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Crusader Broadsword Review

September 15, 2011

Crusader Broadsword
Review

Some time ago I decided that I needed a more substantial platform for my 2nd Amendment firearm set up. Some folks call it their “war rig” which I think communicates the wrong idea, this set up isn’t for “war” it’s just the first gun you’re going to look to in an situation of the sort where you would need a long gun, whatever that emergency or situation might be.

I have always been a .30 caliber fan, my rifle of choice has long been an AK rifle of one form or another and I wanted to stay with a .30 but move up the power scale a bit. So after much hemming and hawing I settled on the .308 DPMS/SR-25 platform, but I didn’t have the money for a Knights Armament SR-25 or a GAP or an LMT, so it was down to DPMS, which I wasn’t thrilled with but seemed to be the best option in my price bracket.  I found out about Crusader Weaponry through the forum Wethearmed.com a forum started by one of the founders of Crusader Weaponry well before the company had been formed.

Originally I was excited by the initial reports that the Broadsword (their take on the .308 AR platform) would use G3 magazines (which you can find surplus for about $1) when that proved to be an unreliable set up, I decided to go with Crusader Weaponry’s Broadsword anyhow as for the features I was looking for, they had the best price I could find since the magazine issue was sixes with the other DPMS compatible rifles.

So I ordered the rifle and after quite a wait, and Crusader going through some growing pains and part allocation issues, I finally received my rifle just before the July 4th weekend.

Here it is exactly how it came from Crusader:

It shipped in a very nice hard case from Plano rifle cases.
However it didn’t come with any magazines which got a big WTF from both me and my FFL, who was actually more upset about that then I was.

Anyhow, that evening I bolted the scope on and headed out to the range and I had pretty good results.

Here is a group I fired at 100 yards that first day (the square is 2” across and that flyer is my fault):

And here is a group from 200 yards:

Both groups were fired using Federal 150gr soft point which I get at Walmart which are the rounds I’ve stashed for rainy day use along with my surplus and other .308.
I’m quite confident that the rifle is capable of vastly greater accuracy than my shooting skills can produce I just need more practice.

So its 2 months later and I have put about 300 rounds through the gun here is how she stands now:

The overall fit of this rifle is just superb everything just fits together quite well, the SI Defense made receiver seems to be very solid, as does the Troy rail.

The Vortex flash hider does a very good job, basically eliminates muzzle flash even shooting right at dusk, and I don’t know if it’s the weight of the rifle or the muzzle break but the recoil is very minimal.

As I said earlier I’ve been nothing but impressed by the accuracy and reliability of this rifle, I only just cleaned the action this last weekend since the rifle has Crusader Weaponry’s proprietary permanent lubrication treatment called Slipstream which is high pressure blasted into the metal moving parts of the action. According to the folks at Crusader you’re supposed to shoot it until the action feels a little gritty to let the rifle work the treatment deeper into the metal.  Anyway I haven’t had a single issue as far as function is concerned, which while 300ish rounds isn’t what you could call a definitive test it’s still a good sign for the future.

Right, so the equipment I got on my rifle (which was and is if you want to go buy one of these things totally custom to what you want on your rig) starting at the top:

YHM backup iron sights:


I’ve got to say that there were only two things I was disappointed in with this rifle build and the first one is these sights, they can’t seem to hold zero, flip up on recoil and in general get in the way, which is what backup iron sights shouldn’t  do. As you can see in the picture you can’t get your scope back to the charging handle because the rear aperture gets in the way. Now this isn’t Crusader’s fault, I picked these sights myself after having insufficiently educated myself on backup irons; I should have gone with some Troy backup sights, which will be on my rifle soon.

Smith Enterprise Vortex “flash eliminator”:

This thing kicks butt, and was a recommendation of Joe (Crusader’s gun wizard). It basically eliminates flash totally that I can see. I will however probably be removing this part and replacing it with an QD attachment point for a sound suppressor when my ATF paperwork clears.

Troy MRF-308 13.8” Battlerail:

Not much to say here, works as advertised, gives a nearly monolithic feel to the top rail and is just rock solid.

Duracoat:

Ok, this is the second thing I’m disappointed in.
I’ve never used duracoat before, and  after my experiences with this rifle probably won’t again.
The stuff is just plain fragile, every edge that you make contact with it just comes off of, and then flakes off around it. Joe did a great job with the colors but I think in this case the product just isn’t up to the challenge, and I understand Crusader offers Cerakote now which is supposed to be vastly superior stuff, which after messing with duracoat, wouldn’t be much of a challenge.
FWIW, I talked to some local gunsmiths and gunnies and they said that basically this issue is a known one when it comes to duracoat and that its just how it acts, so I don’t believe that any of the problem is Crusader Weaponry’s but it is still a bummer.  Had I to do it over again, I’d probably skip the Duracoat totally or get it in a flat black or grey where the flaking wouldn’t be noticeable (assuming there were no other coating options available).

Magpul PRS stock:

I am very sold on this stock, it gives me more adjustment than I need and is quite comfortable to use.
One thing I didn’t realize is that it has a rail on the bottom of it to attach a monopod, very cool and as soon as I figure out which one to get I’m going to stick one on there.

OK so now that I’ve covered the stuff that came on it, here’s what I’ve added:

Vortex Viper PST 4-16 x 50mm scope with EBR-1 MRAD recticle  in a Bobro QD mount:

This combo rocks, I did a 10 shot string from sand bags dismounting the scope between shots, opening and closing the mount 3 times and then re-mounting it. At 100 yards I noticed less than 1” of movement throughout the string of fire. Just blew my mind.

Harris 9-13” swivel bipod with podloc on the YHM bipod adapter:

Is Harris is work is good! Seriously though after using a Harris swivel bipod, nothing else really measures up, and the podloc is worth its weight in gold!

Magpul RVG forward grip and “OD Green” rail covers (they came in black not OD like I ordered haha):

I know, I know bipod + grip = mall ninja right?  Well not when you’re moving a 15lb gun around it doesn’t haha. It changes this gun from ungainly to big but manageable when moving it around. And the rail covers keep the rails… covered.

Over all I’m very happy with my new rifle, it’s basically dead on to what I ordered, 100% worth the money, and a very worthy 2nd Amendment rifle.

As for Crusader Weaponry? Well they were very friendly and professional before and during the process, I honestly haven’t had much cause to bother Joe since then but I’m sure he’d answer any questions I might have without hesitation. They do get a WTF for not including a magazine with the rifle, but that might be normal for semi-custom guns and this is my first experience with that level of firearms.
Anyway I recommend both Crusader Weaponry and their Broadsword rifle to anyone looking for a .308 AR platform. I believe you can get name brand quality without the pain in the wallet and end up with a superior firearm, and you will get exactly what you order!

I look forward to the Broadsword giving me lifetime of solid, reliable rugged service.

Speaking of which I’m taking it Hog hunting this weekend, it’s earned enough of my trust that I’m going to blood it and that gets it a permanent place in my safe.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian Parramore permalink
    September 20, 2011 5:33 pm

    I’m still waiting for my Broadsword. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

    • September 20, 2011 5:36 pm

      It took about 4 months from when I paid for my rifle until I got it.
      From what I understand the current wait times are somewhat less.

  2. September 27, 2011 3:04 am

    Very Nice Review, Found you by searching guns.

  3. Matt permalink
    October 5, 2012 5:16 am

    The 3gun setup on their website is nice

Trackbacks

  1. A customer’s Crusader Broadsword « Mad Ogre

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