Jacket Evaluation: Real McCoy's (New Zealand) M-422A(Filed: 25 March 2000)
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Maker: Real McCoy's (New Zealand)
Model: Real McCoy's Label M-422A, goatskin
Size: 46 Regular, sleeves shortened by 2.5 inches from original cut
Date of manufacture: July 1998
Date of evaluation: 25 March 2000
Introductory notesMy experience with original M-422A jackets is very limited and so this evaluation will be somewhat less detailed than an A-2 evaluation. Photos in the book "Suit Up! The Flight Jacket" were used for reference.
This particular jacket is nearly two years old but has not been worn and is in as-new condition.
Fit/cut/proportionThe sizing on this jacket is such that the marked size 46 fits me well across the shoulders with the shoulder seams squared up at the edges of my shoulders. The jacket is roomy under the arms and across the chest and then tapers trimly to the waist. For reference, my suit jacket size is 42 regular. In a way it is difficult to say how good a fit this is due to how stiff the leather is. If it were softer it might well drape differently and make for a different fit, perhaps a bit too big for me.
The sleeves as originally cut with this size 46 were much too long such that the ends of the knits came down to the middle knuckles on my fingers. I had to send the jacket back for shorter sleeves and, despite my requesting otherwise, the sleeves on the jacket I got back were now not of the proper taper even though they were of the proper length. That is, the sleeve diameter where the knit cuff attaches is a bit too large. I would also say that the sleeves overall are very full in diameter.
Hide[NOTE: More so than any other component of a leather jacket, 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.]
The goatskin of the McCoy's M-422A shows a lot of pebbled grain structure with variation in grain size and depth throughout the jacket. I don't know what tanning process was used. While the grain does show very well and is reminiscent of original WWII examples, the finish is such that the fine and sharp definition typical of WWII period goatskin grain is not quite evident. Photos below will illustrate the grain.
The hide itself is unusually thick and heavy and stiff. While this may well be an appealing quality to some, I personally prefer a lighter weight and more supple hide than this. I also consider this example to be inauthentic to original WWII period goatskin which was generally thinner. This jacket will require a lot of wear to break in.
The color of the hide is proper for the M-422A, being a medium dark brown with some subtle russet tones and distinct from the very dark 55J14 G-1 spec jackets emerging in the late 1940's.
LiningThe lining is rayon satin in a rusty, almost salmon color very comparable to original jackets. As required, the lining is constructed much like the jacket shell with individual panels and underarm gussets.
KnitsThe knits are a dark brown of the correct weave for the cuffs and the waist. The waist knit is the correct bi-directional rib-rack weave and is a single layer of material unlike the A-2 waist knit which is folded over to create a double layer.
ZipperThe zipper appears to be a nickel Talon reproduction. The puller and slider box appear to be a bit more matte in finish compared to the shiny originals. The stopper box, in a nice touch, is the early version with Talon marking and the angular lines pattern.
Buttons and SnapsButtons for the outside pockets and the collar fastener are the correct brown plastic and there is a single large ring style snap to secure the inside map pocket as on originals.
StitchingThe thread is a medium brown shade and is stitched at eight stitches per inch.
Top stitching placement from seamThese Navy jackets characteristically have a quarter-inch spacing between the seams and the top-stitching, and this feature is properly accounted for.
CollarThe collar is a relatively light brown mouton backed by goatskin with a silver USN stenciled on the right rear side of the collar. A rectangular leather throat fastener is attached to the left rear side of the collar. All of these details are consistent with original M-422A jackets, although some variations did exist among those originals.
Wind flapThe wind flap extending from the right side of the zipper is proper and does not have a perforated USN as these did not appear until the 7823 specifications many years after WWII.
SleevesThe sleeves are very roomy and seem overly so. Another observation is that the inside sleeve seam (the one which is not top-stitched) tends to roll inward and not lie flat. This appears to be due the seam allowance inside being left free and not glued down. I was told that this was as per originals, but it looks awkward.
PocketsThe outside pockets are authentic to originals in shape including the scalloped pocket flaps and in stitching detail. The outer pockets are lined with brown cotton material of a plain weave. The inside map pocket is lined with a heavy off-white cotton canvas material.
The outer pockets are done in the style of the original maker Gordon & Ferguson in that the left pocket is wider than the right to accommodate the pencil slot extension.
The size of the outer pockets, however, seem much too big by possibly an inch in each dimension. Perhaps they were sized to be proportional to the jacket itself, but they look and feel awkward at this size and all the extra leather adds to the stiffness of the jacket.
Hanger loopA rectangular leather hanger loop is attached by box-stitching.
JACKETS, INTERMEDIATE BUAERO. - U.S. NAVY SPECIFICATION M-422A REAL McCOY MFG. CO. CONTRACT NO MXs 622Compared to original labels, this one appears to be modeled after the Gordon&Ferguson version and is a very good copy. The lettering is correctly of golden threads woven into a black panel. The size tab is also authentically represented with red numerals within a circle woven into a white panel.
Summary and overall impressionThe construction quality of the McCoy's M-422A is very high and the overall authenticity to originals is very good. I remain less enthusiastic, however, about the heft of the hide whichs seems a bit exaggerated. The proportions of the cut of the jacket with respect to overall fit, sleeve width and length, and pocket size were less than ideal for me and I usually don't have problems with fit nor do I generally require any alterations.
For more informationSee the Real McCoy's New Zealand Web site at www.realmccoys.co.nz
Copyright © 2000 Marc D. Weinshenker. All rights reserved.