Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Fieldcraft’ Category

New PDW Watch Band Compass Kit 2.0

Thursday, November 9th, 2023

The Original Expedition Watch Band Watch Band Compass Kit Returns with Major Updates

This Fall 2023, PDW debuts their newly updated Expedition Watch Band Compass Kit 2.0. The original titanium cased dive rated button compass returns with a totally re-engineered 2-pc case with a screw down bezel making compass change outs toolless, easy and quick. An explorer’s tool and for those who find a way or make one. A best grade, versatile, amphibious-rated, EDC, Survival and Field compass accessory that can be worn on a nylon NATO to MN Para type watch bands in 20mm to 22mm, or in its silicone carrier for multiple carry options. Our button compass unit is rated to a depth of 100M/300′ and encapsulated in the lowest profile, precision machined titanium case available today. The kit includes four colors of silicone carriers. Available in a fine matte, polished (satin), or black PVD finish to match watch cases.


The Expedition Watch Band Compass Kit 2.0 is available in the three noted case finishes and now includes all four colors of silicone carriers.

The Design and R&D Team at PDW states:


“After numerous production runs of our all-time best selling EDC product, we took some time to step back and revisit our original concept for this compact compass design, which included the screw down bezel. Due to the cost prohibitive steps in machining when we first introduced this years ago, we didn’t pursue this original design. Now that CNC production has become readily available driving costs down from years ago, we decided to return to this original format. This updated version is the lowest profile we could make it and the ease in which the user can now simply change out without any tools, the button compass itself for a replacement or to a thermometer, is a significant upgrade. This is the original titanium cased watch band compass and remains the high standard.”


The PDW Expedition Watch Band Compass Kit 2.0 is available for $76.00-$79.00 via their website, prometheusdesignwerx.com.

Tour of Zussman Urban Combat Training Center – Ft Knox

Saturday, February 19th, 2022

Mission Spec provides a short tour of Zussman Urban Combat Training Center (c 2009) at Ft. Knox, one of DODs premiere MOUT facilities.

Battleboard x Rite In The Rain Land Nav Kit

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

The Land NAV KIT by BATTLE BOARD is tailored to fit many styles of Rite In The Rain All-Weather Field-Flex Notebooks. The cover features a transparent abrasion resistant polycarbonate display surface that pins a map securely underneath for accurate, efficient maneuver planning. Write and erase on the polycarbonate surface with grease pencils, alcohol pens, and non-permanent markers (not included). This comprehensive kit contains the Land NAV Cover, the No. 980T Tactical Notebook, and No. 97 All-Weather Pen. The 980T features 16 pages of reference material such as templates for sector sketching, 9-Line MEDEVAC, range cards, first aid, and more. The 97 is an All-Weather Pen that can write through precipitation, at odd angles, and in extreme temperatures (not for use on the polycarbonate cover).


Introducing the Wndsn High-Viz Quadrant Telemeter

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

“I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things.” –Henri Matisse

Wndsn Messtechnik is introducing the latest iteration of one of the most popular Wndsn Telemeter products. After more than a thousand units sold, the new white Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter is released in the beginning of 2020 in a high-contrast, high-visibility version with a number of new features.

The Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter is a measurement and calculation instrument for indoor and outdoor use, its users require attributes such as ruggedness, durability, and integrity of the various scales. For black and transparent instruments, Wndsn uses cast Acrylic that works reliably under these conditions and is deep-engraved.

To increase legibility without losing durability in the process, after various tests examining legibility, resilience, and resistance of different surfaces, a new material has been chosen: A sandwich acrylic consisting of a black core with matte white outer surfaces that are cut through by engraving, thereby exposing the black material underneath for high contrast and scales that cannot wear off (a requirement that prohibits simply printing the scales).

Other new and updated features on the Wndsn High-Viz Quadrant Telemeter are:

1. A 100 MIL mark on the angular size scale, it’s a special value for various calculations, one of which being the point where an object of unknown size has a height of 0.1x the known distance, or vice versa.

