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    Firearms Guide by barticle

    Version: 1.04 | Updated: 06/21/13 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

      BF3 Firearms Guide - Version 1.04 - 9 June 2013 - by Barticle at hotmail.com
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     01 INTRODUCTION        03 WEAPONS                       05 ACCESSORIES
     02 STATS & MECHANICS      03a Assault Rifles               05a Sights & Scopes
        02a Speed & Range      03b Carbines                     05b Attachments
        02b Suppression        03c Light Machineguns         06 SCORING
        02c Damage             03d Sniper Rifles             07 CONTACT
        02d Ammo & Reloading   03e Personal Defence Weapons  08 THANKS
        02e Recoil             03f Shotguns  .------------------------------------.
        02f Accuracy           03g Pistols  ( Check out my BF3 Trophies Guide too! )
        02g Bullet-Drop     04 SPECS         '------------------------------------'
    
    .------------.-----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 01 | INTRODUCTION                                                s01 |
    '------------'-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    This is a guide to the multiplayer firearms in Battlefield 3 (hereafter "BF3").
    
    My aims are to explain the mechanics of weapons fire in the game (and how to
    interpret the Symthic weapon charts), to discuss/compare all of the weapons and
    attachments and to give a little background on each gun. What I can't do is tell
    you which weapons or attachments to use - that will depend on your play-style,
    available unlocks, game mode, map, enemy tactics, etc - but hopefully I will
    give you the information you need to make informed choices.
    
    I'm a veteran of BF3 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (hereafter "BFBC2") and I've
    written over thirty game-guides for this site including a Trophies Guide for BF3
    which gives comprehensive coverage of all the trophies (and ribbons) plus tips
    for completing the DLC weapon unlock Assignments (see trophies #42 and #48).
    
    I realise that I'm writing this over a year since BF3 was released but the game
    still has a large active community with new players joining daily and, writing
    this intro on 23 December, I'm sure we'll have a second wave of Christmas noobs
    very soon! Also, when the next Battlefield game is released, I should be able to
    adapt this text quickly into a BF4 firearms guide, especially if they include
    all the same guns again!
    
    To jump to any section of this document use your browser's Find function (with
    Ctrl+F on a PC or Cmd+F on a Mac probably) and search for the letter s followed
    by the two or three-digit section number, for example s04 to find Section 04
    (and this paragraph!) or s02d to find the fourth sub-section of Section 2.
    
    All weapon stats in this guide are quoted from Symthic.com and are correct at
    December 2012 following the major patch in late November 2012. It appears that
    there were no weapons-balancing changes included in the (presumably final) patch
    released in March 2013 with the End Game DLC so I don't foresee any significant
    updates to this guide in future, although I'm open to contributions.
    
    This guide is designed to be viewed using a monospaced (non-proportional or
    fixed-width) font, preferably Courier New. Some sections of the document will
    display incorrectly if you are using a proportional font like Times New Roman.
    
    
    .------------.-----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 02 | STATS & MECHANICS                                           s02 |
    '------------'-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    This is the first of the two main sections of this guide. It explains all the
    various stats and physical rules that govern how firearms work in BF3.
    
    The weapon stats in the game and on the official Battlelog site are inadequate
    (e.g. bolt-action sniper rifle "range = very long" - how helpful!) and in some
    cases they're actually incorrect but luckily there's a fantastic online resource
    for detailed and current BF3 weapon data called Symthic.
    
    Visit http://symthic.com for comprehensive weapon stats for Battlefield 3 (and
    Blops II, Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Modern Warfare 3 as well).
    
    The most important feature for BF3 is the Weapon Charts. These give a complete
    breakdown of the stats for each category of gun in the game. This section of my
    guide explains each of these stats in turn (in the order they're presented on
    Symthic) and therefore also covers the firearm mechanics of BF3.
    
    --> http://symthic.com/bf3-weapon-charts
    
    There's also a useful Weapon Comparison page that lets you compare two different
    guns with or without any accessory that affects weapon stats. You can even pick
    firearms from two different categories so for example you could compare the G36C
    carbine with a laser sight to the M249 machinegun with a foregrip if you wanted.
    
    You can also use this page to compare the same gun to itself, with and without
    any accessory, for example comparing the M416 with a heavy barrel to the M416
    with a flash suppressor.
    
    --> http://symthic.com/bf3-weapon-comparison
    
    You should also be aware of the other pages available on the site which you can
    access from the main BF3 menu. These include Accuracy Plots (graphic displays of
    accuracy and recoil), TTK charts (listing Time To Kill for each gun at different
    ranges), BTK (number of Bullets To Kill at various ranges) and example images of
    all the sights, scopes and iron sights in the game.
    
    --> http://symthic.com/bf3-stats
    
    I could not have written this guide without the sterling efforts of everyone who
    has contributed to the Symthic data. Thanks folks! :)
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 02a | Speed & Range                                             s02a |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    The first four stats on the Symthic weapon charts are shown immediately under
    the image and name of the gun. The first three of those are described below.
    
                                      Rate of Fire
                                      ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The first number is the fire-rate, given in RPM (rounds per minute). This tells
    us the speed at which the weapon can fire successive rounds, but of course this
    is not the number of bullets that can actually be fired in one minute. The FAMAS
    assault rifle has the highest rate of fire (1,000 RPM) but since the magazine
    can only hold 25 bullets you would spend much of that minute reloading!
    
    Each firearm in the game has up to three different fire modes. These will be
    indicated on the in-game display by dots to the right of your ammo counter in
    the bottom-right corner of the screen. Press the d-pad down to switch between
    the fire modes on your weapon.
    
    o Automatic (three dots) - fully automatic fire when you hold the trigger
    
    o Burst (two dots) - two or three rounds* fired when you tap/hold the trigger
    
    o Single (one dot) - only one round fired when you tap/hold the trigger
    
    For an automatic weapon the Symthic charts show the fire-rate on full auto. For
    a semi-auto, pump-action or bolt-action weapon they show the effective maximum
    rate of fire on successive single shots.
    
    In automatic mode you can use "tapfire" (tapping R1) to create a burst effect if
    your weapon lacks a burst mode or you're too lazy to change the fire mode. :)
    With practice you should be able to reliably get one, two or three rounds per
    tap, depending on how long you hold the trigger. Firing consecutive short bursts
    is much more accurate than one long burst.
    
    The M16A4 and KH2002 assault rifles and M4 carbine have a burst option *instead*
    of full auto; there are about a dozen other weapons that offer a burst mode in
    addition to automatic. Unlike with real-life weapons, using a burst fire mode in
    the game will always give you the standard burst (e.g. three rounds) regardless
    of whether you tap or hold the trigger.
    
    In a video on his Youtube channel Granada DeFumasa reports that the Xbox 360 has
    a hardware handicap compared to the PS3 - the design of the Xbox controller's
    trigger limits the speed you can achieve for consecutive bursts** (for example
    with his favoured AN94). Also if you play on PC then you might find it harder to
    maintain your aim when clicking the mouse button for consecutive bursts.
    
    The fire-rate of your weapon is very significant in close-quarters combat. When
    you encounter an enemy it will often be the one that can pump the most rounds
    into the other that will prevail. However at medium and longer ranges you will
    be more likely to prosper with a slower weapon that's easier to control.
    
    *The AN94 assault rifle, the G36C carbine and the UMP45 and M5K in the PDW group
    have a two-round burst, all others are three.
    
    **As we'll see below, most guns in the assault rifle and carbine categories give
    a maximum damage of 25 so - unless your target is already injured or you get a
    headshot for the x2 multiplier - you'll need more than one burst to get the 100
    damage required for a kill.
    
                                    Muzzle Velocity
                                    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    This is the speed at which bullets leave the barrel, given in metres per second
    (m/s). For example at 600 m/s it takes a quarter of a second for your bullets to
    travel 150 metres (164 yards) and in order to hit a moving target you would need
    to "lead" them - aiming in front of them.
    
    In general the rifles and machineguns in BF3 have muzzle velocities of around
    500 to 600 m/s (compared to typical values of 850 to 950 m/s in real life), for
    PDW's it's around 400 m/s and for pistols around 300 m/s.
    
    A weapon with a lower muzzle velocity will experience more "bullet-drop" (see
    Section 02g) since the longer travel time gives the bullet more time to fall.
    
    When you equip a sound suppressor attachment (see Section 05b) you also switch
    to subsonic ammunition with reduced muzzle velocity and a significantly shorter
    drop-off on the damage profile (see Section 02c).
    
                                     Maximum Range
                                     ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    For most guns the maximum distance that a bullet can reach is calculated as the
    length it travels in 1.5 seconds so this is intimately connected to the previous
    stat. For example the F2000 assault rifle has a muzzle velocity of 600 m/s so
    (speed x time = distance) its max range is 600 x 1.5 = 900 metres (984 yards).
    
    The muzzle velocity trends apply here too so the rifles and machineguns tend to
    have longer ranges (around 800-950m) compared to PDW's and handguns.
    
    The exception to the 1.5 seconds rule is the sniper rifles which are given much
    longer maximum ranges, between 2 and 3 kilometres (up to 2 miles for the M98).
    
    This is only the theoretical maximum range of the weapon and not the effective
    range - you'll usually want to be operating at significantly shorter ranges.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 02b | Suppression                                               s02b |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    This is a percentage statistic that indicates how effective a bullet from that
    gun is at suppressing an enemy. The suppression mechanic occurs when someone
    shoots near you (but misses) - not only does this obscure your screen view with
    a blurring effect but it also temporarily impairs the accuracy of your weapons.
    
    If a team-mate kills an enemy while you're currently suppressing that target you
    will receive a fixed 50-point Suppression Kill Assist bonus. If you landed a few
    hits too then you'll also get a normal Kill Assist equal to the number of points
    of damage you did, so with the two bonuses combined it's actually possible to
    score more than the 100 XP you receive for getting the kill yourself!
    
    (The suppression effect should not be confused with the suppressor attachments
    which can be added to a weapon to reduce the noise it makes - see Section 05b.)
    
    Although the belt-fed LMG's (light machineguns) of the Support class are ideal
    for laying down sustained suppressive fire you can actually use any firearm.
    
    The majority of weapons have a standard suppression stat of 7%. For the pistols
    that fire Magnum ammo (Rex and .44 Magnum) it's 15%, for rifles and machineguns
    in 7.62mm calibre it's either 10% or 20% and for the bolt-action sniper rifles
    it's always 35% (but of course their fire-rates are much slower).
    
    The suppression effect is enhanced if the shooter has the benefit of the SUPR
    spec and reduced if the target has the COVR spec (see Section 04).
    
    One useful technique in shooter games is pre-firing - this is when you start to
    shoot (full auto) at an enemy before you have a clear line of sight, for example
    when you pop out of cover and you know there's an enemy in front of your or if
    you see an enemy on the minimap about to come around a nearby corner. This can
    be even more effective in BF3 because of the suppression effect - even if your
    initial couple of shots miss your target you'll still be suppressing them and
    making it harder for them to return fire successfully.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 02c | Damage                                                    s02c |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    When playing on a "Normal" server every player has 100 health - you can think of
    this as 100 hit points or just as 100% of full health. It's easier to kill (and
    to die!) on a "Hardcore" server - all the weapons do exactly the same damage as
    in Normal but now everyone has only 60 health.
    
    The damage done by any bullet that hits an enemy (or a friendly in Hardcore!) is
    determined by a few basic numbers.
    
    There are four key stats for each weapon which are shown graphically as a plot
    of damage (per round) against distance travelled. At short range a bullet does
    its Maximum Damage, then when it reaches the Drop-Off Start distance the damage
    starts to decrease (at a constant linear rate) until it reaches the Drop-Off End
    distance after which the Minimum Damage applies. (The round then continues until
    it reaches the Maximum Range (see above) where it effectively disappears!)
    
           D|                     Damage Plot (General)
           A|                     ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
           M|----------._  <---- Maximum Damage
           A|            `-._
           G|                `-._
           E|                    `-._
            |                        `-._
            |                            `-------------  <---- Minimum Damage
            |_____________________________________________________
                      /\                 /\        D I S T A N C E
                Drop-Off Start      Drop-Off End
    
    The various guns in the game have different damage graphs but they always have
    this same basic shape and any two weapons in the same category that use the same
    type of ammunition (see below) will usually have identical damage stats.
    
    For example every assault rifle (apart from the G3) fires either the 5.56mm NATO
    or 5.45mm Warsaw Pact ammo and, for the sake of balance, these are considered to
    be identical. The max damage is 25, the drop-off start is 8 metres, the drop-off
    end is 50 metres and the minimum damage is 18.4 (out to max range).
    
                D|           Damage Plot (Assault Rifles)
                A|           ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
                M|-----._  <---- 25.0 pts
                A|       `-._
                G|           `-._
                E|               `-._
                 |                   `-._
                 |                       `-------------  <---- 18.4 pts
                 Z
                 |________________________________________________
                      /\                 /\        D I S T A N C E
                   8 metres           50 metres
    
    Out to 8 metres each bullet does 25 damage so on a Normal server it takes four
    bullets to kill an enemy (4 x 25 = 100) but at just past 8 metres (at the start
    of the drop-off zone) you'll need an extra bullet (4 x 24.9 < 100). You'll then
    get five-hit kills out to the distance at which the damage drops to 20 (roughly
    40 metres) and beyond that it's always a six-hit kill (6 x 18.4 > 100).
    
    (The drop-off zone is essentially a triangle, in this case with side lengths 6.6
    and 42. Damage or distances within this zone can be determined with basic trig
    or by equating the aspect ratios of similar triangles. For example if we say the
    damage drops to 20 at N metres into the zone then (25 - 20) / N = 6.6 / 42 and
    therefore N = 31.8 metres and the full distance is 31.8 + 8 = 39.8 metres.)
    
    The bullet damage and rate of fire can be multiplied to give a "damage-rate", a
    measure of how quickly they can deliver damage (in this case at close quarters).
    
      F2000 = 850 RPM x 25 damage / 60 seconds per minute = 354 damage per second
    
      L85A2 = 650 RPM x 25 damage / 60 seconds per minute = 270 damage per second
    
       G3A3 = 550 RPM x 34 damage / 60 seconds per minute = 311 damage per second
    
    There's no Magnum spec (like in BFBC2) to increase the damage per round. There
    are only two attachments in BF3 that affect the damage stats - the heavy barrel
    increases the drop-off end distance while the suppressor reduces both the drop-
    off start and end distances.
    
    The graph shows the base damage per round but multipliers are applied when you
    hit certain parts of your target. A headshot does double damage (x2) with most
    guns or x2.4 damage with sniper rifles, revolvers, shotguns and the crossbow in
    the Aftermath DLC. Since the bolt-action snipers all have a minimum damage of at
    least 50 they always give a one-hit headshot kill at any range (50 x 2.4 > 100).
    
    Shooting your target's legs however gives a multiplier of x0.91 so it actually
    reduces the damage per bullet by 9 percent.
    
    Some weapons - sniper rifles, revolvers, shotgun slug rounds and the crossbow -
    also get a x1.25 multiplier to do more damage on hits to the upper torso of your
    target (although, since it has higher max damage already, the M98B bolt-action
    sniper only gets a x1.06 multiplier on such chest shots).
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 02d | Ammo & Reloading                                          s02d |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    Next to the damage plot on the Symthic weapon charts are the reload times along
    with details of the ammunition capacity and type.
    
    Most guns have two reload times: the short reload and the long reload. The short
    reload applies if you reload while you still have some bullets in the weapon and
    the long reload occurs if you reload when it's completely dry. Taking the SCAR-H
    carbine as an example the short reload there is 2.10 seconds and the long reload
    when the gun is empty is 2.75 seconds (since you need to chamber a round).
    
     2.10         The two reload times are presented in a diagonal row with a third
         2.75     figure which is a "threshold" time - once you start reloading you
             0.75 cannot switch to another weapon until this time has elapsed. For
        21        the SCAR-H it's 0.75 seconds.
    
    (As you will know from (almost) every game tutorial ever, it's much quicker to
    switch to your pistol than to reload your primary weapon.)
    
    The next number down is the maximum standard ammunition capacity of the weapon.
    For the majority of guns this is the magazine capacity plus one round in the
    chamber of the weapon. For example the SCAR-H magazine holds 20 rounds so with a
    round chambered and a full magazine the maximum capacity is 21 - when you spawn
    you'll have the full 21 rounds loaded in the weapon.
    
    Several machineguns, PDW's and shotguns have the option of using an extended
    magazine which significantly increases their ammunition capacity.
    
    The type of ammunition used by the gun is shown under the ammo capacity. The
    calibre will be given either in millimetres (for example 5.56mm or 9mm) or in
    fractions of an inch (for example .357 Magnum = 357/1000 inch). A second figure
    gives the length of the shell case, e.g. with "5.56x45mm" it's 4.5cm long.
    
    All the shotguns (including the Assault kit's M26 MASS) fire 12-gauge shells.
    The Saiga 12K, USAS12 and MK3A1 (and M26) use a detachable magazine which means
    you can do a full reload more quickly but the other shotguns have the advantage
    that, by loading shells individually, you can interrupt the reloading process
    and start firing again at any stage.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 02e | Recoil                                                    s02e |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    Recoil is the tendency of a firearm to "kick" upwards (and sideways) after each
    round is fired. This will be especially noticeable when firing a longer burst
    from an automatic weapon but, even on full auto, after releasing the trigger the
    gun will always return to your original point of aim.
    
          0.3      The recoil of each weapon is described by five numbers which are
           ^       presented on Symthic like this (using the AN94 as an example).
     0.2 <-'-> 0.3
                   The top number is the vertical recoil (muzzle rise) experienced
      18.0   1.5x  after each shot, given as an angle measured in degrees.
    
    The next two numbers are the maximum left and right horizontal recoil per shot.
    Sideways recoil is determined at random on each shot so even where the two stats
    appear to cancel each other out there will usually be some net effect although
    you will only get a distinct "pull" to one side if the numbers differ.
    
    The figure at the bottom-left is what I call the "recoil recovery" rate. It's a
    measure of how quickly the weapon returns to your original aim, given in degrees
    per second. A bigger number here will make it easier to fire accurate bursts at
    a greater speed.
    
    The final number at the bottom-right is the first-shot multiplier applied to the
    vertical recoil on the first shot of a burst of automatic fire. This can be as
    high as x3.0 (for example on the AEK971 assault rifle) which means the weapon
    will jump vertically three times further than normal on the first shot. The AS
    Val is unique in having a first-shot multiplier of x0.5 - the weapon actually
    experiences less recoil than normal on the first shot of a burst.
    
                                           ŻŻ
    A number of weapon attachments (see Section 05b) affect recoil. The suppressor
    and flash suppressor both reduce vertical recoil, the foregrip cuts horizontal
    recoil (and vertical recoil on some LMG's and sniper rifles), the heavy barrel
    increases vertical recoil and the bipod (when deployed) usually reduces both
    vertical and horizontal recoil significantly.
    
    With some practice you can compensate for recoil during a burst by adjusting
    your aim in the opposite direction, e.g. you can reduce the effect of vertical
    (upwards) recoil by holding down a little on your right stick (or up if you have
    vertical look inverted in your controller config). This is easier on PC using a
    mouse but it works on a joypad too.
    
