Best MW3 SMG loadouts & classes ranked (Season 3 Reloaded)

Best MW3 SMG loadouts & classes ranked (Season 3 Reloaded)
Images via Activision

Written by 

Alex Garton

Last updated 

10th May 2024 17:34

Identifying the best loadouts for SMGs in Modern Warfare 3 can be a game-changer for your classes in Season 3 Reloaded, 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.

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5. Rival-9

Rival-9 MW3
Click to enlarge

Best Rival 9 loadout

  • Muzzle: ZEHMN35 Compensated Flash Hider
  • Stock: RIVAL-FA Tactical
  • Rear Grip: RIVAL Vice Assault Grip
  • Magazine: 40 Round Mag
  • Underbarrel: XRK Edge BW-4 Handstop

The Rival-9 is built for agility in Modern Warfare 3, sporting some of the best mobility stats in the entire game, and while it's not at the top of the list it's still a solid choice.

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.

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 brilliant for you in the SMG category.

It has unfortunately been knocked down a little bit after nerfs in Season 3, reducing its near-medium and medium damage, alongside damage multipliers for lower torso, lower arm, and hand. The most significant nerf, however, is the sprint-to-fire time, which has been slowed by 18% from 93ms to 110ms.

4. HRM-9

Click to enlarge

Best HRM-9 loadout

  • Muzzle: Forge DX90-F
  • Barrel: Princeps Long Barrel
  • Stock: Folding Stock
  • Underbarrel: DR-6 Handstop
  • Magazine: 50 Round Drum

Making its debut in Season 1 Reloaded, this exceptional SMG was quickly labelled as one of the best guns on the roster. Now, several nerfs have toned it down compared to where it was at its launch, but it remains consistent in multiplayer.

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

3. Striker 9

Striker 9 in MW3 Gunsmith
Click to enlarge

Best Striker 9 loadout

  • Muzzle: Forge DX90-F
  • Barrel: Striker Elite Long
  • Underbarrel: Kimura Seraphic Vertical Grip
  • Rear Grip: SAKIN ZX Grip
  • Magazine: 40 Round Mag

If you're in the market for one of the easiest-to-use SMGs in MW3, you can't go wrong with the Striker 9. The weapon has by far one of the most simple-to-control recoil patterns, something that a lot of players overlook in favour of more damage.

Remember, if you're missing shots then you will not maximise your TTK, so it's often better to opt for a more consistent choice with slightly less firepower.

The Striker 9 may be number three, but it's a weapon that can completely transform your gameplay if you're a player who tends to miss the target occasionally.

2. RAM-9

Image of the RAM-9 in MW3
Click to enlarge

Best RAM-9 loadout

  • Barrel: Boreal-6C Suppressed
  • Stock: HVS 3.4 Pad
  • Underbarrel: DR-6 Handstop
  • Magazine: 40 Round Mag
  • Rear Grip: Retort 90 Grip Tape

The RAM-9 has emerged as one of the strongest SMG picks in Season 3 Reloaded with an all-around great kit.

Its biggest weakness before was its speed, as it felt a bit on the sluggish side. However, this was adjusted in S3, decreasing the sprint-to-fire time by 17% from 178ms to 147ms, which made a big difference.

Combine this with the strong damage and great recoil when using the above attachments and you've really got an SMG to reckon with the RAM-9. The weapon's rise in popularity definitely shows this too, as it now boasts a pick rate of 5.2%, which is the highest of all SMGs.

1. Striker

Striker MW3, one of the best SMGs
Click to enlarge

Best Striker loadout

  • Muzzle: Forge DX90-F
  • Barrel: Striker Elite Long
  • Underbarrel: XRK Edge BW-4 Handstop
  • Rear Grip: SAKIN ZX Grip
  • Magazine: 40 Round Mag

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. This all comes down to the Striker Elite Long barrel, which means you're not limited to close-quarter gunfights and can take on any foe. With a 5% pick rate as well according to WZStats, the Striker takes the crown with ease.

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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 Garton
About the author
Alex Garton
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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