Retay Goes Hollywood: Antalya SS Elegant 12ga Upland Shotgun

By Randy Wakeman

For 2022, Retay USA is offering a very limited number of their high grade Antalya SS shotguns in 12 gauge. In Retay's press release from January, just fifty are available for 2022 with 28 inch barrels, and fifty with 30 inch barrels. My example has a 26 inch barrel, so it is unclear how this all shakes out. There is also an Antalya Jet Black version, with a black receiver.

Above, out of the box, the Antalya had no problem with 1 oz. 1180 fps loads. The second shell is already chambered with the bolt back into battery.

The Antalya SS Elegant is presented as a luxury, limited edition premium shotgun with a premium sticker price to go along with it: $2999. The "Jet Black" version has a MSRP of $2499. You'll need to check with your local Retay dealer for more specifics. Although it is called an upland shotgun, Retay says, The Antalya SS is being specifically introduced to showcase the benefits of RETAY’s advanced manufacturing capabilities in the area of drilled barrel production to the competitive target shooting market.” The problem with this is obvious: it is just too light of a shotgun (6 lbs., 10 oz.), with too much recoil as a direct result, to be immensely enjoyable for high-volume clay target duty. The Masai Mara 3 inch is softer-shooting, with the Masai Mara 3-1/2 inch the most comfortable of the Retay bunch. 

Above: the Retay Masai Mara Comfort. The upper receiver of the MM is steel, while the upper receiver of the Antalya (below) is a significantly longer section of high-strength alloy. The metal trigger guard of the Antalya has a more rounded profile, a gold trigger, and the forearm cap is also improved for easier removal.

The starting platform for the Antalya SS is the Retay Masai Mara. The Antalya SS retains the no-click Retay inertia plus action, a two-piece receiver, and the instant take-down push button detachable trigger of the Masai Mara. The primary difference is that the upper receiver is machined from alloy, as opposed to steel in the other Masai Mara models. This reduces the weight, as this gun is 6 pounds, 10 ounces: ideal for a hunting 12 gauge, but well on the light side for a dedicated clay smasher. The trigger breaks at a crisp 4-1/4 lbs.

The bore of the Antalya measures .724 inch. Retay shotgun barrels are all precision drilled, not hammer-forged, from Bohler steel. Retay awkwardly, bizarrely brags that "Retay Puts Over 20% More Pellets In the Kill Zone." This is what anyone familiar with shotguns would call an offensively fraudulent, spectacularly bogus claim that does not remotely check out.. It one-ups the unverifiable. laughable Benelli claim that Crio System barrels put "13.2 % more pellets on target." 

The Retay "Modified" choke measures .704 inches, giving you a .020 inch constriction, and it throws patterns just like any other .020 inch constriction choke in my testing. Like all Retay semi-autos, there is no "Benelli Click" due to the excellent Inertia Plus Action, and unlike many shotguns out there this Retay shoots to point of aim at 40 yards.

The walnut stock set is breathtakingly gorgeous: it is what Retay calls their Grade IV wood. Retay has a strange, unsavory habit of putting sling studs in the buttstocks of their Grade IV walnut, which results in a dastardly eyesore. The stock set of the Antalya is what sets it above most everything else, as you'll have a very tough time finding an autoloader with this high level of walnut. The checkering is clearly fine-line. The barrel is highly polished, finished in black chrome, and the silver receiver is ornately engraved at the rear.

Though the Antalya is priced at an unappealing level, it would be in the ballpark with the $2269 Benelli Ethos and the $2999 Benelli Ethos Performance Shop model, shown above.

There is little question in my mind as to what draws you to the Retay Antalya: it is the walnut. Well-figured on all sides of the forearm and buttstock, with the forearm and buttstock perfectly matching in color and tone, the Antalya is all about the wood. That's what clearly sets it apart from most factory repeating shotguns made today.

Copyright 2022 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright 2022 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.