    It's better for a weapon to have vertical recoil than horizontal recoil, not
    only because it's easier to counteract, but also because you can use it to your
    advantage by aiming low and letting the recoil guide your aim up your target's
    body and hopefully into a headshot. This strategy will be less effective on any
    weapon where the left and right recoil are asymmetrical.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 02f | Accuracy                                                  s02f |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    The accuracy of each weapon is determined as a randomised "spread" (deviation)
    on each shot. With the exception of the bolt-action sniper rifles and the AS Val
    (which all have 0.0 spread for stationary aimed fire), your bullet will not hit
    exactly where you are aiming and will instead land at a random point within a
    circle centred on your point of aim and defined by the angular spread value. You
    can visualise this as a long cone centred around your line of fire. Since spread
    is calculated as an angle, the effect is greater at longer ranges.
    
    The amount of spread that applies in any given situation will be based on three
    factors in twelve possible combinations shown in a grid:
    
            ADS  HIP        You will have less spread (better accuracy) when you are
                            aiming down the sights (ADS) compared to using hipfire.
            0.2  2.0 Stand   
     Static 0.2  1.5 Crouch Your aim will be better when you are stationary. You can
            0.2  1.0 Prone  think of this as an "accuracy bonus" for standing still.
    
            1.0  2.5 Stand  Finally your stance also has an effect on accuracy. You
     Moving 1.0  2.0 Crouch will have more hipfire spread when you are standing and
            1.0  2.0 Prone  less when crouching or laying prone.
    
    These example figures are from the AUG assault rifle. Like all "bullpup" designs
    (where the magazine and firing mechanism are behind the trigger) it gets a bonus
    to hipfire accuracy of -0.5 applied in most stances. However bullpup weapons do
    also tend to have slower reload times.
    
    It's worth noting that almost all firearms except for LMG's give the same degree
    of stationary aimed accuracy in all three stances so going prone gives no bonus
    to ADS spread (it does make you a smaller target and allow you to deploy a bipod
    but it also makes you pretty vulnerable, especially to headshots). Conversely if
    you're using a Light Machinegun you'll have a stationary ADS spread of either
    0.5 or 0.4 when standing but this will reduce to 0.2 when you go prone.
    
    The effect of stance and movement on your hipfire accuracy can be demonstrated
    simply by observing the variations in size of your crosshairs as you transition
    between running/standing and standing/crouching/prone. You can also observe the
    effect on hipfire spread of switching on and off a laser sight attachment (see
    Section 05b) and of firing a long burst on automatic.
    
    There are two other stats that are applied. The first is the spread increase per
    shot (shown in orange on Symthic) which is the amount by which the radius of
    spread increases with each successive shot; the value is 0.1 for the AUG A3 (and
    for all the assault rifles firing similar calibres). This means it's much better
    to use short bursts, or even single shots, when shooting at longer ranges.
    
    The other stat is the spread decrease per second (shown in green) which defines
    how quickly your accuracy resets to normal after shooting or changing stance;
    this value is 15.0 for the AUG (and indeed for all firearms in the game).
    
                                           ŻŻ
    The combined effects of recoil and spread are displayed vividly in the accuracy
    plots on Symthic where the different colours represent successive shots fired in
    a five-round burst. With each shot the muzzle rises and the spread increases but
    the unique stats for every weapon give each one a characteristic accuracy plot.
    
    --> http://symthic.com/bf3-accuracy-plots
    
    Several weapon attachments have an effect on the accuracy of the gun. The laser
    sight reduces the hipfire spread, the foregrip increases ADS spread, the bipod
    (when deployed) reduces both ADS and hipfire spread, the suppressor reduces ADS
    spread but increases hipfire spread, the flash suppressor increases hip spread
    and the heavy barrel improves aimed accuracy but adds hipfire spread.
    
    One very useful feature of BF3 is spotting. You can "spot" an enemy by aiming at
    them and pressing Select (or Back on the Xbox / Q on PC). This causes them to be
    temporarily tagged with an orange triangle over their head and a marker on the
    minimap, both of which are visible to everyone on your team. As well as using
    spotting to alert friendlies of enemy positions you can also use it to assist
    your shooting because often you can see the orange triangle more clearly than
    the actual target and you can just aim directly below the marker. The exception
    is when you spot a squad leader - they will be tagged with both a triangle and a
    star and you need to aim at the spot horizontally between the two.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 02g | Bullet-Drop                                               s02g |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    In addition to travelling with finite speeds (see Muzzle Velocity above) every
    bullet in the game also acts as a true projectile and, instead of travelling in
    a perfectly flat path, will gradually fall to earth under gravity. Although this
    applies to all guns, this bullet-drop will be most noticeable when using sniper
    rifles at long range - you'll need to aim above your targets to hit them.
    
    Bullet-drop figures are not given on the Symthic weapon charts so let's work out
    a couple of examples using the bolt-action L96 rifle at 200 and 400 metres.
    
    We only need to use a couple of "VUSAT" equations (the game doesn't apply air
    resistance and I'm ignoring the slight curvature of the projectile's path).
    
           time = distance / speed
    
       distance = 0.5 x acceleration x time squared  (when initial speed is zero)
    
    The muzzle velocity for the L96 is 540 m/s so, considering the horizontal motion
    only, the bullet will cover 200m in 200 / 540 = 0.37 seconds
    
    Now considering the vertical motion (the downwards acceleration due to gravity)
    over 200 metres the bullet will drop 0.5 x 9.81 x 0.37 x 0.37 = 0.67 metres
    
    (I believe BF3 applies other/larger values of acceleration due to gravity for
    some weapons, but you get the basic idea of how it works.)
    
    Repeating the calculations for a distance of 400 metres the bullet will travel
    for 400 / 540 = 0.74 seconds and fall 0.5 x 9.81 x 0.74 x 0.74 = 2.69 metres
    
    You don't need to do mathematics whilst playing though - the simplest way to
    determine your weapon's bullet-drop at any given range is to fire a test shot at
    a plain wall or post (at the same distance), stay scoped-in and watch where the
    bullet impacts. Say it lands 1.5 cm below your crosshairs (measured on your TV
    screen) you know that you'll need to aim 1.5cm higher to score a direct hit.
    
    
    .------------.-----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 03 | WEAPONS                                                     s03 |
    '------------'-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    There are seven categories of guns in Battlefield 3:
    
    o Assault Rifles are available only within the Assault kit
    
    o Carbines are available only within the Engineer kit
    
    o Light Machineguns (LMG's) are available only within the Support kit
    
    o Sniper Rifles are available only within the Recon kit
    
    o Personal Defence Weapons (PDW's) and Shotguns can be used in any kit
    
    o Pistols are equipped to the secondary slot in any kit
    
    You start the game with ten guns available - two each from the assault rifle,
    carbine, LMG, sniper and pistol categories. These are faction-locked, so within
    each pair one is used by the American side and the other by the Russian side.
    These weapons will eventually become unlocked for the opposing side by earning a
    Service Star in the appropriate class (or with the pistols themselves for the
    sidearms). No other guns are faction-locked.
    
    Most of the guns are unlocked by progressing through the multiplayer ranks or by
    earning specified totals of experience points (XP) using the appropriate kits.*
    Another seven are earned by collecting co-op XP in the online co-op missions so
    remember to get those too as there are some decent guns available there.
    
    Twenty more firearms are unlocked by completing the Assignment challenges from
    DLC sets (ten in Back To Karkand and ten in Close Quarters). For details of the
    requirements and tips on completion refer to my BF3 trophies guide on this site
    (see trophies #42 and #48 respectively).
    
    The following seven sections describe individually every firearm in the game.
    
    Standard ammo capacities for most guns are given in the format N+1 where the
    magazine holds N cartridges and you can have one more ready in the chamber.
    
    The reload times are for the short reload (when the gun isn't completely empty).
    
    *Remember that, if you are using a vehicle with unlocks, any XP you earn will be
    counted towards that vehicle category instead of your class. For example if you
    are using the Assault kit and sit in a tank to capture a flag in Conquest mode
    the points will count as Main Battle Tank experience instead of Assault XP...
    unless you briefly hop out of the tank just before the cap is complete. :)
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 03a | Assault Rifles                                            s03a |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    The assault rifles can only be equipped when using the Assault class.
    
    Since the original Sturmgewehr 45 and Kalashnikov AK47 in the 40's, the assault
    rifle has become ubiquitous across battlefields worldwide. The combination of
    gun design and intermediate ammo loads give a weapon that delivers fire at the
    typical engagement distances of 200-300 metres with a high fire-rate, reliable
    accuracy and manageable recoil.
    
    As noted in Section 02c above, every assault rifle except for the G3A3 uses the
    5.56mm NATO or Russian 5.45mm ammo and these both have identical damage profiles
    giving 25 max damage (out to 8 metres) and 18.4 min damage (after 50 metres).
    
    It can be a painful experience when you first start using a new gun as you are
    forced to use the iron sights and these often give a poor view of your target.
    At least with carbines and PDW's the first accessory unlock (10 kills) will be a
    red-dot sight but with the assault rifles it's a 4x scope and you don't get an
    RDS until the fifth unlock (50 kills) so for a while you're stuck with a choice
    of iron sights, ACOG/PSO scope or hipfire.
    
    o M16A3
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 800 RPM   Reload: 1.80 secs
    
      Unlocks: (US side) available at start
    
               (Russian side) 220,000 Assault kit XP
    
      Summary: Your initial assault rifle when playing on the American side gives a
               respectable rate of fire, very quick reloads and good accuracy.
    
               The recoil is about average for the assault rifle category although
               the horizontal recoil is quite imbalanced (+0.1 left and +0.4 right)
               giving the A3 the most prominent sideways pull in the game.
    
               Despite being available from the start of the game (on the American
               side at least) the M16A3 is widely regarded as the best assault rifle
               in BF3, frequently favoured in competitive matches. It's also gained
               a reputation as the weapon of choice for those "tryhards" that always
               pick the strongest gun available. However the M416 and AEK971 are
               also both highly regarded and you may find that other guns are better
               suited to your play-style.
    
               J0hn-Stuart-Mill on Symthic collated weapon usage figures from the
               data on bf3stats.com (counting the number of players that've scored
               600+ kills with each gun*). This confirmed that the M16 is the most
               popular assault rifle on all three gaming platforms (PS3/360/PC).
    
               *This represents players that used the gun long enough to unlock both
               dogtags (Proficiency tag at 100 kills and Master tag at 500) but
               found it sufficiently useful or enjoyable to want to keep using it.
    
       Trivia: The M16 is the US military version of the semi-auto ArmaLite AR15,
               designed by the fantastically named Eugene Stoner, modified for full
               automatic fire. It was adopted as the US service rifle in the 60's,
               replacing the M14 during the Vietnam War.
    
               The M16A2 version appeared in the 80's with semi-auto and burst fire
               modes only. The A3 model in the game is a variant used by the US Navy
               with the option of fully automatic fire retained.
    
    o AK74M
    
         Ammo: 5.45x39mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 2.10 secs
    
      Unlocks: (Russian side) available at start
    
               (US side) 220,000 Assault kit XP
    
      Summary: Compared to the M16A3, the Russian starting rifle has a significantly
               slower rate of fire which makes it more controllable at medium/long
               range but disadvantaged in close-quarters combat. The short reload is
               quite fast but it takes a whole extra second for the long reload when
               the gun is totally empty.
    
               The vertical recoil is quite high for an assault rifle although the
               first-shot multiplier is small and the horizontal recoil is fairly
               average. The accuracy is also quite standard for this class.
    
       Trivia: Mikhail Kalashnikov's iconic AK47 design dates back to the 40's but
               is still in widespread use today. It's estimated that over 75 million
               AK47's have been manufactured and that figure more than doubles if
               you count other AK versions. Users praise the AK47 for its rugged
               reliability and ease of use.
    
               In Soviet use the AK47 and AKM were superseded by the AK74 which was
               designed, by Kalashnikov again, in 1974 (hence the name!) and uses
               the intermediate 5.45mm cartridge which is typical of modern assault
               rifles. The AK74M is a update of that design from the early 90's with
               a sideways-folding stock and a bracket for mounting a scope. It is
               currently the standard service rifle for Russian forces.
    
    o M416
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 750 RPM   Reload: 1.75 secs
    
      Unlocks: 22,000 Assault kit XP
    
      Summary: The M416 has an intermediate rate of fire and fast reloads. It has
               higher vertical recoil than some assault rifles but good horizontal
               recoil and fairly standard spread.
    
               Originally the M416 in BF3 had a burst fire mode but this feature was
               removed in early patches because it's not authentic to the real gun.
    
               As part of an effort to make the popular M16A3 a less obvious choice
               DICE buffed the M416 with improved vertical recoil, horizontal recoil
               and recoil multiplier (and nerfed the M16A3) in the September 2012
               patch but then increased the M416 recoil again in the November patch
               to "make the choice between M16 and M416 more interesting again".
    
       Trivia: The M416 is produced by renowned German firearms manufacturer Heckler
               und Koch (hereafter "H&K"). It is correctly known as the HK416.*
    
               The HK416 was designed as an improved version of the M4 carbine (see
               below) but Colt took issue with the use of their copyrighted name so
               instead it was labelled as HK416 (from the M4 and M16). The major
               design difference compared to the M4 is the incorporation of the gas
               piston system from H&K's G36 assault rifle.
    
               The HK416 is the service rifle of the Norwegian army.
    
               An ultra-compact derivative with a 9" barrel and telescopic stock was
               developed for UK special forces. This HK416C version appears in Medal
               of Honor: Warfighter where it's available to the Demolition class.
    
               *It seems that DICE couldn't get the licence to use the correct names
               for most of the firearms designed by H&K or Magpul/Bushmaster...?
    
               EA announced in May 2013 that they will no longer pay for the rights
               to use real gun designs/names in its games so we might see a lot more
               "soundalike" naming like this in BF4...
    
    o AEK971
    
         Ammo: 5.45x39mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 900 RPM   Reload: 2.50 secs
    
      Unlocks: 60,000 Assault kit XP
    
      Summary: The high fire-rate makes this weapon very effective at short ranges
               although it lacks the superior hipfire spread of the bullpup F2000.
    
               The reload times are quite slow - but the animation is cool! :) The
               vertical recoil is good but the horizontal recoil is quite high, so
               it's a good candidate for a foregrip. It has more spread in static
               ADS shooting than most AR's so it's less useful at long ranges.
    
       Trivia: The AEK is based on the classic Kalashnikov pattern (but with a novel
               counterweight to reduce recoil) and was designed during the 1980's as
               a potential AK replacement. However - despite being lighter, cheaper,
               less complicated and more accurate in sustained fire - it lost out to
               the AN94 (see below) in the military trials.
    
               There are also AEK972 and AEK973 variants which are chambered for the
               NATO 5.56mm and Soviet 7.62mm calibres respectively.
    
    o M16A4
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 800 RPM   Reload: 1.80 secs
    
      Unlocks: 89,000 Assault kit XP
    
      Summary: As you might expect, this has similar stats to the M16A3 (see above)
               but the key difference is that it has a burst fire mode instead of a
               full auto option. Also the horizontal recoil is a little lower and
               the aimed accuracy (both stationary and moving) are improved, making
               this the most accurate assault rifle in the game.
    
               The game treats the M16A3 and A4 as the same weapon when it comes to
               your performance stats (kills, headshots and accuracy) and unlocks,
               e.g. after getting a total of 10 kills with either weapon (or a mix
               of both) you'll unlock the first attachment for both guns.
    
       Trivia: The A4 variant retains the burst fire mode of the M16A2. The standard
               Picatinny rail on top means that the carrying handle can be removed
               easily and replaced by a scope. The version in the game has the full
               Rail Interface System in place of the standard handguard giving the
               potential to fit various other attachments at the front.
    
               The M16A4 is the standard rifle of the United State Marine Corps.
    
    o F2000
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 850 RPM   Reload: 2.50 secs
    
      Unlocks: 124,000 Assault kit XP
    
      Summary: The F2000 is our first example of a "bullpup" design - the magazine
               and firing mechanism are located behind the trigger. Bullpup weapons
               enjoy a bonus to hipfire accuracy thanks to the short overall length
               but the inconvenient location of the magazine well gives you slower
               than average reload times.
    
               This gun is very handy in close quarters thanks to its high fire-rate
               combined with that hipfire accuracy (which can be further enhanced by
               the addition of a laser attachment).
    
               However the recoil is quite high - the F2k has the highest horizontal
               recoil of any assault rifle so again a foregrip could be beneficial.
               It also ties with the FAMAS for the worst ADS spread (0.4 compared to
               0.2 for most assault rifles) so it's poor at longer ranges.
    
       Trivia: The F2000 was designed by Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Belgium and
               entered production in 2001.
    
               The standard version comes with a large telescopic sight fitted under
               a prominent plastic shroud (as depicted in BF2 and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
               games) but the version in BF3 is the "tactical" configuration with a
               long Picatinny rail on the top and a short rail at the front (which
               can accept a foregrip but not a grenade-launcher).
    
    o AN94
    
         Ammo: 5.45x39mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 600 RPM   Reload: 2.45 secs
    
      Unlocks: 166,000 Assault kit XP
    
      Summary: On full auto the AN94 shoots at a sluggish 600 RPM and suffers from
               high vertical recoil, although at least the first-shot multiplier is
               pretty low and the slow rate of fire makes it more controllable.
    
               The weapon's key strength is its two-round burst fire mode (with an
               effective fire-rate of 1,200 RPM) which gives tight groupings and a
               one-burst headshot kill / two-burst body-shot kill out to 8 metres.
    
               The horizontal recoil is fairly low so a foregrip is unnecessary (and
               would impair the AN94's aimed accuracy). Accuracy on the gun is quite
               standard for an assault rifle and it shares the AEK's slower reload
               animation which is almost as slow as the bullpups.
    
       Trivia: Like the AEK above, the Russian AN94 was based around the traditional
               Kalashnikov pattern. It was designed by Gennadiy Nikonov and entered
               production in 1994 (hence the name - Avtomat Nikonova 1994).
    
               It competed alongside the AEK in the early 90's in military trials to
               find a replacement for the AK series in Russian service (this contest
               was named after the city of Abakan which explains the "AN94 Abakan"
               name used in BFBC2). Although the AN94 won this competition - around
               twenty years ago - it is still yet to see widespread adoption and is
               currently issued mainly to special forces and police units.
    
               In real life the two-round burst fires at a remarkable 1,800 RPM. The
               effect of this is that both rounds leave the barrel before the firer
               experiences the recoil thus giving excellent accuracy for burst fire
               and consequently an enhanced ability to defeat body armour.
    
               The following footage from a Russian TV show highlights two quite
               unusual aspects of the AN94. Firstly the magazine sits at a distinct
               angle to the vertical (around 15-20 degrees?) and secondly the barrel
               is connected to the firing mechanism and actually slides backwards
               and forwards during operation.
    
