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If I could, I’d carry an eight-gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buck. Unfortunately, that would be like walking into a singles bar with Adeline Mocke. That’s why I pack a snubby .38 or a sub-compact 9mm. I slip the gun in my pocket before heading out the door. Done. In terms of rifles, there’s Henry Repeating Arms’ iteration of the USAF’s AR-7 survival rifle. Or should I say Eugene Stoner’s? The man who brought unto the world the AR also unleashed this go-anywhere rifle. Now brought to you in .22LR by the same folks whose lever guns put Marlin to shame (literally). The eight-shot Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 isn’t the most powerful, modular or capacious rifle, but it’s the long gun you’re most likely to carry when carrying a long gun is a PITA . . .

The Henry AR-7 unique(ish) selling point: the barrel, receiver and magazines can all be stored inside its stock which is watertight. Just like Ivory Soap or John Irving’s Hope, the AR-7 floats. So someone who drops the AR-7 in the water can have the pleasure of watching it float downstream. Still, considering the Henry’s compact size, it’s a perfect boat, truck or OMG the S has finally HTF bug-out bag gun. Or is it?

Assembling and disassembling the AR-7 is LEGO simple. Mind you, it may not be that easy in the middle of the night or under fire. After a bit of practice, I can name that rifle in 20 notes. I mean assemble it in 20 seconds.

After I LEGOed the AR-7 together for the first time,  I discovered that the .22LR long gun’s a little awkward to shoulder. The receiver is off-center of the stock. Stoner fans stand down; it isn’t a design flaw. The off-center receiver’s a necessary (and clever) compromise so that all those parts stuff neatly inside the stock.

A more important issue: the AR-7’s trigger. Leaving aside crass sexual metaphors, I’ll simply say that the trigger’s fairly stiff and on the narrow side. Using the go pedal smoothly and consistently is more than a little challenging. Not helping: the AR-7’s sights. The rear blade is adjustable (the plastic post front is not). It’s a more than merely adequate set-up but a long range varmint rifle this ain’t.

Short range, the AR-7 is certainly capable of accurate fire. I was able make soda cans dance at 35 yards with ease. Which is a pretty good indication of the AR-7’s ability to harvest small game—other than the relative sugar content and the soda can’s tendency to stand its ground and take its medicine. It’s certainly a better choice than a defensive .223; any small animal smacked with that round will be tough to reassemble into a nourishing meal.

Since this U.S. Survival AR-7 is a survival tool, I decided to test it under more adverse conditions than I would, say, an Anschütz target rifle. I had intended to shoot the carbine from 35 yards at some paper, then wait until some rain showers came through the area and give it a go in less ideal conditions.

After firing 50 rounds of Remington Thunderbolt through the carbine, the skies opened up with biblical force and attempted to swamp the thing. As most of us won’t be bugging out in central California in the fall during a light breeze, it was a perfect environment to wring-out (so to speak) a survival rifle.

Accuracy was a challenge; the aperture kept filling with water. Still, the little gun chugged along through 350 rounds of mixed, water-logged ammo. On multiple occasions I had to dump rainwater out of the receiver. The AR-7 experienced five failures, all with Remington Thunderbolts.

None of these jams were serious. A tap-rack-bang was more than enough to clear them. Truth be told, operator error accounted for two of the five misfeeds; I put too much pressure on the magazine. That caused the rounds to bind in the mag with enough force to resist the follower spring’s tension.

That’s a remarkable record—when you consider the AR-7’s rotten rep for reliability (a problem that can be traced to its previous manufacturer, Charter Arms). Henry Repeating Arms’ website includes a testimonial from a U.S. Marine that says the gun is “very accurate, and once you find the right rounds, really reliable.” My experience didn’t reveal any ammo finickiness, but you have been warned.

I noticed the eight-round mags lack a removable floor plate. They’re made by folding and welding a flat blank into the general shape of a magazine. This was standard practice on older 1911 magazines and served them well. At least until they got really dirty. Given the few times you’re likely to have to use an AR-7, it shouldn’t be a major concern. Unless it is.

If I were heading to the range for an afternoon of plinking, the Henry AR-7 would not be my first choice. (If we’re talking .22 rifles, I’d reach for my 10/22 with Tech Sights.) If I needed a self-defense rifle, a “proper” AR would be it. Hunting small game? Something else again. (A 15-round Henry Lever Action would be a far better choice). Which leaves me thinking . . .

That the AR-7 is best thought of as a back-up rifle. The go-along-to-get-along rifle that you keep handy in case you can’t get to a better long gun. It’s a small niche but one that the U.S. Survival AR-7 fits perfectly.


Caliber: .22 LR
Capacity: 8 round magazine (comes with 2)
Length: 35″ assembled, 16.5″ when stowed
Weight: 3.5 lbs.
Stock: ABS Plastic
Sights: Adjustable rear, blade front<
Finish: Teflon coated receiver and coated steel barrel
M.S.R.P.: $275.00

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Ergonomics * * * ½
While awkward at first, this compact carbine has an easy-to-reach magazine release that can easily be activated from either side. The trigger is on the heavy side, but this is a survival tool not a varmint rifle.

