Henry Repeating Rifles (which just donated a substantial sum to the Roger Maris Cancer Center) still makes a model of the Henry U.S. Survival AR-7. A friend of mine is thinking about getting one, so I thought I’d see if any of you had an experience with it. Seems like it would be a nice backpacking rifle.

The Henry Survival AR-7, for those who are unfamiliar with it, essentially disassembles so the entire thing packs away in the butt of the weapon. It’s a little over a foot long (16 ½” long) when broken down, so you can easily throw it in a 3-day pack or other compartment. Weight is 3.5 lbs.

The stock is impact resistant, waterproof and will float. The barrel is covered in ABS plastic and Teflon-coated to resist corrosion and damage, including that inflicted by saltwater.The receiver is also coated with Teflon and the receiver is grooved to receive optics.The AR-7 is available in black and camo finishes and is equipped with an adjustable rear sight/blade front sight as standard fare.

Kit Up! An old school AR-7 Ad.

You can read about it and its cousins in the NRA Museum on line.

Any input?

Someday, by the way, I’m going to own a Henry lever-action repeater (if not an original Volcanic), and maybe a Webley Bulldog.

Just sayin’.

Henry US Survival in the wild

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick July 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

I have had one for about 20 years, maybe a little more. One of my first rifles. While not a precision long-range shooter, it does the job when you need a compact and portable camping/hiking/emergency shooter. I have bagged a handful of small game with it on camping excursions, so it is definitely capable of that! Toss this sucker and a box of ammo into a backpack and you are all set.

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DGR July 2, 2012 at 11:50 am

Its not ment for any kind of real high volume shooting. So long as you understand that when you buy it, its not a real issue. But if you buy it thinking your going to put a few hundred rounds a session through it, then you will be dissapointed. Im not sure what the life is on them, but the barrels are extremly thin and flimsy feeling. Just buy it with the understanding its not a every day/week shooter, its a survival gun.

The stocks are very thin and will crack, you can install optics if you want to pack it in the stock, and while it works im not a fan of the barrel attachment system. But its a good survival gun, so long as the 20rds you can fit in the stock is all you plan on shooting.

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Henry Arms Fan April 23, 2014 at 7:54 am

thats not true, Ive put thousands of rounds through my Henry AR-7 its the pre 2011 model with a 3/8 dovetail, and yes it does have a thin barrel insert surrounded in plastic for the ultimate in light weight.

Now, after at least 3,000 rds through mine, any non jacketed solid lead projectiles would really start to foul the barrel with lead, so i abandoned all lead bullets and have since used only Aguila Supermax 1750 fps 30gr rds and Remington Yellow jacket hp or Viper FMJ at 1450 fps, HV ammo cycles the gun most reliably, parts are super cheap and AR-7 Industries sells replacement barrels, in a few different configurations, bull target barrels threaded tapered barrels that are solid steel and the factory steel insert and polymer exterior . Some even have cantilevered 7/8 weaver rails and they are all under 100$

Ive put at least 5 thousand rounds through my Henry AR-7 with the stock barrel and bolt carrier group

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KJK July 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Dad had one. I'll echo what the other posters have said. Dad used to say it was a long barreled belly gun. Not real accurate out past pistol range or so. Personally, I'd just tote a .22 pistol. It'd weigh less.

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fmf July 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Had one about 25-28 years ago. Terrible feed from the stock magazines, had to do some fiddling to get it to feed halfway right. Not accurate, kinda fun- when it fed correctly.

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Mike July 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Ruger is making a take-down 10/22 I see online…a HUGELY better choice! And their stock magazines work first time every time, in my experience; not to mention that Ruger finally wised up and came out with a factory 25 round mag that we in California aren't allowed to have…but most owners do, heh, heh.

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Nate July 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ooa4Ua_GJA&fe

if your looking for a small compact .22, the ruger 10/22 take down version will be your best bet, you can put thousands of rounds through it without a single malfunction. And if you want it super compact you can do what the guy in the video did and mod a folding wire stock so it will fit onto it!

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Jerry Rosenthal July 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Bought one around 1960 (when they first came out) as a survival gun to carry in the plane that my buddy used to fly between ranches. Shot it then to make sure it worked. As the plane never crashed, it never was fired again. Used to check it every few months or so. It held up well.

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the dude July 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm

lube it up real good. has a tendancy to fail to extract (the bolt can have trouble cycling if you run it too dry). Seen this issue a many of times. Other than that minor issue, rifle is great and fun to shoot.

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Scott July 3, 2012 at 5:37 am

I have the Marlin (70P….if I recall correctly) version of this rifle that I bought about 20 years ago. It was a great rifle to take backpacking/camping as it came in a padded case that I could slide into my pack. Never had a problem with it and it was great for hunting small game and target shooting.

