All Change

Phill Price gets the ex­clu­sive first look and a new pis­tol from We­b­ley

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price is im­pressed by the all-new de­sign of the We­b­ley Neme­sis pis­tol

The old We­b­ley Neme­sis was a good pis­tol and its pop­u­lar­ity speaks vol­umes about the qual­i­ties it of­fered its loyal fans. With this in mind, I was very sur­prised to be handed the new model which is to­tally dif­fer­ent. The out­go­ing model was an up-and-over, sin­gle-stroke pneu­matic, which was nat­u­rally a sin­gle-shot de­sign. Good sights and a re­coil­less fir­ing cy­cle made it easy to shoot well and there­fore en­joy­able to use.

The new Neme­sis of­fers multi-shot ca­pa­bil­ity by chang­ing power source. It uses the ubiq­ui­tous 12 gramme, CO2 cap­sule and a bolt ac­tion, mak­ing it to­tally dif­fer­ent to the old model. The things that they share are the use moulded syn­thetic ma­te­ri­als for their con­struc­tion, and oh yes, they’re both black.

The new Neme­sis is of medium size and weight, and will fit the ma­jor­ity of shoot­ers well. My medium-sized hand found the grip deep and flat and the reach to the trig­ger blade spot on. Like the rest of the pis­tol, it’s am­bidex­trous and fea­tures some shal­low fin­ger grooves along the front, and light stip­pling in pan­els around the rest. Over­all, it’s a com­fort­able and er­gonom­i­cally ac­com­plished fit.

The pis­tol’s styling is along the lines of a mod­ern semi-au­to­matic ser­vice arm with a few ex­tra flour­ishes added for good looks. Most notable are the slots in the sides near the muz­zle that ex­pose the bar­rel. I don’t imag­ine that they serve any pur­pose other than to look good. There are also grooves moulded in that look like the grip sec­tions you’d have on a semi-au­to­matic, to help you grip the slide as you rack it. Gen­er­ally, the look is quite sub­tle and I liked the over­all matte ap­pear­ance.

NOVEL MAG­A­ZINE

To pro­vide power you slide what ap­pears to be the floor plate of the grip for­ward to re­veal a 6mm hex drive tool. This is used to un­screw a steel cap be­neath the muz­zle to re­veal a cham­ber that holds the 12 gramme, CO2 cap­sule. This drops in neck first, wait­ing for the cap to be re­fit­ted, and needs to be done promptly to avoid wast­ing any CO2 that flows back as the pierc­ing probe opens the cap­sule’s tip. Once nipped up, you move on to load­ing pel­lets.

The Neme­sis is sup­plied with both a sin­gle-shot tray and a novel 14-shot mag­a­zine. In fact, the lat­ter is a pair of op­posed 7-shot mag­a­zines and is quite un­like any mag­a­zine I’ve seen be­fore. We­b­ley wisely chose to make the cas­ing from translu­cent plas­tic so that you can see how many pel­lets are loaded. To load it, you drop a pel­let in and then turn the cylin­der clock­wise with your fin­ger un­til the next cham­ber is ex­posed. Drop in an­other pel­let and re­peat the process un­til seven

pel­lets have been loaded. Next, flip the mag’ over and re­peat the process. In­side the grip is a neat stor­age area that can hold ei­ther the sin­gle-shot tray or the mag­a­zine, so while you’re us­ing one the other is kept safe and to hand.

AM­BIDEX­TROUS

To cock the gassed up ac­tion, you lift and with­draw the bolt in its race­way. This cocks the ham­mer spring and ex­poses the breech. You have the choice to drop in the sin­gle-shot tray or slide the mag­a­zine in from the left. Ei­ther way, with a pel­let in line, you push the bolt for­ward and down and you’re ready to shoot. An­other very novel and clever fea­ture is that the bolt han­dle can be swapped from right to left, adding to the am­bidex­trous cre­den­tials. I like the fact that when I re­ceived the Neme­sis, the bolt han­dle was on the left, so that with my right hand on the grip I could easily cock the ac­tion with my left. This meant much less jug­gling and swap­ping hands dur­ing the load­ing process and with the mag­a­zine in, I could fire seven shots in very rapid suc­ces­sion – ideal for keep­ing tins cans spin­ning down­range.