               --> http://youtu.be/r4e4QcbEZP8
    
    o KH2002
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 800 RPM   Reload: 2.90 secs
    
      Unlocks: 17,000 co-op mode XP
    
      Summary: The KH2002 has a good effective rate of fire but it only offers burst
               fire instead of full auto. It has the best combination of vertical
               recoil and first-shot recoil multiplier in the assault rifle category
               although its horizontal recoil is quite large. The aimed accuracy is
               pretty standard. As usual the gun's bullpup configuration gives it a
               hipfire bonus but particularly slow reload times.
    
       Trivia: The KH2002 or "Khaybar" (named in memory of the Battle of Khaybar in
               629 AD) was designed by the Defence Industries Organisation (DIO) of
               Iran in 2001 as a replacement for the country's ageing G3 rifles. Its
               bullpup design makes it quite similar in appearance to the AUG.
    
               Prior to the release of the ArmA III alpha in 2013, the IMFDB listed
               Battlefield 3 as the only game/movie/TV appearance of the KH2002.
    
    o G3A3
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 550 RPM   Reload: 2.00 secs
    
      Unlocks: 160,000 co-op mode XP
    
      Summary: The final unlock in co-op mode is unique to this category in firing
               the heavier 7.62mm NATO round. This gives significantly higher damage
               with 34 maximum damage (three-hit kill in close quarters), drop-off
               from 8 metres to 60 metres and then 22 minimum damage.
    
               The slow rate of fire and poor hipfire accuracy make this gun much
               less effective at short range. The reload is quite quick but the mag
               holds only 20 rounds compared to the usual 30 for assault rifles.
    
               It matches the M16A4 with excellent stationary aimed accuracy but,
               thanks to the larger calibre, the vertical recoil is more than double
               that of most assault rifles so the G3 is best used with short bursts
               or single fire at medium/long ranges.
    
       Trivia: Designed by H&K of Germany, the original G3 dates back to the 50's
               and even the updated A3 model is several decades old. Some versions
               such as the G3A4 have a retractable metal stock but the A3 comes with
               a fixed solid plastic one. The G in the name stands for Gewehr which
               is simply the German word for "rifle".
    
               Since it fires the 7.62mm round instead of an intermediate load, the
               G3 would usually be considered a battle rifle, not an assault rifle.
    
               (I was a big fan of the G3 in BFBC2 where it was the final all-kit
               unlock. I used it mostly in the Engineer class, running it with iron
               sights so I could take the first explosives spec instead. I think I
               got my first platinum star (1,000 kills) with the G3. Good times!)
    
    o FAMAS
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 25+1   Fire-rate: 1,000 RPM   Reload: 3.05 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Best Friends Forever' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
               The BTK and Close Quarters DLC sets both added ten unlockable guns to
               the game. All ten new guns in the BTK pack had previously appeared in
               Battlefield 2, the BF2 Euro Force expansion or BF2 Modern Combat.
    
      Summary: The FAMAS has the highest fire-rate in this category which makes it
               very dangerous in close quarters. However this is balanced against an
               extreme recoil (vertical and horizontal), double the usual stationary
               aimed spread and a smaller magazine capacity than most assault rifles
               (modelled on the original FAMAS F1 design).
    
               As a bullpup weapon it has the usual bonus to hipfire accuracy and
               slow reload (the slowest of all the assault rifles).
    
               The iron sights on several firearms in the game use an aperture rear
               sight where the user looks through a small hole. On the FAMAS this is
               particularly effective at obscuring your view around your point of
               aim. This can also be a problem with the SCAR-L/H, QBZ95B/QBB95, G53,
               G36C/MG36 and AN94 - although at least on the carbines your first
               attachment unlock (after just 10 kills) will be a red dot sight!
    
       Trivia: The FAMAS was designed by MAS (Manufacture d'Armes de Saint-Étienne)
               in France - its full name literally means "MAS assault rifle".
    
               Designed during the late 60's and early 70's, the gun finally entered
               service with the French armed forces in 1979.
    
    o L85A2
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 2.80 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Professional Russian' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
               The unlock for the L85 is one of the most painful as you're required
               to win five matches of the 4v4v4v4 Squad Deathmatch mode. I think you
               should play with friends or recruit some support from the forums then
               work together as a unit with comms and medic whoring. Alternatively
               keep switching between servers until you finally find yourself on a
               good squad or join a match where you can switch to the top squad.
    
               (For comprehensive coverage of all the DLC weapon unlock Assignments
               and tips refer to my BF3 Trophies Guide on this site.)
    
      Summary: The low fire-rate and low recoil make this weapon better suited to
               medium/long range engagements, although it does get the bullpup bonus
               to hipfire accuracy (together with the reload time penalty).
    
               Stationary aimed accuracy is standard but it's one of the few assault
               rifles to have a spread of under 1.0 for moving aimed fire.
    
       Trivia: The L85, commonly known as the SA80 in the UK, is the service rifle
               of the British armed forces. Its development can be traced back to
               the late 40's and the experimental EM2 bullpup design chambered for a
               novel .280 round. This was followed in the 70's by a prototype* using
               the new 4.85mm ammo and it's this design that ultimately evolved into
               the SA80 (forced into adopting the new NATO standard of 5.56mm) which
               entered British service in the mid 80's.
    
               Following the Gulf War both the L85 and L86 (see below) were reported
               to suffer from poor performance in a desert environment plus various
               mechanical flaws. H&K were contracted to redesign and upgrade them in
               2000 resulting in the vastly superior L85A2 (and L86A2). Many L85's
               have been retrofitted with a Daniel Defense quad rail system which
               then accepts a combined foregrip/bipod attachment.
    
               H&K reported that the experience they gained during the "mid-life
               improvement programme" of the SA80 later proved very useful in their
               design of the HK416 (see above).
    
               *This L64 rifle appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops as the "Enfield".
    
    o AUG A3
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 700 RPM   Reload: 2.50 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Shepard' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: The AUG has a slower rate of fire and lower vertical recoil so, like
               the L85, it is also suited to medium ranges. It shares the bullpup
               layout too with hipfire bonus and slower reloads.
    
               The AUG A3 ties with the QBB95 machinegun (see below) for having the
               fastest muzzle velocity in the game (670 m/s).
    
       Trivia: Despite its futuristic appearance, the AUG was designed during the
               70's (by Steyr of Austria). It has a modular design allowing the user
               to switch quickly between different configurations, hence the German
               name which translates as "army universal rifle".
    
               The original version had a narrow 1.5x scope built into the carrying
               handle but the A3 variant has a Picatinny rail instead, allowing it
               to take various sight/scope attachments as necessary.
    
               The AUG was adopted by the Austrian army in 1977; the StG77 name used
               in BFBC2 is their designation for the weapon (Sturmgewehr 77).
    
    o SCAR-L
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 620 RPM    Reload: 2.35 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Set Us Up The Bomb' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: The final assault rifle is the SCAR-L which also has a slow fire-rate
               and low recoil making it good for more accurate shooting at range. It
               has fairly average accuracy and reload times.
    
       Trivia: The Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle or SCAR for short
               was designed by FN of Belgium to meet the requirements of US special
               forces. The first models entered service around 2005.
    
               Since the SCAR-L is included as an assault rifle but the SCAR-H (see
               below) is listed as an Engineer carbine some gamers assume that the
               letter suffix denotes the length. In fact it indicates the calibre of
               the weapon - the "L" (light) model fires 5.56mm while the "H" (heavy)
               model shoots 7.62mm. Both weapons are available in configurations
               with short, standard and long barrel lengths (from 10" up to 20").*
    
               The SCAR PDW is a compact version with a 7" barrel and collapsible
               stock. It appears in Medal of Honor: Warfighter as the "Mk 16 PDW"
               and, like the HK416C, is available to the Demolition class.
    
               *In BFBC2 it was the SCAR-L that was available within the Engineer
               class as a carbine.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 03b | Carbines                                                  s03b |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    The carbines can only be equipped when using the Engineer class.
    
    A carbine has a shorter barrel and overall length than a standard rifle and is
    often a modified version of a full-size weapon.* The reduced size and weight of
    the weapon makes it more convenient in certain environments and when operating
    in vehicles but the shorter barrel results in reduced power and range.
    
    Most of the carbines in BF3 fire the 5.56mm (or Chinese 5.8mm or Russian 5.45mm)
    ammunition which gives the same 25 maximum damage (and 8 to 50 metres drop-off)
    as the assault rifles but, instead of 18.4, the minimum damage is only 14.3 with
    carbines so they're distinctly outclassed at longer ranges.
    
    Compared to the assault rifles they also tend to have a wider spread on static
    aimed use (shorter barrel is less accurate) but tighter spread for aiming while
    moving (shorter weapon is easier to handle).
    
    *Some of the Engineer kit's "submachineguns" in BFBC2 were actually carbines so
    it's good to see them correctly categorised this time.
    
    o M4A1
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 800 RPM   Reload: 1.85 secs
    
      Unlocks: (US side) available at start
    
               (Russian side) 145,000 Engineer kit XP
    
      Summary: The M4A1 offers a high rate of fire and rapid reload. The vertical
               recoil is slightly higher than average for the carbine category but
               the horizontal recoil is average (with a pull to the right).
    
               J0hn-Stuart-Mill's weapon usage figures at June 2012 show that the
               M4A1 is the most popular carbine on all three gaming platforms with
               the G36C and A91 consistently placing second and third respectively.
    
       Trivia: The M4 is essentially a carbine version of the M16. Its origins can
               be traced back to the Colt Commando CAR15 (and experimental XM177)
               used by special forces operatives during the Vietnam War.
    
               The modern design has a 14.5" barrel which is significantly longer
               than the 10" or 11" of the Vietnam models but still much shorter than
               the 20" barrel of the full-sized M16. The M4 can also be recognised
               by its distinctive telescopic stock.
    
               The standard M4 (see below) has only semi-auto and burst fire modes
               but this M4A1 variant, built for special forces like the Army Rangers
               and SEAL's, has a full auto mode instead of the three-round burst.
    
               In 2010 the US Army started using the M855A1 variant of its 5.56mm
               ammunition which was optimised to give greater muzzle velocity and
               reduced muzzle flash from the shorter barrel of the M4. The round is
               also more environmentally friendly since it has a lead-free bullet
               manufactured with a copper core and a steel tip.
    
    o AKS74u
    
         Ammo: 5.45x39mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 1.90 secs
    
      Unlocks: (Russian side) available at start
    
               (US side) 145,000 Engineer kit XP
    
      Summary: Just like the starting assault rifles, the initial carbine for the
               Russian side has a much slower rate of fire. The recoil is relatively
               high too although the first-shot multiplier is quite low so generally
               it would suit controlled burst fire at medium ranges. The reload
               times are good, with a short reload of under two seconds.
    
       Trivia: The AKS74 is a variant of the AK74 rifle for use by paratroopers. It
               comes with a lightweight folding metal stock - the "S" stands for
               skladnoy which means "folding". 
    
               Dating back to 1979, the AKS74u is a carbine based on the AKS74 - the
               "u" stands for ukorochenniy which means "shortened". The barrel is
               8.3" long and the overall length (with the stock folded) is just 19".
    
    o SCAR-H
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 600 RPM   Reload: 2.10 secs
    
      Unlocks: 14,000 Engineer kit XP
    
      Summary: Like the G3 in the Assault kit, the SCAR-H is unique in this category
               in shooting the heavier 7.62mm NATO round; with its shorter carbine
               barrel the SCAR isn't as powerful as the G3 but it still manages a
               handy 30 max damage and 20 min damage. It also has reasonable reload
               times and reliable aimed accuracy when stationary.
    
               However it is limited by the smaller magazine, considerable vertical
               recoil and inferior hipfire spread.
    
       Trivia: As noted above, the SCAR-H is the big brother of the SCAR-L, although
               in this case it's also the little brother with a shorter barrel. :)
    
               The SCAR-H is very similar in appearance to the other model but its
               magazine is wider (to take the larger round), shorter and straight.
    
    o M4
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 800 RPM   Reload: 1.85 secs
    
      Unlocks: 40,000 Engineer kit XP
    
      Summary: The comparison of the M4 and the M4A1 (see above) is similar to that
               of the M16A4 and M16A3 in the assault rifle category. The original M4
               has a three-round burst mode instead of fully automatic fire. It also
               gives slightly less horizontal recoil and improved accuracy for aimed
               fire, in both stationary and moving stances.
    
               As with the M16A3 and A4, the M4 and M4A1 are treated as the same gun
               for your performance stats and unlocks.
    
       Trivia: The M4 is still an M16 carbine, like I said previously. :)
    
    o A91
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 800 RPM   Reload: 2.62 secs
    
      Unlocks: 58,000 Engineer kit XP
    
      Summary: The A91 ties with the M4A1 for having the second fastest fire-rate of
               all the 5.56mm carbines and the vertical recoil is manageable too.
               However it also has very large horizontal recoil (so you might want
               to use a foregrip) and a high first-shot recoil multiplier. The bull-
               pup design grants it improved hipfire but slower reload times.
    
       Trivia: The A91 is derived from the 9A91 (which was available to the Engineer
               class in BFBC2) and dates back to 1991. The original prototype fired
               7.62mm rounds and had an unusual over-barrel grenade-launcher but the
               production version uses the NATO 5.56mm calibre and has the integral
               grenade-launcher in a more conventional position under the barrel -
               although DICE sadly chose not to include this feature in the game!
    
    o G36C
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 750 RPM   Reload: 1.90 secs
    
      Unlocks: 110,000 Engineer kit XP
    
      Summary: The G36C has an average rate of fire, good short reload (but slower
               long reload) and fairly standard recoil and accuracy so in general
               it's a solid all-rounder.
    
               (I used the G36C a *lot* in the first weeks of my BF3 career and it
               remains defiantly in second place in my overall top 5 on Battlelog
               even though I haven't touched it for over a year!)
    
       Trivia: The G36C is a short version of the German G36 assault rifle. The G36
               was created by the good people at H&K in the early/mid 90's and is
               the service rifle of the German, Spanish and Portuguese armed forces.
    
               The G36C variant ("C" = compact) was actually derived from an earlier
               carbine model called the G36K ("K" = kurz meaning "short"), reducing
               the length even further. The G36C design lacks the big ugly carrying
               handle with integrated optical scope* of the original G36 and instead
               has a long Picatinny scope rail on top.
    
               Although police officers don't routinely carry guns here in the UK we
               do have specialist firearms units. Various weapons are deployed by
               each county but for several years the G36 carbines have been common,
               supplementing the older and less powerful 9mm MP5 submachineguns.
    
               Heckler & Koch also manufacture a semi-automatic sporting rifle based
               on the G36 called the SL8 which replaces the pistol grip and folding
               skeletonised stock with a thumbhole stock with adjustable cheek-rest.
    
               *You might remember this distinctive feature from the MG36 in BFBC2.
    
    o SG553
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 700 RPM   Reload: 2.10 secs
    
      Unlocks: 120,000 co-op mode XP
    
      Summary: The SG553 fires at a relatively slow rate and otherwise has fairly
               average stats for the carbine category.
    
       Trivia: The Swiss SIG SG553 was derived ultimately from the full-sized SG550
               assault rifle of the mid 80's. The SG551 was a carbine version with a
               14" barrel instead of the standard 21" one and the SG552 was an even
               shorter "commando" version with a 9" barrel. The SG553 - as featured
               in BF3 - is an upgrade of the SG552 design with the same dimensions
               but improved reliability.
    
               It appears in Far Cry 3 as the STG90, a variation of the Stgw90 name
               (Sturmgewehr 90) used by the German military.
    
    o G53
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 750 RPM   Reload: 2.30 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Fixing It' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
      Summary: The G53 has similar stats to the G36C but with slightly slower reload
               times, less vertical recoil (buffed in the November 2012 patch) and a
               bigger first-shot multiplier.
    
               (Hmm, some of the carbines seem to be lacking in character somewhat.
               Don't worry, there are some interesting ones coming up!)
    
       Trivia: Although very similar in appearance to the legendary MP5 (except for
               the wider 5.56mm magazine), the G53 - or more correctly the HK53 - is
               actually a compact version of H&K's HK33 5.56mm assault rifle design,
               even shorter than the HK33K carbine model.
    
    o QBZ95B
    
         Ammo: 5.8x42mm   Capacity: 30+1    Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 2.30 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'It Goes Boom!' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
      Summary: The QBZ has a very slow rate of fire that would disadvantage it in a
               close quarters firefight but combined with the low recoil it excels
               at accurate ranged fire. It has a bullpup design so the reload is
               slow but it has the usual bonuses to hipfire accuracy.
    
               In a recent video on his gaming channel, Youtube producer InTheWorks
               praised the accurate fire of the QBZ - especially since the November
               2012 patch that gave it a small reduction in horizontal recoil. He
               also noted that the weapon is unusual in that it's possible to equip
               both the heavy barrel and laser sight attachments at the same time.
    
       Trivia: Along with the QBB95 light machinegun (see below), the QBZ95B is part
               of the family of designs based around the Chinese QBZ95 assault rifle
               that have been in service since 1997.
    
               The QBZ95B has a 14.5" barrel (compared to the assault rifle's 18.2")
               and an overall length of 24".
    
    o ACW-R
    
         Ammo: 6.5x39mm   Capacity: 26+1   Fire-rate: 850 RPM   Reload: 1.85 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Done Fixing' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: The ACW-R fires the novel 6.5mm ammunition with interesting ballistic
               properties. It gives a relatively flat damage profile with 20 maximum
               and 16.7 minimum, making the damage quite consistent over all ranges.
    
               The max damage of 20 is significantly lower than the standard 25 in
               the carbine category and, despite the ACW-R's high rate of fire, it
               only manages a "damage-rate" equivalent to a 5.56mm weapon firing at
               around 650-700 RPM. In close quarters the gun also suffers from its
               poor hipfire/moving accuracy and slightly smaller magazine size but
               it does have good reload times at least.
    
               At longer ranges it's a different story - the min damage on the ACW-R
               is 2.4 more than the carbine standard (beaten only by the SCAR-H with
               its 7.62mm load) and it also enjoys low recoil and good accuracy in
               stationary aimed fire. This makes it very effective in long-range
               encounters when you're playing Engineer on the larger vehicle maps.
    
               Since there's a difference of only 3.3 between the max and min damage
               the penalty to the damage drop-off distance from using a suppressor
               has quite a minimal effect. The attachment also gives bonuses to the
               aimed accuracy and vertical recoil which benefit the long-range role
               although the subsonic rounds will experience greater bullet-drop.
    
       Trivia: In real-life it's the ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) which is an updated
               version of Magpul's Masada, manufactured under licence by Bushmaster.
               It entered production in 2010 and was submitted - along with the SCAR
               and HK416 - to the trials to find a replacement for the M4 in US Army
               service. The model in BF3 has the fixed hollow triangular stock but a
               version with an adjustable folding stock is also available.
    
               See the Masada on Future Weapons: http://youtu.be/ZJhPMIVgF6c
    
               The ACR can be adapted easily to shoot either 5.56mm or 6.8mm ammo*
               but in BF3 it takes the revolutionary 6.5mm Grendel round. This was
               designed to give low recoil and high accuracy in a cartridge that is
               small enough to fit into a modified 5.56mm weapon. Compared to the
               5.56mm NATO round the 6.5mm bullet (the actual projectile) is longer
               and heavier and the case is shorter but fatter to hold more powder.
    
