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The Henry/ArmaLite AR-7 Survival Rifle

By: Friedrich Seiltgen

The AR-7 was developed during the 1950s by ArmaLite Company weapons guru Eugene Stoner, father of the AR-15/M-16. Based on Stoner’s previous survival rifle, the AR-5, the AR-7 was intended as an aircrew survival rifle for downed pilots. It has seen service with U.S. Air Force pilots and aircrew as their issued survival rifle since 1959!

The AR-7 is a .22 long rifle caliber, blowback operated, takedown, survival rifle. The AR-7 breaks down into pieces that fit into the polymer buttstock, which is only 16.5 inches long! The AR-7 weighs in at about three-and-a-half pounds. It comes equipped with two eight-round magazines and will float! The rifle is ready for bad weather with its stainless-steel barrel covered in a polymer and Teflon-coated receiver.

Assembly is so easy, a liberal could do it! The receiver fits into a notch on the stock. Attach the receiver to the stock and tighten the setscrew. Then insert the barrel into the end of the receiver, making sure once again to align the pin on the barrel with the notch in the receiver. Then screw the barrel/nut firmly on the receiver, and you’re ready to go.

The AR-7 is currently in production by the Henry Repeating Arms company in the People’s Republic of New Jersey. (Hey Henry, if you’re reading this, move to Florida!) Henry touts its rifle as a low-cost, small caliber rifle people can count on. Henry’s tagline for this rifle: “Don’t Leave Civilization Without One.”

While the AR-7 has remained true to Stoner’s original design, Henry has made some great modifications. They’ve added a rail for optics, although a scope will not fit inside the buttstock. They’ve added an orange front-sight insert making sight acquisition easier, and the AR-7 now has an extra slot for another eight-round magazine. Altogether you can carry three magazines giving you 24 rounds of .22 long rifle, that could be a lifesaver depending on your situation.

The AR-7 is also a movie star. Appearing in the James Bond films “Goldfinger," “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and my favorite, "From Russia With Love” where it was decked out with a scope and silencer! Any rifle used by James Bond is good enough for me!

At a cost of $229.99, the AR-7 is a great addition to your collection. Bring it along in a backpack, bug-out bag, or in the trunk of the car for some extra peace of mind!

Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He is currently a Part-Time policer officer with the Starke , Florida Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, Active Shooter Response, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Homeland Security Today and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at polizei22@msn.com.

Photo Credit: Henry.com

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.