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Sdamiani 11-06-2012 01:45 PM

Charter Arms AR-7 Survival Rifle
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First post here, yay. I recently picked up (about 6 months ago) a Charter Arms AR7. Originally bought it for $80.00 and it came with the most terrible plywood stock and a bent barrel. No worry, though, as I only wanted the receiver for an indepth project I had planned out.

So, after 6 months, I now have a completely redesigned AR7 that shoots straight, is accurate enough to hit golfballs at 100yds, and still maintains its takedown capabilities. It is reliable with everything except subsonic ammo, but I've heard this is routine for this style of gun.

A few quick notes for anyone who has one and says it is a hunk of metal turds. Reliability can be improved drastically with a few small repairs. First off, the failure to feeds. An easy, albeit time consuming fix is to cut a small feed ramp into the barrel. This will extend the feed ramp from most magazines, and allow it to feed properly. I used a 22 caliber cotton cloth cleaning rod coated in lapping compound and slowly worked one into the barrel. Works great, and you can polish it up nicely with minimal efforts.

Second, the dratted thing gets dirty very, very quickly. This will cause the bolt to bind up in the receiver, and you'll get short strokes with failure to extracts. Simple fix is to use some lapping compound on a 12 gauge cotton cleaning pad and work it through the receiver. Be cautious as you don't want to remove too much. Just enough to allow a little more build up before it starts binding again. I polished the bolt up nicely, too. Works smoothly up until about 500 rnds.

Anyways, its a fun little rifle, works great and, this one, is particularly accurate. Let me know what you guys ( and gals) think.

Ps: the picture was just after painting it, but it does have a pistol grip that goes with it.

Triumphman 11-06-2012 02:38 PM

Well, I guess ya can't take it with ya in the boat now---won't float.
Looks very good for a simple takedown. Nice job of cleaning up some of those problems they're plagued with. Hard to believe these things been around for almost 40yrs. I had one in the pistol version once back in the 80's.

Sdamiani 11-06-2012 05:02 PM

Well, actually it does, kind of. It'll bob up and down and eventually sink, but it took five minutes for it do so in a pond with the kids splashing around.

The skeletal stock is lightweight steel tubing and filled with a pretty bouyant foam. Same stuff they use in the pool floaties to segment off swimming lanes. I expect that it would perform better, flotation wise, with the standard barrel on it ... Not the heavy bull barrel its got.

kfox75 11-07-2012 06:03 AM

Looks pretty cool. I have 1 of these myself, and I am very familiar with the issues they have.

The reliability work you did is almost what I had to do to mine to make it work flawlessly. I also readjusted the feed lips on my magazines which greatly improves the old jamming problem. The top portion of the magazine is also the feed ramp of the gun. Just a little tip for others who have one.

I still have the factory stock for mine. A couple scratches and minor flaws on it, but it still floats (my dad proved this by duct taping some 550 cord to it and dropping it out of my truck while I was launching his boat, needless to say, we didn't need diving gear to get it back). I only have one complaint about the gun. Whenever I take it to the range, I never get to use it,

Good job. Enjoy that gun.

OldEagleEars 11-08-2012 05:37 AM

That is a very unique and interesting take on the old AR7! Has anyone seen the new Chiappa Badger? It is a .22 single-shot that folds in half for compact transport! They have even mounted a little rail on top of the magazine for optics (?) and it should be available this year. They also have a Double Badger that adds a .410 shotgun barrel under the .22 tube which should make it a must-have for preppers.

Sdamiani 11-14-2012 03:43 PM

Yeah, I saw a YouTube video with Jeff Quinn about that badger. Pretty neat little gun ... Almost tempted to buy one when it comes out. Said to come in three calibers ... .17 hmr, 22lr, and 22wmr. An extremely portable .17 would be perfect for the ground hogs invading my feeder.

keitho 01-24-2013 08:02 PM

I have a charter arms Explorer 2 and need a magazine for this gun --can you help? :confused:

Sdamiani 01-25-2013 12:47 PM

I'd suggest AR-7 Industries. Hard to get a hold of anyone there, but their products have actually proven to be pretty good quality for a fair price. Give them a call, leave a message if you don't get anyone on the first try. I generally have gotten a call back within a day.

keitho 01-25-2013 01:06 PM

thanks --I went to AR-7 and they had all kinds of parts for the explorer 2 at a good price. go to I appreciate your reply and helpfulness thats what this group is all about ---I looked up the explorer 2 and it has gone up in value if on the barrel its stamped stratford,conn.(mine is) :D

Sdamiani 01-25-2013 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by keitho (Post 1109474)
I looked up the explorer 2 and it has gone up in value if on the barrel its stamped stratford,conn.(mine is) :D

That's pretty neat ... I love these guns, personally, and its good to see that they might actually be worth something some day. Not mine, but the true originals.

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