Hatan Escort Magnum Xtreme
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- Last updated: 22/06/2020
The Hatsan Escort Xtreme has been around for a while now. It’s a pure hunting shotgun available in 12- or 20-gauge and chambered in 3-inches/76mm magnum chamber, and is a gas operated semi-auto. As with all Turkish guns, you get a lot of gun for the money, and the Escort line has evolved to be more reliable and practical than ever, with barrel lengths from 26- to 30-inches and the synthetic stock available in right or left-handed configuration, as well as solid black colour and numerous camouflage patterns.
This model, the Escort Magnum Xtreme, has a fast loading system from the anodised aircraft alloy receiver with a five choked barrel chambered in 3-inches/76mm, so any 2¾-inches/70mm 24g shot load to heavy 57gr load magnum load is possible with the Smart Valve Piston system.
The stock is what catches the eye first and it seems much more robustly made and solid than I remember, yet still retaining a 7.5lb overall weight without shells loaded. It comes with four stock shims to adjust stock drop and cast, which is a good thing, as is the length of pull of 14.75-inches, and the comb and cast are dead one positioning the eye plum in line with the rib and looking right down it for me.
A a dense, synthetic filled stock gives a tough outer shell with smooth exterior and is less hollow sounding than most types of these stocks. It’s tough, no doubt, with little flex and is obviously the first choice for those wanting maximum weather protection.
Being clad in a choice of camouflage patterns as well as solid black, this Advantage Max 4 HD pattern is probably the best. It gives a high degree of disruptive pattern that blends well into most terrain and is continued on all the metal too except the chokes.
The forend is 11.5-inches long and has the usual finger groove to its upper profile for added grip and quite a full body to the rest of the grip. There are four cut outs or vents towards the underneath and front to allow exhaust gases from firing to vent.
You also have some very tactile rubber inserts to both sides and a double semi joined strip to the underneath. These are black rubber with a straited figuration on them and are very grippy. This is mirrored in the pistol grip area, with twin rubber inserts conjoined at the base. They are slightly raised, too, and give a semi palm swell to this area, aiding a good hold. There are no sling swivel studs for a sling fitment, which I actually do use, but I suppose it gives a cleaner overall finish to the stock. But you do get a black solid rubber recoil pad fitted at a 0.5-inch length and a black plastic spacer of 0.75-inches to alter the length of pull from 14.75-inches, if you like.
The Escort is quite a big gun, but feels well-balanced due to the use of aircraft grade aluminium in the action manufacture. It is chemically black anodised and also camouflage-wrapped in Advantage Max4 HD for extra concealment and protection. It is quite thick as it fills in the Hatsan name and lettering quite a bit. You have the classic rounded rear section and on top of the action is the 11mm dovetails cut into the receiver for scope or red dot sight fitment. The trigger guard is a larger eccentric ring shape of black polymer that shrouds the blued semi striated thin trigger blade. Behind this is the typical cross bolt safety system pushed left is to fire and right is safe. The bolt is satin black-blued and a single piece design with non-rotating head, but has a single extractor claw and the case is ejected by a small dimple in the inner side wall of the receiver that catches the cases rim for full ejection.
Operating the nonserrated bolt handle is okay, but a bit small; today, we see larger bolt handles and that would be better. The bolt locks in the rear position to load, and to release the bolt just press the magazine carrier’s inset lever and it closes the action.
Above this on the right action side wall is a small magazine cut-off system for a single shot action, if you fancy. This can be depressed when the Hatsan is loaded and it then locks back the bolt so a round can be removed, also it blocks another case from the magazine entering the carrier.
The barrel on this Hatsan is made from nickel chrome molybdenum steel and internally finished with a polished chrome bore that creates a hard-wearing surface. All barrels are proof-tested for steel and magnum loads and have few tool markings.
The chambering on this model is magnum so is capable of shooting 3-inch (76mm) magnum cases as well as all 2¾-inch shells too. The barrel is 28-inches long, although Edgars supply 26-, 28- or 30-inch options.
Being gas operated, the Hatsan has a smart valve operating system which allows you to use full power 3-inch magnum loads right down to 2¾ cases, that means payloads of 24-grams to 57-grams can be used safely and without stoppages. Let’s see in the field test, though.
The 7mm rib is checkered and ventilated for an antiglare raised surface with sighting provided by Hi-Viz Spark front sight fitted in green which I like. The barrel comes with a fivechoke set up: full, improved modified, modified, improved cylinder, cylinder. These are the 2.75-inches long V3 semi-extended chokes with 0.75-inches of them that sits outside the barrel. There is no choke key, but the protruding portion is wellgrooved for grip and easy to replace in the field with no tools. You can increase the capacity of the standard 2 plus 1 models to FAC status with an accessory magazine extension tube increasing capacity to 7+1.
With regards to handling, it is difficult to fault these Hatsan Escorts. They balance well right at the action to forend joint and have a good natural swing for a semi-automatic shotgun. Those rubber inset grips to the stock area really do help, and even under stiff recoil they aid grip, or if your hands are wet. Overall finish with the Advantage Max4 HD camo is very well done, with a seamless dip of the camo onto the gun parts. The green foresight is highly visible and the synthetic stock, along with the gas operated position system, does aid in reducing recoil on firing.
I tried loads from light Blue Diamond 24-gram loadings to 28-gram and then 32- and 36-gram loads and some 42-gram magnum loads. All but the 24-grams were reliable. The 24-grammers just did not have enough umph to cycle the action cleanly. I dare say, as with most semi-automatics, you need to run then in a bit to loosen them up, in a good way, so all the parts run smoothly together.
On the pattern boards best results came from the Gamebore Black Gold Game with a heavy load of 36-gram No 5 shot, they up to 40-gram if needs be. We had a fast load, and you could feel the velocity in the cycling of the Hatsan, and at 30-yards had 191 total hits with a good overall spread of 81 inner hits and 110 outers.
The Hull Super Fast Pigeon load is also designed to be semi-automaticfriendly and so a load of No 6 shot of 29-gram payload has a velocity of 1425fps. Its fibre wad achieved 214 pellet strikes with lovely even patterns, with 88 inner and 126 outer hits – quite a tight pattern.
With a larger load of Solway Steel and 3-inch steel shot loading, this plastic wad shell functioned 100%, recoil was okay and the 36-gram FE1 shot size loading achieved 91 pellet strikes at 30-yards with 40 inner hits and 51 outer, so quite evenly spaced.
Hatsan are stalwarts of the semi-automatic world and are seen as cheap go-to shotguns and in most ways they are. This Escort Magnum Xtreme is better than previous models and shot some nice patterns and cycled well when fed normal loads.
Whether it’s ducks, geese, pigeons, rabbits, or squirrels for that matter, the Escort would not break the bank and performance is good for the money.