“Survival” Rifles

James Rummel posts about a survival rifle, a Browning .22 take-down. It’s pretty cool.

I’ve mentioned before about making a survival-style rifle out of a Ruger 10/22, but there are some purpose-built ones.

There is the AR-7, which is now being made by Henry Repeating Arms. Nice article here. Now, in my take on a “survival” rifle the intent was for the rifle to be the kit: the rifle is whole but the buttstock has a hole into which you can stuff things, then you could strap or wrap things around the rifle. The AR-7’s approach is for the rifle to break down into something very small, which you could then pack away into your backpack. Everything breaks down, without tools, and stores in the buttstock, which I understand to be waterproof and will float (tho I’ve read varying reports on this; maybe Henry’s resolved it in newer versions?). Accuracy and ammo feeding tend to be questionable, but this isn’t a match gun… it’s meant to help you get some food or maybe even be a last-ditch defensive weapon if you’re in a survival situation. Conceptually it’s appealing to me, but I’d have to really try one out before I could make a decision. Thankfully they’re not that expensive.

There’s the Springfield M6 Scout, (more here and here is a great entry). The appeal of this is that it can fire ammo like .22 Hornet or .410 shotshells. That has a lot of appeal because you could take birds or even larger game.

Marlin’s Papoose is another offering, and I read a lot of praise for it. It breaks down, the bolt holds open on the last shot (important on a rimfire so you don’t end up dry firing after firing your last shot if you weren’t counting your shots).

Each offering takes a similar approach, but also addresses different issues. Which is right all depends upon your needs.

Updated: A few days ago I was at McBrides and they had an AR-7 on a rack. I picked it up and whoa…. that stock is kinda crappy. Not so much on the holding to your shoulder part, but in terms of the lid, for storage. It felt cheap. I could easily flex it a tiny bit and make the cap “crack off” such that any moisture would come in. It also felt like one not-so-good whack and the stock would crack or otherwise break. I was not impressed.

What prompted me to updated this was seeing this article. I will say that it was extremely lightweight, was listed at $190 so it’s nothing to really cry over. And it certainly breaks down in a manner than none of the others do. It’s the sort of thing where the concept seems really good, but the deployment could still use some improvement.

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