Gun Review: Henry’s US Survival Rifle (AR-7) – Novelty or Necessity?

The Henry US Survival Rifle didn’t start out as the Henry US Survival Rifle.

Armalite originally built the rifle, for the USAF, for pilots and bomber crews during the Cold War. The idea was that American pilots would need to survive if shot down, until rescued. A small, light, portable rifle was chosen. That is the now-fabled story of the origin of the AR-7. When looking at this rifle through that lens, it’s easy to see the utility of such a gun. Also, it’s easy to imagine it being on the list of items Major Kong reads to the crew of his B-52 in the film, Dr. Strangelove.

Major Kong (Slim Pickens) piloting a B-52 with a nuclear payload toward a Soviet target.

Armalite eventually sold the rights to Charter Arms who then sold the rights to Henry in 1980. There have been several variations of the rifle over the years. The rifle gained some notoriety because of its use in film, especially in several of the Connery-era Bond films.

The entire rifle is made to be disassembled, without tools, and fit into the stock. The barrel is held onto the receiver by a large barrel nut and the receiver is attached to the stock by a long bolt. Both the barrel nut and the bolt are easy to manipulate and the rifle can be assembled and disassembled in less than a minute. The barrel, receiver and magazine(s) fit into the stock in spaces molded for the respective parts. It is an interesting concept to say the least.  Once the weapon is disassembled and inside the stock, it is very portable. Overall, it is probably the most lightweight, portable, semi-auto .22 rifle commercially available.

The AR-7 fully deployed.

The real issue with this particular gun is this: is it just a novelty? Despite Henry’s recent improvements in the rifle (rail on top of the receiver, teflon coating, etc.) people either seem to love them or hate them. Several people I know that have owned them in the past have sold them because the fun of disassembly  and reassembly wears off over time. The reasons for owning them or liking them seem to boil down to personal preference.

In answer to the above question, yes, the gun technically is a novelty. It was designed to be a novelty limited to certain scope of use or set of circumstances for particular shooters. But when you distill the concept of the original intent of the rifle – something portable to have on hand just in case – it certainly isn’t a bad item to have around. As always, I’ll tell you my observations and you can make up your own minds…or scold me in the comments section.

My thoughts centered on its practicality. It is, as rifles go, very portable. The overall length of the gun once tucked into the stock is 16.5 inches. Plus, it weighs just over 3 pounds. I was able to find room for it (easily) in the backpacks that my family and I use for the outdoors. I couldn’t help but wonder just how much more portable it could be if the NFA rules didn’t apply or exist. As it is now, once assembled, it’s just a hair shorter than the Ruger Takedown rifle.

Henry Specs

There is no doubt that it’s convenient, but I kept trying to imagine a scenario that this gun would be perfect for a time or place I wouldn’t already have a gun or two handy. For example, if I’m camping, this rifle would fit into a backpack and is light enough where it wouldn’t be a bother to carry it. But in that situation, I’d already have a primary and secondary, both probably larger than .22. What about as a backup gun? That’s a good idea, but for me, I’d want a backup gun that I can get to in a hurry, not one I need to assemble. It would be fun to take camping and put on a red dot or scope, but you’d have to take those off if you want the parts to fit in the stock – every time. Don’t misunderstand me. The gun is tough and made well. It shoots good groups and is lightweight. But where would someone like me take it where I wouldn’t already have a gun filling the purpose I need one for?


I can’t imagine a scenario where I would need this rifle. But that’s the point. That led me to the conclusion that I spent a lot of time wondering why I’d need one, but I certainly can’t think of I reason why I shouldn’t have one. It would be foolish not to have something in a backpack or a bug out bag or a trunk (where permissible by law). I’d much rather have it and not need it (although it is a great and inexpensive shooter that I think most people would enjoy) than to need it and not have it. And that’s just it. The rifle is built for scenarios just like that. When faced with the abundance and relative opulence of the guns we own, this may seem frivolous. When faced with a survival scenario, you better believe that I want one of these. That’s the niche this rifle fills. In that regard, it really is a “survival” rifle. This rifle was built for when a novelty might be an absolute necessity. And none of us ever know exactly when those times are.

