Rambling Thoughts on Over/Under Shotguns and a Short Review of the Escort Silver Synthetic Shorty
by Greg Ritchie
Until recently I have never owned an Over / Under shotgun. Never even shot one. When I started a hunting battery of bolt action rifles I decided that an Over / Under shotgun would be the perfect complement to my bolt action rifles.
One of my requirements were that the shotgun have short barrels. Just a personal preference. I quickly found out that the short barrelled over/under shotgun was a somewhat rare commodity. About the only games in town we’re the Mossberg Maverick and the Stoger Condor. After handling the longer barrelled versions of the Mossberg and Stoeger, I decided on the Stoeger Condor Outback and ordered one through my local gun store.
A few days later I got the call that my shotgun was here and I went to pick it up. Upon my arrival I was told that the shop had just taken in a shotgun on consignment that I might like better. The shotgun was the Escort Silver Synthetic Shorty. After a side by side comparison I decided that I did like the Escort better and made my decision.
The Escort Silver Synthetic Shorty is made in Turkey and imported by Legacy Sports International. It came with two stock spacers, 5 choke tubes and a choke tube wrench.
The choke tubes supplied are Full, improved modified, modified, improved cylinder, and cylinder. The 18 inch barrels sports a short length of picitinny rail, a mid bead and a fiber optic front bead. The barrels are equipped with extractors only, they do not eject.
The stocks are a high density plastic. The hollow sound produced when the stock is banged against an object is greatly reduced when compared against similar stocks I have on some of my rifles. The foregrip and handgrip have gray rubber inserts with a pebbled texture giving a very good grip. The stock is adjustable for length of pull using the supplied spacers, and comb height by pushing out a pin and replacing the comb. The butstock has a gray rubber vented recoil pad that does a very good job of negating recoil.
The shotgun is equipped with a single selective trigger and a tang safety with a tab in the middle of the safety to select the sequence that the barrels will fire in. The safety does not automatically engage when the action is closed.
The receiver has a nickel finish and is engraved in a floral pattern. I can’t help but think of the Japanese Chrysanthemum and the Arisaka rifle when looking at the engraving. The block is jeweled. The import mark is stamped on the bottom of the reciever.
Shooting impressions and handling characteristics are good. While technically I probably need to add one spacer, I like the feel of the slightly too short length of pull. With the low comb my eye lines up perfectly with the beads, the fiber optic front bead forming a sort of halo around the mid bead. The shotgun is somewhat heavy with a definite muzzle heaviness to it which helps with follow through. It handles more like my 26" 20 gauge pump than a short barreled double. I have never really patterned the shotgun, except for putting a few shots of 3" Remington Premier #5 turkey loads on some tin cans.
One shot through the full choke tube with the Remington load brought home my turkey this past spring. Winchester 2 3/4" #4 steel shot worked fine for flooded timber mallards with the cylinder and improved cylinder choke tubes installed. The rest of my hunting has been done using reclaimed shot loaded in front of Green Dot powder also with the cylinder and improved cylinder choke tubes installed. This is a dandy rabbit gun!
Legacy Sports International does not list this shotgun on their web page today. Their Escort model now is a pump action. They do however list the Pointer O/U in a black synthetic, and a nice looking Pointer Field with Turkish Walnut stocks, a silver receiver and 28" barrels. I surmise that these are basically the same shotgun as what I have.
I am very happy with my purchase. Should have bought an O/U long ago. I definitely shoot it better than the side by side shotguns I have owned in the past.