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Old 11-12-2021, 12:58 AM

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PART 3 - Armalite AR-7 Explorer
(This a lot of typing. I will post in three parts, Henry, Charter Arms and Armalite)

Armalite, Model AR-7 Explorer, Serial Number 103XXX

Receiver - 395 grams (13.93 oz)
Barrel - 342 grams (12.06 oz)
Stock with Butt Cap - 443 grams (15.63 oz)
Magazine - 33 grams (1.16oz)

The barrel is steel inside an aluminum sleeve. There is no feed ramp. The extractor cut out is the same as the Charter Arms barrel but different than the Henry barrel. The extractor groove is narrow from the bore to approximately half way across the breech face and the doubles in width to the outer circumference of the barrel. The barrel nut has many ridges around the circumference to assist with grip while installing or removing the barrel. It is the same as the Charter Arms barrel nut. There is an aluminum tab that protrudes at the 12 o'clock position which fits into a cut out on the receiver. This aligns the barrel with the receiver. The portion of the barrel that fits in the receiver has is round. The barrel is 13/16" in diameter in front of the barrel stop and tapers to 1/2" at the muzzle. The barrel is marked Armalite 22 Long Rifle.

The Armalite barrel will fit into the Charter Arms and Henry receivers but is loose and the barrel will wiggle around. The Charter Arms barrel will fit into the Armalite receiver but won't seat properly as the indexing lug is too wide for the cut out in the receiver. The Henry barrel will not fit into the Armalite receiver as the Henry barrel is too large to fit into the receiver.

The base is black aluminum and is moulded into the barrel. The sight is black. The blade is 5/64" thick and 3/16" high. The dovetail is 5/16" not the more common 3/8".

The rear sight is a black metal strip with a rectangular hole in centre. The sight attaches to the receiver with a screw through the rectangular hole and can be adjusted for elevation by loosening the screw and sliding the sight up or down. The sight has one aperture 3/32" in diameter. The hole that mounting screw goes through goes completely through the back of the receiver which permits bore sighting of optics.

The Receiver is aluminum with a black finish. The finish is smooth a slightly shiny. The receiver has the Armalite logo on the right side and is marked AR-7 Explorer Costa Mesa Calif USA Patents Pending. The serial number is on the trigger guard. There is an arrow pointing to the rear with the word SAFE which indicates the direction to apply the safety. On the left side there are no markings. The receiver does not have a rail on top.

The receiver with all parts removed except for the safety weighs 145 grams (5.11 oz) and the side plate weighs 28 grams (0.99 oz). The side plate is held on the receiver with a screw.

The Armalite receiver will fit in the Charter Arms and Henry stocks but fits loosely and will wiggle around especially when on the Henry stock.

The Bolt is steel and is bare metal. It is 3 7/16" long and 7/8" in diameter. The cocking handle is steel and bare metal. The cocking handle slides in for storage and slides out for operation. The bolt weighs 156 grams (5.50 oz). The bolt has an ejector groove so the bolt can be removed without disassembling the rifle.

The Armalite and Charter Arms bolts appear to be interchangeable. The Armalite bolt will fit in the Charter Arms receiver and the Charter Arms bolt in the Armalite receiver and they will cycle manually but I did not test them with live ammunition.

The Henry bolt will not fit in the Armalite receiver.

The Action Springs are steel 4 5/16" long, 1/4" in diameter with 49 coils.

The Action Spring Guide is white plastic with two 1 1/2" long arms that the Action Springs slide on to. There is no cut out in the guide but it does have a hole in the centre.

The Trigger has the same profile as the Charter Arms and Henry triggers.

The Hammer has the same profile as the Charter Arms hammer but is different than the Henry hammer. The Armalite hammer has an additional hole in it. Not sure what its purpose is.

The Magazine Release is the same in all three rifles.

The Ejector has the same profile as the Charter Arms and Henry ejector and it is made of steel.

The Stock is plastic and is primarily brown and black with some green and red in a swirl pattern. The butt cap is black. The stock is smooth and shiny. The seam between the stock halves is barely visible and can't be felt when you rub your finger across it. The grip cap is a separate piece of the same swirl coloured plastic. The joint is very clean and smooth.

