The Walther WA2000 is a very rare real steel gun. Only 176 WA2000s were produced. It’s also an equally rare airsoft gun. In its stock form, the ARES WA2000 is a bolt action springer airsoft gun, with the BBs being fed from a tube loaded from the lower front of the gun. The WA2000 is a unique but beautiful gun and the airsoft version is made almost entirely from metal and real wood. Todd Bolinger, known as ‘Gunner79’ from Marine County, CA, contacted me asking if it would be possible to convert his ARES WA2000 to use a Fusion Engine and improve the gun to use a real magazine system. I figured it might be possible, so Todd sent out his new-in-box WA2000 and gave me carte blanche to do anything necessary to make the conversion work.
I started by taking the gun completely apart. It’s actually a very straight forward design with a barrel framed by two rectangular tubes, and multiple side plates. The bolt action cylinder is relatively long, and since the BBs are feed from a tube in the lower frame rail, the inner barrel is relatively short for a large bull-pup gun. By converting the gun to use the Fusion Engine and a real airsoft magazine, a much longer barrel could be used. I swapped out the stock barrel and replaced it with a 650 mm Madbull 6.03mm TBB.
The first major hurdle was to convert the fake mag well to use functional magazines. After considering several different magazine variations, I choose to go with the TM M14 magazine since it looked close to the stock magazine and they are very common and readily available. To have the M14 magazine fit in the
WA2000 mag well required a bit of wood work to make it large enough. At first it was a bit scary taking a chisel to the nice wood furniture, but after some slow and methodical chipping away of the wood, I made the mag well large enough to hold the M14 magazine. The next challenge was to make a proper mag release and mag catch mechanism. I reused the mag release from the stock dummy mag well. I then made a custom front mag catch mechanism to hold the M14 magazine in place. The front catch is spring loaded to allow the magazine to slide into place, and the rear mag release required a little extra bracing to minimize the magazine wobble in the mag well. Quite a bit of trial and error was needed to get the assemblies to work reliably and hold the magazine securely.
After resolving the magazine issue, the next challenge was to locate the new inner barrel and hopup. I reused the stock hopup and BB feed bracket to hold the longer barrel in place. By grinding off the inner barrel locking tabs in the stock hopup unit, the new barrel would slide right through. And by tightening down the hopup bracket screws, it secures the barrel very tightly. I decided to go with an M4 hopup so stock V2 Fusion Engine nozzles could be used alleviating the need for any custom nozzle fabrication. I chose to go with the Madbull Ultimate Hopup since I prefer the more simple and reliable collar-based hopup adjusters.
With the barrel and hopup resolved, the next problem was to fabricate an assembly that would feed the BBs to the hopup and also hold the front of the Fusion Engine in place. I milled a block of aluminum that would work as the base, then lathed a BB feed tube that was spring loaded to accommodate any play in the magazine well, as well as push down hard enough to release the BB stop on the magazine. The base block was slotted and a matching bracket was made to attach the front of the V2 Fusion Engine upper cylinder. This would allow the Fusion Engine to be removed without having to remove the hopup or the BB feed tube block. The Fusion Engine has to sit pretty low in the gun, so the lower rail was milled to allow the Fusion Engine to recess into it, and the back of the Engine was braced with a simple L bracket. The air line exits straight through the bottom of the gun out the bottom of the back stock.
The next problem was handling the trigger mechanism. The stock bolt action used a long push rail to release the piston. The stock firing mechanism was removed and a simple microswitch was mounted into the lower rail which is actuated when when the trigger is pulled. The gun is also designed to be a semi-auto gun only, so the fire select had two positions, Safe and Fire.
When the switch is in the Safe position, it physically blocks the trigger lever. But the Fusion Engine provides much more functionality so a third position was added to the fire select switch, and another microswitch was added to allow the WA2000 to now have both semi-auto and full-auto (or more likely burst) modes. An extra detent was added so there is a new position between Safe and Fire.
The last challenge was locating the FCU and battery. It turns out there really isn’t a lot of room within the gun for the FCU and battery, at least placing it in a location that is easily accessible. I decided to install the FCU and battery in the stock. The rubber cap can be pulled off easily so adjustments or battery connections can be conveniently made. To make this work, the back stock had to be milled to make room for the FCU and the rubber cap had to be partially cut to allow for a small battery. Then the wire harness exits the stock and goes directly into the back of the gun. To accommodate the ability to slide the stock up and down, the wire harness hole was slotted so this functionality is retained.
To polish the WA2000 off, an extended suppressor was added to the front to give it a more aggressive look (to match it’s new capabilities), and the bolt handles and center wheel were added back to preserve the external aesthetics.
The Fusion Engine was setup with a red nozzle, and with the very long barrel the gun shoots approximately 485 fps (w/.2s) at 80 psi, and goes up to 595 fps at 120 psi.
Although the gun is designed as a sniper rifle, having the full auto or burst mode is really makes this gun extremely fun to shoot. I’ve gone through a few thousand rounds just testing the gun (but mostly because it’s such a blast to use!). This has certainly been one of the more challenging and extensive custom installs that I’ve done so far, but easily one of the most interesting and unique PolarStar Fusion Engine powered guns. Todd will be excited to have his precious WA2000 back, but I may have to come up with more excuses to not send it to him just yet. 🙂