Customized Henry Survival / AR-7

by Woodsbum

A couple of years ago I decided that I wanted some sort of a take down rifle to store in my truck, take on hikes in a pack, or just have available so I had a very small form factor rifle to carry with me and put it together if the need arose. Several different models cropped up when I searched, but none really fit the mental “mold” I was looking to fill. Then I came across this rifle that disassembles and is carried in the actual stock of the rifle. It is the Henry Survival. This rifle is based upon the AR-7 that was used by US military pilots as a survival rifle.

Here are a few pictures of Henry’s production rifle:

Henry Survival AR-7

Henry Survival AR-7

Henry Survival AR-7

Henry Survival AR-7

As you can see, the rifle is very compact and is marketed as even being capable of floating. I personally have not tested this, but I have a friend who did. He said that it took on a little water, but it did float. As unscientific as this is, I only have this one personal account of someone testing the floating ability of this rifle and was not there to witness it. Henry does have a nice picture of one that is sitting on the edge of a stream with water beaded all over it as proof. I must remind you that this is sitting in a puddle and not floating, however.

“Floating” AR-7

There are a few things that I don’t like about the production Henry Survival AR-7. First off, the stock is horrible to hold and try to use. It is oversized and difficult to get a decent grip on to shoot a decent grouping. The receiver is not in perfect alignment with the stock and thus makes it even more awkward to try and properly hold the rifle. Secondly, the sights themselves are horrible. The rear sight is a “peep” that nothing more than a hole drilled in sheet metal and held to the rear of the receiver by a single screw. If you bump it or it gets wet the sights are then useless. This really doesn’t matter anyway because the barrel won’t hold “minute of beer can” at anything more than 20 feet. You shoot more of a pattern than a grouping. Everything combined makes for a really nice idea and lightweight “survival” rifles, but practicality makes it not much more than a gimmick. Needless to say, I was really disappointed with my $210 purchase.

At this point, I was hell bent on finding a way to make this a decent rifle that still fit the “mold” of what I originally desired. So, I broke down what was important to me: accurate, small footprint, able to be disassembled, simple construction, dependable. I reviewed what I had: inaccurate, “floats”, small form factor, able to be disassembled, simple construction, undependable. The two lists seemed to me as pivoting on two major design flaws: the barrel and the stock. This is the point where I went online and flexed my “Google-fu.”

I came across this website. seemed to have about everything I needed to fix my little Henry so I ordered a barrel and a stock. Here is a picture of all the parts and pieces that I had accumulated through the purchase of the rifle and upgrade. The barrel and stock on the assembled rifle at the top are what I purchased from

AR-7 Stuff

AR-7 Stuff

As you can see, the stock is collapsible and the barrel has a heat shield over it so I can actually hold the barrel without getting my little paw burned if the barrel gets hot. The hand grip is actually one from any AR platform, but has just been reamed out a little bit to fit over the mounting bracket attached to the new stock. The green cord is just a US military surplus M9 pistol lanyard that I had laying around. I did make a spacer with a hole drilled in it for attaching the lanyard so I would have a usable 1 point sling. Here is a parts list from and other online vendors:

Before I discuss the several other things I did to make this such a wonderful rifle, I would like to show you how small the disassembled footprint is and what it looks like all assembled. It will literally fit in a small Camelback pack and leave room for Clif bars, flask, toilet paper, and any other number of necessities.

AR-7 Disassembled

AR-7 Disassembled

AR-7 Assembled

AR-7 Assembled

The scope I chose was a cheap Barska 22 Plinker I got from Big 5 for $20 on sale. I really don’t need anything expensive or high speed because it is just a .22 and it is going to get beat up while bouncing around in backpacks. In all reality this scope has performed much better than I had anticipated and I have been very pleased with my $20 purchase. I honestly recommend this scope for anyone with a .22 if they can get it at a good price.

This is a picture of the spacer/mount point I had to make to attach the lanyard. There is a gap here by design from, which I don’t understand. It makes no sense as to why this gap was here, but I am glad that it was so I could make this little guy to attach my sling.

Homemade Spacer/Mount Point

Homemade Spacer/Mount Point

Homemade Spacer/Mount Point

Homemade Spacer/Mount Point

Last but not least, I will tell you about my issues with finding magazines that will work. The Henry 8 round magazines work perfectly fine and seldom stovepipe if you lube your action enough. Being overly motivated at times, I wanted some higher capacity magazines. This led me to purchase these from various manufacturers.

