Early production model Walther WA 2000.
Source: www.world.guns.ru - © copyright lies with original owner
The WA 2000 is a late Cold War era sniper rifle of German origin. It was developed by Walther in the late 1970's specifically for law enforcement use. The 1972 Olympics hostage rescue drama showed a need for well trained and well equipped police snipers. Due to its futuristic looks the WA 2000 has become an iconic firearm. Its high quality and good performance resulting in a high price tag.
The WA 2000 was developed from scratch with accuracy in mind. For that reason the .300 Winchester Magnum round was chosen, since it has a flatter trajectory than the 7.62x51mm NATO. The WA 2000 uses a bullpup design with metal receiver and wooden panels and pistol grip. It is a gas operated semi-automatic weapon with free floating barrel. An optical sight is fitted, iron sights are missing.
The WA 2000 is designed around the .300 Winchester Magnum round. This is fired from a 6 round detachable magazine. Accuracy proved to be very good. The effective range is quoted as 700 meters. For law enforcement purposes the WA 2000 was not likely to be used beyond 300 meters. Conversion barrels for 7.62x51mm NATO and 7.5x55mm Swiss were available.
The WA 2000 was produced in limited quantities. Less than 200 rifles have been produced. It proved to be very expensive. More expensive than the contemporary Heckler & Koch PSG-1, which was developed for the same role. Furthermore, the WA 2000 was considered to fragile and expensive for the Cold War era battlefield.
Late production model Walther WA 2000.
Source: dwj Verlags-GmbH - © GNU Attribution - Share Alike license
The WA 2000 is a high quality bolt-action sniper rifle. Even though it is nearly three decades old it still look futuristic. The looks make it also very easy to identify. No variants of the WA 2000 have been produced, although minor variations are available. Spare conversion barrels chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO and 7.5x55mm Swiss were available. Additionally early models featured a thick can type muzzle brake. Later models featured a longer and sleeker bird cage style flash hider, a palm rest and differently shaped stock.
The PSG-1 was developed for the same role as the WA 2000. It proved more successful and remains in production today.
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