The AR-7: Real Survival Tool or Gimmick?
The AR-7 was developed by Eugene Stoner, the inventor of one of the best rifles in world. The M-16 service rifle that is still being used by our Armed Forces today. The AR-7 started being used by U.S. Air Force Pilots and Aircrew since 1959. It was developed to be used in their survival if they were shot down or had to punch out of the aircraft.
I had an Henry Repeating Arms version of the AR-7 (the originals were produced by Armalite). Being a survival junkie- I had to have one. Note key word "had".
In my mind I imagined I'd be carrying it in my pack on backpacking/kayaking trips and seemed to be the perfect solution.
So why did I get rid of mine? The one and only reason is that it would not cycle ammo properly. I tried a wide variety of ammo and it would constantly malfunction. If this happened to be my only weapon system that would be a problem to say the least. I've heard numerous people say the same. I found that I had the least amount of malfunctions with high velocity .22 ammo. However I still had problems. Another issue is that it requires rounded nosed projectiles versus the "flat front" projectiles commonly used in .22 ammunition. Okay, so for a survival tool I don't want anything that is that finicky or high maintenance. Basically when your selecting survival gear, choose tools you can count on.
Aside from that I do like the concept. The AR-7 is extremely accurate with iron sights. I think it would be a great back up or small game hunting rifle for your Bug Out Bag. But not as your primary weapon system. You don't want to clear a malfunction when trying to defend yourself or miss out on a meal because of a jam.
In conclusion the AR-7 would not be my first choice when selecting a .22 rifle. Maybe as a small game hunting rifle for the BOB. Or for a back-up possibly, if your loading out with a quality AR-15. However small game can be had with other options, some being more stealthy.
Soon I'll be going over my idea of the perfect Bug Out Rifle.