Do you use gloves when shooting guns? If so, what kind?
And, more specifically, do you use gloves when cleaning your guns? If so, what kind?
For me the answers flow like this. While shooting I normally do not wear any gloves. Worrying about soot and lead residue is the last thing on my mind while shooting. My rule is no drinks and food unless I wash/wipe my hands. What I do use religiously is D-Lead wipes. I have a package in my range bag as well as a second in the tool box of my truck.
They’re honestly worth their weight in gold. The few times I do wear gloves it is unbelievably cold out here, read that as single digits or teens at most. Then I am wearing military style flight gloves.
While cleaning, yes, yes, and yes. Here’s the trick through, buy two different types, seriously. Vinyl, Latex/Nitrile all react differently to the different solvents and other things used to clean firearms. If all you’re using is standard Hoppe’s No. 9 as a solvent you can get away with just using Latex/Nitrile.
In my experience though Barnes CR-10 chews up Latex and Nitrile but the Vinyl handles it well. Butch’s Bore Shine eats up the Vinyl making it brittle. Further if you use things like brake cleaner to strip the oils and grease it will go through the vinyl. I recommend using a wire to hold the object and avoid your hand in general in that case. The active ingredient in Brake Kleen for example will absorb through the skin and take anything with it it’s stripped off. Gloves will help prevent or slow it but that little bugger of an ingredient as it likes to go through your skin.
Wearing gloves while cleaning is important. While growing up I mainly just cleaned with No. 9 and didn’t really bother with the gloves. Again you can probably get away with it but I look back on it now and it was stupid. Your skin is porous and absorbs whatever is on it. Honestly I don’t want it absorbing any of that crap.
Butch’s Bore Shine I think is the biggest lesson in, “Wear Gloves!” There is a warning label telling you not to use it bare handed, use of it bare handed can allow the chemicals to be absorbed and they have been known to cause liver failure.
Gloves are cheap, your body is not, when cleaning your guns at least wear latex or nitrile and expect to change them often as they break and die from the solvents.
As for cleaning my rifles I use a mix of No. 9, CR-10, and Butch’s. CR-10 and Butch’s both get used on the barrel. The CR-10 is much better at getting out heavy copper fouling, the Butch’s does a fantastic job at getting any lead and powder out and leaving the barrel in a pristine state. Butch’s takes out the copper too, it just takes forever if you have a lot of it.
The No. 9 I use on my pistols and actions to clean out the gunk and other crap that has collected up. Oil and lube it all back up and put it back together.
So yes, wear gloves when cleaning, don’t worry so much about shooting. Just make sure to wipe down and wash your hands after and you’ll be fine.
What say you other readers?
Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.