Survival Rifles

Survival rifles are characterized by light weight and the ability to be easily disassembled into a compact package. They are designed primarily for small game hunting, rifles of this type are most frequently chambered for 22 long rifle. Sighting systems are often crude and guns of this type are made for reliability not target grade accuracy.

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Armalite AR-7

Armalite AR-7 Explorer
Overall Length (inches) 35.3
Weight (lbs) 2.5
Action Type Blowback Semiauto
Barrel Length (inches) 16.0
Cartridge 22 long rifle High velocity
Magazine Capacity 8 round detachable box magazine
Sights Rear sight Aperture, front sight ramp with blade

Introduced in 1959 this rifle was designed by Eugene Stoner for the civilian market. It is a blow back operated semiautomatic rimfire rifle. Its main attributes are itís light weight and that the barrel can be easily be mounted or dismounted. To reduce weight the barrel is made out of a synthetic plastic with a steel liner. The barrel, receiver, and clip(s) can be stored in the buttstock of the gun which also acts as a floating watertight container for the firearm's components.

This disassembly and storage concept was taken from the other Armalite survival rifle design, the AR-5, a bolt action centerfire rifle chambered in 22 hornet. Built as a prototype for the U.S. Airforce as a survival/defensive weapon for downed aircrews, the AR-5 was never adopted.

Nor was the AR-7 rifle ever adopted by the U.S. Airforce. The Israeli Defense Forces did however contract with Armalite in the 1960's to produce a number of AR-7's to be stowed on military aircraft as an aircrew survival weapon. Many of these rifles were imported back to the U.S. years ago by the Bricklee Trading Company and sold on the surplus market.

The Israeli AR-7 variant has a steel wire stock and some particularly crude open sights. A 3 inch long steel tube was welded onto the muzzle of the barrel of these rifles to make them compliant with BATF regulations. The letters BTC will be stamped on the barrel.

Armalite manufactured the AR-7 for the American civilian market until 1973 when Charter Arms took over production, which continued until 1990. Survival arms then started building them and now Henry manufactures the AR-7 Explorer

Although the AR-7 design is generally reliable, some owners of these rifles have encountered feeding problems particularly with the Charter Arms version, which may be resolved by very slightly chamfering the chamber opening where the bullets hang up. To disassemble the AR-7 to store in the buttstock Remove the magazine , pull back the bolt to ensure that the gun is unloaded. Unscrew the barrel nut, pull the barrel forward off of the receiver. Unscrew the screw at the base of the stock's pistol grip and pull the receiver forward out of the stock.

Majestic Arms MA-2000

Uses a Henry AR 7 Action. Length when disassembled 23 inches. Stock is a steel wire skeleton with wood butt plate, pistol grip and fore end. It has a Weaver base and see through rings for mounting a scope. The barrel is aluminum with a stainless steel liner

Majestic Arms MA-2000
Overall Length (inches) 33.25
Weight (lbs) 4.0
Action Type Blow back semiauto
Barrel Length (inches) 16.25
Cartridge 22 long rifle High velocity
Magazine Capacity 8 round detachable box magazine

Marlin Model 70P Papoose and Model 70PSS (stainless steel)

Marlin Model 70P Papoose
Overall Length (inches) 35.0
Weight (lbs) 5.3
Barrel Length (inches) 20.0
Magazine Capacity 7
Action Type Blowback semiauto

Action derived from that of the Marlin Model 60. The barrel may be taken off by loosening the barrel nut and sliding the barrel off of the receiver.