So despite living in Virginia for going on seven years now, I had never really devoted any serious time to shooting in winter gloves. I have shot in the cold before, but always wearing tactical gloves, which really provide no warmth whatsoever, but do help out with grip once your hands get a little numb. With the high yesterday reaching freezing (yep, 32 degrees was the high), I decided that it was a good time to give gloved shooting a try. The main impetus behind this was that I have been wearing winter gloves more and more when I concealed carry, and defending my life is not a good time to figure out what changes gloves make in my shooting style.
The gloves I used were Outdoor Research Gripper Gloves, which I had picked up at the Exchange on base. I also have a pair of their Backstop Gloves, but I don't wear them as frequently and decided to stick with the Grippers. Both are very comfortable, and I recommend them, although they are made in China and I would prefer something US made.
As a disclaimer, since this was my first time shooting with heavier gloves and I was wearing multiple layers of clothing, I shot from a Safariland drop holster, not from my usual G-Code belt holster.
Overall, the gloves did not make a huge difference in my shooting style. The biggest point to take away was that because of the decreased sensitivity brought on by the gloves, I had to make a conscious effort to ensure that my trigger finger was adequately contacting the trigger. My first few shots tended to be left of center, as I only placed the tip of my finger on the trigger. Once I adjusted for that, things went pretty smoothly, although my draw stroke was slower, mostly due to the hood on the Safariland, which my G-Code doesn't have. I conducted magazine changes and immediate action drills with minimal difficulty, which I think was partially due to the Vicker's extended mag release and base plates, which perform exactly as advertised.
Stay safe, train hard, train real.
About the Author
Woody is a 10 year veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he has served at various units including the International Training Division and Maritime Security Response Team. He has held qualifications including Deployable Team Leader/Instructor, Direct Action Section Team Leader, and Precision Marksman – Observer. He has deployed/instructed on five continents and served in quick reaction force roles for multiple National Special Security Events in the US.