If you normally shoot firearms at your local indoor range, then you may not understand why shooting gloves are necessary. While there are definitely benefits to shooting without them, there are certain conditions where the best shooting gloves will be invaluable.
I’ve created this buyer’s guide to go over the factors you’ll want to consider before you buy, and the different features to look for, so you can be sure you end up with a pair of gloves that can improve your shooting performance. I’ve also worn several of the most popular gloves on the market, testing them out in different environments, to find six pairs that will make all the difference when you’re hunting or practicing in a wide variety of environments. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each model, how they rated, and other important information.
Shooting Gloves Comparison Chart
Best Shooting Gloves-PIG Full Dexterity Alpha Gloves
The Pig full dexterity tactical gloves are rugged, comfortable, and feature the classic hook and loop wrist closure. These alpha gloves have been proven in combat by special ops soldiers in need of gloves that offer maximum dexterity for accurate and fast shooting using a handgun or rifle. The glove’s unique design almost makes it feel like you’re not wearing gloves at all.
The Alpha gloves barehand shooting feeling is due to the single thin layer on the palm. This thinner material is found on both the palm of the gloves and on the trigger finger for improved sensitivity. Additionally, the padding on the knuckles is thinner to allow the wearer to easily reach into a pocket without having to remove the gloves. The Pig full dexterity tactical gloves have roll over fingertips that prevent seams from getting jammed under the fingernails. You can also operate your phone’s touchscreen, without removing the gloves. The conductive trigger and thumb material improves tactile feel and overall dexterity.
- Hook and loop wrist strap
- Ultimate grip
- Touchscreen capability
- Tactile finger tips
- Made from thick nylon material
- Cannot keep hands warm in freezing temperatures
These tough Pig full dexterity tactical alpha gloves will keep your hands dry and comfortable, without compromising your dexterity. Despite their heavy-duty design, they will not cause the hands to sweat excessively. Instead, the venting material located on the inner fourchettes are vented for ultimate moisture wicking power. With these gloves, you’ll have ultimate trigger control, with material that’s rugged, durable and designed to keep your hands dry and comfortable, without compromising your shooting style.
Ultimate Hand Protection-Mechanix Specialty Covert Black Gloves
Considered the best shooting gloves by Mechanix, these specialty covert gloves are made out of suede material that provides ultimate dexterity and precision. The synthetic suede gloves are designed to conform to the back of the hand to minimize perspiration and heat build up. Thermoplastic rubber wrist closures provide a comfortable, secure fit that will keep the gloves in place. These gloves Mechanix also feature anatomical stitch darts, which are designed to conform to the curves of the wearer’s hands to create a custom fit that improves full finger dexterity.
- Touch screen capability
- Form fitting
- Heavy-duty glove design
- Perfect for cold or hot weather
- Synthetic suede material
- Full finger dexterity
- Knuckle protection
- Stitching in the fingertips is uncomfortable
These gloves Mechanix feature an ergonomic design, thanks to the anatomically placed stitch darts that will conform to the hands for a precise fit. The flex joints are expandable and help improve trigger finger mobility. Overall, the durable suede palm, low profile design, and lightweight Trek Dry fabric work together to create a pair of gloves that offer maximum dexterity and precision feel. Whether you’re on a hunting adventure, or hitting the shooting range, these gloves are a must-have for the serious shooter.
Most Versatile-Magpul Technical Gloves
Made in the United States, these Magpul technical gloves feature enhanced articulation at the flexible knuckle panels and the palms for improved tactility and hand and fingers movement. The lightweight design of the gloves includes high-quality leather thumb and palm panels for a more conforming fit. The back of the gloves are made out of corded stretch nylon, with light padding on the contoured panels on the knuckles. This promotes flexibility and increased durability. The gloves Magpul are made out of goatskin, which is durable, flexible, and conforms to the contours of the hand.
- Protects knuckles and fingers
- Form fitting
- Adjustable cuff
- Full finger dexterity
- Designed for touch screen use
- Thick material
- Snug fit at wrist can be uncomfortable
The Magpul technical gloves feature articulated palms and wrap around finger pattern, which provide extra durability and improved dexterity. Additionally, you’ll notice the thumbs feature touch screen capability, so you won’t have to remove your gloves to answer a phone call or send a text. The shooting glove adjustable wrist closure offers a custom fit and will keep the gloves securely closed during use. These gloves Magpul are perfect for the shooting range, outdoor target practice, hunting, camping, hiking, and more.
