NSN: Why it matters

All the information on the website may not have much text description, but there must be a warehouse number reference. We even have a lot of physical objects on hand because we haven’t found the correct warehouse number. The photos have actually been taken for many years, but they have not been updated on the website.

The storage number mentioned in this article mainly refers to NSN: National Storage Number, also known as NATO Storage Number. NSN is the material numbering system used in the NATO military system. Member countries use this system to number their military materials. NSN consists of 13 digits divided into 4 groups: the first group of four digits is called the Federal Classification Code (FSC), which indicates the classification of the material corresponding to this NSN; the second group of two digits is the country code (NCB), indicating the country to which the material belongs; the last seven digits are the serial number of the material; the country code and the serial number of the material together are called the National Item Identification Number (NIIN). Please click on the link to view the full list of FSC and NCB. Each NSN represents a military material that meets a certain military standard. And in most cases, the materials corresponding to the same military standard have the same NSN.

The structure of NSN

It is worth noting that the first four classification codes (FSC) do not participate in the numbering sequence, and are only used as a label to indicate the classification of the material, and the material can be uniquely determined directly through NIIN. Therefore, some NSNs with the same NIIN part but different FSC parts can be found, and they all point to the same material. This generally occurs when the material falls into different classes. For example, pistol holsters or gun belts can belong to both the individual soldier equipment classification (8465) and the weapon accessories (1005).

The predecessor of NSN is the Federal Stock Number, which is a military material numbering system used by the United States since 1949. Since the 1950s, it has gradually unified the material numbering systems used by the various military services of the US military during World War II. Compared with the later NSN, FSN only lacks the country code part.

What can NSN do?

  1. Corresponding military standard
    First and most importantly, NSN can directly check the military standard and military requirement number corresponding to this material. The full documentation is available on other public sources using this number.

  1. Excellent source of supplementary information
    The information and data that can be obtained from the object itself are actually quite limited, and there may be deviations. However, NSN can be used to query very detailed information, which complements the physical version information. For example, the color change of the ALICE outfit introduced above. In addition, for missing collections, this method can also be used to determine what is missing;

  1. An important basis for distinguishing authenticity from falsehood
    Many counterfeit (or imitation military version label style) things have flaws in the storage number. If you can use NSN, you can identify these things.
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