The WA 2000 was designed in the late 1970s and early 1980s, in response to the 1972 Summer OlympicsMunich massacre. The bullpup design was chosen because it would allow a standard length (for a sniper rifle) barrel to be used whilst the overall length would be shorter than a conventional rifle. The WA 2000 had a quick-detachable scope mount with a weight of 0.96 kg (2.1 lb). The rifle did not have iron sights.
The entire rifle is designed around the barrel.
Only 176 total rifles (15 of which are in the United States) were ever produced, and in two different variants. The two variants can be differentiated by the type of flash suppressor used: the first, the older model, uses a “can” type flash suppressor; whereas the second generation and newer model uses the more conventional “flash-hider/compensator” design. The second generation incorporated several changes improving the rifle’s accuracy, making it more suited to its intended job.
The rifle was produced from 1982 until November 1988. The rifle was used by some German police units, but production was stopped because it was too expensive to achieve widespread sales. The final retail cost for a base rifle in the 1980s was in the range of $9,000 to $12,500, and the rifle’s current value ranges from $40,000 for the first gen. to $75,000 for the 2nd gen.