KWA ATP

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Intro
KWA has been kind enough to send us their new Adaptive Training Pistol (ATP) for review. For those of you new to the scene we’ll provide a history lesson, so sit down face forward and listen up.

Around 2009, Glock decided that it needed to protect it IP’s including the trademarked design and appearance of the Glock firearm. This was extended to everything from artistic representation to manufacturing products similar in appearance. For the airsoft world, this was the begining of the end for the Glock replica. For a while some manufacturers changed their model numbers and swapped the Glock trademarks on the guns for terms such as “G-series”. Glock continued their legal action stating that the replica Glocks (or G-series, etc.) were infrining on their intellectual property (the Glock form factor and appearance). This lead to all the major airsoft manufacturers to turn away from making Glock replicas all together. A void appeared in the training market and professionals who use the Glock were left without a suitible airsoft training pistol. KWA acknowledged this void and started designing what has become the ATP. The ATP functions similar to the generation four Glock in that it simulates a striker fired pistol with interchangeable grips and no manual safety. The ATP has also been built to fit holsters built for Glock firearms as well. Now the question stands, how well does this gun fit the void made by the missing Glock replica?

First Impressions
The box is the usual KWA affair. Black and grey outside, styrofoam packed gun, lube, bb sachet, warranty, sticker, hop key, and magazine. Unique to this gun is the interchangable grip which is packed with the other accessories. Things that stood out: threaded orange barrel tip, Glock style take down, absence of “safe action” trigger.
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Materials and Construction
The ATP uses a polymer frame with a metal slide. The front and rear sights are plastic with the usual white 3 dot setup. The dots appear crisp and bright. Both the front and rear sight are held in their dovetails by friction only.
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The barrel assembly is metal from the chamber to the threaded tip, with the threaded tip being bright orange and plastic. However, no airsoft mock suppressor will fit this tip that we know of.

The spring guide is plastic with a single captive spring.

The polymer frame houses the metal components that have been largely borrowed from the previous KWA Glock 17.

The magazine is metal with a locking follower for loading. This mag shares the same “body” as earlier KWA Glocks however they have changed the baseplate to be much larger.

All in all the internals and overall materals are the same as the original KWA Glock 17.

Features
Not much to it. You’ve got a polymer framed pistol with a 3 dot sighting system and a 23+1 capacity. As expected the gun features a short rail up front for mounting a laser or a light. The only unique feature is the addition of the interchangeable backstrap. The gun includes 1 smaller backstrap, while out of the box being equipped with the larger one. This is similar to the design of the new generation four Glock’s. One other “feature” is the ability to fit Glock compatible holsters.
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The hop unit is the same as seen on other KWA pistols.
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One feature I would have liked to see (that is available on the gen 4 Glocks) is a reversable mag release (for lefties).
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Performance

When we’re looking at the mechanics of the gun, there was one thing that caught my eye. The new baseplate on the magazine is deep enough that it requires being removed (at least partially) before filling the it with Green Gas. Yet another reason to use propane instead. The Airsoft Innovations propane adapter has a nozzle long enough that you can fill the mag without having to adjust the baseplate.

When you’re talking performance, we are usually concerned with 3 things: range, accuracy, and fps. To test the average FPS of the gun we first noted the mag was warmed up to 84.7*F and the room’s ambient temperature is 78*F. We warmed the mag to better simulate summer play characteristics. For all testing we used propane.

As you can see from the charts above we have a maximum deviation of about 28 fps from the lowest speed shot to the highest. That’s a pretty wide margin even for a gas gun. Even if we toss out the highest and lowest reading we still have a maximum deviation of about 19 fps. Looking at the standard deviation we find the gun shoots almost +/-7FPS from the average velocity of 329 FPS. What we did note from the chart is that while there is likely some “cool down” of the mag causing a drop in fps, it isn’t much. We did wait about 1-2 seconds between shots for this test. We have also provided the same information in the form of muzzle energy (measured in Joules), for you technical junkies out there.

Moving on to accuracy we placed a target at 30 feet from the shooter. Unfortuantely we did not have a bench to shoot from today, so everything was shot standing and unsupported. We understand that this is going to add a fair margin of error into the results. Luckily the wind was a weak 2mph and was heading down range improving our results.

Our target showed a tight 1.5” group for our first 10 shots that center about 1” @ 10 o’clock from the bullseye. After that shots drifted left for the next 5 shots. Could this be shooter error, or possibly wind? After a little diagnosis we found that the rear sight was loose. In fact, it’s held in just by friction and had slid to the side while shooting. There is not a screw or adhesive used to hold the sight in place and it is easily removed from the gun with a gentle push. The gun seems to be accurate as long as the sight is secured in place. I would suggest putting a small drop of blue loctite under the rear sight and then sliding it in place to secure it.

Performance goes beyond just the accuracy of the gun and it’s muzzle velocity capabilities. There is also range to consider. I figured that the large variations in fps would contribute to decreasing range under rapid fire conditions if the cause was “cooldown”. With a full mag of .20g Golden Ball bbs we noted over 150 feet of travel no problem through a full mag dump. I suspect that the hop unit itself is most likely the cause of the variations in fps, but at the same time it does an excellent job at providing range. We did some testing with .4g bbs just for kicks and found that the hop unit did a phenomenal job at giving both a flat trajectory and plenty of range. Much like my KWA USP, this gun can reach out surprisingly far with the right ammo choice.

One thing I was hoping to see was a very fast slide speed. The Glock series was great in part because the slide was fairly light allowing for very fast follow up shots. The ATP isn’t quite as fast as the previous Glock replicas, but was more than adequate and easily tops my KWA USP.

Conclusion
The overall build of the ATP is pretty solid. The slide moves smoothly, and we did not have any major hiccups during the testing of the gun. The issue of the rear sight being loose is easily remedied with a bit of blue Loctite. Given that most airsofters will be using this for CQB or as a last resort backup the accuracy and range are more than adequate.

As a training pistol I think this gun is as close as we’re going to get to a Glock for a while to come. With the ability to fit holsters built for Glocks, as well as featuring interchangeable grip panels, and have a similar contour to the grip that generation 4 Glocks have, I think this would work well as a training tool. For those of you just looking for a quality airsoft gas blow back pistol, I feel that this gun is a solid buy. KWA has a 45 day warranty, and their build quality is usually pretty good, and from what retailers are telling me, they’ve seen very few issues requiring them to swap out the gun since the debut of the ATP up to the time of writing this review.

The Numbers
Construction 7/10 — Issues like the rear sight sliding in its dovetail should not have happened and I have to ding this gun because of that. The requirement to slide the baseplate out of the way to fill the mag with green gas is also inconvenient.
Features 10/10 — Fitting Glock compatible holsters is a big plus.
Durability 8/10 — I would have liked to see a stronger spring guide.
Performance 8/10 —  The FPS varied a bit more than I would have expected out of a PTP series gun. Otherwise everything was spot on.
Value 10/10 — For an airsoft pistol this is right in the sweet spot on pricing. Not to expensive of an initial investment and mags are about $30 each.
Price — $129.99 as of 10/6/11

Links
KWA USA

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