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Henry Arms AR7 US Survival Rifle, Caliber .22LR: A Long Term Use Report


In December, 2009, I bought my first Jeep Wrangler.  I’d wanted one since I was a kid and I was determined to stock it with excellent quality gear suitable for our regular camping trips and, if necessary, suitable for a bugout.  I was fairly determined to find a US M1 carbine to carry in the Jeep, but, alas, I was unable to find a decent sample with all matching serial numbers that could be had within my budget. 


Talking about this with a friend, he suggested the AR-7.  I guess he recognized the shock in my face as I instantly recalled previous BAD experiences with AR-7s which were made by another company.  He immediately said, “Wait, before you pass judgment – the new AR-7’s are made by Henry.”  I’d had great experience with Henry Arms.  I knew their products to be rugged, reliable and decently accurate.  I couldn’t fathom Henry marketing an unreliably performing rifle. The search was on.  Here are some specs on the Henry AR-7:

Model Number


Action Type



.22 LR


8 round magazine (comes with 2)


35″ assembled
16.5″ when stowed


3.5 lbs.


ABS Plastic


Adjustable rear, blade front


Teflon coated receiver and coated steel barrel


$280.00 [Author’s note – You can find this excellent rifle at much better prices.]












With a Christmas gift card and a birthday gift card in hand, I headed up to Bass Pro Shop in Auburn, NY.  There I found my quarry, a new Henry AR-7 US Survival Rifle sitting in the very last space on their new gun rack behind the counter.  After looking it over, I filled out the form 4473, waited for the background check to prove I’d fooled them again and I paid for the rifle.  Later that night, I read the owner’s manual as my bedtime story and packed up for a trip to the range the following morning. 


I remember that day very well, it was the oddball January morning that we hardly ever have here, with temps in the high 40’s.  Next to me on the line were a couple good fathers trying to teach their sons to shoot.  They all took great interest in me unpacking the AR-7, giving it a good cleaning and lube and assembling it in preparation for shooting. 


I sat down at the rest, loaded and fired my first three rounds at my Dirty Bird target 25 yards distant.  I’d fired a nice group which was dead on but slightly high.  With a minor rear sight adjustment, I was dinging 10 ring shots with every pull of the trigger. To say that I was pleased isn’t enough – I was ecstatic.  I fired a dozen or so eight round magazines through the rifle to ensure reliable feeding, firing, extracting and ejecting.  The rifle was flawless.  I had a lot of time and a ton of ammo, so I then let the Dads and sons next to me give it a whirl.  They all shot very well and stated their approval and desire to acquire an AR-7.  While they had shot, I was able to retrieve some of the fired cases as the ejected.  The cases were all normal, with no bulges, cracks or marring.  The primer strike on each case was excellent.  The Henry AR7 is a keeper.

The AR-7 stows away nicely in my Jeep’s hidden cubby.  It’s always there and has accompanied me everywhere since the day it was purchased.  It has fired many hundreds of rounds of various types of .22 LR ammo and, I can report with all sincerity and honesty, that the rifle has never had a malfunction that was not directly attributable to bad ammo.  It has been exposed to extreme changes in temperature from subzero wintertime temps to >100 degree summertime temps.  As long as I do my part and take her to the range once in a while, clean her up and treat her nice, she treats me fine.

After four years of banging about in my Jeep and being exposed to temperature extremes, one problem did develop.  The polymer front sight became loose in its dovetail and needed to be replaced.  My local gunsmith did a great job of installing a Williams FireSight front sight that matched the height of the stock sight.  [Author’s note – Great care must be taken not to replace the front sight with one that is too high or too thick, lest you will not be able to break down the weapon and store it back in the stock.]


Once back from the gunsmith, I sighted in the Henry with CCI’s awesome .22AR ammo.  To my delight, I also had some of Federal’s equally awesome .22 Auto Match ammo that proved to shoot to the same point of aim-point of impact.  Thanks to the ammo shortage, I had neither available on the day of the photo shoot for this article.  What I did have was some very old Federal bulk pack 36 grain hollow points.  As you can see from the photo below, they shot pretty well, too.

6f 7g

Shooting was discontinued when the stupidest turkey in the county decided to feed in my line of fire!

I rate the Henry AR-7 very high.  It’s a rugged, accurate, reliable survival rifle that stows away easily and unobtrusively.  On top of all that, it floats!  What better praise is there than to tell you this rifle is my constant companion?

Need more info?  Go to . Tell ‘em the Woods Monkey sent you…   M

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