The Best Shooting Gloves

What are the best shooting gloves?

With a hobby like shooting, safety accessories abound. Of course, we recommend that eye and ear protection accompanies every shot you take (so that you can keep shooting for years to come) – but what about your hands?

Putting all the tough guy pretense aside (some of us certainly take pride in our calluses & scars) certain injuries just plain suck and anyone would want to avoid them at all costs. 

For example, have you ever had a sunburn on the backs of your hands? It’s awful, will annoy you for days, and impact your ability to shoot accurately. Same with burns from shell casings or other injuries you can sustain at the range.

Also, especially for some of us in the northern parts of the world, it can get awfully cold out for good portions of the year and you’ll still want to be able to use touchscreen devices to ensure you nail emojis as well as downrange targets.

Therefore, our experts recommend a good pair of tactical gloves to add to your shooting accessories. 

Best Overall:

Sale
Mechanix Pursuit D5 Black Gloves, Large
  • Glove Size: Large - Finger Length: 5.43-5.71 inches, Palm Width: 3.35-3.86 inches / Thermoplastic...
  • Internal layer of Armortex delivers EN 388: 2016 level D & ANSI A5 blade-cut resistance to the palm...
  • Three-dimensional patterning conforms to the natural curvatures of your hand.

Our pick for the best overall shooting gloves are the Mechanix Pursuit gloves. These can be found in many range bags and work as for shooting, tactical, and even work gloves.

These were designed with LE professionals and shooting sports in mind with carbon-infused touchscreen capable synthetic leather which offers a remarkable fit along with being touch-screen friendly. They’re not too heavily vented but breathe well and are appropriate for moderate to hot weather. Plus they keep themselves locked in place with the hook and loop wrist enclosures.

In terms of protection, the gloves feature heat and cut resistance, with some reviews noting no heat transfer when testing these by putting a hand on the stove while wearing them (not recommended FWIW). These are great all-around gloves that will work well as a primary shooting glove, backup set, or gift for a shooting buddy. 

They’re awesome at the range, no-frills, no-nonsense gloves that just plain work.

What We Liked

  • Mechanix Wear makes some of the best gloves on the market.
  • Hook and loop wrist enclosure for a personalized fit.
  • They come with wrist loops to both pull them on and keep them stored.
  • The tops of the gloves are well ventilated. 
  • Overall build quality is excellent.

What We Didn't Like

  • More color options would be a plus
  • Not rated for smartphone use

Runner-Up

PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) - Delta Utility Gloves (Black, Small)
  • SPECIAL OPERATIONS PROVEN- PIG FDT Delta Gloves have been proven in combat by US Special Operations...
  • BAREHAND SHOOTING FEEL- Single Layer Multi-Piece Palm - Designed specifically so that only one layer...
  • OPERATE YOUR TOUCH SCREEN- Touch Screen Conductive Thumb and Trigger Finger material - Maximum...

Next up on our list are the PIG full dexterity gloves. If we knew we’d be shooting in a tropical or temperate environment where precision counts, these would be the gloves we’d go with. 

They’re designed to convey “barehand shooting feel” with a single layer palm, so there’s literally as little material as possible between you and your firearm, which helps to keep them from impacting shooting performance. 

They’re thin and light (tying your shoes with them is a breeze) and still offer reasonable protection from things like the heat, direct sun, and shell casings. They’re performant but aren’t going to last forever. But that’s not a knock against these gloves, any glove is, ultimately, an item that will experience wear with use. 

If you need precision feel these are excellent range gloves.

What We Liked

  • Super lightweight 
  • The grip is fantastic on even polymer rifles & handguns
  • Wrist loops make it easy to pull them on and keep them together
  • Good hand and finder ventilation 
  • Comes in a variety of colors

What We Didn't Like

  • Relatively thin, which may impact durability
  • Possibly too light for seriously cold weather.

Also Great:

Sale
Mechanix Wear MPT-55-010 - M-Pact Covert Tactical Gloves (Large, Black)
  • Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) knuckle guard and finger guards protect against impact.
  • Dual-layer internal fingertip reinforcement provides added durability.
  • D3O palm padding absorbs and dissipates high-impact energy through the palm.

The Mechanix M-Pact Coverts are a beefed-up version of the Mechanix Pursuit gloves. The major differences are that these have hard plastic padding on the back of the hands for finger and knuckle protection and additional soft padding on the palm which offers more impact protection. 

