Compass Recommendation

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    • #62965
      Max
      Keymaster
        I have found the rumor that Silva compasses sold in the US are made in China to be true. I and others have had some bad experiences. I do however prefer the Silva compass, and prefer the Silva Expedition. This is simply the compass that you need for patrol/orienteering style navigation. You don’t need the Ranger with the flip up mirror. People have asked for my recommendation so I am giving it. If you don’t understand they ‘why’ of this recommendation, then come on the land Navigation class and find out.
        This is my compass, which I have had since I brought it over from the UK:
        Max_Silva
        It has both a 1:25,000 and 1: 50,000 roamer. It has ‘MADE IN SWEDEN’ etched as shown in the photo. It is marked in degrees.
        I believe I have found the correct replacement on Amazon.com. I zoomed in on the photo and saw the “MADE IN SWEDEN’ marking. I have ordered one to be sure. This compass is $40 compared to about $15 for the ChinaMart specials, so I am hoping the extra expense means it is shipping from the UK. If you want to be sure, wait till I get mine and compare/post.
        Description:
        The Silva Expedition 4-360 Compass is an essential tool for advanced navigators, mountaineers, explorers and rescue professionals. This compass is part of Silva’s Expedition series which has been the long-time global leader in compass accuracy, precision and durability. It comes equipped with an easy-handling compass housing, silicon rubber feet for precision map work, luminous marking for the all-important night navigation, a large magnifying lens, GPS and map-measuring scales in mm or inches. A valuable piece of kit you will not want to forget when embarking on your next expedition adventure…
      • #62966
        Brian from Georgia
        Participant

          I might have to pick one of those up. The Chinese Silva issue led me to the Suunto MC-2. It is Finnish and a nice piece. It’s 1:24000, though, but that works with all the USGS maps I plotted.

        • #62967
          First Sergeant
          Moderator

            Not to take away from Max’s recommendation, he has been using Silvas for quite a while. You can get the Suunto in 1:50,000/1:25,000.

            FILO
            Signal Out, Can You Identify
            Je ne regrette rien
            In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

          • #62968
            Max
            Keymaster

              Skittles called these guys and this is confirmed as a legitimate source for the Silva Expedition (Swedish Made):

              http://www.freetime1.co.uk/en/Silva-Expedition-4/m-490.aspx

            • #62969
              Max
              Keymaster

                Just to clarify: the issue of the roamer scale on the compass, whether it is 1;24,000 or 1:25,000, is only applicable with using that grid reference roamer tool on the compass to plot grids on the map. Any of these compasses can be used with any map, ion terms of navigation/direction.

                If you are worried about the scale, (as in inches/1;24,000, used with USFS maps), you can simply carry a protractor that has tools for all these scales, in case you find yourself plotting grids on different scales of maps.

                Like this one:

                http://www.amazon.com/Improved-Military-Reader-Protractor-Super/dp/B003NAOERO

                You want and education in how to actually use that roamer with a map? I show you on the Land Navigation classes.

                YOU CANNOT learn land navigation simply in theory or by reading my post. Just like tactical training, you have to get out and do it.

              • #62970
                DiznNC
                Participant

                  This compass looks to be the bomb. I’ve been looking for it ever since your picture of it in the land nav primer. It’s the only one I’ve seen so far with both “roamer” scales that go to 1,000m or 1KM. All the others I’ve seen, if they have roamer scales at all, only have one leg that goes to 1KM, with the other only .75KM. It would seem this would make plotting certain points with it- difficult.

                • #62971
                  Max
                  Keymaster

                    The amazon page now lists the Silva expedition at $58 from about $42 yesterday and the other link is now up at $45. Can this post have resulted in so many being bought?

                  • #62972
                    DiznNC
                    Participant

                      Hmmm. Interesting.

                      The only other compass I really like is the Suunto MC-2G USGS, because it has roamers in 1:24,000, which might come in handy depending on what maps are available in your AO. But only one leg goes to 1KM, with the other at .75KM.

                      What would really be the bomb is a Silva Exped with BOTH 1:25,000 and 1:24,000 roamers, with both legs at 1KM. That way depending on what maps you end up with (and/or where YOU end up at), you can still plot points.

                      But for now the Exped 4-360, with mytopo 1:25,000 scale maps will do the trick.

                    • #62973
                      Mike H
                      Participant

                        I have one of those Silva Nato models and I’ve seen the price of them climb daily this week. If a compass is on your “to get” list best pull the trigger.

                        oh fuk I just made a “gun violence” reference…..compasses are probably going to be banned tomorrow……. :wacko:

                      • #62974
                        D Close
                        Moderator

                          This Cammenga baseplate compass is really the best I could find.

                          1:24, 25, 50. Tritium. The only civ model I could find with that feature. After combat patrol I was determined to find one that allowed night nav and was accurate. Yes, more expensive, (75) but worth it. In the patrol kit.

                        • #62975
                          DiznNC
                          Participant

                            That’s a really good model, and I would prefer tritium as well, but you can’t use it as a protractor to measure point to point azimuths, like an orienteering compass. It also does have both 1:24,000 and 1:25,000 roamer lines, which is great for plotting, but damn if you don’t still need a protractor to measure angles. If they only went with a clear bezel base, with reference lines.

