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#242782 - 03/09/12 11:53 AM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Brunton still offers several USA made compasses


I carry a Brunton Type 7 in my pack for use with a map, and an old Taylor brass pocketwatch type compass on a lanyard for simple direction finding.
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

#242789 - 03/09/12 03:11 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with the Brunton/Silva saga. But beware, in America not all Bruntons are rebranded Silvas that are made in Sweden. I've checked the packaging on some mid to high end Brunton compasses and they said "made in China".

If you're ordering online and want to be sure you're getting a real Silva, you almost have to order from Europe.

Or you could skip all that hassle and get a Suunto. smile

#242792 - 03/09/12 03:58 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Denis Offline

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: Glock-A-Roo
Or you could skip all that hassle and get a Suunto. smile

Definitely seems like the easiest way to go!
Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

#242805 - 03/09/12 05:59 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
widget Offline

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
Yep! Suunto is the way now. Best compass out there of the orienteering type. The globals are a good investment for travels outside North America.
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

#243645 - 03/23/12 02:43 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
Macgyver Offline

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 81
Loc: Victoria Australia
My most often used compass is my watch, a standard mechanical military issue Marathon GSAR, only works in the daytime and being in Australia, I usually have the Sun handy smile (hey you didn't specify only magnetic compasses) it is accurate to within 5 degrees. When it is cloudy I use my Brunton Pocket Transit, the best little big compass that I know. Yes, I agree that it is a little heavy, so it stays in the car and is used for general purposes while travelling. My favorite is a Silva Sightmaster compass, I had to leave mine in the states when I returned to OZ as the balance was all wrong for the southern hemisphere.

My backup in my PSK is the NATO survival escape and evasion button compass, not that accurate, it consistently points about 20 degrees of north, I think it was shipped too close to a magnet frown I have yet to tear it apart and remagnetize it. It is slightly better than looking for lichen on trees.

#243653 - 03/23/12 03:42 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: Macgyver]

Lol non I did'nt, did I? Thanks Mac.

#243719 - 03/24/12 12:38 AM Re: COMPASSES [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
KenK Online   happy
"Be Prepared"

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2039
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Glock-A-Roo
I've checked the packaging on some mid to high end Brunton compasses and they said "made in China".

I mentioned that I ran across this in another post, but I thought I mention it here too since its appropriate. Apparently Brunton has recently moved is manufacturing from China back to Riverton, Wyoming.


I'd be curious to try out their new mirrored compasses (I like their high-end ones) but the prices seem kind of high.

#243725 - 03/24/12 02:23 AM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Very interesting, thank you Ken. I hope this move results in an improvement for Brunton quality.

From the article:

General Reiner praised the Brunton compass, noting that Brunton has been supplying the military with it’s compasses for decades. “When you go to war, you are only as good as the equipment you have, and the compass used by the U.S. Military is a Brunton Compass,” he said, to cheers from the audience.

Umm, say again, over? Did Brunton take over the contract for the lensatic compass from Cammenga?

#243727 - 03/24/12 03:27 AM Re: COMPASSES [Re: KenK]
Russ Online   content

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5266
Maybe some Brunton compasses were made in China but a recent Brunton 8010G has "MADE IN U.S.A." in raised lettering near the lanyard.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#244798 - 04/11/12 07:15 PM Re: COMPASSES [Re: ]
TimLarson Offline

Registered: 10/19/03
Posts: 16
A few notes on compass brands:

Brunton Inc. has completely revamped their compass line since they lost their association with Silva of Sweden. Some of their best compasses that were imported from Silva of Sweden, like the Brunton 54LU, are long gone. Before dropping the Brunton 15TDCL Expedition and 16DLU models, the last production was reportedly coming from China. Brunton also dropped the Eclipse line of compasses built in China (8096, 8097, 8099, etc.).

The old Brunton line of 'optic-green' baseplate compasses (8010, 8020, 8040, 9020, etc.) has been dropped.

Brunton now has a new compass series called O.S.S., all of which have the circle-on-circle magnetized disk feature of the old Eclipse line. It is important to note that ALL Brunton compasses with the O.S.S. designation will be assembled in Wyoming from components sourced from only USA manufacturers.

Silva USA/Silva Canada: Johnson Outdoors has owned the sole right to market Silva brand name compasses in North America (this includes Canada) since 1998. The original Swedish-made Silvas are no longer sold in the U.S. or Canada, except through gray-market channels.

At first, Johnson Outdoors sourced many of its Silva-branded compass models from Suunto. However, this practice largely ceased several years ago (some discontinued models may still be around, like the Silva 424 wrist sighting compass which Suunto made based on their M-9 wrist compass). Suunto-made Silva compass packages usually state 'Made in Finland' or have a Finnish flag on the package. Otherwise, since at least 2008, anyone buying a new, non-grey market, 'Silva' branded compass in the US or in Canada has been buying a product built to Johnson Outdoors specifications from a factory in Indonesia.

Silva of Sweden AB: For a time, one could get a Swedish-made Silva in North America by purchasing a 'Nexus' brand compass from Brunton, who was importing some of the Silva of Sweden compass line under these brand names. However, this source ended after Brunton was sold off by Fiskars, Silva of Sweden's parent company at the time. Brunton and Silva of Sweden parted ways and ceased importing each other's products.

Silva of Sweden, the original Swedish manufacturer of the Type 15 Ranger, Silva 4, Silva 54, etc. no longer distributes ANY of their compasses to North America since their connection to Brunton disappeared. Silva of Sweden still makes many of their recreational and military compasses at their facility in Haninge, Sweden, though some models are now reportedly made at a Silva-owned production plant in mainland China that opened in 2005.

Suunto Oy continues to produce its Finnish-made line of needle compasses, along with the Recta brand. Suunto bought Recta AG of Switzerland in 1996 and it was from Recta that Suunto acquired its now-famous 'global needle' design that can operate in all magnetic zones. Suunto's adoption of the Recta Turbo-20 global needle system for some models (MC-2G and MC-3G, DP-65) has one other benefit. The global needle settles noticeably faster than the standard needle compass, with less wobble.

Recta AG: As mentioned, Recta AG is now a subsidiary of Suunto. Today, most Recta baseplate compasses are slightly disguised versions of Suunto models assembled on the same production line in Finland. Recta baseplate compasses are hard to find in the USA, as Suunto never established a distributor network there, though you can get them in Canada. For a time, Recta matchbox compasses were still being made in Switzerland at Recta's compass production facility in Biel (my recent Suunto DP-65 was simply a relabeled Recta DP-65 with 'Recta' and 'Switzerland' on the bottom of the housing). However, Recta's website states that all Recta compasses are now being manufactured at the Suunto Oy factory in Finland.

Kasper & Richter GmbH of Germany acquired the Eschenbach compass line from Eschenbach Optik GmbH in 2004, including the expensive Meridian and Meridian Pro direct-sighting and prismatic models originally made by Wilkie of Fürth, Germany (Eschenbach acquired Wilkie in 1976). K&R have have introduced some new baseplate models and smaller compasses. Not all K&R compasses are made in Germany; some of the less expensive models are imported from China or Taiwan.


Edited by TimLarson (04/12/12 12:34 AM)

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