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MW3 best guns: Modern Warfare 3 gun tier list

These are the best guns in MW3

A screenshot from Modern Warfare 3 showing Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley and Captain John Price with their weapons ready.
Image credit: Activision

What are Modern Warfare 3's best guns? Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 features an extensive arsenal with a staggering 115 weapons available upon launch. Thanks to the Carry Forward system that allows for all the guns from MW2 to be used in Modern Warfare 3, the array of available choices far surpasses that of any previous Call of Duty title.

If you're a COD newcomer, this might make you feel overwhelmed. And if you're a long-term player, you may be wondering what are the best MW3 guns for dealing with the game's increased health pool and new time-to-kill stats. Not to worry - that's where we come in.

In this guide, we've ranked the 10 best guns in MW3 according to the game's current meta, so you can feel confident in your gun choices for Modern Warfare 3!

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Modern Warfare 3 best guns tier list

If you want to get a full understanding of the current MW3 weapon meta, here is our Modern Warfare 3 tier list ranking all 100+ weapons in the game:

Best MCW, Striker, M4, Lachmann Sub, Lockwood 300, Pulemyot, FJX Imperium, SVA 545, BAS-B, MTZ Interceptor
S Tier AMR9, DG-58, FR Avancer, FSS Hurricane, FTAC Siege, Holger 556, ISO Hemlock, Kastov 762, Kastov-74U, KV Broadside, Lachmann-556, Longbow, M13B, MTZ-556, Raal, Renetti, Rival-9, STB 556, TAQ Eradicator, XRK Stalker
A Tier Basilisk, Chimera, Fennec 45, FR 5.56, Holger 26, Kastov 545, Lachmann Shroud, Lockwood Mk2, M13C, M16, MCPR-300, MCW 6.8, MX Guardian, RAM-7, Riveter, Sidewinder, SP-X 80, Striker 9, TAQ-56, Tempus Razorback, TR-76 Geist, TYR, Vaznev-9K, WSP Swarm, WSP-9
B Tier 556 Icarus, 9mm Daemon, BAS-P, Bruen Mk9, Bryson 800, Carrack .300, Crossbow, DM56, Haymaker, ISO 45, ISO 9mm, KATT-AMR, KV Inhibitor, KVD Enforcer, MTZ-762, PDSW 528, Rapp H, Sakin MG38, SG-58 LSW, SP-R 208, VEL 46, Victus XMR
C Tier Bryson 890, Cronen Squall, Expedite 12, FTAC Recon, HCR 56, LA-B 330, Lachmann-762, LM-S, Lockwood 680, Minibak, MX9, RPK, S0-14, Signal 50, TAQ-M, TAQ-V, Tempus Torrent, WSP Stinger
D Tier .50 GS, COR-45, EBR-14, GS Magna, P890, SA-B 50, X12, X13 Auto

Now let's go over the top 10 guns in Modern Warfare 3, and what makes them so strong in the current meta.

10. MTZ Interceptor

A close-up of the MTZ Interceptor Marksman Rifle in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

Marksman Rifles often sit in an unusual spot between Sniper and Battle Rifles, and they're not everyone's first choice. But if you're interested in a weapon that strikes a balance between ranged potential, sheer power, and close-range usability, the MTZ Interceptor's a good choice. You can headshot across the map like a sniper, in other words, but also get off two body shots at an opponent who happens to get the drop on you without endlessly fiddling with your weapon.

Our MTZ Interceptor loadout guide has all the tips on amplifying this gun's bullet velocity and range, but you should begin by reducing this bad boy's considerable recoil. The Bruen TR-24 Assault Grip, MCW Blackjack Stock, and Monolithic Suppressor are all solid starting choices.

9. BAS-B

A close-up of the BAS-B Battle Rifle in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

The BAS-B's the only Battle Rifle on this list, and while it doesn't fire as fast as an Assault Rifle or pierce as hard as a Sniper Rifle, it excels at mid-range combat, hitting like a truck if you outfit it correctly.

The Bruen Venom Long Barrel is a great choice for amplifying range when you're rocking the BAS-B, and you'll want to go with either a 30 or 45 Round Mag to mow the opposition down with extreme prejudice. The Bruen Laur4 Light Precision Stock is also a good add-on to improve accuracy and recoil. In short, a good BAS-B loadout won't focus on mobility, since this isn't a gun to take if you'd prefer to run around the map. Instead, the BAS-B is all about covering chokepoints or other key areas, mowing down anyone that steps your way.

8. SVA 545

A close-up of the SVA-545 Assault Rifle in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

Anyone familiar with the AN-94 Assault Rifle from the Black Ops series will feel right at home with the SVA 545. If you like taking out enemies quickly with the hyperburst feature, which fires off two rounds in quick succession every time you pull the trigger, this is the gun for you.

The only reason the SVA 545 doesn't rank higher on this list is due to the difficulty curve and the high level of accuracy needed to land those two shots on a regular basis. If you're keen to practice with the SVA 545 while dodging retaliatory gunfire yourself, try adding the Markeev R7 Stock to up movement and sprint speed, and give yourself a 45 Round Mag to stay in the game. More tips on making the most of hyperburst can be found in our rundown of the best SVA 545 loadouts.

7. FJX Imperium

A close-up of the FJX Imperium Sniper Rifle in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

Snipers are a force to be reckoned with in Modern Warfare 3, and for a ridiculously powerful one shot, one kill weapon, you'll want to go with the FJX Imperium, which originated in MW2. It's an unsurpassed quickscoping beast with lovely handling, and once you practice with it you'll be racking up one-shot-kills like nobody's business.

At the moment, only the Longbow can compete with the FJX Imperium for sheer damage and accuracy. For more thoughts on outfitting yourself to land headshots from afar, see our FJX Imperium loadout guide.

6. Pulemyot

A close-up of the Pulemyot-762 LMG in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

If you like Light Machine Guns, then the Pulemyot ranks as Modern Warfare 3's best. Thanks to an excellent time-to-kill, a good fire rate, and low recoil, this gun more than holds its own against the heftier boys on this list.

Consider investing in the 762B Bullpup Conversion Kit while packing the Pulemyot, since it'll make this gun's mobility and handling even smoother. The goal with a good Pulemyot loadout is to essentially turn this weapon into a light Assault Rifle while retaining an LMG's damage. For more on the only LMG to make our list, see our guide to the most effective Pulemyot loadout.

5. Lockwood 300

A close-up of the Lockwood 300 Shotgun in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

Searching for enough bang to blow an enemy through a door and beyond? You want a shotgun, and the Lockwood 300's currently the king of MW3 shotguns - though you'd better be accurate when you fire this monster off.

The key to making the Lockwood 300 a portable cannon is outfitting it with the Maelstrom Dual Trigger, which makes the gun fire its two shells at once. You'll only get one shot before you have to reload, but if you aim correctly, that one shot will decimate anything it touches. This is 100% the gun for a high risk, high reward player, and if that's your jam, take a peek at our Lockwood 300 loadout guide.

4. Lachmann Sub

A close-up of the Lachmann Sub MP5 SMG in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

A popular Call of Duty mainstay, the MP5 returns under another name with the Lachmann Sub, and the awesome fire rate of this gun is just as good as it's ever been. For a nice combo of quickness and power that can dominate at short and medium range encounters, you can't go wrong with this SMG.

Go for speed with your loadout - we like the LM Stockless Mod to increase ADS, sprint to fire, and movement speed, and to better your survival chances, the Singuard MKV is a fine option to elevating damage range and bullet velocity. Read up on further strategies with our Lachmann Sub loadout guide.

3. M4

A close-up of the M4 Assault Rifle in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

The M4 has been a go-to Assault Rifle of many Modern Warfare players for years, and it's no surprise that we had to rank this classic high. While some of MW3's newer guns are arguably more interesting, there's nothing like the M4 if you need to fall back on a tried and tested firearm.

For add-ons, you want to complement the M4's speed with greater control, stability, and range. The Tempus Hightower 20" barrel is a pivotal attachment, and you can cancel out any ADS drops with the Schlager PEQ Box IV laser. Our M4 loadout guide has the full details for outfitting this proven powerhouse into an even better gun.

2. Striker

A close-up of the Striker SMG in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

The Striker is an excellent SMG and was a favorite of many players in Modern Warfare 3's beta, though it took damage nerfs during the beta's second weekend. While it's arguable if the nerfs have rendered it slightly worse than the AMR9, the Striker remains a top-of-the-line weapon despite no longer outperforming Assault Rifles from afar. Compared to the Rival-9, the Striker is also much more reliable due to the fact that you don't need to stay directly in an enemy's face to be effective.

When it comes to attachments, slap a Lachmann MK1 Light Stock on the Striker to boost walking and movement speed, add the Striker Recon Long Barrel to bump up bullet and range velocity, and be sure to use an optic, since the as-is ironsights aren't the best. For more equipment advice, refer to our Striker loadout guide.

1. MCW

A close-up of the MCW 6.8 Marksman Rifle in Modern Warfare 3.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Activision

The MCW is Modern Warfare's good ol' ACR under another name, and it's just as top-tier in MW3 as it was in previous games. Go for the MCW if you want the most usable gun in the game, with excellent accuracy, damage, and recoil control that's effective the vast majority of the time at close, medium, and long range.

Without any attachments, the MCW is already a worthy contender, and with the right add-ons, it'll cut through enemies like butter. Start off with a big magazine like the 40 Round Mag, select a 16.5" MCW Cyclone Long Barrel or a Second Line Mammoth Heavy Barrel to increase TTK at longer range, and peep our MCW loadout guide for a more in-depth breakdown.

That's a wrap on the finest guns in MW3. If you're looking to narrow down your arsenal to something a bit more specific, why not start with the always popular ARs via our guide to the best Assault Rifles in Modern Warfare 3? For a more generalised look at all-around decent equipment, read our list of the best Modern Warfare 3 loadouts.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2023)

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Jeremy Blum avatar

Jeremy Blum

Guides Writer

Jeremy is a Guides Writer at RPS. When he isn't living out his childhood dream of writing strategy guides, he enjoys rediscovering retro stuff, fiddling with his Steam Deck, and serving as a forever Game Master.