Diana’s Nemesis Part 2
Webley chases the Chaser
By Dennis Adler
Did Webley go to school on Diana’s Chaser or is the Nemesis just a coincidence? Given manufacturing lead time, probably neither, since the technology isn’t exclusive to Diana or Webley, and the presentation of both the Chaser and Nemesis is quite different. The Chaser is a clever design with its detachable shoulder stock and interchangeable barrels, breech blocks, and sleek target shooting (and small game hunting capability in .22 caliber) design. The Nemesis is more like a Desert Eagle; big, imposing, and designed for straight up plinking and target shooting with a decent capacity of 14 rounds in .177 caliber using the 7+7 tandem rotary magazine. This is a gun built for serious paper punching.
Sizing it up
Despite its magnum-sized appearance, the polymer frame and slide-like upper receiver, hold the weight down to a modest 2.0 pounds. The overall length from the threaded muzzle to the back of the receiver is just shy of 10.25 inches, with an overall height from the base of the grips to the top of the rear sight of 6.0 inches, and a width (not counting the tandem rotary magazine or bolt handle) of 1.0625 inches. This is pretty narrow for such a big gun. Adding the magazine and bolt handle, the rear width increases to 1.875 inches. It is a hand-filling pistol that you can get a firm grip around and hold on target. With a copious 8.25 inch sight radius and zero recoil effect when fired, this is a pistol that should punch bullseyes all day long.
In my hand, the grip, which is 2.25 inches at the palmswell and 1.875 inches at the top, allows my trigger finger to easily rest on the trigger and my thumb to overlap my middle finger. This is an almost ideal hold with the finger grooved frontstrap, slight beavertail of the grip frame, and deep thumb rest. With the reversible bolt handle it is all ambidextrous and overbuilt like a Webley should be.
The Nemesis is factory (Webley) rated at up to 420 fps. This does not specify the grain weight of the pellet or the ambient temperature when the chronograph test was done. But it would be safe to say it would have been an indoor test done at the factory at an ideal temperature. That is how I will be doing the velocity test, indoors at a temperature of 72 degrees. To get the maximum velocity for the first test I am using Sig Sauer Match Ballistic alloy wadcutter pellets with a weight of 5.25 gr. Velocity test two will be with H&N Sport Match Green 5.25 gr. alloy wadcutters, and test three with 7.0 gr. RWS Meisterkugeln Professional Line lead wadcutters.
With a fresh CO2 the Nemesis kicked the first three shots downrange at an impressive 485 fps, 495, fps and 475 fps, and then velocity began to settle in to the mid 400’s to average 444 fps. This seemed like a pretty significant drop in velocity for only seven rounds with a fresh CO2. I decided to shoot it over with another seven Sig Sauer Match Ballistic alloy wadcutters. This time my average velocity settled in at 420 fps. A little low for alloy pellets. My first thought about this was whether or not how the pellet was seated in the rotary magazine could have an effect on velocity. I seated each at about the same depth just below the rim of the pellet chamber. Some pellet magazines need to have the pellet seated a little deeper. To test this I loaded another seven and used a stylus to seat them further into the chamber so there was a clear space between the rim of the pellet and the chamber. This slight change produced an average velocity of 435 fps but more importantly with velocity ranging from 448 fps to 431 fps, much more consistent than the first two velocity tests. So, no harm done by seating the pellets a little deeper into the chamber and better overall consistency from shot to shot. This is how I loaded pellets for the remainder of the test.
At 21 shots into the CO2, and Webley states an average of 40 shots per CO2 (agreeably a low number of total shots), I ran test four with H&N Sport and velocity for the Match Green alloy wadcutters started off with a first shot at 500 fps! Now, this was shot number 22 on the CO2 after letting the pistol sit for about 10 minutes while I was writing notes. The remaining six shots were fired at 30 second intervals, beginning at 485 fps for shot number 23. My average velocity for all seven shots ended up being 473 fps; with shot number 28 clocking 494 fps. Obviously, the H&N Sport Match Green was performing better in the Nemesis than the Sig Sauer and this was half way through the CO2’s performance expectancy according to Webley. Now, what about heavier, 7.0 gr. lead wadcutters? Starting with shot number 29 on the original CO2 cartridge, the Meisterkugeln averaged 422 fps, right on spec with the Webley factory numbers. Given that result I went back and ran seven Sig Sauer alloy wadcutters through the gun to see where performance had fallen. In the interim, I had also done some outdoor photos and run the gun another seven times, so I was starting on shot number 37 with expected drop off by round 40 (again according to Webley). The velocity started off at 469 fps, and by shot number 40 was beginning to drop into the low 400s and by the seventh round had settled into the high 300s with the last round clearing the chronograph at 361 fps for an average velocity of 404 fps for seven shots, and that is with lightweight alloy pellets. Webley is right; you are going to get about 40 shots with the Nemesis before performance begins to drop off.
After around 40 shots with the rotary magazine I can attest to it being easy to load (actually a little less awkward than the Chaser rotary mags) and the bolt action on the Nemesis is so smooth it is almost effortless to rack in the next round in the rotary magazine.
In part 3, we will see how well this comes together at 10 meters using all three brands of test pellets.