Zoli Kronos 20
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- Last updated: 16/12/2016
For a whole variety of reasons the 20-bore has been in the ascendancy for quite a few years. These guns are inherently lighter to carry and use, whilst advancements in ammunition now means that although there will always be less in the way of pellets in the air the shooter is in now way inferior to their 12-bore compatriots. Similarly, whilst as an all-rounder, the 20-bore isn’t as effective as a 12g when it comes to clay breaking, as a skeet gun this sub-gauge is tremendously effective.
As if to emphasize this latter point, Zoli’s 20-bore Kronos is as capable a game gun as it is a clay breaker. Add in the now obvious progression in quality and distribution brought about by UK importers Edgar Brothers and both the Zoli brand and the Kronos 20-bore on test are now serious players. Beautifully made and presented, for the shooter looking to invest a reasonably serious amount of money in long-term ownership of a serious piece of kit, the entire Zoli range is more than worth consideration, the Kronos on test being a glowing example as to why.
Ready To Go
Delivered in a quality travelling case the 20g Kronos comes with everything the shooter needs, the gun and outfit ready to go. A full set of cased, flush-fit choke tubes, an extended hex key for releasing the trigger mechanism and of course a 20g gun that features some superbly figured walnut. The stock is basically a subtle cross between that of a sporter and a game gun, the overall look and style being elegant and well formed. Besides the thin, soft rubber recoil pad that allows the butt to locate positively against the shoulder, the gun’s multi-purpose feel is exemplified when you hold the grip. Complete with neat panels of checkering that repeat along each side of the slender, rounded forend, a gentle, unobtrusive palm swell helps the shooter locate their trailing hand in the exact same place each and every time.
Moving to the action, it’s immediately obvious that the chassis was built as a 20g and not something that’s gone before and been modified. The exact same profile as Zoli’s 12g models, the brushed finished steel features simplistic bordering, light scroll work around the hinges with the word Kronos inlaid along the bottom edge. Equally, neat stippling adorns the fences and top lever with a long manual safety situated to the rear of the long top tang. And like all Zoli shotguns, the adjustable trigger located within an oversized trigger-guard can be quickly dropped out to facilitate service and repairs as and when required. The whole comes together to produce a graceful, action that looks at home no matter where the gun is used.
Barrel wise, the 28” tubes swage into 3” chambered monoblocs complete with strong, equally timed ejectors. Separated by a vented mid-rib and crowned with a 7-10mm vented top rib, the muzzles flair almost imperceptibly to accommodate the chokes whilst a long red hi-viz bead keeps the shooter’s eye attuned to the target.
To The Left
Hooked up to the Arrow Laser Shot, apart from the fact the Kronos shot flat, for me personally it positioned the muzzles slightly to the left of target. However, if I was investing the £3,900 asking price I’d have the gun fitted or some additional cast put into the stock. Not a major problem since it was a simple case of making a conscious effort to realign the gun once mounted; the overriding impression was that the gun felt nowhere near its 7lbs 4oz weight, the balance point directly beneath the hinges and weight distribution giving the Kronos impressive handling traits.
Dimensionally drops at comb and heel of 11 7/32” and 2¼” combined with a 14 13/16” length of pull make for a shotgun that should fit nearly ever shooter, only the aforementioned cast something that might need attention. Breaking at a crisp and predictable 6lbs 3oz, the broad blade given the trigger finger a wide surface on which to locate and apply gentle pressure as the target comes within range whilst the rapid transmission between barrels as the inertia mechanism does its work means the second barrel is ready to go well before the shooter is.
For whatever reason the Kronos 20g on test had become separated from its full set of chokes which meant it had to be tested fitted with full and ¾. A slight handicap on clays yet not by much, but restrictions that worked extremely well when used on a few roosting crows and some inattentive woodpigeon. Loading up with Eley CT20 along with NSI Velox, these Italian rounds now also part of Edgar’s portfolio, the Kronos performed well from the start. If care had to be taken it was the gun’s ability to swing along with the overall handling. Superbly balanced it took a conscious effort not to swing through, even thinking about moving the gun resulting in the muzzles accelerating past where I needed them to be, so responsive is this Zoli.
However once you’ve learnt to shoot almost in slow motion the elegance of this sub-gauge Zoli has a most beneficial effect in that it will slow fast shooters down an effect the gun ably demonstrated on skeet. Almost as an after though, the muzzles picked off opposing pairs with contemptible ease, the amount of effort required nigh on negligible whilst fast reactionary shots at a few late evening corvids highlighted the exact same characteristics, the gun positively dancing in the hands.
A 20g in the hands of an expert, something I don’t and have never personally claimed to be, is as effective if not more so than a 12-bore. Over the years I’ve described this or that shotgun as wand like but in the case of Zoli’s 20g Kronos it’s as near to the truth as you’re likely to find. No matter what the target the Kronos demands as near as you’ll find to no effort to use, everything about the gun’s looks, physical attributes and characteristics conceived, designed and built to ensure its one of the least physically demanding shotguns you’re ever likely to encounter.
Granted, £3,900 isn’t an insignificant amount of money these days but if you’re looking to invest some of your nest egg into a shotgun, this Zoli could well be the 20g you’re looking for.
For some this Kronos might be a little on the plain side, others offering detailed engraving and intricate ornamentation. With the Kronos it’s a definite case of less is more, whilst it’s always been a fair assumption that no matter how ornate a shotgun might be it won’t make it or you shoot any better. But whilst Zoli and their 20g Kronos might have forsaken embellishments, it’s a case of your paying for what you can’t see and what you can most definitely feel that makes this stunning little shotgun worth every penny.