AR-7 Magazines

AR-7 Magazines

I am not going to give you the manufacturers because none will work properly out of the box. You will have to file, bend, cuss, test, re-test, cuss some more and eventually end up with a magazine that will work about 90% of the time without issue. I did find that mine are about 95% functioning since I poured a bunch of synthetic grease into them and keep the action of my rifle dripping with lube. It reminds me of how you have to treat an M249 to keep it functioning. In the picture you can see that all have been filed and bent a bit to allow proper bolt clearance. I am unsure as to why the manufacturers can’t ship magazines that actually work, but this is what you have to work with on this rifle. These 5 represent 3 different manufacturers as an interesting note. If you find some that just work without issue, please let me know.

As a final note, I love how this rifle turned out. It really ended up as a VERY accurate shooter that is comfortable to shoot, dependable, with the right magazines, and disassembles into an easy to carry form factor. If you decide that you are going to get one of these rifles, I suggest you add an additional $150 to your budget and get the aftermarket stock and barrel. It has turned this little guy into a tack driver that almost rivals the accuracy of my Ruger 10-22. The overall price is higher, but look at how much more tactic-cool the final product looks!

Seriously, I do highly recommend this setup.
  • Share on Tumblr

Across Canada with Lars Monsen – Complete

by Woodsbum

I ran across this complete documentary a little while ago. It really is worth the almost 3 hours to watch it. Just the scenery alone is awesome.

  • Share on Tumblr

Vortex Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24mm SFP Review

by GunGuy

Vortex has become known as a company that brings better than class performance for a great price. Their PST line is made in the Philippines, which is common and makes some great glass and optics for other companies too. The PST differs from the HD line in that they have illuminated reticles.

The 1-4 PST is just the ticket for a short to medium range optic. The glass is very good and just as importantly the eye relief is very forgiving. This scope offers more dialing than I think is needed on an optic of 4x, but that is all user preference. The MRAD reticle along with the MIL adjustments means that you can quickly dial if you choose to. For example if you call a 1 MIL wind with the scope at 4x you would just dial 10 .1 MIL adjustments on your windage dial. No complicated math that comes from using a MIL reticle with MOA adjustments. Also the adjustments are very easy to make, so its worth running a rubber band or electrical tape over the knobs to keep from accidentally adjusting them by rubbing them on gear.

An important note to mention is that as a Second Focus Plane scope the reticle is only ‘right’ at one power, usually the highest and on this scope it is at 4X. That means a 1 MIL read with the scope at 2x would actually be 2MIL.

I’ve used this scope for tactical carbine class with ranges from muzzle to 450 yards and it works amazingly. At these ranges I don’t see a big enough difference in glass that I feel the need to run a different optic. This is a great scope and Vortex is a good company that stands behind their products with great customer service. If you don’t like it and aren’t happy they will do whatever they can to make it right. Buy with confidence, highly recommended.

PWS Vortex Viper PST
PWS Vortex Viper PST

Vortex PST MOA Reticle

Vortex Viper PST 1-4x
  • Share on Tumblr

Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast – Great Book

by Woodsbum

One of my biggest weaknesses in bushcrafting has always been my ability to identify plants. Since my brother was an environmental sciences major, I had to hit him up for some help. His recommendation as a great start? This book:

Great Plant ID Book

Great Plant ID Book

Not only does this book have color pictures of each plant, but it also makes it easy to identify the plants. The only problem I have had was with breaking down the specific parts of the plant to help me find the right one. He is looking for another book to help get me up to speed on identifying the specific plant parts and structures so that I can more quickly find right page. When I get that one from him, I will add it for everyone. Until then, I definitely recommend this book and suggest you pick it up if you live in this area.
  • Share on Tumblr

Fish Antibiotics

by Woodsbum

Because of my previous medical training, I tend to try and take care of a lot of my own ailments whenever I can. Much of that ability has been stripped due to no longer being Active Duty (can’t write my own scripts anymore), but when I can find some sort of supplement or OTC combination that will fix my problems I don’t hesitate to make it work. I have now found an emergency solution to my lack of access. Enter fish antibiotics….

Now mind you that I AM NOT GIVING YOU MEDICAL ADVICE. I am just passing along information that peaked my attention.

This article was copied from another website, but is very well written. I have copied and pasted it from this link:

I have found a very interesting article on JWR’s Survival Blog. The article allegedly written by an emergency doc offers suggestions on using fish antibiotics as well as basic indications on which meds to use per ailment. This is the best such article I’ve read. Copied below for your enjoyment:

First, the disclaimers: Nothing in this article constitutes medical advice. It is for information purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease. Fish antibiotics are not for human consumption. Never take any medication that was not prescribed specifically for you by your physician. Hopefully, this information can help you be a more informed and involved patient. Short of a true post-SHTF scenario, I strongly advise you not to self-diagnose and treat. (Health care professionals are especially notorious for doing this.) I have seen significant harm come to many patients because of this. Recently, someone killed off their kidneys because they took cow doses of antibiotics. As long as doctors, nurses, and other providers exist, please use them! I say this not to drum up business (believe me, if anything I want less business in my emergency department), but rather for concern for the significant harm that I have seen happen to patients time and again.

