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Requested move 7 November 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No move. After over 5 weeks and a relisting, we are no closer to a consensus to move. We have a disagreement as to whether this is a proper name, in which case it should be capitalized by WP:MOSCAPS and other relevant guidelines. Most participants seem to agree that a large majority of sources treat it as such, which fulfills the guideline's line that "Wikipedia relies on sources to determine what is a proper name; words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in sources are treated as proper names and capitalized in Wikipedia." On the other hand, we have an argument, advanced by the Wikipedia:Specialized-style fallacy essay, that sources on military topics consistently capitalize items that aren't really proper names. This is a compelling point, but support here was not enough to overcome the well-reasoned opposing arguments that it this term is indeed a proper name. Especially considering that related articles also consistently capitalize the titles in this way, I'm closing this discussion as no move. Cúchullain t/c 16:04, 14 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Mk 14 Enhanced Battle RifleMk 14 enhanced battle rifle

– Move back to lower-case, per MOS:CAPS / MOS:TM, MOS:MIL, WP:NCCAPS. This is a procedural nomination, to put an RM tag on an ongoing rename discussion that didn't have one. I'm not the original move proponent, and am listing this since there's been a bit of move-warring, but very few discussion participants.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:09, 7 November 2016 (UTC) --Relisting. Bradv 15:39, 7 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

  • Some time ago I moved this page in line with our convention on military weapons and their capitalization style. Now suddenly there are two editors reverting to a deprecated title. From the guideline: "When using numerical model designation, the word following the designation should be left uncapitalized (for example, "M16 rifle" or "M109 howitzer") unless it is a proper noun." Primergrey (talk) 18:40, 6 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    First, I only moved the talk page back to match the article's title, as you didn't move the article the last time, only the talk page. Second, the other user is asserting that "Enhanced Battle Rifle" is a proper name, and you haven't addressed that point directly. The title isn't "Mk 14 rifle" or "Mk 14 battle rifle", and "Enhanced" isn't a common term for rifles. - BilCat (talk) 19:03, 6 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    "Enhanced" is a descriptor and occurs after the number so per the guideline should not be capped. It's no different than "improved" or "revised". Primergrey (talk) 19:47, 6 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    It's used with initial caps in the reliable sources, ie. treated as a proper name, and that's generally what we follow per COMMONNAME. Granted, most of the sources are dead links now, but the ones that are still readable use initial caps and/or EBR as a name, not a descriptor. - BilCat (talk) 20:54, 6 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    Last time I checked we don't source for style, and COMMONNAME has nothing to do with capitalization. I'll bet that the RSs on the M109 howitzer cap it, but that's specifically given as an example of the overarching guideline that applies. Whatever. I'll give it 30 days and leave a couple of neutral notices and it'll be fine. 'Til then enjoy an article that sticks out like a sore thumb amongst its peers. Primergrey (talk) 22:53, 6 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    Yup. Sources call it the "M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer". I guess you would not call "self-propelled" a descriptor? See how this is flying in the face of a consensus-based guideline? Primergrey (talk) 22:59, 6 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Do those sources repeatedly refer to the M109 as "the SPH"? If not, then that's a clear indication it's a descriptor, not a proper name. And I will enjoy an article that uses its proper name until some a move discussion determines that the page should be renamed. - BilCat (talk) 23:21, 6 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I've requested further input at the appropriate TPs. Primergrey (talk) 02:18, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Restore lower-case, per MOS:CAPS, WP:NCCAPS, MOS:MIL, MOS:TM. [Note: I posted this before I RM-tagged the discussion to attract more editorial input.] This is typical specialized-style fallacy overcapitalization. Military sources and fans thereof (and governmental materials) have a strong tendency to capitalize everything that has any kind of designation, any term of art, and anything it wants to emphasize. This is not an encyclopedic style of writing, it's a specialist practice for a limited publishing context and audience. The error being made here is the incorrect assumption that sources that are reliable for details about something are reliable sources for or dictate how all other writing about the subject must be styled, no matter what its register, purpose, audience, and house style requires. It's just flat-out fallacious. The title of this article should be "Mk 14 enhanced battle rifle", since it is not a trademark, but a general weapon type designation followed by descriptive/classificatory modifiers. By contrast, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P 15-22 Sport is a proper-name trademark (actually four trademarks, three registered, given in series, forming a compound proper name, like "Toyota Corolla E150", and unlike "two-wheel-drive compact sedan").  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:44, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

