One important part of the multiplayer in Call of Duty Black Ops is the weapons. Without them how can you hope to compete? They come in all sizes and flavors to suit whatever playstyle you’re most fond of. Unless you’re a quickscoper or a blade-runner; Treyarch has done all they can to put a stop to that.
This guide is you
r guide to Call of Duty Black Ops weapons, from the starting SMGs to the high-end shotguns and launchers. Keep in mind, though, that this article only covers the weapons in the Multiplayer mode. Single player has more weapons, but there’s no solid list of them, and it doesn’t matter anyway when you primarily use whatever the game gives you to start.
Some things worth noting: All shotguns are more accurate (i.e. have less pellet spread) when you aim down the sights. Hipfire when you’re at close range, aim when you’re at medium range to more directly assure a kill. Also, all guns except shotguns, when hipfiring, are more accurate crouching than standing, and more accurate prone than crouching. Obviously this doesn’t include launchers as they don’t have a hipfire.
Oh, and by the way; the gun stats displayed in the create-a-class screen? They’re pretty much irrelevant. They’ll give you a general idea of how a gun will handle, but one gun having one bar more "damage" than another doesn’t mean it’s directly better. There are a lot of factors; shots per minute, damage dropoff at range, recoil, and so on. For more information on the exact stats, check out Den Kirson’s data here.
COD Points and Costs
Everything in this game costs COD Points to buy once you unlock it at the appropriate level. All weapons cost 2,000 points to unlock. All att
achments must be bought for each gun you want to use them on. The Upgraded Iron Sights cost 250. The Snub Nose costs 500. The Speed Reloader costs 750. 1,000 will get you the Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG sight, Red Dot sight, Reflex sight, Masterkey shotgun, Flamethrower, or the foregrip. 2,000 will get you the Infrared scope, the Suppressor, or the Variable Zoom scope. The M203 grenade launcher costs 3,000.
Gun Camo is unlocked at level 22, and every camo costs 250 points. Gold camo is unlocked at prestige 14. Changing the shape and color of your sights unlocks at level 25, and the lens color at level 28. Different shapes cost 500, while different colors cost 250. Lens colors cost 500 as well. Putting your emblem on your gun comes at level 16, and clan tag at level 19. Both cost 1,000 points.
Continue on to the next page to read about the first type of Primary weapon: Submachine Guns. Or check elsewhere for other guides, like our Perks guide!
Primary – Submachine Guns
SMGs, or Submachine Guns, are the favored gun type for speedy run-and-gun gamers. They tend to have reasonably high recoil, a very fast rate of fire, and medium damage. Their biggest benefit is the speed with which you can move while using one. There are nine SMGs available in the game; one unlocked when you start, seven unlocked at various levels, and one unlocked when you have purchased all of the others. All SMGs except the MP5K cost 2,000 COD Points to unlock.
The MP5K is unlocked at level 1 and is part of the default SMG class. It’s effective at close range but has a high damage drop at medium range. You can purchase the Extended Mags, ACOG Sight, Red Dot Sight, Reflex Sight, Suppressor, and Rapid Fire attachments for it.
The Skorpion is unlocked at level 7. It has the highest damage of any SMG, but drops off significantly beyond very close range. You can buy the Extended Mags, Grip, Dual Wield, Suppressor, and Rapid Fire attachments for it.
The MAC11 is unlocked at level 11. It has a high fire rate, but all around lower damage. You can buy Extended Mags, Red Dot sight, Reflex sight, Grip, Dual Wield, Suppressor, and Rapid Fire for it.
The AK74u comes at level 17. It has a decent damage level, similar to the MP5K, but with a decet clip size and high recoil. It’s almost more of an assault rifle; you can buy Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG sight, Red Dot sight, Reflex Sight, Grip, Suppressor, Grenade Launcher, and Rapid Fire for it.
The Uzi is unlocked at level 23. Like the MAC11, it has high recoil, low damage, and a high rate of fire. You can buy for it the Extended Mags, ACOG sight, Red Dot sight, Reflex Sight, Grip, Suppressor, and Rapid Fire attachments.
The PM63 unlocks at level 29. It has a high rate of fire, the same standard low damage of SMGs, and a reasonably low recoil. You can buy only the Extended Mags, Grip, Dual Wield, and Rapid Fire attachments for it.
The MPL comes next at level 35. Low damage, high recoil, high rate of fire, it’s standard for SMGs. You can purchase Dual Mags, ACOG sight, Red Dot sight, Reflex Sight, Grip, Suppressor, and Rapid Fire for it.
The Spectre is the last non-classified SMG, unlocked at level 41. It’s almost identical to the MPL only a lower recoil. You can buy the Extended Mags, ACOG sight, Red Dot sight, Reflex sight, Grip, Suppressor, and Rapid Fire for it.
