Years ago, I was flipping through a magazine and saw an advertisement for a Paladin Press book on building exotic systems AR-7. It piqued my curiosity and re-awakened a dormant interest in firearms. Being new to the game, I didn’t understand what it meant but exotic sounded so exotic. What exactly did that mean? It turned out that it meant making it look cool and making it a suppressed system, one that could be stowed away in a briefcase like something James Bond would have. A very glamorous image. Soon after that, I was watching Goldfinger in which the AR7 was highlighted and James Bond used it to shoot down a helicopter. Wow! I have to get me one of those now.
The gun has gone through a number of manufacturers. Armalite was first followed by Charter Arms. In its most recent reincarnation, it is (was?) manufactured by Henry Repeating Arms.
The AR7 was a take down survival gun and dissembled and with the parts stowed in the buttstock, the entire unit floats. The barrel consisted of a threaded and notched alloy tube with a rifled steel liner. The receiver was also alloy. The rifle screamed “cheap but glad I have you here for this most dire of situations”…except…except…
It was the most unreliable gun I ever owned. Initially when I got it, it fed well but by the time I had put about half a brick through, it seemed every magazine would have a few rounds misfeed.
It’s said that too much lubrication is as bad as no lubrication. This gun failed so often that I had no choice but to soak it with lubrication in hopes of minimizing friction somewhere. It still failed.
This gun will do as a survival gun only if you feel that an acceptable survivival gun can be a single shot. If reliability and follow-up shots are a must in your survival gun, continue looking elsewhere. Maybe the new Henrys are OK but based upon my experience, Charter Arms AR7s stunk. It was a survival rifle that deserved to die. I sold it at a great dollar loss. Good bye and good riddance.