Winter is here and many parts of the country are dealing with record breaking low temperatures. As your dress changes so do your tactics for concealed carry and self-defense. In today's article I want to address questions about gloves.
To Wear Gloves or Not to Wear Gloves
Gloves are a huge hindrance to handling a weapon well. They effect your grip, trigger control, and more subtle movements like disengaging a safety, operating a hammer, racking the slide, dropping the magazine and more. Since most of us don't work gloves into our firearm training routines, to wear them at all would be a significant issue when trying to operate the weapon under pressure. So, for this reason, there is a large community of shooters who feel it is always best to not wear gloves at all. You still have pockets you can put those hands in to keep warm.
Sometimes, even worse than having inoperable gloves, is having frozen fingers that can't move because they are too cold. When I got to the office last Tuesday (Denver) the outside temperature was 3 degrees Fahrenheit. No amount of keeping your hands in your pockets is going to help you stay warm enough to be able to operate a firearm in that kind of cold.
So, I suppose the best answer is that wearing gloves is sometimes not only a good idea but absolutely necessary.
When Should I Wear Gloves?
If you are going to be outside in very cold temperatures for an extended period of time you should wear gloves. I realize that words like “Very Cold” and “Extended Period of Time” is very general. Each of us does have our own tolerance for cold and we need to make appropriate decisions that will work for us. The key here would be to ask yourself if not wearing gloves is going to leave your hands too cold to be useful. If yes, you need to wear gloves.
If I Am Going to Wear Gloves What Should I Wear and How Do I Train?
There is a big market for tactical gloves that are meant to give the user increased mobility while still keeping your hands warm (Amazon Search). My favorites are the Specialist All Weather Gloves by Hatch (On Amazon here). They have great leather palms with added traction on the fingers and in key areas. They are made for shooting specifically. Sadly, no pair of tactical gloves is going to keep your warm in the prolonged and bitter cold. As an alternative you could wear the big fluffy ski type of gloves and just be prepared to yank them off before drawing your firearm.
The key here, like usual, is in the way you train. If you feel you need to wear gloves then you need to rain with them. Stand in front of a mirror and practice using the gloves or taking them off. Do it in slow motion several times before acting quickly. Use your training weapon to prevent accidents.