The PIG FDT Alpha is a great pair gloves. So great in