The Henry US Survival AR-7 Rifle is the latest rendition of the USAF AR-7 that many Air Force pilots carried “just in case” for the last 40+ years. Even today it can be found stored away by many backpackers, bush pilots, and ATV riders. The AR-7 is known for its unique ability to disassemble in several components and store it all in its buttstock. Worth mentioning is the entire gun will float when stored away – especially meaningful to boaters.
For the survivalist, the Henry US Survival Rifle is compact and light enough to fit inside a bug out bag as well as under most car seats. The .22LR chambering provides the ability to carry lots of ammunition with little bulk and weight. The .22LR is also one of the most versatile rounds affording the user to dispatch a variety sizes of game and if need be, used for self defense.
Action Type: Semi-automatic Caliber: .22 LR Magazine Capacity: 8 Rounds (comes with two mags) Length: 38″ assembled, 16.5″ when stowed Weight: 2.25 lbs Stock: ABS Plastic Sights: Adjustable Rear, Blade Front Finish: Teflon coated receiver and coated steel barrel
The AR-7 is very lightweight and is a joy to handle and shoot. The buttstock does feel a bit bulky as its girth has to be wide enough in order to contain the guns receiver, barrel, and magazines. Some Henry enhancements to the traditional AR-7 design include textured ribs in the gripping area of the stock. These assist in maintaining stable control of the firearm, especially when wet.
There are no easy methods for mounting a sling. One could be fashioned my tieing one onto the stock and barrel. I didn’t try it and cannot tell you how well it would work. Overall handling is very good – no issues.
When firing the Henry the stock fit comfortably on my left cheek (I shoot rifles left handed). My right hand searched for something to hold as there is no front stock. I found that cupping the magazine and magazine-well area worked well for me.
Firing the gun I did discover what is likely my biggest complaint – the trigger pull. It is heavy and requires a pretty deliberate pull. This may improve over time and is not a deal breaker. I do not plan on entering any shooting competitions with the AR-7.
For those left-handers like me, I had no issues with hot brass hitting my face or arms. Cases were thrown to the right, away from my face.
Of particular note – my youngest, Christopher, loved the AR-7. He is 9 and has a small frame. He struggles holding all my other .22’s finding they are all too heavy. With the AR-7 he was all smiles and had no issues holding it up and staying on target. It made for a great day of shooting for him.
For my first shooting I headed to my testing area with CCI Mini-Mag’s(200 rounds) and CCI Blazer(50 rounds) .22LR ammunition. I used both of the 8-rd magazines during the afternoon. Firing in excess of 200 rounds I had one stoppage – a failure to eject a case completely. This was on the second magazine shot – approx round 10. The ammunition was the CCI Mini-Mag’s solid point.
Now, 200 rounds is certainly within what I would consider a “break-in” period. All the rest of my shooting was flawless and involved no cleaning or lubrication.
I had no other issues with the Henry US Survival Rifle. Everything work just fine.
I found the accuracy potential of the AR-7 to be just fine for the purpose of the firearm. A better trigger would certainly lend to better accuracy.
Shooting at a standard M16A2 sight-in target at 35 yards I found windage needed to be adjusted. This is accomplished by moving the orange front sight blade. This is accomplished by simply pushing the blade to the left or right. Elevation is adjusted via the rear peep sight which slides up and down and is set with a small screw. For their purpose – they work fine.
The picture below which shows one of the group after adjusting for windage. I would consider the shot in the lower left and lower middle “flyers”. Basically – my fault. The other shots were on target. All shots were from a standing, unsupported position. I did not have a small phillips head screwdriver to adjust the rear sight for elevation.
After sight adjustments I was routinely hitting 20 oz. soda bottles and sent them flying. I am confident that if I can see a squirrel or rabbit within 35 yards or so it could be taken with no problem.
I really like the Henry US Survival Rifle. Its light weight and compactness make it ideal where other firearms just can’t fill the niche. Priced around $240, the AR-7 is affordable and a good value.
There are many other firearms on the market that are often considered for the role of “survival gun” and for many situations- the Henry US Survival Rifle can fill that role just fine.