The best Call of Duty Vanguard guns

Here's a list of the best weapons in Call of Duty Vanguard

An assault rifle from Call of Duty Vanguard laying on a table

Wondering what the best guns are in Call of Duty Vanguard? After an entire year of Cold War-era weaponry, it’s time for something different. We’re going back to WWII in this year’s Call of Duty game, giving players an arsenal of old timey weapons to get their hands on. You should recognise a number of classic weapons in the list, including the legendary Kar98k sniper rifle.

Compared to the guns found in Warzone, Activision’s battle royale game, Call of Duty multiplayer weapons are usually slower. However, Vanguard’s time to kill speed has been tuned to ensure these weapons are equally as powerful. How they fare against the best Warzone guns remains to be seen – we’ll find out when the Vanguard integration kicks in after the game releases on December 3.

We’ve assembled a list the best weapons in Vanguard as well as their level requirements. This year’s Call of Duty game has given certain weapons up to ten attachments, allowing players to customise their favourite guns exactly to their liking.

Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California (since expanded for QA and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here. In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints from its employees, as part of which Kotick has reportedly been subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labour practice suit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a workers’ union, also in September. In another, separate development, Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination”. In a subsequent letter to employees, the company has announced an end to forced arbitration, a $250 million initiative to improve diversity, and a major pay cut for Kotick.


Here’s a list of all the Call of Duty Vanguard weapons at launch:

  • STG44
  • Automaton
  • Itra Burst
  • BAR
  • AS44
  • NZ-41
  • Volk
  • MP-40
  • STEN
  • M1928
  • Owen Gun
  • Type 100
  • PPSh-41
  • Einhorn Revolving
  • Combat Shotgun
  • Gracey Auto
  • Double Barrel
  • MG42
  • DP27
  • Type 11
  • Bren
  • M1 Garand
  • SVT-40
  • G-43
  • Type 99
  • 3-Line Rifle
  • Kar98k
  • Ratt
  • Top Break
  • 1911
  • Klauser
  • Machine Pistol
  • M1 Bazooka
  • Panzerschreck
  • Panzerfaust
  • MK11 Launcher
  • F5 Fighting Knife
  • Combat Shield


An assault rifle in Vanguard set against a black background


It’s only been a few days since Vanguard launched and already players have found the best STG44 loadout. By combining two specific attachments, you can create an STG44 that is capable of killing enemies in just two shots. What makes this gun so lethal is that it can eliminate enemies at all ranges, making a lot of long distance weapons seem pointless in comparison. Use this loadout while you still can as it’s going to be patched.


Similarly to the STG44, the best MP40 loadout is capable of taking down enemies in two shots, however, the shots have to hit limbs. If you don’t target limbs, it takes three shots to down an enemy. The rate of fire on this SMG coupled with the extreme damage output makes this a real threat in the right hands. Pick the MP40 over the STG44 if you prefer to fight enemies at close range.

Kar98k (level 43)

A staple in Black Ops Cold War, Modern Warfare, and soon to be Vanguard – the Kar98k is the ultimate sniper rifle for players with lightning fast reactions. This bolt action rifle can take out enemies from any distance with a single bullet using our best Kar98k loadout. The stock version of the Kar98k is certainly usable, but you can take things to another level with the right set of attachments to decrease the aim down sight speed.

Volk (level 55)

The Volk is the closest thing to an SMG while maintaining assault rifle properties – think of the FFAR or Groza in the previous Call of Duty games. The Volk is lightweight, allowing players to dart around corners with ease. You sacrifice control and damage output for mobility, which may be worthwhile depending on which game modes you prefer. Give our best Volk loadout a read to drastically improve the weapon’s recoil and accuracy.

Machine Pistol (level 45)

If the Machine Pistol wasn’t a secondary weapon, it would most likely be one of the better SMGs in the game. By default, the stock Machine Pistol stocks a pathetic ten bullets per clip, just enough to take down one enemy. While the weapon does have high recoil, you can easily account for this by aiming the gun down as you fire it. Try out our best Machine Pistol loadout to give the best secondary weapon in Vanguard a whirl.

Assault rifles

The stock version of the Automaton assault rifle in Call of Duty Vanguard

Automaton (level 8)

The Automaton is far from the most powerful assault rifle, but it makes up for this with its high accuracy and low recoil base stats. If you’re a fan of long range assault rifles, this is the weapon for you.