Customize This * * * *
There’s a surprising array of accessories available for the AR-7. You can mount an ACOG on the sight rail, effectively septupling the gun’s price and doubling its weight.

Accuracy * * *
Accurate enough, until it isn’t. I’d give the AR-7 a scientifically quantified value of one ‘minute ‘o squirrel,’ which more than meets its designated role. Not bad for a street price around $230.

Reliability * * * * ½ 
The survival rifle functioned nearly flawlessly despite heavy rainfall which undoubtedly washed out all the lubrication carefully applied by its operator. Just be careful not to grip the magazine too tightly.

Overall * * * * *
The Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 is a rifle of last resort. It does what it was designed to do; the inevitable compromises are down to its intended mission, weight, water resistance and price. But if you know what’s coming and when, there are better choices.

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  1. Didn’t James Bond use one to bring down a helicopter in “From Russia with Love”?
    I have an older one and while I agree it is last of my go to guns , it is a handy “throw it in the boat/ATV/backpack” rifle. If only there was a way to store more than a mag or two’s worth of ammo in it.

      • Actually, “Q” doesn’t call it an “acp”, he just says “25 caliber”.

        He also mentions that it has a laser sight. I’m going to watch the rest of the movie to see how they managed to pull that part off.

        Given the vintage of the movie (1963), the AR-7 shown was supplied by Armalite.

        • Ok, Desmond Llewelyn doesn’t play “Q” in this movie (he’s called “Equipment Officer”, although he appears to head “Q Branch”); presumably, he gets that moniker in a subsequent movie. He is listed in the credits as “Boothroyd”.

          He refers to the AR-7 as a “folding sniper’s rifle”. It isn’t. While it does dissassemble for easy storage, it does NOT “fold”. Referring to it as a “sniper rifle” is being generous. The 22LR round doesn’t carry far enough to interest the snipers I’ve met. If it were a .25, it probably wouldn’t carry as far as the .22LR does.

          I was wrong about the laser sight – it was infrared.

          The scope was apparently stored ouside of the stock, but it isn’t shown inside the briefcase.

          Bond is shown running with the AR-7 stowed, then magically has an assembled weapon WITH SCOPE when he fires at the helicopter.

          Bond appears to hit the helicopter’s passenger in the shoulder, causing him to drop a hand grenade that he’s already removed the pin from… which leads to the helo crashing and exploding.

    • Even better. Q said it was a .25 caliber AR-7, which must be some kind of MI6 special. Of course, Bond didn’t shoot the chopper itself. He shot the hand of a man about to throw a grenade at him, causing him to drop the grenade in the helicopter. The man knows the limitations of his tools.

    • IMDB shows that the AR-7 appears in a number of other movies as well.

      Murderers’ Row
      The Ambushers
      The Green Berets
      Violent City
      The Interpreter
      Lord of War


      Assassin In Love

    • I bought one of the Henry Survival Rifles ten or twelve years ago. At first, it would choke on anything, jamming five out of seven times. I guess a little break in helped it out, or maybe it was several subsequent cleanings, because it is much better now. Still, I hardly ever use it, partly because of having no good place to shoot within a reasonable distance and partly because of the jamming history.

      I also improved the feed ramp, which may have done something.

      I think before I use it next time, I will dip it in automotive parts washer solution and see if that does anything.

      An odd thing happened to my AR7 which I have never seen commented on: Something melted a soft spot in the left side of the stock. I would guess gun oil or solvent, but it really doesn’t seem likely that Henry wouldn’t have checked to see if that would happen. I cut it out and patched it with JB Weld and that didn’t work either.

      So now I have a floating firearm with a hole in it. I think I will see if I can find an automotive fiberglass patch and try that out.

      All things considered, I got it because I saw them advertised (Boys Life I imagine) when I was young and decided I had to have one. It only took 45 years or so, but I got one.

      • Call or email Henry customer service. I had a problem with the stock on my AR-7 and after talking to them they immediately sent me a new one, at no cost. Their service people are outstanding!

  2. For grins I dropped one of these in a swimming pool. It floated for a brief period but soon sank. If you were quick you could retrieve if after an accidental drop but I wouldn’t count on it bobbing at the surface for any extended period of time. Granted I only did this with one rifle but calling them watertight might be a bit of an exaggeration. It functioned fine after reassembled it and I let it dry out for a minute or two.

    • For backpacking, they’re waterproof enough. For boating, I wrap a piece of duct tape around the butt pad/cover and it’s a bit more waterproof.

