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Rated1out of5byColoradoMama77fromBig DisappointmentI purchased this compass for a CMC land navigation class. I researched compasses and felt that this one had the features I needed. I should have known it would be an issue when I took it out of the packaging and the compass housing (protected by the mirror) was already scratched as well as some of the paint on the bottom of the baseplate. Not only that but the mirror appears to be attached crooked and is very difficult to open. I had it in my pack for 1/2 hour before getting to our field class and when I got it out there were flecks of something floating in the housing and it was totally useless in the field. I could only get the needle to float freely if I held it slightly crooked. Luckily we were in a group and I didn't have to depend on mine to find my way. I love that Brunton compasses are made in the USA and I will most likely buy a different model, but this compass was a huge disappointment.
Date published: 2014-04-14
Rated4out of5byMtnAv8rfromCapable CompassAfter a thorough 30 days of testing in the backcountry the O.S.S. 50M proves to be a very capable compass. Having read the previous reviews I was skeptical of what I would find after purchasing this compass. While I did encounter the very tight fitting mirror I quickly figured out that a little finger pressure against the mirror axis with a slight upward motion released the locking mechanism and slid the mirror clear of the compass housing. From there you just flip the mirror up to the desired angle. The baseplate is smaller than I would like, but it's not really an issue unless you are shooting and pencil marking distant landmarks. Accuracy was not an issue. Side by side with the 5 other compasses and a pocket transit I use professionally, the O.S.S. 50M was dead on. The needle settles quickly and is very easy to read. Declination adjustment was the only issue I had. While the other compasses I own use a small key, the Brunton uses finger pressure. It works, but the process is not intuitive and somewhat difficult until you get the hang of it. Overall this is a very good compass and does what it is supposed to.
Date published: 2014-01-15
Rated1out of5byp90xerfromBad compass-Do not buyI used this compass brand new and I opened it up the night before a search and rescue land navigation course exam for national search and rescue certification. During the land navigation course I could not locate any of my proposed 6 markers in the field. After what should have been about one to one and a half hours in the field I finally came off the course about 4 hrs later. Luckily another team memmber shot a bearing/azimuth from a pre determined marker with his compass and we discovered my brand new Brunton compass was off by at least 10 degrees. This is very bad in the world of land navigation. This was confirmed on site by the exam instructor who happened to be the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) president who was the evaluator for the 3 day SAR exams.
Date published: 2013-08-14
Rated1out of5byKF23fromHorribleThe mirror housing is flimsy and requires so much force to open that I'm sure it'll break soon. The mirror itself tries to pop out as the housing flexes when opened and the rolled hinge pin on the housing mount popped out literally after opening it a few times.
Absolutely nothing on the compass moves smoothly.
The dial spins freely for a portion of its range and then binds and skips through the rest of it.
The declination adjustment is a total joke and skips around as well, making it nearly impossible to set accurately.
The "north seeking circle" on the needle gets in the way of taking an accurate bearing. Since it's the heaviest portion of the needle, it drops straight down and hovers over the inclinometer arrow as well as covers over a full ten degree range of hash marks on the declination scale, making it impossible to reliably read the angle. It might be readable if you care to waste your time in the field futzing around and jiggling the needle out of the way.
Paint on the in/mm scale was flaking right out of the package.
Fairly bulky and awkward.
Fairly light, so you can't use it as a fishing weight, which is about all I'd imagine it might have been useful for in the field. I certainly wouldn't trust my life with this thing.
Date published: 2013-04-18
Rated2out of5byAlexinNCfromGood or Great?I bought this compass in an attempt to find a good hybrid lensatic/baseplate tool. But, this one has some issues. The lens/cover does indeed snap shut tighter than seems necessary. The front snap broke after my first trip so it didnt matter much. The back snap holds the cover down just fine by itself. The black backing behind the straight edge numerals makes it easy to read but it also started to scratch off after a single trip. Finding the north "N" under the needle "eye" is not that hard but because the mirror introduces an angle to the view, it is hard to get an exact azimuth reading when shooting an azimuth. Finally, the "no tools" declination thing left me scratching my head. The instructions are a bit vague and I have never used a compass with such a feature before. I cant really get my head around the adjustment itself and mine does not seem to work the way the instructions indicate. Oh, and due the lack of ANY glowing indicators, it is useless at night. Seems like that would be standard on a $30+ compass
Date published: 2013-01-27
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