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AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

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BMCTED
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AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by BMCTED » Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:26 pm

AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Since it’s release by Armalite in 1959 the AR-7 rifle has been built by five manufacturers in the US and one in Argentina (Sistema de Armas .22LR Fire di Brenta). Two companies, Hy Hunter and Majestic Arms have purchased AR-7’s from manufacturers, modified them, and sold them to the public. The Israeli government bought some, modified them, and put them into the cockpits of fighter jets as survival rifles for their pilots.

AR-7 Rifle Time Line:

1952: Armalite is founded in a small shop in Hollywood, California by George Sullivan (patent counsel for Lockheed Corporation, and funded by Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation) and begins design and development of small, lightweight survival rifles for the US Air force.
1954: On October 1, 1954, the company was incorporated as the Armalite Corporation, becoming a subdivision of Fairchild. Shortly thereafter, Sullivan meets Eugene Stoner and hires him as Armalite’s chief design engineer and the AR-5, a bolt-action, take-down survival rifle chambered in .22 Hornet, was soon released.
1956: The US Air Force adopts the AR-5 as the MA-1. Although only 12 are purchased, Armalite is now recognized as an important designer of lightweight firearms.
1958-1959: Armalite develops the prototype of the AR-7 Survival Rifle for the US Air Force.
1959: The US Air Force does not adopt the AR-7. Armalite begins producing the AR-7 for the civilian market
1973: Armalite sells the design to Charter Arms
1979-1980: Charter Arms develops the Explorer II pistol version
1988: Charter Arms gets new ownership, new name (CHARCO) and moves production to Ansonia, CT
1990: Charter Arms sells the AR-7 design to Survival Arms
1997: Survival Arms goes bankrupt, Henry Repeating Arms begins production of AR-7 rifles
1998: AR-7 Industries begins production of AR-7 rifles in Meriden, CT
2004: AR-7 Industries is purchased by Armalite and begins selling AR-7 parts on-line as AR-7.com
1997- present: Henry Repeating Arms continues to produce the AR-7

From 1959 to 1997 the AR-7 rifle remained basically unchanged and parts from all manufacturers could be interchanged without difficulty. This changed when Henry Repeating Arms began building AR-7 Survival rifles in 1997. Since that time HRA has made 4 major groups of changes that significantly impacted parts interchangeability. Now, not all parts will interchange into all variants, and, some parts for older versions are getting harder to find. That is the reason for the creation of this parts interchange.

NOTES. PLEASE READ:

In the 30+ years I’ve been dealing with AR-7’s, I have never had the opportunity to examine one from AR-7 Industries or from Sistema de Armas. If/When I finally do, I will update my information.

GENERATIONS:
Armalite AR-7’s. There were 2 series or generations of them. They were pretty much the same, but do have minor differences.

The early one had a Bakelite stock. The serial number was on the right side, toward the rear. When the stock was installed, it covered up the serial number.

The later generation had a cycloc plastic stock with kind of a swirl finish. The serial number is located in front of the trigger guard on the right side near the magazine.

Henry Repeating Arms AR-7’s. HRA began building AR-7 Survival Rifles in 1997. Although the basic design and many of the parts are still the same, over the years HRA has made a lot of significant changes to this rifle. The changes have three things in common: 1. HRA NEVER announces any of the changes they make. 2. Each generation of HRA AR-7 typically has 3 or more changes made to it. 3. Over the years HRA has built the AR-7 in 3 locations: Brooklyn, NY (Gen. 1); Bayonne, NJ (Gen 2); and Rice Lake, WI (Gens 3 & 4). It seems every time HRA relocates, they make a generational change to the AR-7. The Rice Lake location has seen 2 generational changes.

BOLTS:

Bolts from Armalite, Charter Arms and Survival Arms AR-7’s are interchangeable.
Bolts from all HRA AR-7’s are interchangeable.

BUT:

Armalite AR-7 bolts have a groove (ejector cut) machined into them which allow the bolt to be removed from the receiver without removing the side cover and disassembling the entire fire control group (FCG).
Bolts from Charter Arms do not have an ejector cut. Bolts from these rifles cannot be removed without removing the side cover and disassembling the FCG.
Bolts from Survival Arms AR-7’s have an ejector cut.
Bolts from the HRA 1st Generation AR-7’s do not have an ejector cut. Bolts from these rifles cannot be removed without removing the side cover and disassembling the FCG.
Bolts from HRA Gen 2, 3, 4 AR-7’s have ejector cuts.

Survival Arms AR7 Bolt ARROW ejector cut.jpg

The photo above is of a Survival Arms AR-7 Bolt. The arrows indicate the ejector cut.

