FANTASTIC Vintage 1930s/1940s ShootingJacket by 10-X MFG. Co., Des Moines, Iowa.
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This is absolutely wonderful! dating from the late 1930s or early 1940s this wonderful shooting jacket was made by 10-X MFG. Co. in Des Moines, Iowa--at the time THE manufacturer of professional-grade shooting jackets.
Sold as "The Rifleman's Jacket" this is simply packed with features, the most noticeable of which are the very thick leather shooting pads on the shoulder and on both sleevesand the deliberate curve of the sleeves. The pads are *extremely* thick, and designed to provide both protection from recoil and to cushion the wearer in extended bouts of shooting. These are clearly designed for professional marksmen. The first clue to this is simply their thickness; these are not the soft, thin, quilted "shooting pads" that one often sees on contemporary shooting clothing; these are THICK, soft, pads of leather designed to absorb recoil with the minimum effect on the shooter's aim. The second clue is their location on the garment. The shoulder pad is unremarkable... But the sleeve pads will motivate a second or third look even from the casual observer. The pad on the right-hand sleeve is large, and designed to protect the elbow of a prone rifleman while at rest. The lower pad on the left-hand sleeve is designed for elbow protection; the upper wraps around the bicep, both to cushion while shooting and to provide cushioning while at rest no matter what one's preferred resting pose was while prone. All of the pads are in excellent condition, although they do bear some discoloration from use, as shown.
The second noticeable feature of this jacket is the "banana" curve of the sleeves. These are cut so that they follow the natural contours of the arms while cradling a longgun at rest, or holding it up to shoot, giving them a distinctively "banana"-like curve. Again, this is a jacket for professional marksmen!
This jacket has several other features that set it apart from other, less prestigious garments. It has--of course--an action back for ease of movement while shooting--but unlike many action back jackets this also has an interior elasticated strap that's designed to keep the jackets shape and prevent it from bellowing in field condition while the back is extended, no matter what the wind conditions. This jacket also has a full-length back game pouch, and a rear half-belt; it has two deep front pockets that are jetted for ease of access, and a flapped button-down small breast pocket for spare shells. It fastens with five oversized front buttons, all of which are present and still tightly attached.
This jacket is cut from Style 973 Sanfordized Army Cloth--a lightweight yet incredibly durable and sturdy cotton duck. It carries a set of lovely vintage labels on the interior testifying to its origins and the cloth used!
This jacket also features a V-collar, and the sleeve cuffs are hacking cuffs--angled to minimize interference with gun use. These features--and contemporary adverts--indicate that this jacket was intended to be worn as a final protective layer of clothing over one's sweater or warm topcoat. This accounts for the relative lack of protection that it would afford in the neck area, its lack of a lining, and the shortness of the sleeves--a deliberate feature designed to minimize the chance of this garment's cuffs layering awkwardly over those of the warm layer below.
I mentioned above that this jacket was a professional grade jacket... which is why many surviving examples are festooned with award patches from shooting competitions. While this adds to their interest as artifacts it also cuts down on their ease of wearability. This version, however, has no patches attached. It also has all of its original stitching tight and intact, and while it does have some surface dirt and some discoloration to the leatherwork commensurate with field use this is by no means objectionable, or in need of a clean. It is, after all, a professional grade working garment!
As such, this is in Very Good condition.,,, and a wonderfully classic and useful piece of Americana! As such, this is a bargain at just $85 > 49, or offer, boxed, shipped and insured in the USA.
Tagged 44, this is closer to a contemporary 38. It measures:
Chest: 19 1/2
Sleeve: 25 1/2 (measured around the curve, so this is longer than they would be when worn)