I recently bought a Henry AR 7 survival rifle. The Air Force developed this .22 for their pilots in the 1950s. It’s now manufactured by the Henry Repeating Arms Company.
The weapon breaks down and stores in its own waterproof stock, providing a compact small game rifle for survival in the event of losing one’s plane. In our case, it’s a bug out rifle.
I don’t usually write much about my weapons collection. I’d like to talk more about guns here, but it doesn’t seem wise, nor would it interest some of our readers. However, this one feels right to share, as others may benefit from the information.
My brother, Dave, has talked about this rifle off and on over the years, including this post from one of his blogs, A Rifle for the End of the World. If you want in depth information on the rifle, read his post. I’ll assume you will, and avoid most of those details myself.
I got a look at the AR 7 in a library book we borrowed to help us assemble our latest bug out bags (see Emergencies Don’t Wait). I’d been planning to get one for a while, then saw my chance when we decided to go Outside to help my parents. It just so happens that an outdoor gear store in their town carries the rifle at an excellent price.
Luckily, the day we left town, I stopped at one of our local sport shops and inquired. I found that they could order me one at the same price the southern gear store advertised (proving once again that, even in rural Alaska, buying locally can sometimes favor the consumer). I ordered it, and picked it up after I got back to town.
As you can see in the photos, the weapon breaks down into three pieces, plus an extra magazine. There’s a space for a second extra magazine, which one may order separately.
After some initial alarm when I first tried to pop off the cap of the stock, I learned that it can be opened and assembled in less than a minute. A little practice or desperation would likely cut that time considerably.
Now, I’m not a technical shooter, one who can assess and discuss anything more complicated than shot grouping. Instead, I judge a weapon by how well I can hit what I’m aiming at from a reasonable distance. By that standard, this rifle works well for me.
Now, I only need to talk myself into stowing it with our survival gear for when it’s needed most, rather than use it as my primary small rifle.
That’s going to take some effort, I think.