2. Another scale mark, just as easy to miss; this one is also to be found on the angular size scale and is located at 7.5°. Wndsn’s naked-eye astronomy users have asked for this one, 7.5° equals 30 minutes of earth rotation and the mark can be used against a fixed star to measure minutes passed in the sky.

3. The slope/tan scale on the quadrant side received a makeover and got redesigned according to the updated Wndsn style guide for logarithmic scales. The result is a more refined scale with higher precision and better readability.

Wndsn Telemeters are wallet-size distance and altitude nomographs developed in the Wndsn applied science lab. They combine a thousand years of civil engineering, surveying, navigation, and astronomy in durable, low-tech, high utility instruments that can be brought anywhere, are self-containing, and independent of external, modern technologies.

The Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter is a naked-eye observation instrument for measuring angles via various inputs and sighting methods. In addition, the Quadrant Telemeter is a graphical, analog computer providing functions to directly process or convert the acquired values.

Scales on the Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter:

+ angular size and distance

+ height or depth of object

+ altitude or elevation

+ computation of sine, cosine, and tangent from a given angle and back

+ degree and slope quadrant

+ shadow square

+ inclinometer

The various engraved scales enable the user to copy dimensions from the real world onto a small ruler in their hand, and read the matching distances directly from the instrument, thereby computing arbitrary navigational distances and other essential information about the world around us, as long as a triangle is formed between user, scales, and object of interest.

Under certain conditions or in cases where laser rangefinders tend to fail or result in errors, Wndsn Telemeters prevail and can be used as primary or “second opinion” tools, to cross-check values obtained with different means, or in austere situations when other methods fail or are unavailable.

The credit-card sized instrument is handmade in Germany and manufactured in the spirit of astronomical instruments of the Renaissance, built by the likes of Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, and Gemma Frisius. The scales are laser-engraved and precision-cut into 3 mm black, acrylic with white, matte surfaces. The device carries the Wndsn maker’s marks; scientific instructions are engraved and supplemented by a printed how-to in both English and German. A 240-page printed manual is included as a PDF and is also available separately at Wndsn or via bookstores.

The new Wndsn High-Viz Quadrant Telemeter is available at:


Alexander Becker

Wndsn Messtechnik UG (haftungsbeschränkt)

Obentrautstr 43

D-10963 Berlin





DSEI 19 – Silva Expedition 5 6400/360 Global Compass

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

In the Brigantes booth we took a look at the Silva Expedition 5 6400/360 Global which is beginning to replace the Militaire with the British military.

The Expedition 5, seen to the left, is a global compass while the Militaire is designed for northern hemisphere use. The baseplate features romers, measurers and magnifying glass but also has an inclinometer, variable declination, and measuring lanyard.

To make it a global compass, Silva magnetized the central gimbal, which rests on a sapphire for the smoothest needle movement possible. The gimbal allows the magnetic elements to point at magnetic north without disturbing the needle and reducing accuracy.

Wndsn Applied Science Lab – Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

We live in a world that revolves around automation, but having the answer to everything at your fingertips comes at a price: vulnerability. Whether it’s due to a power outage or enemy action, the digital tools we currently use to conduct mathematical equations can be turned off in an instant. But for centuries we relied upon simple tools to help help us make these calculations. There have been calls to get back to these basics, for use as a backup, if nothing else.

Enter Wndsn Applied Science Lab and their Telemeters, simple observational tools for measuring angles via various inputs combined with a number of means to directly process the acquired values.

Their current flagship, the Wndsn Quadrant Telemeter is a naked-eye observation multitool for emergency navigation, for training and education, and a visualization tool. The current version is made of brass.

Sign up for their newsletter at wndsn.com/newsletter.

Field Artillery Back to Emphasizing ‘Charts and Darts’

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

FORT SILL, Okla. — With the growing threat of cyberattacks, the U.S. Army Field Artillery School has placed a renewed emphasis on learning manual methods of fire direction and gunnery.

“Bringing back the charts is a big deal,” said Staff Sgt. Chad Payne, an instructor for the 13J fire control specialist course. “If you don’t understand the chart, you won’t actually understand what the automated system is doing for you.”

