[Update 6-30-2013: Please see the second article here for clarification on the Legend vs Nemesis name and with a little insight from Pete “Robbo” Robinson on the Legend’s production.]
Here is the first of three video on the Nemesis: The History, Operation and testing of Paintmatic’s Nemesis.
And the second: Disassembling the Nemesis!
This third will be coming up eventually once the Nemesis is cycling correctly and I get a helmet camera.
And now onto the history I have been able to find out about the Nemesis and Legend:
In 1991, UK paintballers saw glimpses of a paintgun, that could present fierce competition to the Automag and Autococker, and the best part is that it was produced in England! The only problem? This Blow Forward semi auto, named the Legend, looked like it was from Star Trek. Well…that wasn’t the only problem…
As Peter Moore wrote in Paintball Games International’s November 1992 article on the Nemesis, “The [Legend] was plagued by both mechanical and financial difficulties, with the latter being the biggest problem.” But what company was responsible for the Legend? How many were produced? These questions and many more remain unanswered about the Legend and Nemesis.
Around 2000 (possibly earlier?) the internet paintball community got it’s first glimpse of a Legend, and this example was in the continental US.
Mike “Proto” Majeski from Detroit’s
Damage Inc. added a page on his Prototypical Gun Guide for a Mystery Gun he acquired from National Paintball Supply in South Carolina.
Since Y2k there are only been a couple vague references online to the Legend until just a couple months back, in late July 2012.
On July 21, 2012, Mike “Cannon Fodder” Carter posted a thread on mcarterbrown.com with pictures of a few mysterious looking paintguns he found on a UK airgun forum. Mike writes in this thread on mcb that the seller claimed these could be “hand made prototypes.”
After waking up on the 21st and beginning to browse the net on my phone I came across Mike’s thread. Pictures hadn’t been posted yet and there was no guest access to the Airgun forum so I emailed Mike for pictures. Of course I was hoping Mike found a few Legends or maybe an old Daystate pump but I figured they were likely something more common, maybe a later Daystate Semi, or a even a couple of Sovereigns.
A group of Nemesis/Legend parts. Notice the black Nemesis has a single front body, could it be the same gun from the 1992 PGI ad show below with the simplified valve?
But when Mike sent me pictures of a couple piles of internals I immediately knew what he had stumbled upon were several Legends or something similar! I had read about the second version in an old PGI but couldn’t remember the name. A few minutes later Mike emailed me additional picture of two additional complete guns.
The two complete guns that Mike managed to purchased from the UK seller! So exciting!
I asked Mike if he could acquire them and told him how much I would be interested in paying for one if he got them. He told me they had already sold on the UK airgun site and they went for around 50 pounds but he would ask the seller who they went to. Well after a week and a couple emails to check on the status, Mike told me he had figured out who these mysterious paintguns went to.
He contacted the new owner and arranged a deal for us to purchase the two complete guns from the seller. I would get one and Mike would get the other. The seller didn’t want to part with the two incomplete guns for some reason, which is unfortunately because if you look at the article below you can see a black Nemesis with a “simplified valve.” Because the valve comes out in one piece it’s likely the body would not need to separate in front of the hammer. And looking at the Black Nemesis missing pieces in the parts picture above and then the body again in the article below you don’t see a separation in the body. It’s unlikely we will even know though since according to Mike, the new seller “won’t sell them, he’s been tinkering with them and chopping things up didn’t give me exact details but it didn’t sound good, sad news I know.”
It’s lucky that Mike managed to find these guns otherwise the whole lot of them could have ended up as scrap!
Paintball Games International’s November 1992 write up on the Nemesis (If you click on this scan it’s 1.3 megs so good luck!).
While waiting in excitement for the mysterious paintgun to arrive from England, I dug out this article in the November 1992 issue of PGI on the the second version of the Legend, the Nemesis. I was surprised about how critical the writer was towards the Nemesis but I would say the review is pretty honest! I would guess after a year or possibly more the entire UK paintball community didn’t want to wait any longer.
I am not 100 percent positive but because of the external styling on the valve body, the raised sight rail, the bottomline regulator’s styling and the more angular edges of the wood furniture I believe this is a Nemesis. Although according to the article below the Nemesis featured a simplified valve, I would still classify these guns as Nemesis, although they could be late Legends?
According to the article, the Nemesis uses a simplified valve which in the pictures almost resembled an automag valve. I don’t know if these pictures were staged or if this was a functioning valve? I don’t understand how the cocking knob might function with that style valve?
In the second video above the Nemesis gets broken down and reassembled. Here is one frame from that video. This frame is a link to the second video on Youtube.
A month later I received the Nemesis and immediately broke it down.
Externally the Nemesis looked complete besides a missing safety and a broken wire detent. Of course it looks totally out of this world, just another factor that makes it so mysterious! The wood looks nice, the grey anodizing is beautiful, the brass trigger is very finely crafted (possibly casted?).
