An extremely rare example of the Francis Barker M-71. The Francis Barker M-71 Prismatic Military compass was a direct descendant of the legendary Barker Mk III that was introduced in 1932 and used by British armed forces throughout the second world war. The M-71 was only made during 1971, in very limited quantities, before being replaced by the M-72 in 1972. The M-72 was itself quickly replaced by the M-73, which remains in production today, is standard issue with many armed forces, and is regarded as the world's finest liquid prismatic compass,
The M-71 has a brass case and lid, and a mother of pearl dial with a triangular luminous North marker. The most noticeable difference between the M-71 and M-72 is that the M-71 has luminous paint markers, rather than the tritium lights seen on the M-72. There is also a luminous paint well under the index ring near the hinge, rather than the lozenge shaped well with a tritium light that was used on the M-72.
Most of the M-71 and M-72 compasses were totally unmarked, with no maker's marks, serial numbers, or NATO stock numbers. Some of the last to be produced had the lettering 'PAT APPL. FOR' on the base. Almost all of the M-71 compasses were exported to Australia. (Further details of the M-71 can be found at Paul Crespel’s excellent website: trademarklondon.com)
(Please Note: this compass is not available for shipping to the USA)
The compass is in good condition, full working order, and finds North very well. There are general signs of use, some wear to the paint finish, and some wear to the original finish of the brass surround of the index ring. The mother of pearl card is in very good condition. The prism, index glass, and lid window are in very good condition. The old luminous paint markers have been replaced at some point in the recent past and are working very well, making the compass suitable for use in total darkness, as originally intended.