Friday, November 23, 2007

Walther WA 2000 Sniper Rifle (Germany)

Walther WA 2000 sniper rifle, right side

Walther WA 2000 sniper rifle, left side, with bipod folded over the barrel

Walther WA 2000 sniper rifle, with slightly different stock and shorter frame around the barrel

Walther WA 2000 sniper rifle body (less wooden furniture and scope) disassembled to main components (from original Walther manual)

Caliber: .300 Win Mag or .308 (7.62x51mm NATO) or 7.5x55 Swiss
Operation: Semi-automatic
Length: 905 mm
Weight Unloaded: 6.95 kg
Barrel Length: 650 mm
Magazine: 6 round detachable box

Walther WA-2000 sniper rifle had been developed by Carl Walther Waffenfabrik (Germany) during late 1970s and early 1980s as a highly specialized police sniper rifle. First introduced in 1982, it was later adopted by some specialized police units in Germany, but rifle was too expensive to achieve widespread sales, and production was fairy limited. It is believed that only about 176 WA-2000 rifles were ever made. Unlike many other sniper rifles of that period, WA-2000 was not a conversion of the sporting or hunting rifle, but entirely new design with some remarkable features.

The gun is built in the bullpup style, to achieve most compact package while maintaining suitably long barrels. Basic chambering was .300 Winchester Magnum, with effective range well beyond 800 meters, with optional chamberings for 7.62mm NATO (.308 win) and 7.5mm Swiss. WA-2000 is a semiautomatic rifle, gas operated, with rotating bolt. Short stroke gas piston is located below the barrel. The heavy, match-grade barrel is fluted and free-floated and is unusually located between two aluminum struts that form the chassis of the rifle and provide mounting points for wooden forend and below and telescope mount and bipod above. The stock (buttplate and cheek rest) and trigger are adjustable. Feed was from single-stack detachable box magazines. WA-2000 sniper rifle had no open sights, and had a quick-detachable scope mount. Most common optical sight was a Schmidt & Bender 2.5-10X variable power telescope.

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