               See the 6.5mm Grendel on Future Weapons: http://youtu.be/ydP3DUIT_EU
    
               *It's depicted in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 with the 6.8mm load.
    
    o MTAR21
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 30+1   Fire-rate: 900 RPM   Reload: 3.00 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'My Own Terminator' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: The MTAR has the highest rate of fire of all the carbines, combining
               with the bullpup hipfire bonus to make it excellent at short range.
    
               It has high recoil and inferior aimed accuracy however so it's much
               less effective at medium and long ranges. It also has painfully slow
               reloads - the slowest in the carbine category.
    
       Trivia: The MTAR21 (Micro Tavor Assault Rifle) is the compact version of the
               Israeli TAR21 that entered service in 2001. The weapon was designed
               by Israel Military Industries (IMI) who previously gave us the Uzi
               submachinegun, Galil assault rifle and Desert Eagle hand-cannon. :)
    
               See the MTAR on Future Weapons: http://youtu.be/HzcfTDbiXEk
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 03c | Light Machineguns                                         s03c |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    The LMG's can only be equipped when using the Support class.
    
    The portable machineguns are designed to provide supportive and suppressive fire
    within an infantry unit. In general terms there are three types in the game:
    
    - heavy versions of assault rifles with larger mags
    - belt-fed Squad Automatic Weapons firing an intermediate 5.56mm or 5.8mm load
    - belt-fed Medium Machineguns firing a 7.62mm rifle load
    
    The damage profiles in this category are all identical to those of the assault
    rifles, with the 5.56mm (plus the equivalent Russian 5.45mm and Chinese 5.8mm)
    giving 25 maximum damage and 18.4 minimum damage while the heavier 7.62mm rounds
    (both NATO and Russian versions) do 34 max damage dropping to 22 min damage.
    
    The recoil and accuracy of the LMG's can be greatly improved by using a bipod
    attachment (see Section 05b). Every LMG has the bipod unlocked by default.
    
    Vertical recoil can also be reduced by using the suppressor or flash suppressor
    while horizontal recoil can be lessened with the foregrip. On the M60E4, M240B,
    PKP, LSAT and L86 the foregrip also gives a reduction in vertical recoil.
    
    o M27 IAR
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 45+1   Fire-rate: 750 RPM   Reload: 1.90 secs
    
      Unlocks: (US side) available at start
    
               (Russian side) 170,000 Support kit XP
    
      Summary: The M27 falls into the first of those three categories so it can be
    	   treated like an assault rifle but with a larger mag, reduced accuracy
               and increased recoil.
    
               The stats are fairly similar for the M27, RPK74M, MG36 and L86A2 (see
               below) but this one has the fastest reload by almost a second and it
               has the fastest muzzle velocity too. However the vertical recoil and
               first-shot recoil multiplier are quite high.
    
       Trivia: The M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) is a modified version of the
               HK416 assault rifle (see above). It was entered into a competition to
               find a new lightweight support weapon for the United States Marine
               Corps - it was victorious and adopted by the USMC in 2010.
    
               In addition to using the same ammunition as other infantry weapons,
               the design has the advantage that it is instantly familiar to anyone
               who has trained with the M16/M4. It also gives superior accuracy over
               the M249 SAW (see below) which it is replacing, although there are
               concerns over its inability to provide sustained suppressive fire.
    
    o RPK74M
    
         Ammo: 5.45x39mm   Capacity: 45+1   Fire-rate: 700 RPM   Reload: 3.00 secs
    
      Unlocks: (Russian side) available at start
    
               (US side) 170,000 Support kit XP
    
      Summary: Compared to its peers the RPK74M has a slightly slower fire-rate but
               it also experiences the least recoil. The reload is slow though.
    
       Trivia: The original RPK was developed in the 60's from the Kalashnikov AK47
               design and fired the Soviet 7.62mm round.
    
               The RPK74 followed in 1974 at the same time as the AK74 assault rifle
               and using the same intermediate 5.45mm ammunition.
    
               The current model is the RPK74M which has a folding polymer stock and
               a side-rail for fitting a scope.
    
    o M249
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 100   Fire-rate: 800 RPM   Reload: 6.20 secs
    
      Unlocks: 11,000 Support kit XP
    
      Summary: It's fair to compare the M249 only to the other three machineguns
               that use an intermediate calibre fed from a belt or larger drum mag,
               i.e. the LSAT, QBB95 and Type 88 (see below).
    
               The M249 has the highest rate of fire in that group* so it gives the
               most damage per second but is harder to control. It also has slightly
               worse recoil and aimed accuracy and its belt feed gives a slower
               reload time too.
    
               J0hn-Stuart-Mill's figures show that the M249 is the LMG favoured for
               long-term usage, with the M27, PKP and RPK also proving popular.
    
               *In the absence of the MG3 (which had a mighty 1,000 RPM rate of fire
               in BFBC2) the M249 is the fastest of all the LMG's in BF3.
    
       Trivia: The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) is the US version of the Minimi
               designed by FN of Belgium and first manufactured in the early 80's.
               It finally gave an alternative to the M60 (see below) which had been
               in US service since the late 50's.
    
    o PKP Pecheneg
    
         Ammo: 7.62x54mm   Capacity: 100   Fire-rate: 600 RPM   Reload: 5.38 secs
    
      Unlocks: 60,000 Support kit XP
    
      Summary: The next three unlocks are the heavy-hitters, all firing the larger
               7.62mm rounds that give a potential three-hit kill at close range and
               a bigger suppressive effect than the intermediate-calibre machineguns
               (10% compared to 7%). Naturally these weapons are balanced by having
               slower fire-rates and larger recoil.
    
               Compared to the M240B and M60 (see below), the PKP gives an average
               rate of fire and recoil but has a much quicker reload. All three guns
               share the same accuracy figures in all stances.
    
               For an effective mobile LMG loadout Granada DeFumasa recommends on
               his Youtube channel the PKP with foregrip, flash suppressor and Kobra
               sight. Forsaking the common choices of extended mags and bipod, this
               set-up enjoys the power of the PKP's 7.62mm load but serves to make
               it more manageable for "run-and-gun" operation by taming the recoil.
    
       Trivia: The PKP is a Russian machinegun derived from the 1969 PKM design; it
               entered service in 1999. The PKP was designed to provide sustained
               suppressive fire to give support at a squad level - the air cooling
               eliminates the need for a quick-change barrel and it also comes with
               a fixed bipod as standard.
    
               It shares the Pecheneg name with a nomadic tribe of Central Asia.
    
    o M240B
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 100   Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 6.20 secs
    
      Unlocks: 90,000 Support kit XP
    
      Summary: The fire-rate is higher than those of the other two 7.62 machineguns
               so, as you might expect, the M240B also has the biggest recoil.
    
       Trivia: The M240B (or "M2-40 Bravo") is the US designation for the MAG which
               was developed - like the M249 - by FN of Belgium. The FN MAG entered
               production in 1958 but wasn't adopted by the US until the late 70's.
    
               In US service the M240 was originally mounted to vehicles. The M240B
               version was subsequently developed for infantry use.
    
               The FN MAG is also used by the British Army as the L7 GPMG (General
               Purpose Machine Gun), nicknamed the "Gimpy".
    
    o M60E4
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 100   Fire-rate: 580 RPM   Reload: 7.20 secs
    
      Unlocks: 130,000 Support kit XP
    
      Summary: The M60 has the slowest rate of fire of all the machineguns in the
               game but it experiences less recoil than the other 7.62mmm weapons.
               Its vertical recoil and first-shot multiplier are lower than the PKP
               and M240B and its horizontal recoil is especially good.
    
       Trivia: The M60 was designed for US service and was adopted in 1957. It was
               used extensively during the Vietnam War, both by infantry and mounted
               to a wide range of vehicles. Since the 1980's it has gradually been
               superseded by the M249 and M240 (see above) in various units/roles.
    
               The E4 variant dates from the 90's and has accessory rails allowing
               it to easily take a scope, foregrip, etc.
    
    o Type 88
    
         Ammo: 5.8x42mm   Capacity: 100   Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 3.60 secs
    
      Unlocks: Physical Warfare Pack DLC (pre-order bonus / free download now)
    
      Summary: Compared to the other intermediate-calibre machineguns, the Type 88
               ties with the QBB95 and LSAT (see below) for slowest fire-rate. It
               has reasonable recoil but unimpressive accuracy.
    
       Trivia: Formally designated the QJY88 in China where it originates, the Type
               88 is believed to have entered service about ten years ago. It uses a
               heavier version of the new Chinese 5.8 cartridge that was specially
               developed for use in squad automatic weapons and sniper rifles.
    
    o QBB95
    
         Ammo: 5.8x42mm   Capacity: 75+1   Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 3.80 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Let It Rain' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
      Summary: The QBB95 has a distinctive bullpup design so it has superior hipfire
               accuracy but a slow reload on the large drum magazine. The ammo cap
               of 75 rounds puts it in the middle ground between the M27/RPK etc and
               the belt-fed LMG's like the M249/LSAT.
    
               Recoil is good for a weapon of this type and it has the best spread
               for aimed fire while moving of any gun in the LMG category.
    
       Trivia: Like the QBZ95B carbine (see above), the QBB95 design is derived from
               the QBZ95 assault rifle, adding a longer barrel and bipod.
    
    o MG36
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 50+1   Fire-rate: 750 RPM   Reload: 2.80 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Keep Your Head Down' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
      Summary: The MG36 uses a drum magazine that gives it an extra five rounds over
               the M27/RPK/L86 while still having a fast short reload. However the
               long reload takes a whole 1.8 seconds extra (4.60 seconds total) so
               try not to completely empty those drums before you reload.
    
               It has a decent rate of fire but relatively high vertical recoil for
               a 5.56mm machinegun. Accuracy is fairly typical.
    
       Trivia: H&K's MG36 LMG concept was never mass-produced but, while DICE have
               previously included prototypical weapons (such as the PDW-R and MK3A1
               in BF3 and the XM8 series in BFBC2), this is basically a G36 assault
               rifle fitted with a large drum magazine. However it's also depicted
               here as having the low-profile scope rail from the G36C (used on the
               MG36 LMG model in Battlefield 2) rather than the much taller carrying
               handle with integrated scope of the original G36 design (seen on the
               MG36 in Battlefield: Bad Company 1 & 2 and in Rainbow Six: Vegas 2).
    
               The magazine is modelled on the Beta C-Mag which has two separate
               drums that feed into a central portion that can be loaded into the
               magazine well on the underside of the weapon like a normal magazine.
               In real life the C-Mag holds 100 rounds but in BF3 you only get 50
               unless you equip the extended mags option which doubles the capacity.
    
               The MG in the model number is short for Maschinengewehr which is the
               German word for "machinegun".
    
    o L86A2
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 45+1   Fire-rate: 750 RPM   Reload: 2.80 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'No Shortage' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: The addition of the L86 in the Close Quarters pack gave a fourth gun
               to compete with the M27, RPK and MG36. Compared to those three it has
               a typical rate of fire, average reload times and pretty good recoil.
    
               Its bullpup design gives a bonus to hipfire accuracy, but only in a
               standing stance (stationary or moving).
    
       Trivia: The L86 is the Light Support Weapon (LSW) member of the SA80 family,
               used alongside the L85 (see above) in the British Army. The longer
               barrel gives a greater effective range and in fact the weapon is so
               accurate that it's more commonly used now in a marksman role!
    
               Support and suppressive fire can be provided instead by the belt-fed
               L110 which is the British designation for the FN Minimi, also used in
               the US forces as the M249 SAW (see above).
    
               Like the L85 assault rifle, the L86 underwent an upgrade process at
               H&K and the result is the A2 version that appears in the game.
    
    o LSAT
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 100   Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 5.60 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Point Blank' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: The LSAT gives similar performance to the Type 88, with the same rate
               of fire, slightly more recoil and better hipfire.
    
               The hipfire got a buff in the November 2012 patch to "highlight the
               weapon's role as a highly mobile LMG".
    
       Trivia: This design is a prototype for the US Army's Lightweight Small Arms
               Technologies programme which aims to find a lighter alternative to
               current ammunition used in light machinegun systems.
    
               The project is considering both Case Telescoped (CT) rounds where the
               case is made of plastic and Caseless (CL) rounds where each bullet is
               embedded within a block of solid propellant. The official Battlelog
               site gives conflicting information on this subject - the text states
               that the LSAT "features belt-fed caseless ammunition" but the stats
               say it uses 5.56mm CT ammo. In either case (no pun intended!) the
               LSAT has the same damage profile as conventional 5.56mm NATO guns.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 03d | Sniper Rifles                                             s03d |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    The sniper rifles can only be equipped when using the Recon class.
    
    Naturally the sniper rifles lend themselves to long-range engagements and the
    use of high-magnification scopes (see Section 05a) but they can also be used at
    short/medium ranges with the option of using 4x scopes or even RDS/holo sights.
    
    There are two types of sniper rifle in the game:
    
    - semi-automatic guns with higher effective fire-rates and less recoil
    - bolt-action guns* with much slower rates of fire that do far more damage
    
    *When you're using a bolt-action rifle you'll need to reload after each shot by
    either tapping R1 again or temporarily releasing L1.
    
                                           ŻŻ
    The snipers exhibit a wider range of damage profiles than the other categories,
    further complicated by the fact that a bolt-action rifle will do significantly
    more damage than a semi-auto using the exact same ammunition.
    
    Here's a summary of the damage profiles for all the sniper rifles. The top three
    rows are the bolt-action rifles and the bottom four are the semi-auto models.
    The table is simplified by the fact that all the semi-automatics apart from the
    SKS do exactly the same damage.
    
                        |  Max.  |    Damage    |  Min.  |
             Ammunition | Damage |   Drop-Off   | Damage | Weapons
        ================+========+==============+========+======================
            .338 Magnum |   95   |  15m to 150m |   59   | M98B only
        ----------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------------
         7.62x51mm NATO |   80   |  15m to 100m |   59   | M40A5, L96 and JNG90
        ----------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------------
            7.62x54mm R |   80   |  20m to 80m  |   50   | SV98 only
        ================+========+==============+========+======================
         7.62x51mm NATO |        |              |        | M39, M417 and Mk 11
        ----------------|        |              |        |----------------------
           5.8x42mm DAP |   50   |  15m to 75m  |  37.5  | QBU88 only
        ----------------|        |              |        |----------------------
            7.62x54mm R |        |              |        | SVD only
        ----------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------------
           7.62x39mm WP |   43   |  15m to 60m  |   27   | SKS only
    
    The sniper rifles enjoy a headshot damage multiplier of x2.4 so 41.7 damage is
    required to give a one-shot kill (41.7 x 2.4 = 100) and therefore all the bolt-
    action rifles can get a one-shot headshot kill at any range. With most of the
    semi-auto snipers the maximum distance for this would be 54.8 metres but with
    the SKS it's only 18.7 metres (just past the drop-off start).
    
               ((50 - 41.7) x (75 - 15) / (50 - 37.5)) + 15 = 54.8 metres
    
                ((43 - 41.7) x (60 - 15) / (43 - 27)) + 15 = 18.7 metres
    
    The March 2012 patch added a damage multiplier of x1.25 for sniper shots to the
    upper chest (or x1.06 with the M98B) which also gives the possibility of a one-
    hit kill at close range for the bolt-action sniper rifles. This feat can only be
    achieved with the max damage (80 x 1.25 = 95 x 1.06 = 100) at ranges of less
    than 20 metres for the SV98 or less than 15 metres with the other bolt-actions.
    
                                           ŻŻ
    Since they are originally intended for long-range use, every sniper rifle comes
    with either an 8x Rifle Scope or 7x PKS-07 scope unlocked by default. Your first
    unlock (10 kills) will be either a 4x scope for a semi-automatic sniper or the
    12x Ballistic scope for a bolt-action rifle.
    
    Any scope with 6x magnification or higher will suffer from "sway" and "glint"
    when you ADS - the weapon will sway slightly (unless you equip a bipod or tap L3
    to temporarily hold your breath) and the glint of sunlight on the lens will be
    visible to any enemies in front of you. Consequently you may prefer to use the
    4x and 3.4x scopes on sniper rifles or even the holographics, red dot sights or
    irons when you operate at shorter ranges. With your T-UGS sensor and portable
    spawn beacon you can make yourself a lot more useful staying with your team.
    
    You might think that a suppressor would be a useful attachment for a stealthy
    long-range sniping role but it will actually be a major hindrance. The subsonic
    ammo will have a significantly slower muzzle velocity which will increase the
    travel time for your shots making it harder to hit moving targets and increasing
    the effect of bullet-drop under gravity. The drop-off distances will be reduced
    too so your shots will do less damage at intermediate ranges.
    
    (The sound suppressor gives a bonus to aimed accuracy but all the bolt-action
    sniper rifles have perfect stationary ADS spread already. The reduction in sound
    will stop you automatically appearing on the enemy minimaps but at long ranges
    you would probably be outside their map anyway. The only real benefits would be
    reducing the vertical recoil and concealing your muzzle flash.)
    
    If you want to work through the Recon class unlocks (at least until you have all
    the gadgets) but struggle to use the sniper rifles you might prefer to equip a
    PDW or shotgun (see below) and engage the enemy at shorter ranges. You can also
    earn Recon XP from objective-based play, e.g. capturing flags in Conquest mode.
    
    o Mk 11 Mod 0
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 10+1   Fire-rate: 260 RPM   Reload: 1.85 secs
    
      Unlocks: (US side) available at start
    
               (Russian side) 195,000 Recon kit XP
    
      Summary: Comparing the semi-auto snipers, the Mk 11 Mod 0 shares the slowest
               effective rate of fire with the QBU88 and SVD. The same three rifles
               also tie for the largest vertical recoil.
    
               It offers decent accuracy and fast reload times.
    
       Trivia: Mk 11 Mod 0 is the designation used by the US Navy (and USMC) for the
               Knight's Armament Company SR25. Although not immediately apparent
               from its image on Battlelog, it's based heavily on Stoner's classic
               AR10/AR15/M16 design.
    
               The weapon originated in the 90's. The most recent version or (in the
               Navy's classification scheme) "modification" is the Mk 11 Mod 2 which
               is a very similar M16-based design also made by KAC. This has already
               been adopted by the US Army as the M110 Automatic Sniper System with
               the intention of replacing their bolt-action M24's.
    
               See the M110 on Future Weapons: http://youtu.be/SwZQiGik41w
    
    o SVD
    
         Ammo: 7.62x54mm   Capacity: 10+1   Fire-rate: 260 RPM   Reload: 2.15 secs
    
      Unlocks: (Russian side) available at start
    
               (US side) 170,000 Recon kit XP
    
      Summary: The SVD gives very similar performance to the Mk 11 above but with a
               slower reload and a slightly reduced muzzle velocity.
    
