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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read that Henry improved the AR-7 by adding a scope rail. But what else did they change? What is different about the stock? I know it is now made of ABS plastic instead of the original "plastic", but did they modifiy the externals or internals of the stock?

What is different about the barrel?

Anything else? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

And please don't get on a soapbox about there being better "survival" weapons out there. I'm buying a Henry US Survival Rifle because I think it's a neat concept, and I like Henry's.
 

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Compared to original, the stock is ABS instead of whatever kind of plastic they used to use and you can store the receiver with a magazine installed.

The warranty also got something of an upgrade :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The barrels used to be aluminum with a steel liner. Henry's are plastic with a steel liner.
Of all the improvements Henry made to the AR-7, this one seems to be a step backwards. Other than a reduction in weight for better "flotation", I can't see any valid reason for this change. Is the steel liner thick enough and the plastic stiff enough to prevent bending or warping of the barrel?

Did they make this change just to cut costs? If so, that was a bone-headed decision. Gun owners would always rather pay a bit more to get more durability.

That's my main beef with Henry's... the use of plastic where it wouldn't be prohibitively expensive to use metal instead.... Like on the H001 barrel band and front site band... that's just cheap for the sake of being cheap... and shouldn't be used. So why a plastic barrel on the AR-7 when the aluminum worked well for decades? Is there an engineering basis for this?
 

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What were those boneheads thinking? Why would anyone regress so much as to make gun parts out of plastic! Guess you'd have to ask Glock, Springfield, and a few others. I don't own one and have no use for one at this time, but I have fired one on several occasions and thought it was a nice little weapon for what it is designed to be. A Survival rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What were those boneheads thinking? Why would anyone regress so much as to make gun parts out of plastic! Guess you'd have to ask Glock, Springfield, and a few others.
Come on... you know what I meant. That was a cheap shot. Besides, the Glock receiver was never metal (although there are aftermarket aluminum receivers). It was polymer from the beginning, and designed for ease of manufacture and weight/cost savings. The AR-7 barrel was an aluminum encased steel liner from its 1959 inception. Now it's a polymer encased steel liner. Big difference.

So other than making it lighter from a backpacking viewpoint (how much lighter is probably negligible), why change the barrel design? I only see a downside for the change. Maybe the thermal expansion of the old design during extensive firing caused the aluminum/steel barrel to warp more than the new plastic/steel design? Doubtful. Or was it just to make it cheaper? :rolleyes: I would have easily paid the incremental dollars for an all metal barrel to be kept on the new Henry version. (yes.. I know I can buy aftermarket metal barrels, but it won't be camo like the rest of the Henry version I'm getting). This won't stop me from buying the gun. I just wish they'd left the metal barrel in the design.
 

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Survival rifle.

Not primary preferred rifle. A light weight rifle suitable for shooting food in a SURVIVAL situation.

Not fire firefights. Not zombies. Food.

Hopefully short term. I don't see where the material outside the liner is a big deal.
 

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I spent a career in the plastic business as a QE and Quality Manager.

I can say without a doubt that the worst 10/22 barrels ever sold were the BC "carbon fiber" which were polymer injection molded over a steel liner. Why? Because they could not hold zero on a high percentage of their barrels during temperature changes. Injecting a polymer causes stress lines (flow lines from the internal flow of plastic within the mold) to form in the material and these stress relieve with temperature change. This is why plastic parts warp when the get warm and then go back to shape as they cool. When this happens on a barrel it changes POI.

Not something you want to have happen in survival situation where there may be wide temp changes and your well being may depend on the sights directing the bullet to the same POI :eek:

I have handled a number of Glocks and have even shot a few but I have yet to see one with a plastic barrel so this comparison is very disengenerous.

The change to "ABS" may not even be a good thing. ABS can get very brittle with cold temps and can be badly effected with chemicals (like cleaning solvents) making them brittle over a period of time.

Having spent 29 years in that business (plastics) I can say for sure I would much prefer and aluminum barrel to a plastic barrel. Not knowing what the previous butt stock was made of I can not say for sure that the move to ABS was a good move or a bad move and I truly doubt anyone else here can or not. :rolleyes: :eek: :rolleyes:

I like the idea of a scope rail being added:bthumb: This little rifle has intrigued me since I was a kid but it has never been made well and I can not see that has changed. I had great hopes for the rifle when I heard Henry was making it but now I am disappointed again.:( :(
 

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i'm playing with plastic cannons at odd times here

i've a 4140 steel liner and a dodrin ( delrin relative but highly compressed in manufacture and is as tough as heck) tube

i'm only shooting off golfball sized wood balls with drill holes in them to make them whistle

but the charges are fair sized and i'm rather impressed with the plastics performance.

3/4" thickness of plastic is replacing 1/2" steel and weighing 1/2 of the oridginal

i am not sure about the current plastic barrels but would not be surprised to see very good quality barrels of such manufacture in the next few years

yes i am a traditionalist and yes it may sound strange from me, but you have to look to the future, and i've been looking for low knowledge and infrastructure/hi-tech manufacturing technologies for home gunsmithing for a long time and watching the developments

while they are still not on par ( IMHO) with quality barrels yet, i feel its not that far off

especially now they are playing with combining composites like carbon fibre with sandwiches of highly compressed duralon ( metalised nylon from my understanding) and similar materials over the liners
and one mob has fins on the liner to make the liner more rigid, dunno if it works yet..
and a $400 home made pressure cooker can create the same! ($400 if you buy everything)

its cheaper than a lathe to make barrels , way cheaper.

all you need then is to be able to make liners, another $600 - $1200 home build to make as good as bought ones.

jacks 2 cents

PS the day we are allowed semi autos a henry survival is one of three i'd buy

and make something similar to this

 

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Vincent.

Staw dog my man.

We are talking minute of rabbit, squirrel, possum or deer here.

Iron sights.

Meat.

Not competition. For what they are made to do, I think they are fine.

Keep it in perspective.
 

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usngunner.....being a Navy guy you may have seen the survival rifles the Navy used to issue. One was a wire stocked mini bolt action and the other was the AR6 Springfield .....both were in 22 Hornet and plenty accurate.

If your life is truly on the line you may not get many chances to feed your self. You want every advantage you can have, not the lowest comon denominator. If that was so why not go with a blow gun or sling shot? :D :eek:

Some people could feed themselves very well with either of those if there was game around. But what happens when the only bunny you have seen for a week is 125 yards away? You are sick from lack of food, dehydrated and shaky.

Why put up with a rifle that you are not sure where it is going to shoot? Go back to the choice the Navy and the Air Force made. They wanted their pilots to come back if possible and provided the with a REAL survival weapon.

Beyond that I will NEVER agree with a change to any gun that potenially makes them less accurate. The whole point of shooting is to hit the taget whether it be a square on paper or that life saving bunny.
 

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i'm playing with plastic cannons at odd times here

i've a 4140 steel liner and a dodrin ( delrin relative but highly compressed in manufacture and is as tough as heck) tube

i'm only shooting off golfball sized wood balls with drill holes in them to make them whistle

but the charges are fair sized and i'm rather impressed with the plastics performance.

3/4" thickness of plastic is replacing 1/2" steel and weighing 1/2 of the oridginal

i am not sure about the current plastic barrels but would not be surprised to see very good quality barrels of such manufacture in the next few years

yes i am a traditionalist and yes it may sound strange from me, but you have to look to the future, and i've been looking for low knowledge and infrastructure/hi-tech manufacturing technologies for home gunsmithing for a long time and watching the developments

while they are still not on par ( IMHO) with quality barrels yet, i feel its not that far off

especially now they are playing with combining composites like carbon fibre with sandwiches of highly compressed duralon ( metalised nylon from my understanding) and similar materials over the liners
and one mob has fins on the liner to make the liner more rigid, dunno if it works yet..
and a $400 home made pressure cooker can create the same! ($400 if you buy everything)

its cheaper than a lathe to make barrels , way cheaper.

all you need then is to be able to make liners, another $600 - $1200 home build to make as good as bought ones.

jacks 2 cents

PS the day we are allowed semi autos a henry survival is one of three i'd buy

and make something similar to this

I believe that is a Majestic Arms conversion and that makes a lot of sense to me.

I am not anti tech. If Henry had come out with a Carbon Fiber covered barrel I would be cheering. I have a Rem Mod 700 that I put in a Brown Precision fiberglass stock in 1977 or 78....one of their earliest stocks. Chet Brown and Lee Six pioneered this type of stock and I had mine for 4 years before I saw another non wood stock. It is not technology I do not like it is the cheapening of a gun just to make it cheaper and not better.
 

