why so many different drop plates

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The 4110-18, and 4110-18 CUSH  drop plates are identical. The difference between a 4110 EDA, and a 4110 CUSH is the templating on the door. That is why you order them differently, to...
The 4040 Rw/PA can be mounted 3 different ways. The 4040-18 drop plate is used for the regular pull side mount. The 4040-18TJ drop plate is used for the top jamb push side mount. The 4040-18P...
To install a 4041/4040XP with Rw/PA or Hw/PA arm, you need a minimum of 5-3/8" top rail on the door, measured from the bottom of the stop. If the top rail is less than 5-3/8", you will need to use ...
A special template is not needed, the closer drops down far enough on the door where it does not conflict with the GJ100 series concealed overhead stop. 
The 1461 Rw/PA requires a 4-3/8" minimum top rail on the door without the use of a drop plate.  If top rail is less than 4-3/8" a 1460-18PA drop plate will have to be used.