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Fishing & Hunting The Fishing & Hunting forum is for discussion (on-site content) that directly relates to wilderness fishing and hunting with an emphasis on engaging in these activities while on backpacking trips. Lightweight/packable gear, personal experience/technique, and trip reports are of central focus. [Reminder: PBF is for actual content, not links/reference to offsite content.]


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  #1  
Old 09-24-2010, 01:42 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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AR-7 & other .22s

it's getting to that time.

the older two are both old enough to be interested in guns, and old enough to learn some safety and shooting.

recently a couple of their cousins broke out an airsoft gun at a birthday party and started plinking at a plastic bear in the yard. both of the older two got a turn with it(under my supervision. my nephews are nice kids, but none of them have ever done any formal range time, etc), and while zack just sort of went for it, sarah nailed the bear eight for ten.

so i said to the wife 'well, time to look into a firearms safety gun.'

she suggested airguns. come to find out, they got fancy since i was a kid. a basic .22 costs less, three quarters of the time!

so i got to thinking. get an airgun, for about $240, or get something like a henry AR-7, for about the same cost(i'd go with the henry as it can be packed and taken squirrel hunting, etc).

airgun: easy to feed, ammo is even cheaper than .22LR, if i get it in .22 or .25, most of them are just subsonic, which means we could practice in the yard without bothering anyone. it'd still be a squirrel/pest gun.

AR-7(or other .22): packable, practical, versatile. not as easy to feed as the airgun, but still pretty easy. breaks down for easy cleaning and stowing. i could take it with me on hikes where i'll cross through hunting-legal grounds and supplement with rabbit/hare and squirrel(mmm... chili). i'd be teaching the kids with something REAL.

it's tough.


sure, i could get a little single shot .22 for $125 or less. i could pick up a basic semi-auto for between $145 and $200. a bolt action is about the same.

i could shell out somewhere around $240 for a 10/22, and have a gun that the kids could use for target shooting that would be able to grow with their abilities.

honestly, i think i'd go with the henry. too versatile for me to pass up.

thoughts? anyone have experience with the henry AR7?
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2010, 05:32 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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I've had an AR-7 for years, first the Armalite, then the Charter Arms version and later, the Henry. IMO the Henry is the best one of the bunch. It is light - 2.5 lbs - simple, reliable and highly accurate with the standard peep sight. The bulky stock takes some getting used to and may be awkward for kids. Assembly is quick but does require some care. It is also awkward to single-load (desirable when starting kids shooting). There is no provision for a carry sling when assembled. I designed a carry sling for myself that requires no modification to the stock.

The reciever is grooved for a tip-on scope, but, of course, the scoped action can't be stored in the stock. Add-on stocks are available if desired.

FWIW my AR-7 is with me most of the time. I made a drawstring bag with a shoulder strap for it making it a bit less conspicuously a rifle stock. (In my youth walking down the street with a small rifle was unremarkable. Today, even here, 911 gets inundated by "man with a gun" calls during hunting season.

Another rifle, similar to the AR-7 is the Marlin model 70PSS Papoose. This is heavier by about a pound in stainless steel with a more conventional stock design that takes down into a foam padded zipper case. I don't own one, but the case design would lend itself to carrying a scope mounted to the action but I'm told the standard case is a bit too small to do this. No problem for me since I can make a case for it. The standard open sights for the Marlin are, IMO, inferior to the AR-7 peep sight.
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2010, 10:46 AM
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richwads richwads is offline
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The AR7 and Marlin Papoose (which I have) are both attractive to me for packing, but I trained my kids on a bolt action .22. I found a semi-auto to be counterintuitive to gun safety for a youngster, who figures the semi-auto feature is there so you can "shoot real fast". Also, single feeding a semi-auto is clumsy for them.

I cut an inch or so off the buttstock so they could get their heads in the right position to see the sights, and saved the piece I cut off so it could later be glued back on, which I did, and now it's my gopher gun.

It's actually a magazine feed (removable clip), which if left in leaves a platform to set the cartridge on while pushing it into the chamber, which worked well for single shot feeding.

PS- I like the Papoose sights better than the AR7.

I also have a barrel-cocking air gun, but it's hard for a child to cock it. A CO2 version would operate more like a cartridge gun.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:49 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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i've thought about getting the davy cricket, being a single shot bolt-action .22. it's kind of perfect for training.

single loading with a removable magazine .22 can be easy if you take the magazine out every time.

for what it's worth, i learned on a semi-auto first and a bolt-action third. so it's up for debate.

on the AR-7... the rear sight is adjustable, according to henry. elevation only? it looks like one of those 'elevation rear, drift front' sort of setups.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2010, 02:56 PM
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djmamayek djmamayek is offline
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I like the looks of the AR-7, but have no experience with them.

