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Old 07-12-2007, 12:46 AM  
 
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ss190 .22
Walther WA2000

Has anybody ever been lucky enough to hold or even see one of the 176 Walther WA 2000's?
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:38 AM  
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I have not
though I got a few pics of it ....
I might be wrong but the pic looks to be a WA2000 with a different grip than factory
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:18 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss190 View Post
Has anybody ever been lucky enough to hold or even see one of the 176 Walther WA 2000's?
I don't know if "lucky" is the right word. I shot it extensively.

It was another dog. A hopeless design that went nowhere.

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Old 07-12-2007, 01:19 PM  
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Once more we need to agree to disagree
http://www.snipercentral.com/wa2000.htm
I do belive the guys on Snipercentral a bit more than somebody calling this rifle a dog.... and when looking at the test target I would gladly call this rifle my "dog"
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:27 PM  
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That's some puppy right there, uncut! Hopelessly barking its way into oblivion.

But what do I know. I haven't shot one extensively. Goes to show that the proof is in the pudding.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:09 AM  
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MGMike .38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss190 View Post
Has anybody ever been lucky enough to hold or even see one of the 176 Walther WA 2000's?
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncut View Post
Once more we need to agree to disagree
http://www.snipercentral.com/wa2000.htm
I do belive the guys on Snipercentral a bit more than somebody calling this rifle a dog.... and when looking at the test target I would gladly call this rifle my "dog"
You can believe what you like, but it won't change the facts.

There is more to an effective sniper rifle than a neat-looking 100-meter factory target. The average Savage 110 out of the box will do as well or better than that on paper targets at 1/10th the cost. The performance of the military Remington 700-based (M40?) or M21 sniper (M14) rifles in the field during the same period for 1/5th the cost is in a different universe. The WA 2000 was poorly conceived-- under-designed and over-engineered. It was clumsy, impossible to properly maintain in the field, and unreliable.

The fact is that customers who thought the WA2000 looked "cool" and was a great collector's item were the only reason why Walther was able to sell not even 200 of them before its then-president, Hans Fahr (a grandson of Carl Walther) reluctantly conceded that it was an unmitigated disaster, and threw in the towel. Walther had already spent a fortune on this misbegotten monstrosity, which it could ill afford, and had nothing to show for it.

That the WA 2000 was a dog is an opinion derived not from some book or the postings of internet commandos, but from personal experience and testing more than 20 years ago. Somewhere in my files I still have the original test report and evaluation that was forwarded to Walther after the first samples were sent to the USA. It is not very complimentary. The U.S. Secret Service also borrowed one for testing; their report was more terse: No thanks.

The gun was said to have been designed by one Otto Repa, though this is unconfirmed. Afterward, nobody at Walther would admit to having anything to do with the project. When questioned, they made protestations reminiscent of post-WWII disavowals that "I was never a member of the Party", or "Of course we never used slave labor at the factory." Shortly after the WA2000 debacle, Repa left (or was dismissed from) Walther and went on to design scope mounts, for which his talents were undoubtedly better suited. In my view, any designer who concocts a semi-automatic rifle that requires the removal of 12 or 16 sets (I don't recall the exact number) of bolts, nuts and lock washers just to dismantle the gas system for cleaning, or in which the barrel comes loose every four or five shots, should be in a different line of work.

At Interarms the WA2000 became informally known as the "Festunggewehr", and crude cartoons appeared showing it installed in a concrete bunker on the Atlantic Wall. The remaining (fortunately small) inventory was sold off in "as-is" condition with no guarantee that they worked. Once it became known that no more would be imported, the demand predictably increased. It drew collectors like bears to honey, but it would be a mistake to imagine that that was a ringing endorsement of the gun's excellence. Those who extoll the gun today have an understandable need to justify their considerable investment, but I will repeat that bench-rest accuracy is not the same thing as sniper rifle performance. Carlos Hathcock's rifle was not particularly accurate, but it was able to maintain a serviceable level of accuracy under the harshest conditions.

