Diana’s Nemesis Part 3
Webley chases the Chaser
by Dennis Adler
The Webley Nemesis has a lot of interesting features that provide this gun with the potential to be a high-performance target pistol in a very unusual niche of bolt action models using rotary pellet magazines. I am hoping the fixed fiber optic sights are well regulated to POA at 10 meters; they’re certainly large enough and bright enough to see indoors or out, so a lot of what will make this pistol accurate is going to fall on both the sights and the adjustable 2-stage trigger.
Trigger pull out of the box (factory setting) averaged 2 pounds, 3.4 ounces with 0.25 inches of take up, very mild attacking and clean break. There is about 0.125 inches of over travel. The adjustable trigger, like reversing the bolt handle, is not covered in the user manual, which is rudimentary and leaves a lot to be figured out. I used a 1/16th hex head wrench that came with a Swiss Arms Light Laser set (it was handy and it fit, so I used it). Insert the wrench into the adjustment screw in the bottom of the trigger and turn clockwise to shorten take up. I gave it ½ turn and this reduced take up from 0.25 inches to 0.187 inches. Stacking increased slightly but the shorter pull still had a clean break and over travel remained at 0.125 inches. Average trigger pull decreased slightly to 2 pounds, 0.4 ounces. It’s a nice trigger. But that is only one of three parts that must all function perfectly for the Nemesis to be a reliably accurate target pistol. The rotary magazine is next.
The tandem rotary magazine
Every magazine either has a follower with a steel spring under it or some form of spring to push rounds up or around (rotary magazines like the Ruger 10/22 for example) and whether for rimfire, centerfire, or for air guns, working against spring tension can make loading a magazine a pain. Rotary pellet magazines, with the exception of the Sig Sauer designs, which have no spring tension, need a spring to work, and one way or another you end up working against the spring tension to load pellets into the individual chambers. I like the Webley design because rather than moving the transparent cover panel under tension around the chambers, like the Chaser, the Nemesis allows you to move the chambers around a fixed opening. It also has slightly raised catches over each chamber so you can rotate the drum from one to the next with your finger tip and hold it in place with one finger while loading a pellet. If you let go, it will most often spin around and you will have to wind your way back, but if you hold it correctly and rotate from chamber to chamber, even if you are using a stylus to seat the pellet deeper, it will go smoothly.
The same goes for loading the tandem magazine into the breech where the single shot pellet tray usually sits. Remove it by lifting it straight up. The magazine slides into the channel in the breech from the left side only. You have to be sure the bolt is all the way back and the tip isn’t protruding into the opening. If you tilt the gun forward the bolt will slide forward, so keep the muzzle up. The magazine should slide smoothly into the channel and reach a point where it stops or you feel resistance. At this point, press it from the outside edge in toward the center until you hear and feel a click. You will notice that the magazine is off center to the left and the center groove on the top rail aligns with the curve of the rotary magazine.
At this point the bolt should close smoothly and chamber the first pellet. Every subsequent action of the bolt (and be sure you have discharged the gun before working the bolt again) allows the magazine to unwind and move the next loaded chamber into line with the bolt. Unlike the Chaser, which blocks the bolt on an empty magazine, the Webley will continue to fire even with an empty magazine. Helps to count shots as you go; aside from that, this is a very easy rotary pellet magazine to operate.
At the firing line
It all comes down to how well regulated the fiber optic sights are to a POA 10 meters downrange using a traditional 6 o’clock hold on the target. To sight the gun I used a Birchwood Casey shoot-N-C target so I could know where my shots were hitting. I started with the highest performance pellets; the H&N Sport Match Green 5.25 gr. alloy wadcutters. Shooting with a two-handed hold and Weaver stance from 10 meters, my first group, showed me that the Webley is shooting a surprising 5 inches above POA and 1 inch to the left. Not a great beginning and no way to adjust the sights. Making POA corrections and holding under and slightly right, I put seven rounds into 1.25 inches; still not impressive for a 6.25 inch rifled steel barrel. I ran out the CO2 and was never able to break 1.25 inches for seven rounds with the lightweight alloy wadcutters.
At the same range using Meisterkugeln Professional Line 7.0 gr. lead wadcutter, my seven rounds came in a little low, (I was still holding under by a couple of inches) and the group measured 1.75 inches with five of seven all touching end to end at 0.875 inches. Better overall, but still nothing to get excited over. A second test had almost the exact same results, so I am going to do something I rarely do, and shoot the Webley from a bench rest. (Some of you who have the gun may already have better shooting results, and this may be an issue with this test gun, but we’ll just have to see where this goes).
I set up a 10 meter pistol target for the bench rest shooting test with Meisterkugeln and began with my POA at the bottom of the black. The gun was hitting at the top of the target. Another 10 meter target was set up and my POA became the bottom of the target and that put seven rounds closely grouped high in the 8 and 7 rings and at 10 o’clock in the 5 and 6 rings; all under an inch, but not where I was aiming. The 7-shot group, with three overlapping hits, all high and left, had a total measurement of 0.875 inches.
I hate to admit defeat but the sights on this gun are not regulated for POA at 10 meters (tried it at 21 feet, same result, shoots high), so for now, the Nemesis is its own nemesis.
One more try
I haven’t given up all hope just yet. Next Tuesday I’ll wrap this up giving the Webley one more chance with the addition of a BSA red dot scope. Once sighted in, the Nemesis should be able to print those same sub 1-inch groups in the bullseye. This could simply be a gun that needs optics (or a laser sight) because those pretty fiber optic sights are pretty off.