      • While this thread is dated, a few comments were on par. It’s a great backpack rifle, it doesn’t take up a lot of room and can take small game for dinner.
        Just don’t do what I did my first time and send a CCI Stinger up a rabbit’s butt, the guts contents were distributed throughout the rabbit and exited the neck. Total loss after an hour.
        Ever since, I aimed for the head and took meat I could eat.

        A 10/22 it ain’t, but a 10/22 won’t get as tiny as this. It’s a survival rifle, not a marksmanship rifle. But, at 25 meters or so, I can still hit a rabbit in the head.

  3. A couple of additiional tips for the prospective purchaser, based on personal experience:

    If you have fading old eyes, take the peep sight blade off and use your trusty hand drill to open up one or both of the two peep holes. You can even take one peep open enough to give you a “ghost ring” effect for faster shots (sacrificing a bit of accuracy). The front sight can be pushed right or left for windage using thumb pressure. Once you get it right, put a dab of glue on one side of the dovetail.

    Buy an extra magazine – the stock holds two plus the one in the action.

    RTFI when you take the gun down to clean it, particularly when you remove the bolt from the receiver. COCK the action before you take the bolt out, or you will have a miserable time getting the little plastic forked-shaped spring guide out of the action (the hammer blocks it if you did not cock the bolt first). Buy an extra plastic spring guide and springs – they are cheap, and probably the most likely to break or get lost.

    The Federal 550-round bulk box ammo works fine in mine, and is reasonably accurate. Your results may vary. And you called it – this is not the best .22 on the market, but it makes a fairly cheap (mine was $230) throw-it-under-the seat-or-in-the-trunk gun.

    • I agree with what Pete has to say on this. I will also add a few tips of my own since I bought one of these (not the new orange lined one though).
      To Improve Reliability:
      – Completely disassemble and clean this gun when you get it. This is a hassle as the thing is not easy to reassemble, but worth it.
      – Polish the feed ramp. I used a Dremel polishing kit and some buffing compound we had lying around the garage.
      – Try different ammo. The internet rumor I read a few years ago indicated that “Golden Bullet” was the factory test load, but mine functions best with CCI brand high velocity. It functions poorly with the cheap bulk box stuff.

      Overall it is fun to own but a novelty more than anything else, I much prefer the 10/22 for everyday use. This is great however for backpack camping trips and the like where you don’t know if you plan on plinking or not. If the 10/22 take-down had been available 4 years ago I’d have bought that instead.

    • Am buying one for my Grandson who by chance lives in Idaho. Gave him a 30-30 winchester for deer. He wants to hunt squirels etc. so will get him this for small game. Thanks for your info it will come in handy.

  4. a good solid bolt action 22 would make a better game getter. if you’re in a survival situation risking your next meal on a weapon that can be finicky about ammo and has marginal sights might not be the way to go.
    i wish i had bought 1 of the baikal 22/410’s when they were available for a decent price. not as portable as the ar7, but a better long term solution to the problem.

    • “i wish i had bought 1 of the baikal 22/410′s when they were available for a decent price”

      I held one of those a couple weeks ago in the used gun department of a local store. It was unique.

      • a new one? their older combo gun was a good one but the price got real high on it. i’ll have to check their site and see what’s up with the new one.

  5. A few tips from personal experience with the Henry:

    If you have fading old eyes, take your power drill and open up one or both of the rear sight peep holes. Gets rid of that fuzzy gray blur around the edges. The front sight can be drifted right/left for windage, using your thumb. When you have it set, put a bit of glue at the base of the sight in the dovetail.

    The stock holds two magazines plus one in the action, so buy an extra one.

    RTFI before you take the bolt out for cleaning, If you do not cock the action before you remove the bolt, it will be a real PITA to get the little fork-shaped plastic spring guide out of the receiver. The uncocked hammer will block it from removal. An extra plastic spring guide and springs are cheap, and look like the only thing on the rifle that might break/get lost easily.

    The offset of the action to the right side of the stock looks as if it will make that thinner part of the stock slot (on the right side) fairly weak. I would be careful to not put any weight on the rifle that would stress that side of the stock.

    Mine shot fairly well with the Federal 550-round loose boxed .22HP ammo. Your results may vary. Not my first choice as a highly accurate .22, but for the price ($230) it makes a reasonable “throw-it-under-the-front-seat” gun.

  6. This may be a silly question, but I’m an inquisitive idiot (and relatively new to firearms), so here goes: how does the AR-7 compare to a 10/22 Takedown? Portability, useability and reliability in the field, etc. etc.

    • I have one of each, so I will try to give you a quick review. The Ruger 10/22 Takedown is a far more accurate and robust rifle. With a small (8″ long) 4x scope installed, it still fits easily in the carry bag. It returns accurately to zero when you take it apart and put it back together, and it takes the highly reliable and easily available Ruger 10/22 magazines, including the new 25-round Ruger mag. The carry bag has room for lots of extra ammo and magazines. The Ruger trigger is much better than the Henry’s.

