A Bullpup Beast: The New Escort BTS Shotgun

Meet this feature-rich 12 ga. or .410 semi-auto defensive shotgun with a 18-inch barrel and overall length of just 28.7 inches.

The Escort BTS12 bullpup shotgun in FDE.
The Escort BTS12 bullpup shotgun in FDE.Hatsan

Escort built a name for themselves delivering bargain semiauto scatterguns to the duck hunting crowd, but they jumped into the realm of tactical shotguns with both feet when they introduced the Versatile Tactical Shotgun line at SHOT Show 2020.

Many of the models in this series bear the familiar silhouette of a Modern Sporting Rifle, but the BTS minimizes the gun’s footprint by utilizing a bullpup layout.

Bullpups are revered for their compact dimensions, shoving the receiver rearward to make the smallest possible packages without sacrificing barrel length. This is ideal for maneuvering in tight confines, such as residential hallways.

Features and Design

This compact design makes the BTS a good choice for home defense. The new semi is available in both 12 gauge and .410 bore, and only stretches the tape from end to end at about 30 inches. Both feed from detachable box magazines, and feature 3-inch chambers.

The Escort BTS410 at SHOT Show 2020's Industry Day at the Range.
The Escort BTS410 at SHOT Show 2020's Industry Day at the Range.Hatsan

The compact dimensions of the BTS are made possible by Escort’s new inline gas piston design, which minimizes bulk.

Traditional gas systems use the magazine tube as a carrier for the piston and spring assemblies. The BTS feeds from a detachable box mag, so Escort’s engineers thought outside the box and mounted the gas piston and spring around the barrel itself.

Escort says this improves efficiency and allows the BTS to run a wide variety of 2.75- and 3-inch loads. It should also help reduce muzzle rise, as the piston is in-line with the barrel, not below it.

The design also puts most of the reciprocating mass right over the pistol grip, which should help with control during rapid fire.

Further minimizing recoil is the long travel recoil spring located behind the barrel-mounted gas piston.

The Escort BTS410 bullpup shotgun in FDE.
The Escort BTS410 bullpup shotgun in FDE.Hatsan


Just behind the adjustable cheek rest is a soft rubber buttpad that soaks up whatever kick is left after the action is cycled.

The pistol grip is also constructed with comfort in mind, and features a removable soft rubber grip. If the shooter desires, they can swap it for an AR-pattern grip of their choosing.

The gun is brought into battery via a reversible charging handle that can be configured to meet shooter preference.

Taking it Down and Ejection

Takedown pins let you split the alloy upper receiver and a synthetic lower receiver quickly for cleaning or other maintenance, similar to an AR.

A detailed look at the BTS12's internals and how its gas system works.
A detailed look at the BTS12's internals and how its gas system works.Hatsan

The lower receiver also doubles as the forend grip, with soft rubber inlays for improved handling. A shell deflector that diverts spent shells downward like the Kel-Tec KSG pump gun, which is always a nice touch for a bullpup, and Escort says it facilitates use by left-handed shooters. One of the cons of the bullpup design is that a side ejection port usually ends up right next to a left-handed shooter’s face. A downward ejecting gun eliminates that problem.

The crossbolt-style safety is located over the trigger and the ambidextrous magazine release can be found just behind the alloy-lined mag well.

Other Features

The BTS is no slouch in the looks department, offering a choice of black or flat dark earth (FDE) Cerakote treatments and matching furniture. The synthetic barrel cover features Hatsan's (Escort’s parent company) patented ThermoDefend technology that absorbs and dissipates heat while containing the gas system.

Each shotgun comes with two 5-round detachable box magazines and a 2-round (12 gauge) or 3-round (.410 bore) magazine as well.
Each shotgun comes with two 5-round detachable box magazines and a 2-round (12 gauge) or 3-round (.410 bore) magazine as well.Hatsan


The one-piece carry handle sight can be replaced with included flip-up sights for a lower profile or when using mounted optics. Picatinny accessory rails are also located on either side of the forend to accommodate a variety of attachments like gun lights and laser sights.

The 12-gauge model features an 18-inch barrel that brings the overall length to 28.7-inches, and tips the scales at 8.1 pounds.

The gun ships with removable chokes, including an extended cylinder bore choke that is ported to help tame recoil. Full and improved cylinder flush-mount chokes are also included, with additional tubes available from Hatsan.

Two 5-round magazines are furnished with the gun, but an optional 2-round mag is also available, so, with the interchangeable chokes, this shotgun could serve in a hunting role.

The Escort BTS12 and BTS410 come with detachable carry handle front and rear sights and included flip-up front and rear sights.
The Escort BTS12 and BTS410 come with detachable carry handle front and rear sights and included flip-up front and rear sights.Hatsan


The same magazines will feed both 2.75- and 3-inch shells reliably, and the BTS will cycle them interchangeably with no external adjustments required by the shooter.

The .410 models feature a 20-inch barrel and an overall length of 30.7-inches, with a weight of 6.7 pounds. The barrel has a fixed choke, suitable for both shot and slugs.

The BTS410 also comes with two 5-round magazines; the optional low-capacity mag holds 3. Again, no adjustments are required when switching from 2.75- to 3-inch shells.

Both BTS shotguns have an MSRP of $589.99 in black and $679.99 in FDE.

Hatsan USA offers a 5-year limited warranty on all Escort firearms.

BTS Features and Specs:

· Self-regulating gas piston cycles both 2 3/4" and 3" shells

· Detachable box magazines

· 18- or 20-inch barrels suitable for shot or slugs

· 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 Specifications:

The Escort BTS12 bullpup shotgun in black.
The Escort BTS12 bullpup shotgun in black.Hatsan

· 12 gauge gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun

· 18-inch hard chrome plated barrel with removable chokes

· 28.7-inch overall length

· 8.1 lbs.

· 2x 5-round magazines included

· Full, Improved Cylinder, and extended cylinder bore with brake choke tubes included

BTS410 Specifications:

The Escort BTS410 bullpup shotgun in black.
The Escort BTS410 bullpup shotgun in black.Hatsan

· 410 caliber gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun

· 20-inch hard chrome plated fixed cylinder barrel

· 30.7-inch overall length

· 6.7 lbs.

· 2x 5-round magazines included

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