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Insurgency: Sandstorm – Weapons for Beginners

A guide to the wonderful world of ordnance and all the bang bang pew pew contained within Sandstorm.

Weapons for Beginners

Hello there!
If you’re reading this guide then you have more than likely in the near or distant past decided to spend theoretical currency on this digital entertainment product, in which case congratulations!

While I’m sure you’re no doubt eager to hop feet first into the sandbox and start slaying infidels in the name of whatever deity you direct your daily prayers toward, there are a few basics that need to be covered before you can do so.

As you’ve no doubt seen, the selection of ordnance on offer within the game can be a bit overwhelming. With so many weapons and explosives to choose from, how can you know what is best for which situation? Well luckily for you I’ve created this guide to help you get a good idea what weapons are best in which situation. Ultimately it will be up to you to find one that you are most comfortable with in each playstyle, but for now we can at least give you a little push in the right direction.


In times of desperation, you may find yourself having to fall back on a sidearm. When you’ve run out of ammo and an enemy is pushing your position, you’ll find that it’s more prudent to switch to your sidearm rather than run the risk of being chopped in half while fumbling around with your magazines like a jackass.

Sidearms can be broken up into two categories: .9mm and .45 ACP.

The .9mm category is for those who favor being able to put a large volume of fire downrange accurately. .9mm sidearms are generally low recoil and high capacity, though they tend to have a lower damage output than the .45 ACP weapons.

Makarov: Like why would you even use this thing? Why? For those who spent the last of their points on that super ♥♥♥♥♥in’ silencer for their AK instead of being practical. This Russian piece of trash holds 9 rounds including one in the chamber, costs no supply, and is guaranteed to get you killed if you try to use it. Seriously, go ahead and try. Can be thrown at the enemy which is only marginally more effective than actually shooting them with it. Should be equipped with an extended magazine but let’s face it, if you’re using this thing then you probably don’t even have one point left to spend on extended mags.

Tariq: When you’re on a budget and are too pretentious to use the Makarov but still hate yourself enough to not pick the Hi-Power. The Tariq is a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ hadji knockoff of the Beretta 92FS’s predecessor, and is inferior in just about every respect. With a capacity of 9 rounds including one in the chamber, this thing is pretty much the Makarov in every aspect except you spent a point on the weapon itself instead of getting it for free. Good job big spender. Comes with a side order of falafel and some hummus. Costs 1 supply.

Browning HiPower: The budget pistol you SHOULD pick instead of the Makarov. A Britbong weapon that holds 14 rounds including one in the chamber, and unlike the Makarov is actually capable of killing an enemy if you shoot them in the head. It is perfectly acceptable to use this weapon without extended magazines, though if you’ve got an extra point or two to throw on this thing then extended mags and a quick draw holster are definitely recommended. Costs 1 supply.

Beretta 92FS: Made in the land of meatballs and lasagna, this weapon has served as the sidearm of choice for various western military and law enforcement agencies since the mid-1980s. With a hefty 16 round capacity including one in the chamber, the 92FS is all about putting a lot of lead on a target in a short amount of time. Can be finger ♥♥♥♥ed like your mother on a first date to cause it to blow its entire load in the span of about 3 seconds. Just like your dad. Also perfectly acceptable to use without extended mags. Costs 2 supply.

Sig P226: Used by everyone and their mother because they once saw some navy seals use it in a movie and think it’s the most operator thing ever. Don’t be fooled though, because this little Belgian hand cannon is accurate, has a high capacity of 16 rounds with one in the chamber, and hits like a dump truck full of brick shithouses. At only 2 supply, I would highly suggest running this sidearm with your loadout if you’re the type that favors high volumes of fire.

PF940: Don’t let the name fool you, this is just a fancier version of the Austrian Glock 17. With a magazine capacity of 18 with one in the chamber and decent accuracy, this little bad boy will shred you in no time flat and then annex the German speaking parts of your homeland. Costs 3 supply to equip unlike the P226 or 92FS which cost 2 and accomplish the same job just as effectively. Use only if you’re in dire need of more lebensraum ASAP.

