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Walther WA2000: The Ultimate German Sniper Rifle


– Ready.
– Stand by. Hi guys, thanks for tuning in to another
video on ForgottenWeapons.com. I’m Ian, and today we have a chance to take a look at this really amazing Walther WA 2000 sniper rifle. And this truly is a legit sniper rifle, or at least that is what it was designed for. The genesis of this rifle goes back to the early 1970s, specifically 1972 with the Munich Massacre at the Munich Olympics. It was a horrible tragedy, and among other things it kind of revealed that the German government didn’t have any sort of counter-terrorist response capability. They really kind of had an ad-hoc
police response to this incident, and in it’s aftermath they looked
at really formalising something. We would see this become like GSG9, and then
spread all over the world with other governments establishing these elite, small,
counter-terrorist response units. Well, the Walther company set about designing a sniper
rifle specifically for this sort of police counter-terrorist use. This wasn’t really developed with
the intention of military contracts, there are a whole bunch of aspects of it that
just aren’t really compatible with the military, but they are compatible with a police use. In 1976 this was actually adopted
by some West German police units. But that’s pretty much it. In total I
believe 176 of these rifles were ever made. They … didn’t really actually go into
mass production. Serial production, yes. But as you’ll see when we take this apart,
there are still some elements to this rifle that … really ought to be simplified and changed
if it were to be adopted on a very large scale. Now, … there are actually two different models,
there is a first model and a second model. This is a second model gun, which we can
distinguish by its flash-hider looking flash-hider. The first model had this kind of
can-shaped attachment on the muzzle. And what they did with the second model was really iron
out some of the problems that were in the gas system. So, I guess I should say for folks who don’t know, this is a semi-
automatic rifle, it is chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum. The … first models were available in .300 Winchester
Magnum and 7.5×55 Swiss, as well as 7.62 NATO. The second model I believe they dropped the Swiss cartridge, so it was just … 7.62 NATO, and .300 Win Mag. The magazine holds 6 rounds.
And it’s a short stroke gas piston. So, we’ll take it apart in a moment
and get a closer look at that, but a few of the other elements to point out
here are of course a forward mounted bipod. This looks like a very futuristic rifle, but when we start
looking at it up close you’ll see maybe it actually isn’t. So let’s bring the camera in and go ahead and do that. Alright, so marking on this are pretty
straightforward and simple. You have a Walther banner, WA 2000 model, it does note on the
right side that it’s made in Germany. And then just in front of the ejection
port we have another Walther banner. Note that this is a separate component.
This is one side plate, this is a separate side plate. We have our German proof marks.
Serial number on this rifle is 1099. I believe the second pattern of these guns
they started the serial numbers at 1000. You do also have a serial number,
matching of course, on the bolt. And then the left side of the gun mirrors a couple of
these markings, the Walther banner and the WA 2000. Lastly we have an import mark here.
Interarms of Alexandria, Virginia, was a major importer of Walther products in … specific
and everything interesting and military in general. Alright, so as I mentioned, this is the second pattern’s
flash hider, which is just a perfectly functional flash hider. Now if we take a look at the front of this, you’ll see, interestingly
and this took me by surprise, this is not a free-floated barrel. In many ways this rifle is kind of the first
generation of really high performance sniper rifles. And a lot of the elements that we
would think of today as being obvious, well maybe they weren’t so obvious
and they weren’t integrated here. So, in lieu of this being free floated,
it’s actually very tightly fixed. The way this rifle is built is basically with
an upper and a lower rail and side plates, and everything clamped together
into one very rigid assembly. So you’ll see the bipod here is mounted to the top rail. These legs are non-adjustable, in fact they
do fold up, so if I pull the bipod leg down (There we are.) Lift these up like that, and then
there’s a button here on the bipod itself. Push that, and that allows me to slide it down the rail,
and I can lock it into place either at the front or the back. And the bipod legs are usable from either position. Now, on this side we have a front sling attachment, we’ll get to this
in a minute. That’s a funky and interesting set up. We have our gas block for the gas system right here. The barrel is 26 inches overall length. It is of course a
bullpup action, so the action is all the way behind the trigger. And that’s why it has such a
short barrel sticking out the front. Charging handle, non-reciprocating charging handle. Safety is right here. The safety, interestingly, is completely
ambidextrous, while the rifle is completely not ambidextrous. It just has a very short throw,
we are on fire right now. That’s safe. That’s fire. The indicator is just which of these
lines is matched up with its corresponding [dot]. By the way, to put a little bit of this in context,
the retail price on this rifle in 1988 was $9,000. So these were incredibly expensive guns for the period,
and that’s part of why they weren’t adopted widely. Moving back, we have a pair of
side plates covering the action. Wood furniture, a little bit of a curious thing, I guess
more suited for a police gun than a military one. The palm rest here on the other side of the grip is adjustable. You can loosen this, move it
up and down and rotate it like a target rifle. This is an interesting set up. You can
