Jacket Evaluation: Real McCoy's Dubow 27798 A-2(Filed: 17 January 2002)
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Maker: The Real McCoy's (New Zealand)
Model: Reproduction Dubow W535 A.C. 27798 A-2, russet brown horsehide
Size: 44 regular (with sleeves shortened on order)
Date of manufacture: July 2000
Date of evaluation: January 2002
Fit/cut/proportionThis A-2 reproduction from Real McCoy's is constructed with a pattern and proportions consistent with original wartime A-2 jackets, and the overall look of this jacket when worn is also consistent with original jackets.
For fit reference, I am 5'10", 185 lbs, wear a size 42 suit jacket off the rack, and take a 34" shirt sleeve. This size 44 Regular jacket is a fairly close fit for me when wearing an average weight shirt underneath. It also feels like there is only little room for layering, but the heft of the leather may be contributing to this impression. The shoulder seams square up nicely at the edges of my shoulders.
The sleeve length, which was shortened by about 1.5 inches by the owner is reasonably proportional for the jacket as a whole, with the leather coming down to just above the break in my wrist. As I stand with my arms at my side the knit cuffs are compressed as much as half way up into the sleeve (some people refer to this as "tunneling"). So it seems clear that the standard sleeve length would have been much too long for me.
Hide[NOTE: More so than any other component of an A-2, the hide may vary from jacket to jacket and so not all of the observations from this one example will necessarily be consistent with other individual examples, nor will they be representative of the effects of time and wear.]
I am not certain of the tanning process used for this hide, but it was probably chrome. The finish is sprayed and is a relatively light russet brown with a varying amount of red tone seen depending upon the light. A very fine grain pattern, primarily from follicles, is consistent over the surface of the jacket, with the follicles just visible under the layer of finish color. There are some shallow wrinkles seen occasionally over the jacket to break up the smooth exterior. While this jacket is about a year and a half old, the owner reports that he has not worn the jacket enough to effect much breaking in.
The light shade of russet brown is too light to be typical for jackets of this contract, but there may be original examples of similar tone.
The thickness of the hide is consistent with original jackets, while perhaps being a bit on the heavy side. An initial sense of the jacket was that it was very soft and pliable, more so than other McCoy's examples, but when put on and worn it does feel tough and resistant, and begging for some breaking in.
LiningThe color, weight, weave, and feel of the lining is very authentic to originals, though the lining of some examples of this contract appear to be more brown and less reddish.
KnitsThe knits overall are similar to originals, but feel a bit heavier in weight and thickness.
ZipperThe zipper is a brass Conmar, quite apparently a reproduction, but not of the style as would be seen on an WWII A-2. I'm not sure what was standard or typical for this Dubow contract, but some photo examples show Crown zips. Still, Conmar zips would have been of the long puller style with the oval shaped bottom.
Correct triangular reinforcement stitching is found at the bottom of each side of the zipper, but they are often larger on originals.
SnapsThe stud snaps are excellent and are the ones used on other jackets by McCoy's. The presence of the dimple in the pocket studs is a detail not seen from other makers. The back of the snaps in the pocket are marked United Carr. The four sections of the female side of the collar snaps are marked with U, C, F, and C, presumably for United Carr Fastener Corp. These markings are consistent with originals.
Throat hookThe throat hook is a fine reproduction and has a couple of particular details of note. The loop half on the right has a little bump in the center, consistent with many original A-2's. Additionally, the rivets for each component of the hook are held in place with a two-holed plate rather than the alternative of separate rivets. A photo survey of Dubow 27798 jackets did not indicate the use of either of these details, but it is possible that some originals did have them.
StitchingThe thread used is a light brown color. Photo examples of many Dubow jackets of this contract, though, indicate a lighter khaki shade. Stitch counts measure out to eight per inch.
Top stitching placement from seamThe top stitching placement, at one-eighth inch from the seam, is consistent with originals.
CollarThe collar is a simple attachment and is long and pointed in the Dubow style. At the back of the collar, the width is 3-3/16 inches. The points measure out at 3-9/16 inches, making an angle of about 60 degrees. There is a small amount of curvature on the outside edge of the collar as it approaches the point. Overall, this is a very good copy of the Dubow collar shape, though the points themselves could be a just bit more pointed.
EpauletsThe epaulets are also of the Dubow style for this contract with the large elongated box stitching and very little narrowing of the width toward the collar attachment.
The twin stitch lines running on each side of the epaulet are spaced by 3/16 inch.
Wind flapThe width of the wind flap varies from 1-3/8 to 1-7/16 inches.
SleevesThe sleeves seem a little full but still appear consistent in shape with originals. As mentioned above, the sleeves were shortened by about 1.5 inches on order. This implies that the standard length would be a bit long for the rest of the jacket, and probably too long for those without long arms. The shortening also seems to have left the sleeves with less taper to the cuff than they would have had, so the cuffs are a bit more open and stretched out at their attachment.
PocketsThe pockets are proper in stitching, placement, and pattern. The pocket flap shape is quite representative of Dubow, having a moderately pronounced center point.
Hanger loopThe hanger loop is the typical box-stitched style.
TYPE A-2 DRAWING No. 30-1415 ORDER No. W 535 A.C. 27798 J.A. DUBOW MFG. CO. CHICAGO, ILL. PROPERTY AIR FORCE U.S. ARMY 44This is an excellent label with lettering size and style virtually identical to originals. The jacket size number is woven into the main label, as is correct for the label of this contract. There is no separate size tab. The text is a copper colored thread woven into a black panel, and there is no woven border around the outside, correct for this contract. The shade of the text threads may be a bit dark, but it's very close to originals.
Pocket labelsCentered under the left pocket flap is a woven label reading, "Reproduced by The Real McCoy's."
Inspector stampThere is an inspector stamp on the lining near the label. Along with the AN is the inspector number M-0622. I've never seen an original of this format, but I suppose it's possible. The diameter of the circle of this stamp is the proper 5/8 inch.
Insignia stamp/transferNo AAF insignia stamps or transfers exist on this example.
ConclusionThe quality of this Dubow reproduction is consistent with the reputation of Real McCoy's and exhibits excellent workmanship and a very high degree of authenticity. There are some minor exceptions noted and also a glaring one with the zipper, although that may have been temporary as judged by the McCoy's catalog. Still, this is a fine effort to carry on the Dubow legacy and it possesses the necessary characteristics to make it unmistakably a Dubow A-2.
For more informationSee the Real McCoy's New Zealand Web site at www.realmccoys.co.nz
Copyright © 2002 Marc D. Weinshenker. All rights reserved.