.45 ACP
The heavy hitters of the handgun category. These weapons are for the folks who prefer stopping power over volume of fire. If you have a steady hand then you’ll likely appreciate the fact that a .45 can put an enemy down in less shots than a .9mm, though with the much beefier recoil of the .45 ACP cartridge it can be challenging to keep your aim steady in heated scenarios.

M1911: The classic American hand cannon designed by disciple and prophet of God himself: John Moses Browning. This puppy dispenses a .45 caliber slug of white hot freedom at the enemies of liberty with extreme prejudice. Costs 2 supply and hits like a freight train, though the capacity of 8 with one in the chamber can leave you a little high and dry if you were never good at controlling yourself before you bust.

M45: A modernized version of the M1911 designed for MARSOC use. Costs the same supply and is virtually identical to the M1911 in terms of stats except for the fancy looking polymer finish. For those that like to pretend they’re operator while the guys with the P226 and PF940 run circles around them laughing while they actually go and do something useful because they have more than 8 rounds to play with.

Personal Opinion: As much as I’m a massive Colt fanboy in real life I’d have to say that going with one of the high capacity .9mm handguns is the smarter choice, as most situation where you’re having to engage with a handgun anyway usually result in a headshot 90% of the time.

Assault Rifles

The assault rifle is the workhorse of any conventional modern-day army. Designed to be capable of engaging enemies at medium to close ranges, the assault rifle can be customized to fill a wide variety of roles on the battlefield.

Or you can just be a ♥♥♥ and slap a drum mag and laser sight on that ♥♥♥♥♥ and go running right onto the point where you’ll immediately get shot by a guy camping around a corner or a grenade one of your teammates threw.

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There is a distinction to be made between an assault and battle rifle, so I’ll split the two into their own categories for the sake of this guide.

Assault rifles are typically shorter than battle rifles, and are usually chambered for an intermediate cartridge such as 5.56 or 5.45. A decent number of assault rifles are in the carbine configuration, and are therefore good for wasting half a magazine in close quarters to kill one enemy because you couldn’t be arsed to take an extra half second to pull up your sights.

M16A2: The second iteration of the US’s standard-issue service rifle, the M16A2 is a burst fire pea shooter that can be used to platonically tickle your enemies at medium ranges. The 5.56 cartridge is equivalent to firing a nerf dart at an enemy, and so about 10 shots will be required to put one person down at any range. It’s alright though since the capacity of the weapon is 31 rounds including one in the chamber, so you’ll be able to squeeze about 3 kills per magazine out of this thing. Like really, just pick the M4 instead because why wouldn’t you? Costs 3 points to humiliate yourself with this joke of a rifle.

M16A4: Exactly the same as the A2 except covered in picatinny rails and therefore able to take a wider variety of tacticool attachments. Also costs 3 points. Seriously just use the M4 and save yourself the trouble.

M4A1: The carbine variant of the M16 rifle, the M4A1 is a selective fire carbine that can be used both at medium and close ranges effectively. Has a 31 round capacity including one in the chamber, and has the added benefit of being able to go fully automatic so you don’t make yourself look like a complete fool in close quarters. Somehow is able to kill in one shot more reliably than both M16 variants despite firing the exact same cartridge. Has virtually zero recoil and will make up about 90% of the rifleman loadouts on either team. Costs a whopping 5 points.

Mk18 CQBR: A model of the M4A1 that has been configured primarily for close combat situations. Despite being the exact same weapon just with some different cosmetic parts, this thing somehow suffers at the same longer ranges the M4 excels at. Pretty much relegated to a submachine gun thanks to the M4, which can pretty much do the exact same job as the Mk18 and then some so why bother? Has a 31 round capacity with one in the chamber and wastes 4 supply.

