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"Modern Warfare 3": Sniper Guide

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

Be the very best by following this guide!

Be the very best by following this guide!

Modern Warfare 3 Sniping Is Different . . .

Sniping in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is vastly different from sniping in any other Call of Duty title. It's also much easier than most of the other titles, with the exception of Modern Warfare 2. Modern Warfare 3 has six different sniper rifles for you to choose from, and along with those six, there are two bolt action sniper rifles.

The bolt action sniper rifles are usually most popular with the sniper community due to the fact that they are comfortable to use and are famous for making great game-plays. Also, more often than not, they are a one-shot kill, which is great for taking a quick shot at the enemy, and then being able to turn around and kill the other enemies pursuing you. However, due to the delay between each shot, if you don't make the kill with the first shot, you might struggle to kill them after they've been alerted. Especially since the shots from the sniper rifles are so loud that people half-way across the map can hear each bullet unless you are smart and use a silencer!

"Modern Warfare 3" Sniper

"Modern Warfare 3" Sniper

Modern Warfare 3 Sniper Rifles

Let's go a little deeper into the mechanics of Modern Warfare 3's sniper rifles . . . Each sniper has its strengths and weaknesses. I believe personally that the bolt action sniper rifles are the best due to their high damage rates, as well as how awesome they look when you do trick shots with them. However, the bolt action snipers must be a one-hit kill for them to be of any use, as they take a while to prepare for the next shot if you happen to miss or get a hit-marker instead of a kill. Therefore, whilst the bolt action sniper rifles are the best in terms of style and damage, there are, of course, other options for people who might need two shots to kill someone . . .

The next section of this article will include the stats of each individual sniper rifle, the best way to use them, and what proficiencies and perks go well with them.

Barrett .50CAL Sniper Rifle

Barrett .50CAL Sniper Rifle

Barrett .50CAL MW3

The Barrett .50CAL is a great beginner sniper rifle due to the fact it is unlocked at a VERY early stage in your Prestige. However, despite this gun's amazing damage rate, I often find myself having to take two shots at an enemy from waist down to get the kill, whilst of course, if I do get an upper-body shot, 9 times out of 10, I'm going to get a one-hit kill.

Therefore this gun is brilliant as it's a (semi-automatic sniper rifle) meaning you can take two shots much quicker than a bolt action sniper. So if you do fail at your first attempt at killing the enemy, you can quickly re-adjust and try again. But this time, you'll almost certainly get the kill.

My favourite perks and proficiencies for this sniper rifle are the Sleight of Hand perk, the Quickdraw perk and the Marksman perk. When combined, these perks make a significant difference to your sniping class and how well you can perform with it. However, there is one more extra boost that you can use with this sniper rifle, and that would be the Kick Proficiency, which makes your shots more accurate and with less recoil.

Feel free, however, to swap out Kick with the Attachments Proficiency, as it's also a great idea to have more than one attachment when using this sniper. For example, a combination that I tend to use is the silencer with the extended magazines.

The L118A Sniper Rifle

The L118A Sniper Rifle

L118A MW3

The L118A sniper rifle is one of the most popular Quick-Scoping snipers in Modern Warfare 3. Being one of the only bolt action snipers, I find it and its brother, the MSR, to be the best sniper rifles in the game, due to their ease of use and comfort. Also, I feel that the accuracy of the L118A and MSR are better than the other snipers, and as a result, I can usually pull off one-hit kills every time I shot someone.

However, as mentioned before, if you do happen to miss or get a hit-marker, you'll find it difficult to re-aim and fire in time, as the enemy has most likely just heard that immense noise produced from your gun.

It is, therefore, my personal recommendation to almost always use a silencer with this sniper, so that if you do happen to fail at your first shot, your gun won't be heard as loudly giving you chance to re-aim, fire and neutralise the enemy! Although the enemy will still be able to tell he was shot from mind you, so if you do happen to miss the one-shot kill, I recommend that you quickly set up again before the enemy discovers your position.

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Recommended Perks:

  • Sleight of Hand
  • Quickdraw
  • Marksman or Steady Aim (depending on your playstyle)

Don't forget to either use the Kick or Attachments Proficiencies with this sniper, as they are hugely beneficial for beginners and professionals alike! These will basically be useful in every sniper class, so there will be a bit of repetition here . . .

Also don't forget to add extended magazines for being able to reload less often, which often proves beneficial when using a Sniper with or without Sleight of Hand.

Dragunov Sniper Rifle

Dragunov Sniper Rifle

Dragunov MW3

The Dragunov sniper rifle is one that I don't use very often due to countless failures while using it previously. However, I can provide some advice for you to improve the weapon's performance dramatically. But of course, going by personal preference, I would simply advise you to not use this sniper.

