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  #1  
Old 09-06-2021, 08:31 PM
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Default ArmaLite AR-7

Now marketed as the Henry U.S. Survival .22. Developed as a USAF survival rifle in the mid 50s by Eugene Stoner.



ArmaLite AR-7 - Wikipedia

U.S. Survival AR-7 | Henry Repeating Arms

Under 3.5 lbs (2.5 per some sources, maybe earlier variants), 8-round semi auto .22. Breaks down and components store inside the stock. Under $300 (though with crazy market nowadays, I have no idea.)

Who's got one or had one, and how did/do ya like it?

I'm thinking I need one. Just in case.

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Old 09-06-2021, 08:37 PM
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Saw one this weekend at the Vegas show. Didn’t look at the price. Very cool, however.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:49 PM
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I had an original Armalite production gun with the marbled stock from the 60s, I think I paid $139 for it in 2010 or so.







The obvious pro was that it's frankly really, really cool. It was also surprisingly reliable, and not that bad accuracy wise for what it is.

The downsides are no optics mounting optics on the old one, and the new ones if you mount an optic, you can no longer take it down, the trigger sucks, and the ergonomics aren't awesome. The Marlin Papoose that came out a little later is a far better takedown .22lr, and the takedown 10/22 better still. For the role of a survival/backpacking .22, as the AR7 was originally intended, the Chiappa lil badger gives you a break action that's lighter, cheaper, threaded, simpler, and frankly, better for the role.



If you're dead set on an AR7, grab an original one so at least you have a neat collectible.
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:52 PM
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I have one, made by Charter Arms. Conversation piece at the range but I do not like the bulky plastic stock.

I much prefer my M6 Scouts.
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:09 PM
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They’re the only ones that float to my knowledge.
I have one that seemed like a toy at first. Not a target rifle but will hit squirrels at 35-40 yards. Definitely packable and light.
I don’t know what they’re going for these days.
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:12 PM
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I have the Henry version plenty accurate for what it is the only issue I had was the adjustable front sight would move a little super glue fixed that once it was adjusted to shoot to point of aim at 50 yards. I also have the Charter Explorer pistol I think it is a solution in search of a problem though, but since they both take the same mags kinda neat to have.
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:15 PM
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Neat rifle, but for an extra 1 to 3/4 pound you can get a 10/22 take down that is an infinitely better rifle.
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:24 PM
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My ex-wife had a AR-7 in the early 80's. I think it was a Charter Arms version. She didn't have the arm strength to hold up a full-stocked .22 rifle and the AR-7 was just what she needed. She liked it and used it.
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:26 PM
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:40 PM
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James Bond used one in, “From Russia with Love.” His was in .25 ACP and had exaggerated recoil when he shot down the helicopter with it.
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in Reedley View Post
James Bond used one in, “From Russia with Love.” His was in .25 ACP and had exaggerated recoil when he shot down the helicopter with it.
Love it!

Terry, whatcha got there? Israeli pistol version?

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Old 09-06-2021, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in Reedley View Post
James Bond used one in, “From Russia with Love.” His was in .25 ACP and had exaggerated recoil when he shot down the helicopter with it.
The early (Connery) Bond films were famous for showcasing new items. This was the 1st anyone outside the military saw one.

BTW: when you watch those old Bond films, just think... The Mustang, Mustang Convertible, Lincoln with 'suicide doors', El Camino, Single Hose scuba regulators, sea sleds and Gyrocopter were all Brand New, or Prototypes (like the working Jet Pack).
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:46 PM
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I'm familiar with them but I had one of those skeletonized Garcia Bronco .22 rifles. It was a lot flatter. It looked like:

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Old 09-06-2021, 10:54 PM
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I have one and love it for what it was designed for...a limited use survival rifle that can be packed into a small space...

The one I own is an original Armalite...my second one. Had one back when I was a teenager and sold it...didn't get another till 1995 while on a trip to Idaho...$100 in a small gun shop...have had it ever since.

The Henry version is somewhat questionable. I borrowed a friend's to test against my original. With the peep sights both were about the same accuracy level. But as one poster above indicated, the orange plastic front sight has to be Super Glued in place or it will bump out of zero.

