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Silva Expedition 54 Compass - Review

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The Silva Expedition 4 Compass is the classic full-size baseplate compass that's been used and depended on for decades.

NOTE: this review will be updated in the next few days with images, more including of the lume, and looking through the sight.

If you buy a compass from overseas, ideally it should be made for the Southern Hemisphere. Silva compasses come in five different zones, with Zone 5 being for Australia. The Silva code for Zone 5 is "MS" and you can see the letters "MS" embossed in very small writing if you look underneath the central turning part of the compass.

The reason for the different zones is that a magnetic compass doesn't naturally point along the ground — it wants to point to the actual magnetic North Pole. Which, as viewed from your position, is underneath the ground, at an angle determined by your latitide and other magnetic properties of the Earth's rocks. Therefore in different regions, the compass needle can tilt wrongly if it's made for the wrong zone. Though it will still work, you may have to hold the wrong-zoned compass at an angle other than flat to get the needle to spin freely.

This might not be that much of a big deal, especially in a very cheap compass, but I wouldn't buy an expensive (or even a medium-priced) compass made for the wrong magnetic zone. I heard that there's a book about England's Special Boat Service, and in one chapter, the author was discussing the Falklands War. Apparently there was an incident where a patrol was where it shouldn't have been, partly because their compasses were meant for the northern hemisphere, and it resulted in a "friendly fire" death.

Lume

Here's one photo of the lume, I'll add some more soon...

Looking through the lensatic sighting system of the Silva Expedition 54 Compass at night.

Looking through the lensatic sighting system of the Silva Expedition 54 Compass at night.

More Photos of the Silva Expedition 54 Compass

Here's a few more photos of the Silva Expedition 54 Compass, until I get some more time to work on this review...

ining up the lensatic sighting system of the Silva Expedition 54 Compass at a tree.

Lining up the lensatic sighting system of the Silva Expedition 54 Compass at a tree.

Looking through the lensatic sighting system of the Silva Expedition 54 Compass in the daytime.

Looking through the lensatic sighting system of the Silva Expedition 54 Compass in the daytime.

Using the Silva Expedition 54 Compass to draw up a map of your area.

Using the Silva Expedition 54 Compass to draw up a map of your area.

Lume comparison of the military version with tritium lume (above) to the standard version (below).

Lume comparison of the military version with tritium lume (above) to the standard version (below).

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