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New US Multitool. 2991

No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: New US Multitool.
« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2018, 10:28:08 PM »

Norway? ???

(Image removed from quote.)

NSNs are used throughout NATO and they have a country code. NSN = NATO Stock Number. The system was created to unify supply with a common stock number system. The first four digits (which can be broken down in two parts) are supposed to be the commodity encompassing similar or like items. That's become difficult over the years to keep completely organized (note the 1095 on the mythical one versus 5110 on this one). The fifth and sixth digits are the Country Code. "00-10" is the USA although only "00" and "01" have been used thus far. NATO Standard Items (not from any specific country) are "11" and that's rather rare. Canada is "20" and "21", and I had to look up "25". It is, indeed, Norway. The other most immediate clue that it's not USA without even getting to the NSN Country Code is the "broad arrow" in front of the NSN. The USA does not use that marking. Period (or Stop,or End Stop, take your pick). The UK and some others do, particularly in Europe and the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly called the British Commonwealth). Additional countries such as Japan and Australia, which are not part of NATO, also use the system.

It appears you have a genuine Norwegian SwissTool, unless someone forged its markings.

Edit: IIRC, Australia has procured some SwissTools for their military; NSN marking if it has one, will have a "66" Country Code. The UK is "99".
Edit 2: You won't find it in FEDLOG or FLIS with anything more than a noun nomenclature because it's specific to Norway.


It looks like an Aussie one to me - it's got a broad arrow on it.

Nope, it's definitely Norwegian in origin. If it were Aussie in origin it would have a "66" Country Code. Here's a publicly available explanation of NSNs including a list of the 5th and 6th digit country codes:

That's not to say Australia didn't get some via their Norse friends, either from them or through them. I am extremely curious how the Australian military, if this one has a true provenance from Australia's military, ends up with Norwegian NSN multi-tools. That would, indeed, be a convoluted procurement. A Norwegian surplus sale?


No, you're quite right Jalind, I didn't read your post properly. :facepalm: I didn't realise that Norway used the broad arra too... I thought that was just Commonwealth.

Stranger things have happened . . . was jesting a bit about the surplus sale . . . but could have been something along those lines, or a "group buy" from several countries to leverage on quantity. Could also be some Aussie dude rubs shoulders with some Norse guy in some joint operation and they swap tools. Ends up being sold off and the buyer concludes it's Aussie military without getting the real provenance. Could also be Norwegian, someone sees the broad arrow and concludes it came from Down Under not knowing NSN Country Codes. Its procurement originated from Norway . . . where it went after that would require the SwissTool to be able to play back its travelogue.

A German lieutenant offered me his 108mm GAK in trade for my Woodsman SAK some time during 1979 or 1980; IIRC during a REFORGER. Almost took him up on it but it didn't have the tools mine did. I've got one now and they're quite well made. Told him the SAK was borrowed so as not to seem unfriendly and then asked him to explain some things about his. Tons of US hardware ends up in other countries as part of US Gov't Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and some other defense assistance programs. Some things are on "loan" and must be eventually returned, including small arms (reasons for that should be obvious). We're still getting M1 Garands back from a number of countries.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 10:29:55 PM by jalind »

Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,951
Re: New US Multitool.
« Reply #61 on: April 26, 2018, 03:06:51 AM »
Awesome info John... Defintely an eye opener...

When friends ask me if these USCUK and MT are officially issued to the US armed forces, I always answer NO... I just explained that the NSN simply means that it somehow meets the organizations standards and is only available for private purchase by personnel... :cheers:
No Life Club Posts: 1,670
Re: New US Multitool.
« Reply #62 on: April 26, 2018, 04:23:48 AM »
Awesome info John... Defintely an eye opener...

When friends ask me if these USCUK and MT are officially issued to the US armed forces, I always answer NO... I just explained that the NSN simply means that it somehow meets the organizations standards and is only available for private purchase by personnel... :cheers:

Not even possible for that, not through the US Gov't as it isn't in their inventory. It would have to be a personal equipment issue or uniform item already in inventory and available through the "Clothing Sales Store" where you can buy insignia and other personal uniform and equipment items, such as a helmet, canteen or entrenching tool, or rank insignia. Things like the entrenching tool, helmet and canteen are unit property, to be returned when you leave the unit. If you lose or damage one from your own negligence, you can go there to replace it out of your own pocket. That's much easier than the alternative of having the unit issue a replacement and the government taking the cost of replacing it out of your paycheck which involves paperwork nobody likes to deal with. The company First Sergeant and Supply Sergeant that works for him won't be thanking you much for the extra pile of paper on their desks, and they have ways of expressing their displeasure one does not forget. The kicker here is that it's something already in the US Government inventory which these are not.

You could buy one straight from the guy in Pennsylvania if he is willing or has any to sell, but he's a one-man show operating out of his home. I don't think he's prepared to deal with retail sales like that, nor does he want to, nor does he have any stock on hand to sell. They can call the phone number and ask but I don't think it will result in a sale.  ;)  Think of all the problems you'd have running a retail business by yourself out of a room in your house, trying to answer calls, take orders and fulfill them . . . on top of your normal job (aka Day Job). He doesn't have an Internet storefront . . . the first thing one needs to operate something like that . . . or use Amazon as a seller or ePrey . . . and he doesn't have those either.

If he had a government contract, he could get about 80-90% of the money up front, order and drop ship the tools in bulk from Victorinox and then get paid the rest when the US Government receives it. If the quantity is enormous, such as 100k, it would be done in increments, of maybe 5k at a time. The US Government recognizes a company cannot always front all the costs until the contract is fulfilled, so they'll front what is estimated to be the costs, withholding the estimated profit, and then pay that when the contract, or that portion of the contract is completely filled. I've been on the government side of that and they don't get the remaining money until all the terms and conditions are signed off by the government's representative on the contract as having been fully met. I've no doubt this is how the Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, the M17 with a much smaller quantity of the M18 (variants of the P320) are being procured to replace the 9mm Beretta M9 (variant of the 92FS). Sig Sauer will get paid in quantity increments. It will take at least five years to replace them all, if not longer. It took over seven years to replace all the M1911A1 with the M9. If a government agency that is authorized (and budgeted by Congress) to procure some of its own equipment, such as Homeland Security, the US Border Patrol, or perhaps the FBI wanted a thousand of these knives or SwissTools, they could go to DLA (Defense Logistics Agency), tell them they want a thousand and let DLA handle the contract for it. The money for it is moved around within the government from one "bucket" to another. An individual soldier cannot do that.

Maybe more than you wanted to know, but that is in very broad terms, how stuff like that works with the US Government.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 04:47:42 AM by jalind »

Sr. Member Posts: 341 VICTORINOX



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