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Best Assault Rifle in Modern Warfare 2

Every Assault Rifle in Modern Warfare 2 ranked from best to worst

Which is the best Assault Rifle in Modern Warfare 2? ARs are the bread and butter of most builds in Call Of Duty games, and Infinity Ward knows this. With Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 they're providing players with 8 strong and varied Assault Rifles to choose from while putting together their loadouts - and one of them is a strong contender for the best weapon in the game.

Below we'll walk you through each of the Assault Rifles in Modern Warfare 2, and rank them from best to worst so you know which ones to spend time unlocking and upgrading over the coming weekend.

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What is the best Assault Rifle in Modern Warfare 2?

The best Assault Rifle in Modern Warfare 2 is the Kastov-74U, an extremely powerful rifle that combines best-in-class stopping power with high mobility. It kicks upwards a fair bit and is best suited for aggressive close-range fights, but with the right attachments the Kastov-74U is still fairly easy to control for mid-range engagements too.

Here are the best Assault Rifles in Modern Warfare 2:

  1. Kastov-74U
  2. M4
  3. STB 556
  4. Lachmann-556
  5. Kastov 762
  6. Kastov 545
  7. TAQ-56
  8. M16

Below we'll explore each gun in greater detail, exposing each AR's strengths and weaknesses and why it deserves its place in the above tier list.


Modern Warfare 2 beta screenshot showing the Kastov in a weapon container, with the stats on the left.

The Kastov-74U acts as a hybrid between Assault Rifle and SMG with its light frame and great handling speeds. What you may not expect is that it hits harder than any other Assault Rifle in MW2, with a whopping 77/42/38/35 damage profile to head, torso, stomach, and limbs at close range. It's therefore fantastic choice for running-and-gunning if you want to land fewer shots to kill an enemy than if you used even the best SMG in Modern Warfare 2.

You will have to contend with some strong recoil and a lower fire rate than with many of its rivals, but it's well worth it. Learn how to kit it out to mitigate its recoil and turn it into one of the strongest weapons out there with our Modern Warfare 2 best Kastov-74U loadout guide.


Modern Warfare 2 beta screenshot showing the M4 in a weapon container, with the stats on the left.

The M4 is one of the most familiar guns in the Call Of Duty series, and it has returned in great form for Modern Warfare 2 as a reliable, powerful, and accurate weapon suitable for both medium and close range depending on the attachments you add to it. It may take you a few matches to get used to the slightly greater recoil if you're still used to previous iterations of the M4, but it's still controllable enough that you can justify placing your attachments in areas other than recoil control if you wish.

Overall the time-to-kill of the M4 is very low, and the consistency with which you can land quick sprays and drop enemies is ultimately why this gun is so powerful right now. If you want to know how to kit it out to be as strong as possible, check out our Modern Warfare M4 loadout guide.

STB 556

A close-up of the STB-556 Assault Rifle in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.

The STB 556 (perhaps more commonly known as the AUG) is the ideal choice if you're looking for an Assault Rifle that can go toe to toe with Battle Rifles, Marksman Rifles, and even Sniper Rifles at mid-to-long range. The low recoil and excellent range allows you to easily delete enemies at ranges beyond 30 metres. And when pushed to the max with the right set of attachments, the STB 556 is just ridiculously controllable. I'm talking virtually no recoil. It almost feels unfair.

The only reason it's not quite as high up as it could be in our tier list is because the STB 556's lower fire rate means its DPS at close-range is not quite strong enough to contend with the M4 or Kastov-74U. But over long distances, the STB 556 wins out - particularly when you give it the attachments we recommend in our Modern Warfare 2 best STB 556 loadout guide.


Modern Warfare 2 beta screenshot showing the Lachmann 556 in a weapon container, with the stats on the left.

The Lachmann-556 acts as a sort of hybrid between the M4 and the STB 556. It's very similar in feel to the M4 but offers a slightly longer-ranged, lower-recoil approach. Like the STB 556, this makes the Lachmann-556 ideal for holding longer sightlines without going the whole hog and swapping your Assault Rifle out for a semi-auto gun.

The downside is that it doesn't pack quite the same punch as the M4, nor does it reach the same levels of laser-like accuracy of the STB 556. It's a small downside for an otherwise great gun, but it's still just enough to knock it down into third place. Still, if you want to play around with the possibilities afforded by this versatile and effective AR, check out our guide to the best Lachmann-556 loadout in Modern Warfare 2.

Kastov 762

A close-up of the Kastov 762 Assault Rifle in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.

The Kastov 762, Modern Warfare 2's version of the AKM or AK47, is a punchy Assault Rifle worthy of consideration when putting together your next Assault Rifle class. It's less forgiving than the M4 or Lachmann-556, but it beats out both in pure damage. In fact, it has the highest damage per shot of any Assault Rifle in the game.

Players should use their attachment slots to mitigate the Kastov 762's high recoil, but once they do they'll find it to be a powerful and reliable weapon, well-suited for mid-range encounters. To learn how to kit it out correctly, check out our Modern Warfare 2 Kastov 762 loadout guide.

Kastov 545

A close-up of the Kastov 545 Assault Rifle in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.

The Kastov 545 is startlingly similar to the Kastov-74U - so similar, in fact, that it's a little odd that the two guns even exist together, because you could probably just as easily make one by adding the right attachments to the other. The Kastov trades a bit of the Kastov-74U's stopping power in exchange for lower recoil and some much-needed increased effective range.

However, this leaves it in a bit of an odd place. It's an Assault Rifle that wants to be an SMG, but it's also not as much of an Assault Rifle that wants to be an SMG as the Kastov-74U. I do tend to use the 74U for my close-range Assault Rifle loadout - although if you want to give the 545 a good try, we've put together a surprisingly strong Modern Warfare 2 Kastov 545 loadout for your perusal.


A close-up of the TAQ-56 Assault Rifle in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.

The TAQ-56 is a decent Assault Rifle that is sadly completely overshadowed by the M4. As in, the M4 is better in pretty much every way. It's a shame, because the TAQ-56 is nice and controllable, with good DPS and TTK stats. But it's kind of hard to recommend it when the M4 exists.

It feels good when the shots land, but for consistently landing kills and earning Killstreaks, you're probably better off using a faster Assault Rifle.


A close-up of the M16 Assault Rifle in the Modern Warfare 2 Gunsmith screen.

The familiar 3-shot burst of the M16 Assault Rifle sadly doesn't hit quite hard enough in this iteration of Call Of Duty to match the stopping power of the other ARs in Modern Warfare 2. With only marginally greater accuracy over range than the likes of the M4, the benefits are outweighed by the drawbacks of requiring some very good headshot aim and recoil control on the part of the player to land a kill with a single burst.

Hopefully our tier list of the best and worst Assault Rifles in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has given you a firmer idea of the current gun meta heading into the Modern Warfare 2 beta. If you want a full idea of the meta, then check out our Modern Warfare 2 best guns guide. You can also check out our guide on the best Perks in Modern Warfare 2 to help round out your ideal Assault Rifle loadout.

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About the Author
Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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