Lensatic Compass

  • FSN
  • 6605-846-7618
  • Specification
  • MIL-C-10436
The Army’s Lensatic Compass featured a rear sight lens that allowed the dial to be read whilst using the cover’s sighting wire to line up an object. The dial was illuminated by radioactive tritium vials, which depleted after several years. The compass also featured a straight edge graduated at 1:25,000 meters (later models were made with a 1:50,000 scale) to measure distances on a map.

Both the cotton M1956 and nylon M1967 load carrying systems had pouches designed to carry the compass. However, the Lensatic Compass was neither waterproof nor moisture-proof and often failed in Vietnam’s jungle environment.

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