Personal preference reigns, but after having an opportunity to experience this rifle, I’m going to get one. I would encourage you not to dismiss the chance to own one.

Our seven-year-old daughter utilizing the AR-7 and exercising extreme trigger discipline.



GD Crocker is a proud Southerner who has been shooting for decades. He is a competitive shooter, armorer, instructor and collector. He recently passed the bar exam and deals primarily with securities law. GD’s proudest moments are seeing his kids shoot and get excited about their 2nd Amendment rights. He’s no Rick Taylor, but then again, who is?


  • mlk18

    Have always wanted one, but just never picked one up. I see the LGS has them in stock so I may need to remedy that. Thanks for the review.

  • I’ve had one for over 30 years. Used it as a meat getter one summer when I lived in the north woods in the 1970s working on a forestry survey crew. I subsequently carried it in my RV all over the country. In that case it was a handy pack away rifle for impromptu plinking, or hunting, varmint shooting. I also carried it for a couple decades as a trunk/truck gun. Always nice to have little 22 packed away for whatever might come up. I wouldn’t call it a novelty rifle, more a niche rifle. There are also some aftermarket stocks, barrels etc which make is more functional. Personally I would like to see Henry make a full stock version. The floating stock thing is cool but is kind of bulky and unnecessary for 99.999% of users.

  • deci_x

    I’ve shot a number of AR-7’s made in the 80’s by armalite and charter arms – I’m not sure if this has been corrected with the henry manufactured rifles, but I found them to have temperamental magazines and ammunition sensitivity (e.g., high velocity, round nose .22). Of these, I kept an armalite ar-7 with a collapsible wire stock and it’s an exceptionally handy rifle when paired with a magazine and ammo it likes.

  • Laserbait

    I’d take my Kel-Tec Sub 2000 9mm over the AR-7, hands down. The Sub2K is thinner, holds much more ammo (17 rounds in a standard Glock mag), and more powerful ammo. The Sub2K’s sights are much better in my opinion, and it is MUCH faster to deploy.

    • Yeah, and it’s heavier and bulkier too.

      If we’re at the point where you’re just carrying a carbine with you, then shoot, carry a Marlin Camp Carbine or a M1-Carbine.

      • Laserbait

        Yep – all of 8 ounces heavier than the AR7, but about 2-3 pounds lighter than the M1 or Camp rifles. But it’s FAR less bulky than an AR-7 (have you actually even seen the Sub 2K?). And with it’s sling, much easier to carry around (folded or open). Folded up, I can slip it into a laptop bag, and have a ton of room for ammo. Also it fits perfectly in my bug out bag.

        • All of 8z heavier *unloaded*, it also gets even heavier when you include the ammo(which is what matters).

          I would bet anything that a Sub 2k folded is bulkier than a AR-7 broken down.

          If I’m carrying a carbine out, I might as well get a actual one, and not a gimmicky Kel-Tec.

          • Laserbait

            And what would you be willing to bet? 🙂 The Kel-tec wins, and is no gimmick.

            I have a Sub 2K, my bud has AR7. The Sub2K is more reliable, much easier to hang on to even without the sling (the AR7 is THICK and the surface is rather slippery), and much easier to pack. Easier to shoot accurately too.

            Ever try to a quick mag change with the AR-7? Sorry, trick question… 😀

            After using both, in my opinion, that little extra weight is well justified.

            It boils down to this: I might take the AR7 if I was going white water rafting, and thought I *might* need to use it to get a bunny or squirrel for dinner.

            I’d take the KelTec If I *knew* that I was going to need to to protect myself and family as well as get a meal.

      • gunsandrockets

        If you need more punch than a sub2k provides, there is always the Kel-tec SU-16 folding rifle in 5.56mm. It only weighs 5 pounds and is even California legal (for the moment at least!).

    • Blake

      The sub2k is great for self-defense or plinking, but I doubt anyone suggesting using it as a survival rifle has ever shot a squirrel with a 9mm JHP.

      The phrase used by varminters to describe the effect is “red mist”…

      • Laserbait

        FMJ works great for bunnies. Never shot a squirrel, but maybe someday.

  • Laserbait

    I’d take my Kel-Tec SUB2K over the AR7, hands down.

  • I owned one for over 15 years and I never considered getting rid of it (I ended up getting rid of all my firearms at one point due to getting custody of my children – long story). I loved the gun and it fit in my backpack easily. I have dropped it in more than one waterway and it survived the experiences without fail. It would chew up any ammo I put through it and it was surprisingly accurate for a takedown rifle.

  • RP

    I had a Charter version many years ago when I lived in west Texas. I had to sell it (and my guitar) to pay some college expenses, but I would’ve kept it otherwise. It was a little picky about ammo but it fed CCI Stingers without a hitch. It was a lot more reliable after I deburred the magazine feed lips with a nail file. I kept it and a box of Stingers under the seat of my truck so I could always pop rabbits and prairie dogs wherever I was. I probably fired more rounds through it than any other gun I’ve owned except my Marlin 39A (which is still my favorite).

    My uncle had an Armalite version. He kept his in the cross-bed toolbox on his pickup for the same reason. He always had a .22 handy for hunting and plinking. Most people preferred the Armalite over Charters, but I couldn’t tell much difference between the two. The Henry versions I’ve seen look better built than the old ones from what I recall. I also don’t remember mine having a slot in the stock for an extra mag like the Henry does. I may be wrong about that, but I know I only had one mag.

    • gunsandrockets

      I used to have a Charter Arms AR-7 too. You are correct, the Charter Arms AR-7 only had one magazine slot provided in the buttstock storage compartment.

      I also remember the barrel fit so tightly in storage that it was very difficult to pry out again since so little of the barrel protruded from the storage slot. Another issue my AR-7 had was slippage of the barrel nut, which required periodic re-tightening after firing less than one box of ammo.

      On the other hand the cheap peep sights worked very well for me as a novice shooter, surprising me with how accurately I could fire my AR-7. I doubt I could have fired as accurately with any iron-sighted handgun of that era. Because of its light weight and inherent shooting accuracy I think there is still a place for the AR-7 today. Though if I had the bucks to spare I would probably prefer the new model Savage over-under in .22 WMR/.410 gauge.

  • Egnki

    My Kel-Tec SUB2000 in 40 cal works just fine…

    • Heavier and also bulkier when “”broken down”. Doesn’t float.

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    I’ve had these things on and off over the last twenty years and , usually, they’re about as reliable and functional as a Mexican space shuttle. Magazine issues, magazine catch issues, feeding issues up the ying yang…sometimes I think its really a single-shot rifle and the purpose of the mag was to hold spare ammo. I’d spend the money on a Marlin Pappoose or the Ruger takedown and be done with it. I’ve had one or two of the AR-7’s that lived up to the billing but the overwhelming majority of the ones I’ve encountered made Hi-Point look like Steyr.

    • FourString

      The younger part of me thinks that this eccentric-looking rifle would be at home in Team Fortress 2.

  • phamnuwen

    Seems like it would suck to be stuck with a .22 lr rifle if you have to bail out over enemy territory. I think even a standard 9mm pistol would be more useful.

    For a compact light rifle maybe a single shot bolt action bullpup in 5.56×45 or 7.62×51 would be the way to go. Maybe even with a built-in suppressor so as to not attract any unwanted attention.

    • I don’t think they have it for fighting off Russkis in mind(in which case a 9mm won’t help you either). It’s more for if you’ve bailed out in the wilderness and need a passable hunting rifle.

      • phamnuwen

        I still think I’d insist on a weapon with some sort of defensive capacity. Why limit yourself if you are taking the trouble to bring a gun at all?

        A 9mm pistol certainly has more stopping power than a 22 lr, but obviously you wouldn’t want to fight any major battles with it. It’s concealable and easier to carry though.

