The brief when designing this gun was apparently to build a shotgun to fill the role of a multidiscipline competition shotgun in the Zoli range. What they came up with was an 8lb 8oz Monte Carlo gun with a step-up rib, which shoots like an absolute demon and is called the Zoli Kronos M-Sport.

The name was a little confusing and felt like a nod at models from other manufacturers. However, doing my due diligence and checking the manufacturer’s website revealed a half-decent explanation of the nomenclature. The Kronos is the model, the Sport is because it’s a sporter and the M comes from the matt-black finish, Monte Carlo stock, multidiscipline design and mid-height rib – all the things that make this gun special.

Let’s start with the aesthetics. This gun is no classic beauty, with no fancy wood or engraving, and that will put quite a few people off straight away – especially at the price of £4,700. Every penny of the cost of this gun goes towards technical specs, so what does it give you that may enhance your shooting experience?

The stock is a Monte Carlo design with an adjustable comb as standard. Adjustable combs on any gun are of great benefit for a good fit and I would prefer to have one given my ever-changing body shape and waist size. The Monte Carlo shape of the stock helps many shooters with speed and consistency of mount, because the comb on these stocks is more horizontal and the drop to the pad usually greater, allowing your head to remain slightly more upright. You will like it or not, but I was very partial to how it felt, and with a slight tweak of the adjustable comb my sight picture was just how I wanted it.

The walnut is pretty uninspiring and the oil finish not too lustrous – both things I would like to see changed a bit. The guns this model competes with all have a little more pizzazz to the woodwork and as a lover of nice wood would perhaps make me look more in their direction.

The forend is a manageable-sized semi-beavertail that feels great in the hand but is of the same dull wood as the stock. Of course, wood is a natural thing and perhaps the gun I got was plainer than the rest.

Top-quality standard

The action is the same as on all other Zoli Kronos guns, being a detachable trigger- action made from one piece of stainless steel. All the machining and finishing inside is done to a great standard, leading to fantastic trigger breaks and good enough reliability to offer a solid 10-year warranty. The detachable trigger is removed with a small Allen key. The process isn’t as intuitive as on some guns, but how often are you going to take the trigger unit out for a play?

The outside of the action is matt black with small gold accents and some stippling in all the right places to cut down glare. It may be plain, but it looks like it means business. The barrels are finished in the same matt black, are of monobloc construction and multichoke as standard, being provided with a set of five internal chokes. Barrels are available in 29.5" and 32", with external chokes being available to order. The only problem I had when testing this gun was the small amount of surface rust I got on the flats of the barrels within 24 hours of shooting it, but that was down to me not giving it enough oil. I send my apologies to Zoli. The rib on this gun is a step-up style, which I think looks cool. The reason for a step-up rib is to get your eye clear of the action and barrels, increasing your field of view while looking down the gun, but without looking as crazy as a true high rib or messing with the centre of gravity.

To sum up, this gun is a well-thought-out tool, made to the highest standard, but it’s not going to draw attention in a gun rack. This being the case, let’s move on to the all- important question. How does it shoot?

Field test

In short, the Kronos M-Sport shoots very, very well. Before writing this I took it out on three occasions – twice on clays at Barbury and once into the pigeon hide. The first stand gave the gun – and my shooting – a proper test, with a teal shooting up and away starting at 30yd, followed by a left-to-right looper at 60yd. Why start easy? With a gun that weighs 8lb 8oz, you have to walk into a stand with a plan.

Zoli 2

It’s a big, heavy gun and needs to be shot accordingly, moving hold points out and reducing movements down so that you’re not chasing clays in vain and tiring your arms.

I walked out of that first stand with a 9/10. This gun, when you move it correctly, is as sweet to shoot as they come, moving well with very smooth recoil. I continued on to shoot five more stands and although there were some misses, they were few and far between. I was feeling it that day and the gun and I really got on.

Compare this to the next time I took it out, when after a long day of filming I grabbed the Zoli and went for another 100 to see how I got on. This was a different experience.

Being tired, I found myself walking into stands and just hoping I would hit some clays, with little forethought and poor concentration. I missed a lot more than I had on that first time out.

How did it get on in a pigeon hide? Very well indeed; I even put my auto down in the end. On a day when most birds were not coming within 30yd, the control on this gun helped out, although my arms were pretty tired at the end of the day.


The Zoli Kronos M-Sport is a gun that is forgiving when you put the effort in.

It swings through lines well and is very predictable. Conversely it is unforgiving when you are tired. Its heft does not suffer fools gladly and I would not recommend it as a starter gun. As your second gun for all- round clay shooting, once you’ve had a few lessons, it gets my vote.

My only worry with this gun is secondhand value. But if you’re buying this gun to shoot and not to sell on two months later because it hasn’t magically turned you into a world champ, then that’s not a concern.

Tech Spec

Make:        Zoli
Model:      Kronos M-Sport
Calibre:     12 gauge
Weight:     8lb 8oz
Barrels:     29.5" and 32"
Chokes:    Multichoke
Stock:       Monte Carlo adjustable stock
Finish:       Matt-black finished barrels and action 
Forend:     Beavertail
Warranty: 10 years
Price:        £4,700

Zoli 1
The Monte Carlo stock comes with an adjustable comb as standard