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The United States Navy Mark 14 Mod 0 Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR) is an American selective fire military rifle chambered for the 7.62x51mm (.308 caliber) NATO cartridge, a variant of the venerable M14, built for use with units of United States Naval Special Warfare Command, such as the Navy SEALs. It has also been adopted for limited use by the Army and Marines. The weapon takes the standard M14 action and barrel assembly and adds a telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a different front sight, multiple accessory rails, and a beefier muzzle brake in place of the standard flash suppressor. A plastic handguard and M68 Close Combat Optic (CCO) are also added as standard external accessories, though the optic is almost always replaced with a magnifying scope to be used in a designated marksman role.
The M14 itself is an updated version of the classic M1 Garand rifle carried by U.S. troops in World War II and Korea, which General Patton called, "The finest battle implement ever devised." The M14 is a Garand rechambered to fire .308 NATO (instead of the original .30/06) with a shortened handguard and gas system, a compensator added to the muzzle, a 20-round detachable box magazine, and the addition of a select-fire sear capable of full-automatic fire. The detachable magazine was inspired by the Italian BM59 (another modified Garand adopted by the Italian Army in 1947). The new U.S. Rifle, Caliber 7.62mm, M14 was adopted in 1957 to replace the M1.
The new rifle was loved by the soldiers and marines who carried it, but in 1964 the decision was announced to replace it with the slightly newer M16 recently adopted by the Air Force in order to comply with Defense Secretary MacNamara's order that weapons and equipment be standardized throughout all four branches. The replacement process was slow, finally reaching completion in 1970. Many units in Vietnam (especially marines) stubbornly held on to their M14s as long as they could. Even when M16s were issued, rifle platoons usually kept at least a few M14s as Designated Marksman Rifles. The Marine Corps has maintained this practice to this day, with both standard M14s and EBRs being issued to Designated Marksmen in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army also recently started issuing M14s as DMRs, since this rifle is much better suited to that role than the M16.
The M14 is the ceremonial rifle of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard," who perform sentinel duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
In 2014, the Praying Mantis and Pieuvre Armement PMCs of Outer Heaven utilized the M14 EBR as their standard sniper rifle. During Praying Mantis's deployment to the Middle East, a PMC soldier used the rifle to snipe a truck driver belonging to the local militia, causing the vehicle to crash.
Behind the scenes
Used by PMC forces in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots as their standard designated marksman/sniper rifle, the M14 EBR comes equipped with a telescopic sight and a 20-round magazine. It can mount a sound suppressor, flashlight, and a laser sight for better accuracy. In the hands of an expert, the M14 EBR is one of the game's deadliest weapons. Be cautious when using it on full auto, as accuracy degrades with sustained fire; this will also cause an equipped suppressor to wear out quicker than normal as well.
Excels in taking down distant targets, and with the use of the laser sight, the EBR can become very deadly even at close-medium ranges. Be wary of its recoil, however. Though its rounds will pierce helmets, in more stressful combat situations, an assault rifle may prove be more useful due to its tighter firing spread when firing at full-auto.