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Preview – Nemesis Take-Down

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The Vanquish: A Deadly Accurate Multi-Caliber Sniper Rifle

What’s top of the list of priority targets for a sniper pair? If you said “other snipers,” you win a subscription to RECOIL — just send us your address on the back of a Benjamin and we’ll take care of the rest.

All jokes aside, if you’re a high-priority target working amongst other troops, you tend to live longer if you can conceal your role from anyone on the opposing team. This is made more difficult if everyone around you has an M4 and you’re humping a scoped bolt gun, as you tend to stick out like the nuts on a greyhound.

The Nemesis Vanquish is one way of keeping the sniper’s identity on the DL. It packs down into a space no bigger than a briefcase and yet can be assembled in a matter of minutes to create a weapon system that can dominate terrain that stretches from the muzzle out to 1,000 yards. Available in a variety of calibers based on the .308 case, it offers repeatable accuracy so that the shooter can be confident that, when he puts the rifle together to make the shot, the bullet will be launched with the gun in the same condition as when he zeroed.

One of the marks of a good design is how difficult it is for the operator to screw up the finished product. After picking up a promising-looking brown box from our local FFL, we headed out to the desert to see if the Vanquish lived up to its marketing hype and put it to the test under field conditions. How a gun performs on the square range is one thing. How it fares in dust and heat, being run by an idiot with the ability to break bowling balls is another. Without any training or familiarization with the rifle (or needing to RTFM), we were able to assemble it and fire the first shot within about three minutes of opening the case, so you could say it passed the initial test with flying colors. After bolting up a Leupold Mk4 and achieving a quick 100-yard zero, we dialed in dope for 900 yards and 10-mph ½-value wind, and without trying too hard, proceeded to tear chunks out of a chest-sized rock located across the canyon. Not bad for a first outing.

In its basic configuration, the bipod is attached to the receiver group, which leaves one less thing to mount, but limits the gun in how it can be effectively deployed. For example, working off of a barricade is a much easier proposition if the gun is wearing the optional barrel sleeve, and this also gives the ability to add clip-on night vision devices via its top rail.

Our test rifle arrived in a fitted hard case, with the gun taking up about 2⁄3 of the available space leaving plenty of room for even the largest optic.

The rifle’s 20-inch heavy barrel is fluted to reduce weight and promote cooling. It proved to be a consistent ½-minute-of-angle (MOA) performer with a variety of ammo, ranging from 168-grain Federal Gold Medal Match to hot handloads with either Nosler or Sierra 155-grain bullets. We attempted to use some 175-grain Sierras in a load that had proven itself in an Accuracy International AW, but it appears that the Nemesis barrel has a shorter throat than the Brit rifle, so they refused to chamber. Yet another reason to use caution when working up your own ballistic recipes.

The muzzle is threaded 5⁄8-inch-24 and accepts a very nicely machined muzzle brake, which is timed so that the ports line up horizontally without the need for a crush or peel washer. The brake proved to be very effective at reducing recoil — we were able to watch bullet impacts though the scope all the way out to 1,000 yards, but at the cost of an increased dust signature.

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