The above graph is adapted from Limits to Growth, Revisited. It is not a hard and fast prediction, but rather the product of a model with 40 years of high correspondence with developments. We are, at present, at the top of the growth curves, many of which have already begun to plateau. Slopes of decline do not factor in such worst-case scenarios as widespread urban- or domestic nuclear facilities collapse consequent to economic collapse.

I've added the shading and 'crossover' circle' (coincident with 'peak everything') to indicate my best guess as to the high probablility zone for global, economic collapse, triggering the onset of TEOTWAWKI.

I fear a hard landing... no 'reboot' or 'transition' to a lower functioning economy. I urge high priority preparation now.

I've got a short glossary of terms at the bottom of this page... if you come across an unfamiliar term, please scroll down and check it out.

Information I'm including or pointing to doesn't mean I necessarily agree with it. Rather, I've found it to be stimulating and worthy of consideration. I'm sure you'll exercise your own judgement... we're nothing if not independent! 8)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Rifle for the End of the World

U.S. Survival AR-7 Rifle
by Henry

U.S. Survival AR-7: Don’t Leave Civilization Without One.

A Rifle for the End of the World:
The U.S. Survival AR-7 by HENRY
I'm going to go out on a limb, here, and make a case for a rifle that I've never fired. Directly, anyway. 

I've never had the pleasure of getting my hands on a Henry version of the AR-7. I'm basing my recommendation the fact that I'd already recommend the old ArmaLite AR-7, the good name of Henry, and a plethora of thoughtful reviewers who uniformly praise the features I consider important at the end of the world.

Basic Description

The AR-7 was designed by Eugene Stoner, improving on his AR-5 (USAF pilot survival rifle). Briefly, it's an automatic (blow-back) .22 caliber rifle, which breaks down to stow in its stock (water proof). The Henry model weighs 3.5lbs and is moderately accurate, given correct ammo, to 50 yards.

The Henry model is supplied with two, 8 round magazines (I haven't heard for sure, but it's possible that ArmaLite 10 and 15 round mags will work with it?). 

Be sure to research ammunition which feeds well, fires well and has enough power to reliably operate the action. Consider slight modification, in some cases, to improve feed. With compatible ammo, and (sometimes) tuned, reliability is reported to be high, and accuracy at the high end of decent. Here's a place to get a visual look.

Many accessories are available, though research is required to ensure compatibility with the Henry model. If a wide range of accessories are important to you, consider an ArmaLite version. I'd argue against most, however, as most don't stow in the stock, and run counter to AR-7 advantages. If heavily modified, other choices quickly eclipse the AR-7. Here's a sample vendor of accessories.

The break-down nature of the rifle allows (relatively) easy, field customization. By 'field', I mean, 'once you've gotten somewhere to settle in for a while'.

Let's say that you need to up the accuracy. Carve a stock or barrel bar that supports the barrel and limits mast whip. It's already decent accuracy is easy to improve somewhat, while a larger investment of time/energy can extend accuracy out to considerable range. We'd give up easy storage in the stock, while so stabilized, but, in some situations, improved accuracy may be cost effective.

One might even carry a short barrel for conversion to pistol. ArmaLite produced a pistol version, whose barrel, at least, should be compatible with the Henry model. Check to be sure, before purchase.

NOTE: One requires an SPR (Short Barrel Rifle) permit for this option to be legal!


I've urged in various posts that mobility is a prime virtue at TEOTWAWKI.

Briefly, I feel that S hasn't really HTF until one is forced out of one's digs. Until then, sure... supplies, tools, gear and weapons are neatly stowed in their racks. It's not till we have to abandon all that that the real fun begins (grimly facetious, here).

And when we're on-the-move, I've seen nothing that compares to the AR-7.

As kids, we were experts at on-the-move. I grew up in Southeast Alaska... cross the street or water, enter the woods, and we were OUT there. Noone knew where we were. No phones. No good samaritans. No prudent adults.

No training, either, to speak of. We survived some scary trial and error, through which we came to appreciate some basics. A good knife, portable shelter, fire-making, light trauma kit. The ability to find food in the field. Later, we came to appreciate training and preparation, too... not having to re-invent the wheels, ourselves.

And a rifle that was small, light and waterproof! One that could follow us through 'the Bush' (and believe me, a boreal rainforest ranks among the roughest tangle on the planet!); on, off and through salt water; through the muckways of river and muskeg (peat bog, Alaska style).

We had one, funky old Armalite AR-7 between us. Through hotly negotiated barter arrangements, it was begged for, borrowed and occasionally (temporarily) 'stolen'. Whoever was out in the field that day (not grounded or employed), someone of us usually had obtained the right-to-bear-arms, as we called it.

It survived us.

Somewhere out there, I like to picture it, still knocking off clam-shells and small game. Despite being soaked, tussled over, abused with all the hyper-active, bipolar love that eight or so kids could lavish upon it.

This was our rifle. There are many like it, but this one was ours.

