If you do a lot of shooting in all environments you will no doubt wear gloves or have tried some. If you have ever scraped your hand along Picatinny rails when it’s -5c then you will know why gloves can be a sensible option. My main issue with gloves when using a Precision Rifle has been the lack of feel in the fingers. There are a number of fiddly tasks requiring feel and dexterity which negate the use of really bulky gloves, with the trigger feel being the most obvious. Mechanix offer the 0.5mm Tactical Shooting Glove and I have tested it for over a year.
Are Mechanix the most well known brand of “hard use” gloves in the world? Very probably! They are popular in the Tactical market, Automotive market and throughout general and specialised industries. In short they are pretty damn good at making tough gloves. I have used (and abused) several varieties of Mechanix gloves in the past and I have found them very durable.
If you are shoot outdoors in all weathers you will have tried wearing gloves. The ideal would be toasty warm gloves which allowed great sensitivity and dexterity. Of course they don’t exist! You may need to load a magazine or clear a misfed round, even using the scope requires dexterity and the ability to feel the clicks. Thus the Tactical Glove came into being!
The 0.5mm glove has been designed with the precision shooter in mind. They are lighter and thinner than the Mechanix M-pact or Originals. 0.5mm AX Suede provides protection the the palms and fingers. The back side of the glove is made from “Trek Dry” which is light and breathable. Mechanix have selected materials which allow very high levels of finger dexterity and feel while retaining an element of protection. The materials feel good against the skin and the seams are especially noteworthy as they are often places where gloves can rub or irritate. Mechanix seams are neat and have no prickly parts which again adds to the dexterity aspect.
The gloves have hard wearing velcro fasteners which are coated in a Thermoplastic Rubber. I got a pair in a tan colour which Mechanix call “Coyote”, they are also available in black.
When I first pulled on the 0.5mm gloves I was sure that I would keep them for “best”. I told myself I would only wear them for shooting and would not do any manual work in them. They felt so light and fit so nicely that it seemed criminal to abuse them.. That lasted about a week. I have four pairs of gloves that range from filthy and ripped up to “best”. In an ideal world they would stay that way but ultimately they never do..
As a Demo and Proof shooter I run through a lot of rounds. A lot of that shooting is done with 338 Lapua Magnum or 50BMG. Despite the muzzle brakes and recoil mitigation designs they still equate to a lump of metal moving pretty violently. Tactical bolt guns also seem to host a number of edges which will tear up skin whenever you least expect it. The Mechanix 0.5mm gloves took it all in stride and maintained excellent tactility. The trigger could still be felt breaking crisply. Scope adjustments felt precise. Single feeding ammunition was no problem and basic tool use was fine. The best part about the gloves was the snug fit and the smooth outer which prevented any flaps of material getting hung on sharp edges. The fit is of course dependant on you selecting the right size!
As stated I quickly began to wear the 0.5mm gloves all the time. They were not made to keep your hands warm but they take the wind chill on the hands to a minimum. The palms and fingers give enough protection that I found myself wearing them for firewood processing. Chucking big Oak cakes about and splitting them with a Maul is always going to be a demanding task. The Mechanix gloves coped just fine with no tears at the seams on the fingers which are normally the first area to give way.
I have had the gloves about a year now. I have worn them almost daily. As mentioned they were abused more than a light shooting glove should be. The seams are just starting to give way on the fingers. I was surprised that they had lasted so long! They are still completely wearable, I had them on today for some wood splitting and they are holding up fine.
Price and Conclusion
So far these are by far the best Mechanix gloves I have used for range work. They doubled up for everyday use and have given just over a year before showing signs of needing to be replaced. Whatever gloves you buy if you use them hard then they will need replacing. In my experience I am usually happy to get 6 months from a pair of work gloves. When you consider these Mechanix 0.5mm cost around £22 in the UK and around $28 in the U.S. I would say they are superb value for money. I would have paid a good deal more and not been dissatisfied!
UK – Heinnie Haynes
U.S.A. – Mechanix
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