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Kodeman 02-20-2012 12:59 PM

.22lr Survival rifle
Looking for advise on the several collapsable .22 rifles that break down into their stock. I'd like to have one in one of my ATV side bags. Preferrably a semi-auto. Thanks in advance.

beaglesam 02-20-2012 01:59 PM

I have a Henry survival rifle. You can pick one up for under $250.

beaglesam 02-20-2012 02:37 PM

Here is another that doesn't store inside the stock, but stores in a small bag. I haven't seen this yet but it looks interesting, Marlin Papoose Model No. 70PSS.

Kodeman 02-26-2012 02:33 PM

Thanks beaglesam, I like the Henry and will research it a bit more.

Gun_Shy 03-02-2012 06:06 PM

I also have the current Henry ("002") version of the AR-7. While I like it a lot and find it accurate at relatively close ranges, like all survival rifles it is a set of compromises. The (original) AR-7 also has the distinction of being used by James Bond in a couple of movies.

The Henry is the only AR-7 version currently in production. The upside of the Henry version of the Ar-7 is that the Henry has several improvements over the previous versions (Charter Arms, etc): an additional magazine can be stored in the stock, the stock seals better against water, the stock is made of a more resilient plastic, and there is an accessory rail integrated into the receiver. The rifle floats both when taken down (receiver & barrel stored in stock) and when assembled. Henry has also tried to make it corrosion resistant (better be if it is intended to survive water adventures!).

The downside is related to the AR-7 design rather than the Henry version: the stock is wider than normal and a bit offset, there is no forward grip (forearm, etc), and the magazines are touchy. Attaching accessories to the barrel that may put lateral pressure on it (ie, sling mount, forward grip, etc) risks bending it.

There has been a lot of discussion about the comparative build quality of the various manufacturer versions of the AR-7, and I don't know that there is complete agreement. Issues center on reliability and the quality of the barrel. My take is that, in general, users seem to think the original AR version was the best, the Charter Arms version the worst, and the Henry version is a distinct improvement over the Charter Arms version and approaches the AR version in build quality. There are also some other variants out there (such as the version used by the Israeli Air Force), but most are too uncommon for people to have had much experience with them.

Another rifle to consider is the Savage/Stevens model 24 (many versions over the years), an over-under rifle/shotgun combo, most commonly found in .22LR/.410ga, but also in various combinations of .22 Hornet, .22WMR, 20ga, and 16ga, and I think more. This is a takedown rifle, but obviously heavier than the AR-7 (wood stock), doesn't float, etc. It is also a single shot rather than a semi-automatic.

The Savage/Stevens model 30 is another contender. This is a take-down lever action .22LR or .17 rifle with a wood stock.

And yet another rifle is the Springfield M6 Scout (various manufacturers, including Springfield Armory and CZ) -- another over/under combo, usually .22LR or .22 Hornet & .410ga. Like the AR-7, this was originally a USAF survival rifle; in fact, it was the rifle the AR-7 replaced. It is all metal, folds in half (in original military configuration, or if the triggerguard is removed from the commercial configuration; otherwise it folds into a "V"), and stores some rifle & shotgun rounds in the stock. It will not float, and is significantly heavier than the AR-7. Like the Savage model 24, it is a single shot.

Of these three, the least expensive is the Henry. Savage 24 prices vary considerably with the age, configuration and condition (these have been made since the 1930s or 40s), but generally start at $250-$300 for working used examples. The M6 Scout is no longer being made and has become very popular the last few years -- prices generally start at about $500-600.

Considerations when deciding what kind of rifle is best for you include the environment you anticipate using it in (ability to float is less important in high desert or mountains, for example), weight, durability, size (when taken down), the relative merit of a small gauge shotgun vs a .22 for hunting small game, whether you need a scope, and, of course, price. A survival rifle is not likely to be a safe queen, so over time you can expect it to end up knocked around a bit (in your backpack, car trunk, truck, boat, airplane -- whatever).

If you Google "survival rifle" you will get a lot of hits. You might find these articles helpful starting points (and information on more rifles):


c3shooter 03-02-2012 06:59 PM

Gunshy- excellent post. One note on several of the true military survival weapons- AS ORIGINALLY BUILT, they are NFA firearms- barrels less than legal length.

And not that the OP asked, but IMHO, you might be better off with a good, longer barreled Ruger .22 pistol. Can equal accuracy of the "survival" guns (I mean, really- have you guys ever seen a Garcia Bronco? :eek: ) Reliable, and lighter. If you want it to float, tie it to your cooler. :p

donthav1 03-03-2012 12:11 AM

i bought a charter arms made ar-7 a few months ago.'s ok. it's fun & reasonably accurate when it works but nothin pisses me off more when it doesn't, but it's my understanding that the henry's are a much higher quality than my charter is. my main gripes are it will not function with anything other than high & hyper velocity ammo and it's picky about which brand, since there is no forearm it's kinda awkward to get a good steady grip on it when shooting from a standing position, the novelty of the gun breaking down for storage wore off really fast, & it takes longer than i think it should to assemble or disassemble.

my opinion echoes C3's, for the purpose you talked about, you should probably get a longer barrelled handgun, whether it's a revolver or auto is up to you. keep it in your atv saddle bag & it will be ready to go NOW when you need it. i can't say the same about an ar-7 or papoose. but if you really want an ar-7 i might be willing to sell mine.

big shrek 03-03-2012 03:37 AM

Best .22lr survival carbine I've seen that stores anywhere & comes in its own FLOATING case...
the Marlin 70PSS :)

The AR-7, by almost all reports except the most rabid fans, sucks universally.
A google search turns up huge amounts of Kvetch posts on the AR-7.

Kodeman 03-03-2012 09:35 AM

Thanks to all who took the time to answer my post. Gun Shy, your knowlege of this subject is very impressive. I like c3 shooters opinion about a .22 pistol. I have an original 3 screw .22 single six with .22 mag cylinder, 6in barrel. I'm not sure why I didn't think of keeping this in my ATV saddlebag but it's and excellant idea and it's what I'll end up doing. Once again this forum has delivered. Kodeman

shadyshooter 03-05-2012 09:27 AM

some great ruger stocks on here with great ideas i went a bit more tactical.

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