AR-7 is to duck-tape loose rounds to the outside of the stock. Not only does the duct-tape protects your ammo from the elements, but it also keeps it handy when you need them.

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Scott August 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Sticky casings would not cycle very well I would think.

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CaptBart August 16, 2011 at 10:49 am

Les,
I think this might be similar to the "battle cruisers" of the navies in WW2. A great idea that didn't work in practice. As Scott points out, there is the possibility of sticky ammo. Additionally, getting to the rounds could be awkward with the tape. Midway has a cartridge slide that might fit the bill exactly. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumb…

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PITA45 August 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I hope this is OK, to post:
l ike your artical, as well as the AR-7 rifle.
I just read another article by Holt Bodinson.
He had a little more history of where the rifle came from.
He says that like most rimfires, it has adistinct tast in ammunition.
Feed it high speed, roundnose,Long Rifle.
The two best performing brands in his Charter Arems AR-7 are Winchester
Super X solid, roundnose and Winchester Dynapoint. He felt that the Dynapoint
performed very much like a full blown Hollowpoint, out of his AR-7, on small game.
He also found that the bolt and firing pin need lubrication.
He and the AR-7 liked Teflon-carrying RemOil.
Make sure your keep that barrel nut tight.
This little rifle, even through,it has been made by a number of manufactures.
Most of the majorparts are readily interchangeable.
I only hit some of the high points.
If I miss understood what Mr Bodinson wrote. I'm sorry!
If you would like to read this article, you can at http://www.gunsmagazine.com.
I think you will fine that Mr Bodinson all in all. Like this nice package!
As I can see by the other post!

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SurvingJerry August 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I was doing a little shopping around for over-under combination guns as previous commenters have mentioned above and came across some "adapters" in a wide variety which allow you to shoot a smaller caliber bullet in a larger caliber gun. For (an extreme) example, a 12gauge to 22lr adapter. The one review I read for it was that it actually worked fairly well, all things considered.
This got me thinking about those scrounge around for ammo scenarios… would it make sense to have the largest caliber rifle/handgun with an array of these downsizing adapters? Might settle the .45 v 9mm debate somewhat… Get the .45 with a 9mm adapter (and a .40 and .357 and .22 etc) so that if/when you find alternate ammo you can still use it.
Sounds wacky, I know, but would be interested to hear the thoughts of others.

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CaptBart August 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

Jerry,
I have seen the adapters as well. Things like .22 in a .45 ACP for example. Given a very good deal on prices, it might make sense but I have some serious reservations. If you remember a while back there were a bunch of lathes,drill presses, sanders, etc. that were all one tool. A friend got one and very shortly after it became a drill press only and he bought additional tools for the other jobs. The constant changing became a chore so he stop changing. Wasted a bunch of money on unused capability.
I fear the convertible guns might turn out the same way. Additionally, while it is configured as a .22 you do not have a .45 for example. All you have is a .22. Finally, there are many single point failures common to both guns. If you break the trigger mechanism on your .22, you don't have your .45 either. Under the 2 is 1 and 1 is none philosophy, since the system has common parts, you have only one gun. You do have the advantage of feeding it different calibers but unless the price of the .22 is really prohibitive, I don't thing I would make that change.

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Matthew Stoner November 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm

The answer is Ruger,check out the combination revolvers..

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malsumis August 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Like any other 22 semi- auto, I've heard it's finicky about ammo; at least before it breaks in. I'm pretty happy with my ruger 10/22. Not over engineered, fairly simple (for a semi-auto), and easy to clean. I've taken all kinds of critters with it, and had more than a lot of fun with it as well. As far as BOB firearms go, it would make a good addition to compliment 223 or 308. With 22 ammo as small as it is, a good 22 rifle and a brick of ammo would be cheap insurance.

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Matt September 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I purchased one, in the Armalite version, in 1970! Still shoots well!

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Jarhead 03 September 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I own the Armalite version that I was given from the wife of an older friend that had passed away.

I love taking it on hiking trips where an exposed firearm would be frowned upon. I have ran into fish and game and others and the nice thing is no visible weapon means no perceived threat.

