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Shotgun Review: Retay Masai Mara Waterfowl

An inertia-powered shotgun made to get dirty…and still cycle.

Shotgun Review: Retay Masai Mara Waterfowl

No shotgun gets more abuse than those used for waterfowl. Rain, snow, mud, and Labrador drool are what a duck gun can look forward to.

Many duck hunters feel that the inertia-powered shotgun is a gift from God. While some gas-powered guns are dependable, nothing stands up to the daily grind of crud like an inertia shotgun. While the first inertia-powered gun appeared in 1908, it wasn’t until 1967 that Bruno Civolani changed the world and gave us his version of the inertia system for autoloading shotguns. With no gas ports to clean and O-rings to mess with, waterfowl hunters took to this action like a duck to water.

Intertia-Powered...Only Better

“The patented Retay Inertia Plus design is the most significant improvement to the original Bruno Civolani rotating bolt in over 60 years,” said President and CEO of Retay USA, Chris Handy. “The result is that the bolt on the shotgun cannot be jarred out of battery, has no bolt rattle, and can be slowly and quietly closed in a hunting situation. The Inertia Plus bolt virtually eliminates the out-of-battery misfires that have plagued inertia shotguns until now,” he said.

Retay’s patented pushbutton removable trigger system is a big leap forward in shotgun usability and safe storage. This feature allows the shooter to remove the entire trigger group in less than two seconds with no tools. This can be accomplished easily in the field to clear mud or debris, or at home before storing the shotgun as an added level of safety.

“On a practical level, Retay’s removable trigger means the Masai Mara is literally the only semi-automatic shotgun on Earth that could take a tumble off a duck boat and get the breach and receiver full of mud and gunk, and then the operator could fully field-strip the shotgun in the bush with no tools, rinse the parts off in a creek, and keep on hunting,” Handy said. “It’s a scenario you never want to have happen, but if it does, the Masai Mara has the advantage over any other semi-auto.”


The Retay Inertia Plus System operates on a recoil spring located in the stock and a rotating “floating” bolt. The Inertia Plus features a high-polished or black-anodized bolt, and an oversized bolt handle and bolt release—very big pluses for duck hunters wearing bulky gloves.

The Mara Barrel is precision-drilled from Austrian Bohler steel. The barrels are chrome-lined; featuring pattern-optimized, elongated 2.5-degree forcing cones. This ensures the shot passes into the cylindrical barrel as smooth as possible with minimal shot deformation, resulting in enhanced shot placement and penetration. The Mara Barrel also features Retay’s Removable Ejector System, an 8mm vented sight rib, a TruGlo front bead sight, and a set of five interchangeable MaraPro choke tubes.

The Retay Masai Mara has a generously sized trigger guard milled from solid-billet aluminum, with milled or wire EDM-cut internal components and a reversible cross bolt manual safety. The trigger is available brightly polished or anodized black.

A lightweight, two-part round body receiver is milled from Italian-sourced 7075 aerospace grade aluminum alloy. It features an oversized shell elevator and beveled loading port for fast, reliable reloading of the 4+1 configuration tube magazine with aluminum shell follower and integrated limiter. Receiver finish options include soft-touch process matte anodizing, polished anodizing, or Cerakote polymer ceramic coating.

The shim-adjustable stocks and fore-end are made from a high-impact, color-infused synthetic material with molded sling swivel anchors, and come with a full set of adjustment shims for customizing the fit of the shotgun to the shooter.

The Masai Mara comes in a wide selection of color and camo combinations. Some are hydrographic-dipped in either Mossy Oak Bottomland or Realtree Timber and Realtree MAX-5 camo on the entire gun. There are several selections with the camo patterns on the stock and forearm, and the receiver and barrel are finished with Cerakote in bronze, earth, or OD green colors. The Cerakote and hydro-dipped combinations are perfect for a waterfowl gun, as they should stand up to the abuse handed out in the duck marsh.

Made for Waterfowlers

To get down to brass tacks here, Retay has added a 3½" shotgun to its highly functional line of Masai Mara Inertia Plus shotguns. The oversize bolt handle and release are made for a duck hunter, as is the Cerakote and hydro-dipped finish on these guns, which makes them durable as well as nonreflective. The beveled loading port and outward-angled cartridge drop lever make for easy loading with gloved hands. There is a full line of aftermarket choke tubes available from Trulock Chokes.

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