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M43 Field Jacket, 370B
M43 Field Jacket, 370B


 
: $124.99


M43 Field Jacket Sizes*:


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Product Description Item History
 





WWII M43 Field Jackets,
Teflon treated
Pre-1944 cut Olive drab no. 2 lining Spec labels
370B details- long epaulets
and 2 button flap hold down
Neck closed Early pattern buttons,
correct pocket sizes
Cuff gussets

New generation reproduction of the WWII issue M1943 Field Jacket. Made directly from original July 1943 contract examples, using Teflon treated 100% cotton sateen cloth shells, lined with OD3 poplin, lower pockets reinforced with 3/4" webbing and finished out with exact reproduction buttons. They now fit better (less baggy) than all other reproductions. Why?

I had noticed for some years that original jackets were rather erratic in their sizing, which I attributed to the frenzied production rush to equip troops in the ETO before the onset of cold weather in 1944. Then a couple friends of mine enlightened me to a few details they had discovered in the archives at NARA. We knew that the M43 Jacket design went through several revisions during its WWII production- each was assigned a different specification number by the QMC. 370B, 370C, 370D and 370E. (370 and 370A existed but were prototypes only.)
But the kicker was "Pattern B".

As soon as troops began receiving M43's in large numbers (Fall 1943), they complained that the jackets were too tight when wearing the pile liners underneath. So on Dec. 31, 1943, the QMC revised the patterns, increasing the chest measurements 2" and 1" to the circumference of the upper arms. This was called "Pattern B" and is stamped on the spec labels (or occasionally in the neck) so quartermasters could easily identify them during issue. The change was instituted after all 370B's and a large percentage of the 370C jackets had already been completed and issued. These enlarged sizing proportions were used on all future models of M43/ M50/ M51/ M65 Field Jackets as well as most present day aftermarket coats.

Since few people actually wear them with a liner, the number one complaint about US field jackets has always been "they're too big!". This made the light bulb in between my ears flicker. Well now, the early ones weren't that large...so we recreated the jackets as made in 1943

Other features:

Teflon: As with other armies of the period, the QMC spent a great deal of time and effort attempting to create wind and water proof fabrics for their field uniforms. The sateen of the M43 was a decent material, but there are simply limits to what cotton can do. In 2018, we have more options available than they did in 1943. In order to increase the performance of our field jackets and trousers, we had the cloth treated with Teflon water repellent. It's colorless and does not change the feel of the fabric, but our uniforms now shed water as well as cotton possibly can. No, it wasn't available in 1943, but it's literally invisible- just knowing it's there is bound to upset someone's time warp.



Lining: Many enthusiasts know that early M43's are usually lined with "khaki" cotton. It's actually pissy green OD number 2 poplin- the contractors were allowed to use up the substantial stocks they had when the M41 Jackets were discontinued. This is the type of fabric we used. A lesser known fact, is that some 370B's had matching OD7 lining as they were originally designed to have.

Authenticity: A select few, elite Living Historians (no one else will care) will wring their hands and duel on social media over whether these "early" jackets are appropriate for their impression. The fact is that they are absolutely correct for all WWII displays. They were and are not rare- production numbers were substantial- several hundred thousand being manufactured before the pattern change. And there is another, quite obvious factor- one cannot distinguish them from the later jackets anyway without a tape measure and a size chart. Popcorn is ready. Let the fur fly.

Washing: We recommend cold wash and hang dry. Hot wash and machine dry will cause the Teflon to degrade more quickly. Shrinkage is about 1" in the sleeve and body length. Shrinkage of the chest circumference is nil.

Sizing: Order you normal size. These are cut like "normal" coats and jackets, with the chest 7" larger than marked. They are not "slim fit". If you intend to wear a field jacket liner underneath, going up one size will be more comfortable.

Pockets 1: For possibly the first time, a reproduction M43 has also been made with an internal feature of the originals. The designers intended that the M43 field jacket could literally be lived in and fought from- the four pockets could hold several rations as well as a substantial amount of ammunition and hand grenades. In order to better carry heavy loads in the pockets, strips of 3/4" webbing were sewn into the shoulder and side seams, and then attached to upper corners of the hip pockets. This helped distribute the weight and reduce the tendency of the jacket to roll in the front. Until we cut an original open and looked at the documentation, we were unaware of this.

Pockets 2: The hip pockets are 8-9" deep as were the originals. On one of our past runs, the nitwits cut the pockets on many jackets about 2" short.

370B Details: The 370B jackets (July 1943 contract) have two external details making them discernible from the 370C's. Most contractors made the epaulets longer than normal- the button is actually on the seam where the collar meets the shoulder, making the tip of the epaulet overlap the neck band. This is hidden under the collar. Second, the small tab at the top of the placket used to secure the collar when worn turned up is secured with two buttons rather than one as used on subsequent models. A few used tan buttons here (as on wool trousers) which we chose, while others had OD as on the rest of the jacket.