I hated the 3 round bursts on the AR15s, even.. kick wasn’t that bad.. but the range to target makes the biggest difference.. and with semi-auto (price not included), you keep your ammo much longer (so survive much longer).
Unless in training, and it was required, I always kept it on 1 shot.
I can see full auto on a rifle at very close range. House to house fighting, in other words.
Other than that...nope. Stick to semi-auto.
I could see the rationale though: it did not take but a bit over a second to dump a 20 round magazine, and the 30 round mags were in the future.
After years of firing the M14, the M16 seemed to have no recoil at all.