Several months ago I had the opportunity to meet Joe Chetwood, owner of Crusader Weaponry (crusaderweaponry.com). He had moved into my neighborhood and as we both have a passion for firearms, we naturally ended up meeting each other. I met with Joe at his home on several occasions to talk about the Broadsword and Crusader Weaponry products. One thing led to another and I was soon in possession of the Crusader Weaponry Broadsword .308/7.62 Carbine. From the second you hear Crusader Weaponry’s name, see the Crusader Shield marking etched on the side of the Broadsword, you feel like the paladin of old. The Broadsword channels an era when knights wielded the broadsword, to strike powerful blows to the enemies of righteousness and honor. As I spent time with the Broadsword, I found it to be the modern day, hard hitting, dispenser of .308 justice it was built to be.
Specs / Accessories:
The Broadsword is an AR10 type direct impingent carbine chambered in .308/7.62mm. The Broadsword I was given came equipped with:
- Apex free-float rail system
- Diamondhead Back-UP iron sights (front & Rear)
- BattleComp compensator
- Battle Arms Development ambidextrous safety selector
- Bravo Company 7.62 Gunfighter Charging Handle
- Magpul MAID grip
- Magpul Utility Battle Rifle (UBR) stock
- Two Magpul PMAG 20 round 7.62/308 magazines
- Hard Rifle Case
The upper and lower receivers are a 7075-T6 billet aluminum match set from SI Defense. The upper picatinny rail has engraved “T” mark numbers. I found there was absolutely no play between the upper and lower. The barrel is an 18 inch, 416R match grade stainless steel barrel, with 1/11 twist polygonal rifling.
The upper & lower receivers of the Broadsword are finished in Cerakote Sniper Gray, as well as the barrel. The bolt carrier group and the inside of the upper receiver are treated with Crusader Weaponry’s proprietary Slipstream dry film weapons lube. The dry film lubricant is applied at 150-200 psi, permanently imbedding the dry lubricate to those surfaces it is applied to. The trigger group, charging handle, buffer, and buffer spring can also be treated with Slipstream by choosing different packages offered by Crusader Weaponry.
After spending time with the Broadsword I would change out a few features, like the stock, grip and the rail system, but those are just because of my personal preference. Since Crusader Weaponry is building these custom rifles per individual order, you can get whatever grip, stock or accessories you would prefer. While visiting Crusader Weaponry’s shop, I noticed several Broadsword builds in progress and these rifles had individual requests for different accessories on each rifle.
The Broadsword brakes down just like an AR-15. If you are running a 5.56mm AR-15, the Broadsword will be very familiar. It just has bigger internal parts. Cleaning and maintenance of the bolt carrier group, charging handle, upper receiver, chamber and barrel are extremely familiar, if not identical to your 5.56mm AR15. The only thing you will need to add to your cleaning kit is a 308 chamber brush and bore brush. Once field stripped and cleaned, I applied some of Crusader Weaponry’s proprietary Slipstream STYX lubricant to the Broadswords.
I used a couple of Aimpoint Micro’s and an Aimpoint PRO on the Broadsword. The Broadsword is a lot more accurate than I am and I have seen it fired for accuracy with a magnified optic. A few weeks ago I was able to fire another Broadsword with a 1X4 adjustable scope and found this to be a nice combination. I am not going into formal, measured, MOA accuracy on the Broadsword. I ran the Broadsword like a battle rifle from CQB out to 100 yards. I ran it like a beefed up patrol rifle and as I said before, the Broadsword is a lot more accurate than I am capable of making it. While sighting in the Broadsword, on different optics, I was fully satisfied with 100 yard groups. With some of the OTM match ammo I was right on top of the previous rounds I fired. Once I got it sighted in, I was off to the races running the Broadsword hard.
The trigger felt very close to a standard mil-spec trigger. It had a slightly crisper break than a mil-spec trigger, but there was nothing special about it. It did not affect long range shots but felt very familiar when running it like a patrol rifle. Once again, the trigger group is an area that can easily be upgraded if you want.
The Broadsword is an absolute blast to shoot. For a larger heavier carbine in 308, it has rather natural pointability, very similar to a 5.56mm AR15. I have spent over three months with the Broadsword firing various brands and loads of ammunition through it. I fire close to 1000 rounds of 308 through the Broadsword. I know this particular rifle has been reviewed by several notable industry members and recently was in Special Weapons for Military & Law Enforcement Magazine. This particular Broadsword was very dirty and well used when I got it. The Broadsword never failed during my time with it. It literally chewed its way through everything I put into it. With every thump of 308 fired and with every magazine exchange, the Broadsword just kept going. I even switched back and forth from cheap steel case Monarch to Federal Premium without a stoppage. I found the Broadsword really liked Federal Sierra Match King in 168 grn and 175 grn. I got the best results accuracy wise with this ammo. I found the action to be very smooth. The bolt carrier slid back and forth smoothly even when gritty, dry and hot from prolonged use. After the Slipstream STYX had started to burn off, the Broadsword still ran very smoothly.
Now, the Broadsword is a beast, although it looks slick and sexy it has some weight to it. Nothing a few pushups and exercising won’t fix. It’s nothing you can’t handle but after spending a full day with it, you will know that you have been carrying it around. Although it has weight to it, it is balanced very well. I was able to rack the Gunfighter charging handle with my support hand and change magazines with ease, while holding the Broadsword up with my fire control hand. The weight does dampen down the recoil making the Broadsword smooth and very enjoyable to shoot. Some weight could be shaved off by changing out some of the features on the Broadsword but you will be sacrificing the weight for more recoil.
I found the Broadsword’s recoil was straight back into the pocket of my shoulder. The BattleComp compensator did a nice job of taming the muzzle blast and rise. Now, if you are in a spotter role next to the Broadsword, the BattleComp does nothing for you and you will get your bell rung. After long days of shooting, I found my shoulder was not beat up or feeling the repercussions of all the 308 sent down range. While dumping follow up shoots into my targets, the reacquisition of the sights and Red Dot optics was, smooth and easy to track. With the Broadsword’s features and you doing your part, hard hitting rapid follow up shots, are very easy to keep on target.
The Broadsword does feel like the modern equivalent of the medieval knights broadsword, right down to its cold grey steel look. Finding a 308 battle rifle that runs reliably can be a challenge. Crusader Weaponry is up to this challenge and the Broadsword runs flawlessly. The Broadsword can fill several roles from a heavy patrol rifle, a designated marksman rifle, a hog hunter or anything else you can think to use it for. Crusader Weaponry has several different AR15 and AR10 rifle models available. I had a chance to test fire a Crusader Longbow precision 308, with a very nice Leupold scope mounted on it. Although I only fired a couple of rounds out of the Longbow it looks very promising. I know of only a handful of AR10 type rifles that run reliably. I would put the Crusader Weaponry Broadsword on that list.