CMMG Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass
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- Official US Military Tritium Lensatic Compass Box
- Waterproof Yes
- Carrying Pouch & Belt Clip
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""The Tritium Lensatic Compass is built to the demanding specification MIL-PRF-10436N. Battle tested through rigorous shock, water, sand proof, and functional from -50o F to +150o F. Seven Tritium Micro Lights allow for navigation in low-light conditions, without the need for a flashlight or any other light source. Tritium Micro Lights remain luminous for over twelve years, maintenance-free. Equipped with a magnifying lens, sight wire, and dial graduations in both degrees and mils to ensure accurate readings. The Copper Induction Damping System slow the rotation of the magnet without the use of liquids. Built to last with an aluminum frame and waterproof housing. The Cammenga compass is depended on by fighting forces, government agencies, and adventurous outdoor enthusiasts around the world. Features:- Luminosity: Tritium- Jewel Bearing: Sapphire- Rotating Bezel: Bi-Directional- Climate Capacity: -50 F to +150 F- Frame Materials: Cast Aluminum- Waterproof: Yes- Expected Luminous Life: 10 Years- Accuracy: +/- 0002 mils- Dial Readings: Degrees & mils- Casting: Aluminum- Damping Process: Induction- Carrying Pouch: LC-1 w/Belt Clip- Lanyard: Included (No Liquid Req.)- Colors (Body): Olive Drab "".
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Legal DisclaimerThis product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
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Build quality is very good (gotta love aluminum). I love having the tritium- it's not mega bright but is sufficient and is necessary if you're navigating at night. The unit I got is marked with 3H (for tritium) on the bottom. It does not have the radiation marker that you often see with tritium compasses. Ignore any reviews where people are claiming they were made in 1977. On these compasses, you can find the manufacture date and lot number inside the compass next to the site wire in the format ## ## ## (Printed in black). My compass is marked "14 09 77". This means it was manufactured September (09) 2014 (14). The last two numbers indicate the lot number; however, the "77" is a generic number that means the unit was NOT made under government contract. I was glad the seller sent me a newly manufactured version (considering tritium is only good for 10-12 years).
I docked a star because the site wire is slightly crooked (which does affect siting efficiency). The rotating bezel is a bit flimsy/loose and doesn't click (it does stay in place well enough though). the included pouch is pretty ugly and awkward (it is military issue as well though). The design of this compass does make it difficult to align the bezel properly due to parallax (especially if you are facing south). Also, there is only a 1:50k scale, so if you're in the US and still stuck with 1:24k scale topo maps, you'll need to have an additional aid/scale to get UTM grid coordinates. If you're cheap like me, you can put some waterproof tape along the straight edge and make your own marks for 1:24k scale.
Oh yeah. There is also a 1 year warranty by Cammenga. Cammenga is very easy to get a hold of and answer questions via phone. They actually have a compass rental program for Boy Scout groups (and other youth groups). You have to call to get the details of what they offer. I think they would rent out their baseplate compasses for $15, with the option to purchase the compasses if you wanted to keep them for your Boy Scout troop.
1. Tritium is not a neon glow which backlights your compass and can serve as an emergency flashlight or locator beacon. Only the basic indicator lines and East and West markers glow - faintly. The picture that most vendors (and Cammenga as well) use to illustrate the 3H Tritium lighting is grossly exaggerated.
2. Whoever posted "my compass was made in 1977" didn't bother to take the time to fact-check with the manufacturer. The date code on my Cammenga compass is 12-01-77. Per Cammenga, this indicates it was manufactured in January of 2012. The "77" is a standardized code indicated it was made for civilian market distribution. Simple as that.
3. Make sure you're capable of either learning, or are already skilled at the use of a lensatic compass. When you take a sighting it doesn't get held out in front of you, it goes up on your cheek. Also, if you suffer from any sight issues, as I do with reading glasses, bifocals, etc, you might have difficulty using the magnifying glass viewer. Using a lensatic compass with eyeglasses is a bit tricky. It's not designed for old guys who can't read their newspaper without 'playing the trombone' to sight in the print..
4. The Cammenga 3H is the gold standard for compasses. Anything less is a dangerous compromise. Can you do without the Tritium? Sure. Until you need it.
5. Cammenga offers some great map & compass / orienteering resources, as does the US Army, for free. Don't pay for reprints which are available online for free. After all, your tax dollars helped to pay for the Army field manuals... why not use them? Simply Google "US Army Field Manual for [xyz subject]." There's lots of sources out there. Save yourself $15 bucks on a reprinted book.
6. The vendor who sold me the compass, OutdoorBunker.com, shipped it quickly and safely. Couldn't ask for more.
Cammenga FAQ page explaining date codes:
Excellent orienteering resource can be found at: