AR-7 Survival Rifle
Cheap, light, and reliable, what more could you want
out of something touted as a survival rifle? I paid $75 for this rifle, years
ago, and I think it is just a bit over $150 these days. The entire rifle breaks
down and stows in the butt stock. It is so light that it will float if dropped
in water. The parkerized finish is impervious to rust, as are the gun's alloyed
inner components. Even the barrel is alloy (aluminum) with a rifled steel
liner. When I first got the little beast, the idea was that I could keep
it stowed in the trunk of my car, or maybe toss it in the seat locker of
my boat. The legality of this varies from state to state, but for the most
part you are all right if a gun is broken down, cased, and the ammunition
is stored apart from it. The gun would also be a natural as a utility gun,
stowed away in a back pack or a camper, but gun laws are so pervasive these
days that what seems like a simple good idea can get mighty complicated.
||2 3/4 pounds
The gun itself is reasonably accurate, and except for
the clunky stock, pleasant to shoot. A military peep sight sits atop the receiver,
which is also grooved for a scope. Mounting a scope on a self stowing, waterproof,
and floating rifle seems to defeat the design of the gun a bit, but the option
exists for those who would complain if it were absent. This rifle was initially
designed for the U.S. Air Force as (surprisingly) a survival rifle, and precedes
the newer M7, .410/.22 o/u model. All and all, it is admirably suited for
it's stated purpose. This is one of the few guns I have seen which can be
safely stowed and then ignored until needed. .
Here is a photo of the broken down action stowed in the
stock. Packed away like this, the rifle will fit in a backpack, cabinet, or
any small space. Reassembly of the gun takes less than a minute and consists
of seating the receiver in the stock, tightening a thumbscrew, inserting the
barrel and screwing down its' collar, and then inserting the magazine.
The little rifle is perfectly suited to it's role and I expect mine to outlast
me, which is something I can say about few other $75 investments I have made.
These rifles are presently being made by the Henry Firearms
Company. The guns were originally produced by Armalite, using what were at
the time, cutting edge manufacturing processes. My gun is one of the Armilites.
There were some compromises made, in order to have the rifle float, and allow
it to be self stowing. This would presently not be my first choice for plinking,
hunting or any other purpose. Though not exactly a target gun, the AR-7 is
accurate enough. The trigger has an odd feel to it, and the gun has a cumbersome
feel to it; but a deliberate stance, and a careful aim produce acceptable
accuracy. Eugene Stoner and Armalite created a number of interesting
One interesting note about movies, guns, and gun ignorant
writers. This rifle was actually featured in a James Bond movie. The movie
was "From Russia With
Love", and the gun was presented to Bond by Q, who called it " A point
two five AR-7 snipers' rifle, with an infra red sight". Later in the movie,
Bond helped an associate use this rifle to kill an assassin who was attempting
to flee out a back window. Needless to say, this rifle would not be my first
choice for such a job. Neither the caliber nor the action lend themselves
to this kind of thing. It is also chambered in 22, not 25.
There is some equal silliness going around, with people
trying to turn these little guns into pseudo assault rifles. There are the
really silliy vanity items, like barrel shrouds, and skeletanized stocks,
as well as seemingly usefull items like 25 round magazines.