Mechanix Wear “M-Pact” Tactical Gloves
A review by Anthony Taylor
Today I’ll be outlining the function, feel, and cost effectiveness of these gloves from my experience with them over the last 6 months.
Gloves serve a few different functions in a tactical role; they are primarily used to protect the wearer’s hands from the environment they are operating in, but they also serve to protect from heat and other hazards from the weapon system, protection while searching an area or a person, and also help to protect the hands in hand-to-hand altercations.
Protection from the Environment
Environmental protection shouldn’t be taken as protection from what slithers and stings, but protection from a handful of broken glass. If you ever find yourself entering a structure through a window newly broken by the muzzle of your rifle you want some assurance that the glass formerly occupying that space doesn’t lacerate your hand if you are forced to put one down for stability. Though I haven’t placed my body weight on broken glass recently, I did find myself grasping a very sharp piece of jagged sheet metal without feeling like there was much danger of being cut. These gloves do have synthetic leather palms, and other than some added features they are made of the same material as regular Mechanix Gloves which are designed for protecting the hands from such hazards.
Let’s face it, this is what you’re primarily concerned with, and having used these gloves with everything from my USP and AR, to a .243 bush gun and even a .338LM precision rifle they’ve been a dream. Protection from a weapon systems heat, or avoiding a nasty bit of slide-bite should be pretty self-explanatory. Burnt hands suck, and so does torn-up thumb webbing. I shoot black rifles using the thumb-break method, which means my thumb is wrapped over the top of the handguard, and sometimes when sending a lot of lead downrange you deal with a fair amount of heat off the barrel. Though I can’t say that these gloves are made to be a heat barrier, they certainly did bring the heat down to more tolerable levels. They also haven’t been a burden in any situation; the amount of material used in construction seems properly scaled with the sizing which keeps the bulk down. The “poron X rd” impact material is positioned on the thumb and fingers in a way which aides in articulating safeties or other firearm controls, and actually seems more effective adding abrasion resistance and aiding in grip or traction than impact protection. The trigger finger has the same “poron X rd” material from the last knuckle forward, where you’ll actually contact the trigger, but no padding which is a good thing. I have no problems feeling the difference between the Glock style trigger safety and the actual trigger, or indexing anything else for that matter, like the mag release on my USP. I use the “finger-groove” technique with my support hand, which is where the space between the fingers of the shooting hand is used like finger-grooves on the actual grip to enhance grip with the support hand. The ribs of “M-PACT” material down the lower three fingers serve to enhance this effect, the middle and ring fingers actually sit in-between the ribs of the middle, ring, and pinky finger of the shooting.
The palms and underside of the fingers being (synthetic) leather will undoubtedly help when performing the average area
or EPW search, but threats like needles and knives will still be very real. The back of the glove is the same “Tek Dry” material as every other Mechanix glove, and is made for breathability, so protection there is very minimal except over the “M-PACT” plasticized rubber surface on the knuckles and ribs down the lower three fingers.
I have had one hand-to-hand altercation while wearing these gloves. This was more of happenstance than planning because I had only worn the gloves to take the edge off of the cold weather that day. Some friends of mine had been critical of these gloves in hand-to-hand because of the padded knuckles, telling me that strikes could not possibly be as effective due to the padding “working both ways.” Though there may be some truth to that concern, there was no perceivable degradation in the combat effectiveness of punching the crap out of a belligerent. Another benefit to wearing any full-hand glove in a hand-to-hand altercation is increased hygiene, the simple fact is you don’t know what you are exposing yourself to in hand-to-hand combat. This was no exception and later on I simply washed the gloves in the washing machine like you would a pair of pants. Mechanix does suggest machine washing for most of their gloves, except those with genuine leather, of which these are not.
Fit & Feel
Good feel in any glove, just like any garment, is first achieved with proper sizing. If you have the opportunity to try on a pair of Mechanix gloves find the smallest size which allows you to fully open your hand without feeling restriction between the fingers or tension across the palm. Sizing using this technique will help insure a good fit with a minimal loss of dexterity, and minimal excess material to get snagged. Too large a size will result in poor dexterity as you will be fighting the excess material, but there is also risk of that excess material getting snagged. Too small a size will result in much more lost dexterity but due to physical restriction by the glove. Mechanix sizing is the same across all of their glove series, so if you’re buying online and no stores in your area have the tactical series available to try on, you can always try on the regular “Original Glove” series found at most automotive parts stores.
At under $37 these are certainly some of the more affordable tac gloves available with a feature set like this. Other gloves in the same price range are lacking some or even most of these features. Another metric which we can measure cost efficacy with is how often the item will need to be replaced. After 6 months of hard (really HARD) use mine are still going strong, so unless there is some catastrophic failure I see them continuing for quite a while longer.
The only thing these gloves are lacking is fire retardancy. In a world where all of the soldier’s equipment is being phased out for fire retardant versions I think that the individual soldier and Mechanix could benefit from adding that technology to these gloves.
In closing, I can recommend these gloves very highly.
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