Diana’s Nemesis Part 1

Diana’s Nemesis Part 1

Webley chases the Chaser

By Dennis Adler

The new Webley Nemesis is a visual indulgence with its vented slide, extended barrel, and MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail contrasting a dual rotary pellet magazine and bolt action.

Odd as it may be for a comparison, the closest in function to the new Webley is last year’s gracefully designed Diana Chaser, which, while looking nothing like the Webley works exactly the same way with a large under barrel CO2 chamber and bolt action mechanism that allows single shots or use of a rotary pellet magazine.

Here we have two CO2 pistols with nothing and everything in common. The Diana Chaser is a modern, streamlined, bolt action CO2 model that delivers performance, accuracy, and a choice of single shot or multi-shot capability with an extra rotary pellet magazine. It is also offered in either .177 (4.5mm) or .22 caliber (5.6mm) versions. I reviewed this model last August and after an extensive multi-part series on both .177 and .22 caliber versions came away with the Chaser being one of the best entry level-priced CO2 powered, bolt action, single/multi-shot target pistols of the year. Now we have the same fundamental idea as the Chaser from renowned British airgun manufacturer Webley & Scott, only done in a way that, like most Webley air pistols (and centerfire pistols), is big, bold, and overbuilt. The look of the new Nemesis single shot/multi-shot CO2 model is clearly inspired by the single shot pneumatic Webley Alecto, (and to a lesser extent the old Webley Nemesis single shot pneumatic). The new Nemesis is very much like the Diana Chaser in its operating theory and mechanical layout but contained within much heavier, boxier dimensions that are neither modern nor streamlined.

Visually, the Webley is closer to the blowback action Crosman P15B, but has nothing in common with the gun but looks.

Another pistol that has similar contours, but again, very little else in common, is the Beeman P17, the lower-priced version of the Beeman P3 single stroke pneumatic.

The closest design comparison, aside from the Alecto, would be the single stroke pneumatic Beeman P3 and P17 models and Crosman P15B CO2 pistol. These are all big, hefty air pistols but only the comparatively svelte Diana Chaser comes close to being a mechanical match. And they have one other thing in common; like the German-designed Diana Chaser, the British Webley Nemesis is also made in China to lower manufacturing costs and retail price. The Nemesis remains British engineered and designed with the Made in China stamp very discretely placed, along with the Warning information, in small black letters on a black panel recessed into the right side of the frame. About as low key as possible without being hidden on the underside of the triggerguard.

In actuality, the new Webley Nemesis, named after an older Webley single stroke pneumatic model, is as groundbreaking for the storied British airgun manufacturer as the Chaser is for the renowned German airgun company. The tandem rotary pellet magazines give the Nemesis an even more dramatic look.

The Webley comes in at a discounted price of $119.99 while the Diana Chaser is significantly lower at just $69.99, further confirming my opinion that the Chaser is one of the best air pistols of its type for the money. Of course, there aren’t too many CO2 models in the Chaser’s class, and this Webley model is not only the new kid on the block, but a kid that, in a football-like metaphor, is the linebacker to Diana’s quarterback.

The bolt action handle, shown in the standard right-handed configuration with the bolt handle on the left, is completely reversible to make the gun better suited for left-handed users. Also note the single shot pellet tray, which is removed when the rotary magazine in used. This is the same idea as the Diana Chaser.

What exactly does this big, boxy CO2 model bring to the game? First, the Chaser looks like a precharged pneumatic target pistol with the large cylinder (that holds the CO2) under a trim, floating barrel that fits cleanly into the exposed cast alloy breech block. The Chaser allows you to switch breech blocks from the right-hand shooter design with the bolt on the left, for a left-hand breech block with the bolt on the right. It costs $20 for the replacement breech block. The Nemesis simply allows users to switch the bolt handle from left to right. Unfortunately, the instruction book offers no information on how it is done. However, as I discovered, it is relatively easy to figure out; more about that in Part 2.

A well thought out design, the Nemesis has a large crossbolt safety in the frame just above the trigger that is easily set to SAFE by pressing it in from the left with the support hand thumb. On the opposite side it will show a white line indicating SAFE. Pressing it in with the trigger finger will set the gun to FIRE and it will extend from the left as pictured with the red line exposed.

Everything you need for the new Nemesis comes with the gun and stores within the gun, so that is convenient. The hex head tool for unscrewing the CO2 seating cap at the front of the frame (this is just like the Diana Chaser) is the actual base of the grip frame and slides out for use. Inside the grip frame is the storage channel for the tandem rotary magazine (10 rounds in .22 and 14 rounds in .177). This is all neatly thought out.

All self contained, the grip frame stores the tandem rotary magazine, and the base of the grip is the hex head tool used to unscrew the CO2 seating cap at the front of the Nemesis frame.

Like the Chaser which has the CO2 loaded horizontally into the under barrel chamber, the Nemesis uses the same concept with a CO2 chamber in the frame. The hex head tool in the base of the grip is used to unscrew the large seating cap at the front of the gun. Also note the extended barrel which is capped with a tread protector.

The Nemesis is polymer construction (except for the bolt, seating screw and rifled steel barrel), and has an integral MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny dustcover accessory rail for mounting a laser. The top of the slide has a full length 3/8th inch (11mm) dovetail rail for mounting a scope or reflex sight, and the fixed sights are a red fiber optic rear and green fiber optic front. Both are held with small locking screws so they can be removed or replaced. The barrel also has ½ inch UNF external threads and a thread protector cap. (Most ½ inch thread faux suppressors should fit, but are also likely to obstruct a clean line of sight.) The 2-stage trigger is a large semi-vertical pivoting design (like a target pistol) that can be adjusted for take up, and the manual safety is a crossbolt in perfect position for setting with the support hand thumb and releasing with the trigger finger. With the reversible bolt handle the gun is a totally ambidextrous design.

The fiber optic sights are channeled (rear) and dovetailed (front) and held with small locking screws, making them removable. From overhead you can see the positioning of the tandem rotary magazine to allow a clear sight line, the full length 3/8th inch (11mm) rail for mounting optics, and the safety pressed left in the FIRE position with the red line exposed.

That covers the basics. In Part 2 the Nemesis gets weighed, measured, and prepped for shooting evaluations.

2 thoughts on “Diana’s Nemesis Part 1

  1. Editorial Note:

    In the first paragraph:
    “It is also offered in either .177 or 4.5mm (.22 caliber) versions.”

    Correction:
    It is also offered in either .177 (4.5mm) or .22 (5.6 mm) caliber versions.


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