Ataman BP17 PCP bullpup air rifle: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ataman BP17
Ataman BP17 Soft Touch bullpup PCP air rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Ambidextrous
  • Wood stock
  • Regulator
  • Lothar Walther barrel
  • Fill the reservoir
  • Velocity test
  • The test
  • JSB Exact Jumbo
  • JSB Exact Monsters
  • Shot count
  • Why it’s a clip and not a magazine
  • Back to JSB Exact Jumbo, shots 22 through 28
  • Trigger pull
  • Discharge
  • Summary

Today we look at the power/velocity of the Ataman BP17 PCP bullpup air rifle. But before I begin testing, there are several things I need to clarify.

Ambidextrous

The cocking lever comes to you mounted on the left side of the airgun, but it can be switched to the right by the user. I normally catch those things, but it isn’t mentioned in the manual anywhere. I watched Tyler Patner’s Insyder review that can be seen on the BP-17 product page. If you can watch it I recommend it; it’s excellent! He mentioned switching the cocking lever to the other side of the rifle for lefties. In all other ways except the safety the rifle is ambidextrous, and moving the lever completes it.

Wood stock

This is another design feature the manual doesn’t mention, though it’s in the product description online. Tyler does mention it, and apparently Ataman does this with several of their airguns. All you feel is rubber that I have already told you is very grippy.

Regulator

Yes, the BP17 has a regulator. It is regulated down to 130 bar, and the fill is 300 bar, so between those pressures are the useful shots. How many we will discover today.

Lothar Walther barrel

Here is a third feature the manual fails to mention — the Lothar Walther barrel. This is as big as the ambi cocking lever, because Lother Walther has a deserved reputation for making great airgun barrels.

Wow! You would think I didn’t do Part 1 with all those things missing. This makes a point that airgun manufacturers need to put more information into their manuals — though I will say this manual is pretty darn good as it is. The LW barrel and wood stock aren’t things that will help you operate the rifle, so perhaps they don’t belong in the book, but the other two things do.

Fill the reservoir

The rifle had 170 bar, according to its onboard gauge, when I started the review. It needs to be filled to 300 bar. I still have the Nomad II air compressor, so I hooked it up in less than a minute and started it. Then I started writing. In less than three full minutes the compressor stopped and the rifle was full! Is that impressive or what? And we know from my test of the compressor that the Nomad II can go wherever your car goes, so you can take it with you on trips. As small and lightweight as the Nomad II is, it’s the perfect companion to this precharged air rifle!

Velocity test

Tyler got superb accuracy from the .22 caliber JSB Exact Jumbo, so that’s the first pellet I tested for velocity. I won’t test the velocity of the JSB Hades pellet because it weighs the same 15.89-grains as the Jumbo Heavy, but when we test accuracy I will surely test it.

The test

The clip holds 7 pellets, so all my testing will be based on 7 shots. First up is the JSB Exact Jumbo.

JSB Exact Jumbo

This pellet gave an average 852 f.p.s. velocity for 7 shots. At that speed this pellet generates 25.62 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. So Ataman’s claim of 25 foot-pounds is on the nose. The spread for 7 pellets was 14 f.p.s., ranging from 848 to 862 f.p.s.

RWS Superdome

Next pellet to be tested was the RWS Superdome. This 14.5-grain domed pellet averaged 871 f.p.s. in the BP17. At that speed it’s generating 24.43 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The spread for Superdomes was 9 f.p.s., ranging from 866 to 875 f.p.s. That’s the regulator at work.

JSB Exact Monsters

I tested the JSB Exact Monster dome next. I did it for 2 important reasons. First, because the BP17 has a rotary clip, the length of the pellets that will fit the gun is constrained to the width of the clip. Any longer and the pellet will stick out on either end and hang up the feed mechanism. Well, these 25.39-grain pellets just fit, so now you know. The second reason for testing with Monsters is that heavier pellets always generate more muzzle energy in pneumatics and gas guns. So this one will test the limit.

Seven Monsters averaged 700 f.p.s. on the nose. Since the “magic number” is 671 f.p.s., we know this pellet produces more than 25.39 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The magic number is the velocity at which the weight of the pellet in grains equals the energy it produces in foot pounds. At 700 f.p.s. the Monster produces 27.63 foot-pounds at the muzzle. That makes the Ataman estimate of energy a bit conservative.

