Citation(s) from the literature library

Switzerland. 2009 ‘Annex 1: Markings of SALW Held by the Swiss Armed Forces.’ National Report of Switzerland on its Implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA); Annex 1, pp. 22-23. New York, NY: Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations. 31 December

Relevant contents

Annex 1: Markings of SALW Held by the Swiss Armed Forces

ii. Basic markings
The serial number for "personal long guns or handguns", as well as for "collective long guns or handguns" - which above all consist of pistols and assault rifles - is based on the General Staff Directives of 1977, which were published at the time of the acquisition of the 9 mm model 75 pistol.

This numbering system makes it possible to identify a weapon exclusively by means of the weapon number (first digit) without knowledge of the type of weapon. Moreover, this numbering system simplifies the registration of weapons.

These directives were also applied, mutatis mutandis, at the time of the acquisition of 5.6 mm model 90 assault rifles. They did not however apply to the purchase of the following light weapons:
a) For the 40 mm grenade launcher for the 5.6 mm model 90 assault rifle a separate directive called for the application of a 5-digit number.
b) For the 9 mm model HK5 sub-machine gun (Heckler und Koch) the weapon number was applied by the manufacturer.

iii. Additional marking
In order to be able to identify SALW of the Armed Forces without any risk of error, the Defence Procurement Agency called for new markings to distinguish Swiss Armed Forces' pistols and assault rifles, in addition to the weapon number. These markings provide information on four other issues, namely:
a) The letter "A " for Armed Forces
b) The "shield with the Swiss cross" (= service weapon)
c) The letters "W+K" (= weapon approved by the Federal Weapons Control Agency)
d) The proof firing stamp

These additional markings have been applied to 9 mm pistols (models 49 and 75), the 7.5 mm model 57 and the 5.6 mm model 90 assault rifles.

The decision on the specific marking method is taken by armasuisse in consultation with the Armed Forces Planning Staff, taking into account the following factors:
a) The quantity of weapons to be manufactured
b) The manufacturer's marking and numbering
c) The possibility of applying markings at the time of manufacture (including cost)

The final decision concerning a particular marking technique (die stamping, engraving, laser, etc.) is taken by the Armed Forces Planning Staff. armasuisse is responsible for its application throughout the acquisition process.

The weapons are supplied to the Armed Forces together with a statement of account. Once the weapons have been introduced, the Armed Forces Logistics Organisation or in special cases the Air Force Logistics has the overall responsibility for accounting as well as for the maintenance and repair of defective markings.

[SALW = Small Arms and Light Weapons]

ID: Q1638

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