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Air Guns Ataman AP16 Standard air pistol: Part 3

Ataman AP16 Standard air pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Ataman AP16 Standard
Ataman AP16 PCP repeater.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

Adjustable sights
It doesn’t matter
The test
Sight in
Mount a dot sight
JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy
Air Arms 16-grain dome
Air Arms Falcon pellets
JSB Hades

Today is accuracy day for the Ataman AP16 Standard precharged air pistol. We learned in Part 2 that the AP16 Standard gets up to 46 good shots from one fill. I didn’t shoot that many in the tests today so I only filled the pistol once.

Adjustable sights

We know that the rear sight slides left and right in a dovetail and is held fast by a setscrew.  That’s easy to figure out. It’s the front sight that you need help with. There are no instructions in the manual and the front sight controls elevation by raising and lowering the blade. I told you in Part 2 I would tell you how to adjust it so let’s see.

To raise the impact of the pellet the front sight blade needs to go lower. It needs to go in a direction opposite how you want the pellet to move. There is a screw in front of the sight blade and another at the rear. The blade is pivoting on a crosspin and seems to have a coiled spring under the front. It seems if you screw the front screw down and loosen the rear one, the blade will drop lower. But don’t take my word for it. Play with the screws and watch the front blade. I say that because adjusting this sight is very confusing.

Ataman AP16 Standard sight down
The front sight blade is adjusted low.

Ataman AP16 Standard sight up
The front sight blade is adjusted up.

It doesn’t matter

It makes no difference how the open sights adjust because nobody will use them. You guys know that I can shoot an air pistol with open sights — but not this one! The rear notch is too wide and I can’t center the front blade in it effectively. Let me show you what I mean.

The test

I shot from 10 meters with the pistol resting directly on a sandbag. Since the circular clip holds 7 pellets, each group is 7 shots.

Sight in

I checked the pistol’s sights with the JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy that Tyler Patner said are the most accurate pellets. One shot at 12 feet told me I was on paper after fooling around with the sights for photos. Then back to 10 meters for the final 6 rounds.

Ataman AP16 Standard sight-in
The first shot from 12 feet is above the dime. The next 6 shots are from 10 meters. As you can see, I can’t shoot these open sights.

Build a Custom Airgun

Mount a dot sight

After seeing my group I decided to mount a dot sight. Fortunately the UTG Reflex Micro was available, so I removed the open sights and mounted it. That took 20 minutes, then another 10 to sight-in with that sight and then the test could begin. 

JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy

First up were JSB Exact Jumbo Heavy pellets. Seven went into 0.529-inches at 10 meters. The group was a little high and left, so I adjusted three clicks down and three to the right afterward.

Ataman AP16 Standard Jumbo Heavy
Seven JSB Jumbo Heavy pellets went into 0.529-inches at 10 meters.

Air Arms 16-grain domes

Next to be tested were 7 Air Arms 16-grain domes. They hit the center of the bull, so my adjustment of the dot sight was spot on! Seven went into 0.293-inches at 10 meters.  It’s a good-looking group! In fact, it’s the best group of the test.

Ataman AP16 Standard Air Arms domes
Look at this little bitty group. It’s right where it’s supposed to be. Seven Air Arms domes in 0.293-inches at 10 meters.

Air Arms Falcon pellets

Next I tried 7 Air Arms Falcon domes in the AP16. Once again they went to the center of the bull and clustered in 0.508-inches at 10 meters

Ataman AP16 Standard Falcons
Seven Falcon pellets went into 0.508-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Hades

The last pellet I tested in the AP16 was the Hades hollowpoint from JSB. Seven of them went into 0.526-inches at 10 meters.


This pistol is very loud! Later on this week I hope to have a solution for that. And no, it isn’t a silencer — exactly.


The AP16 is extremely accurate. Mount a good dot sight and experience it! Don’t even try the open sights. I think they are a lost cause. 


The Ataman AP16 stacks up to be a fine hunting air pistol. It gets a lot of shots on a fill and puts pellets exactly where they are wanted. If you are looking for a powerful hunting air pistol, this could be the one.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

26 thoughts on “Ataman AP16 Standard air pistol: Part 3”

  1. Siraniko is absolutely right. And after realizing that the only advantage over the Marauder pistol is self cancelled, can I have an answer to the question why to spend 1.000$ instead of 400 for the same performance? And the P-rod is built quiet…
    B.B. thanks for the summary but no thanks.