G36K: Eurotrash German weapon that was designed to replace the vastly superior G3 thanks to NATO’s ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ standardization programs. It is a toy produced by Hasbro and has a capacity of 31 nerf darts plus one in the chamber. Despite being made entirely of cheap Chinese plastic and firing the same exact 5.56 cartridge as the M4, this thing has the most inconsistent damage and recoil pattern of any of the assault rifles. One moment the weapon will kick so hard that after 2 shots you’re staring at a passing plane, and the next it will have nearly no kick at all yet the rounds will become ethereal and pass through the enemy you’re trying to have some uncivil discourse with. Also has a 2 round burst function for some reason. If you use this fire mode you’re automatically a communist and a homosexual. Costs 4 supply.

L85A2: A weapon for those nostalgic for the good old days back when those bloody wogs knew their place. Objectively the best 5.56 assault rifle in the game, it is unfortunately hogged by the advisor class on the security team. Having even less recoil than the M4 and consistently killing in 1 to 2 shots, this thing is the absolute most beastly tool to grace the battlefield. Holds 31 rounds including the one in the chamber. (Fun fact: The L85 series of weapons in real life is notoriously so ♥♥♥♥♥♥ that many of the British troops forced to use it consider it the worst modern rifle ever made.) Costs 5 supply and comes with a spot of tea.

QBZ-03: Chinese-made M16 copy basically. Despite firing a 5.8x42mm cartridge it is somehow still capable of scavenging magazines from 5.56 weapons and vice versa. Probably the best assault rifle available to the insurgent team, the rate of fire is about on par with the M4 and has almost no recoil whatsoever. Holds 31 rounds with one in the chamber. Use it to clown on all the people on the enemy team using M4s like a bunch of sheep, then steal their magazines to add insult to injury. Costs 5 social credits. Available only to citizens with no record of wrongthink.

VHS-2: Croatian-made bullpup rifle that slings lead like no one’s business. Has a rate of fire to rival the MP7 and kills as reliably as the M4. The only difficulty you’ll have here is that the recoil is slightly higher than that of the other 5.56 assault rifles. Couple that with the much higher rate of fire and you’re looking at a weapon that has a tendency to get away from the user like an escaped basement prisoner. Uses the same STANAG magazines as the other 5.56 weapons which puts the capacity at 31 including one in the chamber. Costs 5 points.

AKM: The Russian L85 basically. Has virtually no recoil when firing fully automatic and the rounds hit like a mule being swung at you by a crane being swung by the Incredible Hulk. One of the cheaper weapons in the game, this thing is so ridiculously good that it can be used with almost no attachments to no detriment. Fires the Russian 7.62×39 cartridge and has a capacity of 31 dead infidels including one in the chamber. Costs 3 points.

AK-74: Basically the M4 to the AKM’s L85. Pretty much the exact same weapon as the AKM except chambered in 5.45 and costing an extra point, so you might as well just pick the AKM and save that point. Capacity is 31 rounds with one in the chamber. Costs 4 supply.

Alpha AK: Everything you need to know about this gun is in the name. Take the AKM, pump it full of the super soldier serum from Captain America and slap a bunch of picatinny rails on it and you’ve got the Alpha AK. Carries 31 rounds including one in the chamber. True alpha males use this weapon with only the irons and extended magazines. Costs 4 points.

AKS-74U: The deformed mutant bastard child of the AK series, this carbine variant of the AK-74 looks ugly as sin but it can break your neck with its freakish Lenny strength. Has relatively manageable recoil and a decent rate of fire that’s nothing to write home about. Use it to tell the other team about the rabbits, George. Has a capacity of 31 rounds including one in the chamber and costs 4 supply. Never ever use the irons on this weapon unless you want women to question your virility.

Galil/SAR: The Galil and the SAR variant are the exact same weapon, so don’t ask questions. For whatever reason NWI thought it’d be a funny prank to give the Galil to the gunner class despite it being an assault rifle so that way the people who are too impatient to play gunner properly can now run in and spray at ♥♥♥♥ like an ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ just like everyone else. Fires the same 5.56 round as most of the other assault rifles though to balance it out in the gunner slot it has more recoil than the ♥♥♥♥ing G3 and FAL. Has an integrated bipod so if you spend points on anything else to replace it you’re just asking God to send you to Hell. Is completely redundant as a weapon because most of the assault rifles can already be equipped with a bipod and drum magazine to turn them into LMGs anyway. Use if you’re insecure about your sexuality. Costs 3 points, I think.

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Battle Rifles

Battle rifles can be distinguished by assault rifles by their longer length and typical use of a full-sized rifle cartridge such as .308 or 7.62 NATO. These weapons are best suited for engagements at medium ranges and tend to suffer at close range due to their higher recoil. Equip with a 4x scope to watch your bullets suddenly become ethereal.

G3A3: The superior piece of German engineering, the G3A3 is an absolute one-hit kill machine. The heavy 7.62×51 NATO cartridge will easily kill an enemy in one shot 90% of the time. Despite the recoil this weapon can be reasonably managed at closer ranges with the aid of a foregrip/compensator combo. Dunk on all the untermenschen with this beast of a gun. Holds 21 rounds with one in the chamber and costs 4 points.

FAL: Functionally the same as the G3A3 though with a much less impressive sound when fired. Still an absolute beast of a one-tap machine and proof that the Belgians are superior-♥♥♥ kickers. Marginally less effective in close quarters than the G3 due to a just slightly higher bit of vertical recoil. Holds 21 rounds with one in the chamber and costs 4 points.

Mk14 EBR: A modernized variant of the M14 introduced in the 1960s, this thing is the absolute definition of OP. Can be used as a submachine gun in close quarters or a sniper rifle at extreme ranges because NWI has no idea what consistency is. Despite the fact that it is categorized as a battle rifle this thing can basically be anything you want it to be. Do be advised if you plan to use it in a CQB role, as there is no extended magazine option for this weapon. The weapon holds 21 rounds including one in the chamber and has a deceptively manageable recoil despite the class it falls under. Costs 5 supply. Worth it.

Mk17 Mod 0: Basically an assault rifle that got lost and ended up at a battle rifle convention. Fires the same 7.62×51 round as the rest of the battle rifles yet is somehow incapable of functioning at longer ranges and also suffers in CQB thanks to the high recoil. It’s only available to the security advisor class so it’s not like anything of value is being lost. Use this if wearing women’s clothing makes you feel funny in a good sort of way. Holds 21 rounds including one in the chamber. Costs 3 supply.

Light Machineguns

These are the bullet hoses of the game. Their sole purpose is to flood the faces of every enemy downrange with as much lead as possible like a 20 man ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ party. Due to their weight and the rate of fire that they’re capable of putting out, it is not advised to use these weapons from anything other than a supported position.

Also if you play gunner and pick the Galil I hope you die in a fire.

M249 SAW: The SAW (or Squad Automatic Weapon) is a US produced variant of the Belgian FN Minime. It fires 5.56 cartridges from a 200 round disintegrating link belt fed into the weapon from a metal box mounted beneath and features an integral bipod for supported firing. It’s recommended to mount the weapon’s bipod on a surface such as a railing, piece of low cover or the ground even, which will negate the weapon’s high recoil. That or you can be that ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ who slaps a supressor and laser on his SAW and goes sprinting into a hail of fire like they’re playing breacher or something. Costs 3 supply.

M240B: The M240B is basically the SAW’s big brother. Also a US produced variant of the FN MAG, it fires 7.62×51 NATO from a 50 round disintegrating link belt which is held in a cloth pouch mounted on the weapon. (this can be upgraded to a 100 round box with extended mags) Is completely redundant as the SAW has less recoil even when unsupported, comes with 100 more rounds by default than the 240B does with extended mags and weighs far less. Use only if you’re a salty old vet nostalgic for the days of humping that ♥♥♥♥♥ up and down 12 miles of mountain in Afghanistan. Aaaawwww yeeeeah. Costs 4 points and your dignity.

MG3: Another German-made death dealer. This bad boy is a modernized version of the venerable MG42 machinegun fielded in World War 2. In-game it’s relegated to the same situation as the 240B because of its high rate of fire, 50 round default belt size and it’s heavy as ♥♥♥♥. Blows its load faster than you on a late Friday night session of Second Life. Again, just use the SAW. Costs 4 points.

