Why NSN Is Important To USGI Collectors?

As you can see, in my website, there is a “Stock Number Reference” in almost every posts, maybe you are already fed up with it. But what I want to tell you is, stock number matters. With correct stock number, you can gather a lot of official information about it.

Author: Beta-TNT


What Is NSN?

Even you have zero knowledge about NSN, it’s still not too late to learn about it. Just read the Wikipedia entity that about it, you’re an English reader, no?


What Can An NSN Do?

In this post, I collected 10+ NSN query websites, but most time I just use four of them: NSN-NOW, PART TARGET, Army Property and LogiQuest.

With the correct NSN of certain item, you can get following key information about it:


First and important, an NSN corresponds to one or more MIL-STD/MIL-SPEC. And with the MIL-STD/MIL-SPEC, you can get detailed official documents from public information sources, like Every Spec.

the MIL-SPEC of Desert Combat Boots w/ Panama Sole, 9R (nsn-now)

For those items that are bidding-produced or direct direct procurement, here is P/N or SKU code.

FSBE II Patrol Pack (8465-01-516-7959). The P/N is MC-PP-MS-COY

Recent Contracts

With an NSN, you can check last few contract numbers about it on NSN-NOW. Free trail provides last 10 contract number records, and full information for paid users. But the payment is to expensive for a individual: 89$ per month for only 45 queries, and 189$ per month for unlimited query.

Last 10 contracts about woodland camouflage BDU. Seems still in service. (NSN-NOW)

Assignment/Standardization/Cancellation Date

The assign date marks the time that certain item being introduced. You can get the assignment data from any NSN query website.

AN/PRC-126 Radio
AN/PRC-126 radio assign date: 06/10/1987

But on WebFLIS, not only assignment date, but also standardization date and cancellation date you can get. For example, early version No.8 individual medical kit:

early version No.8 individual medical kit
The NSN query result on WebFLIS

Someone may notices: every NSN has an assignment date, but why in some posts, the assignment date is “Unknown”?

That is because these items were introduced even earlier than the FSN standard. In the database, their stock number assignment dates are all marked “01/01/1962”, which is the date FSN standard going into effect. But this date doesn’t make any sense to the item, so I marked the assignment date FSN/NSN of this kind “Unknown”.

Relative NSN

Still use the No.8 medic kit, with its NSN, you can get a full list of its content on WebFLIS:

No.8 medic kit content list

Next time if you doubt if your kit lacks something, try its NSN.

Besides, for some item which is discontinued or cancelled, there is chance to check its replacement. For example: M-79 grenadier’s vest.

M-79 grenadier’s vest

With its NSN, you can find it is already discontinued (but not cancelled) with a replacement NSN. It is IIFS 40mm Grenade LBV.

The replacement of M-79 grenadier’s vest.
M-79 grenadier’s vest and IIFS 40mm Grenade LBV

Detailed Technical Information

With the NSN, sometimes you can obtain detailed tech info. For example: LC-1 M-16 Magazine Case.

Three different versions of LC-1 M16 magazine case: 1974, 1990 and 2007. Their color is all different.

You can find detailed tech information with its NSN (8465-00-001-6482) on NSN-NOW. Among the information provided, we collectors focus on the changes of its color: OD7, OG106 are all replaced by CG483, which is the color of most ALICE gears after 1994.

NSN query result on NSN-NOW