|U.S. Survival AR-7 Rifle|
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.
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.
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
|Capacity||8 round magazine (comes with 2)|
16.5" when stowed
|Sights||Adjustable rear, blade front|
|Finish||Teflon coated receiver and coated steel barrel|