Finding Parts for Military Equipment Using an NSN

Fixing old military surplus vehicles and equipment for historical preservation is a lot easier if you can do a NATO stock number search online to find parts. A NATO stock number is also referred to as an NSN. I think they call it a DMC, or Domestic Management Code, in England. It is a number that is 13 digits in length. It is sort of like the product code for everything from a pair of Vietnam jungle boots worn by infantry to the wheels that go on an old armored personnel carrier. You can find those NSNs on tags on military clothing and on other parts. If you need a part and know the NSN, then you can find a replacement.

We like to restore things using OEM parts whether they be new or salvaged. It is much easier even finding military salvage parts by using an NSN to look it up. It is just a way of cataloging pretty much everything whether it be for aerospace, defense, maritime or other Federal Supply Classes (FSC) for new or old stuff. Sometimes we have to track down a manual or schematic to get an NSN for some parts, but that is quicker than searching for things just using words. For example, there can be all kinds of gyro assembly parts, but if I want one that has the NSN of 1250-00-025-0295, then I can find the MPN of SK100054 and order it. I will get the exact part I am looking for. In this case, it is a gyro assembly for a fire control mechanism. Now NSNs can apply to anything from helicopter rotor blades to parts for ships or even uniform pants and shirts.

Some online suppliers of parts, such as New Century Components, have an NSN lookup feature to find what you are looking for quickly. Then you call and get a price. Much easier than posting on a forum using word descriptions for parts you need.

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