Best Choice for Hot Weather Shooting-5.11 Tactical Unisex Station Grip 2
These handgun shooting gloves by 5.11 Tactical offer an extra flexible design and top of the line durability. The synthetic suede palms provide a nice textured grip, while at the wrist, you’ll find a hook and loop closure. At the wrist, there’s also neoprene material that prevents moisture from making its way inside the glove, while allowing sweat inside the glove escape.
- Reinforced cuff seam
- Protects palms and fingers
- Perfect for hot weather shooting
- Textured grip
- Only three sizes available
This style of shooting glove features a 4-way stretch, with a breathable top that’s designed to keep the hands comfortable and dry, even in wet weather conditions. The molded neoprene knuckles also feature a breathable design, which makes these gloves a good choice for hot weather shooting. These gloves are designed to take on a wide range of weather conditions, whether you’re braving the cold or doing a little target practice during the summer. Versatile, breathable, and durable, this is one pair of gloves you’ll want to always keep tucked in your range bag.
Best Cold Weather Shooting Glove-Outdoor Research Ironsight Gloves
These Ironsight gloves by Outdoor Research offer impressive grip and tactility. These fast-drying gloves feature a highly breathable design and are made out of synthetic leather that’s dexterous and durable. The gloves can improve your grip in a wide range of weather conditions and environments, providing the sensitivity and solid grip you need when you’re performing sensitive tasks. On the fingers and palms, the slip-free grip pads provide excellent tactility.
- Quick drying
- Extra protection for fingers and palms
- Made out of synthetic leather
- Anti-slip silicone pads
- Pull loop for easy off and on
- Touchscreen compatible
- Contoured wrist
- Can cause the hands to sweat in warmer temperatures
These handgun gloves have a reputation in the survivalist community for their highly breathable, fast drying design that’s made with supple and dexterous synthetic leather that provides extreme sensitivity and a solid grip. Thanks to the precision grip construction and the slip-free grip pads located on the index finger and palm, this type of glove offers superior tactility.
Perfect for Rifle Shooting-Onetac Nomex Fire Resistant Military Shooting Gloves
These Nomex fabric gloves are made out of goatskin leather that feature reinforced padding on the palms. On the knuckles, you’ll find injection molded shielding, in addition to padded finger protection located on the back. The range glove also has an ergonomic cut, complete with a velcro closure on the wrists for a more secure fit. The kevlar on the back of the range glove is durable and heat resistant. The digital textured palms offer better than average dexterity and a firmer grip. According to the sizing chart, these gloves are only available in a couple of size options, so that can be a drawback for some buyers.
- Velcro wrist closure
- Kevlar back
- Allows fingers to flex and move freely
- Improves index finger dexterity
- Conforms to hand
- Comfortable and durable
- Only two size options available.
These Nomex shooting gloves are made by a top brand, conform to the hand, and are perfect for rifle shooting, hunting, camping, as work gloves, and more. These gloves support hand dexterity, improve your grip as you shoot and handle your firearm, and feature the type of flexibility that’s essential in any type of shooting glove.
Best Budget Gun Gloves-Ozero Shooting Gloves
This gun glove by Ozero is a great buy for shooters on a tight budget. A top product in their lineup, these shooting gloves are tough enough to be worn as work gloves, but offer the flexibility and dexterity in the fingers that a shooter needs for precise and accurate shooting. The versatility of these gloves allows them to fit in a variety of categories, whether you want to order a pair of gloves you can wear on your next camping and hunting trip, or you’re in need of the best gun glove for some practice time at the range.
- Promotes dexterity in the fingers
- Back of the glove has extra padding
- Medium level of defense against the elements
- Gun glove is not waterproof
- Touchscreen padding wears out quickly
While this glove may not be quite as durable as a higher priced shooting glove, they do offer a medium level of defense against freezing temperatures and heat and provide ultimate dexterity for the shooter. This glove offers a great grip, a durable design, and palms that are made out of synthetic leather that’s shrink resistant. If you’re in search of a gun glove that’s flexible, with a snug construction, you’ll fall in love with this budget friendly pair from Ozero.
