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Author Topic: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns  (Read 5092 times)

Nightcrawler

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Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
« on: March 09, 2013, 06:29:18 pm »
I grew up in Upper Michigan. When I was in the Nat'l Guard there, we'd do snowshoe and cold weather training pretty much by default.  Without snowshoes or skis, there is just no good way to move around in hip deep snow.



Another thing that came up a lot is gloves.  Simply put, there aren't a lot of gloves that will keep you fingers warm when it's 20*, 10*, or below zero outside.  There are even fewer gloves that will keep your hands warm in cold weather that will allow you to effectively manipulate a pistol.

Remember, for many people, this kind of weather isn't "extreme", it's every winter.  Concealing a handgun becomes easy with layers of sweaters and jackets, but getting to it for a fast draw becomes difficult.  When I was visiting back home, to get to my revolver, I'd have had to unzip my jacket, sweep it back, yank up my sweater, and then draw.  The 21 foot rule becomes more like a 31 foot rule.

In addition to the draw stroke, if it's cold outside, and your business has you being outside for more than a few minutes, if you have any sense you're wearing gloves.  This creates challenges all of its own, as most handguns, especially compact handguns, were designed only with the bare hand in mind.  Using some with even basic protective shooting gloves can be a little awkward (one reason I don't like finger groove grips very much).  Throw on some cold weather/ski/snowmobile type gloves and you might not even be able to tell if your finger is in the trigger guard or not.

Unfortunately, I don't have any solutions.  Until they invent a glove that's as thin as a Nomex flyer's glove, but will keep your fingers warm when it's 5* outside, you're more or less SOL.  Many hunters will use mitts that fold open to allow manipulation of a weapon.  I was, once upon a time, issued a big pair of old trigger finger mitts, but I never used them.

If anybody has good info on gloves, or other cold-weather gear that's CCW or shooting friendly, feel free to chime in.
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    Gunnguy

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 06:58:56 pm »
    The flyers gloves are fantastick!
    But no insulation value since they were meant to prevent you from being burned.
    I always thought if a thinsulate weave material is added to the inside of the Nomex gloves, but the leather is thinned considerable or removed all together, that might be an excellent CCW glove for if you are not working with your hands but need manipulation and dexterity at hand. Other than that I think a pair of flyers type gloves inside mitts would be good.
    Shuck off the mitt(s) and go for the gun.
    Depends on how the person was comfortable in carrying while concealed.
    Thick coat and cold weather gear? Shoulder holster.
    Lighter coat or jacket?
    IWB or even OWB pancake style holster since pants would most likely be heavier.
    Been in North Dakota during the coldest weather and severe snow storms.
    I think Mike and I know what cold REALLY means.
    All I can say is LAYERS!
    LOL!

    I am going to find some thinsulate gloves with the lining and some flyers gloves.
    Time to get out the sewing machine and see if I can finagle a new niche market?
    Any Venture Capitalists out there?


    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

    Nightcrawler

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 07:15:02 pm »
    I only ever carry OWB anyway.  I've never owned an IWB holster.  I don't want to have to buy new pants.
    ArizonaMOLON LABE

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    alone

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 07:58:52 pm »
    Fingerless wool glove on gun hand.
    This is what I grew up with and Mentors have been right thru my many decades.

    I first started with this in fall and winter hunting. Mentors were right about EDC.
    I did the same with some serious duck hunting I used to do.

    High Risk work in another life...well, if ain't broke, don't fix it. -Mentors

    That said, I have been messing around with some newer gloves, issued by work, and that issued  by a buddy of mine (a pair he gave to me, his work issued to him and his)
    Results are not "there" yet.

    All I can offer is, my experience over the decades is fingerless wool glove on gun hand work. Wool is warm even when wet as we all know.

    alone
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    JesseL

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 08:07:25 pm »
    It was only about 30 degrees here during this seasons javelina hunt, but I wore a pair of Mechanix tactical gloves that T had given me. Lots of hours wandering around the high desert during February (which is plenty cold for me, but probably doesn't compare to the UP) and my hands stayed fine and the gloves were thin enough that I had no problem operating my AK or BHP.

    Arizona

    Nightcrawler

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 08:18:43 pm »
    30 degrees isn't cold.  :D



    It's below freezing, so gloves become more important.  But the human body handles 30* a lot better than it handles 5*.

    I wore a pair of tactical gloves just like that in weather well over 100*.  They're pretty adaptable.  Flyer's Nomex gloves can help keep the chill out if it's not too terribly cold, too.

    Not trying to sound like some kind of cold weather pro.  I can't hack the cold anymore.  But if you're from the south, or the southwest, you may not have experienced the misery.  At zero degrees outside, your exposed skin isn't cold, really, it just starts to hurt.  Frostbite is a very real concern, and can come on rapidly.  The cold air hurts your lungs, sapping your energy.  Exposed digits and ears are vulnerable.