        • It’s harder to hit something at “hunting” distances with a 9mm pistol though, than with a rifle.

          It’s hard to envision a bail-out scenario where a 9mm pistol is going to be especially easier to conceal or carry than a AR-7, which would be broken down most of the time.

          • phamnuwen

            I agree shooting a pistol is harder than shooting a rifle.
            A pistol is quick to draw in a hurry, should it be necessary.
            I still think a medium caliber bullpup bolt action rifle would be the ultimate multi-purpose survival gun.
            One of the existing short-barreled bullpup rifles could even work pretty well. The Tavor for example.

          • Might not have the room in the cockpit for that though. I mean, I’m sure there would be room in a B-52…but not in a F-15 or F-22.

          • phamnuwen

            Meh. I’m sure you could squeeze it in if you wanted to.

          • Doubt it. It’s a tight squeeze for those kind of aircraft.

          • Ardiemus

            It’s not about the size of the aircraft. It’s about the ejection seat, and unless it is smaller than 14″ it won’t fit in the seat kit I sit on in my B-52. Sure, I could carry a 240G but try bailing out of a jet with it at 400 KTS….

          • David Sharpe

            Canadian SAR carry Ruger M77s in .30-06 with 14 inch barrels and a folding stock when they go out.

            Possible idea? Other than barrel length.

  • Okki

    I considered an AR7 for a long time but ended up settling for a Ruger Take-Down. The larger magazine and greater abundance (Walmart used to carry them before the mad rush on everything firearm) makes it a more suitable “survival” rifle in my mind. in the woods either one may be good enough, but I like being able to rummage through the remains of your average suburban sports-store/hunting department and be able to find parts as needed,

  • KestrelBike

    The one I bought new in 2010 is absolute garbage. Failure to feed issues, incredibly picky about ammo (don’t even try using non-jacketed rounds). I can’t even get the first round to load now, and it sits in a dusty corner of the vault. I couldn’t even in good conscience sell it to someone wanting a functional rifle, but I *would* have no problems getting some cash for it in a police buy-back (jokes on them, it doesn’t work!)

    • WV Cycling

      Hey, I’ve been wanting to tinker with one of these for a while. I’d really like to strike a deal with this thing, if you were interested…

      facebook dot com / dasilva.ja

  • dan citizen

    I have had several of these over the last few decades, both Charter Arms and Henry. My last Henry required a few dedicated hours polishing and profiling the internals to get real reliability. I often had one stashed in boat, car or cabin. They are a handy tool that does just what it’s designed to do. Unfortunately for the AR7 when the Ruger 10/22 TD came out it was replaced forever.

    • AtomicSpud

      Sorry but the Ruger td DOESN’T STORE INSIDE ITS OWN STOCK so its never going to replace the AR7 forever. The added bulk of storing the receiver and barrel separately defeats the space saving and durability purposes the ar7 was designed for; which is why the ar7 would be my choice to have banging around in the trunk of my car or sitting in my w.n.c.h. bag ready to go.

  • Poopfeast420

    There is a company that makes replacement full-steel barrels for these. I have one on my older Henry AR7, turned it into quite the little tack driver. I think the rifle is worth owning for the novelty alone, personally.

  • bbmg

    It’s fine if you’re on a budget I guess, but the true gentleman would want one of these to survive:

  • The rifle is a good concept but as mentioned is a bit buggy. In a no NFA world, a highly reliable version with more than two magazines in the stock and barrel that is a suppressor it might be the thing but as is, it a gimmick.

  • Uncle Charlie

    This kind of survival rifle is left over from the day when survival meant not starving to death not fighting off zombie hoards. I was always tempted to buy one but I already have the Marlin Papoose and the Norinco clone Browning breakdown and own way too many guns anyway. However the Henry is the only one that floats when everything is loaded into it’s water proof container which also looks like you could have some fishing line in it. These are not for self defense but food and are extremely light and portable and still will work if you drop it fording a stream. And if you don’t need it for an emergency, you can always go squirrel hunting with it or let your grandson use it. Try that with a 9mm pistol, but then I have that and just about everything else mentioned.

