Best MW3 SMG loadouts & classes ranked (Season 2)

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

Written by 

Alex Garton

Last updated 

8th Feb 2024 16:25

Identifying the best loadouts for SMGs in Modern Warfare 3 can be a game-changer for your classes in Season 2, as it gives you a massive advantage against your foes at close quarters.

While Assault Rifles are perfect for beaming enemies from afar, enclosed spaces are dominated by SMGs. Their unmatched TTKs, incredible mobility, and snappy ADS times make them the ultimate weapons for aggressive players, but you'll need a meta loadout if you want to maximize their effectiveness in-game.

Best Submachine Guns in Modern Warfare 3 ranked

5. WSP-9

Image of the WSP-9 in MW3
Click to enlarge

Best WSP-9 loadout

  • Muzzle: Sonic Suppressor S
  • Barrel: WSP Reckless-90 Long Barrel
  • Optic: MK. 3 Reflector
  • Magazine: 40 Round Mag
  • Rear Grip: Marauder Grip

While it isn't quite as good as its sibling the Swarm, the WSP-9 is still a super strong weapon that can dominate during Season 2 if used correctly.

Contrasting its counterpart, the WSP-9 isn't as fast but offers greater strength and prowess over range. You won't win every gunfight when up in the enemy's face, but you'll be far more capable in a wider range of situations - and that's something I definitely value from an SMG.

Furthermore, it's also received a handful of buffs in Season 2, with an 8% reduction to its ADS time, a 12% increase to its damage range, and a 10% increase to its near-medium damage. This makes the WSP-9 an all-around attractive pickup and is something I'm definitely considering running in this current Season.

4. WSP Swarm

Click to enlarge

Best WSP Swarm loadout

  • Muzzle: Shadowstrike Suppressor S
  • Barrel: WSP Reckless-90 Long
  • Optic: MK. 3 Reflector
  • Stock: FSS Fortress Heavy Stock
  • Underbarrel: Bruen Heavy Support Grip

If TTK is your number one priority, then the WSP Swarm needs to be on your loadout list. This close-range powerhouse has a blistering fire rate which instantly melts enemy health bars.

The pint-sized SMG may look small, but it packs a punch and can take over a match if you're willing to put pressure on your opponents. Despite being hit with a nerf in Season 1 Reloaded, it remains a powerful contender that's still competitive.

With the build above, you'll have damage, mobility, and laser-like recoil at close quarters, what more could you want?

3. HRM-9

Click to enlarge

Best HRM-9 loadout

  • Muzzle: JAK BFB
  • Barrel: Princeps Long Barrel
  • Stock: Folding Stock
  • Underbarrel: Bruen Heavy Support Grip
  • Rear Grip: PCS-90 Assault Grip

Everyone knows that new weapons tend to be strong when they first arrive in Call of Duty, and the HRM-9 is certainly no different. Making its debut in Season 1 Reloaded, this exceptional SMG is being labelled as one of the best guns on the roster.

Solid damage and range mean this gun can compete on any map, making it the ultimate solo-carry option. While recoil can be an issue, the attachments above address it perfectly, allowing you to land every bullet on target. While this weapon is deadly, it needs to be on your loadout list.

2. Rival-9

Rival-9 MW3
Click to enlarge

Best Rival 9 loadout

  • Muzzle: JAK BFB
  • Stock: MTZ Marauder Stock
  • Rear Grip: RIVAL Vice Assault Grip
  • Magazine: 40 Round Mag
  • Underbarrel: DR-6 Handstop

The Rival-9 is built for agility in Modern Warfare 3, sporting some of the best mobility stats in the entire game, and is an easy choice for one of the best SMGs in the game right now.

With so much movement speed and manoeuvrability, it's an SMG that's custom-built for hyper-aggressive players in MW3. It does take some skill to master high-speed mechanics, but once you've got it down you can dominate - despite MW3's AR-favoured meta.

If you're someone who's always on the hunt for the next skirmish and never wants to give your enemies room to breathe, the Rival-9 will be unmatched for you in the SMG category.

While missing out on the top spot, the Rival-9 is undoubtedly the most popular submachine gun in the game right now, boasting a pick rate of 11.46% according to WZRanked. This is the second highest in the game overall and shows the sheer versatility and effectiveness of the SMG in multiplayer.

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1. Striker

Striker MW3, one of the best SMGs
Click to enlarge

Best Striker loadout

  • Stock: No Stock
  • Laser: VLK LZR 7MW
  • Rear Grip: TacGrip
  • Underbarrel: DR-6 Handstop
  • Muzzle: Shadowstrike Suppressor S

A classic weapon that's instantly recognizable, we're of course talking about the Striker, otherwise known as the UMP45 back in the MW2 (2009) days.

The Striker takes the number one position on this list of the best SMGs in MW3 because of its versatility. The fan-favourite weapon has a strong balance of damage output and mobility, and if that wasn't enough, it's easy to use.

Not only that, the Striker can also compete at mid-range if needed, which is a huge bonus on certain maps like Estate and Highrise.

It's even had a few buffs in Season 2, further solidifying it as our ideal choice for Submachine Guns. It has had its near-medium damage increased by 13%, along with a 10% boost to its medium damage range, making it much more effective in distance fights.

Now you know the best SMG loadouts in MW3, why not learn which snipers are top-tier so you can eliminate foes from afar with ease? If Battle Rifles are more to your taste, we've got you covered in that department as well. 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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