      Down side: the Ruger is heavier and considerably more bulky than the Henry AR-7. It runs about $100 more than the Henry. The Henry is a far more compact package if you do not put a scope on it, but without a scope you will probably not get the accuracy of the Ruger.

      So it depends on what you want the rifle to do for you. I solved the problem by buying both. The Henry goes under the front seat of the truck, the Ruger is used when I want a portable rifle on my ATV.

      Also, the Ruger is a lot more fun to shoot. With a little Bushnell compact 4x mil-dot scope ($65 from Cheaper Than Dirt), I can hit popcans at 100 yards fairly consistently. (My Ruger likes the CCI Velocitor 40gr ammo).

      Hope that helps. “When you can’t decide between two guns, buy both.” – Pete’s Rule.

    • They occupy the same niche but differ in small degrees. The AR7 is more compact, a bit lighter and so more portable. The 10/22 TD is more substantial (it has a forend) but won’t tuck into the butt stock.

      It really depends on what you want. If size and weight are paramount, pick the AR7. If you want a good all-around plinker that also breaks down, get the Ruger.

    • Also take a look at the Marlin Papoose (70PSS I believe). It breaks down size-wise like the 10/22TD but seems to be a more compact package with a smaller bag. Marlin microgroove rifling, 10rd mags, stainless steel construction; it’s essentially a 795 takedown. My 795 can put 10 shots in a half dollar at 25 yds without even really trying to be accurate.

      TTAG: Can we get a .22 Survival Rifle shootout? Henry AR-7, Marlin 70PSS, and 10/22TD?? Something like the $200 BOB video; show them being broken down and assembled, ease of use, accuracy, waterproof/float testing, etc. P

  7. I have an old Charter Arms version of this, and have put maybe 200 rounds through it. The first 50 where extremely frustrating as it jammed after every shot, after ejecting the empty, the bolt picked up the next round and shoved it’s nose right into the bottom of the barrel, scrunching it up pretty good. I sent it back to Charter Arms and from the looks of it, they Dremmeled a sort of “feed ramp” in the botton of the receiver. It looked rude and crude, but no charge, and it shot well afterwards, so I guess the repair was successful. I bought a couple of 50 round magazines for mine, a collapsable shoulder stock, ventilated front handguard, because that barrel gets MIGHTY HOT if you shoot more than one 8 round mag thru the gun. My experiece with the gun as far as accuracy and reliabilty (after the feed ramp was installed) matches very closely with James’ report. Later on, I got a Marlin Papoose that is also a take down .22LR that allegedly floats if in the padded case it came with. The Marlin (some 20 years old now) is a better quality gun, but both offer the ability to pack a rifle inside a back pack for camping trips, or when slinging one over your shoulder might cause problems.

  8. Y’all should do a comparison between this and it’s competitors:
    10/22 Takedown
    Marlin 70PSS

    Both are compact takedowns, and both are built on platforms that are known to be as reliable as the sun rising. I think either will outperform the AR-7, and magazines/parts are easier to get.

    As a side note, one could argue that a Marlin 39A is a takedown rifle. Hmm….

  9. Nice review, thank you. I think that this gun has its pros yet for a survival, small lightweight footprint to carry in pack, and a backup self-defense gun I’d prefer a Buckmark .22 cal pistol with a scope.

  10. I have owned the Charter Arms version for many years. I love the concept but the FTF, FTE’s etc. are frequent and aggravating. Fortunately, Henry resumed production and are much improved.

  11. I think we need to look at this from a portability standpoint. For packing or flying, this might be the tool. For self defense in the home or vehicle, no.

    The price seems right for putting it in a survival kit and leaving it there. Leave it in your plane, leave it at your cabin, bury it in the back yard next to your mason jars of pennies. I wish I had a cabin and a plane.

  12. If you’re going to do a comparison of compact take down .22s, the Browning SA22 needs to be on there too. It may be too expensive and ‘pretty’ to be called a ‘survival’ rifle that’s going to get beat up though.

  13. I’m wondering how this compares to the Kel Tec Sub 2000? The keltec is pretty portable, unfolds quickly for use and shoots 9 mm or .40 depending on the model. It also shares magazines with your pistol. Sure, the Kel Tec is a bit pricier, but you get a lot more power in a similar form factor.

    • i see the pistol caliber carbine as a house gun or urban shtf weapon. the take down 22 is more a wilderness emergency gun for keeping the pot full long term. ymmv.

