At The Front "British Made" M36 Musette Bag
Review Date: 1/6/2016
Author: Sean Foster
During WWII the United States loaned billions of dollars in war material to the Allies. The beginning of what would become known as Reverse Lend Lease originated with the U.S. and British Empire trading blanket and sock supplies to avoid expensive and at that time, dangerous logistics. The U.S. Would need large amounts of these items in the MTO and ETO and England had a marked need for these in the PTO and CBI Theaters. This exchange quickly escalated to Reverse Lend Lease when in 1942 the U.S. Quartermaster Corps determined there were not enough U.S. assets able to produce the estimated 868,500,000 yards of hardy webbing needed to support the growing U.S. Army through the duration of the war. England quickly took advantage of this need, as a not only a way to utilize existing machinery and manufacturing capacity but to also pay back some of its substantial war debt. Ultimately, the British made several million uniform and field gear pieces for the U.S. Army.
- P.W. Browning, from At The Front M1928 Haversack - British Made Review, 2/14/15
Purchase date: December 2014
Current Retail: January 6, 2016: $59.99
This price is equivalent to the other Musette Bags currently offered by At The Front.
This replica is compared to an original British Made Musette Bag made by HHC & Co Ltd in 1943 (H.H. Carroll & Co, Ltd).
The canvas is of similar properties to the original, although in a greener shade which is correct for some British made items.
The edging material is similar to the original.
The main webbing straps are a good match, although the replica ones are slightly thicker and more bulky.
Buckles on the flap are very well copied.
Buckles on the hanging straps are thicker when compared to the ones on the original. D-rings are longer on the original, which would likely make them easier to use.
The snap hooks are nicely matched but I believe the original ones are finished a bit more nicely.
The rivet button used to secure the rear compartment and side pocket is slightly different, but I do not think it was necessary to make a new button solely for these replicas, so they used one as used on other Musette bags, and most will not notice anything amiss.
The rivet button on the side pocket of the original was missing, but is assumed to be the same as on the rear pocket.
The hardware is a very good match all around.
The replica is an almost exact match to the original with respect to the pattern. Only minor differences can be found, all of which would be within the range of acceptance by the US Quartermaster inspectors (the buckles on the closing flap are about ¼” lower on the original, and the loop inside the rear internal compartment is longer in the original, to name a few miniscule differences which honestly do not detract from this product).
Seam construction copies the original very well.
Markings are ATF 1944 BRITISH MADE. The marking is much smaller than the original, but I think this helps identify the product as a replica.
The webbing strap inside the rear pocket is much greener in the replica than in the original. Since this is normally hidden from sight, it is a minor issue. This webbing strap provides strength and stability to the bag at the main stress area, where the flap and carry straps join together.
This bag is well assembled and I found no weak or missing stitches. The only thing not perfectly secure is the rivet button which closes the rear compartment, but this is a button I will rarely use.
Images showing the repro after washing. Some fading evident, with the markings substantially washed out. The internal pockets do not appear to be selvedge edges, but cut.
This is the only option at present for a British Made Musette bag. No other replicas exist at the time of this article’s compilation.
This is a good replica of the British Made M-1936 Musette Bag, priced the same as other replicas from At The Front.
The reproduction as delivered includes the strap.
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