  2. B.B.

    For those dedicated open sight pistol shooters, can an aftermarket rear sight be easily installed.
    This pistol is large enough, it does not need more stuff hanging on top of it.


  3. BB,

    Thanks for taking the time to show us this, but…

    For what one of these cost you can buy a TalonP or a P-Rod and everything you need to make them into a nice little carbine and have change left.

    If I had the money, I would really like to buy one of these pistols and leave it as a pistol. I would have a new rear sight made. Oh well.

  4. PA offers eight different versions of this air pistol. They have had them for quite some time now. There are only thirty-one reviews total. Many versions have zero. Not all are glowing.

    These things are just too expensive for the average airgunner to fool with. I have heard good things about Ataman and would like to add a couple of their models to my “collection”, but everything they offer is out of my league.

    • RR,

      Quite the variety of parts (sears, valves, regulator, barrels, etc.) too. I just typed AP16 into the PA search box. It is like they expect you to have to mess with/fix them. They do have a nice contoured wood grip for $60. This gun looks like it needs that given it’s size. To rich for my blood for just a pistol.


  5. BB ,

    The sights are that size for training with a service pistol is my take . Yes a nice micro click rear sight with a thin post front sight would make it better .

    Gene Salvino

  6. Chris USA ,

    The reason there are so many parts is the fact that we have to have them as a service center/importer . We wanted to insure that spares would be available for most issues . Parts are the biggest problem with any service center , always fighting you have too much with actually having what we need . Over time we know the trends and then stock heavier on things that are higher volume. The parts availability is not meant to intend ” Buyer beware ” this pistol is best serviced by us and not a DIYer . Don’t let the price scare you away , theses are great pistols and are actually sized as a handgun , not a carbine . Like power tools and tires You get what you pay for .

    Gene Salvino

    • Gene, a off topic question, sort of.

      I know Pyramyd is a Air Arms retailer, and sells a few parts for the Alfa Proj.

      Where do I turn if I need to order a certain part not listed on Pyramyd air for the Alfa?

      Thank you.


  7. B.B.,

    WOW! hard to please audience today!

    The AP16 is extremely accurate.” I was under the impression that most folks found accurate airguns interesting? This one is “extremely accurate” according to both your word and your results…hmmmm. Could it be that a rating like that brings fear to the hearts of all the duffers who would have no excuse to expanded group sizing?

    I must admit that the front sight could use some Sight Black and without holding the pistol i/we can only take your experienced word on the too wide rear sight slot. Each of us would see a slightly different sight picture based on arm length. Swappable sight elements should be available, perhaps not included, at this price point.

    Great groups with the dot sight even after the initial frustration with the existing open sights.


    • Shootski,

      I quite frankly like it very much and would really like to acquire one, however the price tag will prevent that from ever happening. Right now I could not scrape up the cost of a P-Rod. I will be doing real well to be able to get a Maximus / Avenger / Origin by year’s end. 😉

  8. BB,I like the full length dovetails, it’ll take a scope. Why waste the accuracy with the stock iron sights?
    This is a precision shooter it seems, not a service pistol. Speaking of 1911 grip angles, I shoe horned the P1 into a Crosman 1377 stock, scoped with a very light Bushnell 6x21x44. (10meter focus too). The scope is as long as the pistol, but the overlever cocking is allot easier now, and it’s like a new romance. Look out Diana 27!
    But the P1 has bit of a bark to it, looking forward to your quiet solution.
    Blazing hot in Cali.

  9. Dear Ataman, I can see by your website that you are serious about your guns; that is commendable.
    But here you have a good-looking and accurate pistol with unusable open sights…
    …on a pistol that retails for $1000, this is not a good thing.
    If I were working on this gun, and read this report by B.B., I would save money on the design by using a fixed front sight, and use the money saved on that to put a nice fully adjustable sight on the rear, something like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/1911-Kensight-Sight-Rounded-Blade/dp/B005G50LRQ/ref=pd_lpo_200_t_2/138-9496260-8256849 (pictured below)
    Then you will have a very nice-looking pistol that is usable right from the box; thank you.
    Blessings to you,

  10. Of topic followup:

    I have a Crosman 120 that I bought by accident. I was looking for parts for it and several posters here offered suggestions for parts sources. Thanks to each of you who offered suggestions.

    Rick Willnecker at Precision Pellet was able to supply everything that I needed. Many thanks, Rick!

    Closing the loop,

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