US Survival From Henry Repeating Arms – Follow Up and Disassembly

The US Survival Rifle by Henry Repeating Arms

Scoping the Henry US Survival Rifle

Shooting the Scope Henry

Scoping the Henry US Survival Rifle – Part 2

MOLLE Butt-Stock Platform

I was flattered that our friend from Canada left a comment on my review on the US Survival Rifle from Henry Repeating Arms. Since I rarely see anything written on the disassembly of the AR7 replica, I took detailed pictures of the US Survival rifle to illustrate the internal mechanism of this rifle. However, I want to clarify that this gun is inexpensive, quality is moderate, and the parts aren’t prohibitively expensive. A parts list can be found here.

Consider this write up as a necessary follow up on the US Survival Rifle.

I mentioned in my initial review that I doubt a disassembled USS Henry rifle can float – I’m almost certain it will not. The butt stock cover warps easily and never had a positive seal on the lips of the stock. The warping isn’t necessarily a defect direct from the company, but as a result of direct sunlight no more than 20 minutes. A lose and unsecure cover was the result. The green electrical tape only keeps the stock cover securely attached. Without it, all the contents will fall out. Keep your stock covers out of the sun or prepare to use some electrical tape to keep it in place. The good news is that the electrical tape is serving its purpose longer than I had anticipated, three months.

Regarding the disassembly of the firearm, the heart of it is in the receiver. I suppose the difficulty level of a full disassembly is rather low, probably shy of building an AR15 lower with a lower parts kit. The tools you’ll need are: a flat head screwdriver, 2 brass punch sizes 3/32, 1/16, and a mallet. The brass punches and mallet are used to disassemble the firing pin and extractor. It is not necessary to take these out unless you’re super crazy about keeping your guns clean. Otherwise, all you’ll need is that flat head screwdriver.

One should start off by making sure that there aren’t any rounds of ammunition inside the barrel, or chamber before disassembly – it’s a good practice. Next use the flat head screwdriver to remove the receiver side plate. Be advised that the plate is under minor tension by a trigger spring. It shouldn’t jump out, but take precaution anyway.

Notice that my finger is keeping the contents from flying as I gently pry it open.

This isn’t overly complicated. The hole on the trigger is where it rocks from the pin on the receiver plate. The pin where the trigger and the trigger/hammer spring meet keeps the spring under tension.

The hammer and trigger group can be taken out at once. Lift the hammer up from it’s axis and pull it away from the bolt.

Once the hammer and trigger assembly clear the receiver, remove the magazine catch with caution. The tiny spring is very easy to lose.

Remove the ejector while noting the small pin.

If you wish to be thorough, the safety can be removed by pulling out the safety snap ring.

Flip the receiver and press against the bolt face while lifting the bolt handle to remove the bolt.

With the bolt removed, you can scrub away at the bolt face and clean the usual nooks and crannies.

To remove the extractor and firing pin, you’ll have to use the brass punches and mallet. The vertical rolling pin removes the extractor and the horizontal rolling pin removes the firing pin.

To put it back together, simply reverse the procedure.

The original AR7 and US Survival from Henry are similar, but if you study the parts guide, not all the parts match – notably the hammer pivot and pin on the receiver plate. I’m under the impression that the pin is actually attached to the receiver plate, but I could be wrong. The hammer pivot will certainly be a concern if you lose it – I don’t see it noted on their webpage. It doubt it will become a problem at all – just don’t lose it!

More notes on the US Survival Rifle

The rear sights on this rifle are rather annoying. The sheet of metal with two holes drilled into them do not have any markings on them so that I may keep track how high I’m elevating. The silly thing won’t even let me change windage considering that the rifle shoots a little to the left.

I was shooting at the bottom dot from 10 yards on a makeshift rest. I was using the larger aperture peep sight and the grouping is respectable. I got the elevation right after fiddling with the flathead screw and started to use the dot above the dime. I took eight shots with the sights squared at the dot. Most of the shots went left of the dot. I then squared the sight right of the dot one front sight blade away from the dot. The result was the expected outcome – on the dot. I haven’t found a solution to this problem. Sliding the front sight does little. I’ll have to either modify the current peep sights or make a new set.

I recently bought a BSA Deerhunter scope with a 2.5 magnification and 20mm objective. Along with the stock pouch I bought, I hope to create a pouch so that I may stow it away while the gun is collapsed. I just need to buy the scope rings and I should be set.

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31 Comments on “US Survival From Henry Repeating Arms – Follow Up and Disassembly”

  1. GunGeek
    October 16, 2007 at 8:28 pm #

    It’s been a bunch of years since I had an AR-7, but the stock on the one I had was filled with styrofoam (or something similar) everywhere except where the parts went. The manual said that it would float even if there wasn’t an airtight seal due to the flotation material inside the stock.

    Still wouldn’t want to test the theory.