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CPTP July 3, 2012 at 5:46 am

Also a good choice in the 'modified 10/22' category is the 10/22 takedown stock made by APG Arms.
http://www.agparms.com/agp-arms-take-down-10-22-c

or the SBR version if you are so inclined
http://www.agparms.com/agp-arms-take-down-10-22-c

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Muddyboots July 3, 2012 at 6:56 am

The AR-7 has been manufactured by at least three companies. Henry is producing the current version. The poly-steel barrel had me very suspicious at first but is doing fine at over 11,000 rounds through it. The magazines will feed SOME rounds flawlessly and this seems to vary from gun to gun. Pick a round that cycles well and use those. As has been said, keep it lubed! The biggest single source of accuracy issues I've seen with this design is caused by assembly. When you screw the barrel nut onto the receiver, pull the bolt back and tighten it some more.

I have an old Charter Arms version with over 30K rounds through it. I had to file the receiver face and true it to get it to function, the casting was so bad. It works fine now and holds minute of squirrel/ soda can at a hundred yards. A majority of the AR-7s i've shot (dozens…) will do that. The design seems to magnify shooter issues and the terrible triggers just increase that tendency. This little rifle is not intended for competition accuracy but will do very well for it's intended purpose as I light, compact, breakdown kit gun. Use it that way and they can be great. Some people hate them which is fine since there are other guns available out there.

Muddyboots

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osdocii July 3, 2012 at 7:31 am

I was cutting a Xmas tree in the Flambeau State Forest in N. WI a few days after hunting season twenty years ago when my dog started a good-sized buck in a balsam clump. The poor ******* had been shot square in the ****, both his hind legs broken by the impact. Other dogs had gotten after him, chewing up his hind quarters and tearing off his tail. All he could do was lunge forward a few feet. And he stank bad. Nothing should die like that. It felt very good to get my AR-7 out of the trunk, assemble it, and send that poor guy on his way. My AR-7 has bounced around a lot of dusty car trunks in forty years, paying for itself many times over. And buck, I apologize. Some of my fellow human beings can be real jerks. You must have dropped almost in your tracks, and those ******** couldn't be bothered to poke around a little balsam stand for you, leaving you to die hard, real hard.

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osdocii July 3, 2012 at 8:02 am

Key to starred words. 1. Illegitimate person, derogatory. May be figuratively applied to an animal, inanimate object, or natural force. 2. Exit for elimination from bowels. 3. See one.

Editors–You guys heard of the First Amendment? #1 is a fine word. See dictionary.com for a discussion of its origin from the Latin *********. #2 is an anatomical term for Heaven's sake. Have you ever heard it used in a scatological way? And try finding a substitute. Let's see if your filter kicks out ********.

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David Reeder July 3, 2012 at 8:34 am

It's not us. It's an automatic software editing we have no control over. Feel free to contact the brass further up the chain to complain. I for one believe the occasional scatological or conjugal reference provide much needed emphasis and humor at times. DR

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osdocii July 3, 2012 at 8:08 am

OK then, no Latin and no ********. Hmmm… What exactly would you call that place in the keg where you insert the beer tap?

The First Amendment isn't a frill. It has a practical reason for existence: it's **** trying to communicate without it.

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galloglas July 3, 2012 at 8:16 am

The main draw for this little rifle is "It Floats" Carrying one in the canoe or john boat for snakes or game is no problem.
Throw it in the trunk of the car or behind the seat in a truck and you have a weapon for game, goon's or target shooting.
I like it, it doesn't really compare to any other rifle and comes as close to a stocked pistol than it does a full rifle.
I've seem where the rear sight aperture can be opened up slightly and makes aiming better.

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galloglas July 3, 2012 at 8:17 am

osdocii: Try cockpit, which is the crew station for pilots in an airplane. I am amazed at how the censors work here.

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David Reeder July 3, 2012 at 8:35 am

You should be the one trying to write the articles.

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osdocii July 3, 2012 at 9:14 am

Hi, Dave,

Thanks for commenting. My sympathies. Pardon me experimenting: Bangkok? Amsterdam? Breast stroke? Whistlecock? Whistledick?(For the last two search article: "The meaning of subincision of the urethra to aboriginal Australians." Abstract: Subincision of the ***** is a traditional ritual mutilation unique to the Aborigines, the indigenous people of Australia. The mutilation is a urethrotomy in which the undersurface of the ***** is incised and the urethra **** open lengthwise. Subincision is one element in the initiation of Aboriginal youths. In later ceremonies, repeated throughout adult life, the subincised ***** is used as a site for ritual bloodletting. There also exists a ritual of ***** holding which occurs when a subincised man enters a strange camp. The origin of subincision and the reason for its localization to the Australian continent has not been satisfactorily explained. The mutilation is still performed among tribal Aborigines, and identifies a man as holding a position of status within the tribe.) Although I couldn't find a reference, I recall from anthropology in college reference to an aboriginal tribe (Amazonian?) where males wore a long hollow stick on their organs of copulation and urinary elimination, the tubes tied to their bellies by a cord.

