The first pair of gloves I was issued in the military were the thickest most overbuilt leather gloves I’ve ever used in my life. These gloves would remain unbendable despite the years of work done in them and the numerous leather treatments used. They however never broke or wore out. On my own I bought a pair of leather sheepskin gloves that felt like I had nothing on my hand at all. However, they wore through in the palm within two weeks of being in the field. Firearms, survival, and outdoors work will destroy any good pair of gloves quickly. You need a fine balance between, protection, durability, and dexterity. I’ve found few gloves that balances the three quite like the SpecOpShop combat glove.
Be aware that there are many excellent hard knuckle combat gloves out in the world right now. The top of the line was once the Oakley SI assault glove; however it seems that post 2010 something had changed in the quality as I had several that fell apart much earlier than previous pairs. This was reported by others who I worked with as well. There is nothing particularly revolutionary about the SpecOpShop combat glove, rather what sets it apart is the judicious use of excellent materials and fine / reinforced stitching. The fit of the SpecOpShop combat glove is superb. With a cut that gives your hand enough room to breathe while still not being baggy. Four-way stretch nylon is incorporated at the tops of the fingers and behind the knuckles to aid in effortless movement while the gloves are on.
The main material used to complete the glove and the palm is Pittards leather. The leather used is thick enough to withstand the heat and punishment from a short-barreled MK18 with a suppressor but due to the excellent quality used is supple and breathes even on the hottest of days. I’ve found that the fit of these gloves isn’t skin tight like the Magpul breach gloves but rather has some excess of material. I was against this at first until working with them in the field. My hands naturally swelled and shrunk as I dehydrated, hydrated or ate MRE’s (Salt). My hands never felt like they were being strangled as sometimes happens with certain other simulated leather / leather gloves.
Rather than incorporate touch screen compatible material in the finger tips as has been the practice as of late. SpecOpShop instead has slits cut into the finger so that it can be bent back to allow your index and thumb to protrude for fine work. I’ve found this to be effective however it requires a bit of training if you’re shooting with the M4 / AR-15. During emergency magazine changes from bolt lock the cut in the material at the thumb would catch on the bolt release paddle and I’d have to struggle to get it un-snagged. To combat this I concentrated on not overshooting the magazine release paddle and the problem never presented itself again.
The knuckles feature a rigid carbon fiber knuckle for protection in training and in non-permissive environments. The knuckles have saved me several times from hard hits when clearing corners and getting tackled or otherwise bumping against things during aggressive movement during room clearing. I’ve yet to have the opportunity to punch someone in the face with these though I’ll be sure to write an article about it when it occurs.
When I was first sent these gloves I felt underwhelmed. Nothing was particularly revolutionary about the design. However SpecOpShop came to the table with a simple no frills glove that incorporates the best design features into a style of glove and then finishes it with the best materials that they can source. The result is my favorite combat glove that I’ve used in a long time. They feel like the old Oakley Assault gloves but with a better fit, better materials and better build quality. All of this is done while keeping these gloves at the low price of 55 bucks. I’ve jumped out of C-130J’s with these on, I’ve fired short-barreled M4’s with suppressors until the can glows in the dark, and I’ve taught combat survival with them in multiple environments and they keep on going. You won’t feel sorry if you opt to buy the excellent Spec-Ops shop combat gloves.
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