    PS: While WP:COMMONNAME is not a style policy, a quick examination of reliable sources shows that usage is inconsistent, despite the habit of milspec types to capitalize everything military. E.g., here's the U.S. Air Force, in an official publication, giving it in lower case ("on the Mk 14 enhanced battle rifle at") [1]. Despite claims below that gun/mil people will somehow be confused or distraught by lower-case presentation, here's military gun fans at the AR15.com forum using lower case ("the Mk14 enhanced battle rifles with") [2], U.S. military personnel at ArmyForums.com using mixed case ("the Mk 14 Mod 0 enhanced battle rifle was" – note capitalized "Mod" but lower-cased other terms) [3], and so on. One of the principle rules at MOS:CAPS is when the real-world usage is not consistent, default to lower-case.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:46, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

All of which are violating a specific style guideline which, unless consensus for it changes, reduce the opposing arguments to IDONTLIKEIT. Primergrey (talk) 08:21, 24 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
That depends on the determination of whether the text following the numeric designation is or is not a proper noun phrase. Since the phrase is used to refer to the weapon, and since it is commonly capitalized, I'd say it appears to be a proper noun. As for violating the style guideline, I'll discuss that below. Felsic2 (talk) 20:21, 26 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. Dicklyon has pointed to one book link where it has been decapsed, but taking that back out to a general book search, we see that the rest of the results,[5] overwhelmingly capitalise it. A very clear case of this being treated as a proper noun by reliable sources, and we should follow suit.  — Amakuru (talk) 11:00, 7 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Extended discussion[edit]

For the record, SMcC is a primary contributor (author?) to the WP:SSF Essay. This appears to be justification for the tendency of some MOS cliques on WP to not capitalize everything, the extremely stupid sentence case requirement for headings being a prime example of this idiocy. While I understand it's intentions are good, the essay and comment here go too far the other way in not being intuitive. As I've stated here already, I support the title style "Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle" because that's what the sources appear to use, and the so-called "house style" being instead on is confusing to readers with a familiarity of the topic, and irrelevant to the generalized reader who isn't familiar anyway,so it won't matter to them how it's styled. I do not support "Mk 15 enhanced battle rifle" under any circumstances, as it's not a Mk. 15 anything. - BilCat (talk) 13:13, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

"This appears to be justification for the tendency of some MOS cliques on WP to not capitalize everything, the extremely stupid sentence case requirement for headings being a prime example of this idiocy."
Your agenda seems to be the driving force behind your disregard for a consensus -based house style.
"I do not support "Mk 15 enhanced battle rifle" under any circumstances."
That would have been good to mention in your original statement. Primergrey (talk) 13:32, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not disregarding a "house style", but an over-aggressive interpretation of the MOS by certain cliques. I'm not contesting the use of sentence case, as it is MOS, even though I do think it is stupid. As to "Mk 15 enhanced battle rifle", it was typo by SMcC; it was intended to be a humorous response on my part that you've totally missed. - BilCat (talk) 13:46, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
You are disregarding house style, codified in several places. Site-wide guidelines are not a clique; "don't touch my article" behavior is, though. Bil, your lashing-out rant is off-base in several ways.

For example, WP's use of sentence case for headings and titles has been a "feature" of WP since its early days and has nothing whatsoever to do with the SSF essay. More interestingly, I was the principal editor of SSF but am also one of the longest-term opponents of Wikipedia continuing to use sentence case in this manner (though I don't pick up that lance very frequently, per WP:TE and WP:1AM, and am not prone to tilt at windmills). "SMcC is a primary contributor (author?) to the WP:SSF Essay" is just an irrelevant ad hominem pseudo-argument. Every single thing on Wikipedia was written by someone. Pages do not magically appear here as gifts from the supernatural world. The point of essay pages is saving in one place arguments that are frequently repeated so they do not have to be re-typed out every time they come up. They have no authority on the basis of who wrote them, or by the sheer fact of their existence, only in the logic contained within them. You have not addressed a single thing in the reasoning of WP:SSF, so you have not presented a rebuttal of any kind, either to the page's arguments in general, nor the applicability of its reasoning to the case at hand. In short, you seem not to have actually looked into WP guidelines on the matter, nor to have any idea whom you're talking about and pointing fingers at, nor to have anything to advance but the insistence on this over-capitalization here no matter what, and are venting at anyone who disagrees with you, while totally ignoring what they're actually saying. What little rationale can be teased out of what you've posted is exactly what is described at WP:SFF.

