The Best Guns of Call of Duty

How do you pick the best of anything? It’s always subjective to the user and their situation. It’s tough to always be objective, so I won’t even pretend to be. On a subject like video game weapons, I feel comfortable letting my hair down. The Call of Duty series has been chock full of guns since day one and today I’m talking about the best guns of Call of Duty. Most of these guns have been real, or at least closely based on real guns.

The COD armory includes a bit of everything from WW2 to now. Picking my favorite guns from such a huge series wasn’t easy. I had to really sit down and think about what guns from the game leave an impact. What guns can I remember from games I played two, four, five, or even 14 years ago?

That’s not an easy question to answer, but I found a way to dig up five that made an impression on me.

Call of Duty 1 — FG-42

Call of Duty 1 strove to be a bit different than most WW2 shooters of the era and wasn’t afraid to feature oddballs like the FG-42. This rifle was made by the Nazis for their paratroopers. When the Nazis jumped into Greece as part of Operation Mercury, their performance was embarrassing. They were hit hard by the dug-in force, and some paratroopers were even clubbed to death by the Greeks.

The German paratroopers jumped into Greece armed with only handguns and were required to fetch their rifles and support weapons from crates. That tends to be a bad plan. Thus, after a near defeat, the paratroopers needed a new weapon—something compact that could take the palace of a rifle, a submachine gun, and a light machine gun. What they got was the FG-42. This bullpup rifle feeds from a side-mounted magazine and fires the 8mm Mauser.

THE FG42 was a super gun in Call of Duty 1.

The gun featured a number of interesting design choices. This includes closed bolt operation for semi-auto and open bolt for full auto. The weapon had a bipod and could be fitted with an optic. In Call Of Duty, you could even find FG-42s with accurate ZF4 scopes every now and then. In COD, it was one of the best weapons and a bit of a super weapon in its design.

Black Ops — ASP

Black Ops was the perfect game to feature the ASP. This Cold War crusade had you playing as a black ops soldier working around the world and often in ‘enemy’ territory. That’s the perfect palace for an ASP—a special pistol designed by Paris Theodore for concealment by special agents, spies, and black op soldier types.

The name was an acronym for his company, Armament Systems, and Procedures. Paris would take a S&W Model 39 and trim the barrel, slide, and grip to minimize the gun’s size. He then melted every corner to make it snag-free and implemented his Guttersnipe sight system. He replaced the grip panels with clear Lexan grips and cut the magazine to allow the user to look through the grips to judge capacity on the fly.

The ASP in Call of Duty: Black Ops
In Call of Duty: Black Ops the ASP Guttersniper sights were present and accounted for. (Activision)

It’s a clever design and was apparently used in some hotspots around the world. The Supervisor of Security of the US Embassy in Saigon reportedly carried one. It’s a neat design and niche pistol that showed the Black Ops creators did their research.

Black Ops 2 — SRM 1216

Black Ops 2 broke ground by using a non-linear narrative for its campaign, with missions in both the past and future. In the future portions, one of the shotguns is the SRM 1216. This futuristic shotgun features a 16-round rotating magazine. The magazine is made up of four tubes that hold four rounds each. In real life, it’s a semi-auto shotgun, but in the game, it’s full auto. SRM Arms did make full auto variants as prototypes.

SRM 1216 Blackout 2
The SRM 1216 got famous from Black Ops 2. (Activision)

In the game, the magazine tubes are used realistically and rotate after every four rounds are fired. In the future, the SRM 1216 seems to be a general issue firearm with the US Navy as Sailors on the USS Barack Obama are wielding them.

It’s a bit of a niche gun as is, but it’s the perfect future shotgun for these sections of Black Ops. It’s reproduced well in the game and is a blast to use. In single-player, it’s a bit silly with extended magazines that don’t gain any length.

Call of Duty: World At War — M1918A2 BAR

The Browning Automatic Rifle is a Call of Duty staple. Seeing as how they made their bones making World War 2 games, it makes sense that it’s popped up in basically all of the WW2 games. The one COD that the BAR stands out to me is World At War. In real life, the BAR was a squad support weapon, but in most Call of Duties, it’s basically an assault rifle.

The BAR in World At War was beastly. (Activision)

In World At War, it functions like a squad support weapon. It’s a big, powerful gun chucking .30-06 bullets at people rapidly. When it hits the bad guys, it takes them down, going as far as removing body parts as it cuts through a wave of Japanese attackers. On top of that, the gun can use the bipod to stabilize the weapon for better accuracy. Oddly enough, the bipod increases the rate of fire as well.

It’s not totally realistic, but it’s one of the few times the BAR feels like it’s being used as a support weapon and not just an assault rifle. It’s got recoil, and it feels like it has weight and power. In real life, it most certainly did.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare — M16A4

Call of Duty Modern 4: Warfare changed the gaming world, delivering a modern experience for the first time in Call of Duty history. It broke ground and was a huge success. It was so popular it was even a notable boost to video game content on YouTube. Modern Warfare 4 featured the most modern weapons of 2008, including the typical M249 SAWs, the M4, and of course, the M16A4.

The M16A4 was well represented in the remaster of Call of Duty.

The M16A4 is the last variant of the M16 used by military forces. This full-length rifle rocks a KAC handguard and flat top upper that’s optic-ready and willing. The game came out a year before I shipped to boot camp, and little did I know the day I stepped foot on Camp Geiger, I’d get my first M16A4 issued to me.

In the multiplayer mode, the M16A4 became the meta. It was the gun to use if you wanted to maximize your kills. A burst was a death ray that was accurate, powerful, and capable. You’d frustrate other players to no end by wiping through them with the M16A4. It was the gun of the game.

My Favorites

For me, these are the best guns of Call of Duty. They are the guns I associate with certain games and, to me, were the most memorable ones that made the biggest impact. I’m one person, and I know there are a lot of COD players out there, so did any of these appeal to you? What do you think are the best guns of Call of Duty? Share below!

COD Guns cover

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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