An Update on Retay Arms Shotguns 5/26/2019
I've received a large amount of correspondence regarding Retay Arms Masai Mara shotguns, I want to post an update of sorts about Retay USA and current distribution in the United States. There is plenty of room for confusion, as what Retay Arms posts on their international site doesn't have much to do with what is being offered in the United States. Retay is hardly alone in this regard, for many brands have different product arrays in Europe and elsewhere than they do in the United States.
At the SHOT Show in 2019, Retay introduced their 3-1/2 inch Masai Mara models. As of now, large quantities of the 3-1/2 inch camo guns have been shipped to dealers, with 3-1/2 inch Cerakote models to follow in the next shipment. Retay has a new model, the Gordion, with a 3 inch chamber and a one-piece receiver that , after the requisite ATF paperwork, should be available later on this year. There is no 20 gauge Masai Mara yet and that may well be a couple of years away. Retay themselves is a bit behind schedule in the information department, as there is no 2019 catalog published yet.
Retay USA has moved to a larger warehouse to handle the increased sales. I think it is fair to say that they have some of the usual, expected growing pains as the Retay USA website is a mess, and the dealer locator leaves a lot to be desired. As most of you know, I live in northern Illinois, but when I search for a local dealer the closest is in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Nevertheless, Retay is sold through distributors and any FFL that wants to can become a Retay USA dealer.
I've tested several Masai Mara models. There is a question as to how light a load will cycle out of the box. One of the primary factors that controls this is the strength of the mainspring. Going forward, walnut models will all have a lighter mainspring, where synthetic models will have a bit heavier mainspring. The net result is 1 oz. loads as a recommended minimum for walnut models, 1-1/8 oz. loads as a recommended minimum for the synthetic and synthetic models.
The 3-1/2 inch Masai Mara is designed to run with the fastest waterfowl loads as well as the heaviest turkey loads as well, with essentially no wear to the action. I'm told that 1-1/4 oz. loads are likely needed to cycle the gun, at least for starters. As soon as I get my hands on one, I'll see what it actually does.
As for the new Retay Arms Gordion (above), I counted a whopping 17 different styles on the Retay-Turkey website. There won't be nearly that number of styles available in the United States, and that's a good thing, as beyond the basic walnut or plastic stock choice, the differences are just cosmetic. So, what is the deal with the Gordion?
The Gordion series is designed for those who want an economical shotgun, yet want no compromises when it comes to build quality. The Gordion models scheduled to be sold in the United States will all have the no-click “Inertia Plus” action as introduced on the Masai Mara. However, they have one-piece receivers, and although the trigger group is alloy, not plastic, it isn't the push-button quick-detachable trigger of the Masai Mara, and it has a conventional ejector. Other than that, you still get the Retay Bohler steel barrels, the patented Inertia Plus action, the five-year warranty (service by Briley), and so forth.
So, that is about it at the moment. Masai Mara models with 3 inch chambers have been available for some time, the 3-1/2 inch camo guns are shipping right now with Cerakote models to follow shortly, and I'd expect the Gordion line to be available in the United States by mid-summer.
Copyright 2019 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.