But SFF isn't a rationale pro or con in this argument; MOS:CAPS, WP:NCCAPS, MOS:MIL, MOS:TM are. SSF is simply a summary of why that sort of "gimme my special capitalization because me and my friends like to write this way in our specialist publications, or because the govt. does in its specialist materials" is an invalid argument against these guidelines. It was an invalid argument before I wrote that essay, and it will be an invalid argument long after I'm dead. PS: I'm about 99.99% certain you knew "Mk 15" was a typo. It's been since corrected.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  14:01, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Of course I knew "Mk 15" was a typo! It was just my way of pointing it out in an apparently failed attempt at humor to lighten the serious tone here. "Enhanced Battle Rifle", trademarked or not, is the product's name per the visible reliable sources, and thus a proper noun. End of discussion. - BilCat (talk) 14:18, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The serious tone was manufactured by you. I quote (in order of appearance): "MOS cliques", "extremely stupid", "idiocy", "over-aggressive", "certain cliques", and "stupid". There's nothing humorous about that. Please see WP:ARBATC#All parties reminded, WP:ASPERSIONS, WP:CIVIL, etc. Anyone can get frustrated by style-nitpick discussions, but that's what requested moves generally are, and the most common source of them becoming frustrating is insistence along the lines of "the way we do it in what I'm familiar with is not how WP does it, so WP is wrong and must change". Every major publication has an internal style guide. There is virtually no style point of any kind – even the most basic things like "sentences must begin with capital letters" – on which all style guides in the English-speaking world agree, ergo it is 100% inevitable that WP will do some things differently from the styles that certain editors are familiar with, and the same will be true of Encylopaedia Britannica, The New York Times, and every other publisher. Please don't get worked up about it. Style is almost entirely arbitrary, and the point of style guides is just internal consistency and the avoidance of repeated, tedious disputes over trivia, not taking a stand for what is Right, True and Proper against all naysayers.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:20, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I will address a couple of points in SMcC's rebuttal rant. One, I don't generally edit this article, and so I don't have a claim to ownership in any way, nor have I asserted such a claim. My only participation in the move war was to STOP it by requesting page protection. Concurrently, I corrected an orphaned talk page move (ie. someone carelessly moved the talk page only), and chose the Caps title as the "correct" one based on the sources, which use "Enhanced Battle Rifle" as a proper name. I stand by that as the logical and intuitive choice based on the reliable sources, the illogical SSF essay not withstanding. Now, that's opinion, not my decree. I haven't edit or moved-warred to enforce it (note that I haven't changed the caps in the article because of that), and as stated, I will abide by the consensus of this move discussion. - BilCat (talk) 15:01, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I take your point that your own "stake" in this article is lower than I surmised. My mistake. But ignoring opposing arguments and labeling them "illogical" without reading the cited guidelines and explaining how they somehow don't apply in this case, nor addressing any actual points in the arguments you're skirting, is not a rebuttal of any kind, it's just hand-waving.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:20, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I've read enough of it to know it's quite condescending. You apparently labeled me an SSFer right off the bat, and went straight to "the SSF tactic itself is simply disruptive and a pain. There's not much to do against it systematically, other than decline to enable it." Very condescending, as you've been here on the talk page all along. You don't even realize that bandying about terms like "fallacious" can be offensive, and set the tone for my response, which you pejoratively labeled a "rant". (Also not very helpful if you hope have to a civil discussion.) I realize that you feel this is a settled issue, and I deal with that quite a lot myself in my own editing. Also, showing up here and citing your own essay without pointing out it was yours had the appearance of being duplicitous. It may not appear that way to you, but it did to me. By the way, the term "proper name" isn't even used in your essay, so what is there to rebut? It's not relevant. - BilCat (talk) 15:45, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
P.S. SMcC, how exactly did you determine that "Enhanced Battle Rifle" is not trademarked? That process might be useful to me in the future. Thanks. - BilCat (talk) 15:59, 7 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I use Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). "EBR" was trademarked at one time but has been abandoned. Kendall-K1 (talk) 19:52, 8 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

My point, originally and currently, is that we have an existing guideline that addresses a specific type of article, of which this is one. No interpretation on anyone's part is necssary. Primergrey (talk) 03:27, 8 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Support. My interpretation of "wherever a military term is an accepted proper noun, it should be capitalized" is that this would apply to M4 Sherman, where "Sherman" is a proper noun, but not to this article. Kendall-K1 (talk) 19:48, 8 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Regarding Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Military_history#Capitalization, it says:

  • When using numerical model designation, the word following the designation should be left uncapitalized (for example, "M16 rifle" or "M109 howitzer") unless it is a proper noun.