grip this with the back of your hand, but it’s actually more designed for the
crook of your non-shooting arm, like this. We’ll touch on that when we do some shooting with this.
But that’s why you have this interesting design back there. The butt plate is adjustable up and
down, kind of like the … palm rest there. And then we also have a very much a target
style trigger. The face of the trigger is flat. … It’s actually a really good trigger pull. One of the nice things about this being an early generation
sniper rifle is they knew a good trigger pull was important, but they hadn’t gone to this kind
of ludicrous extent of, you know, 2 ounce triggers that you do occasionally
see people trying to create today. These can of course mount pretty
much any scope that you want, but the scope that was typically included with
them was a 2.5-10x power Schmidt & Bender. And again, it’s an interesting look at the
very early generation of sniper rifles in that the glass is fantastic, it’s a very good scope,
but it has an extremely simple reticle. The reticle is simply a cross hair, thick lines
on the outside and thin lines on the inside. There’s no ranging, there’s no mil dot,
there’s no nothing. Just a plain cross hair. In fact it’s not even a German post style of reticle. The magazine holds 6 rounds, and of course is
located behind the trigger because this is a bullpup. The magazine release is
this button right at the back. Push that in, pull out the magazine, we
have a calibre marking there on that side. And one aspect of this that they
absolutely did right as a target rifle is there is very little angle between the … cartidge
in the magazine at the top and the chamber. So when you’re feeding a cartridge there
is very little risk of scratching the bullet or bending the bullet in the case, or otherwise changing
it in some way that would impair your accuracy. The scope is attached not through a Picatinny rail or
anything quite like that but rather just a clamp on dovetail. And the scope itself is bolted to the top rail of the gun,
which is only second hand connected to the barrel. On a rifle like this that was being built today you would
absolutely have the scope directly connected to the barrel to give the best possible accuracy. So Walther did the early R&D on guns like
this, I think is probably the best way to put it. As I said, a lot of the ideas, a lot of the concepts,
that we consider obvious and self-evident today weren’t so much in the early ’70s. So field stripping this is not the simplest thing ever,
but it can be done and I’ll show you how to do it here. … I should say, a field strip of this gun
means you take the bolt out. That’s it. Anything further than that requires a screwdriver
and major parts disassembly. We’ll do that too. But, to field strip it the first thing we are
going to do is rotate the butt plate over. And we do that by pulling
this button and then rotating (pulling this button all the way, there we go),
then I can rotate the butt plate off of it’s catch here, and it
kind of just hangs on this peg. Next we can take the cheek rest off. It’s got a
couple of keyed pegs that hold it on right there. With that off now we have
access here to the other side. By the way, just because there is
a cutout on this side of the receiver, this does not mean that this gun is
interchangeable left to right handed, it is not. This is just access for dealing with stuff. Now I have two pins right here. What these are
doing is actually connecting the gas piston block to the connecting rods that attach to
the bolt. So I’m going to push this pin in and slide that connecting rod
so that it’s slightly off centre. I have a matching one over
here, do the same thing to. Then we can grab the bolt,
slide the bolt towards the back. However, there is another
piece that we have to deal with. This lever, right here, I have to push up like that in order to let the bolt come out. There we go, alright. There we go. The bolt sits on these two rails,
so now these are unconnected to anything. And then you can see there’s the notch
there, rides in the base of the bolt here. The bolt itself is a 7 lug rotating affair. So that is the unlocked position, when the bolt
closes, the cam pin here forces it to rotate, locks shut. The multiple locking lugs are there both because
… .300 Winchester Magnum is a pretty strong round, and also because having a whole bunch of locking lugs gives you
a more precise and repeatable lock up, thus improving accuracy. We have a sliding dust cover here on the side. That just keeps the ejection port covered
up when the bolt’s travelling and in battery. Alright, and that’s field stripped. That’s it. Alright, now to disassemble the gun a little farther so that we
can see exactly what’s happening on the inside of it, see more of it, the first thing we have to do is actually take off the
wooden hand guard. There’s a hex screw down there. Now, before we go further I want to point out
… that screw doesn’t screw into this lower rail, it actually screws into a locking
block that slides inside that lower rail. So you can see it right there, but I can also take it and move it,
and its not connected to anything. and if I then continue to take the gun apart I will
inevitably slide that little block somewhere inside the rail. So when you go to put the hand guard back on, you
have to wiggle that block right up into that screw hole. Alright, but moving on. The next step is to take off this side plate,
which requires removing these 5 screws. This whole rifle is kind of built on the rail
and plate amalgamation sort of theory. If you look here at the back end, you can see
we have another side plate that screws on. But for our purposes we are just going to
take off this front one with the charging handle. So this lifts off. The charging handle has this metal
spring that locks it in the forward position. You want to take it out, you bring it back to this position. and … drop out like that. Simple side plate, I mean it really is just a metal
plate with all the appropriate elements that you need. Now inside we can see what’s actually going on. We have a gas port in the