  2. October 16, 2007 at 9:00 pm #

    I don’t blame you GunGeek. A gun’s worst enemy are politicians and rust.

    Does the barrel and frame still fit in your stock? Now you have me curious if I can get some of that insta-packaging to create the Styrofoam material… That’ll be something to do on a rainy day.

  3. GunGeek
    October 24, 2007 at 1:34 pm #

    I owned mine so long ago that you couldn’t even put the frame in the stock unless you took the magazine out first. I was glad to see that someone figured out it would only take a little more room to allow one to put the frame with magazine in as one unit and then you could still have a spare magazine. In fact, a lot of people cut out the insides enough to do that on the old models.

    If yours is just air inside the stock, I would think you could wrap the barrel and frame and magazine in plastic wrap (I’d build up multiple layers to make sure there was plenty of room) or use something to fill up the storage compartments and then use some expanding foam insulation to fill the innards. Put a couple of holes near where the parts go in to let the foam expand all the way out and you should be able to have it nice and full.

    Typing this is making me think that I remember hearing about people doing this to theirs. IIRC, the really early models were just hollow until the factory figured out that if everyone was filling the things up that they should just do it for them. Once they have the mold, they can make styrofoam inserts all day long easily enough.

    You know what? I’m going to go add one of these to my “Guns I want to buy” list. It was a whole lot of fun. Now, if they’d just make a 22WMR version…. after all, if you’re only going to have 16 rounds of ammo with you, it would certainly be worth the extra 3 ounces to have the additional oomph that the magnum will give you. Hmmm, I wonder what it would take to get a faster twist barrel and use the Aguila SSS rounds with it. From a survival standpoint, that might make almost as much sense. One magazine of SSS and one of Interceptors/Velocitors for the longer shots.

    I wonder if it would still float if you drilled some holes in it and put some tubes of 22LR ammo in there also? If the tubes were squishy (it’s early and my literary abilities are diminished) and snug, the ammo wouldn’t rattle around in them and you could just squeeze each round out. Or, make them 8 round tubes that you use to reload a whole magazine at a time and it wouldn’t matter.

    Sheesh, these things are just sitting there begging for someone to tinker with them.

  4. October 24, 2007 at 10:16 pm #

    It is primarily air inside the stock, so your idea about using foam insulation sounds fantastic! I’ll have to go see what my hardware store has.

    I was reviewing what has to offer. You should check it out, but I haven’t figured out how the larger barrel will fit inside the stock. I’m not quite ready to jump into that project yet, but it seems promising. Maybe if I come up with the money for the barrel. Hmm…

    I suppose during the molding process, you can take rigid tubing with rubber caps to store loose ammo inside the stock.

    Go get one already!

  5. woodhippy
    March 16, 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    Great article on the H.S.R., I find it very helpful being I took the side plate off mine a couple days ago and was unable to put it back together correctly. I had it feeding rounds in to the barrel but the firing pin was not contacting the rim of the round. I had a Leapers compact scope mounted on it for awhile, as I hate the sight aperature, but lost the portability of storing everything in the stock. The front sight on mine is loose, I can push it back and forth with little effort.
    I also have the Marlin Papoose survival type rifle, which offers greater accuracy, accepts high-cap mags, but it just stowes in a zippered bag. I keep this one in a cubby behind the rear seat in my SuperCrew with other gear.

  6. hyperion
    March 18, 2008 at 3:38 am #

    Hey Guys!

    I’ve also found the sights on this gun to be pretty crappy. Moving the front sight doesn’t seem to adjust that much, and as for elevation… The small piece of sheet metal doesn’t offer much in the way of adjustment.

    Any ideas on how to improve on the stock sights, short of just scoping it?


  7. March 18, 2008 at 4:43 am #

    You can try adding thinner, national match style, sights in the front. I don’t have the resources at the moment, but I’ve been looking at some simple dovetail sights for the front. I just need to measure it and buy – hoping that it’ll work. Many of the sights out there are likely prety thing. The peep sights at the rear you may attempt to open it up a bit – but you’ll have to be sure to keep that hole centered.

  8. aldebaran
    May 22, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    Hi there!
    I’m looking for info about this rifle, could you please send me your e-mail ?
    thank you

  9. aldebaran
    May 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    Sorry, found the link on the top of the page … I’ve sent you an e-mail

  10. bill
    May 23, 2008 at 11:07 am #

    I first purchased one of these in 1971, sending a friend a money order from the Republic of Vietnam.
    When I got home I immediately took it into the desert and fired it mercilessly.
    This had the REAL barrel with an aluminum outer and a steel barrel inner. It also had the FOAM inside the stock, NOT hollow plastic!
    I never misfired and was so accurate I was astonished.
    A friend had brought along a cardboard, full sized US Air Force recruitment poster.
    We shot at it a few times, then just for the heck of it I turned it on edge. Using the hood of his car for support, I fired one round at 75 feet and cut the posterboard in half!
    Now, I let that baby get away from me…in 1976
    Then I purchased another one in 1996.
    It was a totally different rifle.
    The outer barrel was plastic, and it never hit anything I aimed at.
    To make matters worse, it fired erratically, sometimes 1 round, somethimes 2 or three in a burst!
    Now you know that would get you put in prison today, for having an unlicensed automatic weapon!
    I gave it away.
    It was never the same weapon since it left “Charter Arms”.
    “Henry Repeating Arms”, has really BOTCHED the entire design of this fine weapon, and they should just sell it to someone else with some resemblence of intelligence!

