Scored an ELC B-3 .50Cal

adfrost

Well-Known Member
I ran across this on eBay last week second-hand, but basically brand new, and snapped it up. It's a size 48, and I'm not sure if Eastmans runs big, or B-3s run big, but now that I have it, I probably would've been better served by a 46 (much to my surprise/dismay). It's pretty roomy. The quality difference between this and my Aero B-6 is kind of shocking. The B-6 is a great jacket, and has served me well. Its not poorly-constructed by any means. But this thing is an Absolute Unit and is built like a tank. It takes some effort to move in, and I can tell it would take many years to break in. Compared to the Aero's soft, supple, golden-cream shearling, this is tough, grainy, and more of a coffee color. I'll get some comparison photos tomorrow during the day with better light.


Unzipped Front
by Aaron Frost, on Flickr


Zipped Front
by Aaron Frost, on Flickr


Zipped Side
by Aaron Frost, on Flickr
 

adfrost

Well-Known Member
Beautiful jacket... Im a big fan Eastman jackets.. this one does look a size too big though.. no where near unwearable but roomy..
I can see why they charge just under $1,700 for these from the factory.

That’s an outstanding jacket and while it’s a tad on the large side it still looks good on you and don’t forget the fit on those jackets was all over the place in WWII . Point being is I wouldn’t be concerned about the size at all. Wear it and enjoy it.
As far as sizing, my Size 50 Aero B-6 has a pit-to-pit of 25" and the measurement on this Size 48 is 26 1/4". Perhaps the difference is to account for the weight of the shearling? The kicker is, I'd be in the market for a smaller B-6 as well, and there is a Size 48 available, but based on this, I think I'm going to pass on that, as it would probably fix about the same as my Aero.

You have a .50cal B-3 as well, don't you?
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
I can see why they charge just under $1,700 for these from the factory.



As far as sizing, my Size 50 Aero B-6 has a pit-to-pit of 25" and the measurement on this Size 48 is 26 1/4". Perhaps the difference is to account for the weight of the shearling? The kicker is, I'd be in the market for a smaller B-6 as well, and there is a Size 48 available, but based on this, I think I'm going to pass on that, as it would probably fix about the same as my Aero.

You have a .50cal B-3 as well, don't you?
ELC uses the .50 Cal designation and the “Time Worn” finish to mean pretty much the same thing . I think they use “time worn” for the Perry Mixed Batch which is the one I have .
“ Time Worn “ finish . It’s just another way of saying that they prematurely aged the jacket. I had a .50 Cal ELC A2 a while back and I liked it and I think you’ll like this one as well. It looks good on you
 

adfrost

Well-Known Member
Comparison of the Aero B-6 sheepskin color (plus cat for further comparison :D)


Aero B6 Comparison
by Aaron Frost, on Flickr

And some pics of the lovely mismatched grain, especially on the back panels:


Back
by Aaron Frost, on Flickr


Back Grain Bottom
by Aaron Frost, on Flickr

The one thing I can say I'm really not impressed with materials & construction wise is the Crown zip. I get that it's period-accurate but frankly, it's junk. It rarely zip smoothly; usually snagging over & over again. And a majority of the time, I can't get it seperated at the bottom without literally spending minutes dicking around with it. Guaranteed this will need some kind of repair work in the future. *thumbs down* I already have a leather pull on the way from MASH for it, so hopefully that will help a bit.


