Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Guns – Best Assault Rifles, SMGs, Snipers, Shotguns, LMGs, Marksman Rifles
COD: Modern Warfare has a huge selection of guns and equipment. We've put together a list of the best.
Here’s our tier list of the best guns available in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – we’ll be keeping it updated at all times so come back often!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is bringing back a host of classic guns and weapons from the series, but with so many it can be tough to make a choice. We’ve put together a tier list to help you with making those decisions, and hopefully you can be the best player you can be with our help. Remember, there’s no substitute for good gameplay, so don’t blame us when some chump outflanks you and shoots your head off.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Best Guns
Before we break down the best weapons of each type, we’ve put together a quick list of the very best guns in the game for those of you who just want to get involved immediately. We’ve got more info on each weapon below, but here’s our overall breakdown of the current meta.
Bruen MK9 (Light Machine Gun)
All the rage right now, and for good reason too. It’s worth the painful unlock process for an LMG which handles almost like an assault rifle. Stick the right combination of attachments on this gun and you’ll have a weapon with almost zero recoil and an extremely high time to kill. Since the Grau nerf midway through Season 4, the Bruen is easily the most coveted gun right now and definitely even better in many regards.
FAL (Assault Rifle)
No longer a terrible semi-auto weapon, in fact, it’s pretty overpowered right now. Season 4’s mid season update increased its headshot damage range giving it the fastest time to kill at close range – period. This thing absolutely decimates opponents up close if you’ve got a decent trigger finger. Treat it like an SMG and you’re onto a winner, nothing else competes.
MP5 (Submachine Gun)
A slightly more close-range oriented rendition of the MP7, the MP5 hits extremely hard if you can get your shots on target. Damage drops off slightly at range, but with the MP5 in hand you’ll never struggle in close quarters. Its time-to-kill is ridiculously fast in Multiplayer, and it’s really a toss-up as to which you prefer between this and the MP7.
Kar98k (Marksman Rifle)
Since it’s ADS speed buff, this bolt action marksman rifle is definitely worth equipping. Bung a sniper scope on this thing and you’ll have a fast-firing short to mid range beast that’s capable of one hit headshots and quick elims. It does drop off at extremely long ranges, but it’s the potshot champion right now.
M4A1 (Assault Rifle)
Oh the M4A1, you’ve always been there, strong as ever. This weapon’s main strength over the likes of the Grau, Kilo, and Bruen is its fast fire rate which makes it a mid to long range shredder if you can land your shots. We’re also big fans of the attachments you can pop on this thing. There’s a ridiculous amount of versatility on offer here, so much so, you really can’t go wrong with the M4A1.
AX-50 (Sniper Rifle)
The quintessential sniper for Modern Warfare, the AX-50 will serve you well on maps with longer sight lines like Piccadilly or Euphrates Bridge, as well as in Ground War. One-shot killing enemies at huge ranges, it’s worth remembering a couple of things when using it. Firstly, you’re extremely visible to enemies when aiming down your scope. You’ll light up like a christmas tree, so make sure you’re not just sitting out in the open looking for shots to hit. As well as this, it’s important to remember that bullets aren’t hitscan like they have been in previous COD games. This matters most for long-ranged encounters with snipers, so remember to aim slightly higher than usual in order to account for bullet drop.
Grau 5.56 (Assault Rifle)
Despite a mid season nerf, the Grau remains extremely strong. It has all the qualities of an excellent assault rifle with its easy handling, laser-like accuracy, and wealth of attachments which seem built for both Multiplayer and Warzone. This weapon isn’t going away anytime soon.
MP7 (Submachine Gun)
The MP7 is our favourite SMG the game has to offer, bringing with it a surprising amount of stability as well as damage up until a decent range. Unlocked at level 54, it’s well worth giving a try when you can. You’ll beat out assault rifle users with relative ease in close quarters too, meaning the huge number of M4A1 users will struggle to lay a finger on you if you round a corner at them. Available perks can really help this gun’s performance too, especially the FSS Close Quarters and No Stock options, which make it ludicrously snappy.
