It is a well known fact that you never notice how much you really use something until there is a problem. For example, when you have a sore throat it’s surprising how many times you swallow when you are not eating.
Your hands are a different matter altogether though. I’m using mine right now and I’m sure you are too. A paper cut in the office may well be annoying, but if you are deep in the woods hunting or in an active combat military situation, having injured fingers and hands is a serious situation. It could mean the difference between missing that all important shot or even worse.
Protection and grip are the two main factors when choosing a tactical glove. Comfort and camouflage are also considerations depending on the intended use. A hunter in a hide will want precision and comfort, while an officer in a crowd control situation may have to deal with projectiles that are coming at them.
Here, we will look at a several different options and give you an idea of what will be best suited to your needs. So, let’s look at some examples of the best on the market today.
Which type of glove do I need?
Your firearm is your weapon but your hands are your tools for operating it. Weapons come in all shapes and sizes, from a hunting compound crossbow to a high velocity sniper rifle. Luckily, our hands are a little more uniform and unless you have been unlucky or aren’t too great with a chef’s knife, we usually have four fingers and one thumb on each of our hands.
That means there are very few differences when it comes to gloves. However, cold weather hunters will want something very different to a desert patrolman. Also, protection from cuts, scrapes and the environment need to be balanced by sufficient flexibility to pull a hair trigger, operate your other gear, take notes or climb a cliff to get the hell out of dodge.
Top tactical gloves
Mechanix Wear Mossy Oak Original
For the hunters out there, the Mechanix Wear Mossy Oak Original is a great all round glove. It won’t break the bank and features a lot more than just a camouflage pattern. The palm is constructed from one seamless piece of synthetic leather to ensure a comfortable and sure grip of your weapon. The rest of the glove features highly breathable TrekDry fabric which will keep your hands protected from biting wind. This breathable material will also keep your hands from overheating and sweating.
These gloves are a great allrounder. The wrist hook and loop closure ensures a snug fit, but you don’t have to be a hunter to take advantage of these gloves. Hikers, campers and indeed anyone who needs a robust outdoor glove could do a lot worse.
Hatch Specialist All Weather Shooting Gloves
If you want to go all ‘Day of the Jackal,’ the Hatch Specialist All Weather Shooting Gloves look and feel the part. These are aimed at the marksman who walk amongst us. Simply putting these on will make you feel like a different person. Just don’t get too carried away.
They are primarily aimed at handgun users but enthusiastic paintballers will love these too. They are great come rain or shine, and the excellent grip from the synthetic leather palm will not let you down when it comes to pulling the trigger.
There is the option of an increased grip palm for those who spend time in the dirt, and the neoprene back breathes very well, keeping your hands protected but not dripping with sweat. These gloves could actually be used by anyone needing a pair of gloves as they wouldn’t look out of place behind the wheel of a vintage convertible Jag. The only downside is they are quite fine so super heavy use in the wilderness will take its toll, but you will probably be in love and just go and buy another pair anyway.
Mechanix Wear M-Pact 3 Covert
For those in need of protection in hairy situations, like law enforcement and military personnel, the Mechanix Wear M-Pact 3 Covert will do the job. They feature a molded thermoplastic rubber knuckle guard which provides excellent impact protection, and their reinforced internal fingertips will allow for scrambling through any terrain without the risk of abrasions.
The outside of the thumbs and fingers are protected by 3mm of EVA accordion padding, and the two piece palm construction allows for excellent weapon handling as it eliminates excess bunching of the material. Plus, the thermal plastic rubber top closure ensures that they will stay in place come hell or high water. These gloves are, to put it mildly, pretty bad ass.
Other honorable mentions are the 1 Pair Outdoor Sports Fingerless and the Oakley Si Assault Glove, which are ideal for those who like to keep their knuckles protected while having their finger directly on the trigger. These bad boys are designed specifically for combat and you can feel it by their military grade weight, true leather palm and carbon knuckle guard (doubles as a knuckle duster). The 5.11 Screen OPS are a good option for those who will want to use a touch screen without the need to remove their gloves. They are ideal for patrol officers or hunters who want to check their GPS or just upload a photo to Facebook.
There is certainly something out there for everyone and it’s very hard to say which one comes out on top as they are designed for such different uses. However, if forced to choose a glove that covers many bases and gives you the best ‘bang for your buck,’ I would have to go for the Mechanix Wear Mossy Oak Original. With a great fit, feel, construction and extremely versatile, this is a tactical shooting glove that will not let you down.
So get those dainty pinkies protected and go and kick some ass.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Incase