                            I guess this is gonna depend on your situation; whether you intend to patrol mostly at night, or also during the day. For night ops, tritium may be the only feature you really need. But for day time ops, or extended any-time ops, using the techniques Max is teaching in class, you really need a true orienteering compass.

                            So I guess the answer is to have both. I plan on getting the Silva 4-360 so I can measure and plot azimuths on the fly, but, I would also like a good tritium compass for night work.

                          • #62976
                            Max
                            Keymaster

                              Hold on, what’s this? The Silva Expedition has the luminous markings for night navigation. It may not be tritium, but it works. There is a tendency to over complicate. That is part of the point of the Expedition. I think it is a prepper mindset, to over complicate and ‘two is one, one is none’ etc.

                            • #62977
                              Max
                              Keymaster

                                Cammega: ‘dayglow base-plate design’? No, that is not ‘tactical’ – way too over engineered, IMO: stick with the NATO standard expedition!

                              • #62978
                                Max
                                Keymaster

                                  I know this is an old forum, but just wanted to let you guys know that I ordered the Silva compass from the freetime1 link above and the compass I received was made in China.

                                • #62979
                                  Skittles
                                  Participant

                                    Was it stamped on the compass or on the packaging? Just curious. Most of the ones i know guys got had nothing stamped (like my own) on the compass but made in sweden or finland on the packaging.

                                  • #62980
                                    Max
                                    Keymaster

                                      There was no stamp on the compass…made in China stamped on the packaging.

                                    • #62981
                                      Skittles
                                      Participant

                                        Thats different. I would call the freetime guys. When i talked to them they were adamant that they werent made in China and were legit Silvas. Will check the packaging of the spare i ordered to confirm no made in China marks.

                                      • #62982
                                        Skittles
                                        Participant

                                          Sweden stamp/made in mark on mine. Cant get the pic to upload. That sucks if they did switch to china for manufacturing. Can you attach a pic for others to compare too? Not doubting you but if they are made in China people need to know what to look for and we need to find another supplier. I would definitely call freetime.

                                        • #62983
                                          Max
                                          Keymaster

                                            Not the clearest, but can see the made in mark beside the bar code

                                          • #62984
                                            Max
                                            Keymaster

                                              Sorry…can’t get the picture to post

                                            • #62985
                                              Skittles
                                              Participant

                                                Can you email them the pic and post the reply here?

                                              • #62986
                                                Max
                                                Keymaster

                                                  I will be happy to

                                                • #62987
                                                  Skittles
                                                  Participant

                                                    Thanks! Ill start searching for another option. Hopefully Silva hasnt sold out completely.

                                                  • #62988
                                                    Max
                                                    Keymaster

                                                      Here is the response from Freetime1. The packaging reads “designed in Sweden”, but in tiny print at the bottom says “made in China”. It would seem Silva has sold out completely.

                                                      Hi,

                                                      Thank you for your email; we have contacted Silva in Sweden on your behalf and here is their reply;

                                                      “All of our compasses are manufactured in Silva Shenzhen, China. This has been the case for at least 5 years now.

                                                      Many thanks

                                                      Susy”

                                                      I am sorry if you were given the wrong information, we shall ensure all staff are fully aware in future.

                                                      Please accept our apologies for the error.

                                                    • #62989
                                                      Brian from Georgia
                                                      Participant

                                                        Finnish Suunto MC-2 has performed flawlessly. It’s available on Amazon for $40.

                                                      • #62990
                                                        Skittles
                                                        Participant

                                                          Thats just Wonderful. Thanks for reaching out and getting that info. Mine has worked perfect since ive had it but this doesnt make me feel warm and fuzzy.

                                                        • #62991
                                                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                          Moderator

                                                            Made in China certainly doesn’t bring a wave of confidence, but remember ultimately it’s who contracted the manufacture.

                                                            Made in China doesn’t always mean junk, they are capable of manufacturing from junk to quality. If price is the main concern they can build junk, if quality is the issue they are capable, but at a higher price point.

                                                            I am sure someone is still making quality, will just have to look for it.

                                                          • #62992
                                                            trailman
                                                            Participant

                                                              I ordered the one in Max’s link at the beginning of the month. Same distributor for $35, now its $55. I believe its shipping from overseas and I should have it by the end of the month. I’ll let you know what the manufacturer stamp is when it comes in.

                                                              On a side note anyone know when the next land nav class is going to be? March was canceled.

                                                            • #62993
                                                              tango
                                                              Participant

                                                                Coincidentally, just received mine today. Ordered from the amazon link Max posted and I was patient enough to wait until it was $35 instead of $55. Mine does not have the “Made in Sweden” molded into the body and the package does in fact say “Made in China” in very small letters next to the bar code. “Designed in Sweden for Nordic Conditions” on the front of the package. However, it definitely did ship from the UK.

                                                              • #62994
                                                                trailman
                                                                Participant

                                                                  I got my Silva today, Made in China.

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