That text refers a single word, not a phrase. The text was added in 2010,[6] as a result of a discussion in 2009 that started here: [7] and ended here: [8] in which four people expressed their views. The discussion solely concerned titles in which a numeric designation is followed by a one-word noun, such as "M1 Mortar". In those cases, it's clear that the noun is not a proper noun. No one would refer to it as a "Mortar" - it'd always be a "mortar". Therefore, I think MOS:MIL does not apply to weapon names in which a numerical designation is followed by a phrase of two or more words which is used to refer to the specific item. Felsic2 (talk) 20:21, 26 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

This "one word" idea is no way to determine a proper name or not. What about "M# fragmentation grenade"? "M# light tank"? "M# weapons system"? In fact, we would have weapons articles about "rifles" and "mortars" alongside "Battle Rifles" and "Heavy Mortars". Simple descriptors. A grenade that fragments is no different than a battle rifle which has been enhanced, for the purpose of this discussion. Primergrey (talk) 00:09, 27 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
How would you determine whether something is used generally as a proper noun? Felsic2 (talk) 00:17, 27 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Also, the discussion you linked to actually shows an agreement that the name of these weapons is simply the alphanumeric designation and there is no mention of the number of words being any kind of a sticking point.Primergrey (talk) 00:24, 27 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
There's an agreement for one-word, generic weapons. That's different from this case. As for proper nouns, the fact that this phrase is commonly capitalized makes it appear to be a proper noun. Do you have some other way of making the determination? Felsic2 (talk) 00:30, 27 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
What do you mean by "generic weapons"?Primergrey (talk) 05:38, 27 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The fact that is is commonly (not exclusively) capped is no way to determine its status as a proper noun. The term is not trademarked and is not a nickname, it is a descriptor. In cases like F15 "Eagle" and F14 "Tomcat", those are names and not descriptors (note the quote marks).Primergrey (talk) 14:42, 28 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
A "mortar" is a generic weapon - there are many mortars. An Enhanced Battle Rifle is a specific weapon. One is a common noun, the other is a proper noun.
"Federal Bureau of Investigation" is a similar term. There are many federal bureaus. There are many bureaus of investigation. But there is only one Federal Bureau of Investigation. Proper nouns don't need to be tradermarked, and trademarks don't always appear in capital letters. More important is the fact that people refer to this item by its name or initials, EBR. This is the only item called "enhanced battle rifle", to the best of my knowledge.
Other refering to specific things and being capitalized routinely, is there some other test for a phrase being a proper noun that I'm missing? 20:55, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It is the "Mk 14 enhanced battle rifle". Whichever way this goes, without the "Mk 14" it will simply be an "enhanced battle rifle".Primergrey (talk) 23:58, 30 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Can you find a variety of sources which call it that? Otherwise it seems like we're replacing common usage with an arbitrary style decision made by a few people regarding a different topic.
I've asked you a few times to describe how you are determining that "Enhanced Battle Rifle"/"EBR" is not a proper noun.[9][10][11] Since that's the key issue in this discussion it's important for you to respond. Otherwise this discussion has reached a fruitless stalemate. Felsic2 (talk) 17:53, 3 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I'm going on the specific guidance that exists. I see your "one-word-only" interpretation as the cause of this impasse. Primergrey (talk) 00:36, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The guidance says that it should be capitalized if it's a proper noun. By my view, it is a proper noun. You haven't presented any reason to decide differently. And remember - it's just guidance, not a rule. Clearly, this is a contentious matter so there's no point beating a dead horse. Felsic2 (talk) 00:59, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Sources capping a word do not make it a proper noun.Primergrey (talk) 02:02, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
We're going in circles. If you can't answer the question - what does make a proper noun? - then there's no way of resolving this. Felsic2 (talk) 02:05, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
More importantly, where are the sources calling it a proper noun?Primergrey (talk) 02:54, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Once again, you're evading the question. Very few proper nouns are explicitly identified that way. Felsic2 (talk) 03:20, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

It looks to me like the military weapons projects are full of over-capitalization, e.g. these that I just fixed. Looking in some of the rifle categories, caps are quite mixed. I agree it would be better to get away from the "specialist" capitalization and use what most of the rest of wikipedia uses, avoiding capitalization where it is not necessary, reserving caps for proper names. It seems that that naming convention already says to do so, so why not just do it? I'll be happy to help. Dicklyon (talk) 03:16, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I agree in general. But not every case is the same. Felsic2 (talk) 03:20, 4 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Get to work[edit]

