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Advice on repro ANJ4/M444/M445?

daw

Active Member
Bevan, as I mentioned to you, the M444 you sold me is the nicest jacket I've ever beheld. I am used to a slightly looser fit than this; it's a 44, I wear a 46 in my A2 and G1 jackets, and it has an impressive heft and stiffness. Going to take some getting used to, and I'm hoping it will break in and be a little more flexible. I will post some photos soon.

Thanks again, Bevan. I'm not sure but I still see an ANJ-4 in my future, too. When my wife says it's ok...

Dennis
 

daw

Active Member
Guys,

This is my new M444 from RMNZ, thanks Bevan and John for the advice.
I like the fit. I was worried it would be a bit small being a 44; I'm 46L in most things.

This will allow me to hold off on the Aero ANJ4 for for a few months...

Dennis
 

omarco

Member
great fit on the M444, how are you finding the wind flap? it always bugged me a little on mine, it made wearing the jacket unzipped a bit… flappy.
 

Garylafortuna

Active Member
Another one interested to know a little more about peoples experience with Simmons-Bilt jackets, especially military. I've noticed that for their ANJ-4 they offer a choice of
15mm or 25mm sheepskin.
 

daw

Active Member
hey John i meant Dennis's M444 :)
We had our first snow of the season today; to be honest, I haven't yet worn the M444 outside since I got it back in May, so can't pass judgment on the wind flap. Should take it for a test outdoors in the next few days-will report back soon! I have noticed wearing it around the house, trying to break it in, that the arms are pretty stiff. I'm sure that will ease off with some use.

Dennis
 

Tante Mu

New Member
Hello everyone,

I am a newby member and for years have been toying with the idea of getting myself a nice M-444. I missed out on RMcNZ, very much like the look of the Goodwear(s) and from what i have seen here the Whitefeather for the smaller price tag. Which brings me to US Authentic's M-444. It is meantioned here every now adn then, but i have not found a review or pictures. Just based on the images on their website, it appears to not have the shearling extend behind the zipper ( at least in teh collar area), which to me looks like a big flaw in authenticity, also their was such a version of the M-444.


Anyone here have or had a US Authentic M-444 and can clarify this for me? (I did contact them a few years back, but never got a reply.)
And/or anyone who has knowledge on the M-444 repros by the mentioned (or others that I not yet know of) manufacturers above?

Should I have missed a thread in my search that answers my question(s), please forgive me and stear me towards it.

Thank your and best regards, Thies
 
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MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
I had a Willis and Geiger M-444 several years ago, which I believe is the same jacket as the U.S. Authentic. This is the review I wrote after buying it from John Lever here on the forum. Mine had been modified with an Aero repro Talon which eventually packed up and I had to replace the puller. I sold it in the end, it was nice, but the big windflap used to flop outwards when worn unzipped, see pic 2, which looked too ‘mall jacket’ for me. It was by no means a bad jacket though.
Many of you will be familiar with my howls of agony every time somebody posts pics of their new RMNZ or GW M444 (and no doubt soon there will be ELC examples appearing too). I have wanted an M444 for several years, but the higher end repros are stratospherically beyond my budget. The design always seemed to me an excellent compromise between the lighter designs like the B-6, and the heavier ones like the B-3 and M445. When John Lever advertised this W&G M444 I was unable to resist, as many of you will also be familiar with my whimpers of remorse for selling my Aero B-3 a few years ago, but that sadly-missed jacket will be missed no longer since this arrived.
I believe W&G have been swallowed up by another outfit now, the company actually did manufacture jackets for the USN during the War, although the company that made this probably had very little to do with that original company. Nonetheless I think they had a reasonable if not stellar reputation, and I've always remembered the W&G M445 that Allen had made a few years ago, which always looked really nice to me. Never being able to afford an RMNZ or GW, this was about as close as I'm going to get so I went for it. Arrived on Wednesday and I'm delighted with it.
The sheepskin is beautifully soft and luxurious to the touch, and the goatskin facings are way more flexible and less bulky than the horsehide ones on my old B-3. I used to be a big fan of thick, heavy leather, but for some while I've found that thin, tough and flexible wins hands down in the comfort stakes. It's obviously not the last word in accuracy, the shearling is probably too thick for an M444, there's no pen slot under the pocket, and the zip is a 'brass' repro Conmar, but none of these things bother me one bit. The thicker shearling is warmer, the zip is at least not a modern paperclip style like I've seen on some repros, and I've never once used the pen slot on any Navy jacket I've owned. It has USN in yellow under the collar, and the collar has the correct double thickness section at the front, although as others have stated it's damn near impossible to do the zip up all the way, the collar shearling is too thick. I'm fairly unlikely to do it anyway. It has the Rayon 'football' gussets under the arms inside, and the inner storm cuffs, and is really warm without being uncomfortably hot. It's a size 42 and fits me really well with some room for layers underneath. It's also in really nice condition.
It may not have the workmanship or stitch for stitch accuracy of the higher end makers, but it's warm, comfortable and looks the part, and has finally replaced my old B-3. I now have to offload a couple of jackets to pay for it, bit that's the way it goes!




 

Tante Mu

New Member
Thanks MikeyB-17. Interesting. soeither US Authentic has changed the design of their jacket since you had yours (shorte fleece, no overlap behind collar) or they are using outdated pics on theri website.
Your (ex)jacket does look nice from your photos. Although for my (soem time in the future) M-444 I would prefer the shorter fleece. It's the main thing about the "medium weight" jackets like M-444, B-6 etc.
 

Tante Mu

New Member
Buy a new Aero.
That's straight-forward advice, John. ("Pilot" seems to approve, too. )
Thank you, especially since you have personally owned and handled a Whitefeather M-444 .
Just to clarify, "Aero" is Aeroleather in Scotland, right? Didn't know they made a triple-4 and couldn't find one on their website. I will contact them for info.
 

John Lever

Moderator
They don't make an m444. But the short zip version Anj4 with the two buttons is identical to the m445 a. The long zip version is the standard Anj4.
Buy an Aero
 
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