    When I visited home in January of 2009, it was zero outside every day, until the last couple of days, where it warmed up to like 18.

    I think your best bet might just be situational awareness.  Keep alert for signs of trouble.  If you suspect trouble is coming, get your glove off and get ready.  Not the best answer, but it might be the best you can do, because you're not going to be able to run a Bodyguard .380 with a pair of these on:

    ArizonaMOLON LABE

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 08:22:00 pm »
    And really, less of an issue unless you're going to be out in the weather for long periods of time (hunting, hiking, working, what have you).  If you can go inside to warm up periodically, or have the good sense to bring hand warmers (hand warmers took the edge off some surprisingly cold winter Afghan nights for me), then it's less of an issue and a less substantial glove will suffice.

    Even still, I'd suggest trying to shoot with your winter gloves on.  You might be surprised.  My old winter gloves were so bulky that you could barely fit your finger in the trigger guard.
    ArizonaMOLON LABE

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    onesmack4u

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 08:44:30 pm »
    My cold weather gear is generally a hoodie over a long sleve shirt with a pair of lightly insulated receiver style gloves. If it is really cold, I wear my carhart jacket. Of course, it has been 70 degrees where I live for the last couple of days, so my cold weather advice may not be that helpful. It did almost snow this winter though.
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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 08:50:19 pm »
    Since moving to CO, I've had pretty good luck with thinsulate gloves with a pair of cotton inserts.  Some nights I've worked on streetlights as low as -3 F and had enough dexterity to work wire nuts designed for #10AWG but not enough for small screws and nuts.  My fingers weren't warm but they weren't in danger of falling off by the end of the night either.
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    alone

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 08:59:13 pm »
    Quote
    I can't hack the cold anymore.
    Now 'crawler don't tell me you "is" gettin' old  on me my friend.

    *smirk*

    alone
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    Gunnguy

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 09:17:19 pm »
    They do make these...might work.
    http://www.mechanix.com/fleece-utility
    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

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    Indiana'The average response time of a 911 call is over 23 minutes, the average response time of a .44 magnum is 1400 feet per second.'

    Outbreak

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 10:23:01 pm »
    Or...only fight in warm weather. That's what I do.
    TexasOutbreak

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #13 on: March 10, 2013, 12:36:46 am »
    Yeah, it can be a b____, and there are no ideal solutions.

    I do not know of any glove that is warm enough to work with under about -10*C and still adequately manipulate a pistol.

    Down to about -1*C to -7*C I can get away with the same Watson Blackhawks that I wear up to +15*C as long as there is not much wind.

    http://www.watsongloves.com/products-single-item/?pid=143

    These are awesome gloves at the price.  Long wearing, grippy, thin enough to write with.  I think $7-$9 a pair.

    Bear in mind that I am used to the colder climate and work in the outdoors in a t-shirt with a long sleeve underwear layer like under armor, etc... down to below -5*C.

    Going to have to truncate this post.  Feuding with the neighbors.  Get back soon I hope.
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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 03:01:44 am »
    Speaking as a former resident of Michigan with slightly arthritic hands, Underarmor makes some very good thinsulate lined gloves that you can actually operate a handgun with.  Not as warm as the snowmobile style gloves, but they should keep your hands warm enough.
    Arizona

    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #15 on: March 10, 2013, 11:14:30 am »
    Well living up here in the UP of Michigan the majority of my life has given me at least a little insight. Typically I don't *need* to get at my gun fast when I'm bundled heavily in clothes so I can't say I've had a ton of experience though I've spent allot of time out in the cold. Typically for to and from the car type of situations down to around -10F I'll leave my coat open unzipped and wear a sweatshirt and usually a long john shirt under that, then undershirt, long johns, and jeans. I can sweep the jacket back, while lifting the sweatshirt and draw from either IWB or OWB. Typically I still carry IWB, one thing I've found in the cold temps is that it keeps the gun warmer, which if nothing else causes less trouble with condensation going in and out of warm and cold. For that time glove wise I'm wearing either no gloves or a pair of leather driving gloves, I'm not out in it long enough to get really cold, I just need something to keep the wind off my skin and give me a barrier. With those I can shoot and run my gun nearly like I would during warmer months(they are also the same gloves I use on the motorcycle during the summer so it's nice in that situation to be able to run the gun as well).

