Best MW3 Longbow loadout, build, and full class setup

Find out the best MW3 Longbow loadout for an agile one-hit quickscoping sniper build that is dominating the multiplayer meta right now on PS5, Xbox, and PC.

MW3 Longbow loadout: The Longbow build, painted in a blue camo, against a blurred background of key characters.

What is the best MW3 Longbow loadout? In a game jam-packed full of exceptionally great feeling guns to shoot, you’d think it would be hard for Sledgehammer to somehow top themselves – and then you use the Longbow. This scrappy sniper rifle is very unlike every other sniper in the game, though it will take the best MW3 Longbow loadout for it to really shine. With the right attachments, this goes from a clunky sniper with a needlessly large magazine to a swift rifle perfect for quickscoping. It’s arguably the best sniper in MW3, though you put that to the test yourself shortly.

Call of Duty MW3 has plenty of amazing weapons to use, both in terms of the excellent weapon feedback and when thinking about the MW3 meta, though the Longbow stands out as an oddity at first; it’s a sniper with a magazine the size of an assault rifle and limited range, how could that ever be one of the MW3 best guns? Well, with our guide to the best MW3 Longbow build, you’ll have one of the best MW3 loadouts you can get, so long as you’ve got quick reflexes. We’ve loved putting this build together during our MW3 review process, and it took us by surprise just how powerful yet easy to use it is.

MW3 Longbow loadout

The best MW3 Longbow loadout is:

  • Laser – FSS OLE-V Laser
  • Stock – No stock
  • Rear Grip – Nought-Z3 Grip
  • Magazine – 10 Round Mag
  • Ammunition – 7.62x39mm High Grain Rounds

This Longbow build aims to increase the speed and handling of the weapon significantly, involving removing certain parts of the gun to make it more compact. This takes advantage of the Longbow’s aggressive handling to make a sniper that’s ideal for quickscoping, even for those who don’t normally like snipers. After lots of rounds of Rust 24/7 and tweaking in the practice range, we’ve created the best Longbow loadout in MW3 as we’ve raced through the MW3 camos unlocks for this slick sniper.

MW3 Longbow loadout: The Longbow build in the class customization screen, shown with a blue camo.

Starting off with perhaps the most important attachment, the FSS OLE-V Laser greatly increases aiming stability, aim down sight speed, and sprint to fire speed. These are all three main stats we’re looking to improve, all in one attachment. Furthermore, the only downside is a visible laser while in ADS. Since we’ll be quickscoping and constantly on the move, this isn’t much of a hassle anyhow. Plus, requiring only one shot to kill to the upper body, enemies won’t live long enough to be able to take you out. If you’re yet to unlock the FSS OLE-V Laser, then you can use the SL Razorhawk Laser Light or the Corio Laz-44 V3 in the meantime. Our recommendation is a clear-cut upgrade over these two alternatives, so you should swap them out as soon as you unlock the FSS OLE-V Laser.

Next up is the stock, or lack thereof, to be specific. With the goal to improve speed and handling, we don’t need a clunky stock getting in the way. After all, stocks are designed to improve recoil control, but that’s not what you need with a rapid one-shot sniper designed for quickscoping. Having no stock massively improves sprint to fire speed, movement speed, and aim walking speed at the cost of gun kick control, recoil control, aiming idle swap, and flinch resistance. The most impactful benefit is the hit to flinch resistance, making it harder to land a follow-up shot if you miss, though we’ll make up for this elsewhere. Overall, these benefits more than outweigh the drawbacks, taking the Longbow build one step closer to the quickscoping king it’s destined to be.

As for the rear grip, the Nought-Z3 Grip is the clear winner. Further enhancing sprint to fire speed and aim down sight speed at the expense of gun kick control and recoil control, you’ll be able to swiftly line up the killing blow on an opponent, even out of sprint. While some prefer the Demo 650 Grip for its greater focus on aim down sight speed, we find the blow to flinch resistance and the lack of sprint to fire speed bonuses too much of a missed opportunity, though you might find it works better for your playstyle.

MW3 Longbow loadout: The player inspecting the Longbow build, holding the magazine in their left hand.

Now for the magazine, you might be wondering why we’re rocking the 10 Round Mag. The staggering 30 round magazine by default is one of its main selling points if you’re looking at the stat sheet. After all, it’s generally three times larger than the competition. However, once you’ve swapped to the 10 Round Mag for the bonus aim down sight speed, sprint to fire speed, aim walking speed, and reload quickness, you’ll never go back. Having 30 bullets might mean you rarely have to reload, but it’s complete overkill. With only ten bullets, you’ll be much more agile while still being able to kill a maximum of ten people before needing to reload. For reference, that’s more than pretty much any other weapon besides an LMG. You’ll also gain reload quickness anyhow, so you can quickly swap mags when you need to.

