The AR-7 Survival Rifle: A Prop in Film (James Bond, Matt Helm, Futureworld)PIC HEAVY

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Doppelganger01

Well-Known Member
Hello,

This in an "homage" thread to the use of the Armalite and Charter Arms AR-7 survival rifle, as well as the little known limited edition version, the T-62 "Civilian Defender" rifle, both of which had a multi-decade run as a favored weapon used as a versatile prop in scifi and spy films of the 60's and 70's. Here are three of my favorite uses from this era. Armalite was the first manufacturer of this gun beginning in the late 50's. Later, Charter Arms became the manufacturer. And now the gun is produced by the Henry Rifle Company. Each manufacturer made the gun with some minor design changes. In the case of my digital models, I used the Henry rifle as my primary reference, so the majority of the details are from the modern iteration of the gun. Since this is an homage thread and I am only covering just a few of this gun's use as a movie prop, please feel free to post your favorite films in which this gun was used too.

All images created with Rhino 5, T-Splines, and KeyShot 6 HD.

3rd Party Hosting restored.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricklross/albums/72157677536370221 AR7 STANDARD AND T62 DEFENDER

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricklross/albums/72157677261749952 MATT HELM 10 SECOND GUN

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricklross/albums/72157675601558943 DELOS FUTUREWORLD GUN

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricklross/albums/72157675511484224 FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

http://kipple-maker01.deviantart.com/gallery/

The Standard Issue AR-7 Survival Rifle.

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Armalite T-62 "Civilian Defender" circa 1962

Used in Matt Helm movies and Get Smart episodes of the 1960's as a Tommy Gun look-a-like.

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Matt Helm 10 Second Gun from Murderers' Row

This pistol was clearly made by chopping up the stock and replacing the barrel of the T-62 Defender to make a pistol that only fires 10 seconds after pulling the trigger. It was a spoofy spy film of the 1960's.

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Delos / Futureworld 1976
(interesting opening credit sequence in this film, unrelated to this prop, that all Blade Runner fans should watch and discuss) Another time when a prop-maker took the Armalite T-62 Defender and chopped it up to make a pistol. This prop was also used in the Gil Gerard Buck Rogers promo poster, but not in the series, that I could uncover, at least.

The Delos case was not in the film. I just couldn't resist making it. It would have fit into the film, though, I believe.

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James Bond, From Russian with Love: A Modern Concept
(the original was too dated for my taste as a real-world spy gun.)

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Thank you for indulging my interests.

Sincerely,

Rick
 
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Doppelganger01

Well-Known Member
Re: The AR-7 Survival Rifle: A Prop in Film (James Bond, Matt Helm, Futureworld)PIC H

One of these was molded and cast for Star Wars.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/DL-21_blaster_pistol

View attachment 699552

Charter Arms ended up making a pistol version of the AR-7. The "Explorer II". Maybe they got the idea from all those movies.

View attachment 699543

Yes. The Star Wars gun definitely used the AR-7 receiver, magazine, and barrel nut. It looks like they used the grip from Sterling.

Regarding the Charter Arms Explorer II, I remember seeing that in the gun case at Otasco when I bought my first AR-7 rifle in the early 80's after turning 18. It was a bulky pistol to hold, if I remember correctly. Even the modified rifle parts that made the Delos gun and Matt Helm gun look unwieldy in those films, but they looked cool to me as a kid in the 70's who loved props. Ironically, by the time I was old enough to buy the AR-7 for myself, I did not realize then that it had been the basis for two of my favorite movie props from the 60's and 70's. It is actually a good thing that I did not make the connection then. I would have been too tempted to chop mine up to make a Delos gun shooter. And that would have been highly illegal to do without the proper legal paperwork to convert a rifle into a pistol. As a matter of fact, if I remember correctly, the Explorer II has a slightly redesigned barrel attachment feature, so you could not interchange the barrels between the rifle and pistol.

Thanks for sharing the images. I bet there are many more films that used this gun too. Since my initial posting I have learned that the T-62 was used in the Green Berets. I also, spotted the receiver in the gun from, "Galaxy or Terror" in another thread on the RPF. Please share them as you find them.

Rick
 

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ed-209

Sr Member
Re: The AR-7 Survival Rifle: A Prop in Film (James Bond, Matt Helm, Futureworld)PIC H

Thank you, Ed! I am happy that you like them.

Like it? No, LOVE it!!! Seems we both shared the same fascination of the AR-7's use in both the Matt Helm film as well as Futureworld. It was only a few years ago that I learned of its use on Get Smart. When they made the pistol version the barrel WAS interchangeable but that was later changed due to gun laws prohibiting short-barreled rifles. There were several other films that featured the AR-7 but nothing special except for its use with an aftermarket kit that turned it into a Man from UNCLE-ish version. Coincidently, it was that version used by David McCallum when he guest starred on the TV show "Strike Force" as an assassin. I'll delve into my files and post some pics of the AR-7 from various films & shows. PS: your digital work is AMAZING!!! --Ed
 

Doppelganger01

Well-Known Member
Re: The AR-7 Survival Rifle: A Prop in Film (James Bond, Matt Helm, Futureworld)PIC H

I look forward to seeing your photos. I was not aware of the "Strike Force" show. I searched for on-line images of it, but was not able to find a clear photo of the assassin's weapon. It is understandable why the AR-7 was so often used in such films. As far as I know, it was the first commercially available "break-down" rifle sold to the public. For those of us who grew up watching 70's television, we saw many scenes of an assassin arriving on a rooftop with briefcase in hand, which contained a typical wood stock hunting rifle that was assembled and used flawlessly without having to zero in the reattached scope even. The AR-7, although a smaller caliber rifle and really not suited for long range targeting, has the perfect look and versatility for alteration in many forms and functions.
 

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