Keep in mind, though, that these are neither cut nor burn resistant. With that said, Mechanix gloves offer a broad feature set and there’s more than likely the right mix of protection and feel for most people somewhere in their product line.

What We Liked

  • Same great features as the Pursuit in terms of closure and retention.
  • Has extra palm padding for impact protection.
  • Machine washable
  • The back is well ventilated.
  • Hardened plastic knuckles & top of fingers offers additional protection

What We Didn't Like

  • The plastic knuckles can impact range of motion
  • The plastics may not hold up that well to high heat.

Best Cold Weather Shooting Gloves:

The North Face Men's Apex Etip Glove, TNF Medium Grey Heather (Std), S
  • U|R Powered soft shell on palm for five-finger touchscreen capability
  • Etip functionality works with touchscreen devices
  • 100% windproof fabric

When it gets seriously cold you need a little more than a standard set of shooting gloves. These situations call for more warmth, more protection, and more material. While no pair of gloves is going to keep your hands perfectly warm while giving you bare handed dexterity, the North Face Apex Etip gloves are warm, offer a solid fit, and give the best feel for most shooters. 

They might not have the tactical looks, but they’re both warm and will help you maintain as much dexterity as possible – all while protecting your trigger finger from frostbite. 

Additionally, they work with most touch screens, which gets a thumbs up from us.

What We Liked

  • Very warm, even in cold weather.
  • Windproof fabric further cuts down on the chill
  • Work with touchscreens

What We Didn't Like

  • Could do with a better wrist closure.
  • Not waterproof

Best Duty Gloves:

Rothco Police Cut Resistant Lined Gloves, L
  • Genuine Cowhide Leather Shell Provides Both Durability and Dexterity While on Duty
  • Interior Lining Is Made With a Cut Resistant Aramid Fabric for Added Protection
  • Shirred Elastic Band Contours Around the Wrist for a Secure and Comfortable Fit

A lot of folks in law enforcement know these Rothco gloves well. They’re a simple black leather glove with a cut-resistant liner. While they’re not fancy, they certainly get the job done and, being leather, are form fitting and will improve over time to fit even more like a, well, glove. The material offers the right balance of protection and feel that police officers and tactical operators require.

The elastic closure on the cuffs is a nice touch, but it does mean that these will not breathe particularly well – especially paired with the leather material – so expect sweaty palms if you’re using the Rothcos in direct sunlight.

These are your basic duty gloves, and will certainly do just fine on the range. Rothco makes other versions, as well, with more tactically-oriented features, but basic gloves are great for most people.

What We Liked

  • Cowhide is both tough and will fit better over time
  • Cut-resistant liner
  • The most waterproof on the list
  • Not too heavy for hot weather use but still breaks the chill
  • Simple, understated looks

What We Didn't Like

  • Not well ventilated
  • Not designed for touch screen use

What should I look for in a pair of shooting gloves? 

A good pair of shooting gloves should do one basic thing: protect your hands. What that means will differ widely based on your situation and the context in which you’ll be using the gloves.

For example, if you live in hot weather, you’re going to want gloves that are designed to protect from the sun while keeping your hands cool. At the same time, they should be thick enough to deal with the heat coming off of a gun barrel and other hazards a firearm can create. 

If you live in a place where the mercury drops more often than not, you’re going to want gloves that keep your hands warm without impacting your ability to be precise with your shots, so a balance between warmth, thickness, and dexterity will be a must.

Folks in law enforcement or other environments where you’ll need duty-specific gloves are going to want something a little more heavy-duty. 

In those applications, we’ve recommended tactical gloves that have some of the features of technical gloves – like material to ensure taps and swipes register on capacitive touch screens (like those on your phone or tablet) – which are ubiquitous these days and certainly a big part of any modern career field.

These gloves have specific materials embedded in the fingers to achieve the same effect as your naked digit.

Any particular features I should keep in mind?

First and foremost, you want your gloves to have a nice, snug fit. That way you’ll maintain dexterity and all of the other features will work as intended. Specifically, your palms and fingers should make good contact with the inside of the glove for maximum utility.

A second thing we like to keep in mind is the wrists. Some folks, like socks, tend to lose one glove from a pair. That’s why we like something with a wrist strap so that we can store them together. Or, at least, when your dog runs off with them they’ll be kept together.

While we’re on the subject of wrist fit, an adjustable wrist closure is a must for ensuring proper fit and keeping dirt, snow, or other debris out of your gloves.

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MICHAEL CRITES is el jefe around here. He writes about guns and gear.

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