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osdocii July 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

We can't use the word *****? What the **** do we say to the doctor when we have this nasty ooze coming from it? Hey, doc, I got the clap? Probably it's going to kick "clap" out. For experimental purposes I'm going to use the Lord's name in vain. Jesus Christ! Well, enough of this ****.

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osdocii July 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

Oh, one more thing. Consider this concept of ***** holding when a stranger comes into camp (see abstract two posts above). Imagine President Bush greeting the Pope. Or President Obama meeting Putin. ****, it might even work! Imagine Putin (or the Pope) talking tough after that greeting! By the way, has anyone else noticed that Bush is a hand pumper while Obama has a straight manly grip. The possible consequences if we exchanged customs with the aboriginal Australians gives one further pause. (I wonder if this entire post is going to get tossed.)

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SpcPoole July 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm

A good friend of mine got one of theas. Im his unoffical armorer so he brought it to me for me to open and inspect. When every thing is in the buttstock its very easy to pack. The buttplate is a little hard to get off be then I like it that way. Dont want things to fall out. It was very east to assemble, two mags, space for 3 if you keep one in the mag well. The sights are fix peep and post with the post realy being a blade. The orange blade is very easy to pick up even is low light. The trigger was good for what it is. Minde you its not target trigger to top it off it was very accerit holding about 1 MOA or so off hand. I would defently recomend this for any one that spends lot of time in the deep woods but does not want a traditonal rifle. Or even as a back up to you bush gun.

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marc anderson July 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I bought one several years ago to keep on a motorcycle for small-game hunting and plinking. To this day it's the only firearm I'vpe ever sold. I was disappointed in the accuracy and reliability. With the front sight on the barrel and the rear on the reciever you lose zero every time you disassemble it. As a survival rifle, one would assemble it, zero it, and leave it assembled until rescue, but that's not what backpackers want to do with it. For a backpacking plinker I prefer a Rossi. 410 or a folding-stock 10/22. For ease of use I'd go with a break actipn. 410.

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Scoutmapper July 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I went to the gun store with the intention of buying this. after handling it I was not impressed. Cheap. I have held toy guns that felt sturdier.

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John Mercer July 4, 2012 at 5:43 am

I bought one from the PX at Fort Ord in the '70s, back when they were built by Armalite Corp.
It's been the gun I used hiking and camping, and for years, my father kept it in a closet of his vacation trailer for years. and I got it back when he sold me the trailer. I use it around the yard for varming control, and have had pretty god results with it out to about 75 yards.
The sights are somewhat adjustable, by loosening a screw on the rear of the receiver and "tweaking" the rear sight peephole into place, but there are no gauges or scales to define how much to move it, so it's adjust and shoot, adjust and shoot.
Others have commented on feeding problems. I have five magazines, two that came with it, and four after-market purchases, and have never had feed problems with any of them, other than an occasional fialure to strip, usually because the nagazine was dirty.

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SFC Earnan August 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Interesting concept, ********* execution from all of the various manufacturers.

Get the take-down version of the Ruger 10/22. A better design in the first place, and much better supported by both Ruger and a legion of aftermarket suppliers. Slightly more expensive, but worth it.

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SFC Earnan August 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm

"half-donkeyed" or "half-cheeked"?

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al August 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm

how do I buy ar 7 mags

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Jeff October 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Well I have the newest version from Henry (H2) with the raised / ribbed optics mount. It is a good rifle for what it is.

Pro's
1. Can be found new for around $200 to $230
2. Finish is highly rust resistant.
3. Compact, light, mods avail.
4. 15 round extended mags are avail.
5, New model has a swap-able dual rear peep (large = quick target accq. or small for precision).

Con's
1. Can be ammo picky – mine loves CCI mini mags
2. May not hold up as well as standard rifles.

All said – I own many 22lr : Ruger 10/22, Marlins. This rifle fall in somewhere behind them but not too far. I is a smaller gun thus less forgiving if the shooter is the issue. I would take a Marlin Papoose any day of the week over this, (if you can find one). It is a good backpack / trunk gun. If you use it as designed it will serve you well.

See this youtube review for a well balanced / torture test of the Newer AR-7 by Henry Arms.
http://youtu.be/Dexm-y6elOg

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Jeff October 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Well I have the newest version from Henry (H2) with the raised / ribbed optics mount. It is a good rifle for what it is.

