are working guns, showpieces and mules. The piece featured in
this report is a working gun. Nothing flashy this little pistol
at all, but it works just great. I am always looking for a good
carry piece to write about. While I have a number that have
stood the test of time, I am perfectly willing to consider an
upgrade. Most of my concealed carry pieces are Officer’s Model
.45s, Champions, or the occasional Commander. After too many
years in a strenuous occupation and a couple of near disasters
involving our protein-fed ex con criminal class, I prefer a
pistol that is lighter on the hip then the Government Model .45.
I have tested, adopted, and carried a new pistol that has proven
to be one of the better compact .45s I have tested. The pistol
is a Lipsey’s exclusive. The High Standard Company
offers several renditions of popular High Standard .22s and also
a top end .45 Government Model, the G Man. In this case
the High Standard name has been licensed to a Philippine import
and offered only through Lipsey’s.
The High Standard Crusader is a loaded pistol in many
ways. The Crusader features Novak sights, an ambidextrous
safety, a well designed beavertail safety, a lowered ejection
ports, and a very decent four and one half pound trigger
compression. All of this adds up to a good pistol at a fair
price. The Crusader is not as inexpensive as some of the GI
pistols, but it is a very modestly priced pistol considering the
I first hefted the Crusader, I examined it as I do all 1911
pistols. I racked the slide and tested the fit of the locking
lugs and link. The pistol is tight and whoever is putting these
pistols together knows a lot about final fit. There are simply
no rough spots. I had high expectations of the pistol and to be
frank I had taken a chance on this pistol. I have had excellent
luck with the Rock Island Armory pistols and the Armscor
Medallion but I have not had the best of results with other
Philippine produced 1911s.
I wondered if there was sufficient finesse to produce an
improved pistol. As it turned out the Crusader is a very good
1911, regardless of price.
carefully lubricated the piece and headed to the range with a
representative sample of ammunition and magazines. I included in
the kit a number of Wilson Combat magazines. While best
known for their government type magazines, Wilson Combat also
offers a very compact eight round magazine for the Officer’s
Model. As I have come to expect from Wilson Combat, this
magazine performed flawlessly. The original Novak flush fit
magazines also functioned well.
began the test with Fiocchi 230 grain ball ammunition.
This is a reliable accurate load that gives good results. I use
this economical resource often in testing new pistols
were no break-in malfunctions of any kind. I have several very
reliable handguns on hand that suffered a minimum of break-in
malfunctions during the first one hundred rounds or so. We are
beginning to see new 1911s that are tight but do not require a
break-in. While a break-in period is part and parcel of the
1911, High Power, Kel Tec and a few other quality
handguns, a pistol that comes out of the box shooting is just
fine. The Crusader’s Novak sights are pure Novak of course,
high visibility and very fast on target. The sight picture is
good and the sights well regulated for ten to fifteen yard
defense shooting. I used a quantity of Fiocchi ball and also the
200 grain JHP and the 230 grain JHP with good results. The 230
grain Fiocchi is faster than most loads using this bullet weight
and recoil was there but so was the slap on the target. Overall,
the pistol gave a fine showing.
time I have used my favorite handloads using the Magnus
200 grain SWC hard cast bullet over enough Titegroup for
800 fps with good results. I have used a wide variety of
jacketed hollow point and flat point lead loads with good
results. There have been no failures to feed, chamber, fire or
eject. All who have fired the pistol have been impressed.
Practically accuracy is good and the pistol handles much like a
Government Model. Of course it is about twenty per cent lighter
so recoil is there. At moderate range the pistol is fast on
target. While not as accurate in slow fire as the Government at
longer range, I have fired slow fire groups of three to four
inches at twenty five yards, showing the pistol has more than
adequate accuracy potential.
have adopted a Crossbreed holster
for deep concealment with the Crusader. The Crossbreed is simply
that, a cross between rigid Kydex for retention and leather for
comfort. I have come to appreciate this holster very much in our
humid southern climates. I have also adopted the Wilson Combat
eight round magazine. This magazine offers flawless function and
a full Government Model capacity with little in the way of bulk.
The supplied Novak magazines work just fine and fit flush but
for a little extra firepower the eight round Wilson Combat gets
some study - and I do not regard .45 hardball as a bad choice -
I have adopted two loads for general duty. One is the Cor
Bon PowRBall in 165 grain. At well over 1,000 fps, this
load offers perfect feed reliability and reliable expansion.
Another choice that offers a better balance between penetration
and expansion is the Cor Bon 160 grain DPX ‘short barrel’
load. At about 1080 fps from the Crusader, this is a serious
load that offers penetration in the ideal range. The Crusader
feeds this and any other wide mouth hollowpoint of good quality.
I am impressed. I have enjoyed good results with other
Philippine produced 1911s, including the Rock Island Armory guns
and the Armscor Medallion.
I have suffered poor results with another line of Philippine
pistols. Since the Crusader seems to be based upon the Rock
Island pistols, I was confident of good results. After well over
six hundred rounds of full power .45s without a problem, the
Crusader gets a clean bill of health. The Crusader is quite a
pistol, a reliable little compact with good features sure to
make a place for itself in the market.
groups at 15 yards)
Bon Performance Match 230 grain ball
Bon 160 grain DPX
Bon 165 grain PowRBall
230 grain ball
230 grain JHP
200 gr. SWC/Titegroup powder
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