I have used mine for dispatching rabbits, squirrels and a few feral dogs on trails that would not back down. Does the job where a pistol or large caliber rifle would be broadcasting your presence. I purchased some high capacity magazines for them, you can look online or next gun show where high capacity mags are allowed.

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beenthere4real September 13, 2011 at 6:52 am

If you decide to buy an AR-7 I would highly recommend the the stainless version over the blued, simply from a maintence stand point. Over the years I have purchased several AR-7s and given them as gifts and everyone of the people I have given them to has made the AR-7 a permanent part of their backpacking gear. I have also bought a few marlin papoose's and I think its probably a little better made, that is why my son keeps a marlin papoose in his bug out bag. Both rifles are a little finiky about ammo, so like with any new firearm take it out with several different brands and types of ammo and find out what works best in your rifle!

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beenthere4real September 13, 2011 at 7:07 am

Another great rifle if you can find one is the Isralie Arms Timberwolf, it's a pump action carbine chambered in .357mag and it breaks down into two pieces. Sadly it's been out of production for years and they only turnup at gunshows every blue moon. I still have one in my arsenal and it still shoots great.

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JohnDoe1999 December 7, 2011 at 3:37 am

I like weapons with fewest number of parts, especially detachable magazines. I try to make preps applicable to SHTF, Wilderness Survival, and god forbid TEOTWAKI. Therefore, I tend to avoid anything with box magazines.

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scot78 January 16, 2012 at 3:47 am

I never knew the ar7 existed until I read about it on this site last week and I will definitely be adding one to my bug out bag simply because 22 ammo is small & cheap! One of these with 500-1000 rounds seems invaluab le! Only other gun I own is a Saiga 12 and it can take care of the heavy lifting. I think too much emphasis is put on guns in bug out bags, if I can have this little rifle & several hundred rounds then that’s awesome cuz the 12 gauge ammo is EXTREMELY size & weight prohibitive. But I think it’ll be the easiest to come by in the future. Just my .02

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Bob March 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Had one many years ago…it was really nice. Would get another if they upped it to a 9mm.

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Bob March 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Darn…hit the wrong button.

Was going to add that I did buy a KelTek S-2000 for my BOB. Folded it's the same size as the stored AR-7, shoots great, has more power, and I have 17 rd mags for it.

Only drawback is…it doesn't float!

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Judah Hamilton May 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

I prefer the AK for complete SHTF scenarios because cleaning the AR is a pain in the rear.

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guest May 10, 2012 at 9:47 am

I had a Charter Arms variant and it was a pc of junk, literally. Henry MAY have made theirs out of a better grade of aluminum and steel, but I doubt it. If they kept the orignal design rear sight, it sucks. The lockwork simply won't stand up to much use at all, it is soft and the sear-engagement soon wears enough to make the gun unsafe to have loaded and cocked. If a more durable type of aluminum is not used in the Henry, don't take it apart much. the rear sight is on the receiver, while the front sight is on the barrel. A tiny bit of wear on that soft alloy, and the barrel will "wobble" a bit in the receiver, meaning that it will have no accuracy at all. The out of production Marlin Papoose is a much, much better choice.

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SurvingJerry May 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Are you certain about the production status for the Papoose? I contacted Marlin directly within the past 12 months and they assured me they were still being manufactured and not discontinued. Granted, they do seem hard to find New In Box, but at least that's what they told me.

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guest May 10, 2012 at 9:51 am

There's more .22lr ammo made and imported here than ALL others combined, to include shotshells and 223. There's far more 223 ammo around than 12 ga. If shtf, the NG and military armories WILL be "looted", by those with the keys, most likely. :-)

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JiminGA May 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I just bought the AR 7, cleaned and lubed it, and am looking forward to shooting it this Saturday. My sole reason for buying it is for the bugout bag. We'll still have the AR 15 and 12 gauge with us but can leave the "standard" 22's (pump and bolt) behind. I really like the semi-auto configuration, too.