The first thing you must have on a Dragunov is the ACOG Sight attachment. It hugely decreases the aim down sight time and helps you massively with your accuracy. Whilst this is highly recommended, it is considered to be quite the "noob" thing to do, so in my opinion, it is best if you use this gun without the ACOG Sight when playing with friends. Otherwise, they'll think poorly of you . . .

Also, don't forget to always have Steady Aim Pro, Sleight of Hand Pro and Quickdraw Pro with this sniper, as all these perks will increase your ability to do well with the weapon. As for other attachments for this weapon, I would only suggest silencer and extended magazines for this sniper, and of course, the ACOG Sight when you're not playing with people you know.

Hint: Try firing two shots at once when using this sniper rifle, as it rarely achieves the one-shot kill with each bullet, and you'll find that you will almost always die when using this weapon otherwise. To shoot two shots at once, you must quickly press the fire button twice, and for added effect, hold down your aim.

AS50 MW3 Sniper Rifle

AS50 MW3 Sniper Rifle

AS50 MW3

The AS50 sniper rifle is much like the Dragunov sniper rifle, but I can actually get some kills with the weapon. The thing I love about the AS50 is that it is very accurate and almost natural to use. It also doesn't look too ridiculous whilst playing, but it's not stunning enough to be frequently used in YouTube videos.

Therefore, if you want a semi-automatic sniper rifle that looks good, feels good and performs well, this might be your best bet! Do note that it does take a little bit of getting used to if you're more familiar with the Barrett or the bolt action snipers. (I have found it to be much easier to get one-shot kills with this gun than the Barrett or the RSASS!)

The best Proficiencies you can use for this weapon have to be Kick and Speed. Kick is obviously to counter-act the recoil on this gun, and speed is to add mobility to your character when wielding this almighty sniper. Speed can be especially useful when trying to move from one sniping spot to another, and due to the weight of this gun, you do run quite slowly . . .

Recommended Perks:

  • Sleight of Hand (or Blind eye if you want to remain concealed from air support)
  • Quickdraw (or Assassin if you wish to remain off the radar)
  • Marksman (or Steady Aim Pro for increased accuracy when hip-firing or quickly aiming down sight after running)

A great alternative that you can have with ANY sniper class layout, is the "Ninja Sniper layout." This Ninja Sniper Layout will make you invisible to everything except the naked eye, so people won't be able to identify your position on the mini-map or by hearing your footsteps and bullets.

Class Layout:

  • Blind Eye
  • Assassin
  • Dead Silence

All of these perks together form the Ninja Sniper layout, and it can often be more useful than the usual Sleight of Hand, Quickdraw . . . etc. But the most important thing to remember is to always use a silencer!

Note: Use it more for Hard-scoping (firing after aiming properly) rather than for Quick-Scoping (firing before your sights properly zoom in).

RSASS Sniper Rifle

RSASS Sniper Rifle


The RSASS is another great gun, with which I have gotten over 20 kills in one match. I have yet to achieve a MOAB with this weapon as my nerves usually let me down, which affects both my aim and concentration—though I must admit that it is a great sniper rifle with a lot of potential!

You can run much faster with this sniper than with the AS50. Therefore, the Speed Proficiency doesn't have to be used with this sniper. However, now and again you may have to start firing rapidly to finish off an enemy who has spotted you, and for that reason, I recommend that you use Kick and Steady Aim Pro.

Whilst the RSASS won't always get you the one-shot kill achievement, it has a decent enough fire rate to make up it. So as long as you have your sights on your enemy, and you're firing at a part of the body which is on the upper half, you should be able to get some good kill-streaks with this sniper.

From my experience, it will take some practise and getting used to for being able to perform well with this sniper, although once you finally do adjust to it, you can really begin to do well with it.

Similar to the other snipers, the usual layout applies here and so does the Ninja layout if you really want to surprise the enemy. All sniper rifles have very good range, which enables you to camp back at a distance and take out any passing enemies in your sight. I would only recommend the RSASS to Modern Warfare 3 players who are used to sniping, and are trying to use the sniper rifles properly and not for Quick-Scoping!

MSR Sniper Rifle

MSR Sniper Rifle


Now, here's where it gets interesting . . . The MSR is, in my opinion, the best sniper rifle in the game for a few reasons.

  1. It has a high chance of getting one-shot kills.
  2. It has a great appearance.
  3. It is perfect for Quick-Scoping and Hard-Scoping!

I love to Quick-Scope. I also love to be able to get one-hit kills without having to focus my aim too much. Therefore the MSR has to be my all-time favourite weapon to use in Modern Warfare 3, without a doubt! It's also the most used sniper rifle for doing trick-shots, montages and professional editing clips. This is mainly down to the fact that its appearance is stunning when you achieve the gold camouflage, and that it has an awesome feel to it when you shoot it.

