If you’re like most firearm enthusiasts who enjoy target shooting year round, you don’t want to put a halt to activities just because the temperature has dropped. When indoor ranges aren't convenient for extended comfortable sessions, do what I do: Put on a pair of gloves and head to an outdoor range. Where I live—Pennsylvania—outdoor ranges are not as crowded in the winter, so most of the time I don’t have to wait for an open spot at the firing line.
I have also noticed that I shoot better with gloves. Wearing gloves while shooting gives me a better grip, and my hands are not as sore when I’m finished. The gloves protect my hands from feeling discomfort due to recoil, especially that bony joint at the base of my thumb.
So which gloves are best for winter shooting? To gather my top choices, I asked for recommendations from members of the many women’s shooting groups I follow on social media, as well as the gals I shoot with at our local chapter of A Girl & A Gun women’s shooting league. Finally, I checked online reviews for the highest-rated women’s cold weather shooting gloves. Stay warm, ladies, and keep shooting!
PIG FDT – Charlie Women’s Glove
I’m not making this one up; yes, that’s the product name. PIG stands for Patrol Incident Gear, and FDT stands for Full Dexterity Tactical. The PIG line contained the most popular models of winter shooting gloves in my online research of fellow female shooters. Once I slipped them on at the range on a cold, blustery PA winter day, I could see why. The “Charlie” model is made of warm and soft microsuede. The trigger finger is made of ultrathin synthetic suede, increasing sensitivity. I also liked the little loop on the bottom of the glove which made it easier for me to pull them off. $44.95
PIG FDT – Cold Weather Gloves
This PIG model is a little thicker than the “Charlie,” and to me, made them feel warmer. The Cold Weather Glove model has an enhanced grip feature on the thumb and forefinger, which helped me pick up cartridges. These gloves are also made of fleece-backed Spandex and a windproof membrane to block the wind. The fingers also contain a sticky, silicon material to enhance grip. $57.95
PIG FDT – Echo Women’s Gloves
The Echo gloves are made from gender-specific patterns so the Echo Women’s Glove was designed for women. If you like a thinner shooting glove, this is the PIG style for you. These gloves are made of ultra-thin synthetic suede, and the palm is one-layer thick for great grip sensitivity. I also really like the silicon grip printing on the fingers; the material feels sticky, which helped with my grip, and picking up and loading cartridges. $29.95
ORVIS Cold Weather Hunting Gloves
I have been a fan of the Orvis line of products since I was a kid. My dad and I used to participate in all kinds of outdoor activities like fishing, shooting, hiking and camping, and we noticed Orvis products were a bit pricey, but they lasted forever!
I really liked the quality materials in these gloves. They were a little thicker than the others I tested, but as soon as I felt the goat-leather palm, I know I was feeling quality. The gloves’ fingers are articulated for added dexterity and comfort, and the glove is lined with 3-oz. PrimaLoft Gold Eco insulation (except for the trigger finger), for dexterity and safe gun operation. $119
ORVIS Women’s Uplander Shooting Gloves
These gloves were buttery soft and warm. They were designed exclusively for women, and are cut smaller for the female hand. The Uplander Shooting gloves are made from sheepskin so they are supple yet strong for good grip and dexterity. Oh, and get this—they are cut long at the wrist to protect the shooter from briars and hot brass! $79
Hatch Elite Winter Specialist Gloves
Priced at the low end ($12.99), the Elite Winter Specialist gloves are a good value. They have a Thermolite lining that keeps your hands warm, and a wicking action that pulls perspiration away to help prevent the loss of body heat. They are made of nylon in the back, and a goatskin palm for durability and dexterity. The wrist cuff is made of Spandex for a snug fit, keeping out cold, winter air. The adjustable hook-and-loop closure on the outer shell helps to keep out debris, and their extreme-Grip non-skid material is good for enhanced weapon control.
Hatch Winter Specialist All-Weather Shooting Glove
Constructed a little thicker than the Hatch Elite model, the Hatch Winter Specialist All-Weather Shooting Gloves were designed specifically for handgun use in cold and damp weather. The palms are made out of synsi-feel synthetic leather for great grip and tactile feel. Non-slip patches are sewn onto the palm and all fingertips expect the index finger. These gloves also have dual inner linings of Thinsulate and breathable, waterproof Hipora. Also, their hook-and-loop closure provides a snug fit. $20.99
Both Hatch gloves are available from LA Police Gear.
Women’s UA Storm Run Liner Gloves
I really like the option of wearing two layers of gloves—the liners go on first, then you can top them with another pair of gloves for added warmth if your hands are still cold. As they’re designed to be worn under other gloves for frigid temps, I found them to be thin, snug and easy to slip on. However, as I was shooting on a cold, windy day (the temp was about 28 degrees Fahrenheit), my hands started to feel cold after about 20 minutes wearing only the liners. When I checked the website, the company suggested these liners be worn if the outside temperature is above 30 degrees.
The Storm Run Liner gloves are made of ColdGear fabric that’s lightweight, wicks sweat and dries quickly. The silicone print on palms is for increased grip and durability. Material is 90 percent polyester/10 percent Elastane. $30
5.11 Tactical TAC A2 Gloves
These shooting gloves are a popular choice among law enforcement officials and special ops personnel around the world. They are designed to provide the shooter with enhanced dexterity in operational settings while maintaining superior comfort at the same time.
The 5.11 Tactical TAC A2 Gloves are constructed of a synthetic leather suede palm and a breathable stretch nylon back panel. They come with reinforcements in the areas of the finger joints and the saddle located between the thumb and index finger. Synthetic leather grip pads and TacticalTouch precision fingertips help to guarantee a solid grip on your firearm. $24.99
Primos Hunting Mossy Oak Bottomland Stretch Fingerless Gloves
I really like the Primos line of hunting gear. They have a wide selection of outdoor products, and they are reasonably priced (these gloves are $19.99). Besides the Mossy Oak camo, what I liked about these gloves is they have only three fingers pre-cut, instead of the usual 10 fingers cut. I only need my thumb and forefinger to load ammo, so I never understood why some shooting gloves have all ten tips missing!
I like to wear fingerless gloves for shooting, and I’m not alone. “I often wear fingerless leather gloves to protect my arthritic joints while shooting,” says Carol Palo, competitive shooter and NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor. “The covering adds a comfortable layer that buffers any hits my hands may take.”
These gloves are lightweight stretch-fit gloves with a sure-grip palm. There is also an extended cuff for concealment.
About the Author: Maureen Sangiorgio is an NRA Certified Firearm Instructor/Range Safety Officer. She can be reached directly at maureenwriter.com.