Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review
Part 3 - External & Operational Features
February 13, 2016

Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

In this part of my Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review, I try to cover all of the external and operational features of this value oriented pump-action 12 gauge shotgun.


You can see the video portion of this review by watching the video below.  If you watch the video, make sure you still checkout the high definition photos further below.

This shotgun has an all black appearance with it's matte black finishes and black polymer forend and stock.

Figure 1
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Top View

I feel the overall look of the shotgun is what you would expect from a value pump-action shotgun.  The stock has a simple yet traditional shape and styling, the receiver has smooth edges and a rounded rear end and the barrel is simple with no vent-rib.  The only feature that seems to have a more modern style is the extended forend which covers the rear portion of the action bars and magazine tube and allows you the opportunity for a shorter reach to the forend if needed.

Figure 2
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Right View

The shotgun measured an overall length of 38.9" which was nearly 1" longer that than that stated in the specifications.  The barrel length on this shotgun also measured about 18.55" which was also about 1/2" longer than the specs.

Figure 3
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Bottom View

Figure 4
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Left View

The shotgun weighed in at 6 lbs. 4 oz. empty and basically 7 pounds with 6 rounds of 2.75" #4 buckshot which makes this a very light shotgun.

Figure 5
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

Figure 6
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

I always like to check and see where the center of gravity (CG) is on a loaded shotgun and found it to be about 20.07" forward of the buttpad.  Using the weight and CG, I like to compare how this shotgun stacks up to other shotguns from a point-ability perspective.  Out of everything that I have personally tested, this shotgun is very good with regard to being light weight and easily shifts to different points of aim due to it's close CG.  You can take a look at this data from other shotguns at this link, Tactical & Home Defense Pump Shotguns.

Figure 7
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The shotgun comes with a fixed cylinder bore choke which allows you the opportunity to shoot various types of shot (bird or buck) and also slugs.  Since the bore of the barrel is smooth, make sure you stick with rifles slugs.  I measured the barrel inside diameter at the muzzle and it was coming it at about 0.729 which confirmed it being a cylinder bore choke size which basically says there is no constriction.

The barrel is also advertised as being made of nickel-chromium-molybdenum steel with additional chrome plating internally & is proof tested for 1200 kg / cm² (17160 lb. per square inch). The first 1/2" or so of the barrel appears to have a black appearance where the bluing appears to have been applied to the edge, but the rest of the inside of the barrel does have the bright chrome plating appearance.  The advantage to a chrome plated barrel for the manufacturer is preparation costs and for the consumer it can be more forgiving if you don't practice good cleaning routines.

At the muzzle, you can also see that the front sight is soldered in place and includes a high-visibility red insert.  I do have a little criticism that this red fiber optic tube has either too deep a red color or is not translucent enough and doesn't do a good job at transmitting light so it does not appear to be as "hi-vis" as others I have seen.

Figure 8
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

Figure 9
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The finish on barrel is a matte black blued finish which in my opinion they did a great job on this shotgun.  The magazine tube has a black shiny blued finish which may be for the purpose of reducing friction for the pump-action.  The magazine tube is capped with a steel magazine tube cap which includes a sling swivel stud.  If you check the Hatsan website,  you will see that they are currently advertising the sling attachment as a plate with a loop instead of this stud, although Legacy Sports International (the importer) shows this configuration.

Figure 10
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

I thought the fit of the stud inside the hole in the end of the cap was too loose which causes more force on the retaining clip on the inside of the cap.  Potentially, this may be the reason for the shift to the loop.

Figure 11
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

When you remove the cap, you can see the end of the magazine plug.  The plug may be slightly loose inside the tube giving the shotgun a slight rattle.  If you need the plug installed for hunting reasons and the rattle is bugging you, put some wadded up cleaning patches under the cap to help reduce the rattle.

Figure 12
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The magazine tube plug is easily removed by just tilting the muzzle down and the plug will slide out.  With the plug installed, the tube capacity is limited to two shells.  Most likely you will remove the plug for home defense purposes and only use the plug when hunting laws require the limitation.

Figure 13
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The plug is shown below and measured 9.56" in length.

