MW3: Best Assault Rifle In Multiplayer [Top 7 Picks]

After spending over 100 hours in Modern Warfare 3, here is my recommendation for the best Assault Rifles.

Snipers and Assault Rifles are my favorite weapon types in Modern Warfare 3. There are a total of 21 ARs available, so it could be hard to choose the best. However, I mostly play with ARs as they are my go-to weapon, which is why it wasn’t hard for me to choose the best Assault Rifle in MW3.

Helpful Reads:

Key Takeaways
  • There are 21 Assault Rifles in Modern Warfare 3.
  • M4 and MCW are among the best weapons in MW3, with M4 being the best AR.
  • The M4 can be unlocked just at level four, and it is pretty balanced. 
  • MCW has better stats than M4, but the latter can be obtained pretty early, making it an ideal choice.
  • The only disadvantage of the M4 would be its recoil control, so players must spend some time mastering it.

Best Assault Rifles In MW3

Here is the overview of the best ARs in Modern Warfare 3, along with some useful information: 

No.Assault RifleRoundsReserveHow To UnlockBest PerksBest Equipment
1M43060Unlocks At Level 4.Gunner vest, Commando Gloves/Lightweight Gloves.Frag Grenade and Battle Rage.
2MCW3090Unlocks At Level 44.Infantry Vest, Lightweight Boots, Commando Gloves, and Ghost T/V Camo.Frag Grenade and Battle Rage.
3SVA 5453090Unlocks At Level 4.EOD Padding, Lightweight Boots, Infantry Vest, and Scavenger Gloves.Frag Grenade and Battle Rage.
4Kastov-74U3060Upgrade Kastov 545 To Level 13.EOD Padding, Running Sneakers, Overkill Vest, and Ordnance Gloves.Frag Grenade and Battle Rage.
5STB-5563060Reach Level 55 To Active The Unlock Challenge.Infantry Vest, Stalker Boots, Quick Grip Gloves, Tac Mask, and Munition Box.Smoke Grenade and Breacher Drone.
6ISO Hemlock3060Reach Level 55 To Active The Unlock Challenge.Infantry Vest, Stalker Boots, Quick Grip Gloves, Bone Conduction Headset, and Munition Box.Stun Grenade and Frag Grenade.
7MTZ-5563090Unlocks At Level 12.Infantry Vest, Stalker Boots, Commando Gloves, Bone Conduction Headset, and Munition Box.Battle Rage and Frag Grenade.

7- MTZ-556

Best Early Game MW3 Assault Rifle.
MTZ-556
MTZ 556 (Image By Me)
  • Why I chose this: Reliable option to start the journey in multiplayer mode.

If you want a good assault rifle early on, then I would recommend getting MTZ-556. You would just have to reach level 12 in order to get the weapon, so there is not much grinding to do. With MTZ-556, it will become easier for you to level up to get better guns.

I have actually liked the weapon due to its high mobility and fire rate. The damage isn’t bad either, so with the right loadout and class setup, you will be able to have a great experience. 

The following are the best Assault Rifle attachments in MW3 for MTZ-556: 

  • Barrel: MTZ Clinch Pro Barrel
  • Underbarrel: FTAC SP-10 Angled Grip
  • Rear Grip: Bruen TR-24 Assault Grip
  • Optic: Slimline Pro
  • Stock: EXF Close Quarters Assault Stock

The following is the best class setup for MTZ-556:

  • Perks: Infantry Vest, Stalker Boots, Commando Gloves, Bone Conduction Headset, and Munition Box.
  • Equipment: Battle Rage and Frag Grenade.
  • Reliable Fire Rate
  • Good TTK
  • Decent range and accuracy
  • Low Mobility
  • Could be outpowered

Full Read: Best MTZ-556 Loadout

6- ISO Hemlock

Best Mid Range Assault Rifle
ISO-Hemlock
ISO Hemlock (Image By Me)
  • Why I chose this: Manageable recoil in mid-range as well.

ISO Hemlock can be unlocked once you reach level 55, as an Unlock Challenge will be activated. All the stats of the gun are pretty good. Even if the gun is not as powerful as it was in MW2, it still can destroy enemies. I would recommend experiencing the mid-range combat with ISO Hemlock, as the handling and recoil control is pretty great.