Supposedly the Nemesis is a blow forward, but with a hammer? Again, the mysterious factor of the Nemesis is probably just another reason it wouldn’t have succeeded had it actually made it to the market.
The internal components were in pretty good shape aside from the flat head screw that connects the bolt to the powertube which is almost stripped out. Besides that a few of the delrin parts such as the ring around the bolt didn’t move freely so I sanded them down a little to the bolt moving.
The functioning of the valve is actually pretty straight forward.
1. Trigger releases hammer
2. Hammer moves backwards to strikes nelson style valve
3. Air burst blows (blow forward) bolt forward and pushes/resets (cocks) hammer.
The bolt isn’t directly connect to the hammer, instead the bolt pushes a delrin sleeve which sits in between the bolt and stainless linkage rod and pushes on the linkage rod.
This allows the bolt return to be independent of the hammer since it’s open bolt when cocked.
Currently the Nemesis needs a little more sanding on the delrin sleeve around the bolt so that the bolt can cycle back and forth correctly. When it is shooting correctly I will upload another video.
After dissecting the Nemesis I started probing for more information online.
On Proto’s “Mystery Gun Page” he wrote that he purchased his Legend on a trip to South Carolina:
“I picked up this Paintball Gun at National Paintball Supply. Other than finding out that it is British, and that Bad Boy’s Toys has one on the wall (a friend said that the salesperson didn’t know what it was either), I haven’t found a single thing on this Gun. The only markings on this gun is on the left side “Patent Pending”.”
Doug Brown, who was the Vice President of National Paintball Supply in Greenville, South Carolina and now run PSIWORX, remembers Proto’s Legend arriving at NPS.
Doug wrote, “I saw [a Legend] one time. Some English bloke named Ged [Green] showed up in my office one day with one,” and Doug went on to recollect, “It was Ged Green from WDP, he did leave a sample with me.”
After researching Paintmatic’s address in Brighton, UK I found it to be only 10-15 miles away from the location of Who Dares Play’s (WDP’s) field in Birmingham UK.
Edit (12-16-14): Thanks to Simon Stevens for pointing out I was wrong about the distance between Brighton and Birmingham.
Doug went on to mention that Green brought another visitor to NPS who also traveled from the UK to the US. But Doug didn’t seem to know Ged Green’s affiliation with the Legend other than Green bringing the designer/engineer of the Legend. Doug continued:
“Ged had some bloke with him he described as “a rather simple fellow but very clever”. I took it that he had designed and built the gun. I remember a bolt stripped on the gun and he was able to find one with suitable threads in our repair area but the head was too big The “simple bloke” asked for a file, which I gave him, and 20 minutes later he had filed the head of the bolt so that it fit the gun perfectly. By perfectly I mean it looked like a factory machined bolt. I was impressed.”
I have emailed Ged Green at Angel Sports but I haven’t heard back and don’t know if
after Angel Sport’s sale to Tippmann Green is still involved with paintball? If anyone has any contact information for Green please pass it on to me. [Update – 6-30-2013: Supposedly Angel Sports/WDP did not actually sell to Tippmann? Still no response from my original email though. Pete “Robbo” Robinson wrote that WDP wasn’t involved with the Legends production.]
Edit (12-16-14): And based on Simon’s correction on distance it’s unlikely that WDP had anything to do with the Legend and Nemesis other than interest in the design or friendship with the manufacturers.
Tracking down information on the Nemesis, putting information up in the first place, finding the paintguns, mailing the paintguns, and remembering someone walk into your store 20 years ago! I owe a lot of thank yous for the help I was giving in putting this article together.
Thanks to Brendan Ferguson for helping me acquire the November 1992 PGI magazine that had the Nemesis article in it. Thanks to Peter Salgado gave me the August 1992 issue of PGI with the Legend spotted article.
Gigantic thanks to Mike “Proto” Majeski for putting his mystery gun page up in the first place. And check out Proto’s Prototypical Gun Guide at: http://home.comcast.net/~proto/
Thanks to Doug Brown of PSIWORX for remembering way back in time to give me a clue as to where I might be able to find a little more Legend/Nemesis information.
And most of all thanks to Mike “Cannon Fodder” Carter for his help in getting one of these two beautiful guns over to me! I can’t thank you enough!
Written material and screen captures/pictures copyright Daniel Bacci baccipaintball.com 2012. For permission to repost please ask.
Wow. Its funny, since i have gotten into pump paintball, and tinkering with different guns, I had been wondering if anyone had ever made a blow forward poppet type valve basically built around a nelson valve and having a spring to drive back the hammer. And here it is, very cool.
Thanks for the comment Jesse. It is such a simple system, it’s funny that we haven’t seen it in another blow forward.