I have just received my order of fish antibiotics. (For my fish, of course!) As a physician, I could easily hit up one of my colleagues to write me a prescription for any number of medicines. So, why order fish antibiotics from the internet? I live in a state with a medical board who likes to go on witch hunts for “non-therapeutic prescribing,” and I would not want to cause one of my co-workers to be the target of an investigation. (This is a common reason your physician might not be too willing to prescribe medications for your personal preparations.) Also, I was curious to see if they would come as advertised.

When the bottles arrived, I dug out my photographic drug reference and found that these are indeed the same pills that are given to humans, right down to the tablet color and markings. It makes business sense. It costs less for drug manufacturers to have one production line for each drug, rather than to build a separate process exclusively for veterinary medicines. These are the same generic antibiotics that can be found on many pharmacy formularies on the “4 dollar” list. They cost more to purchase as veterinary antibiotics, but are not prohibitively expensive. (Please remember SurvivalBlog advertisers when shopping around.)

After checking my order, I placed the bottles in airtight bags and put them in the fridge. The general consensus is that antibiotics will still retain most of their potency for years after their expiration date, especially if kept cool and dry. The notable exceptions are tetracycline antibiotics, including doxycycline. These can cause kidney damage if taken after their expiration dates.

The antibiotics I ordered were (US brand name in parentheses, if in common usage):
Amoxicillin (Amoxil)
Cephalexin (Keflex)
Metronidazole (Flagyl)
Clindamycin (Cleocin)
Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)

Judicious use of antibiotics

First, we must know when not to use antibiotics. When they become a precious commodity they will need to be used very wisely. Many of the patients I see in the adult emergency department, and most of the patients I see in the children’s Emergency Department for various types of infections do not need antibiotics.

There is also a growing and very real danger with antibiotic resistance. It is a very legitimate fear that we may use antibiotics to the point that they are no longer effective, at which point it will be just like it was in the pre-antibiotic age.

Also, antibiotics are not completely innocuous. They have the potential to cause harm. (All medicines do, including the “safe, natural” remedies.) Allergic reactions are common, and the only way to become allergic to a medication is to be exposed to it in the first place. Drug reactions are also very prevalent, and range from the annoying (e.g. rash, diarrhea), to the life-threatening (e.g. skin sloughing off in sheets, causing the equivalent of a bad total body burn.)

Most infections involving the nose, sinuses, throat, and respiratory tract are viral and will not respond to antibiotics. Even some presumptive bacterial infections like otitis media (the common middle ear infection) will usually do just fine without antibiotic usage. If you have one of the following, think twice before using your precious antibiotic supply:

Cold, cough, runny nose
Sinus pain or pressure
Bronchitis (coughing up phlegm)
Ear pain or pressure
Sore throat (there is debate about whether even strep throat needs antibiotics)

Obviously, this list is oversimplified. For example, a middle ear infection can spread to the bone around it and cause mastoiditis. The difference between a viral bronchitis (not requiring antibiotics) and a bacterial pneumonia (requiring antibiotics) can be difficult to distinguish. Doctors, lab tests, and x-rays frequently get this wrong. If symptoms persist for an extended period, or if you are getting worse, it may be more complicated than a simple viral infection.

When and how to use antibiotics

Which antibiotics to use is always a big subject of debate. A roomful of physicians will seldom agree on the proper treatment of any disease, much less antibiotic use. In fact, there is a medical specialty (Infectious Disease) in which physicians train for 5 years after medical school so they can run around the hospital and tell other physicians what antibiotics they can and cannot use.

If you are going to use antibiotics, remember some guidelines. (Again, for information purposes only.) Dosages are given in milligrams (mg). Pediatric doses are given in milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). All dosing notations here assume they are taken orally.

What follows is a list of common diseases and the antibiotics that treat them, limited to the list available above. Remember that there are many antibiotics, most of which are not listed here.

Pneumonia/bronchitis—doxycycline 100 mg twice a day for 7-10 days, erythromycin 500 mg every 6 hours, amoxicillin (more often used in children) 45 mg/kg two times a day for 10 days. Ciprofloxacin can be used in conjunction with another antibiotic, but it is not commonly considered a “respiratory drug.” Its sister drugs, levofloxacin and moxifloxacin, are, but are not available without a prescription.