    • That also requires getting a hold of a Sub2000. Whenever I mention it at the LGS, the people behind the counter always chuckle and shake their heads. 🙁

  14. -When I was (much) younger I had the chance to handle and fire US issue M4 and M6 survival rifles. The M4 had a crap action, the muzzle blast from the 14″ barrel was “interesting” and the FMJ .22 Hornet bullets weren’t good game cartridges. Too many lawyers misread the so-called “rules of war” and decided that soft point bullets were verboten. The M6 had the same .22 Hornet problems coupled with a REALLY crap trigger and a .410 that MIGHT kill a ptarmigin if you got close enough. Or it died laughing.
    -Now: the AR-7. First, I shoot left handed so the rifle isn’t great ergnomically but I can put up with it. Second, I always thought the accuracy was closer to one minute of moose vice one minute of squirrel. Maybe the new manufacture rifles are better; I sure hope so. Third, kudos to Henry for modifying the stock to take two magazines. I think that’s a nice touch. Fourth, and finally, in the bad old days when few of us could get concealed carry permits, one chap suggested carrying an AR-7 in one’s baggage and assembling it at night:eight rounds of .22LR isn’t much but is far better than nothing and the constabulary might (MIGHT) look more favorably on a .22 rifle than on a handgun.
    -Oh, yeah, someone once made a scope mount for the AR-7. It mad it much easier to see what you weren’t hitting.
    -However, if I can find a new one available at a range, I’ll give it another try.

  15. I tried a used Henry and it did well enough but, accuracy just wasn’t enough, went back to the Savage 24C (short take apart .22lr over a 20 ga) for a real survival combo. The Savage came with a paded case for the butt stock and reciever and 2nd pocket for the barrels. While heavier it allows the taking of larger game (deer) with a 2oga slug. The newer Henry with the built in scope mount would be my choice if I was to buy one of these again.

  16. I need some help, guys. I have the Henry AR-7 but I lost that bolt with the knob that connects the stock to the shooting action parts. I just got a replacement bolt, but I think I have to break the knob off this one in order to fit it into the stock (it only goes one way into that hole and the knob prevents you from inserting it that way). How the heck did anyone take this thing apart anyway. I hope my question makes sense. I can’t use the rifle if I can’t bolt the stock to the shooting action.

    • If I remember correctly, the thread on the bolt is standard 1/4 x 24 and I made a wooden stock (cut down for her short arms) and mady a bolt using threaded stock cut to size and a wing nut.

    • The stock takedown screw assembly consists of the aluminum screw itself and the plastic wing nut which is fastened with a tiny hollow metal pin. You must punch out that pin to remove the nut. Then you can put the screw in place from the receiver side, attach the nut and secure it by driving the tiny pin back into the nut. Easier said than done and you need a tiny punch.

      Theoretically the larger barrel on the takedown screw keeps the screw assembly from falling out of the stock . . . but I lost mine, too. And I’m not sure how it could have happened. But best be prepared for it to happen again.

      My AR-7 is not for everyday plinking. It is a survival bush pack gun and a canoeing gun that will fit in a small dry bag. Mostly it is stored. I now keep that takedown screw covered with duct tape so that it can’t fall out. Not elegant, but the gun is useless if that screw gets lost.

  17. I am probably going to get a couple of these….and lots of .22LR ammo. This would be a good last resort weapon should my M4 go out of commission.

  18. I have a rescue savage model 24, I wish I could find a Springfield m6 cz made them for them but they have climbed out of my price range savage has issued the new model 42 its probably worth looking at but would be much more desirable in 223/20 or 12 with a 22 cartridge adapter for the 223

    • -Well, we’re well off the track about the AR-7.. My comments somewhere above still apply. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it but there was also a pisto version of the AR-7… Why, I have no idea. Poor man’s broomhandle Mauser, I guess.
      -Savage 24. Back in the days when we weren’t so worried about Zombie attacks and global disruption, although I did have an M-1 rifle and an AR-15, I wanted a rifle for boondocking in some fairly rough country. I kept on looking at the Savage 24, which first came out in .22LR over .410 (or was it 20 gauge?). Heck, I had a skeleton framed 3lb special that had .22LR over .410 that fit neatly into my backpack. Not a good shooter or particularly well made, but it was okay for squirrels, rabbits & birds on the ground.
      -When they came out with the .223 over 20 gauge things got a little more interesting, but it wasn’t until they came out with a .30/30 version that I reallly got all het up.
      -I guess they didn’t make too many because I never could find one. Then a friend offered me an 8×57 over 2×16 gauge drilling that someone had brought back from WW2. It wasn’t any kind of presentation model, just a work-a-day combo. I didn’t have anything else in either caliber but quickly got dies & started having fun.

  19. Some more input on the AR-7…
    I bought one when I was 18 years old now long ago. It was a Charter Arms version and used but used little.
    I shot around 500-1000 rnds a week out of it for about 5 months straight. I never experienced any problems at first, (until dirty at 75 shots), but then it started failing to feed and eject at times even though I cleaned it up to 7 or 8 times a day. Of course taking it apart to the elemental components became more of a chore for an 18 year old so I learned to swish it in the pond and shake it out then spray it out with WD-40 and swishing it in the pond again. Clean up was fast then.

