outdoor research tactical gloves
Need some protection for your hands from weekend shooting to busting down doors?
We bought a bunch of the most popular tactical shooting gloves out there and tested them with competitions, range trips, and even a house move or two.All Tested Tactical Shooting Gloves
While emphasis will be on what’s important to civilian shooters (price, fit, touch-screen capability, durability etc.), we also cover some tactical aspects as well. Plus…my wife’s favorite gloves for women.
Why gloves? Let me list a couple of reasons:
mehfor most shooters, but they still suck and if you’re out in the field…infections can become killer.
The most important thing to me…if you have the best glove out there and it fits like a grocery bag or a kid’s mitten…it’s not going to work out.
Here’s measurements of my hand so you can compare when I go over the sizing. Overall I have skinny wrists, not that much of a palm swell, and long fingers.My Glove Sizing
Now let’s get to it…
My current favorite shooting glove…the Alpha version of the PIG FDTs.SKD FDT Alpha, Gloves
The thicker OG version…I think this glove checks all the boxes. Still super dexterous while having some additional protection…all the while fitting like…a glove.SKD Glove Sizing
I went with large on this like the Delta version.SKD FDT Alpha Gloves, Palm
I’ve used these gloves the most and they shoot pistols, ARs, reload magazines, and move couches perfectly. A little slower to dry since it’s thicker and has some synthetic suede.
You can see a lot of it is giving dexterity for the trigger finger and it shows in those knuckle breaks. It’s almost the same as the Delta but with more warmth and protection. Plus I like having the ability to tighten the wrist strap.SKD FDT Alpha Gloves
Lastly, it has a nice soft material behind the thumb…again great for your nose or cleaning lenses.
See them in action!
The most expensive on the list but if you shoot a lot or value protection/dexterity…I highly recommend the Alpha gloves.
And keep in mind that shooting gloves are consumables.
They more you use them the quicker they will get chewed up. Here’s an example of a two-old Alpha that saw a good amount of weekends of hard use.Worn SKD PIG Gloves
Side-note: I had a defect with my Alphas where the ring finger on one hand was twisted so a seam was on my finger pad. Not a deal breaker but annoying. I emailed SKD and they took care of the problem in less than an hour and two emails.
What do you think?
I’ve had a couple Mechanix original gloves for shop work but the few times I took them to the range I felt their fingers were a little too bulky for some firearm tasks.
Enter…their newish Fastfit Gloves.Mechanix Fastfit Gloves
I wore mediums and using their sizing chart I re-confirmed I was indeed medium.Mechanix Size Chart
Here’s some other useful stats:
For me they didn’t fit quite right because of my palm size. You can see there’s a lot of gap in there.Mechanix Fastfit Gloves, Palm
And the cut between the index finger and thumb is a little restricting for handgun shooting. Rifles are fine.
Also very thin so great for dexterity but not very warm or heat resistant if that’s your thing.Mechanix Fastfit Gloves, Fit
But for around $10 and pretty good durability from what I’ve seen from friends…you can’t go wrong for a first pair of shooting gloves. Especially if you have slightly meatier hands.
One of my go-to recommendations for affordable shooting gloves are Magpul Technical Gloves.Magpul Technical Gloves
I went with medium and they fit a lot more snugly one me…especially at the cuff. The Mechanix ones were just too loose and flared for my tastes. However…with the smaller cuff you’re going to have a lot harder time taking these off.
You can see it fits a lot better and the cut of the thumb and index finger is much more conducive for shooting. There’s also extra material on three fingers that enables touch-screen access.
At first I thought it would disrupt precision shooting but it’s at the tip of the finger enough that I had no problems.Magpul Technical Gloves, Fit
Thicker material than the Mechanix and what I think is a good Goldilocks zone of dexterity and protection. Also some terrycloth material on the back of the thumb for sniffles or cleaning optics.
If you want a little more knuckle protection check out Magpul’s Patrol Glove 2.0s.Magpul Patrol Glove 2.0
The FDT stands for full dexterity tactical and they live up to their name. The Delta Glove version is the thinnest version.Simpsons Nothing At All
If you want full dexterity at the expense of some protection…these are the best on the market.
I’m a large for SKD gloves and I fit very snugly even though I sized up.SKD Glove Sizing
No complaints in the finger or palm swell area.SKD FDT Delta Gloves, Palm
But note that the words “PIG” are rubberized textures that work well but will eventually fall off. However the tips of the gloves are still touch-screen enabled.
*Update* Current versions now have reverse printing on the palms so they will stay on a lot longer.
Some more stats:
They look great too and you can see how thin they are even in the back. If you need knuckle protection look elsewhere. The design is cool but I have a feeling it’s going to start peeling when I wear it more.
A little more at $30 but currently my favorite when dexterity is the primary focus.
The womens’ version of my favorite gloves…SKD’s PIG FDT Charlie.
SKD sent these to me for testing after my original article. My wife has small hands but relatively fat fingers (her words).SKD FDT Charlie Gloves vs Hand
Her measurements pointed her towards the Small size but it felt very snug against her fingers. It wasn’t so tight to be constricting but it should loosen as she wears them more.SKD FDT Charlie Gloves
Same great feel and ability to move her trigger finger. Plus she made sure it still worked on smart phones.
Our current best pick for women’s gloves.
There’s a lot of tactical shooting gloves out there…and I couldn’t buy & test them all. But here are some of my honorable mentions that I’ve used or know are popular.
After a good amount of testing…here are my final recommendations.
For the best overall glove…
If you want the glove with the most dexterity:
And if you want the most affordable but still very capable:
How’d I do…any I miss that I should test out next? Need some Heated Gloves instead? Or how about the Best Electronic Shooting Protection?Tested Shooting Ear Protection Muffs
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