The Balancing Act of Choosing the Right Tactical Gloves
ok for when choosing the right
tactical gloves: max dexterity, minimal excessive material around fingers and palm, functionality, and of course durability. Now, it’s hard to find gloves that have all four of these characteristics and even then, one that can last more than a couple months of rigorous training.
I’m not really sure if the perfect pair of tactical gloves actually exists, but it’s not really that cut and dry either. Some guys need more rugged gloves, some guys need more dexterity than others, and some guys just flat-out want to cover their hands.
However, if you’re anything like me, you’re always searching for that next pair of shooting gloves that feel less like a glove and more like a second skin. In this article, I’ll cover a couple different factors that are most important to shooters and tactical operator types.
If you want protection or ruggedness, you can find those characteristics in gloves like the Magpul Core Breach gloves, the Mechanix Wear M-Pact gloves, or even the Oakley SI Assault gloves. However, with their maximum protection and ruggedness you’ll give up a lot of dexterity and possibly even impede your functionality.
For example, breaching gloves are great…if you don’t have to execute fine motor skills afterwards to clear the room and manipulate all the small buttons, levers and knobs of your weapon systems. It’s nice to know that your knuckles can withstand a hard impact if your goal is to punch-clear your way through a structure rather than to use your primary and secondary weapons. So, unless you’re planning on walking on your hands through concertina wire, you don’t need leather reinforced breaching gloves with impact knuckles.
It seems to me that most companies in the tactical glove industry are out-of-touch with what professionals really need. However, there are a couple companies that are moving in the right direction, probably because either they’ve “been there, done that” or because they actually started listening to the people who use these gloves everyday and whose lives depend on it.
One of those companies is PIG (Patrol Incident Gear). It wasn’t until I came across PIG’s FDT Alpha’s & Delta’s that I found a pair of gloves that have everything I want, which is a tight fit and max dexterity. These aren’t your dad’s mechanic gloves. These gloves were specifically designed for shooting and executing fine motor skill movements like manipulating weapon systems and working your way around your kit.
Designed with the shooter community in mind, PIG Gloves have a short-cuff design so as not to impede wrist movements, fold over finger-tips to mitigate excessive material, flex zones to allow max trigger finger mobility, extra grip in the webbing between your thumb and index finger, single-layered palms for max sensitivity, and most importantly, touch screen compatibility for your IG smartphone playback.
When I was a SFAUC instructor at 5th Special Forces Group, most of us used Mechanix gloves because they were pretty good for shooting but they were also cheap, so we could buy 2-3 pairs that would last us for about 6-9 months. No one really bought any of the high-speed, high-end $150-$200 gloves because we knew it wasn’t worth it. Cool colors and carbon fiber impact knuckles aren’t really appealing to guys that shoot 1000-1500 rounds a day while kicking doors down, blowing shit up and primarily working at night.
So in 2015, when my barrel-chested freedom-fighting battle-buddy introduced me to PIG Alphas, I was immediately impressed at it’s construction. It was very minimalistic yet very detailed. I loved how it took me a minute or two to put them on because that meant that they were tight. But I wasn’t completely sold until I realized that on the knuckles it had stretch zones that allowed for full mobility while the palm felt really thin.
Once I got a rifle in my hands and actually went to work with these gloves, I was fully convinced. However, it wasn’t until I realized how easily these gloves let me manipulate my kit and find items without looking that I fell in love.
Now, they have the PIG Deltas which are even more form-fitting than the Alphas. The Delta’s are very minimalistic but have maintained some of the best features of the Alpha’s. They really do feel like second skin. I like to describe them as tactical surgical gloves due to how thin they are but how they also still allow you to execute find motor skills.
Both the Alpha’s and Delta’s are amazing gloves but they share the same drawback; durability. The Alpha’s may outlast the Delta’s but neither will have a lifespan of more than 6 months with harsh use, especially the wear and tear of an operator’s everyday operational lifestyle. However, on the bright side, they’re priced from only $29-$42 and for that price range, you could easily buy as many as you need.
These days, I’m less of an operator and more of an enthusiast but nonetheless, I shoot a lot and I put all my gear through the ultimate test of abuse and torture. So far, I’m very happy with PIG’s performance and longevity. If you ask me as of right now, PIG gloves are the only tactical gloves worth paying for.
But seriously guys, most gloves are good for shooting rifles but these PIG gloves were made for shooting and if you’re as serious of a shooter as I am, then you know how a good pair of gloves are crucial in our skillset.
The Musa Store proudly carries PIG Gloves: