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The AUG tactical rifle was easily among the top five most broken weapons in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for the first couple seasons of the game’s life cycle. However, in Season 2, Treyarch decided to nerf the AUG significantly. This allowed a new challenger to take its spot atop the tactical rifle category: the M16.

Best tactical rifle in Black Ops Cold War

On paper, the AUG and M16 are fairly similar. Both are three-round burst tactical rifles that deal a huge amount of damage and have very little recoil. The factor that separated the two weapons was the fire rate; the AUG possessed a much higher base fire rate than the M16.

However, Season 3 has altered this dramatically. Now, the M16’s fire rate is close to being on par with its in-class counterpart. Also, the M16 has a more predictable recoil pattern. This allows players to be more accurate at medium to longer ranges. The damage of the two weapons is virtually the same as well, which only helps the M16’s case.

As with any rifle, the M16 is best suited at medium to long-range. Running and gunning is an option but a powerful SMG will usually come out on top when an M16 is in hand. Equipping a 1-2x zoomed scope with attachments that boost damage range, recoil and fire rate is the recipe for success with this weapon.

However, the gun’s recommended loadout implements some attachments to boost mobility. An increased aim down sights time is most useful in close-range engagements but it can also be utilized to snap onto targets that are over 10-15 meters away. Submachine guns will still get the better of the M16 most of the time, but players have a fighting chance.

There aren’t many weapons in Black Ops Cold War that can match the M16 with this kind of loadout.


Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 6+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.


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