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CapDoc August 4, 2012 at 11:12 am

I don't know how old this article is but Ruger just came out with Takedown model 10/22 (22 cal) in fact right now they have a special Ruger Takedown (US Olympic Limited). I have a Henry AR7 I keep in the back of my Jeep if I'm going anywhere where I might have a need for it. I disagree with the author about " I don’t think the AR-7 fits into the typical “SHTF Bug Out Weapon” category." comment, I think it would be ideal but all still have my AR15 over my shoulder and a handgun.

I love it, I like the idea of adding a fire starter of some kind to the stock (for survival reasons). I got mine in woodland camo which was hard to find for a while. I would love to see more color/pattern options too.

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Gene Kasprzyk November 8, 2012 at 7:01 am

Just looking up the Henry AR-7 survival .22 cal. rifle on my PC! WOW-WHEEEE !!!!!!!
I almost fell out of my chair!! A whopping $275.00! Some 20 plus years ago I purchased one
of these rifles from a private gun dealer. Back then it wasn't called an AR-7. I think it was just
called a "Henry Survival Rifle". Took it home, never fired it because when I assembled the
weapon it was nothing but loose! Returned to dealer,got refund after some hassle!!
By the way,at that time I couldn't kick at the price! It was a staggering $70.00 !!!!
Don't get me wrong! To this day I would/will buy a Henry Arms Product !!!!!!

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neoritter February 10, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I went a bought this gun a few weeks ago. First off, good fun gun to shoot; and definitely worth taking a look at for its intended purpose, survival. I have only two issues with the gun. First, the stock's cap can not handle the parts banging into it, I wouldn't hold it stock down or everything may come out. Second, the orange sight on the barrel can move. I doesn't move around when you're shooting, etc. But when I got the gun I had to adjust it slightly, until I did I was shooting right of center the whole time.

I shot a few hundred rounds through mine, had no issues or loss of accuracy. I'd agree with the manual that recommends high velocity, but standard velocity works just fine. Last, it comes with two magazines, but if you can get another, you can fit three. Put the third into the receiver and the receiver will still fit in the stock. I wouldn't recommend putting a loaded mag in though.

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getcustomessay July 31, 2013 at 3:41 am

Want that gun!

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Guest September 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I love the arguments that arise from the back-and-forth over these neat little "survival guns" they're a lot of fun! Speaking of Henry .22's, my personal choice is the Mare's Leg (yea, yea laugh it up, but that little trapper is slick and won't jam nearly as much as this AR-7) they're really underrated and lots of folks don't wanna be seen with one, but the up-sides are three different varieties of .22 ammo and compactness, if not a true break-down gun. That's all to say nothing of it's great accuracy, sturdiness of a wooden frame and being covered under handgun laws so you can store it loaded in a vehicle, meantime…

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Guest September 27, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Also, if I somehow came into an AR-7 then I'd probably just burry it with a cache out in the sticks somewheres – it's not what I'd want to depend on first and foremost, but if I had enough resources to be hiding firearms all over the county then I might stick this under the dirt somewhere near the front of my exit route and still be pretty content with the trouble to dig it back up again when needs be, strictly as a "last ditch G.O.O.D. weapon"

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Guest October 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Chiappa Firearms just introduced these two options for your consideration, as well. Sorry, no MSRP but I'd stay optimistic, probably.

The Little Badger (or "Clotheshanger" as some have termed it) is, literally, a bare bones, single shot, break barrel .22, folding stock carbine * phew! http://www.chiappafirearms.com/product/2599 with a couple of picatinny rails throw-on for those who have always wanted a piece that's more attachments than firearm, I guess. Supposedly a great little shooter and the perfect niche for someone who realizes the need but wants to spend as little effort on their Bug-Out Gun as possible, presumably…

Then, for those like me who require something a little sturdier or simply prefer the classic look, they also released the Double Badger. http://www.chiappafirearms.com/product/2626 this one is another break barrel .22, but with a wooden frame, improved sights and, more importantly, a secondary .410 barrel in the O/U pattern. you could definitely do worse…

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us fast cash customer service number October 6, 2013 at 7:38 pm

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Francisco October 31, 2013 at 11:28 pm

If you fill the stock with more items, it will not floating…

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mennism November 8, 2013 at 3:28 am

I purchase my AR-7 about a week ago .Took it out and fired about 500 rounds .No problems with it . Very easy to put together and a lot of fun to shoot .

