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Seeking input on quality of beaver hats


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As an introduction, I've only been shooting for about 3 years, and my first hat is about worn-out.  It was an inexpensive hat, so I probably got my money's worth.

Now I am looking at D Bar J hats, and I wanted to ask - what is everyone's opinion of "x times" beaver hats?  As advertised, there is 10x, 20x 50x and 100x - does anyone have experience comparing them?  And I would appreciate your comments regarding "wear-n-tear" and "durability" more than just fashion. 

If a cheap hat is $100 and lasts 3 years, then I can have 21 years worth of hats ($700 = 7 new hats x  3 three years each)  for the price of a 50x BOP.

Thanks in advance,

Edited by T-Square
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been wearin the same hat over 15 years , it was a cheaper stetson from a thrift store , no idea of "Xs" but it fit so ..............

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Mine is a 4X Resistol brand and has held up for over 9 years and still looks like I never wear it. (not the one in my avitar) I got mine from Good-Will on-line!  I've gotten the impression that X rating varies considerably by manufacture.

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If you're considering a D Bar J hat, you're considering one of the best.

 

My best advice is to call David and talk to him.  There is not an industry standard, or else you probably wouldn't see straw hats with an X rating or more than 100X.

 

With David's hats specifically, the higher the X the more beaver.  The more beaver, the more expensive and theoretically the higher the quality.

 

A 100X is pure beaver.

 

Have you taken a look at his Crappy Cowboy Hats?  Most observers will never see the issue David does.  I have a 100X crappy cowboy hat that I bought at Border Town a couple years ago for considerably less than $700.  That said, I also have a 100X I bought just a few years ago for a little less than $700.  I also have either a 20X or a 50X that I bought from him - I can't tell the difference by casual observation or feel.

 

David's hats will stand up to the wind, rain and sun and he'll stand behind them.

 

Again, I recommend you call the shop and talk to him.  Tell him what your interested in and what you're looking to spend. Ask him about the different ratings.

 

You could also spend a bit of time watching his videos if you weren't aware of them.

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Where the money matters is the day you end up shooting in the rain. the $100 hat will loose its shaped and fall apart. The high quality beaver felt hats will stand up to being wet all day and retain their shape.

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The Resistol Hat company is just up the road a piece from me...or was. One time, I was in there, and asked them about "X's", and quality, and things like that.

They told me that each hat company, if they make the product, many times have their own idea of what an "X" stands for, and that some that tout, say a "10X" hat, might not be but a "5X" at another location. 

So...it just may depend on where you go, and who you talk to.  

They said the best way is to look at the product, first hand, and ask anyone you know about how they like the quality.

100% beaver hats, can, and do, vary in price, from one maker to another. 

Many make a "fur-felt" hat, and some also make one out of just "felt". The fur-felt ones can vary in "X" quality a great deal. They have rabbit fur, or some other critter's fur in there. Some have a percentage of beaver in them, mixed with other things. 

Bottom line, there is no set overall standard to go by. One makers "X" quality that they list, won't necessarily match another makers "X" quality. 

If you can, go to a place, and look, and handle them yourself. They should not be as stiff as a poker, or limber as a wet dish-rag. Avoid both extremes. 

Check with friends, or internet opinion sites. S.A.S.S. is a good place to start. Many Pards on here, have tons of experience in buying all kinds of things, and have some great recommendations, based on their own personal experiences. Most Pards here want to help you avoid any mistakes they made, or mistakes they have seen others make.  

 

W.K. 

 

Edited by Waxahachie Kid #17017 L
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I’ve got quite a few D-J hats and the last one that he made for me was 100x  pure beaver and I got it for 50% off during the covid-19 sale. He may still have that going. He had the beaded hat band laying around and he installed it and gave it to me at no charge. He’s a great guy to do business with.

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@Yul Lose you ought to get a pic of you in that hat and use it for your avatar!