  11. May 24, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    Thanks for stopping by Bill.

    Your experiences about the Charter vs Henry variations are plentiful and well regarded as true.

    However, I have yet to have a problem with this particular firearm bursting more than one round at a time. I certainly hope I never do. The plastic barrel seems to hold up just fine, though I do not have a steel barrel to compare it to. It does shoot where I point, though the small peeps sights are something I ought to open up a bit. The day I do, I will certainly write about it.

    I suppose most people find themselves finding that it’s a novelty weapon more than a survival weapon – that I would definitely agree one. The larger stock is actually starting to bother me and I really wish there were better options for the sights. Until I figure something out, I would agree with the majority that this rifle might be worth skipping. Not on the basis on it’s reliability (because mine feeds many rounds just fine – and does so accurately), but for the sake of platform flexibility. At this point, I don’t have expendable resources to create a folding stock – the effort is too much. That’s primarily where I’d end my rant on this rifle.

    Have you taken a look at the Marlin Papoose?

  12. May 24, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    BTW. I like the idea regarding sorting parties. I was looking through your MSN albums and brought up a lot of good ideas.

  13. Ryan
    September 16, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    I just picked up one of these rifles. It’s fairly accurate, but I’m having one MAJOR issue. Almost every round is a failure to eject, infact when the spent casing is pulled out of the chamber it is pushed to the left instead of kicked out to the right.

    I have sent an email to Henry, but I was just wondering if anybody had any suggestions for fixing this.


  14. Jedi
    October 19, 2008 at 2:14 am #

    Thanks for the images they helped a lot. Took my brand new AR-7 to the range ran 100 rounds and only 2 misfires. Came home and using the instructions tok it apart and cleaned it.

    However I think I know have a problem. When I put the AR-7 together at the range the barrel fit with the body and there was no resistance. Now when I connect the barrel to the body I get some resistance. In addition the bolt is 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch to the left of the far right rest area. It’s as if the boltface (the metal part that has the springs behind it) is too far to the right. In addition the bolt now won’t stay out but falls back in. It I take the barrel off the bolt works OK.

    Hav not tested this at the range yet but think something is wrong and don’t want to fie anything until I can get some confirmation of it. Can any please help.


  15. sweetpea
    December 29, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    Hey guys.. Thanks for the pictures. My Dad recently gave me his Armalite AR-7 Explorer he purchased in Germany around 1967 when he was in the Air Force. As far as I know this is one of the original AR-7’s. I don’t think it has been fired since the 70’s so the pics will be helpful when I clean it. The things discussed earlier in these notes such as the floating stock and the foam inside are the same. I’ve taken it down and closed the cap with no problems. Haven’t tested it in the water yet. As a woman, I’m looking forward to shooting this gun just for fun because of its size and weight, and for the sentimental value.

  16. Lou
    February 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    The pictures are exactly like my Henry but I was looking at the manual on the Henry site and they tell you that you can remove the bolt just by removing the charging handle. I can’t do that with mine. I have to do the break down like you did it. The ejector keeps my bolt from sliding out, unless I remove it like you did. I’m wondering if the receiver on the new Survival Rifles are different? What do you think?

    • February 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      Not that I recall. It’s possible seeing that it’s a bugger.

      • Lou
        February 15, 2011 at 6:51 am #

        What don’t you recall?

  17. Lou
    February 15, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    I Received an answer from Henry about the Survival Rifle below.

    Thank you for owning a Henry. Your gun was produced before that feature existed in this gun’s design. For the style that you own,the best option would be to spray Gunscrubber(or similar) into the action and let it run out.
    Best Regards,
    Thomas Kotz
    Customer Service Supervisor
    Export Manager
    Henry Repeating Arms Company

    • February 15, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      Awesome. Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, but it looks like you received the answer you needed.

      • Lou
        February 15, 2011 at 11:43 am #

        I wonder if anyone has pictures of the new receiver internals. I wonder what changed?

  18. Lou
    February 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Say, has anyone been able to improve the 5+ lb. trigger spring?

    Now that would really help accuracy.

  19. July 13, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    Thanks very much for this high-value post. It was a lifesaver when I couldn’t remember how to get my Charter Arms Explorer II re-assembled after a much-needed deep cleaning.

    Your post is credited in my own blog, and I thought you should know.

    The Daily Gunner


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