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The SMG category in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War holds the most weapons in multiplayer. There are eight weapons within the class, which is great for aggressive players, as they have a plethora of choices. However, there’s only one SMG among the bunch that can be considered the best of the best.

For anyone who’s played Black Ops Cold War for any duration of time, the answer to the debate might be clear. The AK74u has simply dominated the meta for the longest amount of time and features the best overall stats. However, there are some challengers to the 74u in Season 3 that make the debate a little less cut and dry than in previous seasons.

Best SMG in Black Ops Cold War

Realistically, every SMG in Black Ops Cold War is usable and fills a certain niche. The KSP 45 is a burst SMG that deals huge damage if the user can manage to master it. The PPSh-41 is a monster up close but it tends to fall off at range more so than other guns in the class.

While each weapon is usable, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t clear frontrunners for the best in class. The AK74u, MP5 and LC10 are the three that are in contention, with guns like the PPSh and Milano 821 a good ways behind.

KSP-45 in Black Ops Cold War
The KSP 45 is a niche weapon that’s not the best but is still a usable SMG. | Provided by Activision

The three guns in contention are all fairly similar. Each has great accuracy, damage and fire rate. These are the three biggest stats for an SMG. Even with each of the three contenders being similar in this way, the AK74u is far and away the best. There’s a reason that professional players use it exclusively. It’s unmatched when it comes to time-to-kill at both close and long-range.

Though players will still succeed with the MP5 and LC10, the debate over the best SMG is a one-horse race, and it’s being won by the AK74u.