Modern Warfare 3 Weapon Attachments

To improve your shooting skills and specialize your weapons in Modern Warfare 3, you’re going to need attachments. But, it isn’t always obvious what use each of these attachments serve, that’s why we’re going to list every available weapon attachment, what it attaches to, and a few notes on what they do — with pros and cons included. If you just want a little knowledge of another feature of Modern Warfare 3′s multiplayer, stick with our list and scroll down.

For extra information on the campaign of MW3, check out our text and video walkthrough. If you’re interested in hints, secrets, tips, and tricks, stop by the cheats page.

Weapon Attachments


Iron Sights

  • Available On: Assault Rifles, SMGs, LMGs, Shotguns, Machine Pistols
  • The default sights of any weapon. Some are easy to use, some are difficult, it’ll take experimentation to discover if you prefer the default sights over other specialized optics. Any sight other than the Red Dot are likely to slow down your Aiming-Down-the-Sights (ADS) time, taking long to sight enemies.
  • Default isn’t exactly best, the Red Dot sight is your best bet early on.

Red Dot Sight / Holographic Sight

  • Available on: Assault Rifles, SMGs, LMGs, Shotguns, Machine Pistols
  • A very simple sight — either a single red dot, or a custom red sight to use. These quick and efficient sights are perfect for close-to-mid range combat.
  • You can pick between a handful of specialized red sights while using the Holographic Sight, some are better for long-range while others are clearly meant for short. Pick whichever you like, but the simple Red Dot is the least obtrusive.

ACOG Sight

  • Available on: Assault Rifles, SMGs, LMGs, Sniper Rifles
  • This medium-range sight provides some extra zoom for target acquisition at the cost of a slightly slower ADS.
  • ARs and LMGs will gain the most benefit for easier shooting at medium range without a significant loss of situational awareness.
  • SMGs are too inaccurate at medium range to be effective with the ACOG. Sniper Rifles can be useful with the ACOG, however, especially those with faster firing mechanisms, like the Dragunov.

Hybrid Sight

  • Available on: Assault Rifles
  • This unique sight provides the benefits of a Red Dot Sight and the ACOG Sight in one package. You can switch between the two sights quickly, but not fast enough to save yourself in an ambush.
  • Make sure to prepare for each encounter and have in mind what kind of sight you’ll need before rushing forward.
  • The other drawback of the Hybrid Sight is slightly slower ADS, even with the Red Dot Sight selected.

HAMR Scope

  • Available on: SMGs
  • Just like the Hybrid Scope, except for SMGs. You can toggle between a Red Dot Sight and an ACOG Sight at will. The same penalties apply, with an ever worse slow-down on your ADS time.
  • Another note — the ACOG just isn’t as useful for the SMG, unless you’re using a powerful and accurate SMG like the UMP .45.


  • Available On: Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles
  • With the same zoom level as the ACOG, but the added benefit of Thermal imaging, this is a unique scope for spotting enemies at medium range.
  • Spotting enemies in the dark or in cluttered environments is very easy with this scope, but it makes the environment harder to see while in ADS.
  • Another downside; the Thermal Scope has twice the ADS penalty as the ACOG, meaning it’s even slower to sight, despite having an equivalent zoom.
  • Using this sight also requires you to hold your breath to maintain accuracy. But, Thermal Scopes can spot enemies behind smoke, making this a useful tool used in combination with smoke grenades.

Variable Zoom Scope

  • Available on: Sniper Rifles
  • This is the upgraded version of the default Sniper Rifle scope. It allows for different levels of zoom, and requires the player to hold their breath for accurate shooting.
  • The different levels of zoom allow for shooting at medium-to-extreme range, and is best used for large outdoor maps.
  • The Variable Zoom Scope has no disadvantages compared to the default scope, so there’s no reason not to take it.

Weapon Extensions


  • Available on: Assault Rifles
  • This underslung shotgun attaches underneath the barrel of your Assault Rifle. It isn’t as powerful as a normal shotgun, but it’s also faster to switch to than a shotgun in a firefight.
  • While it doesn’t pack the punch of a normal shotgun, it is a much better close quarters weapon than any AR. Remember to switch to it before entering an indoor or cramped environment.

Grenade Launcher

  • Available on: Assault Rifles
  • A powerful tool for suppressing tight indoor spaces before entering or scaring off enemies from objectives. While a single grenade isn’t as powerful with the grenade launcher, this weapon is still powerful when used in concert with teammates.
  • You only get two shots with the grenade launcher attachment on a single life, so use them sparingly.

Weapon Mods


  • Available on: Assault Rifles, SMGs, LMGs, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, Machine Pistols, Handguns
  • When shooting with the Silencer attachment, you do not make a red RADAR blip. It lowers your effective damage range, but it lowers your visibility dramatically, by lowering the noise your gun makes when shooting and removing the muzzle flash.
  • Most useful on ARs and SMGs.

Rapid Fire

  • Avaiable On: M16A4, Type 95, SMGs, LMGs,
  • This attachment isn’t really an attachment, it’s more of an upgrade. It boosts the firing rate of any weapon it’s equipped on by 20%.
  • While shooting is faster, recoil is also increased. That makes any weapon equipped with Rapid Fire more useful at close range than long range, as the recoil will significantly decrease your accuracy at long range.

Extended Mags

  • Available On: Assault Rifles, SMGs, LMGs, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, Machine Pistols, Handguns
  • This attachment increases your primary weapon’s magazine size by 50%. There are no penalties for using them.
  • Most useful on weapons that rapidly lose their magazine capacity — anything like auto-Shotguns, SMGs, and Machine Pistols.


  • Available on: LMGs, and Shotguns
  • This special attachment reduces recoil by 10% and speeds up your recentering by 25%.
  • Most useful on LMGs while firing crouched or from the hip, making their heavy recoil more manageable. The grip tends to only help when playing a mobile build.



  • Available on: Machine Pistols, Handguns
  • Using the Akimbo upgrade lets you dual wield, removing the ability to aim-down-the-sights. You can only hip-fire, making this upgrade only useful at close-range.
  • Generally, this means you can lay down twice the amount of fire. Consider bringing Akimbo Machine Pistols if your Primary Weapon is an AR or any weapon best used at medium-to-long range.
  • Equipping the Steady Aim perk helps control the extreme recoil while dual-wielding.

Tactical Knife

  • Available on: Handguns
  • Equipping the tactical knife improves your melee speed with the handgun. The attachment provides for the fastest stealth kills possible.

Heartbeat Sensor

  • Available on: Assault Rifle, LMGs, Sniper Rifles
  • The Heartbeat Sensor is a special screen attached to your Primary Weapon that scans a 90 degree area ahead of you for heartbeats. The sensor is slow to scan, so if you’re very mobile and spastic, you’ll miss targets ahead.
  • The sensor can be very useful while defending, as you can spot enemies coming after you through walls, roofs, or floors. If used offensively, make sure to give the sensor time to scan before rapidly looking around or moving forward.
  • The screen also obscures your vision at close range due to the bulky nature of the screen when activated. Watching the sensor can make you lose track of your immediate surroundings, sometimes it’s better to ignore the screen and just listen for the plink the sensor makes when a heartbeat is detected.

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1 Comment on Modern Warfare 3 Weapon Attachments


On December 19, 2013 at 5:22 am

I think it would be better to have the best combos of attachments for each gun with everything else. I’d like to see a whole class recommended. If you just have the list of this stuff, it’s definitely boring. Thanks anyway anyway for what I did learn through this article.