       Trivia: The SVD is also known by the name of its designer - Dragunov. It was
               developed specifically to provide marksman support within infantry
               squads and entered Russian service back in 1963. It would normally be
               used with the 4x PSO-1 scope (which is its first unlock in BF3).
    
    o SV98
    
         Ammo: 7.62x54mm   Capacity: 10+1   Fire-rate: 48 RPM   Reload: 2.40 secs
    
      Unlocks: 13,000 Recon kit XP
    
      Summary: The three normal multiplayer (weapon) unlocks for the Recon class are
               all bolt-action sniper rifles with correspondingly high damage and
               low rates of fire.*
    
               The SV98 is unique in using the 7.62x54mm R (rimmed) ammunition which
               delivers the maximum damage of 80 out to a longer range (20 metres)
               than the similar 7.62 NATO but has a shorter drop-off end distance
               (80 metres) and lower terminal damage (50).
    
               All the bolt-action snipers give the same vertical recoil (2.0), no
               horizontal recoil and no spread for stationary aimed fire giving them
               perfect accuracy although bullet-drop will still affect long-range
               shots as normal.
    
               In close-quarters use the SV98 gives the best hipfire accuracy of all
               the bolt-actions with a spread (in a standing stationary stance) of
               3.5 compared to 4.0 for the M40 and 5.0 for the M98B, L96 and JNG90.
    
               *If you take 60 (number of seconds in a minute) and divide it by the
               rate of fire (in rounds per minute) you get the time it will take you
               to chamber the next cartridge between each shot. For example with the
               SV98 it's 60 / 48 = 1.25 seconds.
    
       Trivia: The SV98 is another Russian design, used since 1998. It was based on
               an existing sporting rifle design and normally uses the 7x PKS-07.
    
    o M40A5
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 10+1   Fire-rate: 54.5 RPM   Reload: 2.70 secs
    
      Unlocks: 104,000 Recon kit XP
    
      Summary: The M40 gives a faster effective rate of fire than the other bolt-
               action rifles in the game and the second best hipfire accuracy after
               the SV98 but it has the slowest muzzle velocity.
    
       Trivia: Like the US Army's M24, the United States Marine Corps' M40 is based
               on the Remington 700 rifle. The M40 entered service with the Corps in
               1966, with the latest A5 variant adopted in 2009.
    
    o M98B
    
         Ammo: .338 Lapua   Capacity: 5+1   Fire-rate: 46.2 RPM   Reload: 2.90 secs
    
      Unlocks: 146,00 Recon kit XP
    
      Summary: The .338 Lapua Magnum* round gives the M98 the highest damage in the
               game with a max damage value of 95. It also has a long drop-off zone
               although the ultimate minimum damage (59) is the same as the M40, L96
               and JNG90 using 7.62 NATO ammo.
    
               It also has the fastest muzzle velocity of the sniper rifles giving
               it less bullet-drop and the longest theoretical range of 3,554 yards.
    
               This is balanced somewhat by having half the magazine capacity of the
               other bolt-action snipers, fairly slow reloads and a smaller damage
               multiplier (x1.06) on shots to the upper torso.
    
               *British sniper Craig Harrison used this ammunition to achieve the
               longest recorded sniper kill of 2,707 yards in Helmand in 2009.
    
       Trivia: The Barrett M98 was an entirely new design for a precision rifle in
               the .338 calibre. The original model never entered production but
               this M98B version was subsequently launched in 2009.
    
               A modified version of the M98B called the Barrett MRAD (Multi-Role
               Adaptive Design) was produced to meet the requirements of the USSOCOM
               (US Special Operations Command) Precision Sniper Rifle programme.
    
    o SKS
    
         Ammo: 7.62x39mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 333 RPM   Reload: 2.20 secs
    
      Unlocks: Physical Warfare Pack DLC (pre-order bonus / free download now)
    
               (or 77,000 Recon kit XP)
    
      Summary: The SKS fires the 7.62x39mm Warsaw Pact round which gives lower max
               and min damage than all the other semi-automatic sniper rifles but it
               has the highest rate of fire; combining the two figures it manages a
               superior damage-rate to the Mk 11, SVD or QBU88.
    
               It gives half the vertical recoil of the other semi-autos (and that
               can be further reduced by equipping the flash suppressor which will
               unlock automatically with the Physical Warfare Pack) and, like the
               M417 below, it has double the magazine capacity.
    
               The aimed accuracy is the lowest of the sniper rifles but it still
               matches the best of the assault rifles and is pretty handy at medium
               ranges. The hipfire accuracy beats all the other snipers and actually
               equals that of assault rifles like the M16 and AEK.
    
               The decent fire-rate and mag size make the SKS the most accessible of
               the sniper rifles if you don't like conventional long-range sniping.
               You can treat it like a G3 on semi-auto mode and enjoy the higher
               damage output and the sniper rifle multipliers on shots to the head
               and upper torso. It can be used in close quarters but it's vital to
               acquire your targets rapidly and make every shot count.
    
       Trivia: Designed by Sergei Siminov in 1943, the SKS was developed to use the
               new intermediate 7.62mm round and give a weapon that would still be
               effective at the typical engagement distances of 100-300 yards but
               without the length, weight and recoil of existing rifles.
    
               The SKS entered service in the Soviet army in 1949 and was copied in
               other Eastern Bloc nations giving the Type 56* in China, Karabiner S
               in East Germany and Type 63 in Korea. It was superseded by the AK47 -
               the first modern assault rifle - which had the benefit of a full auto
               fire mode and a 30-round detachable magazine compared to the 10-round
               box magazine built into the SKS (loaded individually or with a clip).
    
               The version in the game comes with a 20-round detachable magazine and
               a modern telescopic stock resembling that of the M4.
    
               *The Type 56 was available in the Heavy Assault and Scout kits (for
               the VC and NVA factions) in the 2004 title Battlefield Vietnam.
    
    o M39 EMR
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 10+1   Fire-rate: 300 RPM   Reload: 2.15 secs
    
      Unlocks: 58,000 co-op mode XP
    
      Summary: The M39 gives the same damage as most of the semi-automatic sniper
               rifles but it has the second highest rate of fire (after the SKS) and
               overall it delivers the best damage-rate in the category although the
               M417 is not far behind. It also has reasonable vertical recoil, lower
               than the Mk 11, SVD and QBU88.
    
               Switching to the M417 gives twice the magazine capacity (and the same
               damage per bullet) but the greatly reduced aimed accuracy would limit
               your effectiveness at longer ranges.
    
       Trivia: The M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle has a very modern appearance but is
               actually an update of the M14 rifle that entered US service in 1959.
               Its features include multiple Picatinny rails for scopes and other
               accessories, an adjustable stock and an integrated bipod.
    
               The M39 was used by the United States Marine Corps but will be phased
               out in favour of the army's new M16-derived M110 mentioned above.
    
               The M39 EMR resembles the M14-based Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle that
               appeared in BFBC2 as an unlockable weapon available to all kits.
    
    o QBU88
    
         Ammo: 5.8x42mm   Capacity: 10+1   Fire-rate: 260 RPM   Reload: 2.70 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Specops' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
      Summary: The QBU88 has similar stats to the first two guns in this category
               (the Mk 11 and SVD) although it has more balanced horizontal recoil
               and slightly wider spread on stationary aimed shots. As usual the
               bullpup design gives a slower reload and bonus to hipfire accuracy.
    
       Trivia: Chinese in origin, the QBU88 entered service in the late 80's. It's
               used there by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and police forces.
    
    o L96
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 10+1   Fire-rate: 43.5 RPM   Reload: 2.60 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Creeping Death' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
      Summary: The performance of the L96 is equivalent to that of the JNG90 and M40
               but the fire-rate is slower. The muzzle velocity and reload times are
               quite average for the bolt-action rifles.
    
               At 43.5 RPM the L96 has the slowest rate of fire in the entire game,
               equating to 60 / 43.5 = 1.38 seconds between each shot.
    
       Trivia: The L96 is the British Army designation for the UK-made Accuracy
               International PM (Precision Marksman) rifle. It was adopted in the
               mid 80's to replace the Lee-Enfield L42.
    
               An updated version called the AW (Arctic Warfare) was designed for
               the Swedish army - incorporating features to improve performance in
               cold climates (hence the name!) - and this model was also adopted by
               the British Army as the L118. It was unlockable in the game Rainbow
               Six: Vegas 2 but it was designated the "L96 Arctic Warfare" there.
    
               See the AW Magnum on Future Weapons: http://youtu.be/glCddKt8sX0
    
    o M417
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 295 RPM   Reload: 1.80 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Team Player' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: The M417 has three times more ADS spread than the other semi-auto
               snipers so it's better suited to short and medium ranges. However it
               gives a good fire-rate and low vertical recoil that are only bettered
               by the SKS; it also shares the 20-round mag capacity of that gun.
    
               Like the Mk 11, the reload times are good too. The long reload (after
               completely emptying the weapon) is a whole second faster than the M39
               EMR, QBU88 and SKS.
    
       Trivia: The HK417 is the 7.62mm battle rifle version of the HK416 (see above)
               that is intended primarily to fulfil a designated marksman role on
               the battlefield. In reality it's capable of fully automatic fire at
               600 RPM but unfortunately that option is not available in BF3.
    
               The version modelled in the game is the 'Sniper' variant with a 20"
               barrel; the other models are the 16" 'Recce' and 12" 'Assaulter'.
    
    o JNG90
    
         Ammo: 7.62x51mm   Capacity: 10+1   Fire-rate: 46.2 RPM   Reload: 2.50 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Bullet Point' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: The final bolt-action sniper rifle is the JNG90. In that category the
               muzzle velocity is beaten only by the M98B but the JNG90 suffers a
               x1.5 recoil multiplier that the other bolt-actions lack.
    
       Trivia: The MKEK JNG90 is a modern sniper rifle manufactured in Turkey and
               used by the Turkish army. It has a prominent accessories rail on top
               and a particularly large muzzle-brake.
    
               Currently the IMFDB lists Battlefield 3 as the only game/movie/TV
               appearance of the JNG90 rifle.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 03e | Personal Defence Weapons                                  s03e |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    The PDW's can be equipped into the primary weapon slot in any of the four kits,
    replacing your assault rifle, carbine, LMG or sniper rifle.
    
    The personal defence weapon (PDW) is a relatively modern concept, originating in
    the late 80's. They were designed to provide a compact automatic weapon that
    could defeat modern body armour. Most PDW's achieve this aim by combining a high
    rate of fire with new custom-designed cartridges which are effectively miniature
    rifle rounds that give superior ballistic performance to conventional SMG ammo. 
    
    Although originally intended to give defensive capability to vehicle crews, etc,
    PDW's are more commonly used as modern substitutes in offensive roles previously
    fulfilled by submachineguns. The distinction between the two categories can be
    hazy but weapons like the UMP45 and PP19 (see below) are arguably SMG's, however
    for simplicity they are included in the PDW category in BF3.
    
    Like the sniper rifles, the PDW's use a wide range of ammunition types:
    
                         |  Max.  |    Damage    |  Min.  |
              Ammunition | Damage |   Drop-Off   | Damage | Weapons
             ============+========+==============+========+================
                 .45 ACP |   34   |   8m to 40m  |  12.5  | UMP45 only
             ------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------
                  9x19mm |   25   |  12m to 50m  |  13.8  | M5K and PP2000
             ------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------
               5.56x45mm |   25   |   8m to 50m  |  14.3  | PDW-R only
             ------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------
                  9x39mm |   20   |   6m to 40m  |  18.4  | AS Val only
             ------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------
                4.6x30mm |   20   |  12m to 46m  |  11.2  | MP7 only
             ------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------
                5.7x28mm |   20   |  12m to 46m  |  11.2  | P90 only
             ------------+--------+--------------+--------+----------------
                  9x18mm |  16.7  |  12m to 40m  |  12.5  | PP19 only
    
    Their high fire-rates and good hipfire accuracy make these guns very capable in
    close-quarters combat, however you can also empty your magazine (and use up all
    your ammo!) very quickly. You can equip extended magazines on the PP2000, MP7,
    PDW-R, AS Val and M5K to boost the weapon's capacity and run the Support class
    to top-up your ammunition.
    
    o PP2000
    
         Ammo: 9x19mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 650 RPM   Reload: 2.45 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 7
    
      Summary: The PP2000 has a slow rate of fire but does good damage, giving you a
               four-hit kill out to 12 metres. The magazine size and reloads times
               are rather typical for this category. Recoil is quite good and the
               compact size gives solid hipfire.
    
               The PP2000's long-range damage got a buff in the September 2012 patch
               to "highlight its role as a mid-range, low recoil PDW".
    
       Trivia: Once dubbed the "angry triangle" by one of my friends in BFBC2 thanks
               to its distinctive angular trigger-guard / foregrip, the PP2000 is a
               Russian weapon that was launched in 2004.
    
               It's designed to use the conventional 9mm Parabellum pistol round but
               also takes the Russian armour-piercing overpressure variants devised
               in the 1980's that are intended to give comparable performance to the
               PDW ammunition used in weapons like the MP7 and P90 (see below).
    
               The real weapon can also take a larger 44-round magazine. A spare one
               can be attached to the rear of the weapon and used as a stock!
    
    o UMP45
    
         Ammo: .45 ACP   Capacity: 25+1   Fire-rate: 600 RPM   Reload: 1.85 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 16
    
      Summary: The UMP45 fires the same heavy pistol round as the M1911 (see below)
               which does 34 max damage giving a three-hit kill out to 8 metres but
               a sharp drop-off and low minimum damage so it's ineffective at range.
    
               The high damage is further balanced by the slowest fire-rate in this
               category. The UMP has a slightly larger magazine (and good reload
               times) but there is no option to upgrade to extended mags - probably
               because the standard magazine is really long already!*
    
               *The UMP45 appears in Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel (as the MP-U45)
               where one of the available upgrades is an extended magazine - which
               looks as ridiculous as it sounds. :)
    
       Trivia: The UMP (Universal Machinepistol in either German or English) is the
               successor to H&K's renowned MP5 submachinegun. First manufactured in
               1999, it's also available in 9mm (UMP9) and .40 S&W (UMP40) versions
               with the .40 model sharing the distinctive long straight magazine of
               the UMP45 and the 9mm variant having a curved mag like the MP5. To
               make it easier to handle in automatic fire with the heavy .45 load it
               was necessary to reduce the rate of fire on the UMP45 to 600 RPM.
    
               There is a civilian version called the USC (Universal Self-loading
               Carbine) which has a significantly longer barrel, smaller magazine,
               remodelled shoulder stock and no automatic fire mode.
    
    o PDW-R
    
         Ammo: 5.56x45mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 750 RPM   Reload: 2.50 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 32
    
      Summary: The PDW-R is unusual in that it fires a conventional rifle calibre -
               the 5.56mm NATO round - which gives the same damage here as it does
               in the carbine category. The max damage of 25 matches the PP2000/M5K
               and is beaten only by the UMP45, while the minimum damage of 14.3 is
               the second highest for a PDW after the AS Val. The rate of fire is
               kinda average giving a balance of damage-rate and controllability.
    
               It also enjoys a high muzzle velocity, good aimed accuracy and okay
               recoil. Despite the bullpup format the PDW-R has the second worst hip
               accuracy in the PDW category after the AS Val but it still beats all
               the assault rifles.
    
       Trivia: The Personal Defense Rifle (PDR) was a prototype designed by Magpul
               in the US. It was showcased in 2008 but never entered production.
    
               The core concept was to create a compact firearm with an effective
               range greater than that of a pistol. The design had the advantages of
               being able to use standard NATO ammunition/magazines and having an
               ambidextrous mag release and charging handle.
    
    o P90
    
         Ammo: 5.7x28mm   Capacity: 50+1   Fire-rate: 900 RPM   Reload: 2.50 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 40
    
      Summary: The P90 benefits from the combination of rapid fire-rate and a large
               magazine capacity. It also boasts a higher muzzle velocity and low
               vertical recoil although the horizontal kick is fairly large.
    
               On many PDW's you need to forego the sound suppressor if you want to
               use the extended mags option but with the P90 you get that very handy
               51-round capacity by default so you can slap a suppressor on it and
               not suffer an ammo penalty.
    
       Trivia: The P90 is made by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium and was launched in
               1990, making it an early example of a true PDW with a compact design,
               high rate of fire and custom ammunition. The 5.7x28mm cartridge was
               designed by FN in conjunction with the P90 (and FN Five-seveN pistol)
               to give superior range, accuracy, damage and armour penetration than
               the traditional 9mm pistol round. The 5.7mm round is also lighter and
               narrower which, combined with the novel top-mounted horizontal mag
               design, made it possible to have such a large ammo capacity.
    
    o AS Val
    
         Ammo: 9x39mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 900 RPM   Reload: 1.70 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 45
    
      Summary: The final all-kit weapon unlock in the game is the AS Val. It fires a
               9x39mm round which, like the ACW-R, gives a very flat damage profile.
               The maximum damage is only 20 but with the fire-rate of 900 RPM it
               still has a respectable damage-rate of 300 per second. The minimum
               damage (18.4) matches the 5.56mm assault rifles and is easily the
               best in the PDW category, giving a five-hit kill at long ranges.
    
               Like the bolt-action sniper rifles, the Val has a stationary aimed
               accuracy of 0.0 (zero spread). It has a high vertical recoil but it's
               unique in having a first-shot multiplier that's less than one (0.5)
               so, unlike every other gun in the game, it experiences *less* recoil
               after the first shot of a burst. However aimed accuracy while moving
               and hipfire accuracy are both very poor.
    
               The Val has one of the fastest short reload times in the whole game
               and an integral sound suppressor so you won't appear on the minimap
               when you fire (this is permanently attached so you're left with two
               customisable attachment slots instead of the usual three).
    
               Originally this weapon lacked the option of extended mags but this
               feature was finally added in the March 2012 patch as the final unlock
               for the gun (at 200 kills).
    
       Trivia: The AS Val was designed in the 80's for use by the Russian Spetsnaz
               (special forces). Previously they had used conventional Kalashnikov
               assault rifles fitted with suppressor attachments and subsonic ammo
               but this was deemed inadequate. The new 9x39mm cartridge was designed
               to give a large and heavy bullet that could penetrate armour but with
               the subsonic velocity necessary for "silenced" operation.
    
               A new family of weapons were designed to utilise this new ammo load -
               the AS Val assault rifle and VSS "Vintorez" sniper rifle (both with
               a fixed suppressor) plus the SR3 Vikhr (with detachable suppressor).
    
               (The automatic fire and integral suppressor made the VSS a personal
               favourite as the "Recon's assault rifle" in BFBC2.)
    
    o MP7
    
         Ammo: 4.6x30mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 950 RPM   Reload: 2.40 secs
    
      Unlocks: 34,000 co-op mode XP
    
      Summary: The MP7 has the highest rate of fire among the PDW's (and the second
               highest in the game after the FAMAS assault rifle). So with the max
               damage of 20 it can give a five-hit kill in 0.3 seconds. As with the
               P90 however it does very little damage at range (nine-hit kill).
    
               The vertical recoil is very good (after the first-shot multiplier)
               while the reload times and accuracy are fairly typical for PDW's.
    
