KWA ATP Review – Performance After 5,000+ Rounds

KWA quality without the KWA pricing.

We’ve mentioned in our list of the best airsoft pistol – the KWA ATP is one of the best value pistols on the market.

I personally own and use the ATP regularly. It would be no exaggeration that I’ve fired over 5,000 rounds through it and have brought it out to over 200 airsoft games. So, I can say that I’m well acquainted with its positives and its shortcomings.

Here are my thoughts on using the ATP after 8 years of use:

Is the KWA ATP the best value pistol? Header Image


The History of the ATP

Did you know that for a while airsoft Glocks were… illegal? Well, not really, but back in the late 2000’s Glock was especially protective of their IP and forwarded cease and desist letters to all of the airsoft manufacturers making airsoft Glock replicas.

glock pistol replicas were highly sought after

Photo by Jacob Boavista

At the time, you had Tokyo Marui making glocks (and naturally everyone else copied them). Glock even went after the airsoft distributors and retailers, ensuring that the general airsoft community would basically have no access to a Glock replica.

For a while, the airsoft manufacturers would try to sneak around it by labeling their project as an “M-17” vs a “G17” or they’d call their replica pistols the “M series” of airsoft gas handguns. Nonetheless, Glock pursued these airsoft companies and eventually, no one wanted to even touch it.

We actually have multiple variants of the M17 series ourselves.

This made it difficult for the airsoft players looking to replicate a loadout using the most popular real steel pistol sold in the USA. People (like me) who wanted something to cross train with were just… screwed.

Then, KWA came along and built the ATP, also known as the Adaptive Training Pistol. Designed specifically to help fill the void that existed in the airsoft pistol market, the ATP could fit Glock holsters and had features similar to actual glocks such as trigger safety, adjustable hand grips, 1:1 takedown lever, and no external flip safety lever.

The intent was to be a great training tool that law enforcement and firearms enthusiasts could use.

kwa adapative training pistol overview image

3 Generations of ATP

There are actually 3 generations of the Adaptive Training Pistol. The 1st generation wasn’t KWA’s best work, as it has some basic QA issues and the material they chose to use trigger bar caused irreparable damage to the pistol. In general, the materials they chose to go with the Gen I ATP’s were simply subpar.

You could tell a Gen I ATP from the white trademarks and missing trigger safety. 

Generation 2 ATP’s were a VAST improvement to the general build. These included the trigger safety, but they solved the issues the initial ATP’s had by using better materials. I currently have a Gen II ATP that’s lasted me for many years.

You could tell a Gen II ATP from the black engravings on the side.

kwa adaptive training pistol engraving

The black engraving is what you’re looking for to ensure it isn’t a Gen I.

Generation 3 ATP started including a metal guide rod. That’s about it. Most of the ATP’s on the market currently should be Gen III. Externally, they are almost indistinguishable from a Gen II.


Overview

This airsoft pistol, as described earlier, was designed as an alternative training pistol to the full size Glock 17. Packing a 23 round gas magazine (and fully compatible with the KSC or KWA 49 round magazine for the old PTS FPG) this pistol holds a decent number of rounds per standard magazine.

kwa extended magazine 49 rounds for adaptive training pistol

Yes, you could use this magazine (49 rounds of fun)

Material & Construction

The airsoft pistol has a polymer frame and full metal slide. The 3 dot sight system is plastic, but loads better than the dot and bucket system the real Glocks use. For me, the 3 dot system wasn’t as bright as I’d like it to be, but a little paint fixed that.

KWA Pistols have this quality of build that is simply unmatched in our opinion.

The internals in the polymer frame itself are basically the KSC full size Glocks repurposed with full metal components. It functions well and in the thousands of practice magazine swaps I’ve done, it hasn’t failed once.

The barrel & gas assembly in the slide utilizes their proprietary NS2 internal gas system, which has a great seal and as you’ll see later when I break down the data, means the gun is GREAT when it comes to green gas efficiency.

Magazine Construction

The magazine itself basically is the same as the older KSC Glock magazines with a metal spring and plastic locking follower, but with a much wider baseplate. I actually don’t really like this baseplate as it is a bit too thick – some green gas nozzles just aren’t long enough to reach the intake valve.

baseplate for atp magazine

This magazine baseplate is too thick!

I often need to remove the baseplate in order to refill the magazine. Additionally, getting this thicker baseplate off is more of a hassle than I’d like, especially since I have short nails and can’t depress the lever too well.

We must rather prefer the KSC Glock magazines. They fit, but don’t have the thick baseplate issue.