Ear infection—adult: amoxicillin 500 mg 3 times a day for 7-10 days, children: amoxicillin 30 mg/kg 3 times a day for 7-10 days

Sinusitis—amoxicillin 500 mg 3 times a day for 10-14 days, doxycycline 100 mg twice a day for 7 days

Sore (strep) throat—amoxicillin 500 mg 3 times a day for 10 days (child 25 mg/kg two times a day for 10 days), clindamycin 450 mg three times a day for 10 days (child 10 mg/kg three times a day for 10 days)

Intra-abdominal infections (diverticulitis, etc)— ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day PLUS metronidazole 500 mg three times a day for 10 days

Infectious diarrhea—ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice daily for 5-7 days

Urinary infection—child-bearing age females without a fever who are not pregnant: trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole 160/180 mg two times a day for 3 days, ciprofloxacin 250 mg twice a day for 3 days; pregnant female: cephalexin 500 mg twice a day for 7 days, amoxicillin 500 mg three times a day for 7 days; other adults: ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day for 7-10 days; children: trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole 5 mg/kg twice daily for 7 days (this dosing is based on the trimethoprim portion, which is usually 160 mg per tablet)

Bacterial vaginosis—metronidazole 500 mg twice daily for 7 days, clindamycin 300 mg twice daily for 7 days

Skin infections— trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole 160/180 mg (child 5 mg/kg) two times a day AND cephalexin 500 mg (child 6.25 mg/kg) four times a day for 7-10 days, clindamycin 300 mg (child 10 mg/kg) four times a day for 7-10 days, doxycycline 100 mg twice a day for 7-10 days. (Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, aka MRSA, is a consideration in all skin infections nowadays.)

Not common household diseases, but possible biological weapons:

Plague (Yersinia pestis) post-exposure prevention—ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day for 7 days, doxycycline 100 mg twice a day for 7 days
Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) post-exposure prevention—ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day for 60 days, doxycycline 100 mg twice a day for 60 days

Caution! Do not cause harm to yourself or others.

Beware of allergies. If you are allergic to a medication avoid any drugs in its same family. Some of the families are related, such as penicillins and cephalosporins. Depending on where you read, there is a 2-10% cross-reactivity. However, as long as the reported reaction is not serious (e.g. a simple rash when someone takes penicillin), I will often give cephalosporins to penicillin allergic patients.

Antibiotic classes:

Please note that these lists are not comprehensive:
Penicillins (“-cillins”): amoxicillin, ampicillin, methicillin, dicloxacillin
Cephalosporins (“cef-”): cephalexin, cefaclor, cefuroxime, cefdinir, ceftriaxone, cefepime
Lincosamides: lincomycin, clindamycin
Fluoroquinolones (“-floxacins”): ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin
Sulfa drugs (this is a very broad category, and includes many non-antibiotics): trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, sulfasalazine, dapsone
Tetracyclines (“-cyclines”): tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline
Macrolides: erythromycin, azithromycin, clarithromycin

Not all antibiotics can be used across all patient populations. Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children deserve special consideration. Although some antibiotics should be avoided in certain patients, there is always a risk/benefit consideration. For example, if my pregnant wife developed a life-threatening pneumonia, and all I had was doxycycline, I would give it to her and accept the risk to the baby.

Avoid in pregnancy:
Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)

Avoid in children and breastfeeding women:
Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)

I recommend getting some good references, mostly in EMP-proof paper editions. These can often be picked up for free, as local physicians shed their bulky paper medical libraries in favor of putting everything on a portable smartphone or tablet. I picked up several copies of the Physicians’ Desk Reference this way. I think it is aptly named because it is the size of a desk. However, it sure is good fun to shoot with various pistol calibers to see how many pages they will penetrate. For a more portable version, I like the Tarascon Pharmacopoeia and the EMRA Antibiotic Guide. Many of the regimens listed in this article are referenced in these books.


Antibiotics Cephalexin – Fish Flex – Forte
Antibiotics Amoxicillin – Fish Mox – Forte
Antibiotics Penicillin – Fish Pen – Forte
Antibiotic Metronidazole – Fish Zole
Antibiotics Doxycycline – Fish Doxy

The article can be found at Worth printing and keeping as reference. ***************************************************************************

Now I am not saying that everyone should run out and start treating themselves with these medications. I am saying that this is a great reference for emergency situations where you can pull this information for such things as Trivial Pursuit, don’t feel like Googling, or the sort. If you are not a medical professional, do not try this at home and say that I told you to. I did no such thing.
  • Share on Tumblr