A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2021 Apr 26, 07:41 -0700
It looks like a good deal to me. I would certainly buy it at that price. Notice that it includes the 12x scope which adds something like $50 in value on top. And yes, someone has mounted the low-power scope backwards. No problem to screw it in properly.
The instrument is a little beat up. You can see that some of the finish is damaged on the frame of the horizon mirror, the horizon shade, and other places. That suggests that there might be other signs of weathering. In particular, I would bet that the polarizing shades are seized up. They consist of crossed polaroids that are rotated relative to each other. There is a lubricant that turns waxy with age, and it may be difficult to turn the elements. In my experience, many users conclude that the shades "just don't work". But they can usually be turned with some extra force, and once they have turned a little they usually free up. If necessary, you can dis-assemble the shades and add some fresh lubricant.
One concern: a weathered instrument like this may have mirror issues. The faces of the mirrors are not visible in any of the photos. If the mirroring has flaked off, it may be an issue. Sextant mirrors do work fine even with 20-30% of the mirroring missing since they are not in focus when you use the instrument. But it's a concern. If the mirroring has lifted or bubbled, creating a curved surface, then it has to be replaced. Maybe you could request photos that show the mirrors?