The Henry AR-7 is a survival rifle, not a personal flotation device. While the original ArmaLite models had foamed-filled stocks of Cycolac, the latest Henry U.S. Survival Rifle uses a hollow stock made of a more modern and durable plastic. In either case, the stock cap is not designed to provide an indefinite waterproof seal, so the stocks’ cavities eventually take on water, causing the gun to sink. How long will it stay afloat? With the rifle stored inside, the Henry lasted about two minutes—or six minutes with the gun assembled. Realistically, either amount would allow the survivor to recover the gun and get back to the critical task of securing meat for the pot.
Watch the video above by contributor Jeremiah Knupp, which supplements his American Rifleman feature story on the history of the AR-7 survival rifle.