By: Mark Stone
Mark Stone reacquaints himself with Zoli and one of their high-end competition 12 bores
If ever a top name brand has suffered from negative outside influences, it’s Zoli. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the other high-end brands and models, circumstances beyond the manufacturer’s control conspired to depress the Zoli prestige and by association, the values. However, with the backing of Edgar Brothers, the situation is changing, and Zoli’s phoenix-like rise is underway, with guns like the Z Extra Skeetset to re-stablish the Zoli name, reputation and desirability.
Complete with a compact, fully lined and fitted attaché style travelling case, the Zoli Z – Extra kit contains all the items you’ll need to win on your first outing providing you’re as good as the gun. Two blue velvet slips contain the taken down gun whilst two small matching blue cases contain the additional extended choke tubes along with spare mechanism springs, firing pins and the detachable trigger mechanism’s Hex key.
As soon as you slide the two halves from their slips the ‘Extra’ part of this Zoli’s name immediately comes into play. The quality and graining of the semi-oiled walnut of both the full sized sporter stock and the hand filling, London style forend is a pleasure to behold.. The fine cut diamond chequering surface of the forend ensures even the lightest grip has full physical control whilst the more open cutting and nicely sized palm swell of the easy radiused semi-istol grip provides the back hand a comfortable, secure anchor whilst still allowing the small physical adjustments the sporting and skeet shooter often require. All that remains is the butt pad, a slim soft rubber fitment, the concaved curvature of which is ideally profiled to the shooter’s shoulder.
A familiar trait amongst many Italian manufacturers, especially when it comes to their competition shotguns, the Z – Extra’s chrome lined barrels are metric in length although they translate directly into imperial. Flaring slightly at the muzzle in order to accommodate the extended multi – chokes, each tube measures an exact 29½”, the chokes adding a further ¾” giving a total barrel length of 30¼”. Separated by a vented mid-rib which is in turn complimented by a low, vented, 10mm competition style top -rib, the now familiar high-visibility lozenge shaped bead sits as near to the business end as is physically possible, so ensure as near perfect muzzle placement as is currently possible, the only weak link in this particular chain being the actual shooter.
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates