Home Shooting 9 Best Shooting Gloves Reviewed (Fingerless & Full Finger Range Gloves)

9 Best Shooting Gloves Reviewed (Fingerless & Full Finger Range Gloves)

military practice shooting pistol on range

How many shooting gloves do you see on people’s hands at the range?

I’ve found that it depends on how people are shooting. Someone plinking away with a .22 or firing one shot every five minutes at a small target 300 yards away will likely be barehanded.

Anybody practicing with handguns for self defense or engaged in rapid-fire shooting will either be wearing gloves or soon wishing they had brought a pair. The same goes for the folks using big guns.

While not everyone needs to wear gun gloves, they’re a good piece of equipment to make certain types of shooting much, much easier.

Gloves can seem like a superfluous piece of gear that’s not worth the expense. However, if you avoid gloves or only get the cheapest pair you can find then your hands will take a serious beating instead.

Check out these shooting gloves to protect your hands and improve your control over your firearm.


The 9 Best Shooting Gloves of 2021: Outdoor Empire Reviews

  1. Best Budget: Caldwell Ultimate Shooting Gloves
  2. Best Full Finger #1: 5.11 Competition Shooting Gloves
  3. Best Full Finger #2: PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Alpha Gloves
  4. Best Military #1: Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves
  5. Best Military #2: Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves
  6. Best Fingerless #1: Mechanix Wear M-Pact Fingerless Covert Gloves
  7. Best Fingerless #2: Cabela’s Fingerless Shooting Gloves
  8. Best Women’s #1: Mechanix Wear Women’s Specialty 0.5mm Covert Gloves
  9. Best Women’s #2: Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting Gloves


CategoryBest Full FingerBest FingerlessBest Military
Product5.11 Competition Shooting Gloves
5.11 Competition Shooting Gloves

Mechanix Wear M-Pact Fingerless Covert
Mechanix Wear M-Pact Fingerless Covert

Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves
Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves

StyleFull fingerArmored half fingerArmored full finger
Colors- Black
- Kangaroo
- Ranger Green
- Black- Black
- Coyote
SizesS to XXLM to XLS to XXL
Palm MaterialSynthetic suedeSynthetic suedeLeather
Back MaterialNeoprene and elasticSynthetics and rubberLeather and synthetics
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price


1. Best Budget Shooting Gloves: Caldwell Ultimate Shooting Gloves

Caldwell Ultimate Shooting Gloves


  • Style: Full Finger
  • Sizes: Small/Medium, Large/Extra Large
  • Palm Material: Rubber
  • Back Material: Elastic
  • Touch Screen Enabled Finger? Yes


Caldwell Shooting Supplies is the brand used by budget shooters all over America when they need inexpensive supplementary gear like hearing protection and gloves.

The Caldwell Ultimate Shooting Gloves are the best gloves under $20 I’ve found. Anything less compromises too much on features or durability.

These gloves have a rubberized palm to give you a better grip and is reinforced to absorb some recoil. There’s a leather patch over the web of your thumb to protect you from slide bite, making these good pistol gloves.

The back of the hand is elastic and stretches. This helps more people fit their hands inside these gloves. However, the sizes are limited to Small/Medium and Large/Extra Large and don’t fit everyone.

For example, the glove’s pinky finger is somewhat long and the Large/Extra Large size is a bit small for an “extra large” glove.


  • Good grip and dexterity
  • Inexpensive


  • Limited sizes
  • Long pinky finger


The Caldwell Ultimate Shooting Glove is a good entry-level glove that is inexpensive and good for rifles, pistols, and shotguns. However, these gloves may not fit every hand.


2. Best Full Finger Shooting Gloves #1: 5.11 Competition Shooting Gloves

5.11 Competition Shooting Gloves


  • Style: Full finger
  • Colors: Black, Kangaroo, Ranger Green
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Double Extra Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic suede
  • Back Material: Neoprene and elastic
  • Touch Screen Enabled Finger? Yes


The 5.11 Competition Shooting Gloves are very popular rifle, shotgun, and handgun gloves. They’re great for competitive and tactical shooting, but they aren’t as durable as some other gloves. Still, they’re a great choice for people who aren’t going to war.

