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"Modern Warfare 3" Sniping: The Best Sniper Rifle for New Players

I am an avid "Call of Duty" player who loves to share my personal experience to aid fellow players.

Use of this image is under (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Use of this image is under (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Sniping has come a long way in the Call of Duty series. Since the days of the first Modern Warfare, sniping has been a new and more exhilarating way to take out your enemies. While some players may find that keeping in your sights for a long stretch of time is the way to go, others find that to get the maximum amount of kills, they should "Quick-scope" instead.

Regardless of how you go about sniping on Modern Warfare 3, it is important that you know the best sniper rifles to go into battle with, and how you should use them to get the best effect. While some players will find other sniper rifles better than others, there are some options which are fairly consistent throughout.

How to Choose the Best Sniper Rifle for You

When it comes to sniping, you have a good range of sniper rifles to choose from and experiment with. While some are almost guaranteed to give you a kill with every shot you put into an enemy, others may take multiple shots to get the same result. Of course, depending on your personal play-style, you may decide that the bolt action rifles are most accustomed to you, rather than one of the semi-automatic rifles.

Also, you need to take into consideration that the particular attachments and perks you use with your sniper rifle can determine your success rate and how effective the guns are at getting the kill. For example, using a sniper rifle such as the Rsass with a silencer will give you a different experience than using it with extended magazines or an Acog scope. But the best way for you to determine the best sniper rifle for you is to try them out with different variations.


You can evaluate based on other's experiences of what works and what doesn't to get a general idea of which sniper rifle would be best-suited to your style of gameplay.

The MSR Sniper Rifle. (Bolt-action.)

The MSR Sniper Rifle. (Bolt-action.)

The MSR Sniper Rifle

The MSR is one of the most favoured sniper rifles due to its ease of use and consistent 1 shot 1 kill ratio. It is a "bolt action" sniper rifle, which means that per shot, you will need a few seconds to prepare the next bullet, but with the Sleight of Hand perk, this comes as no real issue.

Unfortunately, the MSR sniper rifle is unlocked at a much later stage in your prestige, which means that you will need to get up to rank 66 before you can add it to one of your classes. However, it is well worth the wait because this gun deals exceptionally high damage at both short and long distances!

In terms of which attachments you should be using with this gun, I would suggest that you use either the extended magazines attachment (or the Suppressor if you are planning to play stealthily.) The reason being that with the incredibly long reload time that this weapon has, the less you have to reload your weapon the better. With extended magazines added to your weapon, you get 7 rounds in your magazine instead of 5 which can really make the difference when in a tense situation.

Despite the fact that you can do well by using the suppressor with this sniper, it is recommended that if you want to kill enemies quickly, you should stick to either extended magazines or the Acog scope.

The Barrett 50.Cal Sniper Rifle.

The Barrett 50.Cal Sniper Rifle.

The Barrett 50.CAL Sniper Rifle

Unlike the MSR, this sniper rifle is a semi-automatic, with a very fast bullet rate, which if used correctly can take down any enemy within seconds. (Except maybe Juggernaut.) This sniper is probably not going to be the weapon of choice if you're planning on Quick-scoping, yet it is a fine sniper rifle none-the-less. As the first sniper rifle you will unlock in Modern Warfare 3, it packs a huge punch against any enemy, with a combined fast firing speed, and a considerably high damage rate too.

It would not be wise to use the sniper if you are planning on moving around the map a lot, as its weight will significantly slow down your player's movement speed. So it's worth setting yourself up in an area a good distance away from all the action, so that you can clip enemies off at a safe distance. Especially, since this gun (without Sleight of Hand) has an incredibly long reloading time, which will often cause you to get killed if you suddenly run out of bullets!

Despite this, the Barrett 50.Cal has a huge range of fire. It barely loses any damage when firing across the almost any of the maps. It also has a similarly large penetration damage, which will cause your enemies to get hit hard, even if they’re behind some of the thickest surfaces. As mentioned before, the weapon provides a quick fire rate, which is useful in close confrontations, but the high recoil of this weapon will often let you down, if you fire too fast.

For attachments for this weapon, there is no real need for extended magazines, as this weapon already stores around 10 rounds in each magazine. So, you are free to choose which ever attachment you like for this gun, although I certainly recommend that you go for the silencer if you are planning on being close to all the action!

I wouldn't personally try to 'no-scope’ with this weapon, as the recoil in effect makes it too inaccurate to be usable, if firing rapidly.

The L118A sniper rifle (Bolt Action.)

The L118A sniper rifle (Bolt Action.)

The L118A Sniper Rifle

The L118A is another bolt-action sniper rifle, which is unlocked very early on in a player's prestige. This sniper rifle is often used by players who want a variation from the MSR, or are determined for whatever reason to achieve the gold camouflages on all of the sniper rifles. The sniper rifle deals a good amount of damage per shot and, from the torso to the head, will kill an enemy with a single shot, if the suppressor isn't in use.

In terms of reload time, this weapon is fairly slow but not unbearable to the point of unusable. However, for those of you planning on Quick-scoping, you will definitely want to be using Sleight of Hand with this weapon or Extended Magazines so that you don't have to reload as often. Despite this weapon's high recoil, it does not make a significant different in gameplay, as it is a bolt-action rifle, which will require you to pull back your next bullet before firing anyway. But in the case that you hit the enemy with your first bullet, it is quite rare that you'll need a second bullet to provide the finishing blow.

For the players who have just recently entered prestige mode with your player, this sniper rifle is great for early on Quick-scoping, as it has very similar features to the MSR sniper, and will often get the same result too. Although, if you do already have the MSR unlocked, it may be wiser to choose it over the L118A.

The As50 Sniper Rifle (Semi-Automatic.)

The As50 Sniper Rifle (Semi-Automatic.)

The AS50 Sniper Rifle

The last sniper rifle that I would recommend for newer players is the AS50 semi-automatic rifle. This sniper rifle has an unbelievable amount of power behind it, which will more often than not take out an enemy with just one shot. The major dis-advantage to using this sniper is that it only holds a very small amount of rounds in each magazine, and you only start out with a very small number of bullets when you spawn, but as a compensation, you will very rarely need any more than one bullet per enemy.

With regard to sound, this weapon is extremely loud even when using the suppressor attachment. Therefore, you aren't going to want to use this weapon if you are trying to play stealthily, and you may want to re-consider the slowness of this weapon, before you try to go Quick-scoping with it! However, if you are planning to use this weapon for the purpose of sniping across the map, then this may be perfect for your usage.

In fact, to some degree, you could potentially see a lot of success with this sniper, if you use both the suppressor and the Extended Magazines attachments, as it will only take two shots maximum to take out each enemy.

Now You Decide

From the information given about each of the recommended sniper rifles, it is your call on which of them you should use. While I can definitely give you advice from my own experience, I can in no way determine which one is best for you without knowing how you play the game. A lot of snipers in Modern Warfare 3 use the MSR for its Quick-scoping ease, while other players resort to the Barrett 50.Cal for its incredible range and semi-automatic fire.

Either way, I suggest that you experiment with each of these sniper rifles to see which one suits you best and which one you feel most comfortable using. Remember that you do not need to be religious with the sniper rifle you use as it is perfectly acceptable for you to swap out the MSR for the L118A for some varied gameplay.

Some Quick-scoping Gameplay With the MSR Sniper Rifle


James Girven on September 22, 2012:

What about the AS50 it's a beast!