The Astra IIIB has been made for us in China since 1986 under our specific quality guidelines. It has somewhat revolutionized celestial navigation because never before has such a high quality, accurate metal sextant been available at such a low price. Over 26,000 sextants of this model have been sold in the US alone, far more than any other serious sextant. Its popularity has spread throughout the rest of the world as well, making it the most recognized (and supported) sextant worldwide.
Its low price, excellent optics, and choice of horizon mirrors and other accessories makes it the perfect selection for beginners. Yet, we know many professional navigators who prefer the ASTRA IIIB merely because they can leave their expensive models at home without sacrificing noticeable accuracy.