The Hatsan Escort Magnum semi-automatic shotgun is the kind of gun that is likely to be preferred by pigeon or vermin shooters but also proved handy on an outing at clays

Product Overview

Product:

Hatsan Escort Magnum semi-automatic shotgun

Price as reviewed:

£412.00

Semi-autos are either loved or loathed – there does not seem to be any middle ground. Appear with one on even a farmer’s knock-about vermin day and you are in danger of becoming the shoot pariah.

If you take it a step further and use a camouflaged gun, you will almost certainly be considered beyond the pale and, in some people’s eyes, it is about as socially desirable as introducing a well-known young lady of dubious repute to your ageing mother and then announcing you are engaged.

Yet enthusiasts of this type of gun will argue with considerable logic that the semi-automatic or self-loader is the ultimate development of the shotgun, and a side-by-side, no matter how it is dressed up, is just a basic form of repeater. Whatever the arguments, the semi-automatic has never made the same impression on the UK market that the over-and-under has achieved. There are signs, however, that though it is likely to remain a niche market, there is a gradual rise of interest in this controversial type of gun.

A good pigeon gun

The Hatsan Escort Magnum 20-bore on test is made in Turkey by the Hatsan Arms Company and follows the latest trend in gun design. In place of the optional walnut stock and glossy black finish on receiver and barrel with chrome bolt, there is a camouflage with synthetic stock and fore-end, and matt-black for bolt, carrier and trigger-guard; nothing to catch even a glint of sun and advertise your hidden presence to a cautious flock of pigeon. Imported by Edgar Brothers, it is supplied with the company’s own three-year guarantee.

At just 6.1/4lb, the Hatsan Escort Magnum is none too light for a single-barrelled 20-bore, and the action and magazine contribute a shade under 2.3/4lb – more than 40% of the gun’s total weight. With the long action the point of balance is further forward than on a side-by-side, falling almost exactly in line with the front edge of the aluminum alloy receiver.

Latest design features

The stock and fore-end are described as an advanced polymer compound – in other words, synthetic – normally taken to mean strong, light, waterproof and oilproof. The moulded grip panels as a substitute for chequering are very effective and the fore-end is a good shape to hold and long enough to accommodate both short and long leading arm styles of shooting. At 14.1/4in length of pull, the stock would not want to be less for most users, but being able to use the old trick of holding a little further forward on the fore-end meant it did not feel short. The drop at the tip of the comb and heel of the right-handed stock measured respectively 1.1/2in and 2.1/2in, but can be altered by the addition of drop spacers used either singly or as a pair.

Perfect proportions

The 25.5/8in barrel actually translates to 650mm – a length that leaves the gun looking nicely proportioned. It is proofed for 76mm (3in Magnum) cartridges at 1200bar and the 15.8mm bore size is actually a 20-bore. Slim and gently tapered, with a 6mm wide ventilated top-rib, the one nod in the direction of tradition must be the brass foresight bead. The bore is clean and well finished – an essential requirement to passing British proof – and the breech extension where it locks into the receiver sports a fine machine-ground appearance.

Five screw-in chokes came as part of the package, each marked on the side with the degree of choke. The terms used are not quite the same as the British system and, as choke is a measurement relative to bore size, it was decided to gauge them in comparison to barrel bore. With this set, cylinder was larger than the bore, improved cylinder came out the same as open improved cylinder in our system – ie 0.003in choke – modified as tight improved cylinder (0.007in), improved modified as quarter-choke and full was actually just over half.

How it works

The action of a semi-automatic shotgun is something strange to a lot of shooters used to a completely enclosed boxlock or sidelock. The fact that one can see into parts of it seems unusual, but it is no great mystery. On firing, the bolt opens, ejects the spent case and cocks the hammer. Almost at the same time a cartridge is released from the magazine and lifted up by the carrier for the bolt on its return stroke to chamber in the breech. What is amazing is that all this happens in the blink of an eye, while the gun is in a variety of positions and sometimes under quite adverse conditions. Looking at it like that, surely the semi-automatic shotgun is worthy of some respect?

