The ‘Recce’ rifle concept came out of the earlier Mk12. It was once again a purpose built bridge between a more compact fighting carbine and a precision rifle. (Subscribe to Inferior Rifles too btw)
And like many of the neat GWOT era system, is has been left behind by advancements in quality.
Today’s AR’s (and most competitive carbines) have the accuracy and durability to serve either role. Look at the USMC’s M27 and M38, the same rifle with a different optic. The standard rifle has progressed to a point where the old ‘Recce’, often pronounced “wreck-ee,” which stood for a reconnaissance rifle.
The reconnaissance elements of forward forces and intel gatherers needed a quiet and accurate rifle and NSW wanted something even more compact than the Mk12. This is more of the building specialty tools for specialty roles instead of general purpose rifles like the M16 and M4 are.
The ‘Recce’ was a specialty that had about the space requirement of an M16 while being well suppressed and accurate thanks to the barrel selection and the optic was more powerful for observation and engagement. But with the mass acquisition of LPVO optics and the advances on the M4A1 (URG-I 11.5″ and 14.5″) the Recce has been out developed and is instead just another well built AR.
But it was a good concept, and led to the advancements in technology that we enjoy in the current industry. All hail Recce, well done. Enjoy the retirement slide, say hi to the M16A4 too.