For the best Assault Rifle attachments in MW3 for ISO Hemlock, check out my recommendation below: 

  • Barrel: Fielder-T50
  • Underbarrel: SL Skeletal Vertical Grip
  • Rear Grip: XTEN Grip
  • Optic: Cronen Mini Pro
  • Muzzle: Colossus Suppressor

Below is the best class setup for ISO Hemlock:

  • Perks: Infantry Vest, Stalker Boots, Quick Grip Gloves, Bone Conduction Headset, and Munition Box.
  • Equipment: Stun Grenade and Frag Grenade.
  • User-friendly
  • Impressive recoil control
  • Can be used in mid-long-range engagements as well
  • Slower TTK
  • Low DPS

5- STB-556

Well-Balanced Assault Rifle
STB-556
STB 556 (Image Taken By Obaid)
  • Why I chose this: Well-balanced stats that add versatility to the weapon.

To get the STB-556, you would need to do a little grinding, as the unlock challenge for the weapon will activate at level 55. The recoil control of STB-556 is pretty good, so you won’t have much trouble with it in the mid-range battle. The handling, mobility, and damage are pretty good, too, which makes the weapon pretty balanced.

It is definitely among the best weapons in MW3, so if you are looking for a good, balanced weapon.

The following are the best Assault Rifle attachments in MW3 for STB-556: 

  • Barrel: 18″ Bruen Guerilla
  • Underbarrel: FFS Sharkfin 90
  • Rear Grip: STIP-40 Grip
  • Laser: VLK LZR 7MW
  • Ammunition: 5.56 High Velocity

The following is the best class setup for STB-556:

  • Perks: Infantry Vest, Stalker Boots, Quick Grip Gloves, Tac Mask, and Munition Box.
  • Equipment: Smoke Grenade and Breacher Drone.
  • Highly versatile
  • Easy to handle recoil
  • Good mobility and Handling
  • Reduced performance with increased distance
  • Limited magazine capacity

4- Kastov-74U

Best Close Range Assault Rifle
Kastov-74U
Kastov 74U (Screenshot By Me)
  • Why I chose this: High TTK and Firing Rate.

A gun from Modern Warfare 2, Kastov-74U, is back in MW3, and I don’t think it has suffered any nerfs. The gun is as good as before, but it is not the best currently. That is mainly due to other good options available, or there could be some slight nerfs. Regardless, Kastov-74 U is one of the best weapons in MW3.

You can get it by leveling up the Kastov 545 to level 13. Kastov-74U is a pretty light weapon, and even in spite of that, the damage is pretty good. As the gun is pretty light, it can be great in close combat.

Below are my recommendations for the best Assault Rifle attachments for Kastov-74U: 

  • Barrel: Shorttac 330mm
  • Underbarrel: Phase-3 Grip
  • Magazine: 45 Round Mag
  • Optic: Cronen Mini Pro
  • Ammunition: 5.45 High Velocity

Below is the best class setup for Kastov-74U:

  • Perks: EOD Padding, Running Sneakers, Overkill Vest, and Ordnance Gloves. 
  • Equipment: Frag Grenade and Battle Rage.
  • Versatility in attachments
  • Good ADS
  • High Fire Rate
  • Only effective in close-range
  • Less versatile

3- SVA 545

Best Mid & Close Range Assault Rifle
SVA-545
SVA 545 (Capture By Me)
  • Why I chose this: Dominant in quick mode matches.

If you are looking for a weapon that is a beast in close-range combat, then you should give SVA 545 a try. I am really fascinated by its damage at close range, as it fires the first two rounds at almost the same time. The damage fire range, accuracy, mobility, recoil, and every other stat of the weapon is nearly perfect.  

While the fire rate is extremely good, do keep in mind that after the first two rounds, it will drop slightly. 

The following are my recommendations for the best Assault Rifle attachments for SVA 545: 

  • Stock: FT TAC-Elite Stock
  • Muzzle: HMRES Mod Suppressor
  • Rear Grip: Demo-X2 Grip
  • Magazine: 45-Round Mag
  • Ammunition: 5.45 High Grain

The following is my take on the best class setup for SVA 545:

  • Perks: EOD Padding, Lightweight Boots, Infantry Vest, and Scavenger Gloves. 
  • Equipment: Frag Grenade and Battle Rage.

