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Definitive Guide to Ataman BP17

The Ataman BP17 is one of the most exciting precharged pneumatics we have tested in a long time! Measuring 23.85" and weighing 5.1lbs it is perfect for stowing in a backpack, canoe, or the cab of your truck. Available in .22 caliber only, its 100cc regulated cylinder will get you a surprising 25 shots per fill, and the two 7-round magazines with onboard storage won't have you fumbling for pellets when it counts.
Detailed Review
The BP17 feels incredibly good in the hand. It is lightweight, weighing only a hair over 5lbs, and at a hair under 2 feet long it balances very nicely and is easy to shoulder even one-handed. Much of this comfort and handling is due to the ambidextrous stock, which is either beech with a Soft-Touch coating or sapele hardwood. Sapele is an exotic hardwood that is durable and attractive and will darken over time. The Soft-Touch coating helps the stock to withstand a bit of moisture and makes it very pleasant to the touch. Soft-Touch stocks look tough, but they are susceptible to dings which, if deep enough, are difficult to repair—so don't treat it like a synthetic stock. At 13.5 inches, the length of pull is short but fits in with the overall design so well that it doesn't feel cramped, even to the 6'3" author of this guide. The grip is nicely contoured to fit most hands, and you can easily hold the gun to your shoulder with your right hand while actuating the lever with your left. The textured butt pad also contributes to the ease of holding it in your shoulder. The lever handle has spiral knurling for better grip (and looks) and is very easy to actuate with just the thumb of your support hand. The action isn't extremely smooth, but neither is it unpleasant and it is fairly light. It cycles best if you hold the handle near the top while pushing it forward, and it breaks in over time. It can also be uncocked by holding the lever forward and pulling the trigger.
The cross-bar safety can be taken off with the trigger finger but since it is removable it can be pushed too far, but you will get used to it very quickly. Ataman is very considerate by including two fill probes with the gun. One has 1/8th-inch BSPP threads for connecting directly to your hose, and the other has a Foster Quick Disconnect fitting milled into it for quick and easy use. This is the way every fill probe should be, and it always makes us very happy when we see it. The BP17 fills to 300 bar, which is very difficult to achieve if you don't have access to a compressor, but since it is regulated you will still be able to get a number of good shots if you fill it to lower pressure. A nice touch is the ability to degas the gun by inserting a 2.5mm Allen wrench into the screw in the underside of the stock and turning it counterclockwise. You can expect about 25 shots per fill, which is pretty impressive considering the size of the air reservoir on the BP17. To adjust the hammer spring you would need a special tool, so it appears that Ataman wants to you just leave it where it is, and that is fine with us because we can't imagine improving on the tune much at all. The magazines only hold 7 rounds, but one of our favorite things about the BP17 is the magazine storage milled just below the Picatinny rail. Spare magazines are very affordable, so filling up the four magazine storage slots won't cost an arm and a leg, and will keep you shooting through the entire fill.
Lefties don't need to feel left out of enjoying the BP17 because not only is the stock ambidextrous but the cocking lever is also. By just removing a few screws, the lever action can be reversed and switched to the other side. If you want to switch it, then first, remove the stock. To do this, remove the safety by pushing it all the way through and out. Now remove the rear and front bolts with a 4mm Allen screw. Then use a 5mm Allen wrench to remove the silver nut just forward of the rear bolt. The pin that holds the top piece of the stock on will now be loose and can be removed. At this point, everything will come apart to reveal the barreled action.
The three screws that hold the lever in place can be removed and the lever reversed and switched to the other side. Remove the screw holding the handle on the lever and switch it around also. Now put everything back together. Note, that the pin holding the top stock piece on needs to be inserted before the bolts are tightened up.
The Lothar Walther barrel of the BP17 is shrouded, but that doesn't make this a really quiet gun. With such a short barrel and overall length, a bit of a bark is inevitable, and in our opinion, this gun is only borderline backyard friendly. This isn't too much of a drawback, though, because the whole design of this gun is aimed at making it as portable as possible so you can take it out of the backyard! In our testing, the BP17 registered a high of 95.7dB. As is common with other Ataman airguns, the trigger is a very light single-stage trigger that has a fair bit of travel and takes a little getting used to before it becomes predictable. In our testing, it broke consistently at just about 7 ounces. That is so light it will probably surprise you the first time you pull it! Even though it is different from what we are accustomed to, it is so light and smooth that once we got used to it it didn't affect the accuracy at all, as you will see below! It is adjustable, so you can shorten the pull to suit your preferences.
Power and Performance
Ataman packed a lot of power into a very little gun! With only a 100cc cylinder we consistently got 25 shots per fill at up to 25 foot-pounds of energy. There are PCPs that don't perform nearly as well with cylinders much larger and barrels much longer!
This gun is accurate as well. It liked many of the usual suspects including JSB Exact Heavies, Predator GTOs, and JSB Hades, and actually performed extremely well, especially considering how little it is suited for bench shooting. In an off-hand competition, we think this would be hard to beat for its combination of maneuverability and accuracy, and, in fact, when Rick Rehm of Shooter1721 fame visited us, he made off-hand trick shots with this gun that was downright amazing! With both the GTOs and JSB Heavies, it would consistently put a full magazine of 7 pellets into a group measuring no more than 0.20" center-to-center. In the target below, the BP17 put 6 Heavies into about 0.18" but the last shot fell off the reg and went wide, opening the group to 0.37".
A gun as small and light as the BP17 shouldn't be weighted down with a heavy scope, so we would recommend the Hawke Vantage 2-7x32 or, for a bit nicer compliment, the Hawke Airmax 30 Compact 6-24x50. As we mentioned above, a compressor, such as the Nomad II, isn't necessarily a must-have, but since it will get you up to the 300 bar fill each time it will enable you to get the maximum performance out of your BP17.
Summing Up
There is a lot to like about this little gun, and not much to complain about. It is pretty powerful for its size, very accurate, and so compact that it will soon become your go-to gun for any excursion. The only real drawback is the high fill pressure but that is how it achieves this high level of performance, so we can't really complain much. If you want a hunting PCP that will fit in a backpack or the cab of your truck, you can't do much better than the BP17.