Retay Masai Mara 20 Gauge: “The Dog of 2023”

Opinion by Randy Wakeman

Despite Retay's promises and ad-brags, their Masai Mara is turning out to be a dog for too many shooters. Apparently Retay no longer warranties some of their jam-o-matics.

Back in 2020, Retay released their first 20 gauge semi-auto, promising a 6 lb. 5 oz. weight and the ability to cycle 2-1/2 dram equivalent 7/ 8 oz. loads. As it turns out, they lied. Poorly tested if not untested, the original Masai Mara 20 gauge models were not reliable, even with 1 oz. loads. I was directly promised that this situation was being quickly resolved. 

Now, three years later, no . . . it has not at all been resolved, and Retay USA is refusing to honor their warranty for guns that do not function as described. Instead of actually addressing the problem, they have awkwardly changed their load recommendations, and to add insult to injury, they have jacked up their prices as well. The MM 20 hits a ridiculous $1499 - $2148 MSRP for a simple Turkish shotgun that all too often does not work as promised to the consumer. 

Recently, they have told their customers to go stick it and that they are just stuck with it. It is an embarrassment, to say the very least.

"The Masai Mara and the Gordion in 20g use an identical bolt group and recoil spring. Where the differences lie between the models is in the geometry of the receiver and barrel, and their overall weight. The Masai Mara weighs nearly 1lb heavier than the Gordion. The Gordion can cycle lighter loads (minimum 2.75-dram for 20g) simply due to its weight alone. Bear in mind, Retay autoloaders are inertia-driven shotguns. This means in order for the firearm to properly cycle, the firearm must lurch rearward about 1/2" in your shoulder to initiate the cycling process. Physics 101: the heavier an object, the more force is required to move it. Ergo, this is why the Gordion can cycle lighter loads than the Mara.

The Mara is more of a specialized "heavy" waterfowl/field gun versus the Gordion which is closer to a multi-role gun. The Mara can be pressed into a discipline it was not particularly intended for (such as dove hunting and clays), but you will need to be selective with your ammunition for such applications." Retay USA

This is an intoxicatingly bad physics lesson. As tested, my synthetic Gordion 20 gauge weighed 6 lbs. 6 oz. via calibrated digital gauge. My synthetic-stocked Mossy Oak Bottomland: it weighed right at 6-1/2 lbs. unloaded with a factory choke tube installed: 6 lbs., 9 oz. to be exact via calibrated gauge. That is less than a quarter pound difference, not what some con artists might claim is nearly 1lb heavier than the Gordion.” To suggest that a 20 gauge that you can go dove hunting with is suddenly, now a "specialized" application is offensively stupid. 

Little did I know that my old Browning Silver 20 gauge that I used for skeet and dove was actually a "specialty shotgun." Who knew?

What Retay published was 6 lbs. 5 oz. and a minimum load of 2.5 dram, 7/8 oz. for the Masai Mara 20 gauge. Only after they were caught lying through their teeth did they imagine the Gordion weighed a pound less (that would be 5 lbs. 5 oz.). Only after many people sadly discovered that the 2-1/2 dram load capability that they promised and published (as shown above) was bogus, did they come up with the fairy tale of needing 2-3/4 dram loads. Right now, today, RETAY USA Frequently Asked Questions - RETAY SHOTGUNS ------------- Retay states that BOTH the Masai Mara 20 and the Gordion 20 need the same 2-3/4 dram 7/8 oz, loads.

As Mr. Wonderful would say, "If you can't get it to do what you promised people it would do, then just take it out back and kill it." You can't make this up, for Retay is quickly earning a reputation as the most dishonest shotgun manufacturer on the planet-- all completely self-inflicted. When you shamelessly lie repeatedly, the only reasonable response is “Friends do not let Friends buy a  Retay Masai Mara 20 Gauge.” 

Copyright 2023 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright 2023 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.