The M21 is a sniper rifle featured in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered and has a brief cameo in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It is a semi-automatic weapon that is, in many respects, a scoped version of the M14.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare & Modern Warfare Remastered
- "Semi-automatic sniper rifle. Effective at long range."
- — Weapon description
The M21 is found in two versions, regular and suppressed. The regular version is found in "Heat" and in "One Shot, One Kill" with woodland camouflage. The suppressed version with Unknown Ghillie Camouflage is found in "Blackout" and "All Ghillied Up". This suppressed version cannot be used in multiplayer.
While playing in "The Bog", and "All In" missions, the M21 with unique desert camouflage can be used (never seen in any other singleplayer or even in multiplayer) by using the give all or give M14_scoped console commands.
The M21 is unlocked at Level 7. It is the second sniper rifle to be unlocked. The M21 has the lowest damage multipliers, but its low recoil and fast fire rate make it very easy to fire multiple rounds very quickly. This means that if the first shot is a miss, or does not kill the target, the shooter still has the opportunity to get the kill. Unfortunately, this can lead to the bad habit of trigger mashing, which can result in a lot of missed shots, wasting valuable ammo. It is more effective to aim and fire accurate shots individually, unless spraying is more beneficial, such as in close quarters combat. When fitted with an ACOG Scope, the M21 is the most suitable sniper rifle for close quarters combat. Some say that for this purpose, it would be more practical to use the similar M14 rifle, as it has a larger magazine and less idle sway. But some maintain that the low recoil compared to the M14 makes it more suitable for a medium range rifle. Additionally, the M21 is unlocked much sooner (level 7) than the M14 (level 46).
Many consider the M21 to be the best sniper rifle in Hardcore modes due to its low recoil and the fact that all sniper rifles are one hit kills if a direct hit is landed. Statistically, the M21 and Dragunov are the best for Hardcore. The M21 has less recoil, and the Dragunov has slightly better wall penetration. If Deep Impact is used, the difference is not noticeable and the M21 becomes the clear winner.
The M21 shares ammo with the G3, M14, M40A3, and R700. Note that the M21 can be reload canceled easily because the actual load time and the animation are different, meaning it can actually be reloaded before the player inserts the magazine.
Old School Mode
The M21 appears in Old School Mode with 10 rounds in the magazine and 20 rounds of reserve ammunition.
- Ambush - Found with an ACOG Scope in the lot on the USMC spawn side of the main road, with the flaming car and forklift, near the RPG-7.
- Killhouse - Found with an ACOG Scope at the north-eastern corner of the map.
- Showdown - Found with an ACOG Scope in the western room of the balcony with the skylight.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- If the sensitivity is set to high and if player looks to the right, it is shown that right side of the gun is not fully rendered, possibly to reduce on-screen geometry and save memory.
- Below the scope on an M21, IW (Infinity Ward) is printed on the metal.
- Despite being patched on Xbox 360 and PS3, the M21 in the Wii and PC versions of Modern Warfare still increases the player's sprint time by 75%.