"Compass NSN 6605-00-151-5337 is deemed "operationally unserviceable" and compass 6605-00-846-7618 was condemned in 1978 for safety reasons and was not authorized for use thereafter. Both of these should have been replaced in miliary inventory with NSN 6605-01-196-6971."
This is from the site, Olive-Drab and is at http://www.olive-dra...ss_lensatic.php
However, if you look at what looks like a government document I managed to google up.....It looks to me like they weren't actually ultimately condemned nor completely removed from inventory. http://pbadupws.nrc....ML070590603.pdf
If you boil it all down it is unclear exactly what the problem is about tritium in the two compasses that are mentioned, other than the luminous coating is maybe at the limit of the radioactive assumption of what is safe, although even that isn't clear. And if you follow the paper trail you get to nearly the bottom and it looks like since the tritum is beyond its shelf life...around a dozen years it seems from other reading....and since they don't know how to track what few remain in the system, that they just ok'ed it as being something that the military could store or issue to any branch of the service. And they say something to the effect that no special care need be taken by those who may use it since it already has the radioactive disposal notice printed on it.
And another thing ....the product number the website that says the compasses were withdrawn shows a -00- after the first 6605 in the number designation,and the government documents do the same, while the actual compasses I've seen show no such added 00.
Any enlightenment here? Danger from radioactivity? Collectible aspect of value or non value?
Edited by Niner Alpha, 13 May 2011 - 12:41 PM.