Home  >  Games  >  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Modern Warfare 2 | Best Primary Weapons | Tier List

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has a full arsenal of upgradable weapons for players to try out, most of which are based on real-life weapons. Figuring out what weapons work best for you will take some time as you try out everything the game has to offer, but in general we can say that some weapons are better than others. We’ll start this article off with a general tier list of the primary weapons in Modern Warfare 2, then go more in-depth on weapon choices for each type. We’re also only going to cover primary weapons in this list, as covering all the secondaries would be too much for one article.

MW2 Weapons Tier List

Here’s the full tier list for all the primary weapons in Modern Warfare 2. The list is separated by weapon type, and a section on each type will come below with a more detailed description and analysis!

All MW2 Primary Weapons: Tier List Breakdown

Now that we’ve covered the tier list, let’s get into a breakdown of the weapon types themselves.

MW2 Assault Rifles Tier List

  • S Tier: M4, Kastov-762
  • A Tier: TAQ-56, Kastov-74U
  • B Tier: STB 556, M16
  • C Tier: Lachmann-556
  • D Tier: Kastov-545

Assault Rifles are probably the most popular weapon type in the Call of Duty franchise due to their versatility and recognizable variants. They excel at mid-to-long-range combat, with some models significantly better at one than the other. For players who are hoping for a weapon type that can be used in pretty much any situation that might arise, Assault Rifles are the best.

The M4 and Kastov-762 are both S-tier weapons due to their versatility as Assault Rifles. The M4 is perhaps the most well-balanced weapon in the game, and the Kastov-762 is just slightly less powerful overall but does a bit more damage. They’re both easy to learn and effective in any scenario.

MW2 SMGs Tier List

  • S Tier: Lachmann Sub, FSS Hurricane
  • A Tier: Vel 46, Fennec 45, Vaznev-9K
  • B Tier: MINIBAK, PDSW 528
  • C Tier: MX9

SMGs are primarily useful in close-range situations where their high fire rates and low capacity magazines can be utilized. Some SMGs are capable of longer range fights, but in general close range is the best way to use them. If you’re into emptying an entire magazine as quickly as possible, then SMGs might be right for you.

In MW2, the best SMGs right now are the Lachmann Sub and the FSS Hurricane, but they’re by no means the only good ones. An argument could be made for many of the SMGs being the best, but these are just the two that are a bit above the competition.

MW2 Battle Rifles Tier List

  • B Tier: FTAC Recon, Lachmann 762
  • C Tier: TAQ-V
  • D Tier: SO-14

Battle Rifles are a hard weapon category to figure out how to optimize. They’re big, loud weapons with high recoil but equally high range and damage output. This high recoil can be really hard to overcome on some Battle Rifles, but there’s definitely a lot of potential there. If you can get yourself used to using them, they’re worth checking out. Some people feel like the pros don’t outweigh the cons here, but this is up for debate.

If you’re looking for a good Battle Rifle to try out, either the FTAC Recon or Lachmann 762 are good options. Neither is anywhere near perfect, but they’re definitely weapons that can be utilized well in many situations. The Lachmann 762 is also a part of several weapons’ unlock tree, so it’s good for that as well.

MW2 Shotguns Tier List

  • A Tier: Lockwood 300
  • B Tier: Expedite 12
  • C Tier: Bryson 800, Bryson 890

It wouldn’t be a Call of Duty game without shotguns. They’re the bane of many players’ experience, but no matter how you feel about them, you’ll be encountering them in almost every match. There are only four shotguns currently in the game, and while we aren’t ranking any of them S-tier, they’re definitely all usable if you like them. Obviously shotguns struggle from range issues, but their damage makes up for this. If you liked shotguns in previous games, you’ll like them here too.

Picking which shotgun you like the most is a personal preference, but the Lockwood 300 (double barrel) is a great pick overall. If you’re worried about its low ammo, though, the Expedite 12 is another really great option with a larger magazine size.

MW2 LMGs Tier List

  • B Tier: 556 Icarus
  • C Tier: HCR 56, RPK, Rapp H, RAAL MG
  • D Tier: Sakin MG38

We might have called Battle Rifles loud earlier, but the LMGs are the true loudest, heaviest weapons in the game. The best use for these weapons is to hold specific areas/points of the map, or for use indoors in the more cramped maps. LMGs can absolutely shred up close-quarters areas, so always be on the watch for them. However, their long reload time and slow aim speed do negate some of their punch.

Overall, the 556 Icarus is the best LMG, but even it isn’t all that impressive. The slow reload speed and questionable overall stats make them hard to reasonably pick over other options that can secure kills just as easily. For certain situations, LMGs can be really great, but usually they’re just average at best.

MW2 Marksman Rifles Tier List

  • S Tier: SP-R 208
  • A Tier: SA-B 50
  • B Tier: EBR-14, Lockwood MK2, TAQ-M
  • C Tier: LM-S

Marksman Rifles are essentially more versatile Sniper Rifles. They’re quicker to use, more lightweight, and can be used in more situations. Their damage output is not as high as that of Sniper Rifles, but their versatility does score them some points. They might not be the powerhouse that many of the snipers are, but they’re often far more reliable.

The SP-R 208, in particular, is incredible. It can reliably land one-shot kills and is usable at various ranges, making it one of the most reliable weapons in the game. It’s also really fun to use, especially with just iron sights.

MW2 Sniper Rifles Tier List

  • S Tier: Signal 50
  • A Tier: LA-B 330, SP-X
  • B Tier: MCPR-300

Just as iconic as the franchise itself, snipers in the Call of Duty series serve many purposes. Some prefer holding areas by “camping” zones, some quickscope for trick shots, and some people do a combination of both. Regardless of how you use them, though, the snipers in this game are incredibly powerful. Most are capable of one-shot kills to the body (and obviously head), and some can even kill via a shot to the limb. Sniper Rifles are definitely worth checking out in this game (and probably every other future COD game, too).

While all the snipers here are at least viable, the best is easily the Signal 50. Its incredibly high damage is great for holding objectives or just picking up countless easy kills from long distance, and its one of the most reliable weapons in the game overall. The LA-B 330 is better for those looking to do some quickscoping, though, as the Signal 50 is much too slow for that purpose.

Join the High Ground

That’s it for our breakdown of the primary weapons in Modern Warfare 2 — thanks for reading! Be sure to check out our newsletter to stay up-to-date on more gaming news and roundups.

Happy gaming!


Continue the Adventure!

Sign up for an account at High Ground Gaming, and access all these amazing perks:

  • Custom profile page
  • Save articles to favorites
  • Rate articles
  • Post comments & engage with the community
  • Access the HGG Discord
  • Enter giveaways
This is a pre-registration form. Fill in the following details to verify your email address first. You will be able to access the full registration form and register for an account after the verification.

Join the Discussion

Give feedback on the article, share additional tips & tricks, talk strategy with other members, and make your opinions known. High Ground Gaming is a place for all voices, and we'd love to hear yours!


Forgot Password?

Join Us