Actually the best part of the WA2000 were the wood stocks, which probably were made for Walther by Nill (all the usual Nill earmarks are there, and the Walther factory had no woodworking capacity of its own). The bipod, on the other hand, became something of a joke between Interarms and Walther. When shown a Bren bipod --which is still today the Gold Standard of bipods--Herr Fahr said that would be too expensive. This, mind you, for a gun that ex-factory was already five times the cost of its nearest (and more effective) competitor. Actually, the WA2000's bipod was ahead of its time: it would have been entirely appropriate on an Umarex CO2 rifle, but that would be in years yet to come.

M
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Old 07-15-2007, 03:42 PM  
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An interesting review...now my question is, was or is the WA2000 a good shooting rifle? Will it get the job done with the .300 Mag? The reason I ask is that sometimes the criteria for judging equipment is often based on milspecs...when perhaps the equipment was not meant or designed for military operational usage. I have often heard the debate between a combat oriented weapon and a LEO oriented weapon. While I feel that they should be one and the same, admittedly sometimes they are not. Few LEO weapon will have to endure the rigors of a harsh combat environment. The most that an LEO weapon may have to suffer is the climatic change from going from a police car to the outside climate. Hot or cold. Most LEOs that I know are not slogging through mud or exposed to harsh treatment or climatic conditions. I wonder what Walther had in mind when they designed the WA2000? Field service with the military or sniper work with LEO?s? No doubt police snipping will also be exposed to harsh conditions?but at the end of the day you go home. So having an ?automatic rifle that requires the removal of 12 or 16 sets (I don't recall the exact number) of bolts, nuts and lock washers just to dismantle the gas system for cleaning,? in that situation shouldn?t be that big a deal. You go to the armory and clean your weapon. As a military field piece that would be a problem. As per the barrel coming loose every 4 or 5 shots, well that is another story?but again the motto of a sniper is ?one shot, one kill.? ?go home, PM the weapon and no big deal?.

Just for the record, I would prefer all my weapons to be as close to milspec as possible. If the WA2000 could not funciton under such conditions I would have passed on it too....
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:11 AM  
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MGMike .38
Jake, I appreciate your comments, which are well considered. We could debate whether a police gun should meet the same standards as a military weapon. While few police arms are ever called upon to endure the extreme conditions to which military arms may be subjected, I think it is also fair to say that, perhaps with the exception of those in some large police departments, most police weapons --especially those in small or medium sized departments--do not benefit from the organizationally-mandated inspection, maintenance and repair programs that are regularly scheduled and disciplined in the military. Police guns may or may not get the care they deserve; funds are typically lacking, and often it's up to the individual officer. A gun of construction that discourages maintenance or that breaks frequently usually ends up being neglected or left unrepaired.

I also think it's fair to say that a small arm strong and durable enough to withstand military use will be suitable for police service, but the reverse is not necessarily true. Guns that can't make the grade for military use are generally second-rate.

I believe the WA2000 was designed foremost for police like the Grenschutz, but in the end it doesn't really matter who or for what Walther designed it for. Nobody bought it. It was a complete failure.

Here in the USA, part of the reason was that through LEAA, police departments were able to requisition M14 rifles from the U.S. Army, which a) were free (a great virtue); b) did not require the removal of of 12 or 16 sets of bolts, nuts and lock washers just to dismantle the gas system for cleaning; c) did not fall apart or break fragile, underdesigned parts with every magazine fired, and d) gave equivalent accuracy for all practical purposes, with plenty of power, and held their zero in the bargain.

Who needed a WA2000, at five times the price? (Even if it worked?)

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Old 08-07-2007, 10:12 AM  
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Very informative post, MGMike. By any chance, are you a former Interarms employee, a gunsmith, perhaps?
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:25 AM  
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Does anyone really need a WA2000? It is quite beautiful to look at. It is a functional piece of artwork. It looked great in "The Living Daylights" and several video games afterwards. You can have your Ruger 10/22 modded to mimic the WA2000, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. To me, it merely boils down to need-vs-want. I really want one, but have no reall need for one. Still, it would look awesome on the mantel over my fireplace, framed by lots of antique antlers. At least I can dream.
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