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First Look: Escort BTS Bullpup Shotgun

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Escort BTS
Escort's 12-gauge BTS Bullpup Shotgun

Looking for a tactical smoothbore nimble enough for close-quarters action, but doesn't compromise on performance? Take a gander at the Escort BTS Bullpup.

Generally considered mud-fence ugly and a bit of a novelty, the bullpup configuration doesn’t get a ton of respect. The IWI Tavor and Steyr AUG being the exceptions. Expect, it’s a mistake to write off the un-orthodox set up as just another unnecessary break from traditional gun design. More compact, while allowing for more ballistic-boosting bore, bullpups are close-quarter gems that compromise little to nothing in performance.

Escort must see it this way as Hatsan’s shotgun brand has unleashed a new smoothbore pup on the world. A riff of the Turkish gunmaker’s VTS (Versatile Tactical Shotgun), the Escort BTS Bullpup Shotgun offers the same rock-solid operating system, excellent capacity and smooth operation at a fraction of the size. So, exactly how compact are the 12-gauge and .410 bore options? Small, 28.5 and 30 inches in overall length respectfully despite boast respectably sized 18- and 20-inch barrels.

Adding to the BTS Bullpup’s appeal, the shotgun is magazine-fed—5 rounds in both chamberings—making it potentially quick on the reload. In addition to this, the gun also uses the VTS’s inline gas piston system to cycle, an innovative design in which the piston is situated around the barrel and action bars in a straight line to the receiver. Inherently slim, this allows Escort to keep the gun overall trim in dimensions, thus more nimble to and at the shoulder.

Escort's .410 BTS Bullpup Shotgun

Making the BTS Bullpup more manageable, Escort has included a long recoil spring behind the piston and a soft rubber buttpad to eat up recoil. To this, at least with the 12-gauge, there's the option to run an extended cylinder bore choke brake, which should aid a bit in taming some of the muzzle rise in the tail-heavy configuration. This is removable, and the larger bore shotgun comes with full and improved flush-mount chokes as well. The .410, on the other hand, has a fixed choke, but Escort does not define the type.

Overall, the Escort BTS Bullpup is fairly affordable $590 MSRP for its black finished model and $680 for FDE.

More From Escort:

Bentonville, AR – New to the Escort Versatile Tactical Shotgun lineup is the BTS bullpup. It offers all the perks of the VTS series shotguns in a more compact, portable package. This next-generation shotgun is available in either 12 ga or .410 cal, and is offered in either black or FDE Cerakote. The new inline gas piston design is mounted around the barrel, minimizing bulk and allowing the use of a proper bullpup layout. The tough polymer lower receiver also doubles as the forend grip, with soft rubber inlays for improved handling. Its magazine well is lined with durable alloy for smooth, long-lasting performance.

The synthetic barrel cover features Hatsan's patented ThermoDefend technology that absorbs and dissipates heat while containing the gas piston operating system.

Recoil control is distributed between a soft rubber buttpad and a long recoil spring located behind the gas piston. The reversible charging handle offers versatility to suit varying shooter preferences. The soft rubber pistol grip is removable and can be exchanged for one of many currently available aftermarket options to suit the individual user. The one-piece carry handle sight can be replaced with included flip-up sights for a lower profile or when using mounted optics. Picatinny rails are also located on either side of the forend to accommodate a variety of accessories.

The 12-gauge models feature an 18″ barrel with removable chokes, including an extended cylinder bore choke brake that helps tame recoil with heavy shot or slugs. Also included are Full and Improved Cylinder flush-mount chokes, with additional options available from HatsanUSA. Each gun ships with two 5-round magazines, but an optional 2-round magazine is also available. The gun is chambered to accept both 2 ¾” and 3″ shells and will cycle them interchangeably with no external adjustments required by the shooter.

The .410 models feature a 20″ barrel with integrated choke suitable for both shot and slugs. Offering the same recoil-absorbing characteristics as the larger caliber models, this shotgun is one smooth operator. Also shipping with two 5-round magazines, the optional low-capacity mag holds 3 shells. The gas piston operates in the same manner, cycling both standard and magnum loads smoothly and reliably.

As with all Escort shotguns, the barrels are proof tested at the factory to ensure quality and durability. The hard chrome and/or Cerakote coatings are built to withstand the harshest conditions and look good while doing it. HatsanUSA offers a 5-year limited warranty with all Escort firearms.

BTS Features:
Modern Sporting bullpup gas operated semi-automatic shotgun
12ga or 410cal, 3″ / 76mm chamber
Self-regulating gas piston cycles both 2 3/4″ and 3″ shells
Detachable box magazines
18″ or 20″ barrel for shot or slugs
12-gauge model features interchangeable choke tubes (F, IC, Cyl w/ Brake)
Oxidation proof chrome plated steel barrel
All barrels are proof tested at the factory to ensure maximum durability
Reversible cocking handle for ambidextrous operation
Shell deflector diverts spent shells downward
Integrated buttstock with elevation adjustable cheek rest and soft rubber buttpad
Soft rubber ergonomic pistol grip
Durable alloy upper receiver and a light-yet-durable synthetic lower receiver
Picatinny rail integrated into upper receiver and hand guard
Synthetic ThermoDefend hand guard with ergonomic forend grip
Manual safety selector switch
Adjustable front and rear sights
Detachable carry handle front and rear sights
Optional flip-up front and rear sights included
Mounted sling loops
Tough matte black or FDE Cerakote finish
MSRP: $589.99 – Black / $679.99 – FDE

BTS12 Specs:
Gauge: 12
Operation: gas-operated, semi-automatic
Barrel: 18″ hard chrome plated barrel with removable chokes
Overall Length: 28.7″
Weight: 8.1 lbs.
Capacity: 2x 5-rd magazines included
Chokes: F, IC, and CYL (brake) chokes included

BTS410 Specs:
Gauge: .410
Operation: gas-operated, semi-automatic
Barrel: 20″ hard chrome plated
Overall Length: 30.7″
Weight: 6.7 lbs.
Capacity: 2x 5-rd magazines included
Chokes: Fixed cylinder

For more information on the Escort BTS Bullpup, please visit

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