I’m pretty certain that Hatsan simply named this firearm the “Escort 22LR”. As of now, they still make this rifle but they no longer offer it in this exact configuration. Their 2019 models vary a little bit from the one I bought. The new guns have a different stock and a different front sight assembly. To me, this gun is a budget version of the CZ 457 Lux. But at any rate, this is an interesting .22lr rifle to go plinking with.
For this review, I’ll start from the muzzle and move back. For whatever reason, the Escort 22LR has a muzzle that is threaded in a useless metric thread pattern. It’s M12-1.25 to be exact. This is a pretty giant oversight for a company that does a lot of business in the U.S. market. At the end of the muzzle, there is a flash hider which doesn’t hide any flash since there isn’t any due to the barrel being 24.8″ long and since the gun is chambered in .22 long rifle. There are shorter barreled versions of this gun available. In their 2019 catalog, they mention a “1⁄2” UNF threaded muzzle for sound moderators and flash hider muzzle cap.”. I sure hope they are talking about good ol’ 1/2-28 UNEF otherwise they are just wasting everyone’s time with obscure thread pitches. Some other points on the barrel that you may want to know is that it is made of “Nickel-chromium-molybdenum” steel that looks to be parkerized. The bore is chrome-lined and is not free-floated. I think the chrome lining part is pretty cool considering this gun cost me less than $220.
Now to the sights. The Escort 22LR comes equipped with red and green fiber optic sights. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation/gravity. The front sight can be drifted to adjust for windage. Overall, the sights are pretty nice. Their components are all steel, the method of adjustment isn’t hokey, and the rear sight notch isn’t too small. Just line up all three fiber optic filaments and make sure that the middle fiber optic filament (front sight) is equally spaced between the other two fiber optic filaments. If you want to mount an optic then you are given the option of an 11mm dovetail rail. If I’m not mistaken, 3/8″ dovetail scope rings can fit this type of rail. Don’t hold me to that statement, though.
Next stop, the action and the trigger. As you can see this is a detachable magazine fed, bolt action rifle. But more specifically, it is cock-on-open bolt action. The magazines hold ten rounds and you get two of them in the box. Hatsan does make five round magazines if you don’t want the mag to stick out so far. The magazines are pretty simple and made of plastic. They look crappy but they haven’t broken on me, yet, and they have fed 100% for the 400+ rounds I ran through this gun. I actually was able to put ten rounds of .22 short through this gun without issue. For one, I was surprised that the .22 short projectiles didn’t get stuck in the long-ass barrel that this rifle has and, two, I was surprised that I was able to get such a short cartridge to feed in this gun correctly. The important thing I had to do was close to bolt fast in order to keep the .22 shorts from pointing upward at too steep of an angle. If you like light triggers on your target guns then you will be satisfied with this thing. The trigger is pretty light and has a very short travel. It isn’t to the point of being dangerous, though. I can jar this gun pretty firmly from multiple directions and it won’t fire. If you’d rather not go too long with this thing cocked then you can always engage the safety. The safety reminds me of an old-timey military bolt action rifle. It’s a steel switch that you push forward when the action is cocked in order to put the gun on safe.
Final stop, the stock. It is made of Turkish walnut and has been press checkered in the spots where your hands hold the rifle during firing. To me, the geometry and the color of the stock is pretty nice to look at but the checkering process could use some improvements. But oh well, I guess. On an ergonomic level, I have no complaints about this stock. The rifle aims comfortably and quickly. Installed on the opposite ends of the stock are two steel sling studs. The butt pad is rubber which really helps to prevent the gun from sliding and falling over.
This rifle is pretty nice. It has a solid walnut stock, all of the components are steel. The magazine body, the stock and the buttpad are basically the only things that are not made of steel. The action and receiver are reminiscent of larger, more substantial, old world bolt actions. Also, the chrome lined chamber, bore, bolt body are nice touches that will help with cleaning and give the rifle a little bit of extra cool factor. Granted, I think this thing has a few goofy design elements but I can certainly give credit were it is due. Not a bad rifle to look at, or shoot, if you ask me.
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