Pro's
1. Can be found new for around $200 to $230
2. Finish is highly rust resistant.
3. Compact, light, mods avail.
4. 15 round extended mags are avail.
5, New model has a swap-able dual rear peep (large = quick target accq. or small for precision).

Con's
1. Can be ammo picky – mine loves CCI mini mags
2. May not hold up as well as standard rifles.

All said – I own many 22lr : Ruger 10/22, Marlins. This rifle falls in somewhere behind them but not too far. It is a smaller gun thus less forgiving if the shooter is the issue. I would take a Marlin Papoose any day of the week over this, (if you can find one). It is a good backpack / trunk gun. If you use it as designed it will serve you well.

See this youtube review for a well balanced / torture test of the Newer AR-7 by Henry Arms.
http://youtu.be/Dexm-y6elOg

*** Sorry the above is ammo tests in AR7 this is the torture test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfDfy0nrQWo&fe

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Paul December 30, 2012 at 7:08 am
RALPH SULLIVAN February 7, 2013 at 8:04 pm

IS THERE A 22 MAGNUM MADE/SOLD THAT "BREAKS-DOWN" similar to any of the

AR-7's…

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Peter March 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

Jeff

What brand are the 15 rd mags?

Thanks

Peter

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Richard H April 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm

where can I find 15 to 25 round ammo clips for my ar-7 gun?

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Mike May 3, 2013 at 9:36 am

I just bought a brand new Henry (the one with the ¾ scope mount built in). The whole key to these is to make sure that you have the new ones made by Henry. The older ones made by Charter arms were the ones with the major feed issues. Henry did some redesign on the magazines that have fixed most of these problems. I picked one up for $250 brand new. I live in New York so things have gotten little nuts with firearms here. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with the rifle. If you are looking for a decent plinker that breaks down for under $300 this is gun for you. Is it going to win any accuracy competitions? No. If you are looking for a fun plinker that you can throw in a backpack and have a fun day shooting it is perfect. As most people have said its minute of Squirrel or tin can. I’ve put about 200 rounds the barrel and only had a couple of feed issues and that was more due to the cheap bulk pack ammo I was shooting. For the most part though, it’s cycled everything I’ve put down the barrel. I’ve read that it does not like flat nose bullets, it cycled that fine. It cycled the Remington thunderbolt bulk pack relatively well (Does have a tendency to gunk up the gun a bit but again that’s the ammo not the gun). I even fired 8 rounds of cci subsonic (1024 Ft/s) and it cycled fine. Ammo is getting harder to find and now with the lovely law that “Il Duce” crammed down our throats you can’t buy more than 100 rounds at a time. Just a word of caution most of the high capacity magazines out there were designed for the old Charter arms and will not function with the Henry. The bottom line is if you are looking for a gun that has many accessory options, high capacity magazines and don’t mind spending the extra money get the Take Down 10/22. If you are not looking to put a lot of bells and whistles on it and don’t mind 8rnds the Henry will serve you well as a fun plinker.

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DukeN September 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm

I own 4 Henry AR7's and they are a blast to shoot. Light, highly accurate at 50 yards and darn fun to shoot. At 50 yards, this rifle out performs 2 Ruger 10/22's that I own. Who would have guessed?

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Guest November 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Well, SurvivalCache.com has already done several in-depth articles on this topic, but I've said it elsewhere and I'll say it again. If you want a compact Henry .22 for a bug-out bag or hiking, anything really, for the same price you can get yourself an extremely rugged lever action Mare's Leg. STOP! – hear me out, punk…

Think what you will, but the facts speak for themselves; this little shooter is tip, top tough! You get the option of .22 Long, Long Rifle, and Short with respective capacities in the tube. The lever is over-sized for gloves in cold weather and it can ping pie pans from 100 yds. out. It's sold as a handgun, so you can keep it loaded in a vehicle and you can easily learn how to compensate the aim without a full stock, you simply allow it to tip forwards and catch your cheek instead of pulling it back into your shoulder – it takes about 10 shots to master this technique.

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booger red January 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I bought one new in the 1960's, the price then was $25.00 (!) and I had to put it on lay-a-way…..It is accurate up to about 150' if you have had a little practice and are familiar with it.

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J-Dawg March 16, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Bought one of these a few weeks ago. Went out camping with it and put about three hundred rounds through it in the first night. Probably five jams of those and always on the first shot of a maxed out clip. I have had this problem with many 22's when you max out the clip so I wasn't surprised. In terms of accuracy, I was able to hit a pop can at about fifty yards with the open peep sight. Overall very impressed, wasn't terribly expensive and can go just about anywhere with me.

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