Tactical Equipment - Survivalist Equipment

Airsoft KWA ATP Auto Training Pistol

KWA ATP Gas Pistol Select Fire Airsoft pistol for sale online

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It is the European distributor for KWA, which is no small task. KWA has been making high-end, quality gas-blowback pistols for many a year. Its patented NS2 gas delivery system represents a significant improvement in the power and efficiency of operation compared with other brands of pistols.

The combination of advanced, lightweight, composite gas piston and two-stage, internal expansion chamber means that gas is delivered to the chamber more effectively. This creates a crisp blowback action and reduces the cool-down effect. Over the last few years, KWA has also been the market leader with its Professional Training Pistol (PTP) range.

The Adaptive Training Pistol (ATP) on test here is a completely original design from KWA, and a new addition to the range. I will be looking at it from two angles: can it cut the mustard as a skirmish-ready airsoft pistol; and how does it compare as a training aide in this ever-expanding marketplace?

First impressions

Having been a fan of KWA pistols for a long time, I was intrigued by the ATP. There are two variants: the semi-auto version {on test here) and a (selectable) full-auto version. As with all KWA pistols, it comes in a sturdy but plain KWA branded box. The label on the side is the only indication of what lies within.

Interestingly, the label also features the unique serial number of the pistol. KWA states in its blurb that the ATP was developed in collaboration with various military and law enforcement agencies. Immediately on opening the box, the ATP looked striking, if a little odd.

The aluminium top slide is instantly recognisable as Glock-style, while the composite polymer lower frame has overtones of Glock and Smith & Wesson's M&P.

Picking it up, it feels lightweight but solid. Now personally I am not a big fan of Glocks, mainly due to the size of the pistol grip, which inhibits me from operating the pistol one-handed.

However, I was impressed with the grip on this ATP. For me, it's more comfortable, and with interchangeable back straps (included in the box), it should give you a good grip no matter the of size your hand.

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The grip itself is textured and contoured; with your hand wrapped around it, it gives you the confidence that it won't slip out of your grip, whether you are wearing gloves or not. The trigger itself is identical to a Clock series pistol, and unless pulled properly, won't fire.

The magazine release catch is located on the front left-hand side of the pistol grip, just to the rear of the trigger guard: nice and easy to operate with your thumb. The slide release catch is easy to get to without having to move your hand away from the grip itself.

Moving forward of the trigger guard on the lower frame is a short multi-slot rail allowing you to mount various torch/laser units, or an accessory of some description. It is also on the underside of the lower frame that you will find the stamped unique serial number (which should match the one on the box label).

The top slide looks rather funky with the serrations cut into it at the front and rear (to ease cocking), but it keeps the simplicity of the hammerless Glock style design. Its three-dot combat sights keep things basic, but then, realistically, do you require any more than that?

Dropping the mag out and pulling the top slide to the rear with the slide-stop engaged allows you access to the adjustable hop unit. As with all KWA pistols, this is adjusted with a key (provided in the box) and is very simple to do.

The magazine itself is, again, very Glock-esque - it's double-stacking and holds 23 rounds. It also features a heavy-duty base plate, which you slide forward to gas the mag up.

In many real-world combat situations and training scenarios, mags get dumped or dropped onto the floor, but with a normal airsoft pistol mag this is not wise (we have an engineer's work-bench full of various mags which have been treated this way), so the rubberised base s help minimise damage.

Taking down the ATP for cleaning and maintenance is really simple. A quick pull-down of the release catches (located on both sides of the lower frame) allows the top slide to slide straight off. Internally, virtually all of the working parts (including the outer barrel) are aluminium and seem very robust.

One thing I was curious to find out was what holster the ATP would fit. After researching and reading up on the matter, it seems there are many on the market that the ATP will drop into.

Obviously, the ATP will slip in and out of any canvas-style, non-weapon-specific holster for medium frame pistols. For moulded holsters, this could be more difficult. Being so similar to the Glock in so many ways it should fit most Glock 17 holsters.

