08 November 2005

AR-7 Assembly / Disassembly without Schematic

In lieu of an inaugural blog post, I am providing an illustrated guide to the assembly of the AR-7. I am blogging because I tend to accumulate useful information unrelated to my profession throughout the day and don't remember or share a lot of it. What a waste!

A Google search yields little useful information to the guy who has disassembled his Armalite, Henry Repeating Arms, or Charter Arms AR-7, and can't get it back together. And this guy was missing the trigger axis pin and the mag catch spring because he did this on his second story porch, so don't do that.

So here's what you have to begin with; the mag catch and ejector have already been installed, that's a no-brainer. You can see the mag catch spring has been replaced with a sectioned pencil erasor, and the cotter pin (from True Value hardware) used to make a new trigger pin is pictured as well. The tolerances in this little .22 are pretty loose.

Next, install the hammer, spring and hammer pin. The long end of the pin goes into the receiver half. Make sure the ground down face of the hammer is flush with the bolt; it will go in either way.

To install the trigger, put the trigger pin into the receiver, tape down the hammer pin so it doesn't fly out (hold it down with your thumb, too) and use a dental pick to pull up the hammer spring.

Drop the hammer spring retaining pin (yes I am making up my own nomenclature) into the rear of the trigger, and let the spring fall into the grooves. Make sure the trigger is fully seated to install the left receiver cover. You'll need to use that dental pick to wiggle the hammer pin into position, through and into the hole in the receiver cover.

Function test: Bolt forward, safety won't engage. Bolt cycled, hammer cocked, safety will engage. Safety off, pull trigger, fire.

There is no real 'field strip,' because the ejector holds the bolt in, after the charging handle is removed. And to get the ejector out, you get into the fine mess you were in awhile ago. But there's still something really cool about this little rifle, so I won't be getting rid of it.


Sylum said...

This lil booger was a pain. Plus searching for the useful info to put it back together was, more than enough.

Thanks for providing this useful bit of help. My problem was the ejector. In your pics. You dont show it removed. Once I'd zooomed in and looked carefully ...it was found. Behind the magazine latch. Hideing, like a sliver of sheet metal it is.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I was all kind of confused.
it seems to be working now.

Anonymous said...

I was inspecting my AR-7 that I hadn't used for at least a year, and found that the bolt would pull back. I took off the side cover and found that the recoil springs had somehow gotten away from the two plastic guides. Now the springs are deformed, as well as the guides, and I can't get the buggers to line up so I can push in the bolt and re-assemble.

Is there a trick, special tool, or something?

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

If your springs have been kinked, I would pony up $13 and get some better-than-new Wolff replacements, here: http://www.gunsprings.com/RifleShotgun/Armalight_RsNF.html

Springs need to be replaced regularly anyway. And no, I don't see anyway to finagle them in there, much as you would a Walther P22's spring with the little plastic rod that you use during reassembly.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm more clever than I thought. Used a piece of dental floss. Ran it through the hole in the plastic spring guide, and ran the floss along the hammer slot and looped it over a piece of the bolt that was there. I pre-tied the floss to the right length before I put the spings in.

Once I had the springs and guide seated properly, I set the floss on the projection and it held. I slipped the bolt into the reciever, put in the bolt pin, and clipped the floss and pulled it out.

After that I followed the instructions here, and my AR-7 now seems to work fine. Haven't tested with live ammo yet, the wife frowns on shooting in the house, and the local police frown on discharging weapons inside the city limits.

Thanks for the link to where I can get another spring. I hope they carry a guide as well.


Anonymous said...

Need help. Long story short, don't know where to put part #8 (ejector) as showon on this link, http://ar7.imoutdoorshosting.com/store/page13.html. Please post on this blog.

Anonymous said...

See sylum's remark above. It's one of the first pieces in. Click on the middle picture for a blow-up.

Anonymous said...

Have one of these AR 7. After firing the hammer does not want to reset to the forward position and has to be helped. There does not seem to be any rough surfaces, and the trigger spring seems to have plenty of tension. Does anybody have any ideas?

Professor XomoX said...

Wow, you saved me so much time/headache. If you don't mind I'd like to mirror this post.

Chip47 said...

I have just spent quite some time tearing down and analyzing the workings of an early Armalite AR-7 which has spent the better part of 15 years collecting dust in the corner and not used. Good reason, as, it didn't work.

After tearing it down, several things became glaringly apparent. Tolerances were terrible, craftsmanship virtually non-existant and design characteristics questionable. I wondered whether it would be worth playing with, but in the interest of a good challenge, I elected to see what I could do with this collection of scrap alumnium and cast steel, afterall, I had spent good money purchasing the gun.

Reliable cycling, feeding and trigger reset were the three major malfunctions encountered, which rendered the weapon virtually useless.

My attention went first to the nylon recoil spring(s) follower and the problem addressed by anonymous(above), which I also encountered. I noted the kink in the sprngs and it would appear that in addition to being a cheap piece of molded nylon, the guide is too short allowing for what appears to me to be a design flaw. Perhaps not, but I spent about two hours fabricating a new one from mild steel slightly longer than the original, to where the guides meet the rear of the bolt, thus alleviating the kink. At the same time, I polished the bolt on a buffing wheel to enhance the soothness of the cycling operation. Speaking of these fixes independently, the gun loved it. I have no instruments with which to measure the cycle speed, but it did appear faster and felt smoother, thus noticeably improving, but not totally curing the feed problem.

With regard to the trigger reset issue. I felt that the mating surfaces between the trigger and hammer assembly were rough and I gently polished the trigger surface only. Caution should be used by anyone performing this task. Some Ar-7s have been reported to go full auto unintentionlly. Although polishing this part alone would not cause that to happen by itself, any such polishing of a trigger assembly in such a crude weapon runs that risk. The legal ramifications of that occurrance speaks for itself, but the safety of that weapon would become questionable under those circumstances and should be avoided at all cost including scrapping the entire gun.

Having completed those changes, I now have a marginally reliable semi-auto .22 which is more of a novlety than anything that I would want to depend upon in a survival siuation.

Jedi said...

I spent the better part of 3 hours trying to google for help and I finally found this site.


Pappy said...

Thank you so much, your a life saver. The girlfriend brought me her fathers ar-7 to get cleaned and it was a nightmare to get put back together, which makes sense as to why when i opened it, the hammer spring was installed wrong.

Your guide made it a lot easier to put it together correctly in hopes tomorrow it will shoot.

William said...

Thanks so much! I have a 1970's Armalite Explorer AR-7 that was just given to me by my dad. He kept it on his boat mostly. I was able to break it down, clean it and reassemble thanks to this handy guide. I'll let you know if this cleanup has helped with the reliability of this fun little rifle.

Anonymous said...

Thank ya much. I'm new to the gun-world and when my ar-7 fell apart during cleaning... this saved my ass

David W. Stanley said...

The best cure for all AR-7 problems is toss all that junk and buy the Henry model. I fire CCI Stingers in mine and have yet to have a feed or fire problem. I have to tape the butt stock cover on to keep it from falling off. Any suggestions?

Unknown said...

Years later, this is still super helpful info! My recoil spring guide broke and a piece of plastic lodged itself into the trigger group. Couldn't have gotten it back together without this. Thank you!