User Review: Silva Ranger 15 CL
I am also one of those who owned one of the original Silva Type 15 'Ranger' compasses made in Sweden. I was completely happy with this compass until the day I lost it in a move.
Awhile back I bought a new Silva Ranger compass. According to the information I read, since 1997 the U.S. Silva 'Ranger' is no longer made by the original Silva company in Sweden, but is built outside the US by a unnamed manufacturer under the Silva 'Ranger' name by Johnson Outdoors.
All I know for sure is that the quality is lacking on the new Silva Ranger I bought. There is now a split mirror that must be intended to help sight the objective. Great, except it was stuck on with double-sided tape only and promptly fell off. The compass dial was loose and would not reliably hold a 'locked' bearing for travel - merely bumping the dial would shift it, along with your bearing.
The red-inked baseplate scales are already starting to wear off, as they aren't engraved into the baseplate like the original models. They didn't spend much money on luminous paint, either, as it's just a few dots here and there that quickly dim.
My advice is to pass up this Silva USA Ranger and try something else. Silva of Sweden still sells a derivative of the Ranger here (now called the Brunton Expedition 15T), and Suunto makes one called the MC-2.
I ended up buying a model called the K&R (Kasper & Richter) Alpin. The whole dial ring of this K&R compass is luminous and can be easily seen in poor light. It is otherwise much like the original Silva Ranger, but is made in Germany, uses what seems to be a fairly heavy damping fluid and has a polished aluminum mirror securely fastened into the cover (no more tape). The Alpin's needle settles fast, which I like, and it has held up very well so far (six months).