Airsoft WA2000 Rifle
I think my interest in this rifle came from 'The Living Daylights', in which Bond uses a WA2000 with a night scope in a counter-sniping role. It's one of those designs that is so radically different to anything else available - combining function and form so elegantly.
I've had an interst in Firearms for a while - being on various school shooting teams, I have received training and can shoot proficiently with various rifles including the L98A1 Cadet GP and L81A2. UK gun laws prevent the private ownership of automatics and large caliber semi-automatics, so the only method I have of obtaining anything that even looks like the WA2000 is to purchase an Airsoft version, or an air rifle with a similar design. Unfortunately only one company I know of makes an Airsoft WA2000, and it tends to sell for over £600.
Back in 2005 I decided I'd make my own, using a Tokyo Mauri FAMAS as the donor - providing the gearbox, barrel & hop, bipod, trigger mechanism and magazines. The FAMAS was a logical choice due to its bullpup design and low price. I documented the process and created a microsite covering the build (wa2000.xgeox.com). Unfortunately due to drive failure this has since been lost, along with my original build photos. Whilst it was online the site proved to be very popular, with tens of thousands of visitors. The Flickr page remains online and has recieved just under 20,000 views to date.
Whilst the rifle looked good in photos, it was nothing like the real thing in feel or quality - and the gearbox from the FAMAS proved to be unreliable when fired in semi-auto mode, often jamming. Since I completed the project, others have taken on the challenge of building similar replicas and done a far better job than I. A model maker called Ryan Coombes has done a particularly fantastic job. His site is definately worth visiting, as he has posted a detailed build log and made many more custom rifles besides the WA2000.
As evidenced by my Flickr photos, I created this replica in 2005 - prior to the enactment of the VCRA the following year. Its construction was based on a legally-purchased Tokyo Marui FAMAS. Due to the VCRA it has since been made illegal to create such a replica (a RIF or 'Realistic Imitation Firearm') the the UK. As such, I will not be building another.