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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever owned a Charter Arms Explorer? I picked up one today that intrigued me, never having seen one before. It is similar to what is in this auction. A long magazine goes in front of the trigger guard for two handed grip. A spare, short magazine sits in the handle. It reminds me a lot of the Broomhandle Mauser. I am now looking for a manual. What are your experiences with them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the link. Yes, it is in shootable condition. My understanding is that the Explorer ceased production in about 1986. There is some wear on the handle, as to be expected. The finish is almost perfect. It was part of a collection and was well cared for. From what I have seen, I got a decent price for the condition.
 

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I have always liked the broomstick mauser and remember as a kid seeing the explorer advertised in the back of magazines. I think it makes a great addition to any collection of American rimfire weapons...good find!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I saw that page when doing some searching this evening. The 25 round mag is cool, but I have not found any online. I think the $125 price must be from the AWB period and high priced pre-ban mags (since the Explorer was discontinued in 1986). Either that, or from rarity. That mag is about what I paid for the pistol itself.
 

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Sorry to be so honest...The Charter arms series rate 1 point above JUNK!
They are a little better than having stick...They are not accurate, they are alloy and soft at that and they won't retain finish if they are used very much.
Threads strip pretty easy too. Feeding problems are common...I know cause i've worked on too many of them trying to make em usable!Suggested retail was 109 bucks...I wouldn't pay 50 for one...:eek:
 

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Hey Mooseman, pretty harsh judgement. I purchased a Charter Arms Explorer in 1980. I have shot it fairly regularly and it is still in great condition. It has proved to be an accurate gun over the years. The gun was originally advertised as a backpacking, trail, camp gun. It was supposed to be pretty weather resistent and therefore the unique make up of the metals. Charter Arms made a rifle version of this which I believe stowed all of the mechanism in the hollow stock. Anyways, I have bought a number of guns since purchasing the Explorer and I still shoot it. I do think that it is an interesting gun to own, not a lot of guns around like it. Question, do you own or have you shot one of these?
 

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I have one and I have to roughly agree with Moose on this one. Mine is not very reliable. I have eight round mags and one fifteen round mag and I have never been able to shoot any of them without jamming. Although I will say the rifle was accurate when it did shoot. I would not stake my life on one, but on the other side of the coin I have never taken mine to a gunsmith to see if anything could be done.
 

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I've had my Charter Arms Explorer pistol since the mid 80's, think I paid around $120 for it. I also bought one of the 25-round RamLine plastic banana clips a few months after I bought the pistol (for $50, iirc). The pistol itself is OK, nothing great, and as Moose said, it's not the most accurate, but it's lightweight and relatively easy to work on, provided you're gentle with the aluminum. It does tend to jam, although now I'm reading that can be fixed by chamfering the receiving edge of the chamber very, very slightly.

Unfortunately, I lost the original 8-round metal clip in 1992, and haven't really used the pistol much since then. The RamLine clip was a total waste of $50 - the plastic feed throat split slightly a few years after I bought it, and that caused the throat of the clip to expand just enough that it won't hold the cartridges. They spray right out as soon as I take my thumb off the top round. Junk! I can still load 1 or 2 rounds in the RamLine and sometimes they'll both cycle through, but usually it jams. OK, I confess - when I bought that banana clip in 1986, I was 16 and thought it made the little gun look tough. This was back in the days when Rambo was king... ;)

Just tonight I was thinking about that pistol and started researching it on the Internet and found this forum. I've also found a few websites that claim to sell clips for the AR-7 series that are supposed to fit Armalite, Charter, Henry and any other AR-7s. Guess I'll buy one or two and see if they really work or if they're as junky as the Ramline.
 

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when one of my brothers had his FFL, they were $60. a few of my friends and I bought one each. as Moose said, 1 step above junk. fun when they would go thru a 25 rd. mag without jamming, when they got dirty you had a 3 shot burst. they do look cool with a banana clip but I wouldn't want to trust one with my life.
 

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The current iteration of the AR7, the Henry Survival RIfle, is supposed to be much improved over the old Charter version. But Henry does not make the pistol version - YET.
My shooting buddy has both the Charter rifle and pistol - they work okay with plated HV ammo. Accuracy is so-so - about what I expect from a knock-down gun. There are better guns to carry for survival/backpacking - the Marlin Papoose, the Ruger 10-22 with folding stock and barrel. I'd stick to my SW Mod17 revolver for survival small game hunting.......
 

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The rarest aftermarket AR-7 kit is the Tommy Gun Kit. The parts are made of wood and if memory serves there was a fake Cutts Compensator that locks into the front sight somehow. They go for $500 or more on the occasions they turn up.
 

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Don't adjust the trigger pull

I bought two of the Explorers when they first came out. I, too, had a FFL friend so I only paid around $60 each for them. I shot one and, when I got back home, decided I'd try to adjust the trigger pull. I was young back then too, so when the parts literally exploded out of the gun, I just put them back in the box and put them away. I found both of them last weekend at the back on my closet. I guess I'll try to find an 'exploded' view and put it back together. I do remember it was fun to shoot, though not very accurate.
 

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Unfortunately, I lost the original 8-round metal clip in 1992, and haven't really used the pistol much since then.
Sportsman's Guide has original AR-7 eight round magazines for about $10 each. At that price, pick up half a dozen of them and get yourself in some plinking.
 

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I have one and I have to roughly agree with Moose on this one. Mine is not very reliable. I have eight round mags and one fifteen round mag and I have never been able to shoot any of them without jamming. Although I will say the rifle was accurate when it did shoot. I would not stake my life on one, but on the other side of the coin I have never taken mine to a gunsmith to see if anything could be done.
To Roy, and others that have problems with their AR-7's feeding properly.....GO HERE!! AR-7 ammunition jam fix - THR

I posted this to help others with the same issue. It is a link to a thread showing what you can do to check, and most likely get rid of any feed problems.

I bought this Charter Arms version when I was about 18. It was a birthday gift for my father. He has since passed away, and I am now 41. We did this modification not long after we got the gun and it has worked like a charm ever since, feeding it any regular, high velocity, or hyper velocity LR ammunition we had available. Obviously, shorts, CB longs, and other subsonic ammo simply does not have the power to cycle the action properly, regardless of other issues, but then, most folks already know this.

DON'T THROW OUT YOUR AR-7'S UNTIL YOU TRY THIS!

Let me know how it goes and HAPPY SHOOTING!
 

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BTW, this is my chosen .22 rifle for camping and hiking now that it is wholly, and reliably functional, and very accurate, to boot.

I still plan on getting a 10/22, as I simply love them. But for the lightweight, compactness, and ability to FLOAT, regardless of them being assembled or not, makes this particular Charter Arms AR-7 a definite keeper in my mind!

This is one of three .22 rifles I currently own. The others are a Magtech 102-2T bolt action and an old Glenfield (unknown model #) that my father used to own as well.
 
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