Shotguns have always been kept in high regard in the survival community. Simple, effective, versatile. There’s really not a lot you can’t do with a shotgun.
One of the first guns I bought last time I moved was a Mossberg 500 “combination” set, 18.5” slugger barrel with sights and a second, longer choked barrel for hunting. For just under 300 bucks you get a serious gun that while not perfect, can do just about anything. From a role as a home defense shotgun with the shorter barrel to hunting both small and large game.
Now the shotgun does have its issues as a defensive use weapon. While pumps are extremely reliable, having to operate the gun with both hands between shots is a tactical disadvantage in a worst-case scenario. So how about a semi-auto shotgun then? Ah! But there’s no free lunch. With an autoloader, you sacrifice the legendary reliable of the pump shotgun.
Well, not always. Not with the right gun, combined with the right load.
Hatsan Escort MPA
The Hatsan Escort Autodefend started as a little project of mine. I wanted to see how much bang I could get per buck on the cheapest yet reliable autoloader I could find.
I paired it with the cheapest red dot I found on Amazon, $16 Reflex Sight, and my backyard spray can paint job.
The results? Better than you’d think!
A 1,000 rounds later I can say the gun is perfectly reliable with rounds over 30 grams. With 28 grams I had one failure in 50 rounds. This may even improve with a bit more use when the gun slicks up some. All of the shells above work perfectly, 100% reliable.
I’m surprised how well the little cheap reflex sight worked and held up, even keeping the zero.
Downside? Yes, the feeding ramp lever is super sharp and chews on your fingers when reloading. It could use some sandpaper dehorning to get rid of the sharp edges.