PKM: Old Soviet-made machinegun that was designed to be the counter to the US’s M60. Used in their conflict in Afghanistan in the late 70’s/early 80’s, the sound of this weapon strikes fear in the hearts of goat farmers everywhere. This thing is almost as good as the SAW if not for the slight bit more recoil and weight. The one big detriment to the PKM’s case is the fact that the belts are 100 rounds shorter than the SAW’s and there is no option to increase the size. Can be used about as effectively as the SAW if you want some variety. Costs 3 supply.

Misc Rifles

These are the rifles that don’t fall into the category of either assault or battle rifles, nor are they exclusively sniper rifles either. Perfect for those thinking about transitioning sexes.

SKS: A self-loading Soviet-designed carbine produced in the 1950s, the SKS is actually a pretty formidable weapon. It can be used effectively at both medium and close range but only features a single-fire mode, meaning you’re gonna need to warm up those fingering skills. Since for you going out and finding some ♥♥♥♥♥ to practice on most likely isn’t an option, you can substitute any other malleable substance such as jell-o, cottage cheese, etc. Magazine capacity is 21 rounds with one in the chamber. Costs 2 supply.

Mosin Nagant: Also known as the “moist nugget” if you’ve never touched a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ in your life, the Mosin Nagant is a bolt-action rifle introduced pre-WW1 for the White Army of Russia. Slap a 4x scope on that ♥♥♥♥♥ and hang out in the back of the map masturbating in a bush like the pro you are. Be sure to scream at your teammates for losing the point when they all die and you’re the only one alive at the far end of the map staring at the skybox for extra points. The internal magazine holds 5 rounds and 5 only, no exceptions. Costs 2 points.

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M40A1: The military version of the Remington 700 bolt action rifle. Used the exact same way as the Mosin Nagant except super tacticool looking cause of all the rails and stuff man. It’s totally ♥♥♥♥ing operator. Again, make sure to blame your team for everything from the back of the map for extra points. Also only holds 5 rounds. Costs 3 supply.

M82A1 CQ: Big ♥♥♥♥off .50 BMG anti material rifle. Used to kill armored vehicles but I guess you could use it on one person 10 feet away, sure. Extremely heavy with the most ungodly amount of recoil that could break a terminator’s arm, this thing is purely for looks and not function. Equip this to basically be an even less useful version of a Mosin/M40 user since you’ll move slower than a special-needs child trying to register than he’s not supposed to be playing in the middle of the freeway. Holds 6 rounds including one in the chamber. Costs 6 supply. No seriously, ♥♥♥♥ you if you pick this gun. You have no shame.

M99: Chinese copy of the M82, exact same principles apply. Also costs 6 points and holds 6 rounds with one in the chamber. Enjoy your giant, expensive ♥♥♥♥♥.

Submachine Guns

Absolute bullet hoses. These weapons are light, compact, and designed to put as much lead into a small space as possible. Generally SMGs are chambered for smaller pistol cartridges, though some are designed with unique armor defeating rounds that are basically like miniature rifle cartridges.

MP5A2: One of the earlier iterations of the now world-famous German MP5 thanks to Die Hard. This gun spits lead at a commendable rate, though the 9×19 pistol cartridge it’s chambered for tends to do less damage than a rifle round would, so expect to expend a few more shots on a target than you would normally have to. Capacity is 31 rounds with one in the chamber. Costs 3 supply.

MP5A5: Basically just the most modern variant of the MP5. Same things apply as the A2, nothing to see here now move along. Holds 31 rounds with 1 in the chamber and costs 3 points.

Uzi: The classic Israeli ♥♥♥ kicker is here to play in the sandbox, ironically fielded by a bunch of Jew-hating Arabs. Despite the .9mm cartridge and relatively low rate of fire for an SMG, this little bad boy has an extremely easy to handle recoil pattern and hits surprisingly hard. Slaughter your way to paradise then get stopped at the gate because your gun was Kosher. Holds 26 rounds with one in the chamber. Run with drum mags and laser sight for maximum effect. (fun fact, the compensator basically acts as a hybrid attachment on this gun, giving you the vertical and horizontal recoil dampening effect of a compensator and foregrip combo. I’m not sure if this has been patched out yet but seriously, try it for yourself. It’ll save you a few points for other goodies.) Costs 2 supply.