Figure 14
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

As I mentioned earlier, the barrel actually measured 18.55" in length from the front of the bolt with the action closed to the end of the barrel.

Figure 15
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The polymer forend is shaped to cover the rear of the magazine tube and slides over the lower portion of the receiver when the action is pulled rearward.  This shape allows a person with a shorter arm length the ability to comfortably rack the action.  The polymer surface of the forend is smooth and has a slick feel, but the grooves and shape give it a decent gripping surface.

Figure 16
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

On the bottom of the magazine tube was the "ESCORT" sticker in bold red letters.  Shortly after these photos, the sticker was removed.

Figure 17
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

On the right side of the barrel near the receiver is the markings "PROOF TESTED 12GA - 76/3" ch" which mean the shotgun is chambered for 12 gauge shells up to 3" (76mm) in length.  The specifications state the barrel was proof tested to 17,160 psi.  According to SAMMI, the maximum average service pressure for a 12 ga 2.75" shell is 11,500 psi which means the barrels were proof tested to about 1.5 times the maximum service pressures.

Figure 18
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

Although there is no way to see this unless you remove the barrel due to the shape of the forend, the bottom of the barrel is marked with "Warning - read instruction / safety manual before using firearm. Extra manual available from LSI."  Also note that LSI stands for Legacy Sports International who is the importer of this shotgun.

Figure 19
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The AimGuard shotgun comes with an aluminum receiver that has a black anodized finish.  The top of the receiver has a small ramp up to a set of lines to aid in getting a good sight picture on the front sight. The integrally machined dovetail mount slots measured 0.466" at the top.  Not that I plan to install any type of optic, but I tried on a pair of  Millet Angle Lock Tip Off Rings (TP00708) and was happy with the fit.

Figure 20
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The side of the receiver include some shallow grooves for styling along with the "ESCORT" name boldly machined into the surface.

Figure 21
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

With the action to the rear, you can see how far back the forend covers the lower portion of the receiver.  You can also see that the rear barrel extension that goes into the receiver appears to be made from some type of stainless steel.

Figure 22
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The spring loaded carrier stays in the lower position when the action is fully forward meaning that you will need to push the carrier up as you load shells into the magazine tube.

Figure 23
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The lower receiver has the serial number, "Made in Turkey by HATSAN Arms Company" and "LSI-RENO, NV." marked in white lettering.  Remember that LSI stands for Legacy Sports International who is the importer of this shotgun.

Figure 24
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The left side of the receiver includes the stylish markings along with the "ESCORT" brand machined into the receiver.  You can also get a good look at the large action release button/lever.  This large size lever is intended to allow ease of manipulation when using gloves.  Although it looks large (my opinion), I didn't find any issue with its operation with or without gloves.

Figure 25
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The safety is a cross bolt safety located behind the trigger which is similar to many other shotguns.  The safety has a red marking on the left side of the trigger guard when the safety is in the fire position.  The bottom of the polymer trigger guard also has some checkering which I feel is mainly for cosmetic reasons.

Figure 26
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The black polymer stock generally has a traditional styling.

Figure 27
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The grip area has checkering on each side to provide a good griping surface which I feel it does.  The length of pull measured 14.5".

Figure 28
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The bottom of the stock includes a sling swivel stud and the bottom of the grip area has a cap with the "ESCORT" name.

Figure 29
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The shotgun comes with four spacers which allow you to adjust the drop and cast of the stock.  Initially I thought I would probably use the shotgun without any spacers installed, but after range testing, I think I'm going to add a drop spacer to lower the stock slightly because my cheek weld without a spacer seemed to be beating up my cheek bone.

Figure 30
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The figure below shows how the spacers work.

Figure 31
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review

The AimGuard shotgun comes with a relatively soft buttpad which definitely helps with providing some cushion on your shoulder.

Figure 32
Escort AimGuard Shotgun Review



I have reviewed several value shotguns and I'm always amazed at what you can get for your money.  I'm still impressed with the Escort AimGuard shotgun and don't see any reason that this shotgun wouldn't make a great value home defense shotgun.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments below.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 

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