Thanks Mechanix Wear for saving my hand

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So last week I was at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix, AZ shooting the 3MR trigger system at their media event.  I had a little mishap while I was there, which could have been worse had I not been wearing gloves. The back story is that I had my own personal rifle there at the range, and was shooting it pretty hard.  Hard enough for the barrel to heat up to flesh searing temps. When I was back at the bench, I was putting my rifle down for a bit to cool it off it began to slide off the bench.  Like most people would, reached out to catch it.  I just happened to grab the barrel with my gloved hand.

There was smoke, burning and a lot of discomfort for a minute or two.  But in the end, the Mechanix Wear gloves I was wearing took all of the heat, even searing the barrel caliber and twist into the glove.  Yes, my hand got warm.  But there was no lasting damage or even any minor burns on my hand. I figured I at the very least owed Mechanix Wear a thank you.  Without their glove, I would probably be sitting here typing with one hand in a dressing and bandaged up, or still stuck in a Phoenix hospital awaiting a skin graft to my hand.

My rule, since I began shooting tactical rifles many years ago was to always wear glove of some type, be it Nomex, Mechanix Wear or whatever I had available.  It is a personal rule, and one that I have never wavered from. This incident right here is why.  Sometimes in life things happen, you react and catch something and good pair of gloves can really save you a lot of pain down the road.

I also want to thank Mechanix Wear for offering to send out a new pair to me, free of charge.  Top notch service and product.  Look forward to a new pair of gloves, minus the barrel imprint of course.


Sam Cadle

Sam Cadle is a prior service member from the US Coast Guard, and has extensive firearms training from the military. He spent many years working counter narcotics in Central America and working maritime law enforcement and anti-terrorism stateside. He has also written articles as guest writer that are published on The Truth About Guns, and other firearms related blogs. He is currently a successful writer for Examiner.com, specializing in gun rights and politics in Washington State, as well as across the United States. His passions are long range precision shooting, coyote hunting and keeping up with the firearms community.

To get a hold of Sam you can email him at [email protected], or via Facebook here.


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  • Marmot

    It was great for Mechanix Wear to offer a new pair of gloves but you should have declined. The gloves did their job and are still wearable. The company did nothing wrong. Buy a new pair for yourself and another pair to donate to the youth shooting group at your range.

    • Ian Thorne

      They are wearable, but if the same thing were to happen they would no longer protect his hand as well and he could get burned. Any time a piece of safety equipment is damaged during use it should be replaced as soon as possible, gloves are no different.

      • Marmot

        Yes, I didn’t think of that. You’re right. But he should buy a new pair.

        • Mandy_Monstar

          They’re not sent as an apology, they’re sent as a ‘thanks for spreading a good word.’ Think of them as a thank you card. :)

    • sianmink

      This story is worth way more to Mechanix Wear in word of mouth advertising and good rep than a simple replacement pair. ;)

  • iksnilol

    I would have kept the gloves, I mean the imprint looks cool.

    I would like to ask what do you guys think about fingerless gloves? In your case the barrel burned the palm of the hand (rendering finger protection irelevant).

    • SM

      I’m clumsy enough to want full fingered leather gloves. I can think of three accidents that would have mangled my fingers had I not been wearing gloves.

      If you’re confident with them, by all means wear them. I personally wouldn’t wear them unless they were my only choice.

      • iksnilol

        I ask since I like having the dexterity of exposed fingertips and I use that kind of gloves all year. I find the bicycle style is really good. Mainly because it doesn’t have vents in the rear and they don’t get too hot/cold through the year, they also have the felt on the rear which is good for wiping sweat of your face.

        I actually use them all year, I was surprised myself when I found out that my fingers didn’t freeze much in -20 Celsius (though I have to keep my hands in my pocket occasionally.

    • http://thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Sam Cadle (Staff Writer, TFB)

      I still have them and plan on keeping them as a reminder, barrels get hot and always wear gloves.

      The imprint is pretty cool though.

      • noob

        want to do a test (with your hand outside the glove of course) of how hot a barrel has to get before it cooks a sausage inside the glove?

        or maybe even sets the support hand glove on fire?

  • Andrew

    I have at least 7 pairs of Mechanix gloves in varying stages of wear….they are always around when I need them, and I wear them a lot.

    A few years ago during an act of stupidity while working on a tractor….I feel that the gloves saved one of my fingers. There was a fair amount of blood but the gloves took a major part of the hit.

    An excellent product!

  • Rob in Katy

    maybe you want to update this part:

    …there was *NO* lasting damage…

    • http://thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Sam Cadle (Staff Writer, TFB)

      Fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Nicholas Chen

    Wow nice save gloves. I used to shoot with gloves until my club members teased me about it. So now I don’t. Unless it is cold.

    • Mack

      haha way to give in to peer pressure! back in highschool? :) just tell them who will be laughing when something like this happens!^^^

      • Nicholas C

        LOL no not highschool, This was at a USPSA match in NY with my shooting club.

    • sianmink

      They used to tease shooters who wimped out and used ear protection too.

    • http://thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Sam Cadle (Staff Writer, TFB)

      Yeah, I have been teased for it in the past. Now I am thankful I have always stuck to it.

  • FWIW

    I’ve gotten away from shooting pistols with gloves unless it’s outdoors, but ALWAYS wear them with long guns for precisely the reason outlined in this article. Even if I don’t outright grab the barrel, that foregrip can get hot! That and I feel like I actually shoot better with them, although that’s probably just psychological.

    Anyway, Mechanix are really the best out there. Fit very snug and don’t impede manipulation nearly at all while still providing a degree of protection. And you can get them real cheap online!

  • Mike0331

    I’ve seen a friend grab a hot .50 cal barrel bare handed. No bueno

  • Doopington

    I just shoot with some nice hand-fitting leather gloves I found in a Sears one year. Is Mechanix doing any special material or weave that some normal gloves wouldn’t protect for momentary contact ( I’m assuming you didn’t just leave your hand on the barrel long enough to put it back on the bench).

  • ATman

    I must say having had to deal with customer Mechanix wear customer service I mailed of a pair of damaged gloves to mechanix wear on a Tuesday along with a different warranty claim for Bushnell the same day in two weeks I had new gloves in close to two months I had a sorta fixed Bushnell product. (it broke in two weeks) So in summary I have lots of really great Mechanix wear gloves not so many Bushnell products.

  • JT

    need a dissipator setup :P

  • avconsumer2

    Though I used to wear them out (literally), some of the “new” styles are much more durable than previous iterations. Mechanix does make some fine gloves. Best fitting for sure.

  • nova3930

    Rule #5: Never try to catch a falling gun. Nothing good can come of it. At least, that’s my rule 5…

  • http://RenderRanch.com/ Zermoid

    As a side note, do not shoot a rifle that hot then sling t over your shoulder either…..
    Makes a very painful brand on your neck.
    I plead the 5th on how I know this…….

  • n0truscotsman

    I’ve tried every glove known to man. Tactical gloves? you betcha!
    Super hoodakai oakleys, camelbak, OR gear, and 20 others I cannot currently name off the top of my head.

    I only use the fliers nomex and mechanix currently, after first using them over a decade ago (the nomex when I was a young tanker). Both of them I got “free” from the army. The mechanix have, by far, the most superior durability of any glove i’ve used (probably outside of calfskin work gloves, which are too bulky for shooting).

    I still only swear by those two (and a pair of cold war-era surplus mitts and wool liners for skiing) and would only recommend them. The price of both of them makes them irresistable.