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The number of Xs has meaning only within a given brand - there is no industry standard.  If you want top quality, get 100% Beaver felt.  Next would be a blend of beaver and rabbit.  Bottom of the pot is wool.  In general, anything a beaver can stand up to, your beaver felt hat can - wind, rain, sleet, or snow - bullet holes, not so much.....

 

Oh, D Bar J is a great outfit and makes a fine hat!

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Ok the number of XXX's is just a number, means nothing.   Most beaver hat fur is the big water rat from SA.  Most of the hat makers buy felt from the same place.  Very few felt makers any more.  The different prices is the overhead cost.  How much time the maker puts into making and finishing the hat and cost of the shop and equipment.  Stetson hats have a name they use i.e.  Stetson EL AMO 100X $1605.00.  Name and time.  I bought a 100 % Colorado Mountain Hats cowboy hat about 17 years ago to shot SASS black powder.  I have wore it when we had a rain storm that droped 2" in an hour with it keep it's shape, the rabbet fur did not.  I used it to put my 51 Colt Navies under to load in the down pour, they both shot with out one snap.  The hat stayed dry inside so I will buy the best beaver hat I can as it is worth the money to me.  YMMV

 

 

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T Square

Make the trip to Indiana this June for EOT. Dave will be there and maybe a few other hat makers. You will be able to try them on.

I have a couple of hats from Dave and they are quality made. Enjoy doing business with him.

Besides you can shoot 5hose fancy Rugers at EOT.

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Good advice here T-Square.

 

I bought a 5X Stetson back in 1992 when I was living in Arizona.  I wore it when I started SASS in 2011 and it was in great shape, but hadn't been worn much.  About 5 or 6 years ago we had a gully washer at Doc Holidays and the Stetson collapsed on me.  I resolved to get a better hat and got one from Knutsen. 

 

It's a pretty good hat, but I won't know if it was worth it until I either get caught in another downpour or another 20 years goes by, whichever comes first.

 

The next cowboy hat I buy will be 100% beaver.

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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I worked outdoors for many years and wore out several cheap felt crusher hats. I would spray them heavily with Scotchguard when new and regularly thereafter. It did help as most were wrecked in fights.

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Colorado Mountain Hat company has done good by me.   Bought a hat from them

at EOT in 2009.   Paid about $375 or $400.  Still looks beautiful after all these years.

Been through many rain storms and holds it shape still.  

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First I'll say we enjoyed shooting with you at Dark Day. You're a snappy dresser and deserve a fine hat. And yes you shoot real purty guns. Lots of great advice given so far.  Between the two of us we have custom hats from several makers. We each have one from D Bar J. It would be hard to get finer quality and Dave is a hoot to work with. My regular hat was my original that I bought in 2011 when we started this game. It is from Knudsen Hats. Great hatmaker and has won many people's choice awards. Mine started out as a " high derby" patterned after Emilio Estavez's hat he wore in Young Guns. At the time I was not about to spend $300 or more on a hat because I didn't know how offer I would be wearing it. I opted for his cheaper line of wool felt hats. It has been a great hat and after being worn at 30+ matches a year and rained on many times, it has evolved by itself to the distinctive shape it is today. People know who I am from a distance. One local club member calls it "that chamber pot on your head". I also own a good Tm Mix Stetson, a hat styled like Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider from Tonto Rim and several top hats for "Sunday go to meetin". Kay has several from Buckaroo Hatters in Tennessee. Quality hat and good prices. You might want to check him out. He'll make whatever you want and goes out of his way to work with you. Great experience dealing with him. 

Edited by Sixgun Seamus
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29 minutes ago, Sixgun Seamus said:

Kay has several from Buckaroo Hatters in Tennessee. Quality hat and good prices. You might want to check him out. He'll make whatever you want and goes out of his way to work with you. Great experience dealing with him. 

My everyday hat is also the first quality hat that I bought that didn't say Stetson, Resistol or Bailey - I bought a 100X from Buckaroo Hatters.  Wife and I drove up to Memphis on a Saturday and got a tour of the shop.

