Getting a Grip!


Field Testing the Outdoor Research Tactical Ironsight Gloves with Officer Isaiah Harris.

As an officer on the daily beat, I found myself needing some new rugged duty gloves. I thought I would give Outdoor Research a try because I know they provide duty gloves to the United States Military. With the Ironsight tactical gloves weighing in at only $39, I figured what the heck. I am reviewing these from a law enforcement perspective so a few of my points won’t be applicable to non LE, however the majority of my review applies to general users.

These gloves look great, they come in Black or Coyote and various sizes. The gloves have a bit of stretch, which makes movement feel unrestricted and natural. Outdoor Research added some cosmetic rubber to the back of the hand and the index finger, that add to the warrior look. The key feature of these gloves is the slip-free grip pads on the palms and fingers that are similar to wide receiver gloves.

I put these gloves through the paces and found that the grip on these gloves makes magazine changes flawless and weapons manipulations are great. The gloves are thin enough that you can feel the subtleties of shooting; yet thick enough with extra padding on the back of the knuckles and fingertips, to protect your hands. Here in the Seattle area we are no strangers to working in the rain. Although the gloves are not waterproof, they do continue to perform while wet, not losing any grip, and are quick drying.

In a recent altercation with a suspect, I found that I was able to quickly put them on using the quick pull-tabs and my hands were protected during the scuffle. Ironically, I found I actually preferred handcuffing suspects while wearing the gloves and was able to manipulate the handcuff key to double lock the cuffs with no problem.

The tips of the fingers are wrapped in synthetic leather except for the index finger, which allows for some use of a touch screen although it’s not great. I was able to interact with my touch screen MDC in my patrol car but not my cell phone. Outdoor Research stated that full touch screen capability is coming in the next gen upgrade due out in the near future.

Here are some of my reservations and concerns. These gloves aren’t rated as needle stick resistant, not that you should count on that to keep you safe, but it would be nice if they had an option for that. Since I have only been testing these for a short time on duty, I am not sure about the lifespan, so far I don’t see any signs of wear n’ tear but I’m concerned about the grip pads, fingertip and pull tabs wearing out. Then again at $39, if you think of them like a pair of shoes, it doesn’t seem to bad to replace every now and again.

To sum it up, I would describe these gloves as agile and shooter friendly, a must have for patrol or shooters looking for a good tactical glove. If you don’t buy these for yourself, they are a great gift idea for any shooter you might know. You can find more information about them at

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