       Trivia: The MP7 was developed by H&K of Germany to meet the requirements of
               NATO's demands for a PDW and it entered production in 2001. The model
               included in BF3 appears to be the MP7A1 from 2003.
    
               Just as with the P90 (which was also developed to meet NATO's brief)
               a new type of high-velocity armour-piercing ammunition was designed
               especially for the MP7. It takes a 20, 30 or 40-round magazine which
               is loaded into the grip, like a pistol (or Uzi). The compact design
               gives an overall length of just 41cm with the stock retracted.
    
               See the MP7 on Future Weapons: http://youtu.be/rMj73QKr7oI
    
    o PP19
    
         Ammo: 9x18mm   Capacity: 54+1   Fire-rate: 900 RPM   Reload: 2.40 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Familiar Territory' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
      Summary: In common with the P90, the PP19 has a high rate of fire backed up by
               a very large magazine. However it uses the historic 9x18mm Makarov
               pistol round which can only manage 16.7 maximum damage (the lowest in
               the game) and it'll take six hits to kill your target at short range
               compared to five for the P90 or MP7.
    
               The recoil is quite good and the accuracy pretty standard.
    
       Trivia: The "Bizon" submachinegun could be considered the next generation of
               Russian firearms since the design team was led by the son of Mikhail
               Kalashnikov and also included the son of Evgeny Dragunov! However it
               isn't actually that modern now - the PP19 entered service in 1996.
    
               The design is derived from the AKS74, this heritage being evident in
               the shape of the receiver, pistol grip and folding stock. The most
               distinctive feature of the PP19 is the long helical magazine which is
               fitted horizontally under the barrel and gives the weapon that large
               ammo capacity without the inconvenience of a big protruding mag.
    
               The PP19 appears (as the "BZ19") in Far Cry 3 with the benefit of the
               full 64-round mag of the real 9x18mm gun.
    
    o M5K
    
         Ammo: 9x19mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 900 RPM   Reload: 2.20 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Hold The Trigger' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: After a somewhat unimpressive debut, the M5K received a buff in the
               September 2012 patch, granting it increased damage (and a burst fire
               mode to match the real gun). It now gives 25 damage (and a four-hit
               kill) out to 12 metres.
    
               It has the same fast rate of fire as the P90, AS Val and PP19 and the
               vertical recoil is fairly high although it has better recoil recovery
               than other PDW's. It also suffers from high horizontal recoil, even
               though it has a permanent foregrip.
    
               The hipfire spread is slightly wider than many of the PDW's but it's
               still far superior compared to assault rifles and can be buffed with
               the addition of a laser sight attachment. The default magazine size
               is kinda small so the extended mags option is really beneficial. With
               those additions the M5K becomes a very potent short-range weapon.
    
               In the November 2012 patch the M5K got increased horizontal recoil
               and decreased vertical recoil "to focus this weapon as a high damage,
               low control PDW".
    
               (Allegations that the author likes to run around Ziba Tower with the
               M5K pretending to be in the SAS are largely unfounded.)
    
       Trivia: Correctly known as the MP5K, this is a shortened version of the H&K
               MP5 submachinegun, renowned for its exceptional performance. The "K"
               in the name stands for kurz, the German word for "short".
    
               Launched back in 1976, the MP5K was built for special forces use. The
               ultra-compact length (12.8") was achieved by shortening the barrel
               from the standard 9" to just 4.5", removing the shoulder stock and
               shortening the main body at both ends; additionally a foregrip was
               added to make up for the loss of the handguard.
    
               Famously the compact MP5K can be mounted inside a special briefcase
               accessory and fired with a trigger built into the case's handle.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 03f | Shotguns                                                  s03f |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    Like the PDW's the shotguns can be equipped into the primary weapon slot in any
    of the four kits, replacing your assault rifle, carbine, LMG or sniper rifle.
    
    There are three types of shotgun in the game:
    
    - pump-action guns where you manually chamber a new shell after firing
    - semi-auto shotguns where the next shell is chambered for you
    - automatic weapons where you can hold the trigger for full auto fire
    
    There are four types of shotgun ammo. Buckshot is available by default and the
    others can be unlocked like attachments - by getting kills with each weapon.
    
    Buckshot
    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    A shotgun is a gun that fires shot. :) The standard ammo load for a shotgun is
    buckshot where each shotshell contains a number of individual lead pellets. All
    shotguns in BF3 unlock with buckshot already available, although - to balance
    their other characteristics - the number of pellets varies from seven per shell
    (in the fully auto USAS12) to twelve per shell (in the pump-action 870MCS and
    M26 MASS). Buckshot does a max damage of 18 per pellet at short range, drops off
    from 8 metres to 25 metres and then gives the minimum damage of 6 per pellet.
    
    (With the multiple pellets per shell and scattering effect it's possible to hit
    multiple targets with a single round and it's theoretically possible - and in
    fact not uncommon - to have a hit accuracy of greater than 100% with shotguns.)
    
    With the standard maximum damage of 18 per pellet you would need to have six of
    them hit your target for a one-hit kill (6 x 18 > 100) but remember that the
    shotguns get multipliers of x2.4 on the head and x0.91 on legs.
    
    Flechette
    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The flechette ammunition unlocks after 20 kills - each shell contains multiple
    darts instead of pellets. Again the number of projectiles per shell varies from
    one gun to another but any given shotgun will always give the same number of
    pellets (with buckshot ammo) and darts (with flechette), for example the M1014
    semi-auto shotgun has 10 pellets or 10 darts in each shell.
    
    Compared to the buckshot load the darts do less damage at short range (12.5 max)
    but more damage at longer ranges (8.4 min) and they give a longer drop-off from
    15 to 30 metres. The darts give better penetration of light cover (like bodies!)
    and a tighter dispersion cone of the projectiles which further enhances their
    effectiveness at longer ranges.
    
    Frag
    ŻŻŻŻ
    The frag ammunition unlocks after 60 kills.* Each shell fires a single explosive
    round which does 37.5 max damage and 10 min damage in the pump-action shotguns
    or 20 maximum and 5 minimum in the semi-auto and automatic weapons. In all cases
    the damage drop-off start is 8 metres and the drop-off end is 40 metres.
    
    Frag rounds give a strong level of suppression to the target too** but they're
    balanced now by having a slower rate of fire than other shotgun loads.
    
    Slugs
    ŻŻŻŻŻ
    Finally the slug rounds unlock at 90 kills.* Each shell fires a single chunky
    projectile which does 100 max damage and 40 min damage (in pump-actions) or 75
    max and 37.5 min (in semi-autos and autos). They also have a long drop-off from
    15 metres out to 50 metres.
    
    Like the sniper rifles and revolvers, shotguns using slug rounds benefit from an
    additional damage multiplier of x1.25 on shots to the upper torso.
    
    *The exception is the DAO12 where the Physical Warfare Pack DLC unlocks both the
    gun and its flechette ammo so everything else unlocks ten kills earlier. You get
    the frag ammo at 50 kills and slugs at 80 kills.
    
    **The combination of frag rounds (with their explosive and suppressive effect)
    and the automatic shotguns was soon identified as being overpowered and almost
    unstoppable in close quarters. This led to widespread abuse until the December
    2011 patch reduced the damage/effect and then finally in the March 2012 patch
    they reduced the fire-rate of the USAS12 and MK3A1 when using Frag rounds.
    
    The overpowered USAS + frags loadout was immortalised in this episode of the
    fantastic Battlefield Friends animated series. :)
    
    --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7rFGMatKLM&list=PLF8C97115E5BCBA92
    
    The stats below show the rates of fire with the standard buckshot load. Where it
    is possible to load individual shells into your weapon the reload time given is
    the time it takes to load one shell; you can interrupt the loading sequence to
    resume firing at any time. The Saiga 12K, USAS12 and MK3A1 all use magazines
    which give the benefit of being able to fully reload the weapon more quickly but
    without the advantage of being able to interrupt and start shooting.
    
    o 870MCS
    
         Ammo: 12-gauge   Capacity: 5   Fire-rate: 125 RPM   Reload: 0.67 secs x N
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 1
    
      Summary: One of only two pump-action shotguns in the game (three if you count
               the Assault kit's M26), the 870MCS is your very first weapon unlock.
    
               Compared to the other pump-action - the SPAS12 - the 870 is slightly
               slower but each shell contains 12 pellets (or darts) instead of the
               11 with the SPAS. The 870MCS has a wider dispersion on its pellets
               though which makes it less effective at distance, so at longer ranges
               you might want to use the SPAS12 or the flechette ammo (or both). The
               other stats for these two shotguns are identical.
    
               The pump-action guns give superior accuracy on stationary aimed fire
               with a spread of 0.1 compared to 0.4 or 0.6 for the other shotguns.
               Usually, however, you'll be using the shotguns in hipfire where the
               spread stats are identical for all guns in this category.
    
       Trivia: The Remington 870 dates back to the 50's but the MCS (Modular Combat
               Shotgun) is a modern version with the ability to conveniently swap
               out components (barrel, magazine extensions, stock, etc) to configure
               it for various roles. It has a short Picatinny rail on the top which
               can accept a scope/sight attachment.
    
               The Remington 870 also forms the basis of the Knight's Armament Co's
               "Masterkey" system where the shotgun is mounted under the barrel of
               an M16 or M4 in the same manner as the M26 MASS (see Section 05b).
    
    o M1014
    
         Ammo: 12-gauge   Capacity: 5   Fire-rate: 220 RPM   Reload: 0.55 secs x N
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 22
    
      Summary: The three semi-auto shotguns - the M1014, DAO12 and Saiga 12K - share
               the same fire-rate, muzzle velocity, aimed accuracy, hipfire accuracy
               and pellet dispersion. 
    
               The M1014 holds only five shells by default but each one contains ten
               pellets (buckshot load) or ten darts (flechette load) which is more
               than any of the other semi-auto (and auto) shotguns.
    
       Trivia: The M4 Super 90 was designed by Benelli of Italy in the late 90's for
               entry into the US Army's trials to find a new 12-gauge semi-automatic
               shotgun - it won the competition and was adopted as the M1014.
    
               It's also used by the British armed forces, designated as the L128A1.
    
    o Saiga 12K
    
         Ammo: 12-gauge   Capacity: 6+1   Fire-rate: 220 RPM   Reload: 2.2 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 34
    
      Summary: The Saiga 12K holds seven rounds and is fed by a detachable box mag
               which lets you do a full reload more quickly. It also experiences one
               third less vertical recoil than the M1014 and DAO12. Every shell has
               nine pellets (buck) or nine darts (flechette).
    
       Trivia: Noted for its reliability, the Saiga 12 is another Russian weapon
               derived from the classic Kalashnikov AK47 design. The model featured
               has the shorter 17" barrel - the "K" stands for korotkaya which means
               "short" - plus a pistol grip and lightweight folding stock.
    
               Versions are also available in the smaller 20-gauge (including the
               20K model that featured in BFBC2) and in the lightweight .410 bore.
    
               A full-length Saiga with a skeletonized folding stock is available in
               the 2013 game Metro: Last Light. It's incorrectly modelled there with
               a full auto fire-mode and short curved magazine.
    
    o USAS12
    
         Ammo: 12-gauge   Capacity: 6+1   Fire-rate: 275 RPM   Reload: 2.5 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 43
    
      Summary: Although not massively faster than the semi-autos, the USAS12 fires
               on full auto and has the highest fire-rate. Also, like the Saiga, it
               has a conventional box magazine that holds six shells but with the
               USAS each round contains only seven pellets or darts.
    
               Like the other fully automatic shotgun - the MK3A1 (see below) - it
               has a spread of 0.6 for stationary aimed fire making it less accurate
               than the semi-auto M1014, Saiga and DAO12 with their 0.4 spread.
    
       Trivia: The USAS is an American military shotgun design manufactured in South
               Korea. It takes either a 10-round box magazine or 20-round drum.
    
    o DAO12
    
         Ammo: 12-gauge   Capacity: 8   Fire-rate: 220 RPM   Reload: 0.69 secs x N
    
      Unlocks: Physical Warfare Pack DLC (pre-order bonus / free download now)
    
      Summary: The DAO12 matches the M1014 and Saiga for fire-rate. It carries eight
               shells by default (tying with the MK3A1 for the largest shotgun mag)
               but it has an awkward slow reload.
    
               The DAO12 shares the vertical recoil of the M1014 but the Saiga beats
               them both. Like the Saiga, the DAO has nine pellets/darts per shell,
               one fewer than the M1014.
    
       Trivia: The "Double-Action Only 12-gauge" shotgun is in fact a South African
               design from the 80's called the Armsel Striker - or possibly the
               Streetsweeper clone manufactured by Cobray of South Dakota.
    
               Cobray also made a .410 bore model - the "Ladies Home Companion"!
    
    o MK3A1
    
         Ammo: 12-gauge   Capacity: 8   Fire-rate: 255 RPM   Reload: 3.45 secs
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'Scarred Veteran' Assignment in Back To Karkand DLC
    
      Summary: The MK3 is the closest match to the USAS12 - it has the same accuracy
               and ammo capacity but the fire-rate is a little slower, it has more
               vertical recoil and eight pellets/darts per shell rather than seven.
    
               In addition to the lower pellet-count, the USAS and MK3A1 are both
               further balanced against the pump-action and semi-auto shotguns by
               having a wider dispersion for their pellets (or darts) which serves
               to make them less useful at longer ranges.
    
       Trivia: The MK3A1 is the Pancor Jackhammer which was designed and patented in
               the 80's but - despite numerous appearances in video games - it never
               actually entered production and only a few prototypes were ever made.
    
               Apparently the 10-round drum magazine could be detached, fitted with
               a detonator and used as an anti-personnel mine!
    
    o SPAS12
    
         Ammo: 12-gauge   Capacity: 5   Fire-rate: 150 RPM   Reload: 0.67 secs x N
    
      Unlocks: Complete 'These Hurt Too' Assignment in Close Quarters DLC
    
      Summary: This pump-action shotgun fires 20% faster than its rival the 870MCS. 
    
               It puts out eleven pellets or darts per shell compared to the 870's
               twelve and it has a slightly tighter pellet dispersion cone. Since
               those differences only apply to buckshot and flechette rounds, the
               higher rate of fire makes the SPAS the obvious choice if you want to
               use slugs in a pump-action shotgun (enjoying that 100 max damage).
    
       Trivia: The SPAS12 is made by Franchi of Italy and entered production in the
               early 80's. As fans of the first Terminator movie will know, "you can
               go pump or auto" but, for the sake of having another pump-action in
               the game, the semi-auto option is unavailable in BF3.
    
               The Special-Purpose Automatic Shotgun (12-gauge) was rebranded as the
               "Sporting-Purpose Automatic Shotgun" in an attempt to bypass American
               import restrictions.
    
    The Assault class also has access to the M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System
    (see Section 05b) which gives loosely similar performance to the pump-action
    shotguns. Instead of replacing the primary weapon, the MASS is equipped into the
    Gadget 1 slot, used either handheld or fitted as an under-barrel attachment.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 03g | Pistols                                                   s03g |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    The pistols are equipped into your secondary/sidearm slot. They can be used as a
    back-up when your main weapon is empty and you also automatically switch to your
    sidearm whenever you're revived. You'll sometimes want to choose a pistol to
    complement your primary selection, for example matching the full auto G18 with
    a scoped bolt-action sniper or, conversely, the scoped Magnum with a shotgun.
    
    There are no unlockable attachments for the pistols but it is possible to unlock
    versions of some handguns with a suppressor/flashlight/scope attached. These are
    treated as entirely separate weapons, so for example there are three different
    versions of the M9 in the game (see below).
    
    In general terms you can consider the pistols as a spectrum. At one end you have
    the guns with a large ammo capacity and higher rate of fire that do less damage
    per shot and at the other end of the spectrum you have the revolvers with a low
    capacity and slow fire-rate but more powerful rounds.
    
                      |  M9/MP443/G17  |   M1911   |  MP412 Rex  | .44 Magnum
          ============+================+===========+=============+============
           Ammunition |     9x19mm     |  .45 ACP  | .357 Magnum | .44 Magnum
          ------------+----------------+-----------+-------------+------------
           Max Damage |       25       |    34     |     50      |     60
          ------------+----------------+-----------+-------------+------------
            Fire-Rate |     400 RPM    |  333 RPM  |   255 RPM   |   160 RPM
          ------------+----------------+-----------+-------------+------------
             Capacity |  15+1 or 17+1  |    8+1    |      6      |      6
    
    The options of a suppressor or flashlight model, scope (.44 Magnum), burst fire
    (93R) and fully automatic fire (G18) serve to make sidearm selection a little
    more complex and interesting.
    
    The damage profiles for sidearms are summarised here:
    
                       |  Max.  |    Damage    |  Min.  |
            Ammunition | Damage |   Drop-Off   | Damage | Weapons
          =============+========+==============+========+===================
            .44 Magnum |   60   |  12m to 50m  |   30   | .44 Magnum only
           ------------+--------+--------------+--------+-------------------
           .357 Magnum |   50   |  15m to 57m  |   28   | MP412 Rex only
           ------------+--------+--------------+--------+-------------------
               .45 ACP |   34   |  12m to 50m  |  14.3  | M1911 only
           ------------+--------+--------------+--------+-------------------
                       |   25   |  12m to 50m  |  13.8  | M9, MP443 and G17
                9x19mm |--------+--------------+--------+-------------------
                       |   20   |   8m to 40m  |  12.5  | 93R and G18
    
    You'll notice that although the 93R and G18 use the same 9mm ammunition as some
    of the other pistols the damage is nerfed for the sake of balance.
    
    o M9
    
         Ammo: 9x19mm   Capacity: 15+1   Fire-rate: 400 RPM   Reload: 1.35 secs
    
      Unlocks: (US side) available at start [M9]
    
               (Russian side) M9 Service Star 1 [M9]
    
               Multiplayer rank 10 [M9 Tactical]
    
               Multiplayer rank 25 [M9 Suppressed]
    
               Like the starting primaries for the four classes, the M9 and MP443
               pistols are initially faction-locked to the US and Russian sides
               (respectively). In order to unlock one for the other side you need to
               get your first Service Star with it (awarded at 100 kills).
    
               The Tact and Supp versions are earned as multiplayer rank unlocks.
    
      Summary: The M9 is the first of the three "small bullets / big magazine" guns
               in the sidearm category, although it still manages a four-hit kill at
               close range. Compared to the revolvers it's less accurate on aimed
               fire but suffers less recoil and has a fast reload.
    
               The Tactical version is fitted with a flashlight which can be used to
               blind an opponent. The Suppressed model has a sound suppressor fitted
               which stops you being displayed on the enemy minimap when you fire.
               The suppressor doesn't change the max/min damage but it does shorten
               the damage drop-off (starts at 6 metres and ends at 40 metres). It
               should also give the usual extra suppressor effects, namely increased
               aimed accuracy, reduced hipfire accuracy and less vertical recoil.
    
               (The same applies to the suppressed versions of the MP443, G17C and
               G18 listed below.)
    
               Your performance stats with each version are tracked separately on
               your Battlelog profile.
    
