MW3’s best shotgun has been nerfed just one week after release

Kurt Perry
JAK Wardens conversion kit in MW3 post-nerf.

Sledgehammer Games has nerfed the JAK Wardens kit in Modern Warfare 3 one week after their release seeing the previously dominant Akimbo shotguns have their effective damage range massively reduced.

MW3’s May 9 update saw various changes including Arcade mode-specific fixes and additional restrictions added to Ranked Play. However, a huge list of changes to the Jak Wardens conversion kit made up most of the patch notes.

While the changes made to Slug Shells and Gauge Ball were lengthy, they don’t overly affect how viable each ammunition type is. Instead, it is these nerfs to the Aftermarket Part that have had the biggest impact:

  • Increased standing hipfire spread minimum from 2.3deg/s to 3.3deg/s (+43%)
  • Increased standing hipfire spread maximum from 5.5deg/s to 5.8deg/s (+5%)

Before these nerfs, it was possible to get a two-shot kill at 29 meters. With this conversion kit being Akimbo you can fire two shots at once resulting in an instant TTK. The JAK Wardens’ pre-patch range was more comparable to COD’s most infamous shotguns like the 725 than it was anything else in MW3.

JAK Wardens range comparison in MW3 pre and post nerf.
JAK Warden conversion kit’s pre-nerf (left) and post-nerf (right) two-shot range.

After the patch, the JAK Wardens can now only one shot up to just over 10 meters. That brings the throwback Aftermarket Part more in line with the Lockwood 680.

Additionally, the conversion kit is still unforgiving as this maximum damage range only applies when landing both shots directly in the center of the enemy’s stomach or torso. Against moving targets in actual games, it is unlikely that you’ll kill anyone in just two shots unless you are within a few meters. 

Even after the nerfs, the JAK Wardens are still Modern Warfare 3’s best shotgun thanks to their fast fire rate and incredible sprint to fire speed. However, the gap between them and the other shotguns is much smaller and they don’t completely outperform the alternatives anymore.