Primary Weapons are the main weapon of usage. They include the following:
- Assault Rifles (Cold War and Modern era)
- Sub-machine guns
- Light Machine Guns
- Sniper Rifles
- Riot Shield (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 only)
- Bolt Action Rifles (Call of Duty: World at War only)
- Shotguns (excluding Modern Warfare 2)
- Primary Weapons determine the movement speed and turning speed in Call of Duty 4 through Modern Warfare 2, although in Black Ops and Call of Duty 1 and 2, the weapon in-hand determines the aforementioned traits; SMGs, Shotguns (no longer primaries in Modern Warfare 2) and Sniper Rifles have the fastest speeds, Assault Rifles have a medium speed whilst and LMGs and the Riot Shield slow down movement the most.
- It is worth carrying a secondary weapon the player is experienced with, as swapping to the Secondary Weapon in tricky situations is usually faster than reloading.
- Primary Weapons generally contain far more attachments than secondary weapons, the only exceptions being the G11, Riot Shield and the MP-44 in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
- Primary Weapons will determine the character skin you have, for example the Riot Shield will show the user with a heavier armor. This does not apply in Black Ops, as the player's tier 1 perk determines the character's appearance.
- All primary weapons in Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops (excluding the Riot Shield) have camouflages. In Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, these are gained by getting a set number of headshots, whereas in Black Ops, they are purchased with COD Points. However, these are rarely used for their intended purpose. Some camouflages actually increase visibility. Many players use it for social status, to display how good they are with the weapon. However, if the player does want to use it for actual camouflage, a low visibility skin like Digital is recommended, as it draws attention away from the weapon.
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