The Walther WA2000 sniper rifle was developed by the prestigious Walther weapon company, and was first produced in the 1970s, but was introduced only in 1982. The weapon was adopted by small numbers of police units, which was considered a disappointment, as the Walther's design was intended to make it the ideal weapon for police units requiring mobility. While the WA2000 delivered on mobility, it was also extremely expensive, costing around ten thousand US dollars.
While many sniping rifles were simply converted versions of other rifles from a company's line-up, Walther did things a little differently. The WA2000 was not based on any existing rifle, and was a completely unique design. The weapon proved expensive to produce for this very reason, and only a small number were produced, as Walther realised the weapon was not financially viable to continue production. According to estimates, only 176 examples of the Walther WA2000 exist, and of the 176, 15 of them are located in the United States. Of this 15, 11 of the rifles are owned by one man: Earl J. Sheehan Jr.; president of the US arm of the Walther weapon company. As the Walther WA2000 proves to be incredibly rare, a single rifle can be sold for $75,000 USD. However, it is rare they even appear on the market, meaning that the price isn't even the key concern.
The Walther WA2000 was intended to be mobile, and for this reason, the Walther arms company realised that the only feasible method of doing so was through the 'bullpup' design: placing the magazine at the back of the rifle to decrease overall size. The WA2000 is an impressively compact package, measuring just under a metre. Almost two-thirds of the rifle length is the barrel, so it should provide a good idea of exactly how compact this weapon is. The WA2000 is one of the world's shortest sniper rifles, and is able to compete in terms of accuracy with larger semi-automatic and even bolt-action rifles.
Below is an image of the WA2000, stripped down to the bare components. On the parts at the top, the Walther logo can be see, confirming the weapon's identity. Note that the wooden components and weapon scope are not shown in this image. Click to enlarge the image and view everything up-close and personal.
The Walther WA2000 has made numerous appearances in videogames, and is known among fans of IO Interactive's Hitman franchise as the signature sniper rifle of Agent 47. However, it has appeared in other games as well. Many of these games do not show the actual rarity of the weapon, however.
In Modern Warfare 2, the Walther WA2000 is found in both Single Player and Multiplayer, and also Spec Ops. It is the third sniper rifle to be unlocked online, following the Intervention and Barrett .50 Cal, which are both unlocked by default. During the campaign, the weapon can be found in the mission 'Loose Ends'. It is employed by all of the ghillied snipers, which is inaccurate considering the weapon's rarity. If the estate you are assaulting is owned by Makarov, then it would appear Vladimir Makarov owns a Walther WA2000 with a Thermal Scope. The same thermal WA2000 can be found during the Special Op 'Estate Takedown', though it is less effective as you will be competing against Juggernauts.
In online Multiplayer, the WA2000 is unlocked at Rank 36, and is most similar to the Dragunov SVD from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It does not benefit from Stopping Power, and is one of the few weapons to have this unique trait. The WA2000 is more effective without Stopping Power, as it provides no benefits. The Walther WA2000 also is the slowest weapon to pull out and put away, taking over a second for each. While the equipping speed is slower than the RPD and MG4, the put away speed is the slowest of any weapon. The WA2000 has six-round magazines, but when Extended Magazines are unlocked, this doubles to 12 rounds per magazine.
In Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, there are two versions of the Walther WA2000 sniper rifle. One is identified as the standard weapon, and the other is called the 'W2000 Custom'. The standard rifle is a bolt action, which is not suppressed, and has a slow rate of fire. It is regarded by Silent Assassin players as the worst sniping rifle in the game, though it is only given as a default weapon during two missions. The W2000, as it is called, should be avoided for the flaws prevalent with it.
The W2000 Custom, however, is an ideal weapon for the precision shooter. It is semi-automatic, and has a larger magazine, containing ten rounds. The customised model has a much stronger scope, and is also suppressed. It is quite possibly the ultimate sniper rifle, at least in this game, as it is 100% silent. Enemies will not hear it, even if it is fired from directly behind them. No other weapon in the game can boast this factor. While the Crossbow is said to be silent, enemies can still hear it occasionally.
In Hitman: Contracts, the Walther WA2000 finally becomes a very useful weapon. It has a magazine size of six rounds, as it has in the past. However, it has a very high zoom scope, and a high enough rate of fire, teamed with low recoil. The weapon is given at the start of many of the Hong Kong missions, and is almost always essential to complete the missions with a minimum of fuss.
Blood Money marks the first time that the player can upgrade their weapons, and the Walther WA2000 is no exception. It can be outfitted with a double-capacity magazine, as well as many other customisations. Players can also choose to change the weapon scope, though ultimately the second and final scope unlocked is the best for all long-range scenarios. During missions in Blood Money, the WA2000 receives something of a drop in effectiveness, as many of the missions take place within large interiors. The weapon is carried in a briefcase, as in previous games, but the time taken to assemble the rifle varies in Blood Money. Should the weapon be outfitted with all Tier 3 upgrades, it will take considerably longer for Agent 47 to assemble, which means you may miss the moment where you can strike.
In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the WA2000 can be developed after the player completes extra-ops 65 with an S-rank. It is statistically the most accurate rifle in the game, making it a good choice to use in marksmanship extra-ops levels. However, it is described by the game as being difficult to use and it also lacks the power of other sniper rifles.