The butt cap is a softer more flexible plastic. The butt cap has Armalite Costa Mesa Calif and AR-7 Explorer Patents Pending marked on it. There are numerous ridges running horizontally across it. The toe of the butt cap has ridges to assist with removing it from the stock.

Inside the butt is a brown plastic insert with cut outs for storing the receiver, the barrel and one magazines. The receiver cannot be stowed with a magazine in it. The cut outs are form fitting and the receiver and barrel do not rattle around. The cut out for the magazine is much larger than the magazine so it rattles around. There is one hole at the bottom of the cut out for the barrel and white styrofoam is visible. I have not float tested my Armalite rifle.

The Armalite butt cap will not fit on the Henry or the Charter Arms stock. It may be possible to force it onto the Charter Arms stock.

The Henry butt cap fits loosely and will not stay on the Armalite stock. The Charter Arms butt cap fits on the Armalite stock.
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Old 11-13-2021, 03:13 PM

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I just received a new Henry U.S. Survival Rifle. The inspection card received with it is dated September 2021. My other Henry rifle was purchased in March 2017.

Both are the current version which can be stowed with three magazines. The only difference in the rifles is the markings.

The 2017 rifle has the Model Number and Serial Number on the right side in white just above the magazine well. Bayonne New Jersey is marked on the left side near the top of the receiver and Henry Repeating Arms above the trigger guard.

The 2021 rifle has the Model Number, Serial Number and Rice Lake WI on the right side in white above the magazine well. Henry Repeating Arms is marked on the left side above the trigger guard.

The 2017 rifle serial number is US133XXXB, the 2021 rifle is US247XXXB. Although I have no documentation to prove it from what I have seen B indicates rifles with black finishes, C camouflage and S silver. The rifle is now offered with two different camouflage finishes but I don't know if this changes the letter used in the serial number.

The difference in serial numbers is approximately 144,000. I wonder if this difference actually represents the number of rifles produced and if this only represents rifles with a black finish or includes all finishes.
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Old 11-14-2021, 12:48 AM

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The following details are just observations from information I have found on various forums and photos from various forums and auction sites. Some sites refer to differences in rifles as generations and some as production runs. I think the term generation indicates some form of mechanical change whereas a production run would be mechanically the same but may have variations in finish, colour, etc. However, I will refer to everything as generation. Where I have put lowest and highest serial number this indicates the lowest and highest serial number I have found and not the lowest and highest serial number used by the manufacturer.

Armalite - Produced 1959 to 1973
Armalite AR-7 Explorer - Generation 1
Rifles came with a brown stock. Serial numbers were stamped on the right side of the receiver just above the trigger guard. When the stock is attached it covers the serial number. Serial number lowest 50125, highest 56809.

Armalite AR-7 Explorer - Generation 2
Rifles came with the brown, black, green and red swirled pattern stock made of Cycloc plastic. Serial numbers were stamped on the right side of the receiver on the trigger guard near the magazine. Serial number lowest 67745, highest 100829

1962 ad lists the price as $49.95. 1968 ad lists the price as $49.95 and available with custom walnut stock for $64.50.

Charter Arms Produced 1973 to 1990
Charter Arms AR-7 Explorer
Serial numbers lowest A44919, highest A299948.
One serial without the letter prefix, 286386 or 28638G
Two with a silver/grey finish. Serial numbers A267840 and A268574.
One photo showed a receiver with Charter Arms logo and the serial number on the trigger guard. Serial number A47692 was marked with Bridgeport Conn. Most rifles are marked Stratford Conn.
One site reported that rifles with Armalite markings on the receiver were sold in Charter Arms packaging when Charter Arms originally purchased the rights to the firearm.
Stock made of Cycloc plastic. Receiver finish is semi gloss black textured enamel. Blued steel internal parts. Bolt and charging handle are cadmium plated. Steel lined aluminum barrel.

