90th IDPG Reviews


At The Front "Generation 1" M41 Field Jacket

Review Date: 10/3/2010
Author: Chris Guska


Field Artillerymen attached to the 90th Division dig an emplacement for their 4.5 inch gun near W:_Weerdange, Luxembourg, before firing across the German border a few miles away.

770th F.A. BN, VIII Corps, Attached, 90th Div., Wildwerdange, Luxembourg. 8 Feb 1945


The "M41" Field Jacket was without a doubt "the" ubiquitous GI Field Jacket of WWII. Even after the introduction of the M43, the M41 continued to see extensive service through the war's end.

The Quartermaster Catalog describes the "Jacket, Field, OD" as "A short combat jacket of windproof, water repellent cotton poplin with flannel lining and with button and zipper closure.

Special Note:

At The Front has had several different iterations of this product. This review specifically applies to the "1st Generation" of high end 41 jackets as currently available. A "2nd Generation" was released shortly after these 1st Gen jackets, to correct the deficiencies that I will cover in this review. As weather and photography allows, I will follow this review with a review of the 2nd Gen jackets, which are excellent.

These jackets, 1st and 2nd Gen are contracted specifically for At The Front, and no other US vendor offers them. These are not Sturm-Miltec, SM Wholesale or other maker jackets simply re branded or claimed to be unique - as many small vendors do.


I've had this jacket for 2 years. I got it in the Spring of 2009 basically as soon as it hit the market. I don't even remember what I paid or how everything went down. Either way - the current specifics are:

Cost: $79.00

About the Review:

I'll be comparing the Repro ATF 41 Field Jacket - size 36, against an original size 36 Field Jacket from my collection. As the review progresses, I'll pull in additional 41's out of my collection for more comparisons. For sizing and pattern - I'm trying to keep this as apples to apples as possible, then show variants across manufacturers.


The Reproduction:


Out of the box, I was really excited about the product. It had been a long time since there was a really "good" reproduction field jacket.

The materials felt really good - with a similar "hand" feel of the poplin shell to a couple of the original 41s from my collection that will be shown below. The lining feels / looks spot on to some of the examples as well.

The buttons stood out to me as a positive, as they were the happy chocolate brown color - and with a bit of finger oils shined up to look like an original. I have been pretty unsatisfied with the buttons of other repros. I'll get into these details a bit more further down.


There are some obvious pattern considerations and issues with the jacket. After talking with At The Front about it - there were conscious changes to the pattern that the repros will differ from the originals. It is what it is....

1.) Sleeve length has been shortened. This is quite obvious on the QM photo of the original, that the sleeves extend past the bottom of the jacket. On the ATF repro, the sleeves have been shortened to hang even or above the bottom edge of the jacket.

When compared, from shoulder seam lined up - it is obvious how much shorter the repro is to the original. Repro on top, original on bottom.

2.) The body of the jacket has been lengthened. Armpit seam to armpit seam. Repro on top, original on bottom.


Based on the above pattern changes - it obviously fits differently than an original. I've been wearing original jackets to reenact in for just over 10 years, so there's a "feel" thing when trying on a jacket.

Modern suit coat sizing - I wear a 38 to 40 depending on brand. With regards to original 41 jackets - I wear a 36. I initially tried a 38 repro, it did fit, but it just didn't "feel" right. I stepped down to a 36 in the repro and found it to feel much better.

Even in the 36, the jacket is a bit long in the waist. Its not street thug long, but it just doesn't feel quite right in comparison to originals. This is just me being anal.

These jackets do have taper to them, which is great for guys who don't have 40 inch chests and 40 inch waists, unlike some other repros. This is a positive. Figure a 4 inch taper minimum.


Color is totally within the range of originals. I like it a lot. Also remember, color is a subjective thing - I wrote a Color Primer to discuss how perceptions of color change based on condition.

Repro on the left, 6 other originals to show color range. Some from virtually new to "salty".




These are screwed up on the 1st gen, but fixed on the 2nd gen. There is a visible top stitch on the repro cuff that was not there from the factory on the originals.

Also of note is the lack of a bartack on the seam.

Adjustment Tabs:

At first, this looked like a goof - the repro tab on the left being larger than the original 36R I was comparing against.

Here's the repro on the far left against the 6 other 41's (one the one immediately next to the repro with the funky repaired cuff is a parsons)

Out of the lot, one of the originals had tabs very close in size to the repro. Also of note is the tab in the far left of the photo, which is very much smaller than any of the other jackets.

Button spacing

The adjustment tab buttons are spaced further apart on the repro than on the originals. This is easy to fix.


Repro left, original right. The backband is significantly smaller and "bi-swing" back details are slightly different. This is consistent across all of my originals, including my parsons.


There are some very minor sewing differences between the original (top) and repro (lower).

Collar tab detail - same discussion as above.


The epaulets on the repro are slightly smaller / shorter than that of the original.


Here's a variety of originals with the repro slid in.


Original of same style

Similarly styled QM tag.




I was a doofenshmirtz and didn't take photos of the repro zipper - but I did take plenty of photos of the originals - which is no help. The zipper in the ATF jacket is marked Talon, silver in color and square in shape. It matches closely some of the originals I have. The bottom stop was modern in style and did not match the originals which were fairly distinctive.

The major flaw on the smaller size Generation 1 ATF jackets was that the manufacturer shortened the zippers based on size of the jacket. So, with a 40 or 42 having a full size zipper, and larger sizes not getting a larger zipper - the maker inexplicably shortened the zippers on 38's and 36's. This leaves a significant gap where there should be zipper and there is not.... It stood out as the only major WTF with the jacket.

This zipper issue has been resolved on the 2nd Gen jackets. Its also something you'd never know if you had the jacket buttoned up, or looked closely when unbuttoned.




Materials are great - both shell and liner
Buttons are great
Construction quality is good
Price is very fair @ $80 (and IN STOCK when they say they are)
Color is great
Zipper is good quality

Top stitching on cuffs and other small sewing differences
Epaulets are slightly too small
Back band is too small
Body is a little longer
Sleeves have been shortened
Zipper was shortened on 36 and 38 size jackets.

Overall, its a good reproduction. The 2nd Generation jackets are truly superior, as the flaws described above have been resolved.

For the price - its a great jacket. For a few dollars more than the Sturm Miltec, and other lesser offerings - it'd be simply cheaping out to go with anything else. The jacket is admittedly not perfect - but it is not embarrassing on the other hand.

If the 2nd Generation jackets had not been made - I most likely would have spent a little time to fix some of the issues with these jackets and got on with things.

These jackets have their place - and are a more affordable option to fit differing levels of detail. I would heartily recommend this jacket from ATF over similarly priced, and some more expensive alternatives.


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