PKM (Light Machine Gun)
For longer range encounters, give the PKM a shot. It’s got a surprisingly fast time to kill and as long as you can look past its lack of mobility and slow aim-down-sights speed, the PKM is one of the most versatile guns in the game, able to spar with snipers and assault rifles alike.
Remember – give all the guns a go! Some of them will feel so much better in your hands than it does for others, so if you pick up a weapon we’ve listed as low tier and are absolutely killing it, let us know! Maybe you’re smashing it and we’re missing a trick.
Best Assault Rifles
Your standard weapon and likely the first kind of gun you’ll pick up, Assault Rifles will serve you well across numerous situations with their all-purpose ability to output damage at various different ranges.
|The M4A1 is an early-unlock gun, usable at level 6. On its own, it’s a solidly accurate, high-damage rifle. Whack a couple of attachments on it – we’re enjoying the Operator Reflex Sight, especially since the iron sights aren’t the best on this gun – and it becomes an absolute beast of a gun. Get it all kitted up and you’ll be able to take down enemies at all ranges, especially paired with the Overkill perk, offering you the opportunity to whack out a shotgun or sniper as your secondary if you fancy. The M4A1 is the best gun in the game at the moment – check out our advanced loadout guide if you’re looking for a class to use it with!
|The Grau 5.56 is meant as a longer range rifle, keeping its damage profile reasonably well on larger maps. However, you’ve got a whole lot of customisation options to make it snappier and better close up, making it super powerful in both Warzone and Multiplayer.
|Suddenly the FAL has become a very strong close range weapon, if you’ve got the trigger finger for it. This thing decimates at short range, more so than any SMG, but falls off pretty hard at mid to long range.
|The AK-47 is a high damage but high skill weapon. There’s some very spicy upgrades ready for the AK-47 too. The 5.45x39mm rounds combined with No Stock, the 23.0” RPK Barrel, and Compensator make a very tasty close-range weapon. The fast fire-rate afforded to you by the ammo change gives you a ludicrously fast time-to-kill, and thanks to the No Stock your aim-down-sights time is pretty sweet. Recoil is tough to handle, but you’ll be shredding the enemy if you land your shots. Chuck on a foregrip if you’re struggling with this recoil too.
|Unlocked at Tier 31 of Season 5’s Battle Pass, the AN-94 is a hard hitting assault rifle with a unique mechanic. The first trigger pull always fires off the first two rounds ridiculously fast, before the gun stabilises to a normal firing cadence. This means you can burst fire without changing firing mode and tap the trigger for some seriously accurate, seriously fast shots. It’s no slouch if you hold down the trigger too, with decent power and fairly easy handling once you’ve got some attachments. You should definitely consider running this in your loadout if you’re after a unique, fun to use weapon.
|Introduced in Season 4, the CR-56 AMAX is a slow-firing, high damage assault rifle, meaning if you hit your shots you’ll be doing very well indeed. Boasting a fast time-to-kill (you can even 2-shot kill with headshots) and a very nice damage profile, the CR-56 AMAX is a really solid gun, particularly when you kit it out to make it a bit faster to handle. It feels similar to the AK-47, but we prefer this gun’s recoil pattern and ease of aiming in general.
|The first Assault Rifle available to you, it’s an excellent all-around weapon. Slightly faster firing than the M4A1, the Kilo 141 can serve you well at various ranges, and this firing speed makes it very forgiving if you tend to miss a shot or two during a firefight. Usually it’s worth picking the M4 ahead of this gun, but if the Kilo 141 starts feeling better for you, we’re not stopping you from using it!
|Kit the M13 out correctly and you’ll have a gun with almost zero recoil. It’s a mid to long range beast with one of the highest headshot damage multipliers in the AR category, but we’ve found it struggles at short range more so than the competition.
|The Oden’s damage output is shockingly high. Despite its low fire rate, time to kill is extremely quick since you’ll finish enemies in just 2 hits. The low rate of fire helps you with accuracy too, so it’s well worth getting the Oden beefed up if you try it out and it floats your boat.
|The RAM is fantastic at short to mid range with a fast fire rate and very quick time to kill, but it’s difficult to use. It’s recoil pattern can really throw you off, and at long range you’ll notice a significant drop off in stopping power.
|FN SCAR 17S
|In what seems to be a theme for this game, iconic guns have been renamed and put out there once again. This one is better known as the SCAR-H from Modern Warfare 2, and looks to fulfil the same role as an AR that is able to take foes down over longer range. This one manages just fine in the hands of a capable wielder, and is well worth giving a try.
|The FAMAS of old has returned. You’ll be able to get kills fairly easily if you land all three of this gun’s burst shots, but the issue comes when you pass the mid-range, at which point the FR 5.56 starts to struggle. It’s far harder to hit all three of the shots with this from further away, and the fact that this gun is always on burst fire means it offers far less control than others on this list.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare brings out its fair share of SMGs, dealing monstrous damage close-up and letting you play that run-and-gun style adored by the hardcore community. Punish campers, hit your shots, and you’ll start seeing a lot of SMG success.
|Exactly what you want from your SMG. The MP7 hits hard and fires fast, completely shredding enemies at close and medium ranges. Recoil is low and controllable, and you’ll be able to sprint around the map and aim down your sights swiftly and easily.
|The MP5 is up there with the MP7 when it comes to the best SMG in the game. If you like to run and gun, this could be the choice for you, as it’ll absolutely shred enemies at close range with an obscenely fast aim-down-sights time. Equip Stopping Power as your Field Upgrade and it’ll be brutal, and even holds its own at range if you’re good enough.
|Previously unlocked as part of the Season 4 Battle Pass, the Fennec has an absolutely disgustingly fast fire rate. You’ll empty a magazine ridiculously quickly, particularly without the 40-round drum attachment. Regardless though, this fast fire rate does mean you can kill pretty quickly at close ranges. Not quite as fast as the MP5, but the fire rate makes this more forgiving near enemies, and the recoil is actually manageable from further away. It’s also a super fun gun to use, with a 12-round Hollow Point 2-round burst ammunition attachment for those of you who want a unique piece of kit.
|Hugely mobile and damage-heavy, the AUG offers a great deal of accuracy for the gun type. This means it’s better than you’d expect at longer ranges, so it’s well worth giving this a go on maps with more open spaces.
|Unlocked at rank 15 of Season 5’s Battle Pass, the ISO is a dependable SMG with a fast fire rate, high bullet velocity, and easy handling. You’ll need to work hard to unlock its best attachments, though, as its stock form is very barebones indeed. We’ve found it lacks the punch of the MP5 or Fennec at close range, but it definitely performs well at mid range making it a viable secondary alongside a sniper. Overall, pretty solid, but nothing special.
|You’ll probably recognise the Striker 45 as a similar weapon to the UMP45 from previous COD games. It’s far more brutal at range than the rest of your SMG options, and can remain accurate too. Particularly when you toss some attachments on this baby, you’ll be feeling the huge power behind it. You’ll find it more useful in close quarters though, and if you’re able to react faster than your opponent, you’ll be killing them super fast. You can even 2-shot headshot with the unique Hollow Point burst magazine attachment too, so if you manage to hit those shots, you’ll be unstoppable.
|With a recent update, the Uzi now has its own niche. Unlocking the FSS Carbine Pro Barrel along with the .41 AE 32-Round Mags gives you a great deal of range, making it unique amongst SMGs. You’ll usually have more luck with an Assault Rifle, but this is a fun alternative regardless.
|A big magazine for an SMG helps the PP19 Bizon secure its place as a solid option to choose. Versatility is king in Modern Warfare, and this thing is able to shred through enemies nearby as well as hitting foes at a distance with a bit of patience from the player.
|Super fast fire rate, at the cost of almost everything else. This gun won’t cut the mustard at anything above point-blank range, and even then there will be better options.
- 1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Best Guns Tier List Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Guns Tier List – Best Primary Weapons
- 2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Ranks – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – How does progression work?
