The RETAY Gordion Shotgun Puts More Pellets on Target – Full Review

Awesome shotgun in the poshest case I’ve seen come with a shotgun

Most of you probably don’t recognize the brand name “Retay” as a shotgun manufacturer, and neither did I. However, after decades in the shooting sports I’ve learned not to discount newcomers to the industry; Glock was once the unfamiliar name of a foreign manufacturer.

Relay’s manufacturing is based in Turkey and US operations are handled by RetayUSA.com. I’ve reviewed several Turkish-made guns in the last couple of years and all have been outstanding; the Retay Gordion is no exception.

The Gordion appears to be somewhat Montefeltro-like, but that’s where the similarities end and the enhancements begin.

Beautiful transitions of wood to metal from receiver to fore-end and butt stock

The Gordion uses the patented Retay Inertia Plus bolt to eliminate bolt bounce and potential misfires. If you have used inertia shotguns long enough you have probably experienced this problem, I certainly have while shooting 3-gun action matches.

When it does occur, the bolt is out of battery and you get a misfire when you try to fire the shotgun. So, the solution is to rack the action to re-cock the hammer which ends up ejecting the shell in the chamber and forces you to have to rechamber another.

Well all that takes time and you lose a live round which in competition hurts your score, and in hunting may very well cost you the opportunity to bag the game you were aiming for.

The patented Inertia Plus bolt is chromed for slick, reliable operation

The good news is the Inertia Plus system keeps it from happening. Retay utilizes an internal Rollover Torsion Spring installed in the bolt to keep it closed in battery. The test gun I was provided functioned flawlessly during patterning, hunting, and function testing.

Beautiful sharp checkering on the grip

Well, let’s take a look at the rest of the Gordion attributes before we get into the most interesting feature. The gun weighs a little less than 7 pounds so it’s light and is fast and fairly effortless to handle. There are no concerns about carrying the Gordion all day afield. The balance of the 28” model tested is made for smooth easy mounting.

The style and quality of the checkering are much nicer than you would expect for a shotgun of this price range. The Turkish walnut stock and fore-end are both pretty and very comfortable. The length of pull is 14 ¼ inches and it has a great recoil pad on it for comfort.

Fit and finish of the barrel and wood is perfect

The fore-end is long and slender providing a great fit for the shooter. The sculpting provides a very comfortable grip while the deep, sharp checkering makes it secure in the hand.

The stock and fore-end cap come with installed sling swivels studs, the matching swivels are included in the case on arrival. Speaking of the case, it’s the nicest case I have ever seen on a gun costing less than thousands. It’s padded and inletted for the gun and all the chokes and accessories.

The case also contains a bottle of gun oil, an owner manual, and a full set of stock shims so the user can adjust the stock for drop and cast to get the best fit for accurate shooting.

Specifications

  • Model              Gordion
  • Gauge             12
  • Chamber         3”
  • Barrel              28” (tested)
  • Weight            6 lbs 14 ¾ oz
  • Stocks              Turkish Walnut (tested)
  • Finish              Black Chrome
  • Choke              5 Screw in
  • MSRP              $899   
The sharpness of the checkering and machining of the rib shows the attention to detail on the Retay

A Different Barrel Process

The heart and soul of any shotgun is really the performance of the barrel and how it patterns. Retay claims much better performance due to using a deep bore drilling process rather than hammer forging their barrels. This is supposed to induce less stress and result in a straighter shooting barrel.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical having shot and patterned many shotguns over the years that this would make a substantial difference. But I was thinking that deep bore drilling a 4140 steel blank had to have some advantage or why would they go to the trouble and expense?

In addition to drilling the barrels, they also bore a lengthened forcing cone from the factory. A lengthened forcing cone allows for a smoother transition from the chamber to the bore; resulting in less pellet deformation and better patterns downrange.

Fiber optic bead tips the black chrome barrel

The barrel has a fairly flat style ventilated rib, which I prefer to some of the higher ribs. It proved to pattern about 50/50, half above point of aim, half below. This makes a great all-around game gun as you never know if your quarry is going to be flushing up or landing.

I tried several times but failed miserably at getting an acceptable picture of the inside of the barrel. I don’t have a quantitative measure but it was the shiniest slickest looking barrel I have seen short of my Perazzi.

