Call of Duty MW3: Best Pistols [Top 5]

I have played Call of Duty MW3 for 70+ hours and these are the top Handguns for you to go with.

Sidearms usually play a secondary role in the world of COD, which makes sense, especially when you can use two primary weapons. However, in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, you’ve got 12 pistol options, and some pistols pack quite a punch. 

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Key Takeaways
  • COD: Modern Warfare 3 features a diverse range of 12 pistols, each with unique strengths and playstyles.
  • Handguns like Renetti, FTAC Siege, and WPS Stinger are extremely effective in battle because of their SMG-like fire rates.
  • On the contrary, pistols like the TYR and Basilisk come with great power, like heavy-duty primary weapons.
  • The Renetti emerges as the top pick, unlocking its full potential with the JAK Ferocity Carbine conversion kit.

Custom loadouts are unlocked once you reach XP Level 4, and then you can see the list of sidearms available in the Handguns sections. Many factors decide whether a sidearm is good or not.

The table below contains the best pistol for each category:

Best Early GameCOR-45
Best OverallRenetti
Most Stable9mm Daemon
Best Fire RateFTAC Siege
Best DamageBasilisk

Best Pistols In COD MW3 Compared

Renetti [Image By Me]
COD: MW3 features 12 pistols, which you can unlock as you level up, and these are the overall best five pistols in Modern Warfare 3:

Serial NoPistolDamageFire RateReload TimeMagazine Sizebest for
1Renetti46/36/332072.1s15Best Overall Pistol In MW3.
2FTAC Siege35/24/2412003s32Pistol With Best Fire Rate In MW3.
3TYR40/156/1442604.6s5Best Alternative For Basilisk.
4Basilisk210/157/1053003.7s5Best Damage Dealing Pistol In Game.
5WPS Stinger26/24/2410002s20Best Alternative For FTAC Siege.

5. WSP Stinger

Best Alternative For FTAC Siege.
cod mw3 best pistols
WSP Stinger [Image By Me]
Using the WSP Stinger pistol is like using an SMG as your sidearm. This sidearm brings a unique blend of features to your loadout. Though it may not claim the top spot in its category, the WSP Stinger admirably fulfills its role, making it a solid choice for players who prioritize consistent performance in intense, close-range encounters.

  • Similar to an SMG.
  • Great in close range. 
  • High recoil and low accuracy.
  • Why I Chose This: ESP Stinger is on my list due to it being extremely similar to an SMG.

4. Basilisk

Best Damage Dealing Pistol In MW3.
Basilisk [Screenshot By Me]
The Basilisk is renowned for its hard-hitting capabilities, making it the go-to sidearm for many players, particularly during the MW2 era. Unlike many sidearms, the Basilisk can be transformed into a one-handed sniper rifle, making it a unique and powerful choice.

While the Basilisk does pack a punch, its recoil can be mitigated with the right adjustments, enhancing its overall usability. With some practice, the Basilisk transforms into a true powerhouse pistol, capable of holding its own even in lobbies dominated by primary weapons.

  • Can one-shot enemies.
  • The range and damage are pretty impressive. 
  • Difficult to control.
  • Why I Chose This: Basilisk packs a punch that can one-shot enemies, making it a great choice in-game.

3. TYR

Best Alternative For Basilisk.
TYR [Image By Me]
Due to its heavy recoil, The TYR revolver is not the most dependable sidearm, especially without ample practice. But once you get a hold of this handgun, it can become one of the best pistols in COD: MW3.

The TYR emphasizes the trade-off between power and manageability, but it is highly recommended that you give this gun enough time and practice.

  • Has great firepower.
  • The damage is pretty good. 
  • Has high recoil.
  • Why I Chose This: TYR has the highest firepower among the pistols, which lets it stand out.

2. FTAC Siege

Pistol With Best Fire Rate In MW3.
cod mw3 best pistols
FTAC Siege [Capture By Me]
The FTAC Siege is a powerhouse among pistols, nearly claiming the top spot in my pistols ranking. The weapon is known for its remarkable combination of softer recoil and high accuracy, making it a reliable choice in the heat of battle.

The FTAC Siege’s strength is evident in its performance. It feels like you are using an SMG as your secondary weapon, making it a top choice for handguns, in my opinion.

  • Has a full auto-mod.
  • The recoil is low, while the accuracy is high. 
  • A little difficult to handle.
  • Why I Chose This: The FTAC Siege has low recoil and high accuracy, which allowed me to have a great experience.

1. Renetti

Best Overall Pistol In MW3.
cod mw3 best pistols
Renetti [Image By Me]
The Renetti earns the title of the best Pistol in COD: MW3. At the start, it may not impress you much, but similar to the FTAC Siege, it has the potential to serve as a full-auto sidearm. You must reach the maximum level with the Renetti to unleash its true potential. Then, you must acquire the JAK Ferocity Carbine conversion kit, a key attachment that transforms the weapon. 

With the JAK Ferocity Carbine, the Renetti evolves into one of the best guns in the game. It excels in damage, accuracy, and range and maintains low recoil, making it a powerhouse sidearm.

  • Features the same full auto-mod.
  • Unlocks a key attachment at maximum level. 
  • It’s a little basic.
  • Why I Chose This: Renetti, while being basic, is the best choice due to its high damage, accuracy and the fact that its potential isn’t capped until the max level.

Why We Didn’t Go For Others

There are a few other Pistols that you can also try out in MW3. However, these pistols didn’t quite make it to my top 5 list due to various reasons:

  • COR-45: It has a tricky recoil kick, which can make it difficult to control during sustained fire.
  • 9mm Daemon: A viable option, but it has slightly less damage than the other weapons I picked above.
  • P890: Despite being decent and effective in skilled hands, its high recoil makes it less versatile compared to other pistols.
  • .50 GS: With a low fire rate and a magazine that only holds 7 rounds, it requires frequent reloads.

My Thoughts

After playing for about 70 hours, this was my take on the Best Pistols in COD: MW3. However, I must emphasize that you try every sidearm to find out what suits you best. Every weapon in MW3 can be upgraded to a pretty usable level, so it really depends on your playstyle and what you want to use. With pistols, it really comes down to whether you prefer stability, fire rate, or sacrifice both for more damage.

To learn more about the game, head over to eXputer’s Review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. If you want to know what perks to use with your weapons, go to COD: MW3 best perks and find what gear suits you best.

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Moiz Banoori is the brains behind eXputer. Having worked at various Video Game sites, with 8 years of Content Writing Experience and a Journalism Degree at hand, he presently monitors teams, creates strategies, and publishes qualified pieces through his aptitude at eXputer. Feel free to get in touch with him through his gaming profile on Steam and PSN.

Experience: 8+ Years || Manages Teams, Creates Strategies, and Publishes Guides on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Journalism.

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