Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
The M40A3 is only available in multiplayer. It is the first sniper rifle to be unlocked, and as with all sniper rifles it is best used at a long range. It is unlocked at rank 3, and is a favorite among experienced and inexperienced players alike.
The M40A3 is one of two bolt-action sniper rifles, the other one being the R700. It has low recoil, so it is easy to track targets if the first shot did not kill the target. It has a 5 round magazine that is loaded one round at a time. The M40A3 has one disadvantage that other sniper rifles do not have; it is comparatively difficult to use without Stopping Power. Without Stopping Power, the M40A3 is a one-shot kill only to the head and neck, and its rate of fire is too low to reliably two-shot kill. This makes it one of the weakest sniper rifles without stopping power, and means that Stopping Power is practically a necessity. This also means that the M40A3 is less than ideal for killing Juggernauts even when it has Stopping Power equipped, as Juggernaut and Stopping Power cancel each other out. However, with Stopping Power, the M40A3 is just as powerful as the R700 with Stopping Power and Barrett .50 Cal with Stopping Power against enemies that are not using Juggernaut.
The M40A3 has one unique feature not seen with any other weapon. When it is equipped with the ACOG, its base damage is raised from 70 to 75. This means that, when combined with Stopping Power, it is a one-shot-kill anywhere on a non-Juggernaut, and is still a one-shot-kill on Juggernauts when the round impacts on the neck or head. It also makes it easier to use the M40A3 at closer ranges and facilitates quick-scoping, due to the ACOG's reduced magnification and aiming time compared to the sniper scope, however recoil is increased significantly, and the scope will block the target if the player happens to miss.
Call of Duty 4 DS
The M40A3 is available in the Nintendo DS version of Call of Duty 4 as one of the two sniper rifles in game. It looks similar to the one on the console versions, but sports a black color scheme instead of green. The M40A3 vaguely resembles the one on the consoles, albeit with a few differences. The first most noticeable difference is the black color scheme. The other differences are the lowered rate of fire, virtually non-existent recoil, higher magazine capacity, and the higher damage.
In single player, the M40A3 is one of the most powerful weapons (in terms of damage) the player can acquire. Doing 100 damage, the M40A3 is a one-shot kill to any part of the body at any range. It also has decent hip-fire accuracy, perfect when crouched; this is something one wouldn't expect from a sniper rifle, due to having a reputation for terrible hip-fire accuracy. The M40A3 is only found in the levels "Hard Impact" and "The Russian", limiting its use.
In multiplayer, the M40A3 is the only sniper rifle available to the Marines and SAS. Due to being overpowered in single player, the M40A3 had its magazine capacity reduced to one round, essentially making it a single shot weapon. The M40A3 is effective at all ranges, due to the perfect hip-fire accuracy when crouched, and its one-shot kill properties, allowing it to compete with shotguns at close range.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized
The M40A3 returns in Modern Warfare: Mobilized, as the only sniper rifle in game. Its 3-D model has been redesigned to resemble the M40A3 from Modern Warfare. Just like the other weapons featured in Mobilized, the M40A3 is more powerful than the console versions, being able to perform a one-shot kill to any part of the body (two when playing Hardened, making it a much less desirable weapon). It also has near perfect (perfect when crouching) hip fire accuracy, making this sniper rifle even more effective at No Scoping. The only disadvantages are the fact that it can only carry up to 20 rounds of reserve ammunition and there are no cross-hairs when the player isn't aiming down the scope.
- The M40A3 can share ammo with the G3, R700, M21, and M14 in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
- The M40A3 may have originally been black, as the character models in the official Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare strategy guide wield black M40A3's. Also, in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Nintendo DS) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized, the M40A3 sports a black color scheme as well.
- In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilized the shell is ejected before the gun bolt handle is pulled.
- The weapon's firing sound is used in the launch trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops (Nintendo DS), though the weapon itself doesn't make an appearance (the predecessor, M40A1 does).