By Jason Harris
Monday, 24 February 2014
The Hatsan Escort semi-auto shotgun is a Turkish-built semi automatic that creates a stir on price alone
Jason Harris gave the Hatsan Escort semi-auto shotgun 85 points when he marked it out of 100, praising the handing and value for money. Read his full review below - originally published in Sporting Gun in May 2011 - for his full opinion.
Cheap doesn't have to mean nasty. Need proof? It comes in the shape of Hatsan's gas operated Escort semi-auto. True, it's not as ultra reliable as a Beretta or Browning but then, what do you expect from a gun that's a third of the price of the other two?
You certainly get what you pay for with the Hatsan but the important thing to remember is that it's not an unreliable bit of kit and if something does go wrong, replacement parts are readily available.
Problems can usually be fixed quickly and underpinning everything is a very comprehensive three year warranty covering mechanical defects from the distributors, Edgar Bros. Of course one advantage with a cheap auto is that you don't get too precious over every little knock and dent it receives.
These are basic, rugged and very good value bits of kit.
The Escort is not an entirely new shotgun from Turkey because it has been coming into the UK in various guises for ten or so years. Several thousand have been sold already.
But over the years a number of changes and design tweaks have been made with the latest version sporting a bolt release system that's now integral with the feed plate.
To release the bolt you simply push the centre of the floor plate. The gas piston has also been modified as too has the connection between the action bar and its magazine loop. Previously this was a clip that could break, though easily replaceable.
A useful safety feature is the addition of a magazine cut off button that allows you to remove a chambered cartridge but leave the other two in the magazine, so that a stile or other obstacle may be crossed without having to completely unload the gun.
As with most gas operated semi-autos the smooth cycling of the gun
is largely down to it being kept clean so that all the parts move as
freely as possible. By their very nature, gas autos get dirty by the exhaust gas from the cartridge but they will work better if oil is smeared on the piston assembly.
Motor oil is best because it's designed to take higher temperatures and does not burn away as quickly as light gun oil. It will get dirty, but can easily be wiped off and renewed. Because it doesn't burn away as quickly, it also helps prevent carbon building up on the piston and other moving parts.
The gun used here has a synthetic stock and fore-end with 28in barrels but one major feature of the Escort is the number of different versions it comes in. You can pick barrel lengths from 24in to 30in, wood or synthetic, camo patterned and 3in or 3.1/2in chambers.
The gun comes with a standard magazine capacity of 2 + 1 but they are also available to FAC holders with extended seven shot magazines. The gun can also be had in a true left hand version.
All told the Escort makes an excellent first or second choice as a gun for rough shooting or wildfowling. It has got a great back up warranty and represents sound value. Suggested retail price of the synthetic stock version as tested is £554, but most shops will offer a discount for a straight sale.
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