Last but not least, we’ve got the 7.62x39mm High Grain Rounds. One of the major drawbacks of the default Longbow is its range, which is rather ironic for a sniper rifle with such a name. This holds it back from one-shotting enemies at long range and towards a more aggressive, close-range playstyle. While that doesn’t necessarily change with the 7.62x39mm High Grain Rounds, the added bullet velocity and damage range certainly does push the one-hit range further out to make it a more well-rounded and consistent weapon. Thanks to the blazingly quick rechambering speed, even with a bolt attachment, you will find it easy enough to get the second follow-up shot to drop your opponent at longer ranges anyhow.

Now you have the best MW3 Longbow build you could ask for, you just need the full class setup. Nevertheless, with this build we’ve been able to bag everything from slick quickscope headshots to even swift triple and quadruple kills. So long as you’ve got good positioning and accuracy, the Longbow loadout will do the rest.

MW3 Longbow loadout: The Rival-9 shown in the Longbow class in the customization page.

MW3 Longbow class setup

The best MW3 Longbow class setup is:

  • Vest – Overkill Vest
  • Secondary – Rival-9
  • Tactical – Stun/Flash Grenade
  • Lethal – Frag Grenade
  • Field Upgrade – N/A
  • Gloves – Marksman Gloves
  • Boots – Stalker Boots
  • Gear – EOD Padding

Starting things off with the Vest slot, since this dictates the other items we can use, we’ve opted for the Overkill Vest thanks to its increased weapon swap speed, the ability to reload while sprinting, and to be able to bring two primary weapons. While we generally prefer the Overkill Vest for this MW3 Longbow loadout, the Gunner Vest is just as good. This also lets you carry to primary weapons, though it offers improved reload speed and spawns you with max ammo.

Although the Longbow build can handle everything you throw at it, from close-range skirmishes to mid and even long range shootouts, it’s a good idea to have a fallback. When things get really intense, trust us, you’ll want the best MW3 Rival-9 loadout at the ready. Whether you need to reload your Longbow or the magnification scope is a little too much at times, then the Rival-9 can more than handle close-range fights as it’s one of the best SMGs in the game. However, there are several great alternatives, such as the MW3 Striker loadout or the close-range-king WSP Swarm. If you’d rather an assault rifle over an SMG, then something like the scrappy MW3 MCW loadout or MTZ-556 will also do the job.

MW3 Longbow loadout: The player aiming at a defeated enemy, with the words 'triple kill' in yellow to the right of the Longbow build's scope.

As for throwable equipment, there’s a lot of great options depending on how you play. While we recommend Flash or Stun Grenades alongside a Frag Grenade, all of which are quick to use and perfect for flushing out enemies, those with a less aggressive playstyle might rather Scatter Mines or a Claymore. Likewise, you could also use a Breacher Drone, though we feel it slows us down a little too much to cast it when we could have just pushed the enemy for a brisk quickscope kill. No matter what you choose, you can’t really go wrong. As a side note, since we’re using the Overkill Vest we don’t have access to a Field Upgrade item. However, if you’re using a different Vest, then we recommend you bring a Comm Scrambler along with you to avoid letting the enemy have a leg-up on you.

Onto the most important class setup options outside of the Vest, we’ve gone for the Marksman Gloves and Stalker Boots. The Marksman Gloves reduce sway and flinch while aiming, letting us land the all-important upper body shot when under pressure. However, the Assault Gloves are a great alternative for those that like to be incredibly aggressive as they allow you to pull off jump shots with increased accuracy and speed. On the other hand, the Stalker Boots increase strafe speed and ADS movement speed, which is great for dodging gunfire and lining up the killing blow. With that said, we’ve also loved using the Tactical Pads for those sweet, sweet slide shots.

Last up is the Gear slot, which we’ve used for the EOD Padding. If you’ve played for more than five minutes, especially on maps like Rust, you’ve no doubt noticed the excessive grenade and explosion spam. Whether it’s people lobbing grenades from spawn or firing the annoying RGL-80 grenade launcher, the EOD Padding will keep you alive for longer. After all, you don’t want your streak to end because of a stray grenade.

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MW3 Longbow alternatives

If you’re looking to snipe in MW3, there’s not all that many alternatives to the Longbow, which is undoubtedly the best sniper right now since it’s perfect for the smaller MW3 maps that are in the game at the moment. With that said, the KATT-AMR is another popular choice. It’s more powerful than the Longbow though it trades away mobility. In other words, it requires just a little more practice to be able to run around quickscoping folk. Otherwise, there’s the KV Inhibitor which focuses on fire rate to offer a more approachable sniper that’s more akin to a marksman rifle.

That’s the best MW3 Longbow loadout, build, and full class setup to be able to dominate in one of the best FPS games right now. Having such a powerful and agile one-hit sniper will no doubt be helpful in MW3 ranked play, as it works wonders in standard MW3 multiplayer modes, even becoming one of our favorite weapons right now. Otherwise, check out other meta weapons like the MW3 BAS-B loadout or MW3 Holger 556 loadout. Sure, they’re not snipers, but they are all over multiplayer.