KWA Adaptive Training Pistol (ATP)

When a big, heavy parcel arrived from Switzerland I was little confused. What on earth could this possibly be? Could it be the contents of my Great Uncle Klaus’ safety deposit box which he had stashed away back in ‘45? I sliced open the package and peered inside – and unfortunately it wasn’t! But it was the next best thing: two new offerings from KWA, a pistol and a rifle. Excellent!

Defiance Airsoft is a new name in the world of airsoft distribution but it comes from a very reputable background. It is the European distributor for KWA, which is no small task in any way.

KWA has been making high-end, quality gas blowback pistols for many a year. Its patented NS2 gas delivery system provides a significant improvement in the power and efficiency of operation compared to other brands of pistols. The combination of advanced lightweight composite gas piston and a two-stage internal expansion chamber means that gas is delivered to the chamber more effectively. This creates a really crisp blowback action and reduces the cool down effect.

Over the last few years KWA has also been market leader with its Professional Training Pistol (PTP) range. This Adaptive Training Pistol (ATP), a completely original design from KWA, is a new addition to the range. I will be looking at it from two angles: can it cut the mustard as a ‘skirmishable’ airsoft pistol; and how does it compare as a training aide in this ever-expanding marketplace?

KWA-ATP_01First 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 has the unique serial number of 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 S&W 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 really impressed with the grip on this ATP. For me it’s much more comfortable and with interchangeable back straps (included in the box), it should give you a good grip no matter what size your hands are! The grip itself is textured and contoured, so with your hand wrapped round it, gives you the confidence that it won’t slip out of your hand, whether you are wearing gloves or not. The trigger itself is identical to a Glock series pistol and unless pulled properly, won’t fire. The magazine release catch is located on the front L/h 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 again really easy to get to without having to move your hand away from the grip itself.

I took aim and fired at my static target. It has a real nice trigger pull and despite the conditions, it fired with a real crack. The top slide cycled with a real hard kick and loaded the 2nd round into the chamber.

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 its serrations cut into it at the front and rear (to ease cocking) but yet keeps the simplicity of the hammerless Glock style design. Its 3 dot combat sights helps to keep it basic but then, realistically, do you require any more than that?

KWA-ATP_05Dropping 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” (you can see where this is going by now) is 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 which with a normal airsoft pistol mag is not wise (we have an engineer’s work bench full of various mags which have been treated this way), so with the rubberized bases this helps minimize 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 the working parts (including the outer barrel) are aluminium and seem very robust.

A question I asked myself was what holster will this fit? Whilst researching and reading up about the ATP, there are many on the market that the ATP will drop into. Obviously any canvas-style, non weapons specific holster for medium frame pistols, the ATP will slip in and out of. For moulded holsters this could be more difficult. Being so similar to Glock is so many ways it should fit most Glock 17 holsters. However, the likes of G- Code’s XST RTi, Razor Concealment Kydex for S&W M&P as well as OTG Spadex holsters all get mentioned on US sites as fitting the ATP. One holster that I haven’t mentioned but will come as a big relief to many, is that it also drops snugly into BlackHawk Serpa holsters for the Glock 17. Phew!!

OK, enough of the inspection, let’s go see how it performs….

On Test
With snow on the ground and the car computer saying 0 degrees outside 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 what they were, but with the reputation of the NS2 system I felt really 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 name “Training Pistol”.

KWA-ATP_02For 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 secs 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 1st round I took aim and fired at my static target. It has a real nice trigger pull and despite the conditions, it fired with a real crack. The top slide cycled with a real hard kick and loaded the 2nd round into the chamber and 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 a gas, a reload of ammo and a quick adjustment of the hop unit. I was keen to get back out into the cold asap (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. OK, 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 2nd mag. It never missed a beat the entire time and on inspection of my target (placed at 25feet) I had some really good groupings! I know… I amazed myself!! Even with the hard recoil, firing at the target with 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 as well as a bag of Madbull Precision Grade 0.30g. Using the same static target, first off was to try the Blaster Devil 0.25g. 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, whilst the results on the chrono varied between 268 – 245 fps. I then repeated this process with the Madbull 0.30g. 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 – 227 fps. Still very respectable.

Summary
KWA-ATP_04OK, where should I begin? Being a bit of die hard 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! However, 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 whilst 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 have really hit the mark with this one and will help keep them up 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!!!

Specifications

  • Overall Length = 20.5 cm [8.07″]
  • Overall Height = 14.5 cm [5.71″]
  • Inner Barrel Length = 94 mm
  • Inner Barrel Diameter = 6.05 mm
  • Weight = 0.70 kg [1.54 lbs]
  • Magazine Capacity = 23 rounds
  • Velocity = 104-107 MPS [340-350 FPS]
  • Gas System = NS2
  • Propellant = Green Gas