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Quit badmouthing the AR-7!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by B yond, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. B yond

    B yond Senior Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    I've read way too many bad reviews of the AR-7 rifle. There are a lot of "experts" out there posting misinformation about this handy little .22 that would lead the uninformed to believe that this gun is a "jam-o-matic" and can't cycle more than a few rounds without a problem. I've decided it's time to correct this.

    The AR-7 is an amazingly adaptive weapons system from the same genius that gave us the AR-15, which is widely recognized as a brilliantly designed weapon. It can be a practically maintenance-free survival rifle, an ultra-light pack rifle, a medium to long range plinker, even a decent pistol. Just the fact that the USAF once issued it as a survival tool should dispell the rumors about it's unreliability.

    The fact of the matter is, if your AR-7 isn't cycling what you're feeding it, you're feeding it the wrong ammo. These rifles are designed to eat high velocity .22LR cartridges, NOT ultra-cheap loose-packed bulk .22s. Sure, you can get them to shoot that junk, but it will not cycle.

    Whenever I get a new firearm the first thing I do is take it to the range with as many different types and brands of ammo as I can find to see what it likes. To my delight, my AR-7 WILL NOT jam with high velocity ammunition. I mean ANY high velocity .22 ammo! It's not like I have to pay extra for Mini Mags, I can feed it Blazer or Remington Lightning for about the same price as that loose bulk junk.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is the AR-7 IS a good rifle, despite popular opinion. Just feed her well and she'll give you years of trouble-free service. All those stories out there about how you have to modify the magazine, or file off part of the feed ramp, or do anything else to this well-designed weapon besides shoot and enjoy are 100% bull. It it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Just my $0.02.

  2. B.D. Turner

    B.D. Turner Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Eastern North Carolina
    I have owned several Charter Arms AR7's all worked without any problems of any kind.
  3. kevin387

    kevin387 Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Nice non confrontational first post:rolleyes:

    I don't like them because the stock feels oversized to me, nothing felt tight and the one I shot did have a couple of problems with jams. I highly prefer the Marlin Papoose, a very similar in purpose rifle but IMHO more reliable. For the record I did have problems with original Papoose and had to send it back three times, they finally sent me a new one and I have had zero problems with it.

    I'm glad you like what you got though, congrats.
  4. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    I have an Armalite AR-7, and I love it. It's very accurate, especially considering that screw-on barrel. It does occasionally jam up, and it seems to be due to poor magazines.

    The Henry and Charter versions that I have handled appear to be more cheaply made than the Armalite version I have.
  5. B yond

    B yond Senior Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Wasn't trying to be confrontational, I just don't want anyone to be turned away from this rifle because they heard that it will jam constantly.

    I agree with you about the grip being too large on the survival stock, but there are other stocks available, some with very comfortable pistol grips.
  6. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I'm not badmouthing the AR-7...

    I had one from CharCo that wouldn't feed ammo worth sour owl poop, not with the original magazines, not with new factory mags, nor with aftermarket hicaps. I considered it a crew served weapon because it needed two people to pull the trigger, it was that heavy and gritty. Gunsmithing the trigger proved futile, the heat treatment of the lockwork was microns thin, and even simple polishing wore through that and caused significant wear. Too bad, because I had gone to the effort of the barrel shroud with HK ring front sight and rear micrometer peep, and AR-15 style retractable stock. It did prove to be a nicely accurate single-shot, all things considered.

    So I took it to a local pawnshop, and used it in a partial trade on a Winchester 94. Maybe whoever bought it got it to work properly.