About a decade ago, the school began reducing its emphasis on teaching manual methods, said Col. Samuel Saine, assistant commandant. That’s because improvements to the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System enabled AFATADS to be used effectively in all situations, he said, and it dramatically sped up the firing process.

Then electronic warfare in Crimea and Ukraine shut systems down there, and at the same time, cyberattacks began disabling automation systems at civilian firms. These attacks “woke some people up,” Saine said.

Over the past year, the Field Artillery School commandant has made it a priority to reinsert manual or degraded operations back into the program of instruction for all courses, Saine said.


The renewed emphasis is not only in advanced individual training for new Soldiers, he said, but also in all of the officer courses from basic up to the pre-command course for colonels.

Now students begin AIT using maps to plot and they learn the math behind firing solutions.

“They’ll do manual operations until we know they fully understand the basics,” Payne said, explaining only then do students move on to the automated system.

This method provides students with a better appreciation of the concepts, he said, enabling them to “hit the ground running” at their first units.

They are also better prepared when electronic warfare takes the AFATADS system offline, he said, and degraded operations are now part of the scenario during AIT field exercises.

When systems go down, Soldiers are now trained on how to transition between the automated and manual methods, confirmed Pvt. Cynthia Antaya, a 13J student at the school.

EW can affect communications, automated systems and access to GPS. So 13J Soldiers break out their charts, pencils, plotting pins and protractors for degraded operations.

“It’s going to be important to know your charts and darts and how to go manual and still be able to continue on with your job, even when everything’s down,” Antaya said.


It’s essential that artillery sections “never sway from our No. 1 task,” Saine emphasized, “and that No. 1 task is to provide uninterrupted fires to the maneuver elements of our Army — the infantry and armor.”

Manual or degraded operations for firing howitzers are actually a 20-level task for the gunner and primarily only 10-level tasks are taught at AIT, said Staff Sgt. Rodrick Stone, an instructor for the 13B cannon crewmember course.

Some instructors, however, still demonstrate manual sighting for the students, Stone said.

“I believe it’s very important that they learn both ways, because in the event that the digital goes down, you have to have a failsafe — a backup plan,” he said.

The Field Artillery School has helped work degraded operations into the program of instruction for the Advanced Leadership Course, Saine said. Since howitzer gunners are by doctrine sergeants, learning how to manually sight howitzers is emphasized in ALC, he said.

With degraded operations, the gunner switches to a panoramic telescopic sight, Stone said. Aiming poles and firing stakes are used. “We already have an additional primary aiming reference that’s set up; he instantly sights in off of that,” Stone said.

Then the traverse hand wheel is spun manually to raise or lower elevation of the howitzer tube, he explained.

“When I was coming in, degraded operations was the only thing that was going on,” Stone said. “There was no digital systems at the time.”

Now the threat of cyber warfare once again makes degraded operations of paramount importance, he said.

“We have more capacity and capability than they do,” Saine said of the enemy, “so they’re going to try to find creative ways to degrade and deny some of our systems.”


The emphasis on degraded operations is not only happening in the schoolhouse, it’s in the field as well, Saine said. Doctrine has been updated and so have performance standards.

Training Circular 3-09.8 for fire support was recently updated with increased performance standards for manual gunnery and degraded operations.

The chief of field artillery emphasizes degraded operations at fires conferences and at quarterly meetings with division artillery commanders, Saine said.

“It’s not just a Fort Sill thing,” Saine said. “He believes very strongly it needs to be informed by the operational force.”

Preparing for EW is not only practical, he said, but it also creates a more well-rounded force.

“What we found along the way is that we actually were increasing the proficiency of our Soldiers and our leaders,” Saine said, “because it helped them understand to a higher degree how everything worked together.”

By Gary Sheftick, Army News Service

Blade Show 18 – Morakniv Bushcraft Survival Desert

Monday, June 4th, 2018

Morakniv has introduced a Desert Tan version of their Bushcraft Survival Knife. It features a 3.2 mm thick blade in carbon steel with a specially ground spine so that it can be used with the fire starter. Additionally, the sheath that comes outfitted with an integral fire starter and diamond sharpener.