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A bit late on this thread, but finally saw mine definitely kick in. I assumed that they protected against every crush hit, but now I don't think they do. Apparently, you'd know if it helped you since there's a messaging (ala Stone Skin).

A horse hair crested invar burgonet partially deflects the onslaught of the crushing attack.
A skeletal lord thrusts with a splintered lance at you!
 AS: +264 vs DS: +212 with AvD: +33 + d100 roll: +96 = +181
 ... and hits for 39 points of damage!
 Neck vertebrae snap.
 You are stunned for 1 rounds!

I'm wearing an unpadded brig.
Not sure if anyone can reverse the calculations to determine how much it helps.

Here's another shot, but from another character but wearing the same burgonet over a forest green brig.
Well, he wasn't as lucky.

A Sheruvian initiate swings a black steel jeddart-axe at you!
 AS: +280 vs DS: +189 with AvD: +24 + d100 roll: +75 = +190
 ... and hits for 28 points of damage!
 Crushing blow crumples your nose!
 You are stunned for 4 rounds!

There's a huge discrepancy there. Considering that the second shot went through a rogue with a bit of redux. It is a crushing damage (Crushing blow crumples your nose!-unless it's not) but there was no messaging as to whether or not the burgonet helped. I don't think it did considering the factors. About the same endroll (+-9) but the jeddart axe stunned longer against a redux/fgb combo than a lance against a regular brig. That's saying something. Not sure if the randomness of crits can account for that.

So, based on the first shot, I'd say the burgonet is at least heavily crit padded against crushing blows (The first character had no business surviving that shot with a lance unless he just got real lucky, and the 1 round stun is a nice surprise). But it doesn't protect against every crush hit (I'd love to be wrong on this). When a bard sung to one of mine, there was no mention of charges at all. So, I guess it's permanent.