The new SOLAG (Special Operator Light-duty Assault Glove) Recon from Blackhawk provides an excellent light-duty shooting/utility glove for the discerning consumer. The gloves come in Black or Coyote Tan, with light D30 impact protection padding (thin on the palm, thick on the knuckles), and are advertised as being both flame and cut resistant.
Upon first pulling them on, I was impressed with the fit and construction. The larges I ordered (EU 7) fit my rather average size hands extremely well, and the stitching suggested something that would not come apart in a hurry. The hook-and-loop fabric closures were also a bright spot. As the owner of a large, white, hairy dog, I typically hate hook-and-loop fabrics with a passion. While it keeps things shut well enough, it never fails to entrap every single piece of passing hair, which eventually collects and clumps to such a point as to render latching useless. Not so with the Velcro wrist straps on the Blackhawk SOLAGs. Their low-profile yet densely packed hook-and-loop construction provide not only a firm hold when strapping the gloves to one’s wrist, they also don’t catch dirt and hair as easily as the standard material.
Moving to the feel of the gloves, their slim profile provides excellent dexterity, and the index finger even slides with ease into a standard 1911 trigger guard. While you obviously lose most tactile feel (as is the case with any gloves), the lack of padding on the fingertip makes for a firm and consistent trigger-press, and an easy learning of the break-point.
As to the cut resistance of the gloves, it is adequate. I would however put emphasis on the word “resistant”. Though the gloves will certainly protect ones hands from fairly serious slices, they will damage noticeably, and eventually deteriorate.
The flame resistance was sufficient as well. Though I didn’t exactly go around sticking my hands in campfires, the gloves did provide good protection against reasonable heat and flame. Be warned though! The flex-fabric over one’s finger joints will get hot a good measure faster than the rest of the gloves, and will threaten to melt from relatively prolonged exposure to flame (though they never did).
The one issue I must raise with the Blackhawk SOLAGs is their interface with touch screens. While Blackhawk thoughtfully sewed touchscreen-compatible threading into both the thumb and forefinger of the SOLAGs, they did so on the pad portion of the finger, rather than the tip. This makes interface with any normal touch screen phone clumsy at best. Trying to press individual buttons of almost any size is a possible, but maddeningly slow exercise in patience. Were the threading instead on the tightly-fitting tips of the finger and thumb, interface would be far easier.Upon release, the gloves will retail for $81.95.