Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hand Sheaths

I've been running a pair of Mechanix Fastfit gloves through their paces the last couple months, and I've got to say, I'm more than pleased with these puppies.

We've seen pictures of guys in the big Sandbox and Rock Garden (Iraq/Afghanistan) wearing various Mechanix gloves for a while now(and despite earlier discussions, that's not why I got them), but this was the first pair I've used.  I've stuck to Hatch and other "Mil/LEO" brand gloves for most of my time, but I've heard good things about the Mechanix, and recently they've started offering more "subdued" colors, so I was more welcoming to the change.  Plus the $15ish (usually less) price doesn't hurt (looks like Amazon's got the black ones on sale too, might pick up a pair or two to stash away.)

The reason we wear gloves is to keep your hands from getting beat to snot doing stuff.  In the shooting world the most prevalent issue is heat.  Guns get hot.  Bullets create tons of friction zipping down those rifled barrels, gunpowder burns at pretty high temperatures, and black guns are fantastic at converting that solar energy into good old thermal.  Needless to say, gloves are up there with eye and ear pro if you're doing serious shooting.

Target shooters have used gloves for years, but they tend to be pretty thick, especially on the support hand.  Ideally the thickness and padding keeps your pulse from bouncing the rifle around.  However they are thick and pretty rigid.  High Power and Bullseye shooters aren't worried about fast magazine changes or switching from right to left to get around obstacles and whatnot.  Dynamic shooters need to have gloves that are flexible enough not to imped dexterity, yet still enough protection that you don't hear bacon frying whenever you handle your weapon.

The Mechanix Fastfit Gloves fill this need pretty well, and don't look half bad.  Yes, they're what the "cool guys" tend to use, but there's a reason for that.

As I said, the colors are pretty well subdued, the yellow isn't a bright yellow and those patches can  be easily removed if it bothers you.  Otherwise they're black and dark grey.

A really nice feature, at least to me, is that there's no velcro strap on the wrist, just a strip of elastic.  I find velcro closures on gloves tend to snag on pretty much everything and add unnecessary bulk to the wrist, and suck massively if you wear a watch.

The palms are Clarino (a synthetic leather) that's pretty common in gloves these days (all my biking gloves use it.)  It's pretty tough, and much more flexible than most leathers I've used.  They're also super-thin, so you can feel your weapon's controls and conduct low-light chamber checks to your heart's content.

There's also a re-enforced hole in the pull tab on the wrist, I keep meaning to tie a couple loops of 550 chord through there so I can clip them to my vest in the field.  This is an often overlooked feature on gloves, and it's much easier to just clip them to your vest than cram them in one of your pockets.

I tend to buy gloves on the smaller side, especially for shooting or rappelling.  I would rather get little red lines on my hand from the seams than get the fingertips stuck in a knot 40' off the ground or be able to reload a gun without chambering said fingertip.  That being said, the Fastfit's seams are very well made and very comfortable.  The gloves are also incredibly flexible-

And as far as the thinness, I can even use the touchscreen on my phone while wearing them-


The trade-off is, of course, that you wouldn't want to grab a hold barrel and hold on.  But they offer enough protection to keep you from sizzling before you realize said barrel is hot, and that's really all you need.  Plus if you take a digger on some wet gravel at your next carbine class, some scuffed up gloves beat the hell out of pulling granite chunks out of your hand for the next week.

Long story short, the Mechanix Fastfits are well worth it.  Go pick up a pair if you're looking for some decent range gloves.

I'm still around...

Just been busy as previously noted.  I'm hoping to write up a quick review of some gloves I've been using as soon as I get time and the weather cooperates for picture taking.  Plus I want to dive into my cheap vest and how to look good on a budget.

Speaking of which, there's some talks bouncing around the ol' sphere about what exactly looking cool might entail.  I still like the Coyote/FDE family for solids, and I'm warming to Multicam for the ultimate in coolness, although with that finally being adopted by the Army I may start leaning away. (I don't like wearing "Army" stuff when I'm not doing "Army Stuff".)  However the amount of stuff out there in MC and the limited scope of issue by the Big Army makes it a bit more bearable for the time being. (I'm still hoping they'll just ditch UCP and go Mulitcam across the board soonish though.)