I recently came into possession of a Charter Arms AR-7 Survival Rifle. A neat if gimmicky little gun, the AR-7 is popular for the ability to disassemble it's major components, and store them in the butt-stock. According to reports, when the rifle is in this configuration, it floats.
Chambered in .22LR, the rifle is a great "toss it in the backpack" rifle. While it's accuracy is just OK, and its trigger is just sufficient, it's a perfect companion for the stranded woodsman who would rather eat ground squirrel than poisonous berries and die a painful Alexander Supertramp-like death.
When I received the rifle, all was in working order, but it was missing the (rather novel) collapsible charging-handle. $7.95 and a 3-day e-GunParts.com order later, I was back in business. However, pulling the bolt back slightly to insert the handle, i managed to jam up its internal components. I then discovered that there are NO good documents online to help you reassemble this tricky little rifle. Thats where this thread comes to life.
I give you, friends, the complete disassembled Charter Arms AR-7 rifle, and it's re-assembly.
Millions of plastic pieces, wrapped in cheap metal
First, lets take a look at the gun disassembled, and find out what its parts are all about.
From left to right, top to bottom:
- Floating Stock
- 16" Rifled Barrel
- Action Spring Guide
- Bolt Assembly w/Action Springs
- Receiver Sideplate Screw
- Charging Handle
- 8-rd Magazine
- .22 Caliber Receiver
- Magazine Latch
- Magazine Latch Spring
- Trigger support pin
- Trigger Pivot Pin
- Hammer Pivot Pin
- Hammer & Trigger Spring
Believe me, you won't want to take this gun apart very often. Take some Hoppes, some gun oil, a nylon brush, and a rag and go to town. I scrubbed it down good, and when reassembled (surprise surprise!) the action is much better.
Insert the Action Spring Guide into the Action Spring/Bolt assembly. Drop this through the receiver. I don't have an image of this, but I think it's self explanatory.
First step to success is installing the hammer assembly. This will make you hate every gun in a 9-mile radius, so let me give you the skinny:
- Insert the hammer "tall-end" towards the barrel, into the bolt. It can chill in here for a moment; leave the pin recess available.
- Slip the spring assembly around the pin recess, with the two 'legs' of the pins somewhere near the magazine well. This places the squared 'connector' piece closer to the trigger.
- Use a screwdriver or dental pick to slide the bottom of the hammer down. Wrap it behind the squared-connector part of the spring, and then push the legs closer to the trigger. The spring is now under tension; hold it or it will pop off and you'll spend 5 hilarious minutes searching the area near your workbench. Line up the "hole" in the hammer to the pin-hole, and inside the spring loop.
- Pop the hammer pivot pin through the entire assembly. You can breath a sigh of relief as the pin isnt going anywhere for now.
In comparison to the last section, the ejector is easy; pop it on the receiver's ejector pin, position it inside the bolt groove.
The trigger is pretty easy as well; place it over the receiver's trigger-pin hole, put the trigger-pin in to secure it. Make sure the rear 'leg' of the Trigger/Hammer spring is behind the trigger.
The tricky part here is holding the rear trigger spring up while inserting the trigger support pin; it has two grooves, one on each side, where the spring's "legs" rest. You'll need to insert the pin, pull up the pin and let it on the support, then move the front leg onto its support as well.
Next step is to secure the magazine latch and latch-spring. Its easy; place the latch on the pin, with the grooves inside the trigger guard. Place the spring in the little area to the right.
Here's a stupid design; if the trigger is pushed too far down with the safety off, it'll block the safety from engaging when the gun is reassembled. So, click the safety ON, move the trigger just above it, and get ready to put the sideplate back.
Sideplate & Screw
Place the sideplate on, taking care to slide it over the hammer pin. Screw it in.
The Other Side
Here's the other side of the receiver; not the safety is on to allow for the right trigger spacing. The charging handle is also extended. It collapses in so you can fit the receiver in the buttstock later.
Pop in the Mag
Pop the mag in to make sure the spring stayed in and the mag latch is working. Pull the charging handle. Remove the safety. Make sure its unloaded, and press the trigger to ensure everything functions as it should.
If you followed this guide correctly, your gun is now reassembled. Throw it in the bathtub (hey, it floats, remember?) and await the Aqua-Squirrel Invasion.