One of the great things about having friends in law enforcement, fire and related services is that I’m never short of anyone who’s willing to demo GovX gear. When a new product shows up at my doorstep and I need to put out the call for guinea pig, I’ll have people trying to knock my door down to get their hands on it. This means you’ll know that the product has been tested by myself or another skilled professional who knows the difference between a muzzle and a magazine.
For the 5.11 HardTime Tactical Gloves, I settled on a good friend, bail agent, and bounty hunter Chris Whelan. He’s a very proficient marksman and just the type of no-bullshit, straight-shooting professional I needed. More importantly, on more than one occasion he had vehemently proclaimed his disdain for tactical gloves, especially when shooting, so he was perfect to test these out.
As expected Chris was a highly skeptical but willing participant from the start, providing me with a list of reasons as to why he was sure he wouldn’t like them. Nonetheless, off he went to the range, with the gloves, Glock, ammunition, and his strong opinions. The following is his unbiased and candid feedback, and I hope you enjoy it.
Look, Feel and Fit
Aesthetically, I was initially very impressed with the look and tactical but professional appearance of the HardTime Gloves. Upon first glance, I felt that the knuckle protection may have been placed too far back toward the wrist. However, I realized after putting them on that it was actually perfectly positioned. A point that I was able confirm when I took them outside and in lieu of a hard bag punched my gunsafe 15-20 times at what I would call a moderate to hard rate and strength. To my surprise, the knuckles felt solid and “very” comfortable, there was no soreness whatsoever.
In terms of fit, my immediate reaction was that the gloves were actually about a half size too small. I typically wear a large work glove but these (also size large) felt closer to a medium. Within a matter of minutes however the gloves began to stretch ever so slightly and with 30 minutes the fit was ideal. No excessive tightness around the fingers, palm or wrist area. My only complaint was athere seemed to be a slight overabundance and bunching of fabric at the thumb. Admittedly, I’ve got some oddly shaped thumbs so it could just be my anatomy? While I personally would prefer a black glove, the goatskin leather in Coyote had a professional and slightly less tactical appearance. Most importantly, these things are durable. I’ve had no issues with the seams, stitching or leather in over a month of use. I did not however, try them wet to see about possible dye bleed or excessive stretching. I also really liked the idea of the “slash” and “flash” resistant Kevlar backing. I even put this one to the test running a knife blade (don’t try this at home) over the fabric to confirm its resiliency. Result? No cut marks on the glove or my hand. Big kudos to 5.11 on this one.
Ok, now to the important stuff ... How do these gloves function in the field?
I took them to my local shooting range, slipped them on and cycled quickly through a couple hundred rounds. To my absolute surprise, here’s what I discovered: First, loading and unloading was extremely easy with the HardTimes. I had excellent finger dexterity and was easily able to load my magazines. The trigger feel was outstanding. Sure, not quite as good as it would be without gloves but still extremely tactile and flexible at the fingertips. I was very comfortable drawing from the holster and re-holstering the weapon. I felt no cumbersomeness or adverse mobility with the gloves. Shooting my weapon was equally surprising. Initially, I was concerned that the gun might feel a bit foreign or bulky in my hands but I experienced nothing of the sort. I saw absolutely no reduction in accuracy with the gloves on. Bottom line, I have to say I was extremely impressed with the functionality and feel.
A couple additional items ... I did several field disassemblies to test my dexterity with the HardTime Gloves, and again I had no issues. My experience has been that this takes considerably more effort with most gloves but I was easily able to disassemble and reassemble the weapon without difficulty. As a final test I grabbed my handcuffs, manipulated and unlocked them, and found that they were easy to use, lock, unlock and replace.
An Unexpected Admission
I have to honestly say, I’m extremely surprised and impressed by the 5.11 HardTime Gloves. While I can’t say I’m a complete convert when it comes to tactical gloves, as I still like the feel of an ungloved hand on my weapon, I can tell you that without question I would use these on my next fugitive recovery. More importantly, I feel they would be ideal for someone on duty, serving a warrant or in a tactical environment.
Triton Bail Bonds
WANT IT? GET IT HERE: 5.11 TACTICAL - HARD TIME GLOVES
The son of an avid outdoorsman and early waterman, Scott Seymour was born into an adventurous lifestyle. Having spent most of his formative years along the remote beaches of Baja California and the dusty backroads of nearly every mountain range on the western edge of North America he understands what its like to live off the beaten path and on the road less travelled. Those early years were spent diving, surfing, fishing, mountaineering, exploring, prospecting and getting lost and found literally and figuratively on a regular basis. While an atypical childhood it may have been, it forged an adventurous spirit and a thirst for life that has continued to guide him through adulthood.
As a collegiate volleyball player at UCLA, Scott developed a passion for teamwork and helping others meet their maximum potential. He went on to build a successful career leading and managing highly efficient sales teams for various national and global organizations. In 2008, feeling that familiar yearning for adventure he made a career 180 and for the past several years has worked as a bail and recovery agent in Southern California. Scott is also a registered EMT and first responder and will be starting the fire academy in January of this year with the goal of becoming a paramedic.
A self proclaimed “gear junkie” Scott can still be found most days researching and testing new equipment and strategies while stand up paddling, surfing or exploring the coastlines of Southern California or Mexico.
He resides in San Clemente with his wife and two junior watermen.