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Ranked Play in Call of Duty MW3 is comprised of primarily two weapon classes, submachine guns and assault rifles. While a sniper or secondary pistol might enter the mix from time to time, you will almost exclusively see those two weapon classes. Naturally, if you’re thinking about running Ranked in MW3, you need to know what the best assault rifle is.

Anyone who has paid attention to the Call of Duty League or watched professional players’ content will know the current meta assault rifle. However, if you’re new to competitive and hopping into Ranked blind, you might be confused by which of the available ARs to use. In this guide, I’ll go over the best assault rifle you can use in MW3 Ranked Play so you can start on a level playing field with everyone else.

Best assault rifle to use in MW3 Ranked Play

Best MCW loadout for Ranked Play in MW3
Screenshot via Upcomer

When you load up Ranked Play and go to pick an assault rifle through the Gunsmith, you will notice that some are restricted. This is because professional players and the CDL deemed them too strong for one reason or another. So, you’re left with the remaining unrestricted options.

Out of these choices, the MCW is far and away the best assault rifle you can use in Ranked Play. It’s the top option for all professional players and an absolute killing machine once you equip the right loadout of attachments. It even outclasses the best SMG, the Rival-9, in some close range situations, making it the best all-around weapon for Ranked.

Related: Best competitive loadout for Hardpoint and Control in MW3

For the most part, though, you want to keep your gunfights at mid-long range unless you need to hop on an objective or take a rush route in Search and Destroy. At this range, the MCW is unstoppable if you can manage to hit most of your shots. All of the current maps in the competitive rotation are MCW-friendly as well, so don’t worry about what map comes up in Ranked.

If you feel like switching things up and going with an SMG, check out my recent guide on the best SMG for Ranked in MW3.