Not only does it look fantastic, but it's also one of the easiest snipers to use in the game, and the best one to use when practising Quick-Scoping.

If you're looking for a great all-round sniper that will certainly make you smile every time you use it, go for the MSR. However, I think it's important to mention that the sniper is only unlocked at level 67, which means you have to be quite far in your Prestige to get this awesome weapon! This can sometimes be a major turn off to the sniping community, although those who know the MSR's potential will do the extra work for it.

Recommended Perks:

  • Sleight of Hand (reload quicker)
  • Quickdraw (aim down sights quicker)
  • Steady Aim (or Dead Silence if I'm trying to do trick-shots)

This perk set-up is brilliant for the MSR, so if you are passed the level 67 mark in your Prestige, you can try it out for yourself! I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to learn to Quick-Scope or is already a professional but usually tries the L118A. Also, remember to use Kick with this weapon as well as Extended Magazines.

Own Some NoobCakes!

Thanks for reading! I hope this has benefited you on becoming a professional Modern Warfare 3 sniper, and that you can now go out and own some NoobCakes! Just as a final note for this article – if you could leave me some valuable feedback on this guide, I would really appreciate it! Good luck sniping!

© 2012 drspaniel


Empty_Snippz on August 21, 2020:

Yall are trash yo. never use kick on a sniper, use speed or impact. And the barret is good, but its slow and doesn't take much skill to use, so you can't really brag about hitting clips with it. The L118A is the most difficult gun to hit clips with. Also, don't use a silencer on L11 or MSR, its almost always a 2 shot and it just isn't good for quickscoping.

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on May 26, 2013:

A good sniper rifle is one that can kill people quickly, and preferably in one shot in most cases. If you have to make sure that 3 shots are fired into someone before they die, I cannot see how the Dragunov can be a good sniper. (Just my opinion.)

CanQuickScope on April 30, 2013:

You have no idea what you are talking about and it is plain to see that you are speaking with lack of experience.

The Barrett and AS50 have higher damage and therefore have much lower rates of hit markers over one-shot kills. Sure you move slightly slower but mobility is outweighed by the fact that they made the most powerful snipers in the game semi-autos. Ridiculous if you ask me but oh well. Sure it may be "cooler" to QS with a bolt action but the barrett and AS are much more effective. The large clip on thebarrett makes for a massive advantage also when it comes to getting a 5-6 person kill feed without needing to reload. With ext. mags it's clip has 15 rounds, a lot a lot of bullets.

Use the barrett to learn kids.

oiramcano on April 26, 2013:

i totally disagree with the dragonuv because that is one of the best sniper riffles i have use and it always takes me 2 to 3 shot to kill some one and in hardcore onl one best sniper riffle with a variable zoom and the motion sensor with assasing sligth of hand and sirep all po and i have even get the gold camuflage with this riffle

dragunovpro on February 20, 2013:

I honestly thing the dragunov is the best with nothing but kick and extended mags perks sleight of hand quickdraw and stlaker this sniper is honestly the one of the best other than the rass because you can fire the second shot and still have more accuracy than any of the other snipers and faster what ever you do do not put a acog sight or a silencer on this because then the kick is just to much on it. I have been usuing this sniper for a long time now and im not a pro but i would like to be one one day. by the way if you can fire this sniper fast enough there will be barely any kick at all.

Ceeu on January 25, 2013:

Man, like I usually do t comment on these tags but I have to say- wow. I would liked to share a quick testimony about how this tip has changed my life. I am a veteran soldier ( US civil wAr). Us vets call it, civ, kinda of like nam is to Vietnam. Anyway, when we was a camping one foggy evenen, the yanks was a jumpin out of everywhere and then bam, like it hit me like a cannon ball, why am I a usen this dang 10 ft long bow, when my paw had a told me before I left, son, don't forget to use the MSR. I was like paw, nobly uses that gun, cause it a bolt action and like it wasn't cool tobe a usen perks , and again , paw, in all his old ways, with a Buger always in his 4 foot beard, said, sonny, use the dang MSR. Paw was right, I gots me 4 kills in 10 seconds. So thanks helper sniper cod guy, you have brought me back to my roots. Go MSR- thanks Paw.

Ceeu on January 25, 2013:

All yeah man, thanks so much for all the information. You must spend a lot of quality time with all your gamers. Like it's so awesome to see gaming stay alive- cause nobody is playing Anymore. Like I got on the other day and there were only 10 million playing. I mean give me a break man- cause like last week there was like 100 more - I'm serious. It's really dropping man. Nobodys playing anymore. Stay old school man.