  • Reliability of the Ar7 is almost entirely a function of the magazine. The feed ramp is built into the magazine and the mags aren’t very well made. They are susceptible to damage if dropped or roughly used.

    • Geo

      Very true. The 8 round mags are hit or miss and I’ve never found a single 15 round mag that actually worked.

      • kahuna

        so—it’s actually the mags. not the rifle?

  • Geo

    Great for hiking/camping and is cheap, light, & floats. The downside is that’s it not a plinker. They quickly wear themselves out. Luckily Henry has some great customer service. I bought my first one used and it fired 2 round burst until it wore out and stopped feeding altogether. Henry has send me two replacement guns since and I get extra magazines every time.

  • firedigger

    I have a Springfield Armory M6 .22/.410 over and under. It lives under the back seat of my pickup, except when I’m elk hunting or scouting. Then it gets a chance to put a grouse or two in the pot. I normally leave it assembled, but it breaks down quickly with the removal of a pin. I’ve replaced the pin with a suitably sized bolt and wing nut because pins have a nasty habit of wandering off. I find it much more useful than the Henry.

    • ssgcmwatson

      How do you like the M6? I’ve been thinking of getting one of those for years.

  • Mystick

    I owned one of these… It wasn’t a BAD rifle, but it had it’s share of problems, which led me to get rid of it in favor of a 10/22TD.

    The first bad thing was the plastic knob on the stock that is attached to the bolt that threads into the receiver. It’s very easy to over-torque and breaks off. I ended up replacing it with a hex bolt.

    The second bad thing was the rear sight. It is secured by a single screw, and the act of torquing the screw moves the sight, as it acts as a washer between the screw and the receiver. This also tends to lead to sight drift as far as windage goes.

    The third bad thing is the ejector. Mine was incredibly picky with ammo. The only kind that really worked well was the CCI Aquila, I think – the one with the .22 Short case. A .22LR wouldn’t clear the bolt before it came back into battery.

    This complicates the fourth bad thing, a poorly designed sear. It doesn’t reset itself if the bolt doesn’t travel fully forward, meaning the hammer will fall on the firing pin/wedge when the bolt moves forward, firing the round before it’s fully in the breech. When the bolt is obstructed by a failed-to-eject .22 shell, it smashes the obstructing case and sometimes continues to cycle- effectively making it full-auto. It continues to cycle until the obstructing case dislodges itself or another case fails to eject properly and further obstructs the path of the bolt.

    As an experiment, I made some rings of feeler-gauge-type material and inserted them behind the barrel. Eventually, it was just the right thickness to replicate the malfunction and reliably fire full-auto, minus the regular ejection malfunctions. With this, I determined that it was the point in the cycle that the sear return engaged that was the culprit. Not a truly “safe” design, really.

    I highly discourage you from trying this, though. The bolt springs aren’t rated for that kind of abuse and bolt ended up hammering the rear of the sheet-metal receiver pretty hard. I was actually fairly lucky that I didn’t end up with a much more catastrophic malfunction. To be young and stupid, eh?

    The fifth problem was the cocking “button”. It slides in and out of the bolt… while it started in the “out” position, during the course of firing, it vibrates back into the bolt, and is a pain to pull it back out when it does so.

    So, to answer the question of the article, in my experience this rifle is more of a novelty – the reliability and accuracy issues I observed precluded it’s use in a “survival” situation, when reliability counts the most.

  • sure

    what make/type of knife is pictured with the bug-out bag?

    • Warren Young

      I would like to know more about that knife…

      • steve

        Gerber LMF

  • Cuban Pete

    The Marlin Papoose and the new 10/22 takedown are so superior to the AR-7 that comparison is not even worth discussing.

