Magpul MS1 Sling

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In the past, I hadn’t ever paid a whole lot of attention to the Magpul MS series slings for a variety of reasons. I’m not a fan of single point slings so the MS 2/3’s 2 to 1 point convertibility was of no use to me, nor were the hooks/clips/rings that went along with the convertibility. I also never cared for the loop pull sling length adjuster as it always seemed to be a snag hazard. Combine that with a price slightly higher than your basic BlueForce Gear Vickers sling and the Magpul slings didn’t make my radar.

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That changed recently while ordering some AR parts from one of my go to AR parts vendors.  In need of another sling, I clicked on their sling page. Seeing they didn’t carry my standby BFG Vickers sling, but wanting to order everything from one place to save on shipping, I checked out the other slings available. That’s when I noticed Magpul had introduced another sling called the MS1. Upon seeing it was a dedicated 2 point sling lacking all the hooks/snaps/rings, the loop pull had been replaced by a plastic slider, and it was priced quite economically I thought what the hell, let’s try it out.

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Upon receiving the sling I found it to be a fairly straightforward 2 point design featuring the sling strap, three tri sliders and the plastic length adjuster. It seems well made and the stitching looks good.   A digital scale shows it to weigh 5.9 oz not counting the Magpul Paraclip I added.  Also immediately apparent upon handling the MS1 is the strap is made of a much softer and more flexible material than the BFG Vickers sling.

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At 1.5″ wide the MS1 is also slightly wider than the BFG Vickers, with its 1.25″ width.

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I added the Magpul Paraclip as an interim way to attach the front of the sling to the rifle until I get around to putting a rail on it.  As you can see I clip it to the factory front sling swivel.  It’s a quick and dirty way to attach the sling with a side mount orientation and not too much rattle.  It you’re ever in need of some type of hook or clip sling attachment I’d recommend trying them out.

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I’ve been using the sling for over a month now and have been pleased with its performance. The sling material doesn’t seem to bind, catch, or twist when donning/doffing or adjusting the sling. The length adjuster slides very smoothly, to the point I questioned if it would always hold tension or if I would find the sling slowly lengthening itself under weight. So far this has not been the case and the sling length adjuster has always held tight no matter its position. I will update if this starts becoming an issue.

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In summary while I wouldn’t necessarily say the MS1 is better than any other sling out there I would definitely say it is a solid choice and should be considered if you’re in the market for a sling. I plan on picking up a few more.

Crusader Weaponry Broadsword .308 Rifle

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.

Crusader Weaponry Broadsword
Crusader Weaponry Broadsword
Sighting In the Broadsword
Sighting In the Broadsword

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.

Apex free-float rail system
Apex free-float rail system
BattleComp Compensator
BattleComp Compensator
Battle Arms Development ambi safety selector
Battle Arms Development ambi safety selector
BCG / Gas Key Staking
BCG / Gas Key Staking
Diamondhead Iron Sights
Diamondhead Iron Sights

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.

7075-T6 Billet Match Set Receivers
7075-T6 Billet Match Set Receivers
7075-T6 Billet Match Set Receivers
7075-T6 Billet Match Set Receivers

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.

Field Striping:

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.

Field Stripped
Field Stripped
Bolt Carrier Group / Charging Handle
Bolt Carrier Group / Charging Handle

Performance/Reliability:

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.

Target Results
Target Results

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.

Broadsword w/ Aimpoint PRO
Broadsword w/ Aimpoint PRO

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.

Broadsword w/ Aimpoint T1
Broadsword w/ Aimpoint T1
Crusader Weaponry Longbow
Crusader Weaponry Longbow

Conclusion:

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.

Duncan

Colt logo Bulldog Rifle Case

A few months ago Colt was running a promotion where they would send a free soft rifle case upon receipt of proof of purchase of a new Colt rifle that was bought within a specified time period. As I had recently purchased a Colt 6720 I happily emailed Colt my invoice. They advised it could be up to a twelve week wait however I received my case in nine weeks.

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The case is made for Colt by Bulldog Cases and features the Colt logo prominently embroidered on the front of the case as well as Colt stamped zipper pulls. The particular case I received is the 35” model sized for 16” Carbines with collapsing stocks. It’s a snug fit on a 16” gun with the stock fully closed so a 16” AR with a fixed stock or an AR with any longer of a barrel would be a no go. It does however have room to allow for optics.

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The case also features a zipper pocket and four individual mag pouches on one side and a over the shoulder carry strap on the other.

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IMG_4296I’m guessing the yellow lining is to aid in finding small items in the pocket.

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IMG_4290The built in mag pouches are quite deep and will accommodate mags with the original rubber Magpul pulls or their Ranger Plates.

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Build quality is decent and about what I would expect from a case that normally retails for around $45. The foam padding compresses rather easily and I question how much protection it would really provide. The stitching is also a little suspect in some areas.

I would consider it a good case to transport a rifle from the safe to the range and back again. For a working gun that may be exposed to a variety of conditions or bounced around in a vehicle for long periods of time I would invest in something more substantial.

AK47 Pmag Testing ( First Impressions

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We started our tests of the Magpul  AK Pmag this summer.  It is a good looking mag, as if that really mattered, and inserts easy and slick.  Its a lot easier to load rounds into than the typical surplus versions and a lot lighter. That is a big plus for those who are dedicated to using the AK as their go to rifle.   We fired it quite a bit with only one malfunction so far.  It was a double feed, for those who want to know.   We will be using it a lot more over the next month or so to really see what we can put it through.

I am by no means a AK pattern fanatic, but I have to say, if these live up to the typical Pmag dependability. I would use them as my go to mags if using the Ak all the time was my wont.

Check Your Gear

A few weeks ago Shawn posted some pics of a couple of flat dark earth Magpul Pmags that had developed cracks along the spine of the mag.  I just wanted to post a follow up and some thoughts.

Here you can see the cracks in both mags, in identical locations.

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I sent an email to Magpul on Sun 04-13-14 about the issue.  I received a response the following morning (Mon 04-14-14) stating they would be shipping out two new replacement mags and a return address label with which to send back the damaged mags.  I received the replacement mags Mon 04-21-14, so just at a week turnaround from when I informed them of the problem to when replacement mags were in hand.

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Just to be clear, the purpose of this post isn’t to bash Magpul.  Quite the contrary in fact since I think their mags are some of the best currently on the market and even the two damaged ones still functioned.  Their response to the issue was also top notch and hassle free.

The mail goal in this follow up is to reiterate YOU’VE GOT TO INSPECT YOUR GEAR.

Things wear out, even good companies send out lemons, etc.  If it’s something you think you could be betting your life on it needs to be checked routinely and consistently.  It puts the odds into your favor that things will function as they’re supposed to when you most need them to.