M-51 Fishtail Parka and such

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Fifty150, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. Fifty150

    Fifty150 Practically Family

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    I suppose that other members have a version of this type of jacket. Some can run hundreds of dollars. Or they can be bought for the price of a backroom rub n' tug. Share your thoughts and experiences.

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  2. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    I always wanted one back in Middle school as one kid was a full on mod and so cool with his parka and chromed out Vespa!
    Last year I picked up the Superdry version on sale. It doesn’t have the fur trim on the hood, but I did put on a snoopy patch.
     
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  3. AbbaDatDeHat

    AbbaDatDeHat I'll Lock Up

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    I have one of these. It cost me a visit to cold weather training at Fort Drum in 1974-75. It had the hood with fur, liner.
    I guess i forgot to return it because it’s hanging by the basement door. Lol
    Wear it every year. I always chuckle remembering how many beer cans we Jarheads left in the snow for them to remember our visit.
    Damn good coat!
    B
     
  4. Fifty150

    Fifty150 Practically Family

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    Screenshot_20200314-193522_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20200314-193522_Chrome.jpg Screenshot_20200314-193457_Chrome.jpg




    Interesting. Still in use after Vietnam. What year did the military stop issuing this style? I thought that with the M-65, M-51 was removed from the uniform stock.



    The last I looked, SuperDry has very small sizing. I didn't see anything for a 50" chest.

    What type of fabric does SuperDry use? Is it modern technology waterproof? Does it have a removable or fixed layer of insulation?

    The 1 I saw online looks a little short, compared to others. Is this the same as what you have?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  5. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Alpha did a revival of this parka recently but they seem to have discontinued it. Photos below. Does anyone know of a source for a well-made one that isn't one of the uber-expensive Japanese repros?

    alpha fishtail 2925.1.jpg alpha fishtail 2925.2.jpg alpha fishtail 2925.3.jpg alpha fishtail 2925.4.jpg alpha fishtail 2925.5.jpg alpha fishtail 2925.6.jpg alpha fishtail 2925.7.jpg alpha fishtail 2925.8.jpg
     
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  6. Fifty150

    Fifty150 Practically Family

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    It looks like Alpha has several "fashion" type fishtail garments, but no actual M-51. Some of them actually look like they will be warm. I sort of like this 1. But the price, even on sale, is a little too high.
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  7. Fifty150

    Fifty150 Practically Family

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    The Rothco, perceived as a lower quality, is the least expensive. As with most Rothco, it's not authentic. Close. Effective. It is long, the liner retains body heat, and it's oversized to fit over layers.

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  8. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton Practically Family

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    I believe the UK Mods (1960s), and Mod revival (1980s), made these popular. I'm not sure they were wearing US fishtails though. Whatever jacket it was, it was at least similar. Seems like a lot of fabric flopping around the body, but maybe I'm wrong in that estimation. Longer jackets really aren't my thing though.
     
  9. Héctor Fernández

    Héctor Fernández One Too Many

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    You earned it! A million thumbs up to you!

     
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  10. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    I was one of the 80’s Mod revivalists back in the day and owned an original ‘51 Parka (US Military issue). These days I have a model ‘65 for walking the dog. The unfashionable used to buy copies of the fishtail made by the likes of Millets (a UK camping equipment supplier).
     
  11. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Buzz repros... $$$$$$$$

    buzz fishtail M-51.jpg
    buzz fishtail M-65.jpg
     
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  12. Fifty150

    Fifty150 Practically Family

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    It was 45℉ this morning. I deliberately wore my cheap Rothco with just a t-shirt and Levi's. It was good enough. I was warm.

    I got this years ago, at a local surplus type store. They showed me an Alpha, which was 4X the price. Then the shop owner showed me the Rothco. He said that it wasn't as nice, but the liner will keep you warm, and that in his store, the Made In China stuff was the best seller because of price.

    If I recall, I saw it on a mannequin, and immediately thought that I could wear it on for pier fishing trips and around the campfire. And way back when, it worked great. Perfect top layer on those cold, foggy crab fishing trips. As I was not going to wear an expensive wool overcoat to a hunting trip, or get fish guts and salt water on.

    The Rothco is a single layer of cotton. Imagine a butcher smock with a hood. The liner is just like the M-65 liner, or a poncho liner. Because it is not a nylon/cotton or poly/cotton blend, it's not water resistant. Because it is just cotton, I think it's softer and more comfortable.

    20+ years ago, I recall paying $50. The price has actually gone down, when adjusted for inflation.

    Sorry for the poor quality selfie.
    PSX_20200316_184023.jpg
     
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  13. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    ^ good review, fifty50... sure the Rothco ones are not "accurate" but as long as it functions and is cheap, then hey ho that's fine with me... my days of insisting on historical accuracy and paying $$$$ to get it are long in the past!
     
  14. Fifty150

    Fifty150 Practically Family

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    N

    Nothing wrong with it. That's why people collect and restore cars. As if you really need to spend 6 figures, for 40 HP.

    I am throwing my cell phone away. I'm only sending telegrams to be historically accurate.
     
  15. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Rothco M-51 Parka Olive Green.jpg Rothco M-51 Parka Olive Green Open.jpg rothco-m-51-s1.jpg rothco-m-51-s2.jpg rothco-04-0401.jpg rothco-04-0402.jpg
     
  16. Fifty150

    Fifty150 Practically Family

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    That Japanese advertisement makes the cheap coat look nice. I wonder what they charge for that in Japan.
     
  17. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    Lots of places in the UK are selling M-51 clone parkas to our Mod market. And you can buy originals from some vendors (really not cheap). And if a very wealthy Mod, even an original M-48. Me I’m happy with my M-65 :)
     
  18. Fifty150

    Fifty150 Practically Family

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    When did the US stop using this coat? Unless it's actually issued to a soldier, everything is a clone. Even if manufactured by the original contractor, and made to exact specs, it's not "authentic" if it wasn't actually issued to a soldier.

    Now let's get to the good stuff.


    How well are they made? Is there a liner, or just the shell for kids to look cool wearing it? How about pricing and availability? Is there a brand name label? Do you own it?
     
  19. Doctor Damage

    Doctor Damage My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The original M-51 parkas date from an era from which little or no records survive, much like with nylon flight jackets. Most of what we know has been reconstructed by collectors, etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020

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