The palm is made of a synthetic suede that’s grippy without being annoying. It’s vented and breathable, so your palm won’t sweat too much. The fingertips allow you to feel the trigger and use your smartphone.

The back of the glove is primarily elastic with neoprene covering the knuckles and joints in an accordion style to maintain dexterity.

There’s a reinforced patch to prevent slide bite and microfiber on the thumb so you can wipe sweat from your forehead.


  • Great for practical shooting competitions
  • Stays cooler than many gloves


  • Doesn’t protect against cold or wind
  • Not the best grip


The 5.11 Competition Shooting Glove is a great choice for action shooting, especially 3-gun. However, you may want another pair if you need gloves with lots of grip or thick padding.


5.11 Competition Shooting Gloves is also available at:

Bass Pro



3. Best Full Finger Shooting Gloves #2: PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Alpha Gloves

PIG Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) Alpha Gloves


  • Style: Full finger
  • Colors: Black, Carbon Grey, Coyote, Ranger Green
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Double Extra Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic suede
  • Back Material: Multiple
  • Touch Screen Enabled Finger? Yes


The Patrol Incident Gear Full Dexterity Tactical Alpha Gloves, also called PIG FDT Alphas, are designed to maximize dexterity while providing adequate protection to your hand from scrapes.

The synthetic suede grip is designed to minimize overlapping so you can feel everything under your fingers. The forefinger and thumb have a different material to further maximize sensation for better trigger control.

The back of the glove is made from multiple different materials that are layered with gaps over the joints so you can flex your fingers without discomfort.

The Alpha is a medium-weight glove by PIG, while Bravos are heavier and Deltas are lighter, though the Alpha is already very light. There are also women’s models available, the Charlie and Echo.

PIG FDT Alpha gloves are designed to fit tighter than most other gloves. Also, they are not a buy-once item. They sacrifice durability for dexterity.


  • Extremely dexterous
  • Keeps you cool


  • Considered a consumable product


The PIG Full Dexterity Tactical Alpha gloves are good for fast and accurate rifle and pistol fire and are used by U.S. Spec Ops soldiers because of their dexterity. However, consider these to be disposable gloves.


4. Best Military Shooting Gloves #1: Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves

Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves


  • Style: Armored full finger
  • Colors: Black, Brown, Grey, MultiCam, Woodland Camo,
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Double Extra Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic suede
  • Back Material: Synthetics and rubber
  • Touch Screen Enabled Finger? No


The Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves are heavy-duty work shooting gloves that can handle serious shooting environments.

The palms are made from synthetic leather with D3O padding and Armortex reinforcement. This absorbs lots of recoil so you can shoot high volumes comfortably. It also gives you a great amount of grip so you’ll never lose your gun.

The forefinger and thumb have a double layer of reinforcement so the material won’t get chewed through. You won’t be able to feel the trigger pull as well as with other gloves, but you’ll be able to pull the trigger for longer.

The back of the glove is mostly either a padded mesh or thermoplastic rubber, so you can bump and scrape your hand all day without getting injured.


  • Extremely durable
  • Protects the back of your hand and your palm
  • Used by soldiers


  • Too thick and reinforced for precision shooting


The Mechanix M-Pact Tactical Glove is a great choice when you want protection more than dexterity. They can also be used as work gloves, not just shooting gloves.


Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves is also available at:

Bass Pro


5. Best Military Shooting Gloves #2: Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves

Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves


  • Style: Armored full finger
  • Colors: Black, Coyote
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Double Extra Large
  • Palm Material: Leather
  • Back Material: Leather and synthetics
  • Touch Screen Enabled Finger? No


The Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves are tactical shooting gloves for the range or the sandbox.

