Best MW3 Assault Rifle loadouts & classes ranked (Season 2)

Best MW3 Assault Rifle loadouts & classes ranked (Season 2)
Images via Activision

Written by 

Alex Garton & Harry Boulton

Last updated 

8th Feb 2024 15:12

You'll be a master of the mid to long-range when using the best Assault Rifle loadouts in Modern Warfare 3, and every class I've listed here dominates within that space to have you ready for what Season 2 holds.

While SMGs are unmatched at close quarters, I've found that nothing beats the consistency of a strong AR in MW3, especially on the classic MW2 (2009) remastered maps. With a top-tier balance of stability, damage output, and even mobility with the correct attachments, a meta AR class in the game can deliver you countless wins.

Best Modern Warfare 3 Assault Rifles ranked

5. DG-58

DG-58 MW3 gunsmith
Click to enlarge

Best DG-58 loadout

  • Muzzle: Shadowstrike Suppressor
  • Barrel: DG-56 LS18 Barrel
  • Optic: MK. 3 Reflector
  • Stock: Extended TP-9 Buttplate
  • Rear Grip: Varanus Steady Grip

If you're a fan of burst-fire ARs, you need look no further than the DG-58 in MW3. Firing out three bullets with every trigger pull, the gun is immensely strong from afar, especially on maps like Wasteland and Derail.

It's been a while since a dominant burst rifle established itself in a CoD meta, and the DG-58 is looking to do exactly that. Giving your opponents no time to react, the gun has a blistering TTK that deletes foes.

The build above maximises the DG-58's impressive damage without sacrificing any recoil control, making it a true threat.

4. MTZ-556

Image of the MTZ-556 in MW3
Click to enlarge

Best MTZ-556 loadout

  • Muzzle: Shadowstrike Suppressor
  • Optic: MK. 3 Reflector
  • Stock: MTZ Marauder Stock
  • Underbarrel: Bruen Heavy Support Grip
  • Rear Grip: Bruen TR-24 Assault Grip

The MTZ-556 is an all-around monster in MW3, giving you a super fast fire rate, excellent mobility, and great damage to take down your enemies in pretty much any scenario.

It has quickly become one of the most popular options in the current meta in Season 2 - so you'd be remiss to not have this loadout available to choose from in Modern Warfare 3.

The gun remains incredibly fast even with recoil-dampening attachments, so you don't have to worry about your ADS speed too much.

3. RAM-7

ram-7 AR
Click to enlarge

Best RAM-7 loadout

  • Muzzle: Casus Brake
  • Optic: MK. 3 Reflector
  • Underbarrel: Bruen Heavy Support Grip
  • Magazine: 60 Round Drum
  • Stock: HVS 3.4 Pad

If you're on the hunt for firepower, then the RAM-7 bullpup Assault Rifle may be the correct choice for you. Specialising in mid-range skirmishes, this gun devastates enemies with its top-tier TTK.

On top of that, it comes equipped with solid mobility, making it easy to fly around to map, racking up kills as you go.

This is ideal for a player who wants to take a match into their own hands and solo-carry because the RAM-7 has all the tools for the job.

2. MCW

MCW Assault Rifle
Click to enlarge

Best MCW loadout

  • Barrel: 16.5" MCW Cyclone Long Barrel
  • Muzzle: VT-7 Spiritfire Suppressor
  • Stock: RB Precision Heavy Stock
  • Underbarrel: XTEN Phantom-5 Handstop
  • Magazine: 40 Round Mag

The MCW is reminiscent of the classic ACR from MW2 (2009) and it's become an instant fan favourite, surging to the top of this list of the best ARs in the game. I always gravitated towards the ACR for its super low recoil back in the day, so it's fantastic to see its strength replicated in MW3 and thriving in Season 2.

Similar to its classic counterpart, the MCW has phenomenal recoil control and stability, making it a complete laser beam in the multiplayer setting. It's by far my favourite Assault Rifle to use for this very reason, as I know that my shots are always going to be on target.

This makes it easy to land those all-important headshots and maximise your damage output. It's also the ultimate AR in Modern Warfare 3 for holding down a power position, as it will consistently rack up eliminations in almost any scenario.

It remains the most picked weapon in the entire game according to WZRanked, with a pick rate of 20.61% which is higher than any of the other Assault Rifles. While it misses out on first place for us, it's obviously an incredibly strong pick.

One additional thing to consider is that it has received some hefty nerfs in Season 2, with a 10% increase to ADS time and 5% to its sprint-to-fire speed. This makes the gun feel noticeably slower, so you won't be able to move as actively as before.

1. Holger 556

Holger 556 Gunsmith MW3
Click to enlarge

Best Holger 556 loadout

  • Muzzle: JAK BFB
  • Underbarrel: Bruen Heavy Support Grip
  • Stock: RB Addlle Assault Stock
  • Magazine: 40 Round Mag
  • Optic: MK. 3 Reflector

The Holger 556 continues at the top of the pack in Season 2, claiming the crown it once held back at MW3's release.

It has one of the higher base damage values in the game in the Assault Rifle category, giving you the potential to deal serious harm to any opponent unfortunate enough to step into your line of sight.

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The weapon is strong at medium-long range despite the recoil nerfs and is perfect for any of the bigger maps or those with longer straight sightlines.

Much like the MCW, the Holger has also received a nerf in Season 2, with a 4% increase to its ADS time. It remains still a top choice though, you just might be a little slower when snapping onto foes.

Now you know the best AR loadouts in MW3, why not learn which snipers are meta so you can insta-kill foes at long range or the best loadouts for quickscoping? For everything else, be sure to check out our MW3 homepage for the latest news and guides.

Alex is a Senior Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) in English, he has previously written for Dexerto & Gfinity. Specialising in Call of Duty & Apex Legends, he loves (attempting) to improve his aim in competitive shooters and will always make time for a single-player RPG.

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