       Trivia: The M9 is the US military designation for the Beretta 92F pistol from
               Italy, instantly familiar from dozens of appearances in movies. It
               was adopted for US service after extensive trials in the mid 80's,
               replacing the M1911 which had been in service since (duh!) 1911.
    
               The stylish Italian design with the distinctive open slide is copied
               from much earlier Beretta handguns, with the 92 bearing a striking
               resemblance to their M1951 from (duh!) 1951 and even to other models
               dating back to the 20's.
    
               An updated version of the 92 called the "90two" was released in 2006
               with an ergonomic grip, front accessory rail, increased sight radius
               and 17-round magazine.
    
    o MP443
    
         Ammo: 9x19mm   Capacity: 17+1   Fire-rate: 400 RPM   Reload: 1.35 secs
    
      Unlocks: (Russian side) available at start [MP443]
    
               (US side) MP443 Service Star 1 [MP443]
    
               Multiplayer rank 13 [MP443 Tactical]
    
               Multiplayer rank 28 [MP443 Suppressed]
    
      Summary: The M9, MP443 and G17C have identical stats except for the muzzle
               velocities and a slightly smaller magazine on the M9.
    
       Trivia: Following a design and trial process in the 90's the MP443 "Grach"
               (Russian for "rook") was adopted by the Russian military in 2003.
    
               In addition to the standard 9mm Parabellum round it is also capable
               of using the same overpressure armour-piercing ammo as the PP2000.
    
    o G17C
    
         Ammo: 9x19mm   Capacity: 17+1   Fire-rate: 400 RPM   Reload: 1.35 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 4 [G17C]
    
               Multiplayer rank 19 [G17C Suppressed]
    
      Summary: Aside from a faster muzzle velocity, the G17 has the same stats as
               the MP443. However it does also have an integral laser (hipfire buff)
               and the open sights have a prominent white outline on the rear notch
               which makes them easier to see against a dark background.
    
       Trivia: There are now numerous variants in different calibres and sizes, but
               the G17 is the original model of the Glock company of Austria which
               launched in 1982. The body of the pistol, with the distinctive plain
               rectangular slide, uses advanced polymer materials.
    
               Although the same scheme doesn't apply to other models, the G17 name
               comes from the magazine capacity. The "C" suffix here denotes a model
               with compensator features to reduce recoil.
    
               In January 2013 it was announced that the 2010 Glock 17 Gen 4 model
               would be adopted as the service pistol of the British armed forces,
               replacing the historic Browning Hi-Power (L9A1) and SIG Sauer P226.
               Glock reported that the G17 was selected for its magazine capacity,
               accuracy and ease of use/maintenance.
    
    o G18
    
         Ammo: 9x19mm   Capacity: 19+1   Fire-rate: 900 RPM   Reload: 1.35 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 30 [G18]
    
               Multiplayer rank 41 [G18 Suppressed]
    
      Summary: Although externally it resembles the previous weapon, the Glock G18
               is capable of full automatic fire at a ferocious 900 RPM. Even with
               the damage nerfed (compared to the previous 9mm pistols) it can still
               match the damage output of an 750 RPM assault rifle at short range.
               In addition to the reduced damage per round the G18 also suffers from
               a shorter drop-off distance on the damage compared to other pistols.
    
               Naturally a small weapon with such a high fire-rate is difficult to
               handle - it has a large first-shot recoil multiplier, significant
               horizontal recoil and less accuracy than the conventional pistols.
               However its automatic fire makes it very useful as a "panic" weapon
               to spray when you encounter an enemy suddenly in close quarters.
    
               The suppressed version experiences the same effects listed for the
               M9 above but the damage drop-off distances are reduced even further.
    
       Trivia: The G18 was designed to meet the requirements of an Austrian special
               forces unit. Since it chews through ammunition so quickly it would
               normally be used with a 33-round magazine but it can also take any
               standard Glock magazine, the largest of which is the 19-round version
               which appears in the game.
    
               The other 9mm Glock models are all semi-automatics - the G19 compact,
               G26 subcompact and extended G34 variant for competition. Other models
               are available in .45 ACP, .380 ACP, 10mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG and the
               .45 GAP (Glock Automatic Pistol) load which was designed especially
               to give the power of the classic .45 ACP in a smaller modern pistol.
    
    o .44 Magnum
    
         Ammo: .44 Magnum   Capacity: 6   Fire-rate: 160 RPM   Reload: 3.90 secs
    
      Unlocks: Multiplayer rank 36 [.44 Magnum]
    
               Multiplayer rank 44 [.44 Magnum Scoped]
    
      Summary: It might not be "the most powerful handgun in the world" but it is
               certainly the most powerful in the game, doing 60 maximum damage to
               provide a two-hit kill out past 20 metres. Along with the MP412 Rex
               (see below) it enjoys a x2.4 damage multiplier on headshots and x1.25
               on shots to the upper torso.
    
               It also has superior accuracy with a stationary aimed spread of 0.3
               compared to 0.5 for the basic 9mm pistols. This is balanced by high
               vertical recoil, a slow recoil recovery rate and a slow rate of fire.
               Even though a speedloader is used, it still has a slow reload too.
    
               The scoped version (rather appropriately unlocking at rank 44!) comes
               with a 3x scope permanently fitted.
    
               Although not listed on Battlelog there is also a secret model with a
               suppressor and laser sight which is presumably only available if you
               work for DICE. JackFrags found one here: http://youtu.be/i3_cBnj0asw
    
       Trivia: The ".44 Magnum" is the Taurus Model 44. Specifically it's the 44SS6
               model denoting the .44 calibre, stainless steel finish and 6" barrel.
    
               Also available are the Model 608 version which holds eight rounds of
               .357 Magnum and the 44SS8 with an 8" barrel for the Dirty Harry look.
    
    o M1911
    
         Ammo: .45 ACP   Capacity: 8+1   Fire-rate: 333 RPM   Reload: 1.75 secs
    
      Unlocks: Battlefield Veteran / EA Gun Club membership [M1911]
    
               Battlefield Veteran / EA Gun Club membership [M1911 Suppressed]
    
               Battlefield Veteran / EA Gun Club membership [M1911 Tactical]
    
               Complete all five Assignments in End Game DLC [M1911 S-Tac]
    
               The three standard M1911 models will unlock if you have Battlefield
               Veteran status - i.e. if you have played at least one other full game
               from the Battlefield series on the same EA account.
    
               I believe you can also unlock them by registering on the Electronic
               Arts Gun Club website: http://gunclub.ea.com
    
               The S-Tac model is unique in having both a suppressor and a taclight.
               For sixteen months, despite being listed on the Battlelog, the M1911
               S-Tac was only available to DICE employees. With the release of the
               End Game expansion in March 2013 it is now available to the general
               public but DICE aren't giving it up without a fight - to unlock the
               weapon you need to complete all five Assignments in that DLC pack.
    
               (Complete the first three Assignments to unlock the fourth, complete
               the fourth to unlock the fifth and complete that to get the S-Tac.)
    
      Summary: The M1911 occupies the middle ground in the handgun range, giving a
               good balance of power and ammo capacity. It holds eight .45 rounds
               which do 34 maximum damage for a potential three-hit kill.
    
               It matches the M9/MP443/G17 for accuracy and recoil but its rate of
               fire and reload times are slower.
    
       Trivia: John Browning's iconic and revolutionary design remains popular today
               despite now being over a hundred years old!
    
               Chambered for the .45 Automatic Colt Pistol round, the handgun was
               tested against other designs in the early 1900's and adopted by the
               US Army in 1911. It remained in service until 1985 and the adoption
               of the M9 (see above), although it remains in use with the Navy, USMC
               and some special forces units. It is estimated that over 2.5 million
               Colt 45's have been purchased during its US military history.
    
               Presumably the model featured with a three-hole trigger and Pachmayr
               signature grips is the M45 MEU(SOC) of the Marine Expeditionary Unit.
    
    o MP412 Rex
    
         Ammo: .357 Magnum   Capacity: 6   Fire-rate: 255 RPM   Reload: 3.40 secs
    
      Unlocks: 5,000 co-op mode XP
    
      Summary: The other revolver in the game uses the .357 Magnum round which puts
               the Rex between the .44 Magnum and the M1911 in terms of power. The
               50 max damage gives a two-hit kill out to 15 metres and, while its
               accuracy is on a par with the .44, it benefits from lesser recoil,
               faster recoil recovery and a quicker rate of fire. It has a slightly
               shorter reload time too.
    
               That reload time and fire-rate were both buffed in the September 2012
               patch to "better highlight the improved CQB [close-quarter battle]
               performance over the .44 Magnum". The rate of fire and bullet damage
               combine to give a damage-rate of over 200 per second at short range
               which is significantly better than the .44 and the semi-automatics.
    
               The Magnum rounds of both the MP412 and the .44 Magnum can be used to
               detonate enemy explosives (e.g. anti-tank mines) which is better than
               wasting your grenade/s. The high damage and accuracy of both weapons
               also makes them handy for mid-range sniping situations, especially
               against a prone enemy who's facing you (x2.4 headshot multiplier).
    
               (Having previously used the MP443 Grach, M1911 Tactical and G18, the
               Rex has been my sidearm of choice for some time now.)
    
       Trivia: The MP412 Rex was designed in Russia and intended for sale in foreign
               markets ("Rex" = Revolver EXport) but it was never mass-produced.
    
               Its design is unusual in that it "breaks" open like a double-barrel
               shotgun, the entire barrel and cylinder assembly hinging forwards. It
               also has an automatic extractor which is why all the cases jump out
               when you break the gun to reload.
    
    o 93R
    
         Ammo: 9x19mm   Capacity: 20+1   Fire-rate: 900 RPM   Reload: 1.35 secs
    
      Unlocks: 86,000 co-op mode XP
    
      Summary: The 93R offers an alternative to the G18, but with three-round burst
               fire instead of full auto. It has similar stats to the Glock but it
               has less vertical and horizontal recoil, a smaller first-shot recoil
               multiplier and one extra round in the magazine.
    
               The G18 and 93R share the dubious honour of having the worst aimed
               accuracy in the game.
    
               After a period of overuse the 93R got a nerf to its damage and range
               in the September 2012 patch (to bring it in line with the G18) but
               this was balanced against the reduction to its recoil.
    
       Trivia: The Beretta 93R is based on the Beretta 92 design and launched in
               1979. The R stands for raffica which means "burst" in Italian.
    
               (As noted above, the 92F is designated as the M9 in US military use,
               however the Raffica is not the "M9-3R", it's just 93R. It's sometimes
               known as the Model 93R or M93R although Beretta themselves don't use
               that nomenclature.)
    
               Various features were incorporated to make it usable with the burst
               fire mode including an extended magazine, folding foregrip, recoil
               compensator and optional folding shoulder stock.
    
               The 92 was not the first Beretta model to be adapted into a machine-
               pistol - the M951R was based on the M1951 design in the 60's and had
               a fully automatic fire mode, supported by a longer barrel, extended
               magazine and chunky wooden foregrip.
    
    
    .------------.-----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 04 | SPECS                                                       s04 |
    '------------'-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    There are seven different specs (perks) which unlock as you progress through the
    ranks in multiplayer. You can pick a different spec for each of your four class
    loadouts but you can only equip one at a time.
    
    There are two versions of each spec - the earlier unlocks are individual ones
    that only affect your character and the later versions (which replace the early
    ones automatically) are applied to your whole squad. If two or more members of
    your squad have the same squad spec equipped the effects do not stack.
    
    Sprint
    ŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Increases your running speed by 10%.
    
    SPRNT unlocks at multiplayer rank 2 / SQD SPRNT unlocks at multiplayer rank 23
    
    Ammunition
    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Increases the amount of firearm ammo you carry by 50%.
    
    AMMO unlocks at multiplayer rank 5 / SQD AMMO unlocks at multiplayer rank 26
    
    Flak
    ŻŻŻŻ
    Reduces the effective blast radius of enemy explosives by 15%.
    
    FLAK unlocks at multiplayer rank 8 / SQD FLAK unlocks at multiplayer rank 29
    
    Explosives
    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Doubles the amount of explosives you carry.
    
    This includes the RPG/SMAW, Javelin/Stinger/Igla missiles, M15 anti-tank mines,
    Claymore anti-personnel mines and C4 explosives.
    
    EXPL unlocks at multiplayer rank 11 / SQD EXPL unlocks at multiplayer rank 31
    
    Cover
    ŻŻŻŻŻ
    Reduces the effect of enemy suppression by 50%.
    
    COVR unlocks at multiplayer rank 14 / SQD SPRNT unlocks at multiplayer rank 35
    
    Suppression
    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Increases your suppression effect by 50%.
    
    SUPR unlocks at multiplayer rank 17 / SQD SUPR unlocks at multiplayer rank 33
    
    Frag (Grenades)
    ŻŻŻŻ
    Gives you two hand-grenades instead of the normal one.
    
    Also you get seven M320 grenade-launcher rounds instead of four (any type).
    
    FRAG unlocks at multiplayer rank 20 / SQD FRAG unlocks at multiplayer rank 37
    
    (Percentage stats quoted from: http://symthic.com/bf3-specialization-charts)
    
    
    .------------.-----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 05 | ACCESSORIES                                                 s05 |
    '------------'-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    Every primary firearm has a series of attachments, sight, scopes and sometimes
    ammunition types that unlock by scoring certain numbers of kills with that gun.
    You get a new accessory every ten kills when you first start using a weapon but
    after 100 kills the intervals increase, e.g. 125, 150, 175, 200, 235...
    
    Accessories can be configured for each gun under My Solider \ Customize \ Kits
    off the main menu - pick a kit, then a primary weapon and select it to enter the
    configuration screen. You can select a sight/scope and two attachments from the
    ones you've unlocked, although each specific attachment is constrained to only
    be available in one of the two slots which prevents many combinations.
    
    Weapons in the same category will usually have similar sequences of unlocks, for
    example an assault rifle will have this pattern:
    
          o 4x scope (10 kills)               o IRNV sight (100 kills)
          o heavy barrel (20 kills)           o 6x rifle scope (125 kills)
          o foregrip (30 kills)               o 3.4x scope (150 kills)
          o tactical light (40 kills)         o flash suppressor (175 kills)
          o red-dot sight (50 kills)          o 4x scope (200 kills)
          o bipod (60 kills)                  o red-dot sight (235 kills)
          o suppressor (70 kills)             o holographic sight (270 kills)
          o holographic sight (80 kills)      o 7x scope (300 kills)
          o laser sight (90 kills)            o 3.4x scope (350 kills)
    
    You'll notice that there are two versions of some sights and scopes - one is the
    US style and the other one Russian. Each gun is recognised as either a "western"
    or "eastern" weapon and you'll unlock the corresponding attachments first. For
    example the L85A2 is a British gun so it gets the ACOG (4x scope), Reflex (red-
    dot sight), US Holo, Rifle Scope (6x) and M145 (3.4x) first and then its later
    unlocks are the Russian equivalents: the PSO-1 (4x scope), Kobra (RDS), PKA-S
    (Holo), PKS-07 (7x) and PK-A (3.4x).
    
    All LMG's come with the bipod already unlocked. Similarly every sniper rifle has
    an optical scope, either the 8x Rifle Scope (western) or 7x PKS-07 (eastern).
    
    To view the specific unlock sequence for any given weapon look it up under the
    Weapons tab of your Battlelog profile.
    
    There are no unlockable accessories for the pistols but some have a separate
    version with a suppressor or flashlight (or, in one case, a 3x scope).
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 05a | Sights & Scopes                                           s05a |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    When you start using a gun for the first time you'll be forced to use its iron
    sights unless it's a sniper rifle which comes with an optical scope attached
    (although you have the option of removing it and using the irons if you want).
    
    You can view examples of the unlockable sights/scopes here:
    
    --> http://symthic.com/bf3-sight-guide
    
    Symthic also has images of all the iron sights for comparison here:
    
    --> http://symthic.com/bf3-sight-guide?class=2
    
                               Reflex (RDS) / Kobra (RDS)
                               ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The iron sights (and the weapon itself) are often very obtrusive and give a poor
    view of your target and the surrounding area. The red dot sights overcome this
    by mounting a large unobstructed aperture on top of the gun with a red dot (on
    the Reflex) or red "T" reticle (on the Kobra) to mark the centre of the sight.
    The red dot sights offer no magnification and only give the effective zoom of
    +44% which is equivalent to aiming down the gun's standard iron sights.
    
    Compared to its American rival, the Kobra sight has a narrower border that will
    block less of your screen and its T-shaped reticle is usually easier to see than
    the small red dot of the Reflex.
    
    A real Kobra sight allows the user to switch between four different reticles,
    the other options being a chevron, a dot and both of those together.
    
                            Holographic (Holo) / PKA-S (Holo)
                            ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The holo sights operate on a similar principal to the red dot sights but they
    give you a slightly larger viewing window and a minor magnification effect (of
    +83% compared to the standard +44% of iron sights).
    
    This time it's the US sight that has the more visible reticle and a design that
    fills less of your screen.
    
    On a real-life EOTech holo sight the two square buttons at the rear are used to
    adjust the brightness of the reticle up/down to suit your environment and the
    circular NV button allows you to temporarily dim the marker when you want to use
    the sight in conjunction with night vision equipment.
    
    Its Russian counterpart is correctly known as the PK-AS rather than PKA-S.
    
                               M145 (3.4x) / PK-A (3.4x)
                               ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    These scopes give a level of zoom that will be useful at medium/long ranges but
    without most of the penalties applied to larger scopes. However all scopes from
    this size upwards give a slightly slower time to ADS (roughly +0.1 second).
    
    The M145 scope has clearer crosshairs than the Russian PK-A but it has a chunky
    design that limits your view.
    
    The M145 is the US Army's variant of the Elcan C79 and is used primarily on the
    M240 and M249 light machineguns. In real life the PK-A is a 1x red dot scope but
    it was given a 3.4x zoom here to give us a Russian equivalent to the M145.
    
                                 ACOG (4x) / PSO-1 (4x)
                                 ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    This pair give slightly more magnification than the previous two. The Russian
    PSO-1 has more prominent crosshairs but the sight image has a thick border from
    the scope's rubber eyecup.
    
    The ACOG name is a registered trademark of American company Trijicon and stands
    for Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight. Although the ACOG gives 4x magnification
    in BF3, Trijicon manufacture a range of models with various magnifications from
    1.5x up to 6x (and with different lens sizes and reticle shapes/colours).
    
    The 4x PSO-1 scope was designed specifically for use with the SVD Dragunov as a
    designated marksman rifle (DMR). The distinctive curved "graph" in the reticle
    image can be used to determine ranges based on a human target with a height of
    1.7 metres (5 feet 7 inches), for example if the target fits neatly between the
    curve and the horizontal line below at the "6" mark then the range is 600m.
    
                             Rifle Scope (6x) / PKS-07 (7x)
                             ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    These scopes give enhanced magnification for long-range sniping. The Russian PKS
    gives a little more zoom but a slightly smaller scope image.
    
    Any weapon using a scope with 6x mag or higher will suffer penalties. The scope
    will "sway" when aiming so you will often want to tap L3 to hold your breath (to
    steady your aim for about five seconds); you can also equip and deploy a bipod
    to counter the sway effect. Additionally the glint of sunlight reflecting off
    the lens will be visible to enemies when aiming at them.
    