Trigger lock safety

One thing that is a little awkward is the trigger lock safety button located in the rear of the trigger-guard and operated with the tip of the trigger finger. With practice it can be used quickly. However, the action is not as natural an action as pushing a tang safety forward with the thumb while the trigger finger reaches forward towards the trigger and, of course, it is not automatic. In many shooters’ eyes, a trigger lock safety such as this is only a halfway house and inferior to other types. No safety system should be relied on. It is a mistaken belief that they are foolproof, as most side-by-sides and over-and-unders with safetys of more complicated and sophisticated design only lock or disconnect the trigger, leaving the hammers at full cock.

A right-handed gun

With the safety button pushed left for off and the ejection port on the right, this is essentially a gun for the right-handed shooter. However, I do know of left-handed users who cope quite well with ejected cases flitting across their line of sight, so it is not necessarily a bar to ownership. You cannot bend a synthetic stock, as might be done with walnut, but it is quite a simple matter to make spacers to alter the cast.

Fast and reliable

On an outing at clays the gun proved handy, with enough forward bias to promote a smooth swing. The Hatsan Escort Magnum engendered sufficient confidence to shoot the driven bird stand with the tightest choke fitted. The trigger pull was a little longer than expected – not an unusual set-up with a semi-automatic – but if I wanted to shoot competitively, I think I would get a gunsmith to tune it for me. For general purpose it was acceptable and, more importantly, safe.

One of the bugbears of the older generation of semi-automatics was selecting cartridges to get reasonable reliability. When put to the test, this tidy little 20-bore performed exceptionally well. With three different loadings and five makes of cartridge, some of indeterminate age, including a few paper cased, feed was faultless and ejection impressive, throwing spent cases up to 20ft away from the user. Only on a couple of occasions did the bolt fail to lock after the last shot was fired.

The Hatsan Escort Magnum is likely to be preferred by pigeon or vermin shooters and a benefit would be to have the unrestricted magazine version giving four instead of two in the magazine, plus one in the chamber. For anyone wanting to take the capacity further, a magazine extension tube is available as an extra, increasing the capacity to seven plus one chambered. A firearms certificate would be required for both these versions.

It might be a different world, that of the semi-automatic shotgun and, compared to the double gun, new loading/unloading techniques and safety procedures have to be learned. However, that should not put one off – they are not dangerous, just different, and actually great fun.

  • Terry brown

    Brought hatsan extream this week excellent pigeon gun , used rc 6 cartdridge in it and banged out crows at 70 yards no probs read reviews on this gun and have now rested my browning gold for a while

  • kevin barfild

    just starting clay shooting again ,I shoot from my left side but not got a dominate eye, its very hard to find a left hand gun , been looking at the left hand escort semi auto cant make my mind up. heard bad things about them, also heard good things just don’t now wot to think

  • Andy M

    I’ve recently acquired a Hatsan Escort – black with synthetic stock. Really I can’t fault it.
    Value for money – excellent.
    Accuracy and cycling reliability – excellent.
    Absolutely a doddle to strip, clean and re-assemble.
    I use it generally for rabbit and pigeon, purchased it second hand in absolutely mint condition form a guy his bought it and then didn’t like it – his loss!! Would recommend one to anyone!

  • ROB P

    HI REYNOLDS . I;M NEW TO THIS WEBSITE . BUT WHAT YOUR LOOKING FOR IS .GAS CYLINDER 0 RING THE CODE NUMBER IS 416 TRY RINGING EDGAR BROTHERS ON 01625 613177 HOPE THIS IS A HELP FOR YOU ROB P GOT INFO FROM MY MANUAL . GOOD LUCK MATE ….ROB P

  • ROB P

    JUST BOUGHT THE HATSAN ESCORT 12G NICE GUN QUICK AND ACCURATE RECOMEND IT

  • Lee Struble

    I won a Ecsort 12 gauge at a NWTF turkey banquet but would like to acquire a extra full turkey choke for the shotgun. Does anyone know where I can purchase the choke for the Escort 12 ga.?Thanks Lee………

  • Reynolds

    Need a new O ring for my Escort Semi Auto Shotgun, since it is a turkish gun I have tried to find some type of info for how to order a new O ring but cannot find the phone number or location to order the part. Does anyone have an idea?