barrel here, this is our gas block. It is adjustable here, but this is not the sort of thing that you are
going to adjust very often, you’ll set it once and be done with it. And then the gas piston is right there. So that will move just slightly back,
kind of like a gas tappet system. It will hit this block. That block is normally
going to be connected to this rail. So the little spring button that I had to depress
to disassemble it was that, which connects through this hole, and than all
the way back here to where it attaches to the bolt. It isn’t going to at the moment,
but you can see how that works. So, tappet hits this block, this block goes
backwards against its recoil spring right there. These pins lock into these connecting arms, this connecting arm connects
to the bolt, hence the bolt moves. You can see the barrel. We have our castle nut for the barrel
back here, this is where it’s connected to its rear trunnion. And then its front trunnion is basically this. This is like an H block that connects the barrel
rigidly to the upper and the lower rails of the gun. This is kind of one of those weird guns. You know
in some ways it’s actually kind of like a Jäger pistol, where there isn’t necessarily truly a single receiver, there
is a compilation of parts that go together to make a rigid gun. Alright, I said we would take a
look at the sling. This is the sling. It is a backpack style of sling, which is kind of slick. We’ve got this mounting lug on the front, and
this hook here, and what we are going to do is goes this way. That goes over the top,
the pin goes in the hole, right there, and then tighten that up. And then we take the back end here,
which has a typical sort of quick-detach sling mount. And that goes right there. There we go, and there you have two backpack straps, a nice
padded thing here so that this sits just a little bit up off your back. … Honestly, very handy for police counter-
terrorist or counter-insurgency sort of stuff. … I mentioned … the development started in … 1972,
these were ultimately produced until 1988. Less that 200 made, I believe the total was 176. Of those,
only a very small number came into the United States. So kind of … I would say this qualifies as
exquisitely rare to find here these days. So, we are going to go out and
do a little bit of shooting with it. And then if you are really interested in the shooting and
the comparison and the practical applications of this rifle, definitely check out the other video
we’re posting on InRangeTV today, where we are doing like Eastern Front 1986. We
are going to compare this rifle to an SVD Dragunov, and see how the two of them
shape up on the timer in the field. Alrighty, let’s try a little bit of shooting. – Nope. – Nope. – One more. – That was dead centre.
– That was a nice hit, 300 metres. This thing’s pretty darn light
recoiling for a .300 Win Mag. And I’m shooting it right handed because it is
a bullpup. I think I could shoot this left-handed. The rifle’s owner has told me
that they shoot it left-handed, and just makes me a little nervous, so I’m shooting it
right-handed the way it was “supposed” to be done. It’s kind of interesting that a lot of this is
not adjustable. The height of the butt pad is, the cheek rest is not, and the
cheek rest is a little bit high for my taste, or my facial geometry,
however you want to look at it. It’s a very pleasant gun to shoot
though, it’s very stable in position. – Alright, let’s see if we can get the
200m target a couple more times. – That was a hit. – That was a hit. Seems really quite easy to hit with. Alright. The one other thing I think we
need to do is put a group on paper, because that’s what this rifle is all about. So, the proper way to do that would be to hand load for this
specific individual rifle and tune a load just right, but of course I don’t have the time available or the access
to the gun on a long enough basis to do that. So we’re doing the very next best thing,
which is Black Hills 190 grain match .300 Win Mag. Black Hills is probably about as good
as you can get for precision ammo that you haven’t actually hand
loaded precisely to your own rifle. So, a big thank you to
Black Hills for providing us with this. It’s fantastic ammo, and it should allow us to
wring the best performance out of the Walther 2000. Alright, we’ll go take a look at how that went. Now we did
have one kind of weird malfunction there, a failure to fully eject. We said this isn’t a military rifle, and if something goes
wrong with it you kind of put it down and find something else. But, let’s see how the target is. Alright, so there is my fantastic 5 round group
of just slightly under 3 inches at 100 metres. Which is, kind of pretty pathetic. Well, that pathetic group really leaves a lot to be
desired, we need someone who is a better shooter, like my friend Karl, to do a group with
this rifle to really see what it’s capable of. So I think I can tell you about the history, I can show
you the disassembly and show you how this works, but it really leaves open some remaining
questions about the practicality of the Walther 2000 compared to some other sniper rifles
of this vintage, like the Dragunov here. So, I think what we are going to go ahead and do is a second
video over on InRangeTV, where we are going to directly address the practical application of the Walther 2000, and
we are going to so that with both groups from Karl, and then on the clock timed benchmark
tests of the WA 2000 versus the SVD Dragunov. That should be really cool, and that’s the sort of thing that I am just not
a good enough shooter to provide you with here on Forgotten Weapons. So if you are interested in more about the
Walther 2000, definitely head over to InRangeTV, check out that video which posted
up on the same day as this one. And of course subscribe over there as well as Forgotten
Weapons, because we have more really cool footage, on all sorts of interesting guns like these coming up. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Walther WA2000: The Ultimate German Sniper Rifle

