Diana’s Nemesis Part 3

Diana’s Nemesis Part 3

Webley chases the Chaser

by Dennis Adler

The Nemesis is a big hand-filling pistol. My medium-large hand gets a good wrap around the finger-grooved grip and my thumb rests on top of my middle finger, with a one-handed hold. This is considered a good grip for my hand size. When I switch to a two-handed hold my thumb will align with the deep rest in the grip and I will have a full wrap around with both hands; about as solid as it gets.

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.

In daylight the fiber optic sights are luminescent against the target, but shot accuracy with the Nemesis began to prove itself less than expected with shots hitting well above POA. With grips this good and sights this easy to put on target, the problem is going to be lack of adjustments to correct for elevation and windage.

The trigger

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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.

Another issue some readers have brought up is difficulty loading the rotary pellet magazine. That just takes a little practice and some patience. You move the chambers around the opening counterclockwise. There are gear tips surrounding the exterior circumference and you use them to move the pellet drum around the loading port and hold each chamber in position while loading.
It’s really very easy once you get the hang of it. You can’t let go or it will spin back. After the 7th round is loaded it won’t spin back and is ready to slip into the breech block.

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.

Make sure the bolt handle is cocked and all the way to the back so the breech is clear and then slip the magazine into the channel until it stops or you feel some resistance.

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 magazine is ready to be pushed into the locked position. With your thumb press it inward until it clicks in place…
…as soon as it does you will see the alignment of the magazine is to the left with the inside edge of the right pellet drum in line with the center of the optics rail running down the center of the upper receiver. You can now close the bolt and chamber the first round. If you have any resistance from the bolt, don’t force it. Pull it back and make sure the magazine is all the way in. The alignment is precise.

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.

With the tandem magazine you have 14 shots and the bolt action works quickly.
It is small hand work to lift the bolt, pull it back…
…which rotates the magazine and cocks the action…
…and then push it forward and into the locked position. It is a smooth acting bolt that advances pellets as fast as you can work it.

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.

The problem is that everything works exactly as advertised with the exception of the sights being regulated to POA at 10 meters. In order to shoot this group I had to aim at the bottom of the target (I mean the bottom edge of the paper not the black) and hold slightly right. Five out of seven hit in one connecting row with one low and one left. Spread for seven rounds is 1.75 inches with five of seven at 0.875 inches.

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).

Yielding to my frustration I shot the last open sight test off a bench rest using a 10 meter pistol target. Aiming at the bottom of the target (1 ring) and a little right, my seven rounds grouped close but high and left. Total spread measured 0.875 inches.

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.

Is it this gun or just a case of fixed sights that are not regulated for 10 meters with a traditional POA? To find out what the Nemesis can do without its fiber optics, next Tuesday I’m matching up this big British pellet pistol with a big British BSA red dot scope. I’ve no objection to a gun that needs optics to be accurate, but the fiber optic sights are a let down.

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.

6 thoughts on “Diana’s Nemesis Part 3”

  1. I would suggest testing the Nemesis with both the BSA red dot sight and the LaserMax Spartan laser. I have one of the BSA 30 mm red sights and don’t like it all that much. It’s too heavy on pistols, and the pistol can’t be holstered with the BSA sight mounted. Conversely, the LaserMax Spartan laser has worked very well so far on the pistols I have mounted it on, and those pistols can still be holstered deeply in the UTG holster I use. With the LaserMax Spartan, the Nemesis will probably still fit well in most belt holsters so that the Nemesis could still be used for most drawing and shooting drills that you are often emphasizing.

    I finally got the Safariland 014 Competition holster for the Tanfoglio Gold Custom. I mounted the CenterPoint Tactical Reflex Sight on the top rail. I’ve been too busy to shoot it, but I’m thinking I will definitely have time over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend.

  2. Given the price, even in Europe, I thought that It could be my pest “equalizer”,with it being a repeater, compact, threaded. As it turns out it lacks the power and, in a best case scenario, it needs a sight to work. It seems that my Black Star will keep its guarding duties, one shot-one kill…

  3. The Chaser is a repeater option indeed. But for single shot options against the HW45 Black Star, hmmm, I have serious doubts, at least for the 6-10 fpe limit. Only the Webley/Zoraki maybe but it is not as challenging or as good looking.

  4. OK Here is what I like about the New Webley Nemesis in .177, mainly the excellent Target Trigger, then the Top Rail Dovetail Groove, the Super Smooth Bolt and Single Shot Loading, very good Balance in hand, Very good Accuracy…..
    I remeasured my Nemesis Trigger Pull and this is what I get and this is a Factory Setting as far as I know….2 Stage Trigger measured to the end of 1st Stage is 8 Oz then 2nd Stage Pull is another 8 Oz to the Break…this is a total of 16 Oz total pull…I am used to gently pulling thru to the end of or stop of the 1st stage then holding to my POA then the final 8 oz to the break…This is easily the Best Air Pistol Trigger action of my collection…
    I have a Red Dot Reflex mounted and shooting 5 shot groups at 7yds equal to my Crosman 2300T & Diana Chaser, so very pleased…

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