  • John

    As a B47 crew chief during the 50’s we inspected the survival kits attached to the underside of the crews ejection seats before the plane went to Alert status.(that means carrying an A-bomb) The AR-7 was part of the kit. Yes it was fussy about ammo but you filled it with what worked. The MEN who flew those planes deserved every aid they could get and didn’t have a lot of room . For what it was designed for, and when it was made. it was great.

  • kettlebots

    To summarize; AR7 is a survival rifle and you should get one if you need a survival rifle.

    Couldn’t you at least include how it shot or how reliable it was ?

  • Adam

    I had wanted one of theses for a while and finally scored one a while back. The rifle functioned perfectly through several hundred rounds and was accurate. The trigger was horrible but I could hit what I aimed at. After having it for several months or maybe a year I just lost interest. The buttstock is pretty fat to allow everything to fit inside and so it’s not as compact as I had hoped. I sold it right before moving across the country to help cover expenses only because the novelty and excitement wore off. I was very happy with the performance of the rifle.

  • I have a Henrys AR-7. A really unique and neat rifle. Everything fits into the waterproof stock.
    As with most semi-autos .22s use ing quality CCI min-mag ammo will ensure perfect function. Using bulk cheap ammo will be problomatic due to inconsisties.
    The old Charter Arms AR-7 were junk however. That company is long extince.

  • Sulaco

    I have had one of the Charter Arms versions for almost 30 years and it is still near perfect in looks and performance. The only complaint I had/have with the platform is no storage for a spare (second) mag nor any space for ammo storage short of the one mag stored in the butt stock, (you can’t store the mag in the rifles mag well when disassembled). Still a box of .22’s and a spare mag hardly cause a bump in a pocket. Good “truck” gun and if its all you want in hiking backpack ready….and when putting it together you look sooo Cooool!

    • FTMN R&D

      Henry actually fixed that problem, now you can store 2 in the butt stock and have a 3rd loaded into the receiver. (Current in package carry capacity is 3 magazines with a total of 24 rounds) And that’s what I appreciate about these things: they never stop developing and tweaking to make the system better.

  • NorthernDude

    Just bought one NIB (2013). It fires flawlessly with all different kinds of ammunition. Fits nicely in the back pack and is as accurate as anything up to 50 yards. It is not a high end gun but has a level of quality beyond it’s price tag.

  • Leigh Rich

    Again I got mine because they are neat. Every boys dream rifle that all fits int its stock. Secret Agent Man. the new Henrys are the most reliable ever made!!

  • Rick

    I’ve had a love/hate affair with the AR-7 since I was a teen. First one I got was a pawnshop special Charter Arms, with two spare magazines. I must have been lucky, because all three worked perfectly for me. It wasn’t the greatest shooter, but could pop tincans and rabbits as well as pretty much anything else. Sadly, it was stolen when someone broke into my car one day. Bought another one, and it was like another planet. Even with two good mags, it wouldn’t fire more than three before either jamming, stovepiping, or worse, the spent case doing a 180 and wedging under the bolt. I sold that one two weeks after I bought it.

    Fast-forward a couple years, and I bought one that was put out by a firm called Survival Arms, apparently made up from leftover/returned parts. I still had the 2 good mags from #1, and this one was okay, for the most part. While #1 seemed to work with everything except standard velocity lead, this one would only eat high-velocity, with a decided preference for Stingers. Also, the barrel had the common tendency to loosen up, but I solved that with a single rubber O-ring. Once it was cinched down, you could shoot all day and the barrel would stay in place.

    Like a lot of folks, I got bored with it, and after I picked up another 10/22, I caved in and sold it to a guy in my club. About two years ago, I bought ANOTHER one, this time an early Henry with the silver finish. The next day, I sold it to another club buddy and used the money on a SUB-2000 for the GF. After reading this article, I can’t help it but I think I just may have to find the funds and buy the new one from Henry. I like the fact it has space for two mags. And I still have those two ‘sweet’ mags in my possibles’ box…

  • Nitrowing

    I bought a brand new one a few weeks ago and love it. I brought a big selection of .22LR – subs, hollow points, target and it shot all of them with no problems. It seemed to group best (at 25 yards) with Lapua .22 410 Hollowpoints.
    I have no reservation in recommending the little plinker

  • Steve Truffer

    The breakdown feature is meant for storage, not carry. Good camp gun, out of the way when not needed, light & handy when needed. Needs high velocity ammo, though, due to the strong spring.