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on December 31, 2012:

Good points, thank you for your comment :)

Dr. Skyy on December 31, 2012:

i wouldn't strongly advise on attaching a sliencer on any sniper rife, it greatly decreas your range and will lead you to almost impossible to one shot kill for a real long range, thought w/o a slience snipeing could be loud, but mostly ppl would just notice someone is sinping but could not locate you if you hide well and were using Assassin.

as for dead slience i do not encourage as well for sinper, because most of the time sinper would station themselves at a faraway spots to the opponent to snip a long rang, well at such distant you do not have to worry abt your footsteps unless u go for quick snip most of the time.

My advise for peaks

--Blind eye pro to escape airdrop and heli attack

--Assassin pro to cover yourself for mini map, AUAV & CUAV

you will be as good as ninja form

--Marksman pro to cover the distant and indentifly opponent

You wont have to go near your opponent anymore , that makes dead slience peak redundant

You are welcome :)

Marve on October 02, 2012:

Great video! Thanks. Finally understood how to quick scope

KTG M2 on September 09, 2012:

Nice tips. Btw, kick on the bolt actions does make a difference. You'll see the diffrence when your defending an objection (i.e... "B-Flag on Domination) and you get 4 or 5 quick scopes in 10 seconds. However, I've been finding myself lately using SOH Pro with Speed the proficeincy. I'm gonna try out the "Ninja Class," with silencer and variable scope; sounds like fun :X


Speaking genuinely, thank you for your efforts for taking your time to write-up the post. There's a lot gamers out there that try sniping but they just don't know the rhythm and class set-up - LOL - I know because I see them all the time when I own them. Good job gamer. Continue writing helpful posts for the gaming community. Your on the right track trying to keep gaming alive.


KTG: Killing Time Gaming

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on September 05, 2012:

Try it with a sniper for 'impossible mode' :)

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on September 05, 2012:

haha thank you.

Odsjennings on September 05, 2012:

I personly like the dragonov for a challenge snipe

Krs231 on September 05, 2012:

Wow.. That video.... Not a pro... A legend!!!

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on September 03, 2012:

I totally agree! I loved using the intervention in mw2 more than the msr or barrett .50, but still I feel that sniping is a fun edition to MW3 :)

? means random____ on September 03, 2012:

good review. but imo i think that quickscoping isn't as effective as it was in mw2 as it is in mw3. my personal favourite is the msr and barrett. cos they both feel good and usually give u a 1 hit kill. i don't like the as50 too much cos of its low zoom but i think variable scope can solve that problem. i remain neutral on the l118a. rsass is basically a high powered mk14 so i love it. dragunov is just an rsass clone that has more recoil.

Guy on August 28, 2012:

Sometimes you have too shoot twice at your enemy with the msr, but still it's a very good sniper : )

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on August 15, 2012:

I thought impact only made a difference if the shot was made through a surface or material, not the overall damage that they inflict. Still this is something to look into thanks :)

v_IcEZz on August 15, 2012:

instead of kick, use impact. it increases the power of most rifles. on the 50 cal it makes it 1 shot kill no matter where you hit them

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on August 15, 2012:

Nope, the video was not staged only edited using Song Vegas Pro. I deliberately edited out the scenes where I died or got shot, so that people could see how to correctly quick scope. I'm sure that any person with an IQ above 10 could figure that out....

Smoshfan on August 14, 2012:

The video was staged, the people thet were playing against weren't even shooting back

Doc Moto on August 01, 2012:

Very awesome hub. I enjoyed it very much. thanks for the tips. I just started sniping regularly. Never had the taste for it but I am enjoying it very much. And this was very helpful.

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on July 17, 2012:

Yes it is a great weapon! B far the best for quick scoping. Thanks for the comment :)

By the way have you ever used the AS50? It averages at a 1 shot kill, and is very effective on tactical game modes.

Pikapwned ADD ME on July 17, 2012:

MSR #3 that's why i use the MSR

biddy on April 08, 2012:

Barret with silencer variable zoom scope to offset the range reduction, blind eye, assassin, dead silence. 10-1 kdr 90percent of the time.

drspaniel (author) from Somewhere, where the sun shines once a year... on March 08, 2012:

Hey I totally agree with you! Stability and Impact are great for Sniper Rifles too, only I seem to perform better with the Kick Proficiency. I have put quite a bit of work, but I think it's a must that I include the points you just made!

Thanks and I'm now a follower! Good day! :D

WretchedRapture from California, USA on March 08, 2012:

I don't think that any of the sniper rifles are "easier" to use, it's just a matter of preference and which weapon you feel most comfortable with. Overall, a great description of each sniper rifle, I can tell you put quite a bit of work into this hub. I do have some issues with your class set-ups, such as using kick on the bolt action rifles. Kick is designed to reduce recoil, but seeing as how you have to pull back the bolt on every shot with the L118A and the MSR, recoil isn't anything to worry about. By the time the bolt it cocked, the reticle would have already reset on its own. Impact or stability is my personal choice, but hey, to each his own. If it works, it works. ;]

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