Silva Sighting Compass
Combination baseplate and sighting compass
This is the compass that I use. It looks like a plain old base plate compass, but...
The key feature that makes this a great compass to take sightings with is its direct sighting system. Look through the lens on the side of the bezel, line up the black line with the object you are sighting on, and read off the bearing. Getting a bearing with one degree accuracy is easy.
Unlike most sighting compasses, this one works great as a base plate compass too. So it’s easy to plot a bearing on the map.
Lack of Declination Adjustment
Alas, there is one potential down side: You can’t adjust this compass for declination. So, all your bearings will be referenced to magnetic north. I always take my bearings relative to magnetic north and do not adjust my compass declination, so this is not a problem for me. I set my GPS to display magnetic bearings and convert to true or grid north only when plotting on a map.
For more information on the choice of north references and converting between north references see our North Reference Tutorial.
This compass has always been manufactured by Silva of Sweden. For many years Brunton was the exclusive distributor of Silva's products in the United States. This compass was marked with Brunton name and logo. In 2009, Fiskars sold Brunton Inc. to a Swedish company, Fenix Outdoor AB. After divestiture, Brunton closed out its Nexus and Elite compass lines and discontinued the Brunton 54LU compass, all of which were relabeled Silva of Sweden products. These actions left Silva of Sweden without a North American distributor for its Swedish-made compasses. As a result, Silva of Sweden compasses and GPS products are no longer distributed in North America.
For a while MapTools was able to import these from Europe. But then Silva quit making the compass. We sold our last one in 2016, after having sold almost 400 of them since we started selling them in 2002
Good news! We found a few more of these.
I found some of these in a pawn shop in Virginia. I bought all of their stock. This is probably the last time you will be able to buy on of these compasses. These are new, in the original box. They are marked "Made in Sweden." I'm selling them at the original price we sold them for way back when we were buying them from Brunton. This price is less than half of what I was selling the ones I imported from Europe.
The bad news
The bad news is that I can't offer a waranty. The ones I have are new in their original box. I've opened all of them prior to shipping to do a quick visual inspection. There are no bubbles in the capsule or broken bits in the compass we ship to you. You have 30 days to return it, in working order, with its original packaging for a full refund. Beyond that I hope it serves you well for many years as mine has me.
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