    Being poor and this gun all I had I would not give up on attempting to repair and improve the workings of it. But alas as the 1000s of rnds went on for months it degraded.
    The real big issue was the magazine, (also cleaned daily), that the feeding became unreliable due to the lips mis-shaping under many hours of daily used over a few months.
    The internal bearing surfaces the bolt rides on that was once rigid anodized and painted soon became more abrasive and less smooth as did the bolt. Not from cleaning but over shooting abuse. Gun probably was not made to shoot 20000 .22 rnds.
    The feeding into the barrel was improved by the chamfer of the chamber that many do to increase feeds. It works but do only a little of this.

    You guys would probably laugh but I have many stories with that gun and it is still within 10 feet from me and works. I have over the last 20 plus years shot it to literal poop and restored it back to a shooter only to shoot the pee out of it again.
    It’s been chrome plated, re-anodized and just last week I duracoated it with results better than ever. It even looks better than when I bought it.

    I have many hours of tinker-love with the thing and know exactly why it has problems and where those probs are…. not just a bunch of talk with no real fixing whining. Being poor makes you that way.

    Some good suggestions on here but not enough hard fixing answers. Heck, why would anyone but a poor guy play with such a pile of junk?

    Here is a sad part… the gun when I got it had an aluminum barrel with a steel insert. It was one of the most accurate .22 I ever owned fixed sight. Not talking bench shooting but shooting with 5 guys with all kinds of .22 guns including the 10/22 and I outshot them all, everday for months on wild game and targets. That barrel was what made the ar-7. Sadly after 5 months I shot the gun underwater and the barrel exploded. I had to cut the barrel down to remove the destroyed part and was stuck with an illegal 10 inch rifle that lost its accuracy. But I never gave up and even took bigger game with it at 100 yards. (what kids did back then).
    Finally I put out the money and purchased a new barrel from henry about 5 years ago. It is plastic. Accuracy is 1 inch at 15 yards. Not happy I have cruzed the internet for another aluminum barrel but they are way too much.
    Buying a steel barrel is not something I want to do either because it would defeat the beauty of a 3 pound gun.

    Some notes. When failure to feeds/eject start happening one has to clean well the bolt, scrubbing all the carb/powder from the extractor and face. The ejector “finger” must be bent forward a bit and replaced at times since it is weak and when worn back even a little, the brass does not eject soon enough and the extractor goes into flip the brass out a bit too late and spins in the port over the magazine, staying in the gun.
    The magazine must have a proper, touchy tension on the spring or the bolt literally reacts too quick for the mag to push the rnd up in time. That could be fixed by shortening the action springs but that would be just a band-aid fix to a festering problem. The bolt gets slightly rounded out where it contacts the magazine/round and if this is sloppy it slips sometimes.

    Got to make this short now but I have a fully functional Charter AR-7 with over 30k rnds through it and is still runs great,(when home refinished ever 2 years), and I still drop 2k rnds out of it once in a while. The fixes I have discovered over the years make this the best gun I have owned. No other rifle has ever some close to the amount of rnds I have put through.

    All that said I would stick with the 10/22 for parts and barrel availability. Beat that gun up and you can always fix it fast.

    • I just found a black Henry AR7 today. It was on sale for $150 because someone had dropped it on a concrete floor and made some nasty-looking gouges in the plastic buttstock, but they sanded out easily enough when I got home.

      I ran 100 rounds of Stingers through it at a range on the way home, which cycled 100%. This is slightly impressive because the gun was shipped and stored dry as a bone and I didn’t have any CLP with me to oil the bolt. I hope the trigger breaks in; the release is not terribly bad but the pull weight must be above 10 pounds. It shoots very badly high and right, about 3″ at 40 feet. I will have to adjust the sights, but before I do that I intend to paint it in Woodland camo, just because. Thereafter I think I will keep it in the back of the truck with a brick of ammo (when ammo becomes available by the brick again) for situations in which a .22 rifle may be helpful.

      It may be too late, of course, but does anyone have any information on what ammo these rifles like? Some say these rifles work with high velocity and hypervelocity .22 LR only. Also, while this is a bit like putting a hood scoop on a Yugo, is there anyone that does trigger work on them? This trigger is distractingly bad, distractingly horrible. I do not ask for a benchrest rifle trigger, just something that isn’t five times the weight of the rifle. to the point where the sharp edges on the trigger are beginning to cut my finger. Lastly I’d like to get a third mag for it; who sells them? Thanks.

      • Mine eats any and all 22lr. Henry sells the mags. Doing trigger work is iffy at best, as it can become full auto if not careful. With that warning, as someone above mentioned, take it apart and carefully polish. Add a bit of grease and you’re good to go.

  20. All this becomes pretty irrelevant when 22 LR is selling for 50-60 bucks for the bulk 550 round box that was $11.99 before Christmas 2012. WTF

  21. This all becomes pretty irrelevant when 22LR is selling 50-60 bucks per 550 round box that was $11.99 before Christmas 2012.