Zipper
by Aaron Frost, on Flickr
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
I have to say, to my eye it’s too big. I love B-3’s, have one myself, but IMHO they have to fit right, and that one doesn’t, beautiful jacket though it is. I don’t subscribe to the idea that it’s OK to wear jackets oversized. A bit of room is good, some wore an A-2 under them, but there’s a limit. Not the first time I’ve heard complaints about ELC’s repro Crowns. It’s a shame because they look lovely-that one looks all wavy when unzipped, which makes me wonder if it was put in right.
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Beautiful jacket !
It does looks a tad long in the sleeves but that will lessen as you break in the horsehide reinforcing panels on the sleeves.
The collar will settle too with wear.
I don’t think you will see much difference in what you could sell it for in its’ current condition compared to more broken in so i would advise keeping it, wearing it as much as you can and spending your evenings manipulating the leather whilst watching tv to soften the hides. Maybe even a little warm water on the sleeve HH the wearing to get those creases going.
Dave
 
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Art

Well-Known Member
Love the 60cal I wasn’t aware they made em size 60 ... is it the one with the parachute built in
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Yank the waist straps in and just wear the hell out of it as much as possible, inside, outside and in all conditions during the winter. It will break in and loose that boxy look. Once B-3 wearing weather is over you can see how it looks and then decide and take it from there.
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
originals were often worn "big", so as to accommodate a full uniform, and flight gear....as per pix of wwll airmen. with a roll neck [turtle neck] sweater worn underneath you will be able to have the go to jacket for the harshest or the harshest winter weather. my personal preference is to go down a size with the elc b-3s and wear them with only a button up shirt, or very thin sweater. thus a size 40 is fine for me, where as a 42 just feels to bulky to wear without bumping into this that and everything else, and not cinching up tight enough to prevent cold air riding up my back. also, it seems that the general consensus is that the japanese,, and elc crown zippers are a pita. however, i have found that with time and usage they "loosen up". that is to say, that the snags when zipped up and down, and the starter box sticking go away over time. btw, although gary has said that all of the elc b-3s are made with the same sizing patterns, i have found that there is a slight size difference between say a "house" [larger] b-3 and the rough wear of perry.
 

mulceber

Well-Known Member
My take is that it does look a bit big, but for a B-3 that isn’t a bad thing. The pilots who wore them were layered up with all their gear, plus possibly an A-2 underneath it, so they absolutely were wearing them large. If the fit bothers you, there’s nothing wrong with trading down, but I’d just layer a thick sweater underneath and enjoy the hell out of it.

Plus, since you have an Aero B-6, now you have jackets for different levels of layering.
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Well Ad’, you asked for opinions and have received plenty.
Of course none are relevant and none should make you change your opinion.
If someone comes up to you in the street, taps you on the shoulder and says “your jacket is too big/small” , give’em a slap. We are too few in number that we should be running about disagreeing with each other ;)
 

adfrost

Well-Known Member
Maybe consider a downward 'swap' here or on TFL? If you are happy don't bother. Get Bronson C-2 under it?
I’d be all about that if there were one to swap!

Was that on EBay UK ?
Nope, this guy was in California. Kind of surprised I didn’t see it posted here. And I don‘t/didn’t have Enough posts to share it in the eBay forum.

Well Ad’, you asked for opinions and have received plenty.
Of course none are relevant and none should make you change your opinion.
If someone comes up to you in the street, taps you on the shoulder and says “your jacket is too big/small” , give’em a slap. We are too few in number that we should be running about disagreeing with each other ;)
No one has been particularly negative or gotten personal, so I welcome the feedback. After wearing it around yesterday, I’m of the opinion that it’s too large as well. Seeing the asking price, I got an itchy trigger finger and snapped it up. Had I discovered this size chart before hand, I probably would not have done so. I didn’t expect a size 48 Eastman to actually be *larger* than an Aero 50, which is already larger than I’d prefer at my current weight (I’m on the look out for a smaller one, actually). Oh well...it’s a nice jacket and I’m sure I could probably recoup my costs. Problem is, I can’t see getting another one, sized correctly, at the price I paid! Between the Aero M-442a and now this, my eBay luck has not been good in regards to fit.

I’m curious for those who would know, it is typical for the arms on the B-3 to be that difficult to move in, or is that a function of the shearling & HH Eastman uses on the 50Cal line? The Aero shearling was supplemfrom day 1. Would their regular Werber contract jacket be more mobile? I don’t know that I’d want to pay full price for a new-from-factory 50Cal, but maybe the Werber...
 
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