Shooting Gloves Buyer’s Guide
Shooting at an indoor range is a much different experience compared to shooting at an outdoor range. When you’re outside, the environment and weather conditions can have an impact on your performance, as can recoil, trigger design, and lead exposure. So, can wearing shooting gloves make you a better shooter? Absolutely. Let’s learn why many shooters swear by wearing these gloves whether they’re practicing at an indoor range, hunting, or doing a little target practice.
Benefits of Wearing Shooting Gloves
While you don’t have to wear gloves every time you shoot, there are definitely situations in which you’ll benefit from bringing along a good pair of gloves that can provide ultimate protection.
Protection from the Elements
Metal responds differently to heat and cold. When it’s hot out, metal can quickly heat up. When it’s freezing outside and metal becomes cold, a firearm can be difficult to hold comfortably. Your hands will also respond to colder temperatures and may cramp up, become stiff, and can lose dexterity.
A good gun glove will allow you to use your firearm in cold or hot temperatures, comfortably.
Over time, recoil can add up. A firearm smacking your hand every time it’s fired can cause soreness and stiffness after you’ve fired off hundreds of rounds. This is especially true if you’re dealing with 12-gauge shotguns or a big bore revolver. Wearing a thick shooting glove that provides extra support and padding in the appropriate areas can have a major impact on your shooting performance and overall comfort.
Serrated target triggers and other types of trigger can also do some serious damage to your trigger finger. Using a pair of shooting gloves can solve this problem and keep your hands comfortable and in good shooting condition, so you can practice longer.
Many pairs will come equipped with a reinforced area that protects the back of the hands, the webbing of the thumb from getting pinched, or slide bite from the hammer. If you shoot often, then even a random small pitch can be pretty painful and annoying.
These gloves can also guard against lead exposure when you’re at the range. A cartridge primer contains leaded compounds. When a firearm is fired, the leaded compounds are aerosolized. Even if you shoot a gun using lead-free ammunition, you’ll still get lead on your hands.
Types of Shooting Gloves
There are many different types and styles of shooting gloves to choose from. Some will offer more protection than others. There are pros and cons to each style, so you should choose a pair depending on environment, shooting experience, and temperature.
The features you want in a pair of shooting gloves can have a direct impact on the type of gloves you buy. Usually, more precise or faster shooting will require thinner gloves. However, if you’re moving quickly and you’re using a larger firearm, then you’ll also benefit from using thicker gloves.
I recommend starting with a midweight glove, then go for thinner or thicker gloves based on your experience with a midweight pair. If these gloves hinder your movements and slow you down, then you’ll want to switch to a pair of thinner gloves. If the midweight gloves don’t offer as much protection as you need, then you’ll need to make the switch to a thicker gun glove.
This type of glove will provide the most protection. These gloves often come equipped with plenty of reinforced areas and are much thicker than any other gloves on the market. If you’re handling a heavy-duty firearm, such as a 12-gauge shotgun, then these gloves may be the best choice.
If you’ve ever wondered what the point of a fingerless glove is, you’re not alone. Fingerless gloves will not extend to the fingertips and usually end before the first finger joint. You won’t come across many pairs of dedicated shooting gloves that have this fingerless design, but many shooters claim that these gloves are a great option, since they leave the fingertips exposed, so pulling the trigger or reloading is more comfortable. Whether or not this is true is debatable. Because the fingertips are exposed, this means the gloves offer a lower level of protection compared to full fingered gloves.
This is a type of tactical shooting glove that can provide top of the line protection for your knuckles and back of the hands. This type of glove is a great choice for tactical situations and law enforcement. They can also be invaluable if you’re shooting in rocky terrain. These gloves are usually equipped with extra knuckle protection that’s made out of polycarbonate or Kevlar.
When a manufacturer claims their gloves are armored, this often refers to extra thick fabric layers and portions of the gloves that are covered in carbon fiber, polycarbonate, or rubber. These areas usually include the back and sides of the gloves.
Armor can protect the hands from an injury at the expense of dexterity. Keep in mind, these heavy-duty gloves can also cause your hands to sweat excessively, in hotter temperatures.