  • nick garner

    went and purchased a semi auto black sinthetic 7 shot hatsan auto. exellent reliable no probs for the money brilliant

  • hassan a. abu sineina

    i get apermit from the geverment for an airgun cal.22 +shotgun cal.12 +rifle cal.223 will you pls. advice were can i get dealer to sent mentons to khartoum-sudan. best regard

  • tony

    Bought a 12g Escort in March, fell in love with it as it hit every clay I pointed it at. Last week, after i had shot 35 clays the choke blew out bulging the barrel. Yes I had checked the tightness of the choke at the start of the session. Had always noticed the barrel got incredibly hot very quickly and cooled just as fast, could this be a factor in the choke loosening (which is what I suspect caused the problem)? Has anybody had a similar experience?

  • martin

    just bought hatsan 20g auto, very good, well worth the money .shoots very good no problems with ely 28 g,

  • Dustin Ruyle

    Bought my Hatsan Escort ps 12ga shotgun last year and I will say I love it, however I am getting ready for the upcoming turkey season and looking to get choke tubes that should have came with my gun but didn’t. Anyone know where I can get some. Been looking all over internet with no luck.

  • Abel

    Just saw this brand of Shotgun and would like to find out what kinda of price range to expect to pay for one that has been used..this one is magnum escort 12 ga.with camo finsh..

  • aidy

    have had one for a few months now only problem ihave is it wont cycle shorter shells

  • steve c

    bought an escort 3 1/2″ 28″barrel a few weeks ago, putting mirage 3 1/2″ magnum 2,s through it,canadas dont like them.works great with rio 6,s 30gm on decoyed pigeon. no probs at all. scotland next week,ducks. steel shot 3″ 4,s.x fingers for good few days. do many of you use the mag lock,great when on duck and geese surprise you.eject 1 and put a 3 1/2″ up. good luck guys

  • blister

    i have had my hatsan for 8 months i would not be with out it i went with 3 friends to buy mine they were saying dont buy it no good done 150 carts shooting one day ducks geese pegion i had no problem at all no jamming no miss fires not like my mates after they tried it they sold theres and went and got semis camo

  • t squires

    Bought mine for pigeon shooting and performs just as well as my browning o/u. Took it along for a day on clays and put 100 cartridges through it without any probs- well worth the money!

  • Barry

    Just ordered mine. 12g 28″ with black synthetic stock.

  • Barry

    Based on this review, I am now looking to get the 12g version in black.

  • Anas Abed al kareem Amierah

    escort انا اشتريت شوزن تركي فيبر
    وما بعرف كيف وضع الشوزن بتركيا وشو بحكو عنه الصيادة الي هنال وكم ثمنه وشو بنصحو فيه والا لأ

  • jared lowe

    im looking for a barrel for a semi auto gas hatson escort magnum

  • J.Krueger

    I won a Hatsan Escort 12 gauge at a gun raffle. I almost sold it right away due to its cheap feeling weight and size(this thing has the same width barrel as my 16 gauge). I finally decided to try it out, and needless to say My mossberg 3 1/2 12 gauge was sold to a friend. Several boxes later this light, low recoil gem continues to take birds reliably.

  • Andrew Breeze

    In the 12 months of owning a hatsan semi auto i have fired over 2500 carts, the majority being AAA 3 inch magnums used to take down foxes of which it does very effectivly out to 50 meters + never jams or miss fires and its not fussy with ammo, fully recomended

  • J.HEDLEY

    i have had my 3 inch chambered version for about a year now, use it weekly for sporting clays and it has been totally faultless, always gets interest from fellow shooters who are impressed with the price when i tell them. strip it down after every shoot,which when you have done it a few times only takes 20mins.saying that though my friend also has one and he just cleans his barrel after every outing and his has been faultless too.
    only one problem,if you have a few other shotguns in your cabinet they may never see the light of day again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! totally love it.

  • Saiga rocks

    Why would anybody buy a semi auto with a 2 shot magazine, unless it could be modified to hold at least 5? Thats just plain stupid and a waste. Buy any old mossberg pump for $100 then.

  • saiga rocks

    I got to shoot a Saiga 12 once, and I wish I could take one with a drum and waste crows with it all day.

  • kenny scott

    As a relativly new shooter i trie to get the cheapest of evrything, i was recomended to get the hatsan escort buy my cousin, after much huming and hawing i finaly decided to purchase a new one. The gun is mainly used for pigeon and crow shooting so it was decided that i should go for the camo version, it is the best ever £310 pounds i have ever spent! I must have fired sum 1200 cartridges through it so far and it has not missed a beat to date, definetly recomend!!!!