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Thread: Need help on this stock number

  1. #1

    Default Need help on this stock number

    Certainly not an earthshaking matter, but it had enough of the smell of actual item to make me think it wasn't a Chinese toy.

    So I picked up this canteen, dated 1971 and an arrow. When I go to look up the (assumed) NSN on it, I come up blank. Country code of 71, United Arab Emirates?

    Looking closer at the cover, it has unusual belt attachments and mountings as well. Enough to make it seem like it really was an issue item to someone, but whose Army?

    Can anyone get a read out on this one? Body has normal "For water only..."

    Thanks! Hope to have pics of an FEG P9M soon.

    Case back

  2. #2
    Member msa6712's Avatar
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    Feb 2007


    Looks like one just recently sold on eBay:
    I come up with the same info as yours...dated 1971 w/Broad Arrow, FSCG of 8465 = Individual Equipment, Country Code of 71 = UAE, Item Number of 108-8703 = ?

  3. #3


    Thanks much!
    This confirms in a way a suspicion, and your link also shows the carrier/cover markings in a much clearer form. There were Aussie hints that I found as I was researching it, and knew someone here would be in best position to know.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    The cover may be real or may not, but it is the correct shape for an Australian canteen cover. These were a hybrid of the US M1956 and the British Pattern '44 canteen cover.

    I'd wager the canteen itself is a re-pro. At any rate, it doesn't date to the era of the cover, the NATO stock numbering system didn't exist earlier than 1974, and it took until the early 1990's for it to expand widely beyond NATO members.

  5. #5


    Thanks! There was that 1971 discrepancy, maybe someone was just using an existing example to cast their own copies.

    Interesting mix of weapons in that picture!

  6. #6
    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
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    Mar 2007


    Interesting mix of personal equipment too.

    The M60 gunner appears to have a US lightweight rucksack frame with Australian pack and pack straps attached and US M1956 H-suspenders. The M60 actually was the standard LMG for Australia at the time.

    Typical of Aussies in Vietnam...

  7. #7
    Senior Member river rat's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Montana USA


    I still got my issue canteen some were in the house got the thing in the cap to drink water with a gas mask on. I will see if I can find it and see if there any issue marks on it.

  8. #8


    My canteen was issued to me by the Australian Army in 1970.

    It is marked on the base:

    V 1969 /|\


    On the front near the neck the canteen it is marked:


    The "69" like the "71" on Matthanne's canteen is set in a sort of flat indented circle. The fonts on both canteens are identical.

    The canteen cup is made of stainless steel and stamped into the folding handle is:

    v . MELB .
    1969 /|\

    The canteen cover markings have mostly faded but I can make out:

    8465 - ?? - 577 - 6926
    CON??NS 68

    Like the cover above mine has belt hooks but it does not have a belt loop. In place of the belt loop there are two LICE belt clips.

    I'm not able to post photos but I found these photos of Australian Army issue kit and the cover is identical to the design of my canteen cover:

    I found this site and it says "Hooks were also added to the Australian made canteen covers, giving the wearer the option of carrying the canteen on the belt or hanging below it".

    I have not seen canteen covers with hooks other than on Australian made covers, however I haven't been able to track down an Australian manufacturer with any combination of the name


  9. #9
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Northern California


    All US canteen covers had hooks (I can't speak about post Vietnam). Vietnam canteens were equipped with a vessel that made all water taste like clorox. When heated up to 100+ it was enough to make a thirsty man not drink.

  10. #10


    Well, maybe the number meant something else. If you had one in 1970 it pretty much establishes that it was an issue item at the time!


    Now to find a Browning Hipower holster, if shipping wasn't so daggone expensive from all the way down under....

    And I remember these tablets we were supposed to put in the canteen anytime we filled it without going to the Lister bag. And the Lister bag had tons of chlorine in it....

  11. #11


    Matthanne, I just checked the other items in my stuff from back then box and the L1A1 SLR magazine pouches are marked "CONLONS", as is my old webbing belt. All are dated from 1965 to 1970. Further research tells me that Conlons Australia was a major supplier to the Australian Army of all kit made of cloth, canvas or webbing including sleeping bags, liners and blankets.

    See here . "The makers label reads ' CONLONS / AUSTALIA / 1967 / broad arrow symbol/ 7210-66-011-5817". "A makers label on the sleeping bag reads 'CONLONS AUSTRALIA 1969 (broad arrow) 7210/66/0115816', and on the blanket 'C.G.C.F. AUSTRALIA 1961 SIZE D (broad arrow) D 7210 66-011-5817".

    It is interesting though that in 1961, 1967 and 1969 the correct NATO country code 66 was being used.

    That raises the question as to why in 1969 the canteen cup used NATO code 50 and the canteen used 71, particularly as the cup was definitely made by Stokes Melbourne.

  12. #12


    Wow- thanks for the thorough research- nothing beats primary sources and tangibles.

    Safe enough for me to conclude that it is Australian-issue, so the main question has an answer even if the codes are unclear. When I first mentioned 'the smell' of it, I was referring to the heft, gauge of the cast plastic, and cap. They are not the lighter, off-color 'made in China' types available for campers and as toys for kids. It and the carrier felt real.

    I know with the older DLA contract codes, there was a two-digit year of contract indicator, and I use that sometimes to decide 'keep or not'. But then a 50 would be way off too.
    Guess once they got the contract there may have been confusion about the markings but they wouldn't throw the items out if they're serviceable. The world may never know.

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