Is The RECCE Rifle The Best All-Around Rifle?

What if you could only have one rifle?  What would it be?

What if you needed the ability to engage fast up close and then transition out to medium distances?

This is where the RECCE rifle shines. Or as Bill Rapier from AMTAC Shooting refers to them as; Hybrid Carbines.

Is The RECCE Rifle The Best All Around Rifle?
Photo courtesy of Bill Rapier of AMTAC Shooting (@amtacshooting)

What Is a RECCE Rifle?

Developed originally by the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Crane Division for the SEAL Teams.

They needed a rifle with greater lethality than the standard M4 Carbine, but in a lighter, more versatile package than the MK14 Enhanced Battle Rifle.

PlatformBarrel LengthCaliberWeightType of Gas SystemType of Optic
RECCE Rifle16"5.56 NATOUnder 9lbsMid LengthLPVO
M414.5"5.56 NATOUnder 8lbsMid LengthFixed Power
MK1418"7.62×51 NATOUnder 12lbsLong StrokeFixed or Variable


A RECCE Rifle, or hybrid carbine, is generally a 16" AR-15 style rifle chambered in 5.56. Add to that a 1-6 or 1-8 LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic) scope.

Nowadays it’s pretty common to see 11.5" and 14.5" RECCE Rifle setups in the civilian sector.

Faxon Firearms Sentry

at Primary Arms
Prices accurate at time of writing

This setup is about as close as it gets to the one rifle that will do it all.  It won’t be the best at any one task, but it will do a lot of things very well.

With the right setup you can accurately engage targets at close to medium range, then you can dial up the power up on your LPVO and confidently engage targets out to 400 yards. Realistically though, most engagements will be inside 200 yards.

The original whatever you want to call them- Recces, SPRs, MK 12s (we usually just say “sniper M4") had a 16" barrel, Leupold 2.5-10 and a PRI foregrip. They were first used operationally in ’93 in Somalia by our guys that were attached to our Southern brethren“. – Kyle Defoor

RECCE Rifle Setup Seen in the Photo

The RECCE rifle has gained popularity with civilian gun owners over the years, and it’s easy to see why.

A lightweight, accurate, and easy-to-use rifle is a hell of a force multiplier to have.  Especially in the times, we live in now.

Related Article – The Most Accurate AR15 Out Of The Box

Stay Tuned to the RE Factor Tactical Blog and be part of this all VETERAN-run website. Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn for exclusive content and deals.

Check out our DAILY DEALS page for industry deals and discounts.

Visit our Amazon Influencer Page for more products we recommend:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *