Deben gloves & MacWet gloves
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- Last updated: 26/01/2017
As an experienced shooter whose been competition shooting for many years, I rather like to think that my entire approach to the sport, especially from a competitive point of view, is by this stage in my shooting career, both well honed and finely tuned. Nothing is left to chance, and the kit list is both streamlined and thoroughly researched- or so I thought.
OK; my smugness borders upon arrogance; so why am I constantly being re-educated of late, and by relative newcomers if you please!
Take, the recent case at my club concerning shooting gloves… Now I’ve always used the classic woollen variety when the weather’s been cold enough - full length woollen fingers; a leather reinforced palm section; cut down trigger and thumb with exposed finger tips; and a fold back Velcro mitt section to keep everything warm. This time honoured design has served me fairly well; yet with wet shooting days seemingly on the increase (despite our frustrating climate), a soggy woollen clad hand wrapped round the walnut early on in the day, is a miserable and destructive approach - guaranteed to dampen spirits.
This sorry pattern has been repeated once too often without, alarmingly, much thought or questioning process on my part. Indeed, it’s taken a new bloke to arrive at my club, somewhat better prepared than my good self, to jolt me from my sloppy approach. Nice chap is Will - and he’s seen fit to turn up with all the right gear from the off, including some well thought out shooting gloves.
I’m featuring here two different makes which really do offer some interesting features; all designed to smooth the path and increase the enjoyment of any shooting trip.
Superstretch Neoprene Gloves
First up are Superstretch Neoprene Gloves from Deben Group. These were the gloves of choice for my man Will, and when you see the great features on offer, it’s clear he’s chosen well. Available in either green, Realtree camouflage, or Advantage camouflage – all with a black palm area, the whole glove is made, as the name suggests from a stretchy neoprene material. This means that the glove is a snug fit without being restrictive - assuming of course, that you order the correct size from S,M,L or XL. Having said that, my pair were marked up as medium yet my fairly large mitts felt perfectly comfortable - so clearly some leeway exists.
An elasticated wrist section is secured with a large wrap around, Velcro fastening strap; whilst the palm/main contact area is treated to extensive panels of tiny raised rubber spots. The end result is a solid grip on the weapon, but without any unpleasant sensation of dampness that comes with absorbent material. Unlike my old woollen disasters, the neoprene construction, means that these gloves act and feel like a mini wet-suit, providing all the insulation, protection and water repellent properties that you’d expect from this material. After giving the gloves a good soaking, my hands still felt dry, and whilst some moisture may get in through the back of the strap, these gloves remain largely dry to the touch.
For me, one of the slickest features of these gloves is the slits that are cut into both the thumb and index finger, and on both hands, I hasten to add. This means that, for airgun shooting especially, the finger tips can be exposed to properly feel the pellets. The simple design means the neoprene is just pulled back and the finger slid out; with small Velcro pads ready to hold back the unused glove tips.
These gloves really hit the nail on the head; being basically very well thought out, and as such, come highly recommended. Superstretch Neoprene Gloves cost from £16.95-£21.95 and are available from any Deben stockist – or phone Deben Group for details on tel.0870 4422600 www.deben.com
MacWet Shooting Gloves
Next up are the slightly more hi-tech MacWet Shooting gloves, from a company called McSport. Two different specs exist, with an Aquatec Summer glove, and a Climatec Winter option. Both types include Aquatec material, which according to the manufacturers, is a three layer fabric, similar to neoprene. This fabric has inherent wicking properties; keeping moisture contact down to a bare minimum. A large elasticated wrist band fastens with Velcro here too, so the MacWet’s effectively become a second skin.
The gloves shown here are the Summer variety, supplied in green. They are also available in black, white, blue or brown, and when ordering, the manufacturers are quite particular about an accurate hand measurement being supplied (taken from across the hand at the finger base). This is important as the design relies upon a virtually skin-tight fit. The fine material affords full flexibility, and the breathable characteristics also play a big part in maintaining comfort in adverse weather.
Another major advantage of this ultra fine, sensitive material is that when actually shooting with them in place, the trigger finger, whilst being covered, can still ‘feel’ the trigger. In use, I found this certainly to be the case, with my only reservation concerning airgun shooting when loading a pellet could be a little fiddly, though it is possible. If hunting with a pre-loaded weapon, or a magazine-fed rifle, then the added comfort can be fully appreciated.
Obviously the MacWet’s are aimed at shooting disciplines across the board, and with sales literature claiming protection from gun barrel heat, it’s clear these gloves are versatile indeed.
For test purposes, I made sure they also got a thorough soaking, and for the record, initially water just ran off, but some was clearly entering the fabric. As the makers will readily admit, it’s hard to stop rain and moisture getting in, but how the gloves actually deal with the problem is the clever part. Comfort is still at a premium, even when the exterior feels wet; whilst grip is maintained throughout.