I went with the mission option since i’d like to do a side mission, adding to the lore and also explaining the reason of having U.S. made weapons in the GZ. Since currently, weapons just magically appear in Plundra and machine loot pool, without any word how they came to be.
You can find some 1* and 2* weapons from select homes, few 3* and 4* from battle scenes (next/near dead NPCs) and you’ll get 5* from side mission(s).
Since there are 3 different weapons, you could do 3 different missions.
Some ideas how those missions could be.
Missions in sequence;
Prelude: You’ll get communication over radio to meet someone at X spot. Once you arrive, you’ll see new NPCs (e.g members of Yellow Reindeer task force) next to a landed Sikorsky UH-60 helicopter and small camp around the helicopter.
First up, N9
Once you talk with one of the NPCs, he/she asks you to go to X POI, to gather intel about the machines, without alerting the machines (like “We are the Resistance” side mission is). You need to sneak in (prone) and keep yourself away from machines. Get the piece of intel (e.g machine HDD) and sneak out again. Report back to quest giver NPC and he/she rewards you 5* N9 with 5* N9 mag mod.
For added flare: if you’ve been made during the mission (machines aggro to you), the mission fails and you need to do it again.
Same or another NPC (from same group) tells you that one of his team members is pinned down at nearby X house (or barn) and he/she tasks you to go and save that person.
Once you get near it, several machines are attacking the house (perhaps even a harv). After dispatching all machines, you make your way into the house, just to find that the person is dead, with 5* N16 + 5* N16 mag mod next to him. You take the weapon and report back to the NPC. He/she is saddened of the loss but lets you to keep his/hers team member’s weapon, so you can use it against machines.
For added flare: there could be 2 waves of machines at the house. Take out the 1st wave and 2nd wave soon follows.
The camp where new NPCs are, is suddenly under attack from machines. Your task is to keep machines off from the helicopter, for long enough, so it can take off.
Here, machines could come from all sides (e.g “The Ringfort” mission) or from general direction (e.g “The Resistance” mission) but there are several waves.
Once all waves are beaten, talk to the NPC and he/she gives you a key to the supply crate they brought with them. After which, you’ll watch helicopter taking off and flying away. You’ll find loads of ammo from the supply crate and 5* N60 with 5* N60 mag mod as well (for your reward).
For added flare: helicopter can have health bar and last wave contains apo tank.
Downside of this idea is, that there are finite amount of U.S. weapons in-game and only one example of each 5* weapon. So, if you misplace or recycle the 5* U.S. weapon, you can’t get another one (which i don’t mind but some will).