    When it's really cold out and I've got to be out in it, I typically will run one of two ways. I'll run thick snowmobile style gloves then plan to remove them or the gun hand if I need the gun. Not great for times when the gun may need to stay out but fine for the type of things I usually run into which is critters etc, maybe something else. But typically if I've got that much cold weather gear on I'm more concerned with 4 legged critters than 2, not always but mostly. The other option I use is a thinner glove as a liner in a leather glove. One of my favorite combinations is the old wool pilot's glove liners you can get at surplus stores, full finger but fairly thin, then the leather over that. I'm out allot cutting firewood during the winter and well year round, and I typically run the leather gloves over a liner, or just the leather gloves during the warmer months. Now all of that said allot of the time in winter I'll run just the leather gloves as well and they aren't very thick, thin cotton liner and as long as they aren't wet(I've got several sets I carry in the truck and switch out as they get wet, and put them inside by the wood stove etc), they are warm enough as long as I'm working. If I'm sitting I'll get cold, and my hands will get cold but if I'm running the saw or loading wood etc they are fine as long as they aren't wet. I learned last summer in a pinch I can run at least some of my guns with the gloves on as well, I was loading some wood and around 5 ft. down the log I saw a red squirrel, I managed to draw the little Beretta 22 and fire it without realizing that I was still wearing the gloves till after I had shot. Not that I needed to shoot it fast etc, I was just in the process of clearing squirrels out of the area around the house so that they don't cause problems in the shop and house(those not familiar they are basically like big mice when it comes to indoor damage and irritation).

    So not a great answer certainly nothing new, but my favorite setup is still the leather gloves and wool liners. Fingerless wool gloves aren't bad as a liner, but I always find my fingers get too dang cold and it just doesn't work well for me.

    Take care!

    Luke
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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #16 on: March 10, 2013, 07:20:31 pm »
    They do make these...might work.
    http://www.mechanix.com/fleece-utility

    These work really good if you don't get wet; my wife loves hers. I'm lucky in that my hands don't usually get cold. I usually just wear the heavier mechanix gloves most of the time. Of course it has been awhile since I had to be outside in sub-zero temps all day also.

    Depending on your level of activity it is pretty easy to stay comfortable. I used wear a hoodie over a t shirt and jeans with insulated bibs down to around 0*F when working outside most of the day. I've never tried carrying a pistol in that get-up though. Maybe it's acclimation, but long johns under jeans seem to work down to freezing. I'd think some snowpants over the top would do down to the sub zero temps; just make sure you don't pull them over the grip of your gun. The additional cover provided by the clothing should let you carry something big enough to use with gloves.

    You could always go old school gunslinger and cut the trigger guard off a single action revolver. It would even work with mittens.
    Alaska

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #17 on: March 10, 2013, 07:59:28 pm »
      Aw dudes, you ain't seen Montana winters  :neener  Around here as long as we don't have wind -10 degrees is shooting weather!!!!   

       Haha, but really, ain't seen awhole lot. Our "work gloves" can be used with AK's or other large-trigger guard rifles, I ain't really found much usable with pistols that can actually be used "normally".   Thinner insulated "Town gloves" are good if you're not going to be outside long-term in cold weather and doing work.

      As for winter carry, although I don't care for it I usually go shoulder holster.  Easier to leave the top 1/3 of your coat open and draw than try and reach under your layers.  It may be clumsier, and allow an arm pin, but it is faster.      Also a good opportunity for pocket guns, those ones "almost" too big for pocket carry.

     
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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #18 on: March 10, 2013, 08:43:43 pm »
    I like the old surplus polypropylene liners under a thin wool outer glove if the conditions aren't going to be particularly wet.  In wetter conditions I've actually had good luck with a pair of rubber gloves under either a Thinsulate lined leather glove or a completely water proof, unlined thin leather glove like pig skin or goat skin.  Since no water evaporates from your skin, it seems to stay relatively warm if the conditions aren't sub-zero.  Either combination should allow you to run a revolver as the bulk is minimal.
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    Mikee5star

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #19 on: March 11, 2013, 10:34:50 pm »
    I like the nitrile dipped gloves they are made by several manufactures, and are generally cheap, but don't last all that long.  I have two styles full dip and with the back of the hands not dipped.  I prefer them for work, can pull a single nail out of nail belt.  Not real warm I wear them down to about freezing even commuting on 4-wheeler.  I went shooting a coupe of weeks ago and wore them with the Glock, 1911, and two different revolvers, and all went good never felt the need to take the gloves off.  It was about 25 F out and the ride to what I use as a range was only about one mile round trip.  I have some fleece lined ones and they are okay, but you loose the dexterity.  Stay away from the ones at Napa and HD as they can get slick when the temp drops.  These gloves also make good liner gloves in the Army type over mitts that are real popular here.  I second the comments about the shoulder holster, only I use the Alaska Guide holster, chest, under a heavy coat over my lighter layers.  If you are out in COLD weather layers are the way to go, I was out working at -10 F and winds 30-40 mph last winter, and not too uncomfortable.
    Alaska

    Plebian

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    Re: Cold Weather, Gloves, & Guns
    « Reply #20 on: March 12, 2013, 05:11:08 pm »
    Seal Skins over a thin as you can get wool/thinsulate gloves. You can do fine work with it, and it still keeps your hands warm. I prefer thin wool gloves with Seal Skins over them. It lets me work directly in freezing or below water all winter and even into Alaska when working there. Neoprene gloves with a liner are also an option. They are not nearly as good though.
    Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

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