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Tactical Shooting Gloves: The Ultimate Guide


Tactical Shooting Gloves History

Tactical shooting gloves have evolved over time in the military and paramilitary professions. As close quarters combat rose to become one of the spaces many operate in, some in the military and paramilitary professions started wearing gloves to help them grip their weapon better.

Those early gloves varied in material from leather or wool to synthetics. Those who wore them modified them in different ways. Some cut the glove at the fingers so digits could be exposed for more dexterity while others simply liberated finger pads to be able to pull the trigger better.

Others taped small metal plates to their palms of their gloves, creating some of the first hand protection to be used to defend against knife attacks. Remember, as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once said, “You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish you had at a later time.” Necessity, as we know, is the mother of invention and soldiers and police officers made tactical shooting gloves into what they needed.

Tactical Shooting Gloves Today

The tactical shooting gloves of today are the end state of the evolution we just described. But still, even today’s tactical shooting gloves are evolving. Manufacturers are designing lighter, more durable, more flexible products for tactical shooters.

Not to mention, tactical shooting gloves are now more than just shooting gloves. They are an essential part of any tactical kit and they can not only serve as tactical shooting gloves, but they can also help those who wear them maneuver obstacles without risk of tearing skin, protect against assailant attack, break sharp materiel without risk of injury, and use tactical ropes (rappel) to breach a facility. They can also keep hands warm in severe weather.

That said, tactical shooting gloves don’t have to be reserved for tactical situations and use. Tactical shooting gloves are great to use in most outdoor activities like hunting, shooting sports, camping, climbing and hiking. They are also fantastic to use if you ride mountain bikes, dirt bikes or use all-terrain vehicles.

Types of Tactical Shooting Gloves


Multipurpose tactical shooting gloves are ideal for any situation mentioned above. Most have padded palms and knuckles that protect your skin from injury. Whether you are working on a ranch or rappelling from a rope, these gloves provide the necessary protection you need to protect your most important tools; your hands.

Many of them have removable finger coverings to allow you to use that touch screen to call in an airstrike. Okay, not really, just checking to see if you’re still reading, but those removeable glove finger pads can help you use a touch screen and also help with dexterity whatever you might be tackling.


Needlestick-resistant gloves aren’t really tactical shooting gloves, but they can be. They are resistant to punctures from hypodermic needles and highly resistant to cuts from glass and sharp blades. They’re ordinarily worn by sanitation workers, healthcare workers and law-enforcement personnel, especially those who work on anti-drug task forces and who participate in drug raids and might encounter hypodermic needles. 

Some of these gloves are made of knit materials and they are breathable. Others are made of leather and have a needlestick-resistant inner layer with an abrasion-resistant leather exterior.


As mentioned, tactical shooting gloves do not need to be used solely for shooting. They can be used in a wide array of activities and because they are designed to protect hands and to provide maximum dexterity, they are great for any kind of activity to include snowmobiling, climbing, and outdoor work.

Many of these gloves have rubber at the finger tips which allow for better gripping. They have shock absorbing technology that withstands most impacts and at least one fingertip is enabled for use with touch screens so you won’t have to take off your gloves to use a device.

Tactical Shooting Gloves (Features)

Choosing the right tactical shooting gloves is hard enough, but they come in a variety of materials that can be hard to choose from. The key is to select a glove material that suits your needs. There are some people who might wear their gloves for an extended period of time in a rugged environment, and others might just need them on for a tactical scenario that might only last 15 minutes. Which tactical shooting gloves to select depends much on the mission of the person wearing them. Comfort, protection and dexterity are key.

Tactical shooting gloves come in all sorts of material like neoprene, polyester, wool, leather, and rubber just to name a few choices. Some tactical shooting gloves have combinations of many of these materials.

Remember, leather is a tough, natural product that when combined with other materials can make great tactical shooting gloves. Aromatic polyamides are an intensely strong material with many military and tactical applications. These might cost a little more, but if you’re in a profession where you are literally in the trenches, there likely aren’t more lightweight and durable gloves out there. These will likely do the best at protecting your hands from injury.

Neoprene and polyester tactical shooting gloves can be good too. Neoprene has great moisture wicking tendencies so if you are working in a wet or humid environment, consider these. And polyester might also be a good choice in wet and humid climates because it absorbs moisture away from the skin and enables the wearer’s skin to breathe. The bottom line is to find a material that will provide you with the weather resistance that you need, and the tactical protection that you require.

Tactical Shooting Gloves Padding

Knuckles take a beating. Whether you are turning a wrench or apprehending an assailant, your hands, particularly your knuckles, will get banged up on the job without the proper protection.

When you are shopping for your tactical shooting gloves, ensure they provide the necessary protection you need to your knuckles. Ample padding should be around the glove’s knuckle area, but it shouldn’t impede dexterity and mobility of your fingers. If you’re in the infantry, padded knuckles are a must-have.

Palm pads are also a critical component of tactical shooting gloves. The material of the pads is dependent, again, on your mission. Consider palm pads that are made of tactical materials used in military helmets or flak vests if your profession is tactical in nature, like infantryman, street cop, or special operator.

Other Features of Tactical Shooting Gloves

Gloves are definitely not a one size fits all type of thing. Ensure you are getting gloves that fit you properly. This will lessen the chances of excess material bunching up in your fingers creating dexterity issues when things matter the most.

Some gloves are adjustable and customizable. For example, in some cases, you can remove the fingertips of the glove, or at least one of the fingertips to allow for better grip or screen use. Given the expanded use of touch screens in everyday life, this is a great feature. Not to mention, touch screens have long since been introduced into tactical equipment, so it is nice to have a free finger to manipulate your screens.

Users can also purchase gloves that are adjustable around the wrist. This enables a more snug fit, especially for those who might fluctuate in weight throughout the year.

Tactical Shooting Gloves for Tactical Fun

Tactical shooting gloves have a very real and serious purpose, but they can also be used to protect your hands while you’re having fun. For all the same reasons a combat arms or paramilitary professional might need tactical shooting gloves, they can also be used for fun while enjoying paintball games or airsoft matches.

The velocity that paintball and airsoft rounds travel can definitely hurt like hell. So it is important to not only use all the recommended protective equipment, but it is essential to have a great set of tactical shooting gloves that will not only provide protection, but the needed dexterity to play in the fast-moving world of paintball and airsoft.

Whatever your reason for needing tactical shooting gloves remember that they are protecting what is likely one of the most necessary parts of your body. Do a lot of research and shop around. Try on multiple pairs and see how they work. Return them to the store if they are not what you need. Nobody should be saddled with gear that doesn’t work.

Above all, remember, get what you need for the mission you do. Your hands will love you for it.

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