The Ruger 10/22 is ubiquitous, and has all of the benefits that come along with that. I love mine, it was my first gun, and I will have it for the rest of my life.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2010, 04:23 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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I've been a fan of the Ruger 10/22 too. In recent years, several new styles of it have emerged.

In my opinion, a good rifle that is light and can break down for compact carry is a plus. The AR-7 is nice (but it, like everything else, it's not without criticism).

Reality
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2010, 04:45 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality
I've been a fan of the Ruger 10/22 too. In recent years, several new styles of it have emerged.

In my opinion, a good rifle that is light and can break down for compact carry is a plus. The AR-7 is nice (but it, like everything else, it's not without criticism).

Reality

yeah, i'd heard some of those complaints from users i've known.

i notice that unless the ammo is high-velocity, a lot of stock .22 semiautos won't feed and fire 100% of the time save with certain brands. the one thing that seems to generate high-reliability is higher velocity ammo, which i was planning on using anyways.

i do admit the fact that the shape the magazines are in being such a big factor in reliable feeding/cycling does make me twitch a little. guess it's a good idea to carry extra spares.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2010, 05:18 PM
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richwads richwads is offline
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One feature of the AR-7 that may make it less suitable for children is that the stock is larger than normal to make room for the barrel to be stored inside. As I recall, the grip is extra large so the barrel may extend up inside it.

Another shortcoming as far as teaching good rifle posture in the various positions, is that the AR-7 has no forestock. The Papoose has a small forestock, that MAY be ideal for children (tho the buttstock length is normal).

I agree that single feeding by loading a removable magazine would be good training. I was thinking of single loading a rifle with a tubular magazine like the Remington Nylon 66 (a real pain to single load), which is what I had when my kids were ready to learn to shoot, which prompted me to get that bolt action and cut it down.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2010, 05:29 PM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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The AR-7 is adjustable for elevation rear, drift windage front. Mine was spot on at 20 yds out of the box, all I need for a rifle of this type so I never needed to adjust.

The 10/22 is a fine rifle. I've owned a couple different types over the years but it is both substantially heavier and bulkier than the AR-7. Is it "better?" Well, that depends upon your use. If I did as much small game hunting and range shooting as I used to I'd still have many of the 10 or 15 guns I used to have.

What I decided I needed was a light, compact, reliable small .22LR I could toss into a pack, toss into a canoe or toss into the truck "just in case". A plus would be receiver sights my aging eyes could use. For this, the AR-7 fills the bill admirably.

FWIW: the only other long gun I own currently is a Springfield Armory M-6, a .22LR/.410 GA. another simple, rugged utility piece. I had the opportunity to get the .22 Hornet/.410 version and I'm sorry now I didn't.

There are a few I wish I still had:

my first gunsmithing project - a .22LR rolling block take-down rifle;
.30-30 Winchester 94 Trapper (suburban assault rifle);
.22LR/20ga. Savage 24C (a fine general purpose small game gun);
20ga. Ithaca side by side Uplander; and
.30-06 Steyr-Mannlicher Luxus (the finest rifle I have ever handled).

There were others, but those are the ones I sorta miss.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2010, 07:24 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richwads
One feature of the AR-7 that may make it less suitable for children is that the stock is larger than normal to make room for the barrel to be stored inside. As I recall, the grip is extra large so the barrel may extend up inside it.

Another shortcoming as far as teaching good rifle posture in the various positions, is that the AR-7 has no forestock. The Papoose has a small forestock, that MAY be ideal for children (tho the buttstock length is normal).

I agree that single feeding by loading a removable magazine would be good training. I was thinking of single loading a rifle with a tubular magazine like the Remington Nylon 66 (a real pain to single load), which is what I had when my kids were ready to learn to shoot, which prompted me to get that bolt action and cut it down.

there are a lot of post-market products for the AR-7... maybe there's a smaller stock that would make a good kid's gun. i'd keep the factory stock for standard usage.

a forend can be worked around, i was planning on teaching the 'hold the magazine/frame' technique used with the m-16 for basic marksmanship.

if i got a cheapie bolt action they'd learn that too. heck, i bet i can make a sleeve to go over the barrel.
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