Scoping the new Henry is basically useless for several reasons. 1) The barrel is now polymer instead of aluminum...and when it heats up the scope and receiver keep looking at the target and the barrel warps and walks the bullets off the target... 2) While the grooved receiver looks very Picatinney it is actually a standard 3/8" dovetail...problem is by putting cuts in it Henry reduced the clamping area...cool looking but useless. 3) As pointed out, one has to pull the scope to put the rifle back in the stock...and one is going to have to re-zero the scope after reassembly...

Reliability all has to do with the magazine/barrel interface as the feedramp is part of the magazine not the barrel. So if you have a AR7 that is a picky feeder try some different magazines. And don't hold the gun by the magazine while shooting...pulling the magazine rearward can cause the bullet to nosedive into bottom of the barrel.

My first one rode in the trunk of my car in an emergency pack. This second one was mainly used on canoe trips.

Besides the base AR7 I have two barrels from AR7 Industries. One standard profile all stainless steel with a threaded barrel and a second bull barrel that is also threaded and has a scope mount...

Also have a couple of the Charter Arms Explorer II pistols...they are amazing accurate...

Fun guns...but very specialized...Bob
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Old 09-06-2021, 11:15 PM
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My Ruger 10/22 takedown packs in it's own canvas pack, with strap, that isn't much bigger than the AR7. In that pack, I have the rifle with a red dot on it, 4 25 round mags, 200 rounds of ammo, a small cleaning kit, a mag loader, a knife and a small first aid kit. Take out the knife and the first aid and you have room for a small can. Makes a nice trunk kit. Easy to strap to larger packs for backpacking/extended hikes. And it's a 10/22.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:13 AM
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My Dad took me to see “Rage” in 1972 and I vividly recall an extremely P.O.-ed George C. Scott blasting a cat with an AR-7. I thought it was the coolest gun in the world. Hey - I was 13.

(I love the movie poster because GCS is about to buttstroke somebody with his AR-7, which would be akin to hitting them really hard with a wiffleball bat.)

I’ve looked at them but have never bought one. It always seemed like its greatest selling point was that it could float. I don’t swim and don’t go on the water, so it wouldn’t do me much good. (As I tell my wife - people who can’t swim almost never drown.)

Later I saw ol’ George in “Firestarter” - still using an AR-7.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:26 AM
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My Dad took me to see “Rage” in 1972 and I vividly recall an extremely P.O.-ed George C. Scott blasting a cat with an AR-7. I thought it was the coolest gun in the world. Hey - I was 13.

I’ve looked at them but have never bought one. It always seemed like its greatest selling point was that it could float. I don’t swim and don’t go on the water, so it wouldn’t do me much good. (As I tell my wife - people who can’t swim almost never drown.)

Later I saw ol’ George in “Firestarter” - still using an AR-7.
The greatest part of the AR7, the Sub 2000, the M6, etc., if it folds or takes down, it'll always appeal to that inner 13 year old that thinks its cool. If a person is buying one for that reason, well I don't think I could argue against it.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:43 AM
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I have had two of them for many, many years now.

They are great fun and accurate enough.

The stock is water tight so it is good if it has to be left in a non-climate controlled location for long periods of time
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
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They’re the only ones that float to my knowledge.
That’s one advantage that could huge if truly used in a survival situation where the rifle may be needed on boat or if forced to cross streams or rivers.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:35 AM
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Dad had one of the original Armalite rifles. Not sure whatever happened to it. I've got the Henry. Rides under the front seat of the Jeep.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:37 AM
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I had one of the Henry versions a few years ago. The trigger was absolutely horrible. However, its such a simple mechanism, it was easy to take apart and a little judicious stoning improved it considerably.
Due to the storage design, the action sits a bit off center in the stock and the stock is a bit on the bulky side for such a small rifle. Always felt a bit strange to me. And as mentioned, the front sight is easily bumped and moved. However, it was reliable and minute of squirrel accurate.
Anyway, I never found a practical use for it as its highly unlikely that I'll ever find myself in an emergency survival situation. So I sold it. Honestly, don't miss it either.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:07 AM
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They were made by Charter Arms after Armalite sold the design and Henry has made them for the last 15 years or so.

I’ve had both an Armalite and a Charter Arms over the years. Both performed about the same.



The magazine quality is poor and reliability will depend on the magazine. The barrels are light but not particularly stable and the rear sights adjustment is limited and not conducive to great accuracy.