The Kiparis is the final SMG in Black Ops, and is Classified until you have purchased all of the others. Only then can you purchase it. It has the lowest recoil of any SMG, and you can buy the Extended Mags, ACOG sight, Red Dot sight, Reflex sight, Grip, Dual Wield, Suppressor, and Rapid Fire attachments for it.
Primary – Assault Rifles
Assault Rifles are the standard fare for first person shooters; not as mobile as SMGs, but not as powerful as LMGs, they’re the most versatile and usable of the weapon types.
16 is the first assault rifle in the game, one you start with. It fires a three-round burst and has a decently high damage rating, which only drops off at long range. Attachments: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex Sight, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Silencer, and Grenade Launcher.
The Enfield is unlocked at level 6. It has lower damage and more recoil than the M16, but is the first full-auto rifle you can buy. Attachments: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex Sight, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Suppressor, and Grenade Launcher.
The M14 is unlocked at level 9. It’s semi-auto, one shot at a time, but it makes up for that by having easily controllable recoil and high damage, higher than the M16s. Attachments: Extended Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex Sight, Grip, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Silencer, and Grenade Launcher.
The Famas Is unlocked at level 14. Essentially the Enfield but better, the Famas has lower recoil and about the same damage. Attachments: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Silencer, and Grenade Launcher.
Galil Is unlocked at level 20. It has the same damage as the Famas, but less recoil, and is a solid Assault Rifle to use early in your career. Attachments: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Silencer, and Grenade Launcher.
The AUG Is unlocked at level 26. It has less damage than the Galil, but more manageable recoil, as it tends to pull the same direction every shot. Attachments: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Silencer, and Grenade Launcher.
The FN FAL Is unlocked at level 32. The second Semi-Auto gun, you fire one shot at a time. It has the same damage as the M14, but much less recoil, making it more deadly. Attachments: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Silencer, and Grenade Launcher. semi auto
The AK47 Is unlocked at level 38. High damage, manageable recoil, the AK-47 is a Call of Duty standard for endgame. Attachments: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Silencer, and Grenade Launcher.
mando Is unlocked at level 44. The AK-47 is great, but the Commando is identical in every way except a faster reload and weapon swap time. Attachments: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex, Masterkey, Flamethrower, IR Scope, Silencer, and Grenade Launcher.
The G11 is Classified and is unlocked when you buy all the other Assault Rifles. Fires in three-round bursts that kill most players, the G11 is an end-game death cannon. To make up for this, it only has two attachments: A Low Power Scope and the Variable Zoom scope.
Primary – Shotguns
Shotguns are now, and always have been, the ideal weapon for an up-close and personal encounter. There aren’t many guns that will out-shoot a shotgun at close range. Primary weapons again in Black Ops, unlike MW2, the shotguns still are limited to 8 pellets in a shot. There are only four of them, so buy them all and play around to find the ones you like.
The Olympia is the default shotgun. It has two barrels that can be fired in quick succession before needing to reload, much like MW2’s Ranger. It has no attachments.
Stakeout is unlocked at level 8. It’s much like the SPAS-12 from MW2, with four shots, a pump-action between them, and the best range of any shotgun. It’s only attachment is the Grip.
The SPAS-12 is unlocked at level 24. It has 7 shots and is semi-auto, with no pump between shots. It’s purpose is for room-clearing, and spamming shells. It’s attachment is the Silencer.
The HS-10 is classified, unlocked when you purchase the other shotguns. It has four shots and is semi-auto with no action between them. It’s benefit is it’s attachment; it’s the only shotgun that can be Dual-Wielded.
Primary – LMGs
Light Machine Guns, or LMGs, are a heavy assault weapon typically with high damage and low mobility. Usually they have a large number of bullets, but only one of them has a substantial clip in Black Ops.
The HK21 is the first LMG and you start with it. High recoil, but no damage drop off at range, it will kill in the same number of bullets from across the map as it would right next to you. Attachments: Extended Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex Sight, and IR Scope.
PK is unlocked at level 6. Same damage and lack of drop-off as the HK-21, the RPK has less recoil, making it an upgrade. It’s attachments include: Extended Mags, Dual Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex Sight, and IR Scope.
The M60 is unlocked at level 21. It’s the only real bullet-spam gun, with a huge box of ammo to burn through. It has a slight damage drop off at medium range. Attachments: Extended Mags, ACOG, Red Dot, Reflex Sight, Grip, and IR Scope
The Stoner63 is the classified gun, unlocked when you buy the other LMGs. It’s the same damage and drop off of the HK and the RPK, but has nearly twice the rate of fire. Attachments: ACOG, Red Dot, Extended Mags, IR Scope, and Reflex Sight.