The spread for this super-heavyweight pellet was 5 f.p.s. Yep, that regulator is really working!

Shot count

After watching Tyler’s video report I knew he had gotten 26 shots before his rifle fell off the reg. With the three 7-shot clips I just fired there were 21 shots on the fill. Why don’t I load 7 more shots of JSB Exact Jumbos into the clip and shoot them so you can see the velocity of each one? I will number them shots 22 through 28. I will also explain why I keep calling this round thing that holds the pellets a clip instead of a magazine. In fact, I’ll do that now.

Why it’s a clip and not a magazine

A clip just holds ammunition. A magazine assists with the feeding of the ammunition. A clip is just a place to store rounds, and, when moved by the rifle, positions them to be loaded or fired or both. A magazine is an entire mechanism. What everyone calls the clip in an M1911A1 pistol is actually a magazine because it contains the spring that pushes the follower up to align the cartridge that is next to be fed. It also moves the slide lock up to lock the slide in the open position after the last round has been fired.

The clip in a TR5 does not lock the firing mechanism. After all the pellets have been fired you can still pull the cocking handle back, cock the rifle and dry-fire it.

When you shoot the BP17, if you cock it and fire it after the 7th shot, it will continue to fire, even though nothing comes out of the gun. If it had a circular magazine, it could stop functioning after the last shot. That is what a magazine does that a clip usually can’t do.

Back to JSB Exact Jumbo, shots 22 through 28

Shot……..Velocity
22………….847
23………….848
24………….847
25………….845
26………….848
27………….846
28………….841 fell off the reg?

I would bet that the BR17 under test fell off the reg (the regulator no longer functions because the minimum air pressure in the reservoir was too low) at shot number 28. Yes, its velocity is very close to shot 27 and the others, but looking at the 26 shots Tyler got in his test I think we are now at the end of the useful air supply.

I stopped for lunch and did not resume writing for about 75 minutes, so the rifle has been sitting around all that time. If the reg is the slightest bit slow, I have given it more than enough time to refill the firing valve.

The pressure on the built-in gauge now reads exactly 150 bar. If that gauge is reading correctly and if the regulator is set to spec, the next few shots should be faster than 841 f.p.s. As I write this I have no idea of what we are about to see.

Shot……..Velocity
29………….836
30………….837
31………….826
32………….821
33………….805
34………….798
35………….781

I think it’s clear that I was correct. Shot number 28 was the point at which this test rifle fell off the reg. This rifle is just a smidgeon faster and gets one more shot while it’s on the reg than the rifle Tyler tested. Across the 27 good shots, this rifle varied by a total of 17 f.p.s. That is a fantastic number of good shots. I would use shot 28, as well, so the variance grows to 21 f.p.s. on a fill. That’s 4 full clips.

At the end of these 7 shots the onboard gauge read 120 bar, so there is a large discrepancy in the gauge right at 150 bar. It’s more like 130 bar when the needle reads 150. I refilled the gun from 120 bar with the Nomad II and this time it took 4 minutes 37 seconds, start to finish.

Forget the fact that you don’t have a carbon fiber air tank. Get a Nomad II compressor and go with it.

Trigger pull

Tyler’s trigger broke at an average 5.6 ounces and he noted the same thing that I did about the lack of a positive stage two stop on the BP17’s trigger. I knew my trigger was breaking light. It broke at an average 6.1 ounces with no hint of a stage 2 stop. All I can say is keepa your finger offa da trigger until you want the gun to shoot!

Discharge

The BP17 is not a quiet backyard airgun. It’s louder than a Benjamin 392 (or Sheridan Blue Streak) fired dry on 8 pumps. It’s not ear-splitting, but smaller urban backyards are off limits.

Are aftermarket silencers available? Yes, but they are expensive, plus I am not sure if they go over the line as far as the ATF is concerned.

Summary

So far there is much to like and nothing to dislike about the Ataman BP17. I noted that Tyler was able to fit the Aeon 8-32X50 SF scope to the rifle without hanging over the muzzle, so that is the scope I have selected for my accuracy test. It’s short for the power but has superior optics for the price range.