It is compact and it does float when packed in the stock. If you don’t like the stock there are aftermarket options available. You lose the self contained stock capability but save some weight and bulk and it’s a better pack rifle.

A downside of you ever leave the US is that it’s a semi auto and the Canadians are not semi auto friendly.



But there are much better choices for survival rifles. Springfield Armory marketed the M6, which was produced by CZ, and CZ sold it after SA stopped selling it. You can replace the front pin with a ball detent pin to make it easy to separate the halves which makes it a bit more compact to store.

They have been produced in. .410/.22LR and .410/.22 Hornet combinations as well as .45 Colt/.22LR and .45 Colt/.22 Hornet. There are pros and cons.

The smooth bore .410 barrels are useful on birds, although being a .410 the effective range is limited to 15-20 yards (based on my pattern tests with it). In that regard the .410/.22 LR and .410/.22 Hornet are good all round survival rifle choices. I have owned Both and greatly prefer the .22 LR. You can pack a lot of ammo in not much space or weight and I have found the M6 to be quite accurate for the type (about 1” at 50 yards). In contrast the .22 Hornet I owned wasn’t stable and would walk each successive round about 3” high at 25 yards. That pretty well erased thoughts of 100 yard capability under anything but ideal cold bore conditions, and the cold bore shot wasn’t all that predictable.

The rifled .45 Colt/.410 barrels make poor bird guns as the rifling destroys the pattern. They are more or less close range snake guns. On the other hand the .45 Colt does give you medium game taking potential and is far better performing than a .410 slug (which has the terminal ballistics of a .380 ACP, and isn’t accurate beyond about 35 yards in the M6).




Another option is a take down gallery rifle like this 1890 Winchester. Reasonably light, reasonably compact and has a great deal of utility as a plinker as well. Nice 1890s are pricey but you can find a less nice 1906, a similar Remington, or a Rossi reproduction for a lot less.



My favorite to carry in the baggage compartment of my Citabria or Pacer is a 9422. If you add a saddle ring take down pin, takedown becomes a tool free operation.

They are not particularly light, but they are accurate, reliable and carry very well with excellent balance.


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Old 09-07-2021, 09:19 AM
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Many years ago i bought what I thought was the best survival rifle of all time, the Savage model 24 in .410 with a .22 mag over barrel. I squeezed some .45 colts to fit the .410 barrel and packed it away with 200rds of .22 mag, 20rds of .410, and 20rds of .45 Colt. Survival is not about sportsmanship it's about survival. Shoot a duck on the water? Yup. Shoot a deer with the .22 mag or the .45 Colt? Damn right. Might even use the .410 slugs. Let anything else walk away. Especially the two legged snakes.

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Old 09-07-2021, 09:51 AM
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I had one of several mentioned. Had the Charter Arms AR-7, the Marlin take down (in 22 Mag), had the Bronco too. Got rid of them all when I decided to dump a lot of stuff just because. I dis keep two: my Norinco 'knock-off' of the Browning .22Auto... it's a take-down, weighs next to nothing, is exceptionally accurate and, best of all, I paid $99 for it new in box. My other favorite is the Winchester 1906 take-down; just because it's a Winchester (I paid $50 for that one). I don't do "survival" so the rest was just 'stuff' that never really performed. I do have a 10/22 but it's the target version and I have to move it with a golf-cart.... probably not a good thing for survival, but it does shoot WELL.

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Old 09-07-2021, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
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They’re the only ones that float to my knowledge.
I have one that seemed like a toy at first. Not a target rifle but will hit squirrels at 35-40 yards. Definitely packable and light.
I don’t know what they’re going for these days.
While they are the only ones that float, it is easy to throw a 16 oz pop bottle in the canoe and snap 40' of mono-filament on it. Thread the other end through the cap, knot it a few times and thread it back on. Kids fishing poles get the same treatment, albeit with 10' of line. If the gun is going to get wet any way you might just as well have one that shoots where you aim it.
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Old 09-07-2021, 01:46 PM
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A couple guys that frequent our weekly range day have them. I've shot them and they seem to work OK.
I'm about as far from a Plastic, Stainless, Fiberglass gun person as you can get. So the rifle itself wasn't anything that quickly made me want to go out and get one.
Yes it floats. That's not remotely important to me personally but a number of them do hunt, fish and camp where such a feature might be helpful.
I would think a good handgun in a secure holster and securely held to your body would do the trick as well. One less extra piece of equipment to carry and transfer from car to dock to boat, etc.

