Third episode of 'Time To Kill', a series devoted to the inner workings and mechanics of Call of Duty's multiplayer.
Episode 3 is all about hipfiring your weapon - an inaccurate but immediate and important part of close-range gunfights.
Generally speaking, aiming with your weapon is the most sensible option - bringing up your sights will allow for precision shooting, and accurate shots will kill your opponent more quickly.
With most weapons though, you don't have to aim in order to fire - and doing so will fire the weapon from the hip - inaccurate, but sometimes critically effective.
Your hipfire accuracy is not constant; there are a couple of factors that will decrease its effectiveness.
Non-aimed accuracy is determined by two figures; a maximum and minimum radius in which your shots will land.
These radii describe a circle on-screen that marks where your shot will land - you can get an idea how large this circle is at any time by the placement of 4 marks, forming your hipfire reticle.
Moving will cause your hipfire reticle to bloom to this maximum amount - it's best to remain perfectly still if for some reason you want to take on a longer-ranged target with hipfire.
In addition, firing the weapon will also cause your accuracy to decrease with each successive shot - for this reason firing in bursts, allowing your reticle bloom to recover, will result in better accuracy overall.
Jumping will add further penalty to your accuracy.
Your hipfire spread is also affected by your stance; Firing while crouched is more accurate than when standing, and hipfiring while in a prone position is more accurate still.
Steady Aim is an ideal perk for those who wish to maximise their effectiveness while firing from the hip.
First introduced in COD4, it's seen a return in every game since - and its function remains largely unchanged since its original form.
The perk acts as a straightforward multiplier to the size of your hipfire reticle, decreasing the radius of your hipfire spread to 65% of its default size, in all circumstances.
In practical terms, this effectively halves the potential impact area of an unaimed shot - making hipfire roughly twice as accurate as without the perk.
Some weapons are particularly well suited to hipfire - and each weapon will share traits with the others in its category, although there are some exceptions.
Assault rifles are the most versatile weapon category, with attributes suited to a wide variety of engagements - and while their hipfire performance isn't the best, they can still be effective in up-close gunfights.
Most assault rifles have the same spread, starting at a radius of 3.5 degrees and diverging to 7.
The MK14 is an exception, with worse performance limiting its hard-hitting power when hipfired - with spread ranging from 5 to 9 degrees while standing.
The Type 95 was originally the same as the assault rifle default, but in a balancing patch was given slightly worse hipfire performance, and now sits midway between the assault rifle default, and the MK14.
While the automatic assault rifles can be very effective from the hip up-close, the SMGs generally fare much better.
Default spread ranges from 3 to 5 degrees when standing, with the narrower maxima ensuring effectiveness even when fired full-auto - and paired with the SMG's typically high rate of fire, these weapons can be devastating when employed this way.
Similarly effective from the hip are the shotguns - although these behave a little differently, with no reticle bloom when moving or shooting.
Spread is fixed at 5 degrees for most shotguns - with two exceptions.
The Model 1887 has marginally worse spread, at 6 degrees - and the whirling dervish of buckshot that is the AA-12 has 8 degrees of spread.
As a general rule of thumb, you'll always want to fire from the hip with a shotgun, as aiming does not confer any increase to accuracy.
LMGs offer relatively poor performance from the hip, although with their larger magazines, they can be effective when fired in short bursts from a defensive prone position.
Initial spread when stationary is fairly good, at 4 degrees - but when on the move or under sustained fire, your accuracy will quickly deteriorate, with up to 10 degrees of spread.
The Sniper Rifles are even less effective, being weapons of precision - although the semi-automatic weapons, such as the Barrett .50 Cal and RSASS can be used to some effect.
Spread while standing ranges between 10 and 15 degrees for all the weapons in the sniper category, and so getting a kill without aiming requires a heavy dose of luck.