So I've been using the GCS for a good deal of time now, and these are a couple of noteworthy observations I have come up with. These comparisons are from the standpoint of an empire, not an individual. I am going to explain why I do not compare the weapon to the Solstice SF later on, but for now suffice to say that the Solstice is irrelevant in the areas of comparison for traditional carbines due to it's poor performance. The GCS maintains par up close and at mid range Due to the low horizontal recoil of the weapon (averaging at .1875 and peaking less than its main competitors .225 constant) with high velocity among carbines (500 base) and the lowest first shot recoil multiplier of any carbine in game, you keep up at ranges where the TRAC-5s has to burst by being able to go full auto out to a further distance, limiting the mid range advantages of the TRAC-5s to the closer half of that where it can go full auto with reasonable accuracy. Due to soft point ammo being accessible on both weapons, the close range advantage is minimized, since the same advantage provided across the board brings the GCS closer in performance relatively. This leaves the TRAC-5s with a .005 second TTK advantage up close, and an advantage of actual note from 16-30~ meters where it can fire full auto with reasonable accuracy in the hands of the average player, and the added shots to kill across the board widens the small gap in TTK a bit in favor of the faster firing TRAC-5s. Still, the significantly lower 1st shot recoil does well to mitigate this. The other advantage of the TRAC-5s, lower negative effects from nanoweave, (again, due to the same number of shots added across the board) is not as common as infiltrators would lead one to believe, I have determined this with my low failure rate at this next advantage The GCS is the best at extreme ranges The GCS has the ability, even at max range, to 4 shot kill to the head, a feat very achievable due to the low first shot recoil multiplier. I live in Florida and play on waterson, an east coast server, and I have a pretty good internet connection. This gives me minimal ping and in this along with reaction times, I am able to achieve success in 4 tapping unaware opponents about 90% of the time, with half of the failures being due to me out tapping the settle and missing shots. Due to the high velocity, I can even engage targets out at longer ranges with SPA, keeping me prepared for close range encounters of the unexpected kind. The compensator greatly improves this "sniping" tactic. The GCS is the easiest to control You have already read over why the GCS maintains viability when competing against the TRAC-5s, now I will explain why it is the best for the average players which make up the bulk of any given empire. It again comes down to that low first shot multiplier, but the high subsequent recoil also helps to make this so. You see when you take a very low recoil weapon, and give it a very high first shot multiplier, you have to adjust your counter lever on the mouse to control the weapon. with a very high recoil on average, and a low first shot multiplier, your counter lever will be the same all the way through. This, along with no angle and minimal wobble from the low horizontal recoil, make for a very easy to use carbine with the capacity to equip some easy kills. Where would I recommend this weapon? anywhere you can think to use the Mercenary! the SPA does more for your game overall than 23 rpm, and a compensator brings the vertical recoil back to being almost the same! Only time I feel the merc does better is 0-10m, where you would be better served by a Cyclone anyway if we are going to talk about specializing into close range. There are some faults with the weapon that I feel could use polishing, such as the 31.4% increase in your short reload time vs the merc, where the TRAC-5s gets only a 4.4% increase. This brings the S variant carbines a lot closer in short reload than the defaults, meanwhile the magazine advantage, which is the reason for the disparity between their short reloads, does not change. also the GCS has more horizontal recoil than the merc where the T5s stays the same. If the short reload were buffed to 2.15 seconds or so, there would still be a much bigger jump in performance for the reload than on the TR, but not so huge (19.4%) and this would be made up for by other traits. There are specialized circumstances where I will drop this beast of a weapon for a cyclone, but in most cases I am using the GCS and loving it! The Razor has a slight advantage at range, but I would definitely take the utility moving up and just be a little more selective of my fights at long distances. I don't talk about the SF cause it's a crap gun, only a platform for the grenade launcher. Sorry if you don't agree, no one likes owning their own faults, but it is. The Solstice trades an acceptable amount of performance in TTK for enhancements in controllability. The SF trades away those enhancements for even more poor performance beyond an acceptable drop. It is an AMC -10 bullets, +.8 first shot recoil multiplier, -55m/s velocity, and with an inconsistent recoil angle (.14-.17 vs .20 all the time) all for .02 vertical recoil and a slight buff to reload. Crap DPS up close, the first shot multiplier makes it crap at range, and those 2 things come together with the inconsistent angle to make it crap everywhere in between. It is a specialist weapon that specializes in getting a grenade launcher at all costs, unlike the GCS which is a mid-long range weapon with soft points to help it hold its ground as an all purpose weapon that gets a grenade launcher just because it wants to rock harder.