Shotgun and air rifle specialist Hatsan USA is launching a new line of Escort semi-automatic shotguns with a cool twist: these guns are bullpups. Available in 12-gauge and .410 bore, these bullpups are offered with a choice of a black or flat dark earth Cerakote finish.
The new models are the BTS12 and the BTS410. Both versions of the shotguns are chambered for 3-inch magnum shells and both come with two 5-round detachable box magazines. Alternatively, 2-round 12-gauge and 3-shot .410 magazines are available for hunting and shooting sports that have shotgun capacity requirements.
They have reversible charging handles and downward-angled shell deflectors for left- and right-handed use.
Both versions in black and tan come with two sets of sights with a sight adjustment tool, an adjustable cheek riser, a rubber buttpad, a barrel shroud, and adjustable 3- and 6-o’clock accessory rails. They’re built on alloy receivers with a polymer chassis, come with chrome-lined barrels, and are gas-operated for less felt recoil.
The main difference between the 12-gauge and the .410 are the bores. The 12-gauge comes with three interchangeable chokes while the .410 has a fixed cylinder bore. The 12-gauge also comes standard with an 18-inch barrel while the .410 has a 20-inch barrel.
They’re also priced really affordably. The suggested retail price for the black models is $589 and $679 for the tan versions. Those would be good prices for bare-bones automatic shotguns but these come with a lot of features. Even just the two sight setups–one set of flip-up backup polymer sights and a fixed carry handle front and rear sight–amount to a good value.
With real-world and online prices typically less than MSRP, chances are these bullpup BTS Escort shotguns will fly off shelves. Really, at right around $500 if you are at all interested in these just go ahead and get one as soon as you can, because these are priced to move.
While bullpups haven’t taken over the rifle scene they make a lot of sense as far as shotguns are concerned. For legal reasons shotguns generally have longer barrels and an overall length that makes them harder to use in a lot of scenarios but especially indoors. Reloading tube magazines is a skill that also requires practice to do well.
The things that make bullpups easy to use indoors also makes them easy to carry in the field. The short overall length means the muzzle won’t snag or drag on branches or brush and the compact size makes them quick and easy to point.
Bullpups can be a little heavier than conventional designs but the short length brings the balance back toward the shooter and most people don’t notice or mind all that much. Plus extra mass in a shotgun is not necessarily a bad thing, especially with magnum loads.
The 12-gauge Escort BTS weighs 8.2 pounds and measures in at just under 29 inches. The .410 model weighs 6.7 pounds and is just under 31 inches long.
Without a doubt the BTS series from Hatsan USA are going to be fun guns for a lot of shooters, but with the right ammo in the right situations these are serious shotguns destined for serious work.
Still, if you’re not sold on bullpups but like the style and features of these shotguns, check out the rest of Hatsan’s designs. For more about these and other Hatsan USA products and accessories head over to the company website.