Performance

No two patterns are identical so testing this performance function is a bit of a challenge. I shot shells from the same box of Winchester AA 1 ounce 7 ½ shot through the Gordion and from my Benelli Vinci. I shot the patterns with an Improved Cylinder (IC) choke installed in each gun from 30 yards and then started counting pellet holes in a standard 30 inch circle.

Efficient pattern ensures multiple hits on intended game

My Benelli shotgun only averaged 71.5% of the pellets in the 30” circle at 30 yards. The Gordion averaged 86.5% of the pellets in the same 30” circle. That meant the Retay had 15% more of the pellets in the target area.

This was an earth-shattering moment. How many more birds and targets would I have hit with 15% more pellets in the kill zone over the years? In addition, to the lengthened forcing cone and deep bore drilling, Retay finishes the barrels in a black chrome that is as beautiful as it is durable.

My performance numbers may not match those advertised by Retay, but I’m sure they did much a more in-depth test and there are many variables such as ammunition used, and the firearms they compared too. However, I will always take a 15% increase in pattern density (or more) if I can get it.

This slick looking gun eats whatever you feed it

I function-tested the Gordion with 9 different types of ammunition. They ranged from light loads going only 1145 feet per second (FPS) to 3” magnum loads going 1450 FPS. Payloads ranged from 1 ounce to 1 3/8 ounces.

The Retay fired, ejected, and fed all the loads from the 4 manufacturers I had on hand. The Federal 1 3/8-ounce, 1450 fps, 3” Magnum Bismuth loads were definitely a bit stout out of the light gun but the recoil pad made is tolerable and with typical winter layers it wouldn’t be bad at all.

5 screw in chokes are provided to support all types of game

Retay also offers several other shotguns in various camo patterns and barrel lengths for waterfowl and turkey hunting. Based on the improved patterns I saw I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to pick one of those up and head to the blind for ducks or geese.

Summary

The Gordion handles great, balances well, looks fantastic, and functions with all types of ammunition and patterns significantly better than other guns. In my opinion, Retay is certainly giving the consumer a whole lot of gun for the money.

The Retay Inertia Plus bolt eliminates bolt bounce misfires and the barrel manufacturing process will put more pellets where you aim it. How many more hits can you get with an increase in shot on target?

Author breaking clays with the Gordion at Limestone Sporting Clays

I’m not sure how they improve on inertia gun performance, deep bore barrels, black chrome finishes, and put it all in a great case with accessories for $899, but I’ll take it. Go check them out today, it’s hunting season! For more information, visit Retay HERE.

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About the author: Jeff Cramblit is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.

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  • Chris Stevens October 10, 2022, 6:37 pm

    “My performance numbers may not match those advertised by Retay, but I’m sure they did much a more in-depth test and there are many variables such as ammunition used, and the firearms they compared too. However, I will always take a 15% increase in pattern density (or more) if I can get it.”

    Nice looking gun. I’ve got two Beretta 391’s I paid less than $900 each for a few years ago, new. Gun prices have really accelerated. Looks like you need to try a Briley Light Modified choke in your Benelli.

  • David October 10, 2022, 9:16 am

    What are the plans for other gauges and barrel lengths. Thanks for your anticipated reply. David

    • Rex Dickerson October 10, 2022, 10:01 am

      According to the Retay website, they also offers a 20 gauge Gordion.

  • Skeptic October 10, 2022, 6:11 am

    Was the pattern testing done with a third party choke in the Retay (and was the same brand third party choke used in the Benelli)? All too often these smaller companies have a gimmick that fools folks into believing one of their claims. I suspect that Retay made their chokes ever so slightly tighter which would always yield more pellets on target in a 30/30 test. I’ve seen same results from choke comparisons.

    • Mark October 10, 2022, 8:05 am

      I for one am impressed. Yes I get what you are saying but this gun appears and I’ll restate appears to have the same build and quality as guns twice the price and if you get a better gun then that’s a win. $900 for a good quality light weight shotgun is a bargain.

  • Colin Ogilvie October 10, 2022, 5:55 am

    Turkish Guns are excellent and well made from the rest of the plastic guns and are good best to use car oil in these shotguns not only does it stop misfires but lubricates under times when it is crucial to not get a jam try this method especially for semi autos.

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