90th IDPG Reviews


Buzz Rickson's M1941 Field Jacket

Review Date: 6/1/2012
Author: Josh Kerner


Ignoring the body of the dead german soldier in the foreground, American infantrymen move through the streets of Maizieres Les Metz, France. The town had been used by the Nazis as a stronghold, and were finally driven out by American artillery and infantry.

90th Infantry Division. 30 October.



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.



History Preservation Associates is the American Distributor of Buzz Rickson products. They are currently having a sale on Buzz Rickson M1941 Field Jackets in size 38R and 40R at the price of $200 instead of the standard retail price of $360. I placed my order for the field jacket on Thursday, May 23rd via phone. The jacket arrived Wednesday, May 30th.

About the Review:

I am comparing the Buzz Rickson Reproduction M1941 Field Jacket in size 38R to a original size 38R in my collection for all the proportions except for the sleeves, as the sleeves on the original may have been tampered with. For the other details I will compare it to all the other originals in my collection. That way sizing and pattern is about as apples to apples as I can make it.

The Jackets in the Review(Repro is the one on top):


The Reproduction:

I was really excited to get this field jacket as no one as of yet has created the “perfect” M1941 Field Jacket and I was looking to retire my numerous originals from use. From my own experience with Buzz Rickson Combat Winter “Tanker” Jacket which was pretty much perfect I was looking forward to seeing the same thing with their M1941 Field Jacket, especially since they have a reputation of doing the best reproductions around. The only thing that had driven me away was the price. However with the sale the price had enter sane levels and was priced around the same area as a World War II Impressions M1941 Field Jacket, which is $175 right now.

The Materials felt really good. The outer poplin was the correct weight and had a very similar feel to the more unissued field jackets that I have had. The color of the shell seemed to be well within range of acceptable colors. The lining itself felt really good and the weave matched most of the originals in my collection. The one downside of the lining was the color(I will get more into that as the review goes on). The buttons were the happy dark brown everyone likes that is present on some originals(just not mine).

1). Sleeves:
The sleeves on the reproduction seem to be slightly longer than those on the original but that could be just the fact that the original has been repaired. Unfortunately I do not have an untouched 38R to compare it to when it comes to sleeve length. I will say the sleeve length reminds me of the fit of my original 36L.

Sleeve Length Comparison(Repro on Top):

2). Body: 
The body length of the Original 38R and the Reproduction 38R are identical which is great. The the taper appears to be exactly the same with the shoulders being the same width and the bottom waist opening also being the same size. Overall the fit seems to be identical to my original except for the sleeve length, which may just be the alterations on my original.

Waist Width Comparison(Reproduction underneath):

Shoulder Width Comparison(Reproduction underneath):

Color of Shell:
The color of the shell is completely within range of originals with one of my originals being exactly the same color as the reproduction. I was very happy with the shell and with some use I have a feeling from the exterior the reproduction will be indistinguishable from originals.

Color of Lining:
The lining’s weave and weight was perfect however the color was a bit to mint/forest green for my tastes. It is a shade of green or two outside the greenest field jacket linings that I have . It will probably get better with use as the nap wears away but it is still worth mentioning.

Shell and Lining Comparison(Repro is the one on the bottom):

Linings that are closest(Repro is the one on the bottom):

The cuffs are constructed like originals with the correct bartack and everything. The one thing that is iffy is the distance between the bartack and the cuff adjustment may be a little further than that on originals but that may be me just being anal.

Cuff Construction Comparison:

Adjustment Tabs:
The reproduction adjustment tabs are the same size as the original for both the cuff and the waist.

Cuff Tab Comparison(Repro on the Right):

Waist Tab Comparison(Repro on the Right):

Button Spacing:
Button Spacing appears to be good with buttons reproduction spacing being about the same as the spacing for the buttons that are still present on the original.

Backband size is good compare to my originals and the bi-swing appears to constructed the same way as my originals.

Backband Comparison(Repro on the right):

The collar on my original and my reproduction are sewn and constructed the same way. The collar tabs are even sewn in virtually the same position.

Collar Comparison(Repro on top):

Collar and Collar Tab Comparison(Repro on the Right):

The epaulets are slightly longer on my reproduction than they are on the original.

Epaulets Comparison(Repro on the Left):



Originals of Same Style:

Reproduction QM Tag:

Farby Washing instructions:

Buzz Rickson Label/Exterior Tag:

The zipper ends at the same level as the top top button which is only true for 1 of my original field jackets. All the others end just above the top button. The zipper is a NOS Conmar Conmatic Brass Zipper, which is a feature none of my original M1941 Field Jackets have(they all have Silver Talon Zippers) but a friend of mine has a Brass Conmar Zipper on his original M1941 Field Jacket meaning that it is within the realm of possibility.

Reproduction Zipper:

Original Zippers:

The material is fantastic, with both the shell and lining material having a great weight and weave
Buttons are great
Construction Quality is good
Shell color is fantastic
Cut and sizing is dead on
Cuffs are constructed correctly
Backband is the correct size
Authentic looking Size and QM tag
The Zipper is a NOS Conmar Conmatic Zipper, which though not the most common zipper on M1941 Field Jackets, is kind of cool.

The lining color may be a hair off
Epaulets a hair too long
The distance between the bartack and the adjustment may be too far
The uber farby washing instructions tag
The zipper may be hair short
The Price(both one sale and at full retail price)

Overall this is a really great reproduction field jacket that seems to have nailed most of the details of the M1941 Field Jacket. Most of the "Cons" are just the various details being seemingly a couple of CMs off and could be well within contractor variation and me just being anal. There is not a lot could one could change to correct those changes and time and money spent doing so would not be worth it. The other problem of the farby washing instructions tag is easily removed(it took all of about 30 seconds to remove it) but was still a disappointment and could have been handled better. The lining color is the last sticking point and that is probably just me being anal again and it could be within contractor variation. It is still worth mentioning that it seems to be a shade of forest green/mint green outside the variations of linings that I have seen. I will be interested to see what happens to the color as it ages with use.

At full retail price I would not recommend this jacket and would recommend somebody go with either a 2nd Generation ATF M1941 Field Jacket or a World War II Impressions M1941 Field Jacket as I do not see at least $185 of extra value/authenticity in this jacket. I would however recommend getting this jacket if you can get it on sale or if you could get it cheap on eBay or used off a forum.

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