    I can only hope that Henry/Survival Arms or whomever is making them now has a better eye for quality control. :(
  7. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Senior Member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Northwest Arkansas
    The example of the AR-7 that I was involved with was a piece of garbage of the highest order. I especally liked the bent barrel, I wonder if it was engeneered that way as rather than being bent at one point the barrel had a nice radius throught it's entire length (an indication of the finest craftsmanship I've been told):neener:

    I would refer to the action as a knife operated straight pull magazine fed single shot. Ammunition was rather expoenive for a .22lr as you always had to discard the mangled double fed round on each shot. Therfore you would shoot it once and go through 2 rounds of ammunition REGUARDLESS OF BRAND

    All of this in a brand new in box gun. The moral to this story when your buddy who owns a pawnshop asks you to take this rifle home to see if you can get it to shoot right...DON'T bother

    Nice first post, what's the matter you got a pallet of these to try to move?
  8. ribbonstone

    ribbonstone Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    New Orleans
    Going to have to come dwon on the "POS" side of this one.

    Will admit that there do seem to be some guns that function fine and make good survival .22's....just has not been my luck to guy one of those. First one was an Armalite "Explorer" then two Charter Arms. Tried multiple replacement magazines...all the ammo types I could find (from top of the line match ammo to bottom of the line bulk-packs with all the types I could find in-between).

    Just bad luck on my part...like the concept, but so far am much less than thrilled with the execution.
    That first Amalite (bown stock taht waqs supose to look like wood...looked more like a bowling ball) did work better than the rest...but it would gag once or twice every 50rounds....and killed itself by having a round set off before chambering fully. Case head blew...gas puffed up the side plate...mag. shot out the bottom to bounce off my foot.

    But it floats...so after I got PO'ed and tossed it over the side, had to go back and fish it out as a hazard to navigation.
  9. larryw

    larryw Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    I'm glad you like your gun.

    I don't consider a gun that is finicky with ammo to be worthy of the "Survival" label. Mine was a POS and was replaced by an M6 (hammer reliable).
  10. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey Senior Member

    Sep 14, 2003
    Well, I want to like the AR-7, but the two I've tried both had issues at some point.

    On the first one (don't know the brand) every time I fired the gun, it would double. The last round failed to feed. The owner came over and said to me "I'm surprised you got thru the whole magazine without a failure."

    Apparently he didn't notice that I only fired seven, so I informed him about the failure and he sighed. Then I asked him about the doubling, and he said "Oh yeah, it does that if you rest the magazine on your off-hand." To which I replied "Well, how the heck am I supposed to hold this thing?"

    But, I still like the idea of a handy survival rifle like the AR-7 so when I found out a friend of mine recently got a Henry AR-7, I went over to his bench to check it out. He was doing just fine, shooting a 4" steel plate at 50 yards with it. He got about 40-50% hits from the standing position and bulk ammo.

    I asked him if he had any issues, to which he replied, "Well, when I first took it out, it couldn't feed at all. 0% feed rate. Luckily I always carry a set of files with me so I made a feed ramp and now it's running great."

    I told him of my past misfortunes with the other AR-7 so we both tried, in turn, to get this Henry to double-fire by holding the magazine in the off-hand. To it's credit, that gun performed perfectly the entire afternoon thru a couple hundred rounds of ammo. No doubling, no failures, nothing wrong.

    When I go on THR to find out other people's experiences with the various AR-7 makes, it's not very encouraging. I am glad your rifle works, and I'd love to have one that works just as well. However, just because your rifle works great, does not mean everyone who has reported a disappointing experience has a vendetta against the AR-7.

    All the best,
  11. rangerruck

    rangerruck Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Texas, baby!
    I have tried/owned several , wanting desperately to like them. Now I am not speaking of the new Henry's , but all others sucked cheese off doorknobs. Will never get another one. Maybe a Henry though...
  12. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas
    Yeah, all y'all stop bad mouthing the AR7! You don't get to have an opinion on the matter if it isn't positive and you are hurting the AR7's feelings!

    Don't get upset B yond as I am supporting you. The only problem is that I don't know what the heck you are talking about. You are upset because people don't like the AR7 because they have had poor experiences with it, but that since yours has worked so well that they all must be wrong?

    Weapons system? What system. It is a single gun, either a rifle or pistol. What am I missing that makes it a system?

