Retay Gordion 12 Gauge Upland Autoloader
Announced at the 2020 Shot Show in Las Vegas, the Retay Gordion models are in widespread distribution. I've already reviewed the Retay Gordion Waterfowl 26 inch in Mossy Oak Bottomland camo, which weighs 6 lbs. 9 ounces.
This 26 inch barrel Gordion Upland walnut weighs about the same, at 6 lbs. 10 ounces. The good folks at Retay installed the recoil pad as used on the Retay Masai Mara for me, in place of the less generous Gordion pad. As was the case with the Gordion Waterfowl, this Gordion Walnut has a excessively heavy trigger breaking at 6 lbs. or so. MSRP is $899 for this model, street prices are set by the dealers.
The Retay USA website has a brief description https://www.retayusa.com/gordion-upland . 12ga 2-3/4 - 3" MSRP $899
Polished Black Receiver and Barrel
Turkish Walnut Stock
Inertia Plus Bolt System
Red TruGlo Front Sight
Barrel 26", 28".
Retay has the advantage over many gun manufacturers, for they make their own barrels from Bohler steel and machine their own walnut right in house. The Gordion Upland is a strikingly handsome gun, with crisp laser cut checkering and and a beautifully machined and finished receiver and barrel. The receiver is two-tone black anodized and the barrel is black chrome, a higher level of black chrome than you'll find on most shotguns due to the better machining and higher level of polish beneath it. Retay's are inertia guns, but what sets them apart from most run of the mill Benelli / Franchi / Stoeger / Armsan / Weatherby / Browning inertia shotguns is their patented Inertia Plus action. It eliminates the well-known Benelli click and the Retay is easier to load than most inertia guns as well.
Many years ago, Jack O'Connor commented that he wouldn't own an upland shotgun that weighed over 7 lbs. The more you walk, the more you'll recognize that Jack O'Connor knew what he was talking about. No 7 lb. autoloader really is 7 lbs. when you actually use it, for you can can add in the weight of three shotshells, at least, and all that weight is added out front as well. Jack O'Connor knew that shorter-barreled autoloaders were the better-handling autoloaders due to the receiver length, and went so far as to suggest that loading two shells instead of three made them better-handling yet. Retay USA guns come with five year warranties, handled by Briley. A while back, I called Briley to ask how many Retay guns had been returned for service. A lady by the name of Leah informed me that it doesn't happen . . . she said Briley gets maybe one per calendar year in to examine.
As I write this, dove season is less than a month away, so now is the time most are looking at new hunting shotguns for this season. I've had a lot of correspondence about the new Retay Masai Mara 20 gauge. I did test a prototype, it was overweight for a 20 gauge, but the final product (6-1/4 lbs.) is in transit and should be available this month. Product testing this year has been slow going, as it now takes 10 days or so for things to clear thanks to the State of Illinois, where in times past it was only one day for long guns.
My only niggle about the Gordion is the heavy trigger, but that can be taken care of by Dave at Precision Sports. It is unfortunate, for the Retay Masai Mara models have all had excellent triggers right out of the box.
Right now, I have no problem saying that the Gordion Upland is the best-looking, best-performing 12 gauge upland hunting autoloader on the market for less than a thousand dollars. That's a very good place to be.
Copyright 2020 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.