Technical Specs

Here’s a quick breakdown of the technical specs of this airsoft pistol:

SpecsAdaptive Training Pistol
ManufacturerKWA
Magazine Capacity23 Rounds
Ammo Type6mm BBs
FPS330 – 350
Gas SystemNS2 (New Structure 2)
Sight System3 Dot
Firing ModesSemi Automatic
Hop Up UnitFully Adjustable – KWA Proprietary System
Dimension7.75 inches long / 5.7 inches tall
Outer Barrel Length4.7 inches
Inner Barrel Length100mm
Inner Barrel Diameter6.05mm
Weight1.55 Lbs
BlowbackFully Blowback

ATP Features

kwa atp disassembled via glock style takedown lever

In terms of features – these are the top standouts with the main benefits:

  • NS2 Gas System – gives this airsoft pistol VERY high gas consumption efficiency
  • 3 Dot Front & Rear Sights – easy target acquisition
  • Swappable Back Straps on Grip – Customizable fit for hand with interchangeable grips
  • Lightweight Metal Slide – snappy cycle for fun shooting and high reliability of locking back on last shot
  • Extended slide catch – easier to use than the real Glock imo
  • Front Tactical Rail – easily attach tactical accessories
  • Functional Trigger Safety – just like the real Glock models
  • Glock Style Takedown – easy disassembly for maintenance
  • Fits in Glock Holsters – compatible with your training tools
  • Glock style magazine release – simple and easy to access (sadly not ambidextrous – sorry lefies!)

Performance Testing

How about we show some actual performance data for this pistol? Below we put the pistol through some basic paces to determine the following things:

  • Accuracy at varying combat distances
  • FPS variance
  • Gas efficiency

Accuracy at Combat Distances

We wanted to test the average grouping size of the KWA Adaptive Training Pistol at various common combat distances. We had targets at 15 feet, 40 feet, and 75 feet. We made 2 types of tests, bench rest & combat shooting (standing and unsupported).  I’m unfortunately not quite as good as a bench rest I’ve discovered. With the 3 dot rear sight, this gun was easy to aim.

Here’s the parameters of our test:

  • Completely stock ATP Gen II bought in 2012 with 5,000+ rounds put through it.
  • Maintenance performed included cleaning of the slide, frame, inner barrel and seals with silicone oil & grease where needed.
  • We adjusted the hop up as close as we could to point of aim, point of impact at 30 feet.
  • 77 degrees temperature
  • Outside range with very little wind
  • 0.25g BBs were used (Elite Force Brand)
  • Green gas was used (Fire Power Brand)
  • Bench Rest used for accuracy testing – and my own hands for live testing
  • Each test we fired 10 rounds
  • We fired one shot every 3-5 seconds in semi auto.

Click to see the Chart & Results

15 Feet Test – grouping measured in inches

 Test 1Test 2Test 3Average

Bench Rest

0.4”

0.5”

0.4”

0.43”

Combat Shooting

1.0”

0.8”

1.3”

1.03”

40 Feet Test – grouping measured in inches (we had very slight wind here)

 Test 1Test 2Test 3Average

Bench Rest

1.4”

1.6”

2.1”

1.7”

Combat Shooting

2.4”

3.1”

3.9”

3.13”

75 Feet Test – grouping measured in inches (slight wind)

 Test 1Test 2Test 3Average

Bench Rest

3.0”

4.4”

3.7”

3.7”

Combat Shooting

11.2”

9.1”

7.1”

9.13”

The slight wind we had in the 75 foot test sort of messed things up for me during the combat shooting. I think with more tests without wind I’d be closer to test 3 in terms of general accuracy, but all of these shots are well within hitting a man-sized target. The hop up is rock solid and didn’t attempt to adjust itself at all during testing.

So, accuracy-wise with 0.25g these are respectable numbers. Could we hit targets beyond 90 feet? Yes, we could, but probably not with a huge amount of confidence. The way we see it, if we’re trying to hit targets out that far with a pistol, then there’s something we’re not quite doing correctly on the tactical side.


FPS Consistency

We wanted to see just how consistent the FPS was on this pistol. High variance in the FPS does affect the consistency of range and accuracy due to the speed of the backspin placed on the BB.

KWA ATP air nozzle after a whole lot of use

This air nozzle has seen a LOT of use.

For this test we used the following parameters:

  • Stock ATP Gen II with the same setup as the accuracy test
  • 0.20g BB’s were used (Elite Force Brand) <- Variance will show up better on lighter BBs
  • Green Gas was used (Valken Brand)
  • Matrix X3400 Chrono
  • 79 degrees temperature
  • 1 shot every 3-5 seconds in test 1 in semi auto
  • 5 shot bursts with a 10 second pause in test 2
  • 20 shots in total for each test

Click to see the Chart & Results

ShotFPS – Test 1FPS – Test 2 (5 shot bursts)

1

334.1

338.1

2

335.4

334.5

3

331.4

333.9

4

339.7

330.4

5

335.0

321.8

6

336.8

333.4

7

337.5

328.9

8

330.1

325.7

9

328.9

320.4

10

329.7

319.8

11

334.2

337.4

12

338.6

335.8

13

341.1

330.2

14

333.5

325.8

15

337.1

321.4

16

330.6

330.4

17

332.8

324.5

18

340.6

320.4

19

331.0

317.5

20

337.5

312.5

Highest FPS

341.1

338.1

Lowest FPS

329.7

312.5

Average FPS

334.78

327.14

Max Difference

11.4

25.6

I’m honestly impressed here. I was fully expecting the 5 round burst numbers to be high variance due to the magazine getting cold during rapid discharges. However, the FPS still maintained a 310+ FPS and you can see that the average FPS between test 1 and test 2 are fairly similar.

The magazine wasn’t ice cold after the 20th shot, but it was definitely far colder than the ambient temperature. I imagine doing multiple magazine dumps would see the FPS drop below 300 eventually. In regards to variance, the adaptive training pistol is very impressive.


Gas Consumption & Efficiency

The last test we wanted to do was to determine how efficient the NS2 system was. In other words, how many BBs can I fire before the gas reservoir goes empty? Does the slide lock back after an empty magazine even on low gas?

kwa atp magazine nozzle

The parameters here are:

  • Stock ATP Gen II with the same setup as the accuracy test
  • 0.20g BB’s were used (Elite Force Brand)
  • Green Gas was used (Brand New Valken Brand Cans)
  • Each fill is done with a brand new green gas canister at ambient temperature
  • We counted to 10 when filling the magazine with gas
  • 82 degrees temperature
  • 1 shot every 3-5 seconds

The goal here is to do a full mag dump of 5 magazines of gas. We had 5 different mags to work with so we rotated them evenly during the test. We fired BB’s until the magazine gas reservoir went empty and paid attention to whether the slide locked back every time on an empty magazine.

Click to see the Chart & Results

Magazine FillTotal Number of Shots FiredDid the slide lock back every time?

1

113

Yes

2

109

Yes

3

118

Yes

4

111

Yes

5

120

No

Average

114

Yes on Average

We’re VERY impressed here. We usually needed to fill the magazine with BB’s again 4-5  times before the magazine went empty. The awesome thing is that the slide locked back while under 25% fairly easily. The one magazine that didn’t result in a slide lock we suspect the magazine was at only 2-3% capacity.

Your green gas fills are going to go a LONG way here. That NS2 internal gas system rocks.



By the numbers: Pros & Cons

8.9Expert Score
KWA ATP Adaptive Training Pistol

Shooting Performance
8.5
Reliability
8.5
Build Quality
9.0
Value
9.5
PROS
  • Fits in Glocks holsters.
  • NS2 System has great green gas efficiency.
  • Accurate out to combat distances.
  • Very stable FPS variance.
  • Has Glock features.
  • VERY high value - is it the most inexpensive KWA on the market..
  • Smooth trigger pull.
CONS
  • Baseplate on magazine is too thick and unwieldy to remove.
  • It sounds a little wimpy compared to other GBB pistols.
  • Gen I models have issues - but unless you're buying used you shouldn't see these.
  • Rear sight needed some paint to really be picked up.

Should you buy this pistol?

As you can guess from the above data; this pistol is a GREAT buy. You’re basically getting a KWA / KSC quality gas blowback pistol for the price you might pay for a KJW or WE-Tech. The next KWA airsoft pistol, in terms of cost, will end up setting you back an extra $30 or so dollars.

If you’re looking to pick one up – check out our link below.

KWA Website

Fun fact, they actually made a full auto fire version of the Adaptive Training Pistol known as the ATP-SE. It’s based on the old KSC Glock 18 design, which was… a mixed bag. We recommend picking up the semi auto version instead (it’ll save you around $30 as well.)

Timothy Hackett

Tim has been playing airsoft since 1994. With over a thousand (no lie) airsoft games under his belt he has spent countless hours testing various airsoft guns and tactical gear. He's gotten hundreds (still no lie) of people into the airsoft hobby and is more than willing to spread the love of slinging 6mm plastic to any new player.

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