    Stoner designed it, no doubt, but just because he designed the AR15 doesn't mean the AR7 is a great gun. Stoner had many gun designs that didn't come to fruition. You simply cannot evaluate one gun based on the success of another gun designed by the same person.

    So the USAF once issued these as a survival tool, but that doesn't mean the gun was reliable. When the AR15 was first sent to Nam as the M16, it was crap. So the fact that it was issued by the military didn't mean it would be reliable. The gun went through several modifications before becoming the AR15 we see today. The military also issued flight suits with velcro flaps for pockets that turned out to be pretty darned stupid for shot down pilots because they could not clandestinely access the contents of their pockets without making the ripping velcro sound. This was a huge problem for Scott O'Grady when he was shot down over Bosnia as he could not get access to supplies whenever opposition search parties were near.

    Think of it this way. The all mighty 1911 was the partial brain child of JMB, heralded as his masterpiece, but the 1911 isn't free of controversy.

    And therein is the problem. Folks had AR7s that were not working as great as you have claimed and so popular opinion has been less than great.
  13. bowline

    bowline Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    :what: rangerruck, you owe me a keyboard... hehehe
  14. deadin

    deadin Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    Ocean Shores, WA
    I don't know about anything that I haven't experienced.
    I bought one of the first AR-7's made by Armalite in the early '60's.
    It was a POS. Wouldn't feed, inaccurate, awkward to handle, etc.
    Got rid of it.
    20+ years later the "cuteness" of the design got to me again and I bought a "new and improved" AR-7 by Charter Arms. Unfortunately still a POS. Same problems as before. (well, maybe a little improvement. This one was a little more accurate)

    I figure I gave the design two chances to show me something worthwhile and it fell flat on its face. I won't be burned again.

  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Senior Member

    Jun 11, 2005
    I feel that you should not have to carefully choose what high speed ammo you feed a 22 rifle-bulk ammo or not. I have no use for a POS that does not feed high speed ammo. Not going to buy one just to find out the reviews are true. Pistols are a bit different, especially target pistols. I am more forgiving of the target pistols. My High Standard Victor would jam sometimes with soft lead bullets, used copper coated and it works fine.
  16. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Senior Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    the Evergreen State
    I'll echo those who have actually had (bad) experience with the AR7.

    By any standard or comparison the AR7 is NOT a quality made firearm. That is reflected in the price which has tempted me repeatedly to buy another.

    The claimed accuracy is in the eye of the beholder. I have yet to see one that could put a magazine's worth in a quarter (maybe 40% of them) at 25 yards. My Papoose can put them in a dime with cheap Wally World Bulk Federals. My Ruger Single Six will outshoot any AR7 I've ever seen[​IMG]


    The Papoose has shortcomings too but it is far superior in everything but weight to the AR7.

    I have never regretted paying too much for a gun that I like and use. I have regretted paying too little for a crappy gun though.
  17. 1911user

    1911user Senior Member

    Jan 14, 2005
    I'd like to have one that works. The one I bought used in the early 90's would misfeed 1-2 times per mag (using the factory mag) at best. I paid $35 for it and happily sold it for $20 a month later (and told the guy it was a jam-0-matic). It was a charter arms model. I have heard of much better results from the newer henry-made ones, but haven't bought one.
  18. smince

    smince Member.

    May 19, 2005
    Northeast Alabama
    Myself, B yond, and BD Turner must have gotten the only three that worked.:neener:

    Mine (Charter Arms, bought in 1981) was as close to 100% reliable as any gun I've owned, with anything I fed it. Even the Explorer II pistol I got worked fine. As long as I used factory mags. Aftermarket or "hi-cap" didn't work, as is the case so many times.
  19. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Senior Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    I've got to say i've never seen a post bashing or even mentioning the AR7 before this one. So I suppose Byond's post had the opposite effect of what he hoped.
  20. GunnySkox

    GunnySkox Senior Member

    May 22, 2004
    Raleigh, NC



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