More About Best MW3 SVA 45 Loadout

2- MCW

Best Mid & Long Range Assault Rifle
MCW
MCW (Image By Me)
  • Why I chose this: Good option for larger maps.

While many players consider MCW the best AR in MW3, I think there is one weapon that is better than it. MCW is arguably a beast and definitely one of the best weapons in MW3. You might remember it as ACR in Modern Warfare 2, so the weapon is almost the same. 

It will be unlocked automatically at level 44. Fire rate, handling, and accuracy stand out the most as stats. With that said, the other stats are pretty good, too, making MCW a perfect AR in Modern Warfare 3.

Check out my recommendation for the best Assault Rifle attachments in MW3 for MCW below: 

  • Barrel: 16.5” MCW Cyclone
  • Stock: RB Regal Heavy Stock
  • Muzzle:  L4R Flash Hider
  • Rear Grip: RB Claw-PSL Grip
  • Optic: MK.3 Reflector

Below is my recommendation for the best class setup for MCW:

  • Perks: Infantry Vest, Lightweight Boots, Commando Gloves, and Ghost T/V Camo.
  • Equipment: Frag Grenade and Battle Rage.
  • High base damage
  • Effective at long distances as well
  • Manageable Recoil
  • Less effective at close-range
  • Low Mobility

1- M4

Best MW3 Assault Rifle In All Aspects
M4
M4 (Screenshot Grab By Obaid)
  • Why I chose this: Very versatile and easy to master.

Arguably, the most iconic and loved weapon in the whole Call of Duty franchise is the M4. I have ranked M4 as the best assault rifle in MW3 due to its great performance in close and mid-range combats. With a perfect loadout, things can’t go wrong with M4, so I would highly recommend you try it.

The best thing about M4 is that you can unlock it just at level 4. So, with just a few matches, you will reach the level and wield one of the best weapons in MW3. 

The following is my take on the best Assault Rifle attachments for the M4: 

  • Barrel: Hightower 20″ Barrel
  • Stock: Tempus P80 Strike Stock
  • Rear Grip: Phantom Grip
  • Muzzle: Harbinger D20
  • Magazine: 45 Round Mag

The following is the best class setup for M4:

  • Perks: Gunner vest, Commando Gloves/Lightweight Gloves.
  • Equipment: Frag Grenade and Battle Rage.
  • High Fire Rate
  • Decent base Damage
  • Versatility in attachments
  • Decent accuracy
  • Not fastest TTK

Why We Didn’t Go For Others

While there are additional choices for the best AR in MW3 that you might consider, I prefer not to include them in my top 7 list because of personal preferences.

  • Holger 556It has more damage, but has a slower rate of fire and higher recoil.
  • DG-58This Assault rifle has heavy handling, as well as a limited rate of fire that can slow kill time.
  • TAQ-56: This gun performs admirably in medium-range encounters but falls short in both short and long-range fights.
  • FR Avancer: Even though the recoil pattern is easier for FR Avancer, it still has a lower damage rate and mediocre range.
  • M13B: Not the best option for players like myself, who prioritize mobility in their play style.

My Thoughts On The Best Assault Rifle

Huzaifa Malik Steam Profile
My Steam Profile

I think M4 and MCW are the best choices to go for in MW3.

Among all the Assault Rifles, the seven best are ranked according to their worth and my experience in MW3. I would recommend you to try them all. However, if you want to find the best one, just try the top 3 weapons. 

That’s almost everything you would want to know about the MW3 Best Assault Rifle. If you have any queries regarding the guide, you can ask me in the comments section. If you are having trouble with levelling up, check out the YouTube video on an alternative method to unlock the weapons.

While you are at it, check out my other guide on how to complete the Helo Hat Trick Achievement in MW3. After that, if you are having trouble checking with completing the Floater Trophy achievement, read my guide on how to complete it. Additionally, I suggest taking a look at Huzaifah Durrai’s comprehensive review of Modern Warfare 3 for an in-depth analysis.

 

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Huzaifa Malik is a Guides Writer on eXputer who’s been playing FPS games like Call of Duty for as long as he can recall. He is one of the most seasoned COD players on eXputer. He has several years of experience writing for games. By following his passion for games, he chose eXputer as his hub to deliver information-rich articles. Feel free to get more familiar with Huzaifa on his gaming profiles on Steam.

Experience: 3+ years || Education: Bachelor in Architectural Engineering.

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