Delving into the history of 14th- and 16th-century battle weapons, you’ll discover the contrast between broadswords and civilian-carried, lighter-weight rapiers. The broadsword wasn’t your gentleman’s dueling sword: it was built to cut, hack and thrust. Aptly named, Crusader Weaponry’s Broadsword 7.62mm is a multi-role weapon capable of semi-automatic fire. It can serve as a sniper’s tool or a close-quarters battle rifle in a pinch.

Leading The Crusade

Joe Chetwood, founder and owner of Crusader Weaponry, has been shooting all his life. The first time his father handed him a rifle, Chetwood knew at that moment that shooting and firearms was all he wanted to do. This set him on a course that would center his life around firearms. After serving honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps, Chetwood attended gunsmithing school and graduated at the top of his class. Soon after, Chetwood began work as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy, where he furthered his gunsmithing education. The DOE’s basic and advanced armorers’ courses certified him to work on a variety of military weapons. Chetwood was able to work in an armorer’s capacity with a wide range of groups, including the Salt Lake County S.W.A.T, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy Special Boat Team, the British Royal Marines and the U.S. Secret Service. The depth of Chetwood’s experience and expertise makes Crusader Weaponry uniquely able to assemble the finest mission-specific rifles on the market today. The AR-10-platform Broadsword is an excellent showcase of this riflemaker’s craft. Unlike many mass-produced rifles today, the Broadsword is made to order, using the best materials and under the tightest quality-control standards.

Behind The Broadsword

There’s no mistaking that the Broadsword is a full-blown battle rifle. Tipping the scales at 10 pounds 3 ounces empty, the Broadsword has plenty of heft to quickly get back on target for follow-up shots. A direct gas impingement weapon, the Broadsword’s lower receiver is broached to accept Magpul 7.62x51mm PMAGs. Crusader Weaponry offers barrel options of 16, 18, 20 or 24 inches—the version I tested had an 18-inch barrel. At the muzzle, the 5/8-inch-24 tpi threads hold a BattleComp compensator to help reduce muzzle climb. The barrel is chambered 7.62x51mm NATO with a 1-in-11-inch twist rate, and the rifling profile is polygonal in dimension.

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Delving into the history of 14th- and 16th-century battle weapons, you’ll discover the contrast…