Ever since the overall ADS recoil reduction (15%), in my opinion, the gunplay now would be more welcoming to any newcomers.
However another potential problem caught my eye - it is now easier than ever before to just mag dump any automatic weapons AND the bullet spread is crazy small. Now basically anyone who knows how to counter vertical recoil (which is the case for most experienced FPS players) can just dump 30 rounds of M4 mag reliably up to 50 meters, which is absurdly easy (and I've recently played the new COD:MW, the M4 in that game has more unpredictable recoil than the one in Sandstorm!)
The battle rifles (FAL, G3A3) and the Mk14 might be bit harder than a M4, but in an experienced FPS player's hand, they are still just meta weapons and everyone's go-to weapons in competitive mode.
My suggestion to this potential problem is, for all automatic rifles and MGs, to introduce random horizontal recoil increases after say N number of bullets in quick succession. The number N can be different to each rifle, for example, 5 for M4, 4 for AKM, 3 for FAL/G3A3/Mk14/MGs not in bipod mode, and so on. Such mechanism are prevalent in a lot of other popular FPS games and has proven to be an effective way to prevent/mitigate the mid-to-long distance mag dumping, hence letting players to stick to short bursts of firing in most combat scenarios.
I specifically left out SMGs, since most of them have rather high horizontal recoil values to begin with, and also I noticed their lack of presence in most games. In my opinion, perhaps this suggested fix can be exempted from SMGs, giving players incentives to pick SMGs, rather than just using rifles all the time.
Aside from this problem, the rest of the gameplay changes in CTE make me very happy, so kudos