3H (M1950)

RECOIL OFFGRID - - Buyer’s Guide -

Alu­minum

5.3 ounces 3 by 2.25 by 1 inches

$105 to $141

cam­menga.com

PROS:

Ba­si­cally the same com­pass your fa­ther (and/or grand­fa­ther) used

Un­ri­valed re­li­a­bil­ity record All-tem­per­a­ture per­for­mance

CONS:

With­out a clear base­plate, may not be quite as easy to read maps Com­pass card di­vided into 5-de­gree in­cre­ments; not as pre­cise as some other com­passes

More than 6 0 years af ter it s orig­i­nal de­sign as specif ied by the U.S. Army, the Cam­menga 3H is also known as the M1950 com­pass, which be­gan pro­duc tion in 1950. It ’s been re­lied upon by gen­er­a­tions of sol­diers through all en­vi­ron­ment s , in­clud­ing the frozen Chosin Reser voir in Korea , the jun­gles of Viet­nam, and present­day ser vice in Iraq and Afgha­nis tan .

It took it s de­sign cues from lessons learned with the M 1938 com­pass used in W WII . The Army liked the ba­sic blue­print but wanted to give it a tougher and heav­ier hous­ing as well as a damp­ing mech­a­nism to pre­vent wild swing­ing of the nee­dle. With these mod­i­fi­ca­tions , a leg­end was born .

Like the Brun­ton model, the 3H is made in the United States and uses a non-liq­uid filled nee­dle hous­ing. The move­ment of the nee­dle is ver y smooth , although it doesn’t turn or set tle in quite the same con­fi­dent or re­as­sur­ing man­ner as the Brun­ton. We liked that we were able to open and use the com­pass us­ing our whole hand , not jus t our f in­ger tips as with the larger Br un­ton . Op en­ing and sight­ing was fas ter and more in­tu­itive, and the seven tri­tium mi­cro -light s as sis te d in low -light a cqui­si­tio n .

From a dura­bilit y s tand­point, there’s no ques tion that the

3H is hard to kill. It ’s wa­ter­proof and shock­proof, and tes ted in tem­per­a­tures from -50F to 150F (-45C to 6 5C). The alu­minum frame, although not quite as tank-like as the Br un­ton Tran­sit, is s till subs tan­tial and didn’t have a prob­lem with be­ing dropped or s tepped on .

Even in 20 18, any com­bat vet­eran who has ac tu­ally had to rely on his or her gear will tell you that some of the Mil- sp ec ar ticles they ’re is sued are com­plete junk . With a s ter­ling track record and a more than half- cen­tur y of abu­sive f ield tes ting be­hind it, the 3H is a well-loved ex­cep­tion . We wouldn’t hes­i­tate to place our lives in it s hands , and there aren’t many sub $ 10 0 tools we can say that about . Pub­lished ac­cu­rac y : +/- 2 . 25 de­grees .

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