27 thoughts on “Ataman BP17 PCP bullpup air rifle: Part 2


    • BB,

      That’s OK, I have still enjoyed it. I think this thing really wants to move into RRHFWA. I would prefer the walnut to this, most especially since I would likely do a little reshaping here and there to fit me, but this compact ‘pup would make a great woods walker.


    • B.B.,

      This paired with the Nomad compressor makes it a package that would probably fit in a largish overnight bag, pellets included. Just grab the bag and go.

      Siraniko

      PS: Section JSB Exact Monsters First paragraph fourth sentence: Any wider (longer)and the pellet will stick out on either end and hang up the feed mechanism.




  1. Interesting rifle with some nice features. Unfortunately, Bullpups are not legal in Canada.

    With the LW barrel and such a stable velocity it should be a real shooter – anxious to see the accuracy tests! Would have been the icing on the cake if the trigger was two-stage but it’s light so it’s not a deal-breaker.

    Never handled a bullpup – how is the balance/feel (relative to a full sized rifle)? Does it “point” well?

    FYI, a side-bar note on a regulator refill-speed. I recently installed a HuMa regulator in my Maximus and because the manometer is located just in front of the trigger it now measures the regulated pressure in the plenum instead of the reservoir pressure. When I dry-fire the rifle the pressure will dip and stabilize in 1/2 a second or so (about the time it takes to say “2000”). This is about the same as what I noticed when I was adjusting the regulator on my HW100. Know that “two” is a small sample size but this is kinda what I would expect from a regulator that is broken in and operating properly. Just my observations.

    Cheers,
    Hank


    • Hank,

      Bummer. Although I do not own any ‘pups, it is nice to at least have that option. I know the rest of the world thinks of us as being barbaric, most especially with out gun laws and I know the government and the weinies are doing their best to take them away, but at least at the moment we can still take it back.


    • Vana2,

      Use your imagination and you can understand the feel of a Bullpup.
      Bullpups handle much like a short barrel rifle (SR) and a little like a long barreled pistol.
      Generally they are quick to point and unfortunately without a good deal of practice also quick to overshoot the intended target.
      They vary just like other weapons in balance point, pistol grip angle but are most often single-handed unless they are being called upon to shoot at longer range or with more precision round placement; then they can be properly shouldered and off hand placed on the forearm.

      You could build a Bullpup stock for a pistol or would that be illegal n Canada all by itself?

      shootski


      • Shootski,

        Your description makes sense – can “feel” that.

        Think it is the “concealable” design (you could hide it under a coat) of the bullpup that makes it illegal. And, here in Canada, any pistol over 500 FPS is considered a restricted weapon.

        … I can window-shop all I want though.

        Hank


    • Hank
      Yep that’s how my Maximus is set up. It does that to when it fires.

      And remember I have the Air Venturi 13 cubic inch regulated hpa bottle on mine. And I left about 8 or so inches of the Maximus air tube in front of the gauge then the bottle is attached. That air dip only last a split second on my gun. I can’t load a pellet faster than it’s ready with air for the next shot. So no concern to me.

      But how do you like it with the regulator now? Have you done much shooting with it yet?


      • GF1,

        I like the regulator in that I can “fill and forget” and not worry about the bell-curve.

        Been busy with other things but I’ve done a bit of shooting with it and all looks good. I am happier now that the rifle is .22, the .177 the pellets were awkward to load but the .22’s drop in nicely. Still need to do some Chrony work and maybe some fine tuning for JSB 15.89 gr pellets.


        • Hank
          After you get done with the JSB 15.89’s try you a tin of 250 of the JSB Hades pellets. I think you will like them. I’m waiting patiently for JSB to come out with them in .177 and .25 caliber. And heck why not even in the .30 caliber and up.

          Oh and any special project worked up for the .177 caliber Maximus barrel? If not I know somebody that would make good use of that barrel. 😉


          • GF1,

            My HW100 really likes the 15.89s (hence the interesti in tuning the Maximus to them) and I have never had any cause for complaint with their performance. I’m curious about the Hades pellets and am going to check with my supplier if he stocks them; would like to do some testing. If they are comparable in price I might switch over as I use the .22 HW100 for most of my hunting and pesting – it they are too much more I’ll take a pass.

            The new .22 Maximus barrel was initially intended as a replacement for the worn out barrel on my Crosman 101. I want to do some more testing with the Maximus to see if it will stay as a .22 or revert back to .177. The way it is looking right now the .177 barrel is going to the Crosman 101 which will effectively change it to a Crosman 100.


            • Hank
              I use the regular JSB 15.89 pellets. The Hades pellets shoot the same trajectory as the regular 15.89 pellets. In my Maximus anyway. I don’t have any other .22 air guns to try the Hades pellets in. The rest are .177 and .25 caliber. And the Hades pellets do cost more. But to me worth it for pesting. They definitely thump harder. Guess they expand better than the round nose pellets.

              And that sounds like that would be a good home for the .177 Maximus barrel.


  2. R.R.,

    “I know the rest of the world thinks of us as being barbaric…”

    That’s choice! One of the few countries to honor the individual’s natural rights those persons are deemed “Barbaric” by Nations of Subjects who are granted their meager privledges by graft and corruption at the hands of their EVIL power hungry Overlords!

    Land of the Free home of the Brave!
    Let it be so FOREVER!

    THE PENDULUM SWINGS both ways, always.

    shootski


    • Shootski
      I think that according to Alexander Tytlers “Cycle of Democracy” we are moving from the cycle of Apathy into Dependency and are overdue for a collapse. Also assuming a democracy only lasts 200 years on average.
      We will have to go through Bondage, develop Spiritual Faith, and gain Great Courage before that pendulum swings us into Liberty & Freedom again. I just pray that the development of computer age surveillance does not forever lock us into the cycle of bondage.
      Bob M


      • Bob M,

        EXODUS!
        At my go to commercial range and other commercial ranges I have visited in a number of States the demographic is quite interesting; yes the old geezers are there but a new group of younger (twenties) shooters are tipping the balance and they are men and women. There are also very well attended learn to shoot and concealed carry classes that are for women only and taught by mostly women. I haven’t seen the equal uptick in open range attendence by the typically older (forties+) women from those classes.

        There is also the trendy archer wannabe bunch that may lead to more shooters in the long run when they learn how difficult it is to be a truly skilled Archer.

        I’m cautiouly optimistic that the pendulum is either stopped or almost so, we just can’t see it for all the hand wringing and arm waving by the shooting sports haters.

        shootski


    • Shootski,

      You’ve not heard? “Free” is the new catch word. Heck,…. I won’t even have to work if I don’t want to or even have to think for myself. Pretty attractive being 10 years from full retirement! 😉

      Purely nauseating!!!!!!!!

      Chris


  3. B.B.,

    I kept looking at the picture of the BP17 and see an Upper and a Lower and wonder if this is just the first step of a system of combinations.

    shootski


  4. B.B.,
    That trigger is way too light for me. In the manual linked on the PA web page for the BP17, the trigger pull spec is 1.76-3.31 lbs (pg 6). With the trigger breaking at 6 oz it seems that either there is an error in the manual or the the trigger sear engagement and pull force are set to be minimal.
    In Lockwork adjustment (pg 12) figure 6, it looks like the amount sear engagement is adjusted by “11 – trigger creep adjustment screw”. Trigger pull can also be adjusted. I hope that the BP17 trigger can be adjusted to an easier to control pull.
    The trigger on my Prod to be very easy for me to use. It is adjusted for 2 stage operation, with 12 oz first stage and second stage break at 1 lb 7 oz.
    Don



    • All I have to say about the trigger is good for them to come up with a trigger that can be adjusted that way on a bullpup.

      Most bullpup triggers are hard to adjust in. They are usually spongy or should I say creepy and have a heavy pull.

      Sounds to me like you can spend a little time with this gun and come up with a nice trigger adjustment.


  5. Developing a ‘Chassis’ from which to build on does seem to be catching on. Look at the DPMS and Bushmaster. That may be old stuff for an AR platform but FX sure seems to have jumped in with both feet.
    Great news for us.
    I would go a step further on BB’s suggestion to keep your finger off the trigger until your ready to fire to keep it out of the trigger guard entirely with this one. I have been lucky and only prematurely fired while actually on target following that advice with my light trigger PCP.
    Bob M


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