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Roger January 3, 2014 at 11:49 pm

I have a Henry AR7, and it's lots of fun to shoot, compact, reliable (only had some failure to eject with subsonic rounds, easy to fix), and fairly accurate! Upgrades desired: .22mag. instead of .22LR, left side rail for scope mount, barrel length of 20" for more velocity/accuracy! Duct tape around base plate increases water resistance. I put an old canvas canteen cover over butt end, (improved grip and cheek weld) snaps on tight, then sewed a two-pocket pouch on the right side (opposite face). One pocket holds 250 rounds in plastic boxes and 2-15 rd mags in a Lock and Lock container, and the other holds a cleaning kit, skinning knife, sharpening rod and disposable lighter also in L&L container. The airtight containers keep a positive buoyancy (barely), and the canvas is tough and water-resistant with added 'D' rings for a shoulder sling! I also have a Savage model 42, a single-shot .22LR over .410 combo gun, break-open. I like it but would LOVE it in .308 over 12 gauge; a much better hunting combo in my opinion! (Please Budda/God/anyone?)(Savage Arms!)

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Chefbear58 July 28, 2011 at 2:30 am

CONT-
However, in a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI survival situation, you may have to rely on "scrounging" ammo from wherever you can find it. In that case being able to use a wide variety of ammunition would be a huge asset, having a shotgun/rifle combo that will take .22; .410 (of any type) and .45LC will mean that you are more likely to find something that you can use. This is especially true of the .410/.45LC, because of the newer pistols (Taurus Judge, Curcuit Judge, Public Defender; S&W Governor, etc). With these pistols gaining popularity, the ammunition for them will naturally be more available, which means that is you find yourself searching a post-apocoliptic world for ammo to use against mutant-zombie-vampire-biker types, you will be more likely to find something which you can put to good use. This is also true of other rifle/shotgun combinations (here is an example from CZ, but there are many, many others http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/brno-combo-ri… )

Sorry, but I HATE that the site severely limits the respones now!!!!

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Chefbear58 July 29, 2011 at 6:54 am

The sub-sonic stuff definetely should have a place in your stockpile, you just never know when you will need to take a shot while keeping as quiet as possible. While I will be the first to tell you that an autoloader with the sub-sonic rounds in the magazine will require you to cycle the rounds manualy, the sound is pretty close to that emmited from snapping your fingers. With a few simple steps taken to further dampen the sound you can get it down to almost no sound at all. Imagine the psychological effect on somebody trying to raid your place…. Suddenly they feel a small bullet penetrate their skin and they start bleeding, but they didn't hear a shot… where did it come from… how many shooters are there… am I about to get shot again… is this really worth the risk??? Granted a little underpowered .22 isn't gonna be dropping the mutant-zombie-bikers very easily… but it will likely make them think twice, and sometimes all you need is a little seed of doubt to give you an edge!_!

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Chefbear58 July 29, 2011 at 6:54 am

Not to mention the fact that you may end up with a situation like mine the other day… coons runnin' amok in the garage, tearing open containers of pet food and just trashing the place, ripping down bird feeders, chasing off outdoor pets, and just being a nusance. Lot's of neighbors around, none of them heard the 6 shots used to drop a few of the coons, whereas a regular round would have had the neighbors going nuts and calling the cops

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CaptBart August 16, 2011 at 10:19 am

May have to investigate either a bolt or lever .22 for use with the subsonic stuff. Not an issue in my .22 revolver but that single action is a training firearm and just a fun plinking gun. I don't think of it as a hunting or general use weapon.

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Terry February 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I don't think CB caps is a reasonable choice, I believe the Sub Sonic Sniper rounds are what he meant. They are a 60gr. bullet that have 200 ft lbs of energy, which is more that almost all other .22 lr rounds.

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