Friday, November 16, 2012

Hatsan Escort Magnum MPA Semi Automatic Tactical 2 Shotgun Review

Today I will be reviewing the Hatsan Escort Magnum MPA Semi Automatic Tactical 2 Shotgun. I bought this gun around 2 months ago at Big 5 in California and I will be showing you guys the features of this shotgun along with a couple things I learned while operating it.

Here are some of the specs straight from the Hatsan Site:
• 12 gauge, 3” / 76 mm chamber
• Fast Loading System & Smart Valve Piston.
• Fixed cylinder choke 18” (46 cm)
• muzzle break and additional muzzle cap supplied in the box.
• Ghost ring adjustable rear sight integrated on the picatinny rail and adjustable front sight with fiber optic sights.
• Picatinny rail fitted on aircraft alloy receiver.
• 2-Shotshells holder insert on stock
• Spacer shims to adjust the slope of the stock for a perfect fit.
• Strong and durable advanced polymer compound synthetic stock with integrated pistol grip.
• Elastic material covered pistol grip for better feel and grip.
• Integrated picatinny rail on forend.
• 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.
• Elastic butt pad for recoil absorption.
• Manual cross-button trigger safety.
• Magazine capacity: 5+1 in 18” / 46 cm barrels.
• Sling swivels on stock and magazine cap.
• Weight unloaded = 7.9 pounds or 3.6 kg

I picked this shotgun up on sale for $439.99 and after tax and a background checked I walked out of the store with this gun for 500 dollars, a very good deal considering all the extra accessories and goodies that a semi auto shotgun would want. For such a good deal though I was a bit skeptical about how the gun would function especially with different loads and such. I looked up the company in Turkey and they have been around for around 30 years and just now Legacy started importing them so we are seeing a wave of these gun hitting the market.

A nice add on that came with this gun is the muzzle break which works by directing gases evenly around the barrel increasing accuracy as well as lowering recoil.

 One add on you won't find on a Mossberg or Bennelli is the 2 extra shots holder on the stock, I have heard some reviews saying that this would make it uncomfortable to shoot for left handed shooters but as long as your not a retard and holding the gun properly the holder does not interfere what-so-ever, A neat thing I did was I actually removed the holder and replaced it with a phone holder so I actually had my phone mounted on the side of my gun which serves really no purpose but it was pretty neat.
 The carrier is also a bolt release switch which is the middle lever. This is very handy to get to and in my opinion easier to reach than cocking the handle back like other guns. There is a slight downfall though, I have on multiple occasions hit this lever by mistake and have been startled by the bolt pulling forward (it is quite loud) Also watch you fingers do not hold this shotgun my the reciever because you could touch this lever and slam your thumb in the bolt, and yes it did hurt. Of course this is operator error on my part but is still an option to consider before buying this gun.

 Very nice ghost ring sights work beautifully during the day for fast target acquisition. Perfect for shooting skeet! The forward sight is a half hooded red dot. I, being the tacticool operator that I am, have added a red dot holographic sight to mine because it makes shooting slugs easier and also nice for night shooting.

 Another add on that I absolutely love is this picatinny front rail that comes standard on this gun. I'm pretty sure it was meant for a flashlight, and I am working on getting a nice one, but for now I mounted a vertical foregrip which makes this gun super easy to handle especially whilst rapid firing 00 buckshot! I have rigged this trashy looking though because I bought the grip for like 6 bucks and is cheap. Works great though, helps disperse the recoil   and keeping the barrel down. A wonderful feature!

  The magazine release is a great feature as well for helping organize your loads and allowing more accessibility over your gun if something happens. The nice thing I do with this is I do not keep a shot in the chamber when I have this stored for home defense but I have the magazine tube loaded. The switch is designed to throw one shot into the reciever and close the bolt ready to fire when this switch is pushed forward, a great feature to have that is safer then keeping one in the chamber at all times.

The nice thing about this shotgun is that not only does a pistol grip come standard, but it is also elastic covered which is super comfortable, probably one of the best grips I've ever held. Another nice thing is that the recoil spring is not inside of the stock like the mossberg 930 has which means if you really wanted to you could buy just the pistol grip and ditch the stock completely if you wanted too.

The Catch (Cons):
This shotgun seems almost perfect! But there are 2 cons that I have found while owning this gun. Both of which are for the most part not bad at all but simply require knowledge of beforehand in order to keep from jamming your gun.