Itra Burst (level 16)

Burst fire assault rifles usually take some time to adjust to, but they can be deadly in the right hands. The Itra Burst sacrifices its ability to fight at close range for excellent medium to long range capabilities. As long as you have a powerful secondary weapon at your disposal, the Itra Burst is a strong loadout pick.

BAR (level 26)

Built for medium to long range combat, the BAR excels when fighting enemies across the battlefield. Just like the Itra Burst, the BAR isn’t as effective at close range due to its poor speed statistics and small magazine clips. Fear not, if you opt for our best BAR loadout you can address all of these issues with the right set of attachments.

AS44 (level 33)

The AS44 features the highest base rate of fire in the assault rifles category, making it deadly at close to mid range. This weapon has an impressive time to kill speed up close, but don’t try to get into any fights with it from long range as the AS44 wasn’t built to do this.

NZ-41 (level 41)

Compared to every other assault rifle on this list, the NZ-41 deals the most damage per bullet thanks to its heavy rounds. This weapon has a steep learning curve due to the heavy recoil on each shot, but the NZ-41’s high accuracy and damage output make this sole downside feel like a worthwhile trade.

Submachine guns

The stock version of the Sten SMG in Call of Duty Vanguard's preview menu

STEN (level 10)

High mobility is a precious commodity in Vanguard due to the fast time to kill speed – you can’t be hit by bullets if you can outrun them. The Sten’s impressive mobility lets you avoid incoming fire, but you may struggle to hurt your opponents as this weapon is underpowered. Use our best Sten loadout to increase the rate of fire on the base weapon while stabilising some of the recoil.

M1928 (level 20)

If you’re looking for a weapon with large magazines and minimal recoil, the M1928 is a fantastic SMG pick. The M1928 is surprisingly heavy for an SMG, featuring lower mobility than similar weapons in the same class. While it’s nice to have clips stocked with plenty of ammo, you need to keep an eye out on your number of bullets as the reload speed on this weapon is slow. Try out our best M1928 loadout which focuses on stealth kills – if you hate being caught on the minimap, this weapon is for you.

Owen Gun (level 29)

The Owen Gun is definitely one of the strangest looking weapons in the game, but don’t let its looks deceive you. This SMG barely has any recoil, and up close it has one of the fastest time to kill speeds in the entire game.

Type 100 (level 39)

Most SMGs like to focus on close to medium range, but the Type 100 can be customised to become a long range weapon. The base version of the Type 100 has great accuracy stats and stable recoil, making it a solid pick for new players.

PPSh-41 (level 51)

Warzone players will know all about the PPSh-41 already as it’s one of the battle royale game’s best SMGs. Fortunately, this variation of the weapon isn’t as powerful, but it does still have the PPSh’s trademark fast rate of fire. Want to melt your opponents at close range? Pick this weapon.


Revolving Shotgun

The Einhorn Revolving shotgun takes two shots to kill an enemy at close range, in addition to the weapon’s reload times being very slow. The shotguns in Vanguard have been heavily nerfed making them borderline unusable, though this may change after the beta period.

Combat Shotgun (level 14)

Similarly to the other shotguns in this category, the Combat Shotgun is unable to kill enemies in a single shot. This also applies to headshots which typically result in an instant kill, instead you have to try to land a second shot if you want to confirm a kill.

Gracey Shotgun (level 31)

You don’t have many choices when it comes to viable shotguns, but the Gracey is probably the best of the bunch. This semi-automatic shotgun has the fastest fire rate in its category – the Gracey allows you to land two shots in quick succession better than any other shotgun.

Double Barrel (level 49)

This break-action shotgun can reliably score one shot kills at close range. Once you venture outside into mid range, the Double Barrel becomes completely ineffective. As long as you stick to small maps only, the Double Barrel can be a dominant force in close quarters combat.

Light machine guns

The stock version of the MG42 in Call of Duty Vanguard's preview menu


Suppression is a new mechanic in Vanguard, allowing you to drastically slow down your opponent’s movement by continuously firing at them. The MG42 is the perfect weapon for suppression fire as it stocks over 100 bullets in a single clip to keep enemies at bay. Equip yourself with the best MG42 loadout to get your hands on this powerful LMG.

DP27 (level 18)

The DP27 is a great option for players looking to dominate at close, medium, and long range with a single weapon. This powerful LMG is accurate from a distance when firing in bursts, and you can easily take down nearby enemies by spraying them with bullets. It isn’t perfect, however, as your mobility is going to be hampered by its large size.

