Undeniably Eye-Catching and Priced To Sell,
Legacy’s Turkish-Made Foxy Woods 20-Gauge
Semi-Auto Is Ready For Action.
By Holt Bodinson
Legacy Sports International, which imports the lines of Howa, Escort, Citadel and Pointer, has been continuously improving and expanding their Escort line of Turkish-made, semi-automatic shotguns. In fact, the more Turkish shotguns I see and handle, the more impressed I am with the country’s gun-making industry. Turkey is currently the source of every quality-level of shotgun from the finest-grade trap gun to the least expensive pump. It’s remarkable how fast the country has come online as a hotbed for innovative shotgun designs, modern production processes and strict quality control.
One of the interesting, new offerings in Legacy’s Escort line is a series of 20-gauge semi-autos dipped in Foxy Woods camouflage. It really caught my eye, but it wasn’t just those hot pink colors intriguing me. It’s really a trio of guns. There’s the standard model seen here, but there’s also a “Youth” and a “Lady’s” model in the series with 13-inch length-of-pull’s and 20- and 22-inch barrels respectively.
The standard Escort Extreme Magnum features a 3-inch chamber, a 26-inch ventilated rib barrel with three screw-in choke tubes and a wrench, a 14-inch LOP. It weighs in at around 6-1/2 pounds and comes dressed in “light up the night sky,” hot pink, Foxy Woods camouflage. This color scheme may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m tired of looking at black synthetic shotgun stocks. I like the wild 3D pattern, featuring oak trees, leaves, acorns and hot-pink highlights. This may be a stretch, but I have a hunch the bright Foxy Woods camouflage pattern may enhance safe gunhandling since it makes the shooter more visually aware of where their gun is pointing.
The Foxy Woods camo pattern of the Escort is an eye-catcher. The Trio recoil pad
(below) really soaks up recoil and is adjustable with spacers for length-of-pull.
Legacy’s Escort semi-auto line sports a number of well thought-out features. A magazine cut-off switch just below the ejection port blocks off the magazine, so you can quickly clear your gun without dumping the magazine. Or change out your chambered shotshell as circumstances dictate—like quickly single-loading a buckshot load for a passing coyote.
The top of the Escort receiver is milled with a 3/8-inch dovetail enabling you to add optical sighting equipment.
While it may look frumpy and bizarre, the big rubber-operating handle is very practical. Because it’s easy to grasp, it’s fast in operation, and is safer to manipulate than a little curved piece of steel, particularly when those little pieces are cold, wet and slippery.
The Escort stock is factory fitted with sling swivels, and included are two stock-drop spacers (a 2mm and a 2-1/2mm one), which can be assembled together or separately to better fit the gun to the shooter. The distinctive “Trio” recoil pad comes with three contoured spacers to fine tune the LOP. The Escort semi-auto models are available in left-hand versions at no additional cost.
Finally, the self-regulating gas system, called the “Smart Valve” runs clean and definitely moderates felt recoil.
The first thing I do with a new shotgun is to test whether the point-of-aim and the point-of-impact coincide. Often they don’t. Some of the worst offenders in my experience have been pumps and automatics with interchangeable barrels and interchangeable choke tubes.
The Legacy Foxy Woods 20 gauge (below) gets a workout by the distaff
side at the local clays range.
Legacy’s Foxy Woods Escort produced outstanding patterns right out of the box.
The point-of-aim/point-of-impact test is simple. Take a plain piece of letter-size paper or the back of a regular target and draw a solid 2-inch circle in the center. I use HunterJohn “clays,” targets which already have a large red dot in the center. Place it 15 feet in front of your bench. Install a full-choke tube. Bench the shotgun, aim it like a rifle at the center of the dot or at 6 o’clock and shoot one shell.
At this distance, the result will be a single ragged shot hole plus one or two holes punched by the wads. If the shot hole coincides with your point-of-aim, your gun is ready to pattern.
The Foxy Woods Escort was dead-on in terms of point-of-aim, indicating excellent quality control by Turkey’s Hatsan Company.
With the dove season just around the corner, I set a HunterJohn “clays” target up at 30 yards and with the same full choke tube and let fly with an inexpensive “Estate” brand shell featuring 7/8 of an ounce of 7-1/2’s at 1,210 fps. The resulting pattern was picture perfect.
Since I do a lot of dove and quail hunting, I particularly like HunterJohn’s clays patterning targets. Those 126 clays laid out on a 38×40-inch size sheet are roughly the body size of smaller gamebirds. If I can achieve a 30-yard pattern with 3 or 4 pellets in most of the clays in the core 20-inch area, I’m a happy hunter. I was certainly pleased with the consistent performance of the Escort later that day on the trap field and in the hands of two other shooters.
The Foxy Woods Standard, Lady’s and Youth Escort 20-gauge lines are packed with features, performance and value. With a retail of only $553, they’re an excellent buy and really foxy.
Escort Foxy Woods Extreme Magnum
Maker: Hatsan Arms Co., Turkey
Importer: Legacy Sports International
4750 Longley Lane, #209
Reno, NV 89502
Action: Gas-operated, semi-auto
Gauge: 20-gauge, 3-inch
Barrel length: 26 inches
Choke: IC, M, F tubes included
Length of Pull: 14 inches (adjustable)
Overall length: 46 inches
Weight 6.45 pounds
Finish: Foxy Woods camouflage
Sights: Fiber-optic front bead
P.O. Box 477
St. Louis, MO 63166