MP7: An absolute unit of an SMG. This little German bullet hose can spit rounds at a rate that would make a hooker with a big mouthful blush. It’s chambered for the unique 4.6x30mm cartridge which is designed to defeat armor, giving it a much higher degree of penetration than the 9mm SMGs on offer. Used primarily by kids who wanna look “uber operator” when they run into a room and spray the place down with hot, phallic lead. Most attempts to do this just end up in the user blowing their load in 2 seconds to kill one guy then realizing there’s still 3 more people in the room and getting gangbanged. Magazine capacity is by default 21 rounds with one in the chamber. If you run this thing with anything other than extended mags then you’re just beyond help. Costs 4 supply.

Explosives and Misc Equipment

The stuff that makes big bangs and helps support your team in various other ways. Be sure to be that guy who equips smoke grenades on co-op and ♥♥♥♥ all your teammates off when they get aimbotted through the smoke cloud. I’m gonna go ahead and break these down into different categories.


M203/GP-25/AG36: Underbarrel-mounted high velocity suppository launchers. Can be used to launch either high explosive rounds to kill the enemy in hard to reach places or smoke rounds to ♥♥♥♥ off your teammates by shooting them right where they’re standing. Holds one shot before needing to reload. Counted as an attachment so explosive costs 3 supply and smoke 2.

AT4: A one-shot Johnny tube packed full of bangin’ goodness. Use this puppy to put the hurt on whoever looks at you funny from inside a vehicle. Costs 3 supply.

RPG-7: Does exactly the same thing as the AT4 but can be reloaded, though for whatever reason you can’t pack a second round even with a heavy ammo carrier. Costs 4 supply.

Panzerfaust 3: See above, just German. Costs 3 supply.

M3 MAAWS: See above, just Swedish. Costs 4 supply. Seriously there’s no point to having 4 different rocket launchers in this game when they all do the exact same thing.


M67 Fragmentation Grenade: Marginally more powerful than an M80 firecracker, throw it at people you wanna startle. Make sure you pull the pin first. Can be thrown overhand with left mouse or underhand with right, though it’s a 50/50 chance whether your character is gonna limp wrist it like a ♥♥♥♥♥ or yeet that ♥♥♥♥er 5 miles like Drew Brees. The opposite mouse button can be used to release the spoon and cook the grenade before throwing. Costs 2 points.

F1 Fragmentation Grenade: Marginally mo- wait we just did this joke didn’t we? 2 supply again. You will never ever kill anyone with a grenade unless it lands right in their mouth.

M84 Flashbang: Ooooh, pretty liiiiights…. 1 supply.

Molotov: For the folks that loved to spam firebats in Starcraft. Use it to block doorways and destroy caches. 2 supply.

AN-M14 Incendiary: See above. Does more damage than the molotov but only burns for about a fraction of the time and doesn’t blanket as large an area. 2 supply.

M83 Smoke: Used to block enemy sightlines in competitive and ♥♥♥♥ off your teammates in coop with a thick cloud of smoke. 1 supply.

C4: I mean what do you think it does? It blows ♥♥♥♥ up. You’re guaranteed to try and throw one of these through a window then blow yourself up when it bounces off the sill just an inch short of going in. 3 supply.

IED: Ghetto C4. Use it to jihad the infidels. Same principles apply as above. 3 supply.

Binoculars: Available only to commanders. Used to spy through the neighbor’s windows while she’s showering and call Dominos for another large all meat with a side order of cheese bread. Comes equipped automatically for the commander role.

Radio: Automatically equipped only for observers. Used by submissive observers to place fire support orders when their big daddy dom commander tells them to.

Vehicle Mines: These don’t exist. They’re just a myth. No one uses them.

Gas Mask: Use so you don’t have the smell the guy next to you’s ♥♥♥. 1 point for security, free for insurgents.

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