Here is the problem: Imagine that the magazine is completely loaded but there are no rounds in the chamber and the bolt is closed like the picture on the left. Now it seems that you only need to cock the handle back to load one in the chamber right? WRONG due to the shotguns "Fast Loading System" the shotgun will load so fast that IN SOME CASES not all, the shotgun will let 2 shots try to push into the action. This jams the gun. Now I have experimented with this for quite some time and I have relized that two factors come into play here: 
1. The magazine spring when loaded to full capacity will push shells so fast that it will actually over ride the side clamps that are suppose to prevent 2 shells from entering the action. If you load only 3 shots or so this jam will not happen due to the spring being under-tensioned and therefore allowing the side clamps to intercept the second shell.
2. The type of ammo plays a role as well, I haven't tested all brands but for some reason high quality shells have a slightly bigger rim that allows for the side clamps to grab the second shell. So in some cases shooting higher quality ammunition will prevent this jam.

To prevent this from happening always load a round in the chamber before you load up the magazine, I have never had this problem while just shooting the gun because the bolt carrier system works even faster than the magazine can push the shells out which completely prevents this type of jam while just firing normally.

This Jam will not happen if you are just shooting the shotgun, it will only happen if you physically pull back the bolt while the magazine is full.

I have cycled many different Shells and shot types from this shotgun and everything worked fine except for a target load I bought that had a velocity of 1145, the shotgun would cycle 1/2 the time, stovepipe jam 1/4 the time, and just not even cycle the other 1/4 of the time.
This shotgun can and will shoot and cycle BIRDSHOT WITH NO PROBLEM :)

Final Analysis and Ranking:
Price: 9.75/10     Seriously the only way the price could be better would be if it were free
Looks: 9/10        Aesthetically identical to the old style SPAS - 12
Reliability 7/10    What can I say? If you know the mechanics of this gun it works like a dream but because of its minor problems with the jam and also the inability to cycle absolutely the lightest load on the planet drops it reliability down.
Overall score: 8.5 /10 

A very inexpensive shotgun that is perfect for homedefense straight out of the box. With its price being nearly 300 dollars cheaper than its fully decked out Mossberg 930 spx counterpart this makes it a perfect buy for the economically conscious buyer who still wants reliability.


  1. Just bought one of these myself - though it is restricted to 2+1.

    I concur with what you say - though I didnt find trouble cycling low vel cartridges, but it did not like short 65mm cartridges (1345fps) and stove-piped most of those I tried to put through it.

    Is a very differnt shoot to my Browning Cynergy sporter and my clay scores are suffering from it - though this is just a matter of time before I get proficient.

    Overall, a fun tacticool gun that will get a lot of funny looks down the local clay club (well here in the UK it does).

    My only negative comment is: take that damned ugly handle off the front or at least blck out that silver screw! :)

    1. I bought mine 2/17/14 - Haven't shot it yet but messed around with loading and such. Here is my question - I was under the impression that it was 5+1. As I was loading mine it happened to be a 2+1. Did this change in production over the years or is it the model?? I see the review was in 2012 and your purchase was 2013. How can I find further info and maybe up the mag to a 5+1?

    2. I own one myself and out of the box it is 2+1 but if you take the magazine tube cap off and pull out the shell stopper then it's a 5+1

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  3. Very nice review, covered a lot of good ground about it. I have enjoyed shooting the MP-S/A myself. Its cycled all the shell’s I’ve fed it, which included 2.75” and 3” shell’s. The ease of cleaning is nice and the ability to field strip without tools is very welcomed. Its very well balanced and has a nice, durable finish. I also like the fiber optic sights. They work well for my aging eye’s. And I’m very interested to see how well a red dot optic will perform on it. The challenge will be though, finding the right one that will compliment the MP-S/A.

    There are a few negatives that I found with the MP-S/A, I didn’t like. Parts availability here in the State’s suck. There is only one supplier and that is Sports World, Inc. In Tulsa, OK. And if by chance you need a part, you actually have to send them an email with the part(s) number you want. And then hope they get back to you. They are also the one’s who handle all warranty work for the MP-S/A. And from what I understand, you must first go through Legacy Sports International to get any warranty work authorized.