However, according to various US sites, the likes of G-Code's XST RTi, Razor Concealment Kydex for Smith & Wesson's M&P as well as OTG Spadex holsters are all capable of fitting the ATP. It will also come as a big relief to many that the ATP drops snugly into BlackHawk Serpa holsters for the Glock 17. Phew!

On test

With snow on the ground and the car computer saying zero degrees on my way into work, I thought to myself that this would be an interesting day. With most GBB pistols I wouldn't have bothered attempting to test with conditions being wha t they were, but with the reputation of the NS2 system, I felt confident about getting a good result. After a quick squirt of silicone spray in the relevant places, and a rough set of the hop unit, it was time to see if it's worthy of its Training Pistol moniker.

For the first round of testing, I used Blaster Devil 0.20g BBs and ASG Ultra gas. With the mag full (it's a big reservoir that took 30 seconds to fill) and the mag loaded up with 22 rounds, off I toddled to my test area. After racking back the topslide and loading the first round, I took aim and fired at my static target.

It has a nice trigger pull and, despite the conditions, it fired with a real crack. The top slide cycled with a hard kick and loaded the second round into the chamber; after a few rounds I started double tapping.

The ATP emptied the first mag faultlessly. With the last round fired, the top slide locked back to the rear as it should. Fantastic. I went back into the warm for a refill of gas, a reload of ammo and a quick adjustment of the hop unit.

I was keen to get back out into the cold as soon as possible (did I just say that?) so the mag didn't have chance to warm up too much. I wanted to see if the NS2 system is as good as its reputation says it is.

Okay, this time I wanted to see my fall of shot onto the target. With a mixture of single shot and double taps I soon emptied the second mag. It never missed a beat the entire time, and, upon inspecting my target (placed at 25ft), I found some really solid groupings.

I even amazed myself! Despite the hard recoil, the fact that I was firing using the combat sights, and how comfortable the ATP feels, the pistol never deviated from my point of aim. After another reload, it was time for a quick chrono check.

From start to finish, the ATP fired at 305fps, going down to 287fps by the end of the mag, which, bearing in mind the weather conditions and the fact that the hop was set, was a decent result.

My next task was to use some of my own advice, so I broke open a bottle of Blaster Devil 0.25g BBs, along with a bag of Madbull Precision Grade 0.30g. Using the same static target, first off I tried the Blaster Devils. After a mag of test shots to adjust the hop, I then carried out a mag's worth of chrono results, followed lastly by a mag of accurate shooting.

The difference in accuracy is quite phenomenal - in a good way - while the results on the chrono varied between 268 and 245 fps. I then repeated this process with the Madbulls. With this weight, the hop was pretty much adjusted to the max, but again, the accuracy over this range was another improvement with the groupings getting ever tighter. On the chrono, readings went from 240 to 227 fps. Still very respectable.

Being a bit of a diehard 1911 and Sig man in both airsoft and real steel, I really didn't want to like this pistol. If you are a Glock addict then you will no doubt love it. However, after a while, I really started to like the way it presents itself. Functionality and usability can be beautiful too!

Certainly for me, the massive bonus is in its ergonomics compared to a standard Glock. I like the way it feels in my hands, lightweight yet robust, and I love the way it operates with its crisp, sharp and hard recoil. With the weather conditions being what they were while testing, it still performed well and returned some decent results.

As an airsoft skirmish pistol it ranks way up there, and as a training aide it ticks all the boxes for durability, reliability and usability. With the bonus that it will fit issue holsters as well as personally purchased ones, it really does transgress from the airsoft market into real world training.

KWA has really hit the mark with this one and will help keep them among the higher echelons of GBB manufacturers. This pistol could well be the only pistol you ever need. Sorry Defiance Airsoft, this one may get lost in the post on its way back to you!