  22. I would like to order a Henry survival .22 model Hoo2B / LR Black. I am a Canadian Citizen and would like to know how to do so?

  23. I bought one on the way north just for plinking. I had no feed problems with about 400 rounds a 50yds . I was very surprised with the performance. Put box after box in a silver dollar area. Took some getting use to the trigger is stiff but I’ll work on that. For bug its a great deal . $229. At cabelas and they have ammo to $21.99 a brick remington. I would recommend it for a pack

  24. Hi Robert. I just got a Henry .22LR Repeater with a 2200 amo can for $90 plus tax (amo can) in high velocity rounds. From (Canadian myself) but I got to the point where I was just looking to buy so I don’t know if that’s the deal you’re looking for. Just thought I’d share what I got it for. Looking to go to the range for the first time with it this week so I don’t have any feedback other than the price and what I got.

  25. so i bought one of these for a backpack gun, i also bought a 175 pound crossbow, as well a mosin-nagant 7.62x54r
    after all of that id say this. the henry is not the only or the best survival oriented rifle on the market, but making a choice is a little harder than you may think when taking all the options into consideration. the list of survival oriented rifles is as follows with my experience, henry ar7/ springfield m6/ savage 24. please leave your comments i personally love my henry but will be buying a springfield m6 as soon as i find one reasonably priced.

  26. I bought a Henry version about 10 years ago. A cool idea for a take down rifle, but utterly unreliable. Tried all sorts of ammo, but it couldn’t shoot more than a mag or two without jamming. Cleaning & lubing didn’t help. I once completely broke it down for cleaning with no luck. (Not a recommended procedure. It was a bear to get back together)
    One of the few guns I wish I never bought.

    • Complete dissassembly has one problem, the “Jesus Spring” (as in “Jesus, where’d that spring go?!?).

      Putting it back together is a similar issue.

      It’s a GREAT idea to take a digital picture of the innards as soon as you take the side plate off. That way, you can refer to the picture when you’re putting things back together.

    • Ed I took the side plate off of mine and the internals flew out and I have no idea how to put it back together. I have it kinda put together buy my action won’t work; the safety is jammed and when I squeeze my trigger the firing pin won’t function. Any help?

      • Dylan, I was able to get mine back together although I remember it was a chore. I sketched the assembly, but digital pics would have been easier. as I mentioned it still didn’t help the function. Have you tried online or youtube for assembly instructions?

  27. I know its a bit old, but if anybody is still looking to do a shoot-off/comparison on the .22 LR takedowns, I don’t see how they could leave out the good ol’ model 62. Has to be one of the oldest take-down designs out there. Fit one with a synthetic stock for additional ammo storage and weight savings, shorten the barrel a bit to cut weight as well, and I think you’ve got a pretty good little backpacking gun. Would be even better if it was done in a .17 HMR.

  28. Just found an original “made in Costa Mesa” armalite AR7 in the brown swirl camo.
    Be fun to do a comparison with a charter arms and a Henry.

  29. I have found the AR-7 to be a fine little rifle. Most of the people commenting here want more or something different from what this particular rifle was designed to do. It is not designed to be a high capacity tack-driving target rifle. Accuracy is fine, I have never experienced any malfunction. I’ve been shooting and hunting for 35 years, and have harvested over 100 squirrels with my AR-7. Perhaps most expect too much from their rifle, if you want a tack-driver, expect to spend a lot of money right off the bat. I have 6 .22 caliber rifles of different makes and models, and the AR-7 is just as accurate as the rest.

  30. I bought one just because I thought They are neat little Rifles and fun to shoot.
    The only complaint I have is when I removed it from the Box for a first cleaning I removed a rather large piece of Lead from the Bore.
    I would think Henry would be a bit more careful when test firing.
    All in all it is a fun little Rifle.

  31. I have the original ArmaLite AR7. My dad win it on a pull-tab around 1963 and gave it to me; my first firearm. I wasn’t an abusive kid and it’s still in excellent shape; a gun I’d never part with.

  32. I just purchased this rifle and took it to the range for the first time tonight. I shot about 200 rounds of at least six different types of 22lr. I did not clean the rifle or touch the sights, I just shot it straight out of the box.

    I had two fail to eject within the first two magazines, but after that no problems. It shot everything well, from 1000fps to 1300fps… I shot two varieties of winchester, some federal, American eagle, cci standard velocity, and others I can’t recall.

    It was surprisingly accurate up to 25 yards which was the max for the range I was at today. I flipped the peep sight over to use the smaller sight – I did not fire it at all using the larger peep. I am pretty confident that you could take small game with this rifle at 25 to 35 yards and am very happy with how well it cycles a variety of ammunition. It had no trouble firing rapidly.