    Aftermarket product’s for the MP-S/A does not exist right now. Hatsan Arms does offer different stock’s (folding and telescoping) and magazine extension's but, they can not sell those in the State’s due to Federal law’s. King Armory Mfg., which is here in the State’s. Will be in the next few month’s, offering a magazine extension and a new piston for the MP-S/A. With additional parts in late fall. Not sure what those additional parts will be though.

    And lastly, its very easy to jam the MP-S/A, with no way to immediately clear it. I experienced it totally by accident. If your not careful, while loading a shell into the magazine. And your thumb come’s off the bottom of the shell, before its full inserted into the magazine. The force of the spring, in the magazine. Will push the shell back into the receiver and wedge itself on top of the Shell Carrier and under the Bolt Release. And if this happens, it will render the entire firearm inoperable. And the only way to safely clear the jam is to drop the trigger assembly out of the MP-S/A. Which will then allow you to remove the stuck shell.

    If I were to rate the MP-S/A, I would rate it slightly lower. Which would be a 6.5 out of 10. If part’s were more available, and the aftermarket was better. I’d bump it up to an 7.5. The loading mechanism, really hamper’s the MP-S/A though. And it’s a design, Hatsan Arms really needs to give a second look at. No shotgun, should be able to jam so easy, with no way to immediately clear.

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  20. please look into the laws surrounding assault weapons in Cali. This things looks borderline assault shotty.

  21. I just took mine out over thanksgiving and ran 100 3" mag buck and slug shells through it. The smart valve was stuck in the barrel carrier and wouldn't come out...turns out it was freezing in the garage, popped right out during the day. comfortable, accurate with slugs out of the box at 60yds. Front grip really does help. I got one with a side rail attached to it so I didn't lost the front rail entirely. 3 jams out of the first hundred rounds and all of them in the first 2 tubes. fired a box of federal #7 2 3/4 shells after the break in and not one jam. No recoil with birdshot, and no bruise after 100 yds of business ammo. scored mine at big5 too, money well spent. Funny thing is this thing was really quiet with the factory muzzle break on it....I like it.

  22. I purchased this gun number one because I wanted a semi 12 gauge at an affordable $. I suppose that's 2 reasons. The reviews were over all good and for the $ I gave it a go. The gun feels a bit flimsy out of the box but shoots tough. Synthetic stalks always seem to give that illusion. The gun is well built and well worth the money & I really do recommend it to anyone who does not fear a bit of recoil. I found the front dove tail a bit far up the gun so placing a grip on the front was further than my little chicken arms are use to and the gun did not like any 2 3/4 shell I put in it (& I tried a few even riffled slugs). Did not want to cycle but did fantastic with the 3 inch wins, as fast as I could pull the trigger. After an afternoon & around 300 rounds this shot gun wanted to stay up all night. I took it home cleaned it (very easy & fairly fast) & put her to bed. Looking forward to hitting the range again soon. Going to try the 3 inch slugs next time so will keep you up to speed on that.

  23. Outstanding review of which I cannot see anyone in disagreement (though we all know the "snobs" out there of whom consider any and all "low-shelf" firearms inferior to theirs...One question is that I have not seen any clear diagram on their website concerning how to remove the pistol-grip stock like the one in your review? When I remove the recoil pad there is no direct way to access the area where stock's base meets receiver such as I am used to on my Remington and or Mossbergs where all user needs is either a very long-handled screwdriver or socket-wrench...? Can you perhaps point me in the right direction? Cheers.

    1. Just in case someone will face the same problem. I've just replaced the stock with Khan Arms telescope one and described the process in my blog
      It's in russian, but I tried to make enough photos.

  24. I had the same issue with the unclearable jam spoke of in some of the posts. If you get sloppy loading then you could have a problem. I contacted Legacy sports which is the USA distributor. They had me send it to them and I just got it back today. According to the packing list, they have replaced the inner carrier with a new style. Obviously, as it was just dropped off by FED Ex I cannot tell you whether the repair was a success. I will be taking it out in the next month or so and will report back with results.

  25. I had the same issue with the unclearable jam spoke of in some of the posts. If you get sloppy loading then you could have a problem. I contacted Legacy sports which is the USA distributor. They had me send it to them and I just got it back today. According to the packing list, they have replaced the inner carrier with a new style. Obviously, as it was just dropped off by FED Ex I cannot tell you whether the repair was a success. I will be taking it out in the next month or so and will report back with results.

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