Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
February 13, 2016

Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

I believe everyone should have at least one home defense shotgun, but I also recognize that everyone's budget is not the same.  Fortunately, for those on a tight budget, there are many value oriented shotguns on the market which afford you the opportunity to have one for your home.   As I was planning my assault on the 2015 Black Friday deals, I came across the HATSAN Escort AimGuard 12 gauge pump-action shotgun with an 18.5" barrel and 5+1 capacity for a bargain price of $149.99 at one of my local gun stores.  I had been seeing it regularly for about $170, but the drop in price to $150 was too much for me to pass up so I made sure this shotgun was at the top of my shopping list.  I have had some very positive experiences with value oriented Turkish made shotguns and felt there was very low risk with my investment so I got one for this review.  For those wanting a shotgun with less recoil, the AimGuard also comes in a 20 gauge version, but they may be harder to find at your local stores.  They also make a "MarineGuard" model that has a water resistant nickel finish.  MSRP on the AimGuard is $312 at the Legacy Sports website, but the street can be clearly much lower than this so make sure you shop around.

 

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Hatsan website on 1/2/16 and gives the Key Features and Specifications for the Escort AimGuard Pump Shotgun.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

Key Features

  • Security & law enforcement purpose 12  or 20 gauge, 3” / 76 mm chamber pump action shotgun.
  • 18” ( 18.55") (46 cm) or 20” (51 cm) slug barrel with fiber optic front sight.
  • Fixed cylinder choke for shot or slugs.
  • Barrels are made of nickel-chromium-molybdenum steel with additional chrome plating internally & are proof tested for 1200 kg / cm² (17160 lb. per square inch).
  • Tough black matte finish.
  • Aircraft alloy receiver.
  • Advanced polymer compound synthetic stock for strength and durability.
  • Spacer shims to adjust the slope of the stock for a perfect fit.
  • Ergonomic design long forearm for fast and easy loading.
  • Elastic butt pad for recoil absorption.
  • Manual cross-button trigger safety.
  • Magazine capacity: 5+1 in 18” / 46 cm barrels.
  • Accessory pistol grip comes in its box at no additional cost (12 gauge models only). grip did not come with shotgun
  • Sling swivels.

Specifications

  • Model: Escort AimGuard
  • Gauge: 12 GA
  • Chamber: 3"/76 mm Magnum
  • Stock & Forend: Polymer
  • Recoil Pad: Rubber
  • Receiver: Aircraft alloy Black anodized
  • Barrel: Black chrome finished Ni-Cr-Mo steel
  • Barrel Length: 18"/46 cm review shotgun measured 18.55"
  • Overall Length: 38"/96 cm review shotgun measured 38.9"
  • Capacity: 5+1
  • Choke: Fixed Cylinder
  • Sight: Fiber optic front sight
  • Safety: Manual cross button
  • Average Weight: 6.4 lbs/2.9 kg empty and 7.0 lbs with 6 rounds of 2.75" #4 Buckshot
  • MSRP: $312 Currently $180 at Academy Sports

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference.

Pros:

  • Value Price
  • Seems to have good build quality
  • Surface finishes on the barrel and receiver were good
  • Very easy to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning
  • Cycled all shells ranging from 2.25" mini-buckshot to 2.75" bird shot up to 3" 00 buckshot without issue
  • Cylinder bore shot patterns with 00 buckshot consistent with other shotguns of this style

Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:

  • I think the hi-visibility front sight material should be more translucent because I feel the sight seems darker than others I have seen.
  • The shotgun is not compatible with Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 stock and forends.

Cons:

  • The magazine tube cap sling swivel stud seemed too loose which might put too much stress on the retaining clip, but so far I have not had an issue.

 

Bottom Line:

Everything I have seen indicates that the Escort AimGuard Shotgun should be a good reliable shotgun for a value price.  I was pleased with the build quality of the shotgun and it looked like they did a good job with applying the surface finishes.  There aren't too many things that can go wrong with a pump action shotgun which is why this style of shotgun is considered to have the highest reliability when compared to semi-autos.  The AimGuard can take a variety of length shells and will cycle the shells as fast as you (or at least I) can pump them.  Shot pattern data was consistent with other cylinder bore shotguns.  If you are looking for a rock bottom priced shotgun then I think you should take a close look at the AimGuard.

You can see the video version of this review below.


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