Another vote for the 10/22 once together you would never know it was a takedown rifle. The ar-7 feels like a toy. South Shore Sportsman had two Marlin Papoose rifles in their used rack yesterday which I have heard good things about but have no experience with.
I'd say Ruger 10/22 but may suggest go for the standard ruger not the take down. you'll pay about $100.00 more for a novelty. Then again it depends on how you intend to use it. Do you really need the take down system? But Ruger IMO.
you know the question I have is does the 10/22 takedown really pack that much smaller than a disassembled ruger 10/22. Ditch the barrel band, and hollow out the stock so you can keep a flathead screwdriver in it, and it is easy enough to put a ruger 10/22 back together.
I have both. (10/22 is not a take down).
Everything I've read about the Ruger takedown gives it a thumbs up.
Granted, my AR-7 is from before Henry started making them.
I have the old CA version.
AR-7 is a complete and utter POS. Oh, it fires, it's a slick idea and yes, I guess it floats.
(I never thought I'd shop a rifle on it's floatability).
But compating the two puts the Ruger miles ahead.
The reason the AR-7 has occasional feed issues relates to the type of ammo used and the fact that the chamber has a sharp edge. Some rounds will snag on that edge. This can be fixed by carefully breaking the edge with a .150 diameter oil stone. Just break the bottom edge of the chamber, where the rounds would snag. Don't remove excessive material. Also, pay close attention to the lips of the magazines, which are critical to guiding in rounds. Protect the magazines. AR-7s seem to prefer CCI mini-mags.
That done, the Henry AR-7 will shoot with great reliability.