    When you ADS with any scope between 6x and 12x your view will be restricted to
    the narrow field visible through the scope - you will have no peripheral vision
    outside the circle of the scope image.
    
    In Russian military use the 7x PKS-07 is the standard scope for the SV98 rifle.
    
                         Rifle Scope (8x) / Ballistic Scope (12x)
                         ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    These high magnification scopes are only available to the sniper rifles and of
    course they also suffer the penalties listed above.
    
    Both give a similar circular sight image with simple crosshairs.
    
    On a Youtube video LevelCap recommends using the 8x scope for medium/long range
    sniping and to always use the same magnification so you get familiar with it.
    
                                        IRNV (1x)
                                        ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The Infra-Red Night-Vision scope unlocks at 100 kills for most weapons. It gives
    a thermal image out to a limited range which can be used to detect enemies in
    dark conditions or through light cover like foliage. The field of view is always
    shown green with any hot objects (people or vehicles) highlighted in yellow.
    
    For the sake of balance it experiences the same sway effect as optical scopes.
    
    When fitted to a sniper rifle the IRNV has prominent crosshairs but the level of
    zoom is the same as on assault rifles, carbines, etc.
    
    The IRNV scope can be effective when used in conjunction with smoke grenades on
    the M320 launcher - it's possible to see enemies in and through the smoke but
    you'll only be able to use it at short distances thanks to the restricted range.
    
    .-------------.----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 05b | Attachments                                               s05b |
    '-------------'----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    There is a wide range of other attachments in BF3 but some are only available to
    certain categories of firearm.
                                      Heavy Barrel
                                      ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The HBAR greatly improves the aimed accuracy of the weapon, reducing the spread
    to as little as 25% of the standard value. It also extends the drop-off end (see
    Section 02c) by up to +50% so the bullets do more damage at longer ranges.
    
    To balance these effects, the attachment increases vertical recoil and suffers
    from greater spread (reduced accuracy) in hipfire.
    
                                        Foregrip
                                        ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    A vertical grip fitted below the barrel reduces horizontal recoil by around 25%
    on average, however the foregrip also gives a significant penalty to aimed (ADS)
    accuracy. It's most useful on weapons where the horizontal recoil is larger.
    
    The foregrip gives an additional reduction to *vertical* recoil on some LMG's
    and on the semi-auto sniper rifles (but not on assault rifles or carbines).
    
    The combination of heavy barrel and foregrip is quite popular. It was previously
    thought that the two attachments basically cancelled each other out but Rezal's
    testing (see link) reveals an overall net benefit. The accuracy simulations were
    for three-round bursts and assume that the player is compensating perfectly for
    the vertical recoil by steering their aim downwards while firing.
    
    --> http://preview.tinyurl.com/hbar-and-grip
    
                                         Bipod
                                         ŻŻŻŻŻ
    The bipod is deployed automatically when you aim, either in the prone position
    or when you are standing or crouching behind a suitable ledge.
    
    When deployed the bipod greatly reduces vertical and horizontal recoil and also
    gives significantly improved accuracy both in ADS (holding L1) and unaimed (not
    holding L1). However the time it takes to deploy the weapon can sometimes be an
    inconvenience plus you have a limited arc of movement - roughly 80-85 degrees -
    and your vertical aim is also restricted. Going prone with a bipod leaves you
    vulnerable to flanking and grenades too.
    
    Most weapons in the four main categories can accept a bipod but the design or
    short length of some carbines (specifically the AKS74u, MTAR21, A91, QBZ95B and
    HK53) prevent the use of this attachment.
    
                                       Suppressor
                                       ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Commonly (but incorrectly) known as a "silencer", a suppressor can be fitted to
    the end of the barrel reducing the sound made when the weapon is fired. It also
    has the effect of concealing the prominent bright "muzzle flash" when firing.
    
    Normally firing a gun causes the player to be marked on the enemy's minimaps but
    with the suppressor equipped this doesn't happen so this will often be quite a
    tactical advantage.
    
    (Alternative weapons for stealthy silent use are the crossbow from the Aftermath
    expansion and the knife.)
    
    Statistically the suppressor effectively extends the length of the barrel which
    has the effect of increasing the aimed accuracy and the added weight reduces the
    vertical recoil but also decreases hipfire accuracy. The suppressor is used in
    conjunction with slower (subsonic*) ammunition which causes the damage drop-off
    start/end distances to be reduced by typically 50% (although the maximum and
    minimum damage is unchanged) so the weapon becomes less effective at delivering
    damage at intermediate/medium ranges.
    
    The AS Val is permanently fitted with a sound suppressor.
    
    *Subsonic ammunition is designed to give a muzzle velocity which is less than
    the speed of sound - at sea level this is 340 m/s or 1,116 feet per second. This
    avoids the usual "crack" sound (actually a small sonic-boom) which you get with
    a supersonic projectile. In BF3 only the M1911, UMP45, PP19 and MP443 Grach (and
    AS Val) have a standard muzzle velocity below 340 m/s. Any other gun will see a
    significant drop in speed when fitted with a sound suppressor.
    
                                    Flash Suppressor
                                    ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Like the (sound) suppressor above, the flash suppressor is fitted to the end of
    the barrel and hides the muzzle flash, however it does not affect the sound of
    shooting (so it doesn't prevent you from being marked on the minimap) and it
    doesn't affect the damage drop-off either.
    
    The flash suppressor also serves as a muzzle break (recoil compensator), giving
    a 20%-25% reduction in vertical recoil. However the additional weight at the end
    of the barrel gives an increase of typically around 20% to hipfire spread.
    
                                      Laser Sight
                                      ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The most significant effect of the laser attachment is to annoy your team-mates
    so take care not to aim at them - or just turn it off (press up on d-pad).
    
    The laser sight gives a good bonus to hipfire accuracy, reducing minimum spread
    by 50%. It can also be used to dazzle enemies when aiming at them.
    
    The beam of the laser is visible to the enemy (even from the side) so remember
    to turn it off if you're hiding behind a crate or corner!
    
    The Glock G17 pistol is permanently fitted with an integral laser unit (although
    you can still turn it on and off).
    
                                     Tactical Light
                                     ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    As with the laser attachment, this can be very annoying for friendlies so turn
    it off if you don't need it (again you can toggle on/off with d-pad up).
    
    The flashlight has no statistical effects but it can be used to illuminate a
    small area and to blind/disorient hostiles. Three of the pistols have a "Tact"
    version with a tactical light fitted which can give an advantage when you meet
    an unexpected enemy at close quarters when your main weapon is empty.
    
    At longer ranges the tactical light will usually only serve to highlight your
    position to enemies and give them something to aim at!
    
    If you're playing on PC you might like to configure your input mappings to put
    the taclight switch on the same button as ADS so it will turn on automatically
    every time you aim down the sights.
    
                                     Underslung Rail
                                     ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The M320 grenade-launcher or M26 shotgun (see below) can be fitted directly onto
    an assault rifle when the underslung rail is also equipped. This enables you to
    switch between the rifle and the attached weapon more quickly.
    
    The underslung rail is automatically unlocked for any assault rifle that can use
    it but cannot be fitted on any bullpup design except for the AUG.
    
                                  M320 Grenade-Launcher
                                  ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Gradually replacing the M203 in US use since 2009, the M320 is a 40mm grenade-
    launcher derived from H&K's AG36 which was originally designed for use on their
    G36 assault rifle. It is only available within the Assault kit (replacing the
    medkit in the loadout) and can be either attached to the primary (if the under-
    slung rail is equipped) or otherwise used as a separate stand-alone weapon.
    
    The standard load with the initial "M320" loadout option is a fragmentation
    grenade that detonates on impact. After getting 10 kills with that you unlock
    M320 Buck (buckshot) which is like a large shotgun shell and after 20 kills with
    the launcher you get the M320 Smoke option which can sometimes be used to good
    tactical effect, especially on the attacking side in Rush games.
    
    When the Close Quarters DLC was released a fourth grenade-launcher ammo type was
    added to the game - the M320 LVG (or Low Velocity Grenade). This was included as
    the penultimate weapon in Gun Master mode but it can also be equipped in other
    multiplayer modes. The LVG load has a timed fuse (like a hand-grenade) so it can
    be bounced around corners and (ab)used in certain situations.
    
    By default you normally carry four 40mm grenades but with the FRAG spec equipped
    you get seven instead.
    
    When the grenade-launcher is fitted to any Kalashnikov-pattern rifle it will
    instead take the form of the Russian GP30 grenade-launcher attachment (but the
    stats will be identical to the M320).
    
    The M320 unlocks after scoring 11,000 pts with the Assault kit.
    
                                        M26 MASS
                                        ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The M26 MASS (Modular Accessory Shotgun System) makes its first appearance in
    the Battlefield series in BF3 but it previously featured in both Rainbow Six:
    Vegas games as the prototypical XM26 LSS (Lightweight Shotgun System).
    
    The M26 resembles the M320 grenade-launcher in that it can be mounted on most
    assault rifles (using the underslung rail) or used independently, but instead of
    the M320's 40mm grenades it fires standard 12-gauge shotgun shells. It is there-
    fore possible to carry an assault rifle and shotgun (and pistol) simultaneously
    with the Assault kit but again it is necessary to forego the medkit option.
    
    The default shotgun load with the initial "M26 MASS" loadout option is buckshot.
    After 10 kills you unlock the explosive frag rounds which have a significant
    suppressive effect, after 20 kills you get the flechette (dart) load which can
    penetrate light cover and does more damage at range and after 30 kills you get
    the slug ammo which fires a single large projectile instead of multiple pellets.
    
    The M26 has similar stats to the pump-action shotguns (see Section 03f) but has
    a box magazine which holds six shells (one more than the 870MCS and SPAS12) and
    makes it quicker for a full reload. Each shell contains twelve pellets or darts
    which is the same as the 870 and one more than the SPAS. It matches those two
    for recoil but has a slower rate of fire and less aimed accuracy. With the frag
    and slug loads it enjoys the higher damage profiles of the pump-action shotties.
    
    The March 2012 patch introduced a glitch with the M26's dart load* - when fitted
    to an assault rifle in conjunction with the heavy barrel attachment each of the
    twelve darts per shell would do the same damage as a bullet fired by the same
    rifle! After widespread abuse, this issue was fixed in the June 2012 patch.
    
    The M26 unlocks after scoring 38,000 pts with the Assault kit.
    
    *Following his earlier adventures with the USAS frag load, the Engineer acquired
    a glitched M26 dart in the Season 1 finale of the awesome Battlefield Friends.
    
    --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR4s4QswGS4&list=PLF8C97115E5BCBA92
    
                                     Extended Mags
                                     ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    The extended magazine option can be selected on all LMG's and shotguns and on
    several PDW's. As you might expect from the name, it increases the ammo capacity
    of the weapon's magazine. In the case of shotguns this only adds a few shells
    but on a belt-fed LMG the ammo capacity increases by 100.
    
                                   Straight-Pull Bolt
                                   ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ
    Exclusive to the bolt-action sniper rifles, equipping the straight-pull bolt
    enables you to chamber a round after firing without interrupting your aim view.
    
    
    .------------.-----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 06 | SCORING                                                     s06 |
    '------------'-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    This last section gives a quick summary of some of the point bonuses and awards
    in BF3. It is not a complete guide to scoring - I've only listed the ones that
    relate specifically to weapons use.
    
    o Enemy Killed (100 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy
    
    o Headshot (10 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy with a headshot
    
    o Accuracy Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 5 headshots in one match
    
    o Accuracy Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 50 Accuracy Ribbons
    
    o Marksman (N pts)
    
      Kill an enemy with a headshot at N metres range (N must be 100+)
    
    o Combat Efficiency Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get a streak of 8 kills / extend a streak by 3 more kills
    
    o Combat Efficiency Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 30 Combat Efficiency Ribbons
    
    o Double Kill (40 pts) / Triple Kill (60 pts) / Multi Kill (100 pts)
    
      Kill two/three/more enemies with intervals of less than 0.8 seconds
    
    o Avenger (10 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy less than 3 seconds after he killed one of your teammates
    
    o Avenger Ribbon (20 pts)
    
      Get 3 avenger kills in one match
    
    o Avenger Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 50 Avenger Ribbons
    
    o Saviour (20 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy within 2 seconds of him doing 50%+ damage to a team-mate
    
    o Saviour Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 2 saviour kills in one match
    
    o Saviour Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 50 Saviour Ribbons
    
    o Kill Assist (N pts)
    
      Do N damage to an enemy before a team-mate kills him (N must be 10+)
    
    o Suppression Kill Assist (50 pts)
    
      Suppress an enemy before a team-mate kills him
    
    o Suppression Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 4 suppression assists in one match
    
    o Suppression Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 50 Suppression Ribbons
    
    o M-Com Attack (25 pts) / M-Com Defend (25 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy at an M-Com in Rush mode
    
    o M-Com Defender Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 4 M-Com Defender bonuses in one match
    
    o M-Com Defender Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 50 M-Com Defender Ribbons
    
    o Flag Defender (10 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy at a friendly flag in Conquest mode
    
    o Flag Defender Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 5 Flag Defender bonuses in one match
    
    o Flag Defender Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 50 Flag Defender Ribbons
    
    o Enemy Flag Carrier Killed (100 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy who's carrying the flag in Capture The Flag mode
    
    o Enemy Flag Carrier Kill Assist (50 pts)
    
      Get a kill assist on an enemy who's carrying the flag in CTF mode
    
    o Flag Protector (50 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy near a friendly carrying the flag in Capture The Flag mode
    
    o Flag Protector Assist (15 pts)
    
      Get a kill assist on an enemy near a friendly carrying the flag in CTF mode
    
    o Attack Order (20 pts) / Defend Order (20 pts)
    
      Kill an enemy at an objective marked by your squad leader
    
    o Nemesis Victim (10 pts x N)
    
      Kill the same enemy N times without them killing you (N must be 5+)
    
    o Nemesis Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 2 nemesis kills in one match
    
    o Nemesis Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 30 Nemesis Ribbons
    
    o Nemesis Payback (10 pts x N)
    
      Kill an enemy who killed you N times without you killing them (N must be 5+)
    
    o Killing Spree Stopped (10 pts x N)
    
      Kill enemy who was on a streak of N kills (N must be 6+)
    
    o Comeback (10 pts x N)
    
      Kill an enemy after dying N times without getting a kill (N must be 5+)
    
    o Squad Eliminated (10 pts)
    
      Kill every member of an enemy squad (so all are dead at the same time?)
    
    o Squad Wipe Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get two Squad Eliminated bonuses in one match
    
    o Assault Rifle Ribbon / Carbine Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 7 kills with assault rifles / carbines in one match
    
    o Assault Rifle Medal / Carbine Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 50 Assault Rifle Ribbons / Carbine Ribbons
    
    o Light Machinegun Ribbon / Shotgun Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 7 kills with light machineguns / shotguns in one match
    
    o Light Machinegun Medal / Shotgun Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 50 Light Machinegun Ribbons / Shotgun Ribbons
    
    o Sniper Rifle Ribbon / PDW Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 7 kills with sniper rifles / PDW's in one match
    
    o Sniper Rifle Medal / PDW Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 30 Sniper Rifle Ribbons / PDW Ribbons
    
    o Handgun Ribbon (200 pts)
    
      Get 4 kills with handguns in one match
    
    o Handgun Medal (10,000 pts)
    
      Get 30 Handgun Ribbons
    
    o Service Star (200 pts)
    
      Get 100 kills with the same weapon
    
    
    .------------.-----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 07 | CONTACT                                                     s07 |
    '------------'-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    I welcome feedback, corrections and contributions on this guide. Contributions
    will usually be reworded but will always be fully credited to the submitter so
    be sure to tell me the name you want me to use.
    
    You can email me at barticle at hotmail.com - obviously changing the "at" to an
    @ and removing the spaces. It would be helpful if you include "Battlefield" or
    "BF3" somewhere in the subject line to get my attention.
    
    My permission should be sought before using any content from this document for
    your own website or guide although I'm happy for my BF3 ascii-art logo to be
    used if it's credited to me (Barticle) and you tell me where you're using it.
    
    
    .------------.-----------------------------------------------------------------.
    | Section 08 | THANKS                                                      s08 |
    '------------'-----------------------------------------------------------------'
    
    I would like to thank the following:-
    
    o Sym and everyone at Symthic.com for the weapon stats and other game data
    
    o DraX for the weapon charts primer
    
    o KoffeinFlummi (and Cheapnub) for the attachments chart
    
    o J0hn-Stuart-Mill for the weapon usage figures by platform
    
    o Battlefield Wiki for the 44 Mag model ID and some info on previous BF titles
    
    o Internet Movie Firearms Database (IMFDB) for the MG36, KH2002 and JNG90 info
    
    o Maskrane for the company/ammo during weapon testing on an empty server :)
    
    o my favourite Youtube gaming channels for BF3 content:
    
      - http://www.youtube.com/user/Luetin09
      - http://www.youtube.com/user/bigMooney06
      - http://www.youtube.com/user/intheworksmedia
      - http://www.youtube.com/user/FRANKIEonPCin1080p
      - http://www.youtube.com/user/LevelCapGaming
      - http://www.youtube.com/user/rivaLxfactor
      - http://www.youtube.com/user/WhiteMoosey
      - http://www.youtube.com/user/Kulprit008
    
    o GameCentral, Zero Punctuation and Extra Credits for their excellent output
    
    o Evan Wright and HBO for Generation Kill
    
    o Ex Confusion, Dublicator, GWFAA and Pete Namlook (RIP) for super sounds
    
    I will be happy to give credit and thanks to anyone who makes a contribution.
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                 /   \___ ________ _________/  \__ ___ ______ /  /  ________
    .-------o   /  __   / \___   //  ___/\_   ___//  //  ___//  /  /  __   /
    | ANOTHER  /  / /  /_____/  //  /     /  /   /  //  /   /  /  /   \/  / 
    '---------/  /-/  //  __   //  /-----/  /---/  //  /---/  /--/  _____/---------.
             /  / /  //  / /  //  /     /  /   /  //  /   /  /  /  /         GUIDE |
            /   \/  //   \/  //  /     /   \_ /  //   \_ /   \ /   \________ o-----'
            \______/ \______/ \_/      \____/ \_/ \____/ \___/ \___________/
    --
    Battlefield 3 Firearms Guide
    Copyright 2012-2013 James R. Barton
    Initial version 1.00 completed 29 December 2012
    Current version 1.04 completed 9 June 2013
    
    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
    respective trademark and copyright holders.
    
    This guide may be downloaded and printed for personal, private, non-commercial
    use only. This work is subject to copyright. It may not be hosted online or
    otherwise distributed publically or reproduced either in whole or in part
    without the advance written consent of the author. Any violation would
    constitute an infringement of copyright and is strictly prohibited.
    
    The only websites with the author's consent to publish this guide are GameFAQs
    (www.gamefaqs.com) and its affiliates (i.e. Gamespot).
    
    If you find this file hosted on any other site I would be grateful if you would
    inform me at the email address given at the top. Thanks!