If nothing else, this Turkish-built semi automatic will create a stir on price
Cheap and nasty aren’t words that go together with this gun. This gas-operated Escort semi-auto gun is a third of the price of a Beretta or Browning. Okay, so it’s not so completely reliable as those two – but then it is a third of the price.
On the other hand, it’s not unreliable and that’s an important factor remember, as well as knowing that replacement parts are easily sourced if something does go awry.
Problems can usually be fixed quickly and underpinning everything is a very comprehensive three year warranty covering mechanical defects from the distributors, Edgar Bros.
And remember that if you haven’t spent a lot, you won’t get stressed over every little knock or dent your gun receives. Which is another major point in this gun’s favour.
A straightforward, rugged and very good value bit of kit
If you’re thinking: “I’ve seen this shotgun before” then you’re probably right. It’s not entirely new and in fact it has been arriving in the UK in various forms for about a decade and several thousand have already been sold.
However, the manufacturers have been constantly tweaking the design and a number of changes have been subsequently made – the latest version sports a bolt release system that’s 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. On a practical level this means that you can cross a stile, gate or other obstacle without having to completely unload the gun.
Keep it clean
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.
If you’re looking for a gun for rough shooting or wildfowling, then the Escort would make an excellent choice. It offers excellent value for money and you can rest assured that there is a sound back up warranty. The suggested retail price of the synthetic stock version as tested is £554. However you will probably find that shops will offer a discount for a straight sale.
Marks out of 100 for the Hatsan Escort semi-auto gun
Build quality 20/25
Value for money 23/25
An excellent first or second choice as a gun for rough shooting or wildfowling