Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hatch Resistor Gloves RFK300

A few years ago, while I was still employed as a federal agent, I was issued a pair of Hatch Resistor, RFK300, cut resistant, Kevlar lined, goat skin leather gloves, for use on operations. I was never one to wear gloves while working, unless out in the bitter cold, mostly because of the possibility of them interfering with me being able to operate my sidearm while wearing them. The gloves I had tried before, even many marketed as ‘duty gloves’, were just too big around in the fingers to be able to get the gloved finger into the trigger guard at all or without the possibility of an accidental discharge. The glove simply made the finger too thick so it would invariably press against the trigger when the finger entered the trigger guard. So, after some testing at the range, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Hatch Resistor gloves that my agency had issued did not interfere any way with the safe operation of my issued pistol or my issued long arms. They fit snuggly but not too tightly, except maybe at the wrist and that changed as they stretched slightly after some wear. They were for the most part quite comfortable. Although apparently not marketed as cold weather apparel, they also kept my hands fairly warm even in bitter cold weather; yet, they did not make my hands overly warm in hot weather.  

I was pretty impressed with them and decided to use them on a regular basis whenever I was out in the field in any situation that could call for hand protection. Thus, I wore them while: executing arrest warrants, making warrantless arrests, performing searches of prisoners, executing search warrants, when qualifying at the range (intermittently), running through tactical exercises at the range, during handcuff and self-defense training, climbing fences, and in inclement weather as well. I also sometimes wore them while driving. Since I was assigned to a national security group and then to a narcotics group for at least 4 years of the time that I used these at work, they got a lot of use. It was also inevitable that I also wound up wearing them when off duty and I have used them while in the woods on hunting trips in NY and while out hiking in the mountains of Arizona.
As for actual use while shooting, I have been able to safely and easily actuate the triggers, magazine releases, and safeties; extract and insert magazines;  and operate the slides on my: Glock 26, my previously issued SIG 229, my Beretta 92FS, my Remington R1 1911 and other pistols I own. I also have worn these while shooting my Remington 870 and many of rifles I own, all without any problems. 
In all, I have had these gloves for several years now. Most of that time was while I was still employed in federal law enforcement and I have continued to use them since I retired in late 2011. They were one of the few issued items I was allowed to keep upon separation from government service and I must say I am happy for it. I still wear them often and still occasionally wear them while shooting. These gloves have held their shape well, have remained a snug fit, all outer stitching is intact, the interior lining is also intact with no holes or rips and the leather has remained supple over all those years. The only care that I have given them in all that time amounted to a quick cleaning now and again and in total only one or two coatings with a leather conditioner.
I cannot say that they have no faults. They are not all that easy to get on, or at least were not for me when new, because the wrist opening seemed inordinately smaller than it should be for the size of the glove; note these gloves only go to the wrist. While the wrists of the glove sometimes did feel a bit tight when I first wore them, they stretched a bit with wear and they do go on much easier now and are no longer tight around my wrists. The main part of the glove always fit my hands very well and as I said, while snug they were never tight. Maybe I would have been better off with an extra-large instead of a large and if and when I buy another pair as a replacement for these I may try the larger ones. As it has been going so far though, I do not anticipate needing a replacement for at least a few to several more years –  these gloves certainly seem as if they were made to last.
I just bought my son a pair of these this past Christmas and they seem as well made as my older pair. The new pair goes on, over the wrists, easier than did my old pair and fit snuggly just as they should. They still are made goat skin and that results in a nicely supple yet evidently tough leather. As with my original pair, they are Kevlar lined. The new ones seem as well made as my older pair and so far they havbe been a big hit with my son. If you are in the market for a pair of cut resistant duty gloves or shooting gloves or even driving gloves, I highly recommend the Hatch Resistor, RFK300.
All the best,
Glenn B

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