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AR-7 Good Survival Rifle??

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 4kbeard, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. 4kbeard

    4kbeard Member

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    So because I am a budding survival buff, and big fan of the .22LR, I am looking at adding the AR-7 by Henry Repeating Arms to my BO bag. Anyone out there own one of these that wants to tell me the pros & cons about this riffle?
    I know there are bigger, better, and more powerfull rifles out there. I have a few already. But none of them, or at least none of the ones in my collection, will fit in a back pack next to my extra socks.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  3. drsfmd

    drsfmd Member

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    We've sold dozens, and never had anyone complain about them not working when using quality ammo. The people who have problems have in my experience been people who use garbage ammo.
     
  4. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    While I do not own one, I hear quality and accuracy on these break down rifles are hit and miss. Originally intended to be issued to pilots who might crash behind enemy lines, there is a reason they aren't used by the military anymore. In SERE, we had M-16 rifles, and we were training as aircrew in a behind enemy lines simulation.

    I also hear the Marlin Papoose is better overall in quality and accuracy. I think you wold. E better served with a 10/22 and a folding stock.
     
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    To be honest, the ones I've used were not really that accurate at all. I was quite surprised. Instead of having a funky breakdown rifle in your backpack, why not have a real rifle tucked in your waistband.. like a Browning Nomad etc. anyway
     
  6. natman

    natman Member

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    The Charter Arms version of the AR-7 was a pot metal POS. I haven't tried to fire the current Henry version. I do know that the Charter version was spectacularly unreliable, with any ammo.

    +1 on the recommendation of the Marlin Papoose.
     
  7. mac66

    mac66 Member

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    I've had an Ar7 for 30 years. They are all made of aluminum. The newer ones have a plastic barrel with a steel liner, older ones had an aluminum one with a steel liner. The newer Henrys holds two mags in the stock, older ones only held one. New Henrys are quite expensive for what you get, older ones were pretty cheap. The plastic stock is quite bulky and doesn't fit in a pack very well.

    The Marlin Papoose is a better gun but frankly you can pretty much use any 22 as a survival rifle.
     
  8. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I have owned the Armalite, the Charter Arms, & the Henry.
    None lived up to expectations.
    +3 ob Marlin Papoose as better option if you can find one.
    The Springfield M6 o/u .22/.410 survival gun is an even better & a bit more versatile option.

    Save your pennies, the best guns for a specific purpose never come cheap!
     
  9. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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    I have the Charter Arms AR-7 Circa 1973. It's one of the most accurate .22's I've shot. Used to pick pine cones off the tops of trees before my Old man caught me and educated me on "ballistics" and a bullet's flight path.

    Warped barrels are a old problem with these iterations (Charter Mfg ones) , but we apparently have been very lucky to not have any issues in this arena. Straight as an Arrow still.

    The big "reliability" issue with them is that they have Strong, Dual-recoil springs. If you don't shoot High or Hypervelocity rounds, you might as well carry a single shot, or a whiffle bat.

    The other issue is the Feed ramp on the magazine... those mags can be finicky.

    Mine operates nearly flawlessly on good ammo, but I'll eventually get the Henry made one, if nothing else for the Rail to mount a scope.

    Squirrels in the Hazelnut orchards are pesky enough to warrant the optics for the kids. ;)
     
  10. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    My early 70's Charter Arms AR7 was junk. I would have happily thrown it in a large body of water somewhere if the dang thing didn't float.
     
  11. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Kingcreek, I threw mine into the blown insulation of my parents attic, it sank and is still there as far as I know,.
     
  12. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    It is fine for what it is. As noted, there have been problems with quality over the years, depending on who made them. I seek out the older, original "Armalite" made guns, and have never been disappointed. All mine work, and are accurate for what they are intended to do. Mine will shoot an easy 3-4" group at 50 yards. If that isn't good enough, get a folding stock for a Ruger 10-22, buy a custom target barrel, trigger, etc.
     
  13. Countryboy7

    Countryboy7 Member

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    I think a nice reliable 22 pistol would be better for you. One with a simple design. Anybody know anything bout them heritage revolvers?
     
  14. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Yeah, they really aren't any better than the AR7s.
     
  15. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    For better than two decades, I used an AR-7 as my "Jeep Gun". Never needed it for anything other than plinking and bunny killing.

