Walther WA 2000

The Walther WA 2000 is a semi-automatic bullpup sniper rifle produced by the Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen company from 1982 until 1988.[1] It was produced in three different calibers.[2] Production of the rifle was limited and it was shortly stopped because it was too expensive to achieve widespread sales and not robust enough for military use as a sniper rifle.[1][3] Only 176 were built due to its high cost, making it one of the rarest and most sought production firearms ever made.

Walther WA 2000
First-Generation Walther WA 2000 production model with wooden frames & stock (top) and also first generation production model with black polymer frame & stock (bottom).
TypeSemi Bullpup sniper rifle
Place of originWest Germany
Service history
Used byGerman police units [1]
Production history
Designed1970s–1980s[1]
ManufacturerWalther [1]
Produced1982–1988[1]
No. built176[1]
Specifications
Mass
  • 6.95 kg (15.3 lb) empty (no scope) [2]
  • 7.91 kg (17.4 lb) loaded (with scope) [2]
Length905 mm (35.6 in) [2]
Barrel length650 mm (25.6 in) [2]

Cartridge
ActionGas-operated,[2] rotating bolt
Rate of fireSemi-automatic [2]
Effective firing range700 m (766 yds)
Feed system6-round detachable box magazine.[2] A 10-round magazine was also made but never used nor exported.
SightsSchmidt & Bender 2.5–10× telescopic sight [1]

Design

The WA 2000 was designed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in response to the 1972 Summer Olympics Munich massacre.[1][4] The bullpup design was chosen because it would allow a standard length barrel to be used whilst the overall length would be shorter than a conventional rifle. The WA 2000 had a quick-detachable scope mount with a weight of 0.96 kg (2.1 lb).[2] The rifle did not have iron sights.[1] The most commonly used optical sight was a Schmidt & Bender 2.5–10× telescopic sight.[1] Without scope the rifle has an unloaded weight of 6.95 kg (15.3 lb) and a loaded weight of 7.35 kg (16.2 lb).[2]

The .300 Winchester Magnum round was chosen as the primary caliber because of its long range accuracy and its consistency at all ranges. The entire rifle is designed around the barrel. The WA 2000 fires from a closed bolt and uses a bolt with seven locking lugs. It has either a single-stage trigger[5] or a two-stage trigger [6]with a trigger pull of 1.2 to 1.4 kg (2.65 to 3.1 lb).[2] The rifle uses single stack box magazines with a 6-round capacity, which weigh 0.4 kg (0.88 lb) when loaded.[2]

Variants

The WA 2000 was chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, 7.62×51mm NATO, and 7.5×55mm Swiss.[1]

Only 176 total rifles were produced, and in two different variants. The two variants can be differentiated by the type of flash suppressor used: the first, the older model, uses a "can" type flash suppressor; whereas the second generation and newer model uses the more conventional "flash-hider/compensator" design. The second generation incorporated several changes improving the rifle's accuracy, making it more suited to its intended job.[7]

Production

The rifle was produced from 1982[1] until November 1988. The rifle was used by some German police units, but production was stopped because it was too expensive to achieve widespread sales.[1] It was never adopted by a military unit due to its cost and not being robust enough for field service.[3] The final retail cost for a base rifle in the 1980s was in the range of $9,000 to $12,500, and the rifle's current value ranges from $40,000 for the first generation to $75,000 for the second generation.[7]

See also

References

  1. Popenker, Maxim. "Walther WA 2000 Sniper Rifle (Germany)". world.guns.ru - Modern Firearms. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  2. "WA 2000 Owner's Manual" (PDF). Walther USA. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 June 2004. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  3. Dougherty, Martin J. (16 October 2012). SAS and Elite Forces Guide Sniper: Sniping Skills from the World's Elite Forces. Globe Pequot. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7627-8876-7. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  4. "Walther Sniper Rifle". Walther USA. 2004. Archived from the original on 4 February 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgrVdNqfDfA
  6. http://www.carlwalther.com/wa2000.htm
  7. Walther WA 2000 at Sniper Central

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