Friday, March 08, 2013

Shooting gloves .. a good idea?

Shooting Wire:
SMYRNA, GA - GASTON J. GLOCK style LP, the purveyors of fine quality hunting and shooting sports apparel and accessories, is pleased to announce their new glove line, made from the finest reindeer leather, is now available for purchase. Made in Hungary, the glove line is currently composed of: Gloves, Unlined Hunting Gloves and Lined Hunting Gloves.

It's a funny coincidence, but aren't they all?

Over the years .. and especially since I have experienced some special 'sensitivity' (read: it sucks!) from the skin on my own hands,  I've contemplated wearing gloves to make it easier to shoot without damaging my hands.

As it happens, no matter what I do since 2008, by the end of a match I find that my skin has injuries like paper-cuts .. only, worse.  So I've been wearing plastic gloves .. even while I was working the 201? Area 1 match as the Chronograph Stage "shooter".

Last weekend, I had a student who was wearing gloves.  Not "rubber gloves:", for any obvious reason, but because .. well, I didn't know why.  They were just cloth gloves, with perhaps a little bit of leather reinforcement here and there.  Honestly, I didn't pay that much attention to the details.

He was having some problems hitting his mark; he usually hit low, and to the left, which suggested that he was 'pushing' the trigger.

I didn't mention .. anything! .. until the last stage, when I suggested that he might have better "trigger sensitivity" if he was shooting with bare-fingers, so he could feel the trigger.

He tried shooting without his gloves; he bombed.  So much for my good advice!  I said: "Okay, so maybe it isn't the gloves", and he agreed.  Unfortunately, we didn't have another stage to shoot, so we couldn't really evaluate the situation objectively.

I don't know if shooting with gloves improved his accuracy, or control  The point is, that HE thought it was providing some benefit to him.  I am not saying that I was WRONG to suggest that he shoot without gloves .. only that the situation was so unique (can you get more "unique" than to be "unique"  I don't think so!) that it was worth the effort to attempt an experiment.

Fortunately, he was willing to give it a try.
Unfortunately, it didn't work.

He shot WORSE without gloves, than with gloves.   It was what he was accustomed, I guess.  Who knew?

Ultimately, he was able to shoot safely wearing gloves, so after I had determined to my own satisfaction (it's a class, not a match),  that he met the minimal safety requirements and he was NOT compromising his own competitiveness, I backed off.

I don't know if "most" people can shoot safely while wearing gloves.  But this shooter could, and that was good enough for me.

I probably have a lot more to say on this subject .. I'm still not convinced that It's A Good Idea ... but if it works for him?

It's not my job to be critical. Only to teach my students to shoot safely. And he did.

'Nuff Said.


Anonymous said...

If you look at photos of the real shooters, over in the sandbox, the SEALs, SpecOps, and many of the infantrymen who are shooting as if their lives depended on it, you will find that most all are wearing gloves. Would they be wearing gloves if it hindered their accuracy and speed? Maybe there is something to learn there.

Jerry The Geek said...

Antipoda ... good point about the gloves. I'm not sure that the gloves my shooter was wearing are directly equivalent to those issued to "shooters" in the military; "My Guy's" gloves seemed to be thick, as compared to the kidskin-type gloves used by "operators".

But what do I know. Not much.