The front sight was an issue on both,,they slid easily out of the dovetail slot. Plastic on plastic. Seems others have seen the same problem.

Fairly accurate at 25yrds. Neither had any hiccups in function that I remember. I don't recall the triggers to be outrageously bad,,or good. I'm not very picky anyway.

They certainly are usable,, .
Popularity is probably more because people see them as 'cool' looking.
I really don't see either reason for one in my future, but that's just me.
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Old 09-07-2021, 02:21 PM
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A few years ago I had a Henry. Nothing about it to cause excitement.
In fact, can’t recall that I shot it. It moved on shortly. Around here, they
run 200 to 250$.
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Old 09-07-2021, 02:26 PM
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I wonder if anyone has ever used one of these “survival rifles” for its intended purpose.

I used to keep a Savage Model 24 .22/20 gauge Camper Model in my rig. We lived in Montana, Idaho, and New Mexico so I traveled in some wild places.

Once I had something of an epiphany and realized if I ever broke down out in the way back, my first thought would not be “I had better go small game hunting!”

I traded the Savage for 3 sets of really nice elk stag grips, and put a half dozen MREs in its place.

Its a fun concept, though.
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Old 09-07-2021, 02:30 PM
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I have one and love it for what it was designed for...a limited use survival rifle that can be packed into a small space...

The one I own is an original Armalite...my second one. Had one back when I was a teenager and sold it...didn't get another till 1995 while on a trip to Idaho...$100 in a small gun shop...have had it ever since.

The Henry version is somewhat questionable. I borrowed a friend's to test against my original. With the peep sights both were about the same accuracy level. But as one poster above indicated, the orange plastic front sight has to be Super Glued in place or it will bump out of zero.

Scoping the new Henry is basically useless for several reasons. 1) The barrel is now polymer instead of aluminum...and when it heats up the scope and receiver keep looking at the target and the barrel warps and walks the bullets off the target... 2) While the grooved receiver looks very Picatinney it is actually a standard 3/8" dovetail...problem is by putting cuts in it Henry reduced the clamping area...cool looking but useless. 3) As pointed out, one has to pull the scope to put the rifle back in the stock...and one is going to have to re-zero the scope after reassembly...

Reliability all has to do with the magazine/barrel interface as the feedramp is part of the magazine not the barrel. So if you have a AR7 that is a picky feeder try some different magazines. And don't hold the gun by the magazine while shooting...pulling the magazine rearward can cause the bullet to nosedive into bottom of the barrel.

My first one rode in the trunk of my car in an emergency pack. This second one was mainly used on canoe trips.

Besides the base AR7 I have two barrels from AR7 Industries. One standard profile all stainless steel with a threaded barrel and a second bull barrel that is also threaded and has a scope mount...

Also have a couple of the Charter Arms Explorer II pistols...they are amazing accurate...

Fun guns...but very specialized...Bob
Those pistols are like little baby Broomhandle Mausers!!!
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  #30  
Old 09-07-2021, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
I wonder if anyone has ever used one of these “survival rifles” for its intended purpose.

I used to keep a Savage Model 24 .22/20 gauge Camper Model in my rig. We lived in Montana, Idaho, and New Mexico so I traveled in some wild places.

Once I had something of an epiphany and realized if I ever broke down out in the way back, my first thought would not be “I had better go small game hunting!”

I traded the Savage for 3 sets of really nice elk stag grips, and put a half dozen MREs in its place.

Its a fun concept, though.
The AR-7? I suspect not.

The more likely you are to think you’ll really need. A survival rifle, the less likely you will be to choose an AR-7.

I have met people who carry them as pack rifles for small game, but they generally ditch the bulky stock.

The M6 is far more versatile and more accurate.

If you are in an area where you need to worry about larger critters - a lever action take down rifle makes a lot more sense in .357 Mag, .45 Colt, .30-30, etc.