- 3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Trials – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Trials, XP rewards and more
- 4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Crossplay – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Is there crossplay in Modern Warfare?
- 5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Best Beginner Loadouts – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Best Beginner Loadouts
- 6. Modern Warfare guide hub – Modern Warfare guide hub
Best Sniper Rifles
Modern Warfare players love a bit of tactical play, so why not pick up one of these bad boys and hunker down in a nice little nest?
|Reasonably quick ADS coupled with outrageous stopping power makes the AX-50 the best sniper to pick up once you’ve unlocked it. Sure, you won’t be able to hit follow-ups, but you’ll usually not even need them, since this weapon just zaps enemies dead. It’s great for quickscoping too, so if you want to hit up Rust to settle a score, the AX-50 is the gun for you.
|The HDR is another bolt-action sniper. A bit beefier and bulkier than the AX-50, you’ll be able to one shot someone with a body hit, but it lacks the snappiness of its rival. This makes it less valuable in the fast-paced multiplayer side of things, but does come into its own in Warzone.
|Unfortunately, the Dragunov trades off damage in favour of fire rate. It’ll still kill with a headshot, but the number of times we’ve landed a hit and not finished the enemy gets fairly frustrating. Sure, the semi-automatic nature of the gun allows for follow-ups, but with a well-placed sniper shot, you shouldn’t need it, and with the fast time to kill in this game you might not even have time.
Best Light Machine Guns
If you’re looking to take down foes from further away, a Light Machine Gun might be for you. They’ve usually got chunky magazine sizes too, so if you’re struggling on larger maps, these guns are worth a go.
|We’ve been getting a feel for the PKM, and good lord, this thing shreds. Got a tough match on Euphrates Bridge? Whack a sniper scope on this thing and beat enemy campers to the punch. Enemies rushing you on Picadilly? Pick them off one by one – you won’t run out of ammo and this gun kills super quick if you hit your shots. It keeps its accuracy at range too, meaning you’ll be able to beat out Assault Rifle-toting baddies easily too. The only issue is ADS speed, but even then – this gun is absolutely nuts and super fun to use.
|We adore the Bruen Mk9 for the same reasons as the PKM. Which one you prefer is completely down to you though – we absolutely love the 60-round magazine option, as it speeds up the weapon’s handling as well as its reload time whilst still having a lot of bullets in the chamber. It’s able to handle 1v1 firefights against assault rifles as well as keeping damage up at range, boasting a pretty solid time to kill in both standard multiplayer modes and in Warzone. You can use this as a traditional LMG or kit it out for manoeuvrability, making it a fantastically versatile gun. We’ve got a page on how to unlock the Bruen Mk9 LMG if you don’t have it yet.
|The Holger-26, having been buffed towards the end of Season 3, has a solid place in the metagame, fulfilling a role somewhere between that of an Assault Rifle and an LMG. It’s much better and more quick handling than other LMGs, especially with the 30 round mags attachment, but will struggle to beat them out at range, whilst being better than Assault Rifles at a distance but getting shredded by them close up. It’s a gun that you can deck out in a number of ways, making it adaptable, but we prefer going the whole hog on either an Assault Rifle or LMG. It might feel great for you though!
|This weapon deals a solid bit of damage across a long range. Its low rate of fire means you’ll struggle against pretty much all other weapons up close, but you should be accurate enough across a fairly long range to compensate.
|It’s not particularly mobile, and you’re going to struggle to beat anyone out at close range. The M91 makes up for this somewhat with stability at long range though, meaning you’ll be able to put a lot of rounds into foes from a while away.
|It’s inaccurate and cumbersome. The MG34 will deal solid damage close up, but you’ll be beaten out by the mobility of most SMGs and ARs in the game, and you don’t even get the benefit of long-ranged accuracy either.