Type 11 (LEVEL 37)

There aren’t many high mobility LMGs in Call of Duty, but somehow the Type 11 manages to fit that bill perfectly. The Type 11 isn’t very strong, and each shot has a heavy amount of recoil to deal with. Fortunately, you can take this weapon to the gunsmith to address some of its key issues.

Bren (level 53)

If you want to become a tank on the battlefield, the Bren can help you live out your dreams. This LMG destroys your mobility and suffers from heavy recoil, but you’re able to pull off unbelievable shots because of its impressive damage capabilities.

Marksman rifles

The M1 Garand in front of a dark orange background in Call of Duty Vanguard's preview menu

M1 Garand (level 6)

There’s only one marksman rifle in the game so far: the M1 Garand. This rifle is perfect for players that want the accuracy of a sniper with the feel of an assault rifle. Stick to medium range to get the most out of this weapon – be sure to avoid any close range battles as the M1 Garand cannot compete in these fights. The stock version of this weapon is disappointing, but it can be improved using our best M1 Garand loadout.

SVT-40 (level 27)

The SVT-40 can be lethal in the right hands as it has the potential to land one hit kills to the upper torso and head. The biggest downside to this marksman rifle is its poor mobility – the SVT-40 is a heavy weapon, you won’t be able to sprint around the battlefield as easily.

G-43 (level 47)

The G-43 specialises in fighting at medium range thanks to its fast firing rate and great recoil control. Attacking at long range can be problematic as the G-43 struggles to land shots from a distance. As long as you avoid sniping at players from the length of the map, you should be fine.

Sniper rifles

Type 99

For a default weapon, the Type 99 is surprisingly powerful if you can land accurate shots. This sniper rifle feels like a budget version of the Kar98k – it’s clearly made for aggressive snipers, but it lacks the damage output to be truly viable.

3-Line Rifle (level 22)

The 3-Line Rifle is a traditional sniper rifle in the sense that you need to keep your distance if you want to use this weapon effectively. As long as you can remain hidden in your sniper’s nest, the 3-Line Rifle rewards players with one shot kills providing you hit the body. If you like to play as a traditional sniper, our best 3-Line Rifle loadout was designed specifically for you.



The Ratt is a bog standard pistol featuring decent accuracy, damage, and recoil. There’s nothing special about this weapon whatsoever, it doesn’t excel at any particular range and you’re unlikely to kill more than one enemy with it.

Top Break (LEVEL 12)

The Top Break is Vanguard’s version of the infamous Magnum. This high-caliber revolver can compete at close to mid range, though you need to shoot multiple times if you want to take down an enemy at full health.

1911 (level 23)

Just like the Ratt, the 1911 is a very average pistol. This pistol isn’t bad per se, but it doesn’t compete against the other types of weapons in Vanguard.

Klauser (LEVEL 35)

The Klauser is the most accurate semi-automatic pistol in the game. If you need to take down a weakened enemy from a distance, this is the best pistol for the job.


M1 Bazooka (level 11)

Blast killstreaks right out of the sky using the M1 Bazooka. The M1 Bazooka doesn’t feature any newfangled technology, so you’re going to need to line up your shots carefully as this launcher doesn’t automatically track spy planes.

Panzerschreck (level 26)

If two lethal grenades just aren’t enough for you, there’s always the Panzerschreck to fall back on. This shoulder-fired launcher produces even larger explosions than the M1 Bazooka, great for blowing up multiple enemies at one time. You can also use the Panzerschreck to take down airborne killstreaks, but you only have two attempts as its ammunition is limited.

Panzerfaust (level 34)

There isn’t much of a difference between the killstreak-focused launchers. If you want a launcher that looks like it came out of Quake 1, this is a great option.

MK11 Launcher (level 52)

The MK 11 launcher gives you a grenade-style launcher as a secondary weapon. This is particularly useful against groups of enemies as it allows you to blow them all up at once. Try to place your shots carefully as you only have one shot per magazine.

Melee weapons

F5 Fighting Knife (level 22)

The close quarters combat knife is an upgraded version of a melee attack, enabling you to take down enemies with a single strike. This knife occupies the secondary weapon slot.

Combat Shield (level 42)

The Combat Shield is completely bullet proof and resistant to explosives, making it difficult to fight against in an enclosed area. This shield occupies the primary weapon slot.

And that’s every gun in Call of Duty Vanguard. This guide is going to be updated with new weapons once Call of Duty Vanguard and Warzone Season 1 launches in December. Check out our Warzone new map guide to see how the battle royale game is going to change forever.