Armalite AR-7 exploded parts diagram.jpg

KEY TO INTERCHANGE CHART BELOW

Armalite 1st Generation = ARM1
Armalite 2nd Generation = ARM2
CHARTER ARMS = CA
SURVIVAL ARMS = SA
HENRY REPEATING ARMS GEN 1 = HRA1
HENRY REPEATING ARMS GEN 2, 3, 4 = HRA2,3,4
FITS ALL VERSIONS = SAME

ALSO:

1. In the chart below, HRA # is the part number as shown in Henry Repeating Arms catalogues.

2. If you read “From ARM1 to HRA1 will interchange. HRA 2,3,4 will interchange.” this means parts from the first group will interchange and parts from the second group will interchange, but parts from the first group and second group are different and will NOT interchange.

3. “Some visible difference.” means the part may have a visible difference from the original part, but it will function as the old part did.

4. “Slight modification” means that after some modification the new part will function as the original part did.

AR-7 Parts Interchange Chart.jpg

PARTS AVAILABILITY

As the chart above shows, many of the parts for today’s Henry Repeating Arms AR-7 will fit rifles going back to the original Armalite AR-7 and are available from HRA at reasonable prices. There are notable exceptions. HRA no longer makes barrels, firing pins, receivers, magazines or original 2-magazine-stocks for it’s first generation AR-7’s. Fortunately, there are some suppliers, notably AR7.com, who stock these items.
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Last edited by BMCTED on Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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BMCTED
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Re: AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by BMCTED » Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:31 pm

The information in the post above was gathered with much help from Armycat, a young gentleman who posts on this forum.

If you see an error or something that requires updating or might have been overlooked, please let me know and I will make adjustments.

If you own an AR-7 rifle built by AR-7 Industries or Sistema de Armas, I would REALLY like to hear from you.
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BMCTED
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Re: AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by BMCTED » Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:33 am

Armalite AR-7 exploded parts diagram.jpg
Image
Last edited by BMCTED on Sat Jun 25, 2022 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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armycat
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Re: AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by armycat » Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:58 pm

Excellent post BMCTED. I have posted info about the AR-7 on several different sites. Wish I had done a better job consolidating my information before posting.

Reading these recent threads motivated me to take out my Bayonne U.S. Survival Rifle and blast of some rounds last night.
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Re: AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by BMCTED » Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:31 pm

armycat wrote:
Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:58 pm
Excellent post BMCTED. I have posted info about the AR-7 on several different sites. Wish I had done a better job consolidating my information before posting.

Reading these recent threads motivated me to take out my Bayonne U.S. Survival Rifle and blast of some rounds last night.
Well ... you did most of the work getting this info.

I wish I could figure out make to get the non-photo images larger. I've run them through MS Paint and resized them a million times.

Make sure you read it all carefully and make sure it's all correct.
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Re: AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by daytime dave » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:36 pm

This is very good information. I'll have to get my AR-7 out and see which version I have.

Thank you both for compiling this.
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armycat
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Re: AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by armycat » Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:44 pm

Attached are some photos showing the parts from a Henry U.S. Survival Rifle manufactured in Bayonne, New Jersey. This rifle has the model number and serial number marked in white on the receiver so this rifle is what I consider to be a Generation 3 Henry rifle.

Where numbers are shown on the photo the first number corresponds to the Part and Diagram number listed in the AR-7 Parts Interchange Chart provided by BMCTED in Post 1. The number in brackets corresponds to the HRA # listed in the AR-7 Parts Interchange Chart.

NOTE: This rifle has just over 6,000 rounds through it and is still running fine. All parts are original.
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armycat
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Re: AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by armycat » Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:28 am

The first number corresponds to the Part and Diagram number listed in the AR-7 Parts Interchange Chart in Post 1. The number in brackets corresponds to the HRA # listed in the AR-7 Parts Interchange Chart.
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Last edited by armycat on Sun Jul 03, 2022 5:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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armycat
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Re: AR-7 RIFLE PARTS INTERCHANGE

Post by armycat » Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:31 pm

Re-read BMCTEDs original post and will add a few additional remarks. There are many slight variations in parts used and over the years many owners may have swapped parts adding even more changes. It appears when Charter Arms started manufacturing rifles the used some left over Armalite parts. Other companies may have done the same. It becomes very difficult to make concrete determinations about what characteristics a particular rifle should have. Example - all Charter Arms rifles have black front sights. Not true, I have seen several with orange front sights which are likely sights that have been replaced with ones manufactured by Henry. What about bolts and cocking handles. All Charter Arms rifles have bare metal coloured bolts and cocking handles yet I have found some with black finish on them. Did Charter Arms manufacture bolts and cocking handles with a black finish or were these parts replaced!

Some Israeli pilot model AR-7s were reimported back into the U.S. but had to be modified to be brought back to the U.S. The Israeli rifles had a 13 inch steel barrel. A 3 inch flash hider was welded on. The flash hider has three holes at the 12 o'clock position so when viewed from the side it just appears to be part of the barrel. I believe the barrels and receivers had no manufacturer markings on them and the barrels were marked with Armalite and importer markings but cannot prove this.
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