One photo shows a rifle with Charter Arms logo on the receiver but package in a box marked Western Arms AR-7 Explorer Carbine. These are apparently rifles modified into prop guns that function with 5mm PFC caps. MG-Props website has several photos of one.

Survival Arms Inc Produced 1990 to 1997
Survival Arms Inc AR-7 Explorer
Manufactured in Cocoa Florida and Shelton, Conn
Manufactured three models. Model 9220AR7 black matte finish. Model 9220SAR7S silvertone finish. Model 9220CAR7C camouflage finish.
Barrel nut has a series of ridges around the circumference.
Serial numbers observed A308352 (Cocoa Florida marking), A306546, C323320 (Shelton Conn marking) and C327253.

March 1991 Dealer price $116.50, Retail price $150.00.

AR-7 Industries LLC Produced 1998 to 2004
Produced three models. The AR-7 Explorer a takedown rifle where the components could be stowed in the stock. The AR-7 Sporter which had a metal skeleton stock with pistol grip and an aluminum ventilated barrel shroud. The AR-7 Target which had a tubular stock with pistol grip and a bull barrel with cantilever Scope Mount.

The AR-7 Explorer Rifles had a knurled barrel nut and the receivers had a 3/8" groove for attaching scope rings.
Serial numbers C329730 and D series lowest D009002, highest D012958.

Henry Repeating Arms Produced 1997 to 2007 Brooklyn New York, 2007 to present Bayonne New Jersey, Present Rice Lake WI
Henry Repeating Arms U.S. Survival Rifle - Generation 1
Marked with Brooklyn New York. Marked Henry US Survival with the serial number on the right side of the receiver.
Black plastic stock with slightly rough texture. No grooves on the pistol grip. Stowage compartment is black plastic with storage space for one magazine. Receiver can be stowed with a magazine in it permitting a total of two magazines to be cartied. Barrel nut was knurled. Barrel has a wide extractor groove. Barrel has an indexing tab that fits into a cut out on the receiver. The portion of the barrel that fits into the receiver is round and does not have the recesses found on the Generation 2 barrels. Receiver has a 3/8" rail for attaching optics. These characteristics were observed on a rifle with serial number SU012411 (SU is not a typo, photos of rifle on bladeforum.com).
Serial numbers US60841 (black finish), US35605 (camo finish), US05636 (silver finish)

Henry Repeating Arms U.S. Survival Rifle - Generation 2
Stocks have the orange plastic inserts and can stow three magazines.
Marked with Bayonne New Jersey or Rice Lake WI
Teflon coated aluminum alloy receiver with 3/8" optical rail. Steel barrel covered in ABS plastic. Barrel nuts have eight shallow recesses around the circumference. Stock has grooves on the pistol grip for extra grip. The plastic insert in the stowage compartment is orange and can stow two magazines. The receiver can be stowed with a magazine in it permitted a total of three magazines to be carried. Receiver has a 3/8" rail for mounting optics.

Model H002B Black Finish. Serial numbers lowest US137715B, highest US189646B have Bayonne New Jersey marked on them. Serial numbers lowest US218598B, highest US247148B have Rice Lake WI marked on them.

Model H002C Camouflage Finish. Serial number lowest US004919C, highest US018429C.

Current MSRP $319.00 for black finish, $388.00 for camouflage finish.

Kenbo1, who works for Henry has reported that the magazine catch has been slightly changed which could affect magazine compatibility and does not recommend using other manufacturers parts in Henry rifles. See post 14.


Last edited by armycat; 11-14-2021 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 11-14-2021, 11:08 AM
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AWESOME!!! Thanks Cat! I am grateful beyond words.

Henry Arms doesn't even have a quarter of the information we have put on this thread. I know there isn't anything like it anywhere. I really hope that AR-7 owners will find this and get much use from it.
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Old 11-23-2021, 01:01 AM

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Interesting Bolt

This is a receiver manufactured by AR-7 Industries LLC. The bolt has been modified and the diameter has been reduced in front of and behind the section of the bolt that the extractor retaining pin goes through the bolt.

Not sure why this bolt was modified but I have read about bolts being milled to lighten them up so the rifle could be used with .22 long or .22 short ammo.
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