 

Our first D Bar J hats were bought pretty much the same, though.  We were in Las Vegas and called David up to see if he was there on a holiday (he was) so we drove over, got a tour, got our heads measured and ordered two hats.

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I would also like to mention Law Dog Hat Company here in Billings Montana.....Randy has been a big supporter of SASS locally and does exquisite work.

Look him up.....

 

Bugler

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16 hours ago, DeaconKC said:

I worked outdoors for many years and wore out several cheap felt crusher hats. I would spray them heavily with Scotchguard when new and regularly thereafter. It did help as most were wrecked in fights.

I never would have guessed you'd been in multiple fights. :o ;)

 

:wub: David, Janet, and especially my red hat. I have other D Bar J hats; but, I wear that one the most. 

 

After ruining one of Hubby's hats in the rain, I wear a cheap crushable hat in the rain. When I went to Stampede, I had a string put on it.

 

PS my avatar hat has been in several rainstorms. It's covered straw.

Edited by Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217
PS & added words, "guessed you'd"
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5 minutes ago, Allie Mo, SASS No. 25217 said:

I never would have been in multiple fights. :o ;)

 

:wub: David, Janet, and especially my red hat. I have other D Bar J hats; but, I wear that one the most. 

 

After ruining one of Hubby's hats in the rain, I wear a cheap crushable hat in the rain. When I went to Stampede, I had a string put on it.

 

PS my avatar hat has been in several rainstorms. It's covered straw.

I was a Field Parole Agent on a High Risk Unit for 13 years, some folks just don't want to play nice...

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D-J is a great maker!  A great maker will tell you exactly what they are rating.  Another maker may use different felt ratings, but will always tell you what you are getting.  Here is a link to a maker's ratings here in Texas:   http://www.mikescustomhatters.com/index.php/getting-started/felt-quality/   

As you can see, his 50X is 100% Beaver and explains the difference in HIS 50X and 100X...  

 

Edited by Panhandle Will, SASS #49418
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On 2/7/2021 at 8:42 PM, Chief Rick said:

Have you taken a look at his Crappy Cowboy Hats?  Most observers will never see the issue David does.

 

Thanks for this link, I checked the site yesterday and after e-mailing with David about the right size I just ordered one :)

I chose a 100X (100% beaver) cavalry shape in a nice "sahara" color. The hat has a noticable cut on the top that had to be fixed with a few stitches, so it will perfectly match my face :blush:

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2 hours ago, Equanimous Phil said:

 

Thanks for this link, I checked the site yesterday and after e-mailing with David about the right size I just ordered one :)

I chose a 100X (100% beaver) cavalry shape in a nice "sahara" color. The hat has a noticable cut on the top that had to be fixed with a few stitches, so it will perfectly match my face :blush:

I wish someone would buy one of the two  7 1/4 Cattleman's he has - it's taking all the will-power I have to not get the darker one.  I don't have a Cattleman crease.  

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Knudsen make s great hats! Bought one from their store when I was out there. Nice folks.

I don't wear mine a lot as being in Georgia, I like my palm hat due to the heat and humidity.

IDK the X value on my Knudsen, but it's still like new and it's over 20 years old!

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2 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Knudsen make s great hats! Bought one from their store when I was out there. Nice folks.

I don't wear mine a lot as being in Georgia, I like my palm hat due to the heat and humidity.

IDK the X value on my Knudsen, but it's still like new and it's over 20 years old!

I shot with Major Debacle and Minor Debacle once. Great folks. My only Knudsen hat, I bought for $20 at a flea market. It is a superior hat.

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2 hours ago, Equanimous Phil said:

 

One of them (Sahara) was on my short list. Was a really hard decision...

I have more than some but not as many as others - I "think" I have six (I'm in Italy, they're at home).

I know I have three cavalry, two buckaroo and a gus - but I feel like I'm missing one.

But - no cattleman.  That sahara cattleman reminds me of the Raylan Givens hat in Justified.

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I've got several packages delayed.  Between C-19 and the weather, I'm not anticipating getting anything as scheduled.

 

I believe your hat will be worth the wait.

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