Zoli ups the ante on the new Z-Sport by renaming it the Z-Supersport – a nod to the first complete revamp of the five-year-old Zoli competition model from the Italian gunmaker whose formal name is Zoli Antonio s.r.l.
The Z-Supersport should hold particular appeal to clays shooters squeamish over the spate of high-rib sporters appearing in gun dealers across the U.S. Because the Z-Supersport’s conventional rib provides an elevated point of impact, the shotgun delivers incremental advantages associated with the heads-up position touted by high-rib advocates, but without requiring shooters to re-invent their technique.
You won’t find the Z-Supersport on the company’s web site yet. However, Steve Lamboy, Zoli’s General Manger, will unveil the Z-Supersport at the NSCA Nationals Championship held by the National Sporting Clays Association October 25-31 in San Antonio, Texas, where he will be demonstrating the new shotgun and taking orders for it.
Mr. Lamboy’s preference for a major tournament showcase makes sense from a historical perspective. The Z-Sport is no stranger when it comes to grabbing the gold in Europe and the U.S.
At the same time, the entry price of the forthcoming Z-Supersport makes it a viable clays crusher for weekend warriors with a $5,000 budget and a penchant for ratcheting up their game.
Current Z-Sport owners should not feel forsaken by Zoli. Notable enhancements to the Z-Supersport will become available to current Z-Sport owners with an eye toward enhancing their guns rather than making an outright purchase of a Z-Supersport.
The innovative trigger and the weight-balancing system rank as the top two improvements that both distinguish the Z-Supersport from its predecessor and qualify as upgrades to the current Z-Sport.
First, Zoli’s new, hand-detachable mechanical trigger is designed to be ultra resistant to doubling, according to Mr. Lamboy. When the trigger mechanism in the Z-Supersport shifts from one barrel to another, it is never in contact with more than one sear – dramatically reducing the odds of dangerous doubling, which can occur when both barrels fire simultaneously as a result of the tolerances coming out of adjustment. Zoli’s engineering virtually eliminates that the sears are a root cause of that problem, he explained.
Expect the trigger to ship with 3¾ to four pounds pull. It will arrive equipped with a three-position blade that slides both fore and aft.
The drop-down trigger group on the Z-Supersport will be complemented by a full kit of spare parts, including spare firing pins, hammer springs, top lever sprint and assorted wrenches for repairs on the fly.
While triggers certainly merit the lion’s share of attention, Zoli has been quietly developing a weight-balancing system that could usher in a new performance paradigm. It’s called the BHB for Between Hands Balancer. Here’s the breakthrough…
Sporting shotguns equipped with weight-balancing systems tend to reside either around the forend or within the stock. Adjustments put shooters in a game of see-saw as they tinker to find the optimum balance. The quandary is compounded by the location of the rear weights inside the stock, necessitating removal of the recoil pad or worse the entire stock.
As the BHB acronym implies, Zoli has positioned its weights between the hands for a lower center of gravity and near-perfect balance. In effect, the BHB acts more like a sailboat keel than ballast.
Zoli’s BHB system resides in the pistol grip. A rod on the flip side of the grip cap accomodates a series of weights, much like a tube of Life Saver candies. You can add weights to a maximum of one pound. Mr. Lamboy described the grip cap of the Z-Supersport as quick-release, in order to fine-tune the equilibrium for any shooting situation.
The elegance of the BHB design extends to the barrels, where weight magnets fit in the vented side ribs.
The BHB system and new drop-down mechanical trigger group certainly point toward a fresh wave of innovation at Zoli’s Brescia factory. But the higher point of impact stems from of a five-year-old advance in the original Z-Sport, which today could offer a welcome relief for shooters seeking a competitive advantage.
Most shotguns put the receiver and rib at the same height. Zoli adopted a distinctive view of the world. Zoli barrels, unlike other Boss actions, sit about ¼ inch lower into the frame – giving increased height over most sporting guns for a point of impact that hints at the high-rib experience. Coupled with the 12 different stock configurations available on the Z-Supersport, many clays shooters may find a satisfying compromise to the acceptance of modern, radical rib arrangements.
Zoli’s Z-Supersport presents 34-inch barrels for the first time. Prior, 32-inch barrels were the longest available. Other barrels lengths for the Z-Supersport include 28 and 29½ inches. Fixed and extended screw-in chokes remain options. The screw-in set consists of six titanium treated chokes.
The standard length of pull will be 14¾ inches to a 3/8 inch pad. The receiver will come with a blued and grayed finish, engraved with the Z-Supersport logo. Anticipate a weight of about 8¼ pounds.
Z-Sport owners, meanwhile, can purchase the BHB weight installation for $499 plus installation. The mechanical trigger group upgrade will cost $850 plus installation