  1. The KTSA (Kamloops Target Shooting Association) in BC is said to have had a Gen 1 donated by the Crown after the rifle was seized in a drug bust.
    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/04/02/wa-2000-seized-canadian-drug-trafficker-given-local-club/

  2. I thought it looked familiar…. it's agent 47s sniper rifle. In the game it's really crap and you always end up searching for a dragunov instead.

  3. Cool weird gun but the whole disassembly thing like really puts me off of even trying on one God for give me for even trying to clean the damn thing!

  4. I just came from the Striker-12 video and the SPAS-12 is in my recommended. Its like they know i used to play MW2.

    ACR FTW. MY FAV GUN

  5. The bullpup design is ok, but when you saw the hot brass affect the shooter, that would be the only reason I needed to NOT use this rifle.

  6. The rifle was also used by 007 in the living daylights to take out the rifle in a suspected "assassination attempt".

  7. This is one of those guns that's so ugly and unusual that I cannot help but like it. The wood furniture blends rather unusually with the gun, especially the foregrip. Almost like a Mass Effect gun

  8. That thing isnt really designed for field stripping either looks like. God that's complicated. German engineering for you.

  9. I hate that these videos are demonitized. Like sandy hook shooter is gonna go out and buy $50k gun to shoot up Las Vegas. Military and firearms history is history and non-political.

  10. Nice wobbling around there in between each shot? What technique do you call that? Your a total rookie technique? You don’t now how to hold a rifle properly technique? To be fair your channel is called forgotten weapons so you probably forget many things…. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️😆

  11. Did the Germans really use Phillips screws? Or are those Frearson, or Japan Imperial Standard, or one of the other Phillips look a likes?

  12. Well field stripping was out of the question: may as well dump it. Probably another reason production didn’t happen.

  13. One of my favorite guns ever, such an interesting design. I had no idea there were less than 200 made… I suppose that means there's more airsoft replicas of it than there are real ones, and even those are rare!

  14. This video – Walther WA2000: The Ultimate German Sniper Rifle
    Next video -H&K PSG-1: The Ultimate German Sniper Rifle

    WHICH IS IT IAN!? TELL ME!

  15. Fascinating that Interarms imported these… They also imported my .270, which originated from Zastava in Yugoslavia

  16. A modern polymer version with a floating barrel and bedding would sell like hotcakes! Wtf is Walther doing?! They could make soooo much money!!!

  17. i used to watch fg years years ago when i was younger and i was always yeah yeah blah blah blah u just talk you never shoot the guns…. and over the years i got to see ian shoot guns and i got happier with the channel but i was just young and dumb now i learned to watch ian talk for hours on end about guns without shooting them and often i fall asleep on that haha. ian's pretty humble guy dosent give a shit about judgment and don't care if he didin't shoot like a sharpshooter here just going to laugh it out. keep it up ian just earning good money doing what you do man.

  18. As usual…It's German genius, which means it's over engineered and impractical outside of its given role. Tiger tank was the same way, good heavy breacher, but if you tried to use it for "fighting fires", the damn thing just broke right down.

  19. We underestimated the superior teutonic craftsmanship that was produced in West Germany. Any firearms from this era often command premium prices. New in box or in good used condition.

  20. I'd say this gun would be good in a zombie apocalypse, it's semi-automatic, lightweight and quiet, large capacity, very precise with long range, and looks really cool.
    Only problem is, these guns are very rare.

  21. Almost a bullpup sized sniper rifle chambered in .300 Win Mag. for only $9k ?

    Personally, I like my shoulder, but the idea is good, the sliding bipod is useful and the wood furniture is exceptional.

    The "tuck" position is actually very useful too, just not very popular with overfed westerners.

    Rock On !

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