The .22 Long Rifle Round

Despite the obvious advantages of price, portability and wide selection, and the fact that many recommend it as a back-up round, the .22LR remains, to my mind, under-rated.

Modern, high-velocity ammo (the kind you want to use with the AR-7) packs a lot of punch. Federal brochures used to (maybe sitll do?) feature tests showing penetration through 7 inches of pine board.

Generally thought of as a varmint round (and illegal for larger game), it is nevertheless a common choice among deer poachers. Two strategies: well placed shot (clear of bone) with a nail-driver (NOT the AR-7), or multiple rounds (2 to 3), starting low and allowing kick-up to  'stitch' a line across lungs and heart (AR-7 preferred strategy). Both are illegal, you understand.

The Inuit and Inupiat and Athabascans, among the world's finest hunters, favored the .22LR before mechanized tranport, for everything from squirrel to polar bear (I have no info re their use AR-7, however, if any). For many years, the world record grizzly bear was downed by Bella Twin, an Athabascan woman, with a single (ear) shot from her .22 (followed by insurance shots).

Not the optimal round, for big game, but it gets by. 

Bella Twin with .22 and Record Grizzly
From post by H.V. Stent

 Defense / Offense

Many recommendations for weaponry are based on military type scenarios, and in some cases, I suppose these might apply.

Still, I reckon we will be faced with different scenarios. 

We can't afford 'sacrificial' or 'acceptable losses' of ourselves or loved ones. We have no back-up - reenforcements, extraction, medical, logistics, intelligence - beyond our own resources.

At first, there may come screaming waves of desperate mobs (though most locations, chosen in preparation, I doubt it).

It's desperadoes to whom we're vulnerable. Individuals or organized gangs, already culled in a suddenly convened school-of-hard-knocks. To whom we are likely serendipitous. We're not likely to see them coming. No matter how bunkered down we are, at some point we have to emerge. At that point, if not before, we become vulnerable.

SHTF is when they cut us off from, or flush us out of our digs.

We have two viable strategies, to my mind:
  • Recapture our Freehold - Here's where a heavier, better class of rifle is useful, pre-stashed for retrieval in the vicinity, along with all other support for such a decision. But it's a risky strategy. Everything that walled us off from trouble is now working against us. I'm guessing we won't have gone gently... we may be injured, or have wounded. Recapture may not be an option.
  • Evasion and Retreat - Even if only temporary, to regroup and lick our wounds, this is a likely option. If it's a gang, we're likely going to give ground, at least until they've plundered and moved on. Meanwhile, we're in AR-7 zone.
Where possible, I see nothing against preparing for both strategies. If you stand ground, there are choice tools for that scenario. But when you have to leave you're home, you are leaving 'civilization', and the AR-7 comes into its own.


The Henry AR-7 is reliable, accurate enough and reducible to a light, small, portable, rugged and waterproof package. It's ammunition is powerful enough, accurate and above all lightweight and low volume.

If you have to bug out, I'd argue that the AR-7 is the 'bird in the hand' - the Bug Out Rifle, Eh? (BORE) - of choice.



Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 - Black
Model Number H002B

Action Type Semi-automatic
Caliber .22 LR
Capacity 8 round magazine (comes with 2)
Length 35" assembled
16.5" when stowed
Weight 3.5 lbs.
Stock ABS Plastic
Sights Adjustable rear, blade front
Finish Teflon coated receiver and coated steel barrel
M.S.R.P. $290.00


  1. Posted on behalf of JOHN:

    I know next to nothing about rifles, but one of the reviews of the AR-7 on this web site isn´t very complementary. Of course, it could just be a competitor trying to bad-mouth an otherwise fine product.

    With the same caveat, here is another take-down LR 22 made by Marlin.

    Not nearly as compact as the Henry, but I think for low maintenance in a marine environment its stainless steel barrel might be desireable.


    1. Hi John,

      The problem reported is jamming... this likely results (as it does for many users) from not using compatible ammo (Henry suggests some, and others have found several options).

      Issues are sufficient energy from the round, and a nose profile that feeds well.

      To my mind, the first comes with the territory, so isn't so much a problem as a consideration. The second reflects poor design... it can be improved somewhat with some minor gunsmithing. With compatible ammo, it is reported to shoot well, without jams.

      One other 'problem' commonly reported is a design trade-off which offsets the reciever to the right of center. Right handers report a minorly awkward adjustment. It doesn't seem to reduce accuracy, however, and once accustomed to it, users report no serious discomfort.

      All things considered, I'm still a fan.

      The Marlin70PSS is a fine rifle. For me, though, the take-down with bag storage doesn't pay its way in THIS context. I'd be more inclined, to turn from this model toward a bolt-action, non-take-down .22LR rifle, as more robust all around.

      But that's me!

      Dave Z


Hey Folks... I'm not in a position to moderate comments. If discussion remains respectful and on topic, I welcome comments (passion okay). If it spins out of control, I'll have disallow them... I thank you for your civility.

I've opened comments to all 'Registered Users' (whatever that means!) to help weed out pesky spam.

- Dave Z