Shotguns do exactly what you expect them to – blast enemies to death at close range. Remember – they’re not amazing in many situations, especially in bigger maps with longer sight lines, so be mindful of the situations in which you use these!
|This shotgun fires lethal blows at a ludicrous range. It might surprise you, so go for those shots you don’t think will kill and they just might. The double-barrelled nature of the weapon offers a quick follow-up shot too, just in case you run into more than one foe or you miss a tap. The dev team have tried to nerf it, but in one-on-one engagements, there’s still nothing better.
|The Model 680 works as a pump-action shotgun that can ruin your enemies’ day if you hit your shots. The main issue is how long it takes to hit a follow-up shot. Deadly stopping power, but with the swift time to kill in Modern Warfare, you’ll probably be dead by the time you can get a second blast out.
|Unlocked by getting 5 kills over 15 games with shotguns, this is a reward worth grinding for. If you enjoy using shotguns in general, you can trust the VLK Rogue to give you a decent one-shot kill range if you’re aiming down its sights, and can fire fast enough to spam through openings and chokepoints if needed.
|The R9-0 Shotgun offers another double-barreled option, but this one is much more suited to the close range. It is more accurate and easier to control the recoil, so you’ll be able to hit foes close by twice very quickly, and does more damage than the 725, but the R9-0’s sacrifice of range is vital for a shotgun.
|Origin 12 Shotgun
|This shotgun is semi-automatic, meaning you can keep firing shots at enemies in close quarters. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of any effectiveness outside of knifing range. You’re usually better off picking a different option as this one is far too limited.
Best Marksman Rifles
At the moment, we don’t recommend these as your main weapon of choice. Sure, they’re more mobile than snipers, but they’re also far, far less deadly. A lot of the time, an Assault Rifle will do their job, only 10 times better.
|You’ll need to hit headshots with this weapon for it to have any use at all, and even then the damage drops off at long range. It’s fun to use and immensely satisfying when you get those kills, but more often than not you’ll be getting a hit marker before your enemy turns you into a pile of flesh as you try to fire the bolt-action again.
|We really like the SKS, the Marksman Rifle introduced in Season 3. You need to get to rank 31 on the Season 3 Battle Pass to unlock it, and once you do, your reward is a pretty nice semi-automatic rifle. It’s comparable to the FAL in a lot of ways, but we prefer it thanks to its ability to achieve 1-shot kills in standard Multiplayer modes. Even if you don’t hit them though, your follow ups will be nice and swift.
|This gun has some grim looking iron sights that’ll mean you struggle to land those marksman-like hits from across the map. Once you’ve got it upgraded with a real scope it’ll get better though, although it only really one-shots enemies if you land a headshot. The semi-automatic nature of the rifle does allow for follow-up shots though, so it’s not too awful to use if you can control the recoil.
|If you’re using a Marksman Rifle, you might as well make it this one. A solid chest hit will usually result in a kill, and you should be able to get a decent bit of range out of it.
|The Crossbow is a special, unique gun that’s fun to use and immensely satisfying to get kills with. However, it’s also kind of a pain to use. The upside is you can customise it heavily to get explosive bolts, new optics, and increased range. However, the very nature of its ludicrously high reload time, even with Sleight of Hand, means you’ll have a lot of issues when facing off against more than one opponent. It’s fun to clown on enemies with though, so there’s that.
Handguns serve as solid backups for finishing off enemies at the end of a firefight. It’s probably best not to run around with these out solo though. Of course, there’s a caveat here – unlocking Akimbo dual-wielding in close-quarters combat is super strong – check out our Akimbo guide for more information on unlocking this.
- .50 GS (formerly known as the Desert Eagle)
Enemy killstreaks can be plucked out of the sky with these monsters, as well as blasting foes who decide to bunker down together.
- JOKR (formerly known as the Javelin)
Getting too close? Here’s what you can whack/stab/hack your enemies with.
- Combat Knife
Keep an eye out for our guides on what guns to choose and the best loadouts to aim for! We’ll be updating this page constantly once the meta has developed. In the meantime, we’ve got more Call of Duty: Modern Warfare guides for you, including how the new ranking and progression system works as well how to unlock the fancy new Obsidian Camo for your guns.
We’ve got all our guides over at our Call of Duty: Mobile guide hub to make things easier for you too!