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M4 :bthumb:
Now THAT is a survival rifle. I wanted on of those so bad. I have always been a 22 Hornet nut since I saw this rifle and MILITARY 22 Hornet rounds for it in a Naval Aviator's survival gear at China Lake Naval Weapons test Center around 1965. I was 13 at the time. That is a rifle I would feel safe trusting my life to. I would still love to have one even though it is unlikely I will ever truly need a survival rifle as my boonie days are probably over.

These are kinda illegal to own as most of them have 14" barrels. There are a few in civilian hands and some of those have 16" barrel but most are SBR and were U.S. Property. I think they had the nick name Bronco but that may have been another small 22 Hornet bolt as there was more than one design.

For my own survival rifle I chose a Rossi copy of the 1906 Win. 16" barrel and take down in a floating case. It traveled many thousands of desert and mountain road and off road doing much exploring. In the case it was only 18" long (about the same as the AR7), held more ammo and was more accurate. I usually kept 200 round of HP, 200 round of solid nose and 100 CCI CB Longs with it
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Having spent 29 years in that business (plastics) I can say for sure I would much prefer and aluminum barrel to a plastic barrel.

I like the idea of a scope rail being added:bthumb: This little rifle has intrigued me since I was a kid but it has never been made well and I can not see that has changed. I had great hopes for the rifle when I heard Henry was making it but now I am disappointed again.:( :(
Thanks Vincent. That's all I was saying regarding the new barrel design. If it ain't broke, why change it.
1. The gun already had a metal barrel.
2. The only obvious reason to change it was to merely reduce costs
3. Most gun owners would have been willing to pay the higher costs to keep the metal barrel.

That being said, I have already ordered the Henry camo version and I'm sure I will enjoy it. I won't be "surviving" with the gun. I just like the novelty of it. I'll shoot it a few times and then put it in the back of the safe with all the other guns that I had a hankering for. I would have just preferred that it have the original barrel. I now know what the differences are between the old and new versions. Thread over. Thanks for all your input. :)

By the way... I own a lot of plastic guns too. Like Vincent said... their barrels aren't plastic shrouded.
 

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3. Most gun owners would have been willing to pay the higher costs to keep the metal barrel.
You know I have to disagree with you there. I do NOT believe "Most gun owners" would be willing to spend more. Some would, but most would not.

Review the posts here and see how many folks use the less expensive bulk ammo vs premium ammo. How many folks use "inexpensive" scopes vs premium scopes. How many buy the Henry H001 vs the Marlin 39A or Browning BL22.

No I think cost is a MAJOR factor in the gun buyers' decision making process.

People seem to prefer to pay less knowing they are probably getting less quality (please note I think Henry makes an excellent product of the highest quality, an exception to the rule!). Look at how much junk is being sold that is made in China. We all know most of that stuff is crap but it still sells like crazy.

I agree that quality IS usually worth the extra price! However I think we are in the minority and manufacturers will cater to the majority.

I applaud Henry for keeping their business in the US and probably paying higher wages than off shore manufacturers. Knowing Henry's overhead is very likely much higher than a lot of companies they still manage to produce a fine product and back it 100%. If this means using plastic in a few parts I'm OK with that. And these plastic parts do not seem to have a history of failure.
 

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I agree that quality IS usually worth the extra price! However I think we are in the minority and manufacturers will cater to the majority.
I'm no expert on the AR-7 platform, but by all accounts Henry puts out a good product and stands behind it. I sometimes wonder if the customer service stories that get posted on so many forums are a result of a very bored warranty repair department at the Henry facility.
How many Henry AR-7 owners have posted here with horror stories of melting barrel plastic? It seems that the majority of AR-7 owners use their rifles as a plinking/range toy, or a light backpacking/camping alternative to a full-sized rimfire rifle. Anyone expecting match-grade pinpoint accuracy will probably be a bit disappointed, but that wasn't the original design anyway.

Now, I do understand that the AR-7 barrel simply screws on to the receiver, and that aftermarket barrels have been made/sold. If Henry offered an upscale AR-7 option package or upgrade, with a better barrel for a bit more, I'm sure it would sell well, much like the Golden Boy or Octagon models do against the plain-Jane H001.

A casual search turned up aftermarket barrels going for between $50 and $90 ... I don't know anything about the company selling them, but it looks like there are drop-in replacement parts, in case the plastic-shrouded barrel fails.

Are the aftermarket barrels any good, or worth the trouble?
 
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