The palm is made from one piece of genuine leather that’s ventilated almost to the point of being a mesh. This protects your hand from rough gun grips and allows your skin to breathe. The leather has been treated to improve grip, too.

The back of the glove is made from a wide variety of synthetic materials along with the leather. You get good dexterity and excellent knuckle protection without getting slowed down by heavy armor on your joints. The knuckle protectors are made of lightweight carbon fiber.

There is also mesh as well as rubber “exhaust” ports to improve ventilation. Don’t expect these gloves to protect against wind chill. However, they are great for hot weather!

You can’t use the fingertips with a touch screen, which is a fair trade-off considering how effective these gloves are. There’s a reason soldiers often wear Oakley Pilot gloves.


  • Great palm
  • Lightweight while still being protective
  • Used by the military


  • Expensive


The Oakley Factory Pilot Glove is a great choice if you want a tactical glove that handles heat well and will last for years.


6. Best Fingerless Shooting Gloves #1: Mechanix Wear M-Pact Fingerless Covert Gloves

Mechanix Wear M-Pact Fingerless Covert Gloves


  • Style: Armored half finger
  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: Medium, Large, Extra Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic suede
  • Back Material: Synthetics and rubber


Mechanix Wear’s M-Pact Fingerless Covert Gloves are the half-finger version of the full-finger M-Pacts.

They’re effectively the exact same glove, except with the fingers cut off past the first joint. You can do this yourself, except that the M-Pact Covert Fingerless option is less expensive than the original M-Pacts.

You get the same synthetic, padded, and reinforced palm that’s good for both grip and recoil protection. The back of the fingers still have the rubber armor except on the forefinger.

The fingerless style means that you maintain the full dexterity of your fingers. You do lose out on some protection, though.

I do take issue with how they designed the ends of the fingers. The bottom part has a curve that extends outward just slightly. This is to provide a little bit more protection inside your joints. However, feeling this synthetic leather get squished inside my finger joints is uncomfortable to me, but it doesn’t bother everyone.


  • Armored but still dexterous
  • Good for fingers of any length


  • No small size
  • Odd ends that may not be comfortable


The Mechanix M-Pact Covert Fingerless Glove is a good choice for shooters who want a range glove that absorbs recoil but doesn’t inhibit dexterity.



7. Best Fingerless Shooting Glove #2: Cabela’s Fingerless Shooting Gloves

Cabela’s Fingerless Shooting Gloves


  • Style: Half finger
  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: Medium, Large, Extra Large, Double Extra Large
  • Palm Material: Goat leather
  • Back Material: Polyester mesh


Fingerless gloves are the minimalist option, and the Cabela’s Fingerless Shooting Gloves are my favorite of these.

The palm is made from two pieces of goat leather, one for the palm and fingers and one for the inside of the thumb. This leather is thin yet durable and helps protect you while you grip your gun. There’s an additional patch to protect the top of your finger from rubbing and slide bite.

The back is made from a stretchy polyester mesh that’s breathable and lightweight. It also provides light padding. The knuckles and tops of the fingers are protected by more goat leather, which is much more comfortable than the rubber found on most fingerless gloves.

These aren’t the most technologically advanced gloves on the market, but they are simple yet solid leather and mesh shooting gloves that don’t inhibit your fingers and offer some protection to the rest of your hands.

These gloves don’t come in a small size. They do fit small hands, though, so medium is small enough for all but the tiniest hands.


  • Breathable mesh
  • Strong and light goat leather


  • Fits small, which isn’t good for large hands


Cabela’s Fingerless Shooting Gloves are good for any shooter who wants full dexterity and lightweight protection. They aren’t fancy, but you don’t always need fancy.