This one is in .45 Colt:

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Old 09-07-2021, 04:16 PM
fishwishin fishwishin is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike in Reedley View Post
James Bond used one in, “From Russia with Love.” His was in .25 ACP and had exaggerated recoil when he shot down the helicopter with it.
Awesome clip!
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Old 09-07-2021, 05:08 PM
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ArmaLite AR-7 T-62




Last edited by 4WHLDRFTN; 09-07-2021 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:43 PM
seldon14 seldon14 is offline
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Originally Posted by glenwolde View Post
Those pistols are like little baby Broomhandle Mausers!!!
I really want to get one of these, set up with a scope like that, a muzzle break, and turn it into Han Solos blaster.
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:00 PM
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...don't want to thread drift from the AR-7, but the M6 was THE worst long-gun I have ever owned. The only thing it did well was throw a decent killing pattern of birdshot...

Slugs were all over the place at 50 yards and nowhere near the sights. Trying to hit soda cans at 50 yards with the .22 barrel and open sights that are easy to hit with even the Explorer II pistols were about impossible with the M6...

It was the only .22 rifle that I could outshoot myself with most any of my .22 handguns...

Bob
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SuperMan View Post
...don't want to thread drift from the AR-7, but the M6 was THE worst long-gun I have ever owned. The only thing it did well was throw a decent killing pattern of birdshot...

Slugs were all over the place at 50 yards and nowhere near the sights. Trying to hit soda cans at 50 yards with the .22 barrel and open sights that are easy to hit with even the Explorer II pistols were about impossible with the M6...

It was the only .22 rifle that I could outshoot myself with most any of my .22 handguns...

Bob
My experience was different with my Springfield Armory marketed M6, at least in .22 LR.

Mine was capable of 1” groups at 50 yards, more than sufficient for rabbits, squirrels and other small game in its intended role also plenty accurate for killing pop cans in the back forty.

It might be relevant to mention that I also wrapped the first 4-5” of the barrels with 550 paracord. That’s partly to create a better hand hold, but mostly because you can adjust the tension of the cord to “tune” the .22 LR barrel and dampen the harmonics. That can help improve accuracy significantly. Once you have cord tension that works melt the end of the cord and squash the melted head to lock the cord in place.



I do however agree with you about the .410 slug accuracy. Using a paper plate as a proxy for the vital zone on deer sized game, I found the maximum effective range where all shots would consistently land on the plate was just 35 yards. On the other hand, the .410 slug has terminal ballistics very similar to the .380 ACP and no one recommends it as a deer cartridge, especially at 50 yards, so 50 yard accuracy is irrelevant.

I also owned a later CZ marked version in .22 Hornet and .410. I had high hopes, but no amount of tuning would ever get the ordinarily exceptionally accurate .22 Hornet round to shoot well in the lightweight and very whippy barrel. My particular barrel apparently wasn’t well stress relieved as the point of aim walked vertically about 3” on the second shot and 3” further with each successive shot. Unfortunately the cold bore shot wasn’t all that consistent.

It was in short totally useless as a potential neck shooting deer round at 50-100 yards, and it’s one of the handful of guns I’ve sold. With very few exceptions, “row well and live” is the motto around my gun safe and it didn’t row well at all.

As noted in a prior post, neither of my AR-7s ever shot well, in terms of accuracy or reliability. I still own one of them, but it’s for sentimental reasons as it was a gift from a very good and long standing friend.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
I wonder if anyone has ever used one of these “survival rifles” for its intended purpose.

I used to keep a Savage Model 24 .22/20 gauge Camper Model in my rig. We lived in Montana, Idaho, and New Mexico so I traveled in some wild places.

Once I had something of an epiphany and realized if I ever broke down out in the way back, my first thought would not be “I had better go small game hunting!”

I traded the Savage for 3 sets of really nice elk stag grips, and put a half dozen MREs in its place.

Its a fun concept, though.
My get home bag has the 22/20 Savage 24, 550 rds of 22 lr, 75 of #5 bird shot, 15 #3 buck and 15 slugs. If I can get within bow range I would be happy. I also have a HS Sentinel 9 shot revolver in the bag.
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:43 PM
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All,

Question on the one I have.

It's a "Survival Arms" version, looks like (according to Wikipedia, it's the third company to make them, following ArmaLite and Charter Arms).

Anybody have any input on these, quality, reliability, etc.?

I've had mine ~10ish years and have never shot it (will fix that soon :>)).

Any feedback on this version would be appreciated.

Thanks, in advance
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Old 09-13-2021, 06:13 PM
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FWIW, I saw another AR7 this past weekend at a swap meet. It was in decent shape for $400.
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