Most casual shooters will not need this type of heavy-duty glove. However, those who normally use tactical shooting positions prefer using an armored glove over dealing with busted knuckles.
Other Important Features
Below, you’ll find a list of features to look for when you’re on the search for a pair of shooting gloves that can offer the type of performance and protection you need.
Many types of the best shooting gloves will come equipped with leather or a type of synthetic material for the palms, which will help improve your grip. This way, even if your hands get wet, it won’t compromise your grip on your firearm. You can find more aggressive materials available, such as rubber or treated leather. These options provide a more secure grip, compared to suede or traditional leather. However, they also make gloves thicker, which can make your hands feel bulky and awkward.
The palms of the gloves may be padded or unpadded. The point of the padding is to protect your hands from recoil. Casual and serious shooters will appreciate the extra padding on the forefingers and thumb webs. The sides of the forefinger will rub against a firearm, so a little extra padding will protect both the finger and glove from damage.
If you’re using a semi-auto pistol, then shooting gloves with a reinforced thumb are a must. When using the correct combat shooting stance, firing a handgun will require the shooter to get their grip as high as possible. This puts the fleshy thumb area at risk of getting hit by the slides. Slides can easily tear through thin materials, so, if you’re using a semi-auto firearm, a reinforced thumb area will be crucial. Shooters that have larger hands are more likely to struggle with slide bite, however, a shooter with smaller hands can also benefit from this extra layer of protection.
Shooting in Cold Weather
When you’re dealing with cold weather conditions, you’ll find that you run into a couple of problems. First, colder temperatures can impact your dexterity. It can also make it uncomfortable to shoot. Cold weather can make your hands stiff, or you may lose feeling in your fingers. This can result in a drop in shooting accuracy and precision, which will have a major negative impact on your performance. If you can’t move your hands well or your trigger finger, you’re not going to shoot well. This can also be dangerous in some situations. Keep in mind, thicker gloves can keep your hands warm in freezing temperatures, but they can also make it difficult to manipulate your firearm correctly.
Shooting in Hot Weather
Years ago, shooters would avoid wearing any type of glove in the summer or in hot weather, but wearing gloves in hotter temperatures can be useful. Guns can get really hot when you shoot them. They can also be too hot to handle if they’ve been sitting outside on a hot day, especially when it comes to steel guns. Additionally, if it’s really hot outside, your hands will sweat, which can make it difficult to control your gun. In hotter conditions, you won’t need gloves that offer insulated protection, just burn protection. A modern pair of gloves designed for warm weather use will feature a breathable design that keeps the hands cool, while allowing sweat to escape.
All firearms heat up when they’re fired. If you’re shooting quickly or a lot, they can heat up even more. Some types of guns can cause more issues with heat than others.
A pistol slide can get very hot when the pistol is shot quickly for several rounds. If you’re firing a semi-auto rifle, this firearm can get very hot right away. Once you’re on your second magazine, you’ll wish you had brought along a pair of shooting gloves.
This can be even more problematic if you’re shooting with a suppressor, which can get much hotter than the firearm itself, at a faster rate.
Reducing Recoil Damage
A good pair of gloves can reduce the shock that’s felt from a firearm’s recoil, especially if you’re firing a steel gun. The right type of gloves can improve your follow through and can improve your grip when you’re shooting with a pistol.
Those new to shooting are often more sensitive to recoil. Wearing the right pair of gloves can give a beginner more control over their firearm, while improving their comfort and shooting experience.
Years ago, the material used for this type of glove was limited to leather or suede. Today, you can choose from a wide range of natural or synthetic materials, or a combination of the two.
If you’re looking for heavy-duty shooting gloves, nothing beats leather. However, treated suede can provide more insulation for cold weather use. If dexterity is a concern, then goat skin can be a great alternative. While this material isn’t as insulating as leather or suede, you’ll enjoy more freedom of movement.
Gloves that are made out of synthetic materials are more affordable and can be more durable in some cases. Tough materials such as Kevlar can often be found on shooting gloves and can provide cut and abrasion resistance. Nomex is a popular type of synthetic material that’s used for heat protection. Keep in mind, while many types of synthetic materials are more durable and affordable than natural materials, some also lack breathability, which can make it uncomfortable to wear gloves in warmer climates.