8. Best Women’s Shooting Gloves #1: Mechanix Wear Women’s Specialty 0.5mm Covert Gloves

Mechanix Wear Women’s Specialty 0.5mm Covert Gloves


  • Style: Full finger
  • Colors: Black
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic suede
  • Back Material: Mesh
  • Touch Screen Enabled Finger? No


Women and men often have hands that are structured slightly differently. Namely, women tend to have thinner fingers than the average man, making men’s gloves loose and uncomfortable for them.

Too many glove manufacturers slap pink on everything and call it a woman’s glove, even though most of the women shooters I know prefer black over pink.

Mechanix Wear’s Women’s Specialty 0.5mm Covert Gloves are excellent shooting gloves designed to fit thinner fingers. It comes only in black, though if you want you can find Mechanix Pink Camo gloves in other styles.

The palm is made of synthetic suede that’s half a millimeter thick for the utmost in dexterity. The palm is vented and the entire underside is textured for maximum grip.

The back of the glove is mesh to keep your hand cool. The reinforced fingers have expanding joints so your fingers can curve around the gun’s grip.


  • Durable
  • Great grip
  • Very breathable


  • Honestly, the only potential cons regarding these gloves are preferences such as wanting different colors or armored knuckles


The Mechanix Wear Women’s Specialty 0.5mm Covert Glove is not only a great glove for women, it’s  an all-around great lightweight shooting glove.



9. Best Women’s Shooting Gloves #2: Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting Gloves

Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting Gloves


  • Style: Full finger
  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, Double Extra Large
  • Palm Material: Synthetic leather
  • Back Material: Neoprene
  • Touch Screen Enabled Finger? Yes


The Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting Glove is not a dedicated woman’s glove. However, its construction and the variety of available sizes make it an excellent choice for both men and women who want a good shooting glove.

The palm is made from Synsi-feel synthetic leather that gives a good grip without sacrificing dexterity. The non-forefinger fingertips are reinforced with thin armor, while the forefinger is thin for better trigger control.

The sides and back are made from stretchy neoprene that comfortably fits a wide variety of finger types. It provides temperature and rain protection while staying comfortable.

However, these gloves aren’t as breathable as you’d expect from the “all-weather” designation. They can get hot in warm weather, though wearing these gloves is still better than touching bare metal that’s been baking in the sun.


  • Fits a wide variety of hand sizes and shapes
  • Great grip material
  • Keeps your hands dry in rain and snow


  • Not great for use in hot weather


The Hatch Specialist All-Weather Shooting Glove is a great range glove for anybody with smaller hands or thinner fingers.


Why Should You Use Shooting Gloves?

man lying on ground practice shooting

If you’ve only ever shot firearms under calm conditions at a temperate or indoor shooting range then it can be difficult to understand why somebody might want to wear gloves while shooting.

Truly, your bare hands do offer some great qualities for shooting.

You can feel the trigger best with direct skin contact, which allows you the best trigger pull. For plinking or precision rifle shooting, a bare finger is best.

However, things change when the conditions change.

Metal responds more to temperature than polymer does. When it gets cold, metal feels cold. When it gets hot, metal gets oh-so-hot. A black gun left in the summer sun can burn you.

So, good range gloves allow you to comfortably use your gun when the weather is hot or cold.

soldier aiming rifle in the forest

And don’t forget that guns heat up, too! That fiery combustion adds up over time if you’re firing a lot, which easily happens if you’re engaged in competitive shooting. Especially semi-autos such as an AK-47, which are known for hot handguards.

Also, recoil adds up over time. Your gun smacks your hand each time you fire it. If you’re going to fire off hundreds of rounds at the range then that recoil will eventually cause your hands to get sore, especially with heavy-hitting guns like big-bore revolvers or 12-gauge shotguns.

Some triggers can tear up your trigger finger, too. Serrated target triggers, whether on a Glock or 1911, are known for this. And some semi-auto guns have trigger slap. A good pair of shooting gloves alleviates both of these problems and keeps you happily shooting for longer.