Somebody should probably change all the caps in the article, it looks ridiculous like this. Primergrey (talk) 23:18, 14 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Good point. I think I got them all.[12] Felsic2 (talk) 23:29, 14 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Removed all the dead links[edit]

No more dead links. I'm not happy with some of the links that exist, but they are there. Digitallymade (talk) 05:36, 26 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Just so you know, when we delete dead links entirely that leaves the information without any citation, which means it may be deleted. Felsic2 (talk) 20:17, 26 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The majority of links were dead. Some that I left, are actually useless as they don't point to what they are supposed to be talking about. Later, I'll look at this page again and add some links is no one else does.Digitallymade (talk) 23:35, 26 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Some of those sources, like this one[13], never should have been used in the first place. However links to otherwise reliable sources, like this one[14], should be kept. That way some other editor can come through and try to update them. It's not unusual for a website to rearrange their pages. That breaks all the links even though the articles may still be available. Also, sometimes a print publication will delete online versions of their articles. So long as the print version can be found somewhere the citation is still valid. So just going through and deleting every link that's no currently valid can be detrimental. If in doubt, the best thing to do is to tag the links with this tag: {{deadlink}}. Felsic2 (talk) 00:24, 27 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I removed the dead links, largely because of the warning about dead links. I cleaned three pages in the last three days, each took hours. The page I completed this morning, I was able to rebuild every link. As far as reliability of sources, that depends to an extent on the knowledge of the editor. Even sites that might not appear to be crediible may have one or two true point (like the news people do) and if used for a true point, this is acceptable. However, I've seen SEVERAL of the sources that people THINK are reliable that are not. The majority of cited sources in terminal ballistics, for example. A truly terrible site is history.com. One one page about the Minnie ball they attributed it's development to two US engineers when it was developed by three French engineers. On the same page they called the pure lead minnie ball iron. They did have one source of information that I used which was about the removal of the iron cup by the engineer at Harper's Ferry. So not all supposedly bad sources are totally wrong. Any many supposedly respected sources are not totally correct. One that is highly inaccurate is the NRA's American Rifleman, although I use them often. That's what talk pages are for... for the editors to talk amongst themselves to reach a consensus, right or wrong, about what to put on a page. ( I hate computer based dictionaries and recent (since 1947 MW too), they are too incomplete and often wrong). I really don't care much about the M14 EBR or the Mk 14 EBR. It's pretty obvious that the people who wrote the page did so to promote selling components, which I frown on very highly. Didn't you notice that? Digitallymade (talk) 00:38, 27 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Re: dead links. The warning you saw linked to this page: Wikipedia:Link rot, which says, Except for URLs in the External links section that have not been used to support any article content, do not delete a URL solely because the URL does not work any longer. Recovery and repair options and tools are available. So simply deleting citations because they contain a dead link is inappropriate. It takes a lot more work for someone to dig those citations out of the archive, if they even know they exist there, than it does to fix dead links in place. You should probably restore those that you deleted simply because the links are dead.
Re: reliable sources. Wikipedia is all about sources, not personal knowledge. While no one should add information they know to be false just because it's in a publication, neither should they remove well-sourced information just because they believe it's wrong.
Re: Component sales. I hear you. Self-interest is a problem. However I don't see any real sings of that here. Felsic2 (talk) 15:57, 27 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

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Unknown Acronym[edit]

Back on 2012 Nov 23, at 16:43, User: made an edit adding an acronym without a definition: ODA. Can we please have someone define it or remove it. (That user made only 4 edits in his lifetime, 3 on this page. It might do to look over those other edits as well.)

Thanks! WesT (talk) 23:32, 17 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

  1. REDIRECT Target page name

Confusing terminology[edit]

In six different places the term EBR is appended with -RI. What does that mean? Where is it defined?? (Once there is an EBR-KH, with no clear meaning as well.)

Thanks! WesT (talk) 23:36, 17 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Rock Island—it's given in the infobox image caption and can be inferred from a line in the "History" section and its entry in the "Variants" table, though it's not explicitly stated in the body. I don't know what "KH" stands for, but it seems that this refers to a rifle case. I have to believe it's not particularly important. WP Ludicer (talk) 07:40, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Infobox Image[edit]

That's an M14EBR-RI. Since the page is titled for the Mk 14, I propose swapping that image with the one of an actual Mk 14 seen further down in the Users section. Spartan198 (talk) 03:11, 2 February 2023 (UTC)[reply]