Ataman AP16 Standard air pistol: Part 1
by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
This report covers:
- AP16 features
- Lothar Walther barrel
- Conventional crossbolt safety
- Watch the Insyder
- Hammer spring can be adjusted
- Modular design
- One last thing
Today we start looking at the Ataman AP16 PCP pistol. This is a very different kind of air pistol and not inexpensive, but from what I have seen it’s loaded with features. Let’s look at them.
- lightweight adjustable trigger
- adjustable open sights
- 11mm dovetail for optical sights
- 7-shot rotary magazine
- muzzle energy in the 15-18 foot-pound range
- choice of attractive finishes
- checkered walnut grip panels
- manual safety
The pistol comes in .22 caliber. It’s 14.37 inches long, but if that’s too large there is a compact version available that is nearly 2.5 inches shorter. This is a pneumatic, so the longer the barrel the more energy it gets. Accuracy isn’t affected by barrel length, but velocity is in a pneumatic. The standard gun also holds more air because the reservoir is longer.
The fill is to 300 bar (4350 psi) so either a carbon fiber tank or a small compressor is required to fill. The pistol comes standard with two fill probes — one with 1/8 BSPP threads and the other with a male Foster coupling. Coupled with the regulator this fill will give you lots of shots.
This isn’t the velocity test. But my pistol came with a 14-shot test ticket from a chronograph. Nowhere was it indicated what pellet was used to get those velocities but the 7-shot test group was shot with JSB Exact Jumbo 15.89-grain domes, so I’m assuming the same pellet was used for the velocity. The average velocity of the test gun is 663 f.p.s. and the group size at 10 meters was 0.231-inches. Do I have your attention yet?
Lothar Walther barrel
Yes, the barrel is from Lothar Walther — the world standard for accurate airgun barrels. The barrel sits inside a shroud, but it is not shrouded in the sense of being silenced. It’s simply a jacket around the rifled tube. The muzzle comes to the end of the shroud.
The Ataman AP16 Standard I am testing weighs 2 lbs. 4 oz. That’s light for its size but bear in mind the reservoir is full of air. As long as it is you would think that it’s muzzle-heavy but it isn’t. It feels like a conventional 1911 to me.
Conventional crossbolt safety
There is a conventional crossbolt safety behind the trigger and above the grip panels. It works in the standard way — push to the right for safe and to the left to fire. But while testing it I discovered that it’s possible to push a bit TOO far to the left and the trigger is rendered inoperable. If you can see a groove at the bottom of the safety button when it’s pushed to the left, the gun will not fire.
The pistol can be decocked by pulling the trigger and riding the bolt down with the cocking lever.
The sights adjust for both windage and elevation. The rear sight slides sideways in a dovetail for windage and the front sight blade raises and lowers for elevation. I plan to shoot the pistol with these sights (of course!) so I’ll describe the process for you.
Watch the Insyder
Tyler Patner did an excellent job of reviewing this pistol. He looks at a Compact version, but, except for having less air and a shorter barrel, the two pistols are virtually the same.
Hammer spring can be adjusted
You can adjust the power by adjusting the hammer spring tighter or looser. Tyler mentions in his review that the spring is already about as tight as it will go when it comes from the factory, so there is more adjustment for lower velocity than for higher.
If you want to change your AP16 from Standard to Compact, you can install a shorter barrel or reservoir or both.
This pistol is loud! It is not backyard friendly unless you have several acres and understanding neighbors. If you can shoot a .22 rimfire in your back yard there you can shoot the AP16.
One last thing
I have one last thing to tell you readers, but not in this report. If you remember West Side Story — Something’s coming! Something BIG!
The Ataman AP16 is an unusual air pistol. It has decent power for close-range hunting, a great trigger, above average accuracy and seems to get lots of shots on a fill. The quality of the build looks flawless. We will have fun with this one!