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I want to invest in a really good compass. That might be vague, but I want to keep the options open. I have a few I like, but really I am just interested in the most reliable, durable, US Military compass you can buy. 

 

Thanks for any input!

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Can't go wrong with a standard issued lensatic compass. They're pretty easy to find for sale. I just bought one online for $20. 


Looking for 20th Armored Division items

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22 minutes ago, warbird15 said:

Can't go wrong with a standard issued lensatic compass. They're pretty easy to find for sale. I just bought one online for $20. 

 

What model/manufacturer are the standard issue ones?

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2 hours ago, avigo said:

 

What model/manufacturer are the standard issue ones?

 

Cammenga makes them. Mine is marked MODEL 27 CAMMENGA and then NSN6605-01-571-6052


Looking for 20th Armored Division items

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8 hours ago, warbird15 said:

 

Cammenga makes them. Mine is marked MODEL 27 CAMMENGA and then NSN6605-01-571-6052

 

Wow. Where did you get one for $20?

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8 hours ago, avigo said:

 

Wow. Where did you get one for $20?

 

Got lucky on the app Mercari. Just checked eBay and I see they're going for around $60. If you shop around you'll find one cheaper. 


Looking for 20th Armored Division items

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Cant go wrong with a milspec lenzatic compass. All depends on what you want it for and how much you want to spend.

There are some good backpacking compasses that are fairly cheap. I'd make sure if you find a cheap Milspec

Compass, that it is not real old. You might end up with one that doesnt stay glowing through the night.

But depends on what you need it for.

 

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The Cammenga iridium lasts only about 10 years. The Cammenga 27 is what I have and it is phosphorescent, it stores light for a bit before having to " recharge" it, it is not radioactive like the iridium model ( iridium not a big deal for me, but the 27 will outlast the iridium model).

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My Model 27, in the dark. Charged by a lamp for a few seconds. Currently Cammenga is the only supplier of the M1951 compass. Cammenga website goes into detail about both models.image.jpeg.50c6ac3b7a9814dc9ac818ac40cec305.jpeg

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I visited the website, my mistake, the 3H model uses tritium, and they say it lasts 12 years.

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The Cadillac of military compasses or more correctly a “pocket transit” is the Brunton M-2.  They are super pricey whether new or used.  As others have said you can’t go wrong with the standard military spec lensatic compass (Cammenga 27).  It is a rugged piece of gear and I’ve never seen a good one for as low as $20, but if I did I would grab it in a heartbeat.  They are a deal at twice that.  Also not strictly military issue (although I heard a rumor some Silva Ranger models were) but you can find numerous pictures of military folks with a commercial baseplate style compass dummy corded to their gear- not as rugged but much lighter, often cheaper and I find quicker to read on the fly.  I own a Suunto and a Brunton in this style that I most often use while hiking/backpacking due to the weight/ease of use- no need converting degrees and RADs when casually orienteering.  Suunto, Silva, and Brunton all make quality compasses in this style in almost all price ranges depending on features.  

B994A0CD-66F4-4D21-8722-472F880CEBF4.jpeg

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