Primary – Sniper Rifles
Due to the small but vocal Quickscoper community in Modern Warfare 2, Treyarch made many heavy modifications to how sniper rifles function in Black Ops, making them close to unusable and no fun to play. Still, there's only four of them, so it's not a waste of COD Bucks to buy them all. The biggest change is, when you scope in, it takes a second to steady your aim enough to shoot accurately.
gunov is the starting sniper rifle. It will one-shot a player in the upper-torso or head region, but will always 2-shot with a silencer. Attachments: Extended Mags, ACOG, IR Scope, Variable Zoom. It's Semi-automatic.
The WA2000 is unlocked at level 10. It has a faster fire rate and more manageable recoil than the Dragunov, but has the same kill areas and 1-2 shots. Attachments: Extended Mags, ACOG, IR Scope, Silencer, Variable Zoom. It's also Semi-Automatic.
The L96A1 is unlocked at level 27. It's a bolt-action rifle, so one shot at a time. In addition to one-shooting people in the head and upper torso, it will also one-shot a player in the lower torso. All areas are two-shot kills with a silencer. Attachments: Extended Mags, ACOG, IR Scope, Silencer, Variable Zoom.
The PSG1 is the Classified sniper rifle. It's Semi-Auto again, and has the same kill areas as the first two guns, but higher recoil, making it less useful overall. Attachments: Extended Mags, ACOG, IR Scope, Silencer, and Variable Zoom.
Secondary – Pistols
First category of Secondary weapons, the Pistols are already mostly unlocked for you. The ASP, the M1911, and the Makarov all unlock when you reach the ability to create a class.
The ASP, the M1911, and the Makarov all have the same damage, the same recoil, and virtually the same reload, aim, and swap speeds. Which one you use comes down to which attachments you want.
The ASP has Dual Wield.
1911 has Upgraded Iron Sights, Extended Mags, Dual Wield, and a Silencer.
The Makarov has Upgraded Iron Sights, Extended Mags, Dual Wield, and a Silencer.
The Python is unlocked at level 18, and is a six-shot revolver. It has higher damage than the three starting pistols, but obviously less ammo and a higher recoil. It can have the ACOG scope, the Snub Nose (which reduces power and increases accuracy), the Speed Reloader, and Dual Wield.
The CZ75 is classified, and unlocks when you buy the other pistols. It has the same damage as the starting pistols, but much less recoil. You can get Upgraded Iron Sights, Extended Mags, Dual Wield, Silencer, or a Full-Auto attachment for it that makes it much like the G18 from MW2.
Secondary – Launchers
Launchers are the second category of Secondary weapons, and the name says it all; they shoot explosives. Some work on air support, some don’t, but there’s only four of them, so it’s not that complicated. There’s no classified weapon here to unlock. None of them have attachments.
M72 LAW is the first Launcher in the game, and you start with it unlocked. It’s the most versatile as well. You can free-fire it at players or turrets or walls, or you can lock on to aircraft. It has a slight curve, not as pronounced as the RPG was in MW2, but still enough to make precision at long range slightly lacking. It’s only down side is you only get one shot, making anything harder than a Spy Plane impossible to shoot down in one life.
The RPG is unlocked at level 12. It’s free-fire only, no lock on, and has a more pronounced curve in it’s flight; it’s not accurate, it’s made for clearing areas. On the plus side, you can hit air support if you’re lucky, and you get two shots.
The Strela-3 is unlocked at level 30, and is this game’s version of the Stinger. Two shots, aircraft lock-on only, as simple as that. People, please; if you don’t have an anti-air class to use when the enemy team is winning, you’re objectively bad at the game.
The China Lake is unlocked at level 48. If you remember MW2’s Thumper, you know all about the China Lake. It’s a grenade laucher with two shots, a nifty pump-action reload, and a quick drop time.
Secondary – Specials
There are only two weapons in the final category of Secondaries, the "Special" weapons. Both are unique to this Call of Duty and both are quite fun to use. Neither weapon has attachments.
ic Knife – Unlocked at level 15. You get one shot and one reload unless you have Scavenger. The Ballistic knife is a spring-powered throwing knife, essentially, that flies in a straighter arc than the tomahawk does. Using it also increases the speed of your melee, almost to tactical knife levels.
The Crossbow – Unlocked at level 33. Much like the Ballistic Knife, you get one shot and one reload before you have to pull out Scavenger. Think of the crossbow as a mix between a grenade launcher and a semtex. The bolt sticks to walls, floors, and people, and explodes after a couple of seconds. You can stick a player and they only have seconds to live.
This post is part of the series: Call of Duty: Black Ops Weapons
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Weapons Guide
- The Rare & Hard to Get Thunder Gun in CoD
- They've Gone Too Far! The Horrors of Weapon Balancing in Call of Duty: Black Ops