Don’t let machismo get in the way of a good shooting experience. The top competitors and soldiers in the field wear shooting gloves. A more comfortable gun is a more accurate gun, and your gloves can make all the difference.

hand fixing 5.11 Taclite gloves

Most handgun gloves have a reinforced patch to protect the web of your thumb from slide bite or getting pinched by the hammer. If you’re shooting a lot, the occasional small pinch will eventually drive you nuts.

Also, a good pair of shooting gloves will protect your hand from bumps, scrapes, and other incidental injuries.

If you’re engaged in a practical shooting competition then you’re moving around and potentially subjecting your knuckles to harsh conditions. Even a little bit of protection goes a long way.

Finally, gloves offer a level of protection against lead exposure at the range.

Cartridge primers contain leaded compounds that aerosolize when the gun is fired. If you shoot a gun, even with “lead-free” ammo, you’re getting lead on your hands.

It’s better to get that lead on your gloves than your bare hands, because you won’t be eating while wearing those gloves!


How to Choose the Right Shooting Gloves?

man with rifle wearing shooting glove

A “shooting glove” covers a wide variety of glove types. Some are minimalist hand coverings only a little thicker than nitrile gloves, while others are full-on specialist work gloves perfect for the automotive shop.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each style.


Full-Fingers vs. Fingerless

gloved hand holding pistol upclose

The biggest choice is whether you want full-finger gloves or fingerless gloves.

Full-finger gloves cover your entire hand, from the wrist to the fingertips.

Fingerless gloves, also called half-finger gloves, don’t extend to your fingertips. They often end right at or before the first finger joint.

There aren’t any truly fingerless gloves meant for shooting. Such gloves would cover the palm and the back of the hand and would be prone to slipping, which would interfere with shooting!

Most people understand “fingerless” gloves to be the same as half-finger gloves.

Fingerless gloves are great for people whose fingers don’t fit normal sizing schemes, whether your fingers are longer, thinner, or thicker than what the glove makers decide is average.

Fingerless gloves also do not add any layers between your finger and the trigger, so you can maintain a great trigger pull. You also don’t lose any dexterity.

However, fingerless gloves also won’t protect your fingers from a hot gun, from getting torn by serrated triggers, or from getting pinched by a trigger safety.


Grip Material

Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Gloves grip view

Your bare skin is pretty good at gripping, except for when it gets slick with sweat.

Shooting gloves tend to have a synthetic or genuine leather material for the palm that provides almost as much grip as your skin. That way even if your hands do get wet, you won’t lose grip.

There are more aggressive grip options available, such as treated leather or even rubber. They allow you to hold the gun more securely than leather or suede. However, they also distance your hands from the gun, which can make handling the gun slower and more awkward.

Glove palms can also be padded. Padding adds protection from recoil, but it also further decreases handling. It’s up to you to decide if you want to feel less recoil or have a closer grip.



finger pointing on Oakley Factory Pilot Gloves armor

Armor refers to rubber, carbon fiber, and extra thick fabric layers, typically on the side and back of the glove.

Armor protects your hands from injury at the expense of weight, less dexterity, and less breathability.

Most people don’t need armor on the back of their shooting gloves. If you’re going to be making vigorous movements and getting into tactical shooting positions, however, this armor will serve you well. Busted knuckles are no fun.

Even casual shooters might want reinforced thumb webs and forefinger sides, though.

The side of your forefinger can rub against the gun and an additional layer here will enhance the longevity of the glove.

As for the thumb area, a proper combat shooting stance with a handgun gets your grip as high as possible, putting this fleshy area at risk of getting bit by the slide. The slide can tear through weaker materials and bit you right through the glove.

So if you’re shooting with a semi-auto pistol, reinforcement here is a great choice.

People with bigger hands are more susceptible to slide bite, so people with small hands may not need this protection.


For What Type of Shooting

airsofter wearing full gear in the field

As I’ve touched on earlier, whether you want these features affects your glove of choice.

Generally, the faster and/or more precise you’ll be shooting, the thinner glove you’ll want.