    Then there was an incident when that little .22 just seemed so small and underpowered. I undertook to create the "Perfect Jeep Gun". Casting about for something that was still light and portable, yet more able to handle two legged critters, I found it in my gun safe.

    There it was, my first shotgun, a Mossberg .410 model 500. By shotening the barrel, installing a "youth" buttstock, and adapting the stock bolt for easy removal and replacement, I was able to break it down, rapidly, into a package about 20" long. The buttstock cap is not secured with industial strength velcro for quick attatchment and removal.

    It only takes about 30 seconds to assemble. And once assembled, the .410 is capable, with slugs, of dealing with the above mentioned critters much better than the .22 lr.

    Now, you ask, what about the AR-7. Well, mine is one of the good ones, reliable, and with a scope attached fairly accurate. It now lives in our emergency get out of Dodge bag that contains important papers and such.

    Here are a couple of images with the AR-7 for comparison.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So, as an addition to you BOB, not a bad idea. But it is a "last ditch" firearm in that department. And since they are light weight, and take up little room, why not?
     
  16. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    I had one and sold it after putting a few mags through it. Wobbly stock. Pretty bad sights. Meh, accuracy. It does float and is compact, so I guess it could function as a decent survival rifle if you're in a plane crash or something.
     
  17. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    i rather ditch the "survival" rifle for a couple bottles of water and some food
     
  18. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Which version had the stamped sheet metal sear? Can't remember who made them, but they had a bad rep.

    The Papoose is the way to go if you have to have a takedown. My buddy has one and it's a gem.

    The CZ Scout is my 'survival' rimfire. It's not technically a takedown, but it's pretty tiny as is and you can remove the action screw to separate the stock from the action to make it pack smaller. It will shoot well under an inch at 50 yards, far better than most and has better than average sights.

    I'm looking at the 16" 10/22 compact for my next survival/pack/boat/truck gun.
     
  19. chicharrones
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    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    That's what I prefer, too. A long barreled revolver that can fire .22 Magnum is what I ended up with after similar quests for packable "survival" guns.

    Long barreled handguns are always at "take down" size. They are light compared to a rifle. Using a rest, they can shoot very well out to 25 yards very accurately.

    I have no experience with the Heritage, but I can't see why it wouldn't work. Here's a pic of the 9" barreled Heritage with adjustable sights from Heritage's website. http://www.heritagemfg.com/site/details.cfm?image=RR22MB9AS_lg.jpg
     
  20. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Only if you can hit with it.

    I would consider something like a Crickett .22 Mag or LR first. You're obviously not mostly using this for self-defense, so I'd go for reliable and compact and inexpensive. And it's actually shootable even when you're not in an emergency. :D If you want this to be safe from small hands, besides keeping it out of reach and sight, just pull the bolt out.

    John
     
  21. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Long ago I had a friend that bought a .270 Weatherby magnum (I know - ha!).
    After hearing him say that he could 100% drill a knot offhand at 200 yards a thousand times, I was surprised that when we were winging lead together he couldn't hardly hit a point blank berm.
     
  22. CSestp

    CSestp Member

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    So far as a survival rifle I don't know if this would fit the bill, but so far as a camping or pack gun. The keltec sub 2000 in 40 s&w I think is a great option. Light, cheap, could get those huge 1,658rnd glock clips for it. Plus it folds in half. I think a 40 could handle whatever job came up in the situations I would have this thing out. Shoots great at 50 yards too.

    [​IMG]

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
     
  23. natman

    natman Member

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    I stand corrected. It was an aluminum POS.

    It looked like it had been sand cast in used kitty litter, so I remembered it as potmetal. Between that and the stamped steel fire control parts it was amazingly unreliable. If you're counting on one as a survival rifle, you might as well put the muzzle to your head and hope it goes off, because you are doomed.
     
  24. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    .351 winchester better.. talking .22's here.
     
  25. gyvel

    gyvel Member

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    Poorly constructed, not very accurate and definitely not a long term solution.

    One of my friends had an original Armalite back in the 60s and he managed to blow the sideplate off of it.

    It's strictly a limited use, short term solution for "survival."

    These would be a viable alternative for a bush pilot, to whom weight and space were important.

    Look for something a little more substantial.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
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