The middle child of Call of Duty weapons

Top Call of Duty: Modern Warfare weapons: Designated marksman rifles

Call of Duty
Call of Duty DM Rs 200402 141920

DMRs are the high-skill weapons in the Call of Duty arsenal. (Image credit: Activision)

Our Call of Duty: Modern Warfare weapons review continues. This time we’ll be focusing on designated marksman rifles.

DMRs – the middle ground

The DMR category in Call of Duty contains only four weapons, the last of which is a crossbow. For our ranking, we take the crossbow out as it’s kind of out there compared to the rest of the bunch. That leaves us with the three rifles to rate. If you want more range than with an assault rifle or LMG, but don't want to limit yourself with a sniper rifle, a DMR is a good place to start.

DMRs are something of a mixture between assault rifles and sniper rifles. They offer greater range and damage than the former, but have much higher mobility and fire rate than the latter. Those advantages come at a price though – DMRs generally require higher skill than regular rifles, which tends to drag their usage rate down.

3. EBR-14

The EBR-14 is probably the most unpopular in its class at the moment and you rarely meet players with it. It's the only semi-automatic weapon in its class, which brings it closer to assault rifles.

Call of Duty EBR 14 200402 142456

The EBR-14 is lackluster compared to its DMR big brothers. (Image credit: Activision)

We have access to the EBR-14 from the beginning of the game. As the only semi-automatic rifle in the DMR class, it offers by far the highest rate of fire, but has much lower damage and very high recoil. It plays best at medium to long distances and should be used rather defensively. Despite its high rate of fire, it almost always loses out against assault rifles, as it needs at least two hits to take out an opponent. To get the best out of the EBR-14, the attachments should be all about controlling that recoil:

  • Muzzle: compensator
  • Barrel: FORGE TAC precision 20 inch
  • Visor: aiming aid Reflex visor
  • Shaft: FTAC Heavy Shaft Pro
  • Underrun: Command Front Grip

These attachments slightly increase the range and significantly improve recoil control. The barrel also increases the aim speed, which is important for weapons where every shot counts. For the sight, we have chosen the Target Aid Reflex, in order to lose as little mobility as possible. However, it can also be exchanged for sights with 3x magnification or similar, depending on preference.

With this setup, you have a semi-automatic rifle that kills at almost all ranges with two hits. Nevertheless, it is usually outperformed by other weapons and our next two candidates are far and away better at what they do.

2. Kar98k

The Kar98k represents the German rifle from World War II and makes it to the second place on the list. It has the highest damage in its class and plays relatively similar to sniper rifles, pretty much the opposite number of the EBR-14.

Call of Duty Kar98k 200402 143104

The Kar98k is a high-mobility, one-hit killer... if used right. (Image credit: Activision)

The Kar98k is unlocked at level 33 and is a bolt-action rifle. It has very high damage and excellent precision and range. Due to the bolt-action mechanism, however, it must be reloaded after each shot, which, as you might have guessed already, makes for a very slow rate of fire. Most players who use this weapon play it as a quick-scope sniper because of its high damage, which allows one-shot upper body kills at almost all distances. Therefore the attachments should support that strength:

  • Laser: Tactical Laser
  • Sight: Riflescope
  • Shank: FTAC Sport wedge
  • Handle: Patterned grip tape
  • Extra: dexterity

Almost all of these assets improve the time needed for targeting. The grip tape also improves fire speed while sprinting, which is always a bonus with a quick-scope build. The scope offers 7x magnification and the extra dexterity lets us reload faster. The latter is absolutely necessary, as with this Kar98k setup, each cartridge has to be reloaded individually.

This build is a killing machine in the right hands but requires quite the skill. Quick-scoping in particular demands a lot of practice and is definitely not for everyone. Still, if you are a fan of this style of play, you should definitely try the Kar98k, as it delivers reliable one-shots while being way more mobile than a sniper rifle.

1. MK2 Carbine

Say hello to our DMR gold medalist – the MK2 Carbine. It is unlocked at level 15 and is a lever-action rifle. The damage is not quite as high as the Kar98k, but it still kills at most distances with a hit to the chest or head.

Call of Duty M2 Karabiner 200402 143218

The M2 Carbine takes the DMR cake. (Image credit: Activision)

The rate of fire is significantly better compared to the Kar98k, but cannot compete with the semi-automatic EBR-14. The MK2 karabiner can also be played as a quick-scope sniper, but we prefer to present here an all-around setup that even inexperienced players can handle:

  • Run: FSS 24″ Factory
  • Laser: tactical laser
  • Sight: VLK 3.0x sight
  • Shank: FSS MK2 sports wedge
  • Extra: Focus

These attachments allow for both an aggressive and a passive playing style. The barrel and sight are focused on increasing the weapon’s long-range capabilities. We chose the VLK among all 3x sights because it offers a large field of view and has a nice clear crosshair. What we lose in target speed through barrel and visor, we compensate with laser and stock. The extra focus gives us the possibility to aim correctly even when we are under fire.

With this setup, you have a weapon that still needs practice and good aim, but can kill at almost any distance with a hit to the upper body. Due to the lever-action, the rate of fire is also high enough to quickly follow up on a miss.

In summary, DMRs are are an interesting mix that gives you more mobility than snipers and higher damage than assault rifles. Yet they fall in the “middle of the pack” trap where they don’t really excel at anything and with their comparatively higher skill floor, they are rarely the first choice of Call of Duty players.

If you are among the many that go for other options, maybe you’ll find what you are looking for among our assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns or light machine guns suggestions.

Related Content

More Call of Duty content

Poll: CoD Season 2 Weapons

What Season 2 weapon are you most excited about?
Call of Duty

Most Recent

Related Content

More Call of Duty content