If you’re ordering your gloves online, then you won’t be able to try them on before you buy. Purchasing gloves that fit correctly is crucial, since gloves that are too small or too large can make it more difficult to control your firearm, while also impacting your dexterity and speed.
A Medium Sized Fit
Keep in mind, some gloves may feel too snug initially, but once they’ve been broken in, they’ll offer a custom fit. Pay attention to a sizing chart and measure your hands before you buy. Also look at gun glove reviews to see how true to fit a pair is. If a pair runs a size large and you normally wear a medium, you’ll want to order a size small.
Make sure you measure your dominant hand. The dominant hand is usually slightly larger than the other hand.
How to Measure
When measuring, use a flexible measuring tape to measure the widest part of your hand. Do not measure the thumb. The measuring tape must wrap around the outside of the hand, between the thumb and forefinger. The value should be recorded in inches.
Next, measure the length of your hand. Do so by measuring from the tip of the middle finger down to where the hand meets the wrist. This value should also be recorded in inches.
Take a look at both of the values and note which one is bigger.
If the circumference of your hand measures 11 inches, but the length of your hands is 11.5 inches, then you’ll need to go with gloves that are 11.5 inches since the length is the bigger size.
Keep in mind, not every manufacturer has a numbered size chart. Many manufacturers will list their sizes ranging from small and medium to XXL. This can make it difficult to choose a pair that will fit correctly.
Pay attention to a glove’s spec sheet which will usually list the exact measurements of the gloves, which will make it easier for you to find the perfect fit.
Draw loops or tabs will make it easier to put your gloves on and take them off, especially if you have thicker gun gloves. Additionally, if the gloves you buy come with loops or tabs, you can easily secure the gloves to your belt, via a carabiner.
An adjustable wrist closure can be crucial to the fit of your gloves. Some wrists are larger or smaller than others. The best shooting gloves are highly adjustable and promote comfort and flexibility. Gloves that have adjustable drawstrings or wrist straps will allow you to loosen or tighten the wrist area, so the gloves fit nice and snug against the wrists.
Years ago, you wouldn’t be able to find a pair that offered shooting gun protection without a bulky design and heavy-duty material. These days, manufacturers are focusing on full finger movement. Additionally, the ability to use a touchscreen without removing the glove is also important, especially if you’re out in the backcountry, in challenging weather conditions. Now, you can find a pair that offers full finger motion and is touch screen compatible.
This type of glove will have filaments that are sewn into the fingertips. This will allow you to easily navigate your phone’s touch screen, so you can open apps, text, and answer calls.
A glove’s stitching can directly impact how durable the gloves are. Are the gloves single or double-stitched? If the gloves are made out of lightweight material, they may not require double stitching. However, if they’re made out of thicker material, such as leather, double stitching is a must, otherwise, stitches can pop, or can interfere with dexterity. For heavier materials, look for double stitching.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Should Tactical Gloves Fit?
Ideally, gloves should fit the hands and fingers like a second skin. However, the gloves should not be so tight that you’re unable to flex and move your fingers freely. Finding the right fit for tactical gloves can be more challenging compared to other styles of shooting gloves since tactical gloves tend to be bulkier and can cause the hands to get hot.
What are Shooting Gloves for?
The best shooting gloves are used to keep your hands warm in colder temperatures, can prevent sweat from compromising your grip in hotter weather, and can protect the hands from burns, slide bite, and recoil.
Why Do My Fingers Get Cold in Gloves?
The most common reason a person’s hands still get cold in gloves is a poor fit. Gloves that are too big can allow cold air inside. Make sure the gloves you choose offer a nice snug fit, one that doesn’t compromise your dexterity.
The best shooting gloves can protect your hands in colder temperatures, can prevent burns or slide bites, and can allow you to shoot several rounds in total comfort. While wearing shooting gloves isn’t always necessary, in certain situations, the right pair can be invaluable and can help improve your shooting performance. This buyer’s guide and the products I’ve included here can help you choose the perfect pair of gloves for your next hunting trip, outdoor target practice session, and can offer maximum dexterity, so you’ll shoot your best, in any type of weather conditions or environment.