A recent trip to my friends at Silverado Arms during the current Covid-19 Pandemic produced this U.S. Survival Kit and Rifle. The gun counter was low on ammunition and firearms which proved to me and many others these days a gun in hand is better than wishing you had one in an emergency situation. That is exactly the purpose of this well planned kit. It is there when you need it most and is small and out of the way.
Henry Arms has put together a survival kit that is perfect for uncertain times like we are currently experiencing. It is not just a small generic sardine can with a matches and water purifying pills others like to peddle that are all made in China. This is a well thought out kit that is entirely made in the U.S.A. Well done!
Before I get into the accessories of the U.S. Survival Kit let’s take a quick look at what is the little slugger contained in the Allen Takedown Gun Case. It is a U.S. Survival Henry Arms AR-7 Takedown Survival Rifle. Yes it breaks down small and all of the components fit inside of the stock itself. That makes for a quite handy package.
The whole kit is housed in the Henry U.S. Survival Case made by Allen. The contents of the kit includes:
Buck Rival Folding Knife
Mylar Vacuum Sealed Space Blanket
ESEE Fire Steel
Life Straw Water purifying filter
Datrex Food Bar
Henry Arms U.S. Survival AR-7 Takedown Rifle
First let’s take a look at the para-cord. This 550 LB. test para-cord is made by a certified U.S. Government contractor. There is 100 feet of the Mil-C-504H Type III Camo Green 483 Para-cord. That handy cordage has become the go-to for survivalists, preppers and outdoorsmen due to the many uses one can find using the para-cord as a whole or separating the smaller inner cords from the outer sheath. I could probably write a book on para-cord uses but I will leave that research up to you instead. Needless to say good strong cordage, preferably para-cord, is quite handy in any survival situation one might encounter.
Water is of utmost importance even over food. The Aquamira Frontier Straw Water Filter will purify 30 gallons of water. No need to slow down to boil water or filter it through a system. This water filtration straw will keep you on the move or allow you to hunker down through a storm or await help. It is so small and light no survival kit should be without one.
Datrex Food Bars are highly concentrated food bars that are vacuum bagged in a specially designed polymer-foil package. They are certified to stay fresh for a minimum of five years. The package contained in the kit has 4 individually wrapped bars. Each bar has 250 calories and all of them combined is 1000 calories. Use this bar to augment your wild edible and game consumption if needed or as a high energy snack. I tried the bars and found them to be light, crumbly in texture like a cookie is. They are also tasty with a hint of coconut. Also I noticed they do not induce thirst unlike many trail foods on the market. These emergency rations also will fill you up quick so a little goes a long way. This is another fine addition to a survival kit.
This survival blanket is 84”x 56” in size. The insulating Mylar material will reflect 90% of the body heat back in and is waterproof and windproof. Here is a small bundle of insurance that will protect you from cold, wet and harsh weather.
Let there be fire! That is exactly the case with the ESEE Knives Fire Steel. It is contained in it’s own tin container with all necessary instructions and helpful tips. The tin can be used as a container or to make your own charcloth. Use the ESEE Fire Steel as a flint & steel sparker, bow drill socket or a ferro stick striker. Practice with this fire maker before you carry it to have maximum knowledge of what works best for you in your environment and your abilities. Testing out with charcloth and a piece of flint the ESEE Fire Steel will certainly give you the sparks you need. When used with a conventional ferro rod the spark output is close to that of an arc welder. I am thoroughly impressed with this fine piece of machined 1095 carbon steel.
The shaving sharp Buck Rival Folding Lock Back Knife with the Henry brand on the blade is another necessary addition to this complete survival kit. This one hand opening blade is ready for any game that needs to be cleaned or cutting chores around your survival camp.
The black plastic handle sports a belt clip so you can have this sturdy knife ready on you or your gear. You won’t lose this knife with that feature.
A tourniquet is often an overlooked item for a survival kit. The supplied SWAT-T Stretch-Wrap-And-Tuck Tourniquet can be used as a tourniquet or a pressure dressing. Read the instructions before use to be ready for the time you may need it for you or a companion.
Well it’s time to test the biggest part of the Henry Arms U.S. Survival Kit. That namely is the Henry Arms AR-7 Takedown Rifle. With 2 supplied 8 round magazines this .22 long rifle cartridge survival gun puts out fast semi-automatic fire for use on small game. In a pinch those quick shots can help protect your life too with accurate placement on larger threats. Remember, shot placement is everything especially when each shot counts.
The Henry Arms U.S. Survival AR-7 Rifle (Model H002BSGB) weighs in at a light 3.5 lbs. and when assembled is 35″ in length. When stowed away in it’s own stock it is now only 16.75″ in length. Firing from a 16.125″ length barrel this .22 long rifle only carbine has a 1:16 rifled steel barrel covered with coated ABS plastic. That dramatically cuts down on overall weight. The ABS plastic stock capped with a rubber buttpad has plenty of room for the receiver, barrel and a total of 3 magazines (2 supplied).
For sights the rear sight is a peep sight and the front sight is a high visibility orange blade. The rear sights can be switched by just one slotted screw whether you want a wider aperture or a smaller aperture. I chose the smaller for testing. Rather have a scope? Mount one to the 3/8″ grooved receiver.
For the actual range test of this handy little .22 rifle I decided on realistic uses over the more conventional rifle testing using a bench rest and a solid rest. Remember this little survival gun is meant to be a walking gun taking pot shots at edible game. The only rest you might find is a handy tree but most shots will be offhand. I fired the rifle for function and fast paced game getting output but still with enough pause for acceptable accuracy (just like you would do while hunting). Three different .22 long rifle cartridges were tested that are easy to find even now on store shelves.
The first 8 shots at a somewhat quick pace at 15 yards away standing offhand were CCI 40 Grain Copper Plated Round Nose Mini-Mag .22 Long Rifle cartridges. They clustered nicely with my less than perfect shooting but plenty good for any small game. The lightweight rifle is easy to carry but makes for an interesting hold when trying to stay on target and not wander. It certainly is not a traditional rifle with weight but it’s not supposed to be that anyway. More practice will certainly tighten that group way down and from a solid rest quite a bit better also.
Firing the Federal Game-Shok 40 Grain Copper Plated Solid .22 Long Rifle cartridges opened the group much more. From the 8 shots on target I had more than a few that sounded weak in report. Still the AR-7 rifle ate those cartridges up with no problems.
What about bulk pack Federal 36 Grain Hollow Point .22 Long Rifle cartridges? Once again the cheaper Federal .22 ammunition had some cartridges that had quieter reports. Accuracy suffered again. On the plus though the rifle functioned flawless even with these economy bulk packed cartridges. I foresee a harvested rabbit with any of the above in a survival situation. As with any ammunition quality cartridges will generally give much better accuracy and power. The CCI Mini-Mags spoke the loudest and the most accurate during the testing.
Quick fire function testing targeted a used plastic lemon juice bottle. That small yellow target spent more time in the air than on the ground. It was thoroughly perforated and every shot I fired through the Henry Arms AR-7 Rifle was drama free with zero issues. I would carry this fine little survival gun anywhere in the wilds and have 110% assurance it will do it’s job well just like it did during range testing. Did I mention this little .22 is also an absolute blast to plink with? Just make sure not to shoot through all of your emergency ammunition. It certainly would be all too easy with this pleasantly light trigger pull and fast self loading action.