However, if you’re moving faster with a bigger gun, you’ll need a thicker glove.

It’s a good idea to start with a middleweight, inexpensive shooting glove and evaluate from there, such as the Caldwell or Hatch gloves. If the glove impairs you then you’ll want a more dexterous glove. However, if it doesn’t offer enough protection, then you’ll know you want one of the tactical shooting gloves.

Many practical competitors use 5.11 Tactical Competition gloves, which are designed for this very purpose.

However, if you are expecting combat, then you’ll want the same gloves as used by the military. Mechanix, Oakley, and PIG offer your best options here, depending on whether you want long-term durability or short-term dexterity.


Top Brands

Mechanix Wear

Mechanix Wear logo

Mechanix Wear, often just called Mechanix, is perhaps the top work glove manufacturer.

Mechanix started in 1991 with The Original, a work glove that was designed for fast-paced pit crew work. You need a glove that can protect your hands from anything when you’re replacing components on a car in the span of milliseconds!

The Original became one of the most well-regarded gloves used by NASCAR pit crews, and Mechanix used this knowledge to spread into other work environments.

The company always prioritizes utility and durability over fashion whims. Although their gloves do come in different colors and styles, function always takes precedence over form.

Except for the big “Mechanix” word repeated over-and-over again on most of their gloves (honestly, this huge branding annoys me), it doesn’t diminish the fact that Mechanix gloves are the best for most purposes.

In fact, Mechanix gloves are so durable that they are the most commonly worn glove by soldiers. You need a durable gun glove when you’re on the battlefield after all.

The biggest problem with Mechanix is that the company has such a good reputation for there to be multiple counterfeiters.


Oakley, Inc

Oakley, Inc logo

Oakley is another company that produces high-tier equipment for professionals.

Best known for eyewear, Oakley provides eye protection to U.S. military personnel. This is the Oakley Standard Issue line.

The company tests its products in real-world conditions to ensure that their sunglasses and gloves are up to the task of handling whatever is thrown at the wearer. Oakley’s gloves are as well regarded as their protective eyewear, both in design and durability.

Perhaps even moreso, since some people consider Oakley to be a bit overpriced even as a premium brand. Their gloves, however, are not overpriced and many people find them well worth the price.




Are shooting gloves really necessary?

Shooting gloves are not, strictly speaking, necessary.

They are, however, very useful for many shooters. Not everybody, though.

A casual shooter who goes to a covered range, sits at the bench, and fires one shot every 30 seconds likely won’t see any advantage in wearing shooting gloves.

Shooting gloves are much more useful for people who move and shoot. This can be IDPA, 3-gun competition, trap & skeet, or self-defense practice.

Professionals who use their hands and guns will also benefit from wearing shooting gloves. Soldiers come to mind immediately. Many law enforcement officers also wear shooting gloves.

Can I use cycling, weightlifting, or climbing gloves instead of shooting gloves?

You don’t have to wear dedicated gun gloves to get most of the benefits from wearing a shooting glove, no.

However, if you’re doing some serious shooting, then you’ll want a purpose-designed shooting glove.

Gloves designed for other sports are also supposed to be dexterous and durable gloves. However, you handle firearms differently than you do a barbell or bouldering wall.

So, while you can wear climbing gloves when shooting, they won’t work as well as something like the Mechanix M-Pact.

I’ve even worn normal leather gloves that worked fairly well for casual shooting.


What glove does the military use?

The U.S. military has a variety of different gloves they issue. Many are non-shooting gloves, such as Nomex gloves for flight crews and cold-weather mittens.

There are plenty of shooting gloves used by the military, though.

Mechanix are the most popular, in my experience, especially the M-Pact line.

I also learned about Oakley’s gloves from members of the military!

U.S. Special Operations soldiers have greater leeway regarding the equipment they use and they sometimes use PIG FDT gloves. They’re expensive, consumable gloves great for special missions if you don’t need to use them for months at a time.


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