  • none

    The real survival rifle is M4 harrinton richardson 22 hornet

  • E.R.E.

    Seems like there was a kit one could purchase (aftermarket?) That provided a wire stock or pistol grip setup for these. I never handled one of these firearms so reliability is not something I could speak to, but aspects of them were interesting particularly the comparability. We’re they watertight for any length of time, or just incidentally?

    • E.R.E.

      Sorry, I should have said float-ability.

  • Clarity Sailing Adventures

    For me, the main attractions are light weight, and the self contained, floating, waterproof storage. I’m seriously thinking of one for my small boat camping adventures… mostly for eliminating small wildlife pests if they become a serious problem or hazard on an island where I’m camping. As I explore in either small open sailboats (12′ to 18′) or kayaks, the waterproofness is critical, and mot having to put it in a case (like the wonderful Ruger 10-22 takedown) is a massive plus. Henry seems to have done major improvements to the rifle, and I’m comfortable with basic gunsmithing, like magazine adjustments, so if I find a new one at the right price, it’ll be mine!

  • Heming-Stein

    You must have your head in the sand–not understanding the perpetual peril you are in living in the United States Inc.– to say you can’t think of why you would need portability in such a rifle as the AR-7. I live in Canada. I also am licensed to trap. Portability Is an important factor. Performance and dependable function are paramount. How about thinking “outside the box” (i.e., outside your cosy Gen-X urban lifestyle).

  • Gibbs

    Ive got a Henry AR-7 its the earlier version of the rifle with dovetail mount instead of the picatinny, I have replaced the original stock with an AR-7 Industries collapseable stock that uses a modified AR-15 A2 pistol grip, the whole package doesnt fit in its own arse anymore but its actually shorter with the stock collapsed and the barrel taken off than in the original stock. its a super accurate rifle, its quite capable of shooting clay pidgeons and pices of them at 50yds standing, More than accurate enough for survival uses such as small game hunting, its also a great lightweight plinking gun.
    Mine is pretty choosy on the ammo as well but ive found about 5 loads that run just fine in it and ive had no issues with feeding problems or cycling once i stuck to them , CCI stingers are too long so they dont feed reliably, but I have no problem with CCI Mini Mags, CCI segmented HV hollowpoints, Remington Viper or Yellowjackets,and Aguila Supermaximum high velocity 30gr rounds. It feeds those with as much reliability as you can expect with a rimfire rifle, also putting a small .1-2mm shim on the front of the trigger guard/magazine well helped with FTF’s, I JB welded a small piece of Stainless steel to there and it really keeps the magazine from moving front to back.

    Im very happy with my Henry AR-7 and wouldnt hesitate to get another, the newer versions with a picatinny rail is a major upgrade, a small red dot or reflex sight like a Bushnell trs25 or a Burris fastfire would be perfect. Id love for someone to make 15rd magazines that work with the henry’s Ive bought one of the 15rd mags for the charter and it is terrible, it “fits” but it is very unreliable.

    AR-7 Industries sells full steel barrels with the same profile as the stock one, they sell bull barrels and the fixed or collapseable stocks, not to mention the accessories are cheap.

  • Bud Green

    This was my first rifle, my dad gave it to me when i was nine… We lived on a 48 ft boat at the time and dad always used to break the rifle down, pack it up and throw it in the water to prove that it floats and is waterproof when packed away… Many lessons learned while shooting this rifle and i always thought of it with nostalgia… Id buy another in a heartbeat based on that alone…

  • pipeline

    There was one used for the assassination scene in ‘From Russia with Love’. I’ve got a Guns and Ammo mag from 1963 with a review, that I’ve had from the mid-sixties.