    Other thoughts:

    1. The trigger sucks, thought I was going to cut my finger on it, but it isn’t really intended to sit and shoot all afternoon…

    2. After shooting about 150 rounds I noticed it was shooting low and to the right, and I had two rounds fail to feed (Winchester high velocity)… this was because the barrel had started to come loose after this much use – a quick hand tightening immediately resolved both problems. If you are going to shoot a lot of rounds just check the big nut that holds the barrel on once in a while.

    3. Buy a third magazine since the stock will accommodate it.

    4. It feels like the front sight post leans just a little bit to the left on mine… you can slide it left and right but this is an actual lean. It did not seem to impact the accuracy however, just something I noticed.

    Overall I am very pleased with this rifle for $250 as something to throw in the backpack.

  33. Bought my Henry AR-7 somewhere around 20 years ago, not sure exactly. $150 back then. Internal workings can be a bit tough to reassemble, hammer pin tends to come out of its socket, and it is easy to lose the magazine release spring. If you pay attention during your first disassembly. you should not have any problems later. As soon as you have the side plate off, remove the magazine spring and set it to the side so you won’t lose it. Don’t disassemble for cleaning in the field, because of the magazine spring and the trigger spring pin, which is also quite small. I carry 37 grain hollow points for it. For backyard squirrel hunting though, get a Benjamin Blue Streak or Silver Streak air rifle in .20 caliber. Less noise to disturb your neighbors, and a fast kill.

  34. Mine doesn’t like superX at all. Flips them straight up in the mag then crushes them with the bolt to 30*

    Everything else ran just fine including subs.
    It’s a new model Henry btw

  35. I have a Henry and it shoots too low and to the left to correct by adjusting the sights. It is also less reliable than I would like, mostly failures to load. I also have a Ruger 10/22 takedown and if you don’t mind the weight, it is a vastly better gun.

  36. Mine is a jam-o-matic. I bought it used and have no idea how it was treated. Regardless, I have tried lots of ammo types and I get constant stovepipes, failure to extract, failure to fire. It is very frustrating. I have taken it apart and cleaned and lubed it several times.

    If anybody has any suggestions, I’d like to hear them.

    When it works, it is very accurate. I can hit the steel rocker bowling pin target I have at over 80 yards with just the peep sight.

    • Check the ramp for burrs. If that’s smooth, try a different magazine. I’ve got several that are perfect and one that I keep just to cuss at.

  37. I also have a first gen AR-7. The manufacture of the firing pin (sets in a grove on top of the bolt) means that when it gets dirty, which doesn’t take long, the firing pin can jam in the forward position, and all of a sudden, you have a full auto AR-7. If there happens to be an ATF agent within hearing range, you might have a lot of explaining to do.

    I removed the firing pin, and with a little judicious file work, and a lot of teflon-containing lube, managed to solve that problem. Since then, I add a separate step to cleaning: check the clearance of the firing pin (side-to-side) be sure it’s is not stuck – especially in the “fire” position. The first time this happened to me, I had inserted a fresh clip and when the bolt went forward, I had an open-chamber .22 full auto with no way to stop it until the mag was empty.

  38. Geez, Surprised some of you guys had problems with the Henry Survival rifle. I purchased one a couple years ago and have been so impressed with it’s performance that I just purchased a second one. I plan to keep one in each vehicle but they are just fun to shoot. I have found them very accurate but I did train with the peep sight in the Marines so I am used to the peep sight and the six o’clock hold. I did find that the price varies between retail outlets but Cabella’s will do a price match.

  39. Shot my AR 7 for the first time today and I love it. Went through 50 CCI Stingers with no problem and 1 failure to fire (2 tries) and 1 failure to feed with 50 Thunderbolts. The trigger pull is stiff but there’s no creep or drag. Mine shot low and left out of the box. Superman must have tightened that rear sight adjusting screw because I couldn’t break it loose and didn’t want to break it so I just shot low. The front sight was easy to move and stayed put. My only real complaint is what to do with my non shooting hand. I was always scraping my hand on the bottom of the magazine so I finally just made a fist and rested the trigger guard on it. I’d recommend this rifle to anyone as long as they’re not expecting old world craftsmanship and world beating accuracy. I do believe though that when I clean this rifle I’ll leave the receiver screwed into the stock and just remove the barrel.

  40. I own an original Armalite AR-7 That I’ve had forever. I bought it as a backpacker! However as a reliable backup in an emergency, I wouldn’t count on it! It’s one major flaw in its designer is its bolt spring guide. It is made from cheap plastic and tends to twist if fired too much which causes the bolt to jam. You then have to dis assemble the rifle before you can use again! I have contacted Henry about this and suggested that the guide be ramade out of metal but they’re not interested on improving that design fault, so it sits on the bottom of my gun safe gathering dust! Unreliable in an emergency!

  41. The Henry AR7 is a great little gun. while the iron sights leave something to be desired beyond 50 yards, the gun is a nail driver. Add a Bushnell red dot, quick release riser, and a dovetail adapter to your pack and the AR7 becomes a 4 lb, 200 yard dead-eye.


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