There’s a cross-bolt style safety that trav­els through the frame above the trig­ger blade. This sur­prised me in that it’s safe when ex­posed to the left, and ready to fire when ex­posed to the right. I’d have it the other way around so that the ma­jor­ity of shoot­ers, we right-han­ders, could dis­en­gage it with our trig­ger fin­ger from the shoot­ing hold.

GOOD SIGHTS

A mod­ern pis­tol de­serves mod­ern sights and the ones fit­ted here are very good. They’re styled after the low-pro­file ones fit­ted to com­bat pis­tols, and the ‘notch to post’ ra­tio was just right for me, giv­ing a clear and quickly ac­quired sight pic­ture ev­ery time. This is en­hanced by well-de­signed, fi­bre-op­tic in­serts that were a real ben­e­fit in low light con­di­tions. Where they’re fit­ted, there are ports on the up­pers that al­low light to strike the insert and add to its bright­ness. Good sights.

I noted that the muz­zle has a male thread un­der a screw-on pro­tec­tor, and I was glad to dis­cover it was the in­dus­try stan­dard ½” UNF, so al­most any si­lencer will fit straight on. Like most CO2 guns of this kind, the Neme­sis has a pretty sharp muz­zle crack, so I screwed in a si­lencer be­fore shoot­ing in my back gar­den. The down­side was that the si­lencer’s di­am­e­ter then blocked the sights, but I imag­ine many peo­ple will fit an op­ti­cal sight to the long 11mm sight rails moulded into the top of the frame, which would elim­i­nate the sight­ing prob­lem at a stroke. There’s also a sec­tion of Weaver rail moulded into the frame in front of the trig­ger guard that would easily ac­cept a laser and an­other sight­ing op­tion.

“I could fire seven shots in very rapid suc­ces­sion – ideal for keep­ing tins cans spin­ning down­range”

“well-de­signed, fi­bre-op­tic in­serts that were a real ben­e­fit in low light con­di­tions”

IN­NO­VA­TIONS

An­other ad­van­tage We­b­ley saw in the new de­sign was a marked in­crease in power with the .22 pro­to­type de­liv­er­ing over 4 ft.lbs. at the muz­zle. The .177 on test had dif­fer­ent in­ter­nals to the pro­duc­tion guns, so there was no point in chrono­graph­ing it.

My next job was ac­cu­racy test­ing and I’d been warned that as my test gun was a pre-pro­duc­tion pro­to­type, it was shoot­ing high – and they were quite cor­rect. The two-stage trig­ger was smooth and light, and that along with the ex­cel­lent sights, were a great help when it came to the fine ac­cu­racy this in­ter­est­ing pis­tol de­liv­ered. At 6 yards I was able to get 1” groups off hand, and I feel sure that adding an op­ti­cal sight would have re­leased even more of the gun’s po­ten­tial.

De­spite my sur­prise that We­b­ley should have made such a rad­i­cal change to the Neme­sis, I can well see why they made the de­ci­sion. This is a very ap­peal­ing pis­tol, burst­ing with in­no­va­tions that de­liver on their prom­ise to make pis­tol-shoot­ing more fun. I hope to get the chance to shoot a pro­duc­tion gun with an op­ti­cal sight fit­ted to see just how ac­cu­rate it re­ally is, soon. As much as this is an all-new de­sign and a com­plete change from its for­bear, I can see it be­com­ing ev­ery bit as pop­u­lar and per­haps even more so, and I ap­plaud We­b­ley for this bold new de­sign. I

The slots through the frame add a dash of good looks.

Bright fi­bre-op­tic in­serts worked well, even in low light.

The cross-bolt safety pro­trudes above the trig­ger.

A sin­gle-shot tray is sim­ple and easy to use.

Two seven-shot mags’ sit low, al­low­ing you to use open sights unim­peded.

Note that the bolt can be swapped from side to side.

When did you last see a 14-shot ro­tary mag­a­zine in a pis­tol?

To load CO2, first re­move this end cap.

Mak­ing the si­lencer thread 1/2” UNF en­sures that most si­lencers will fit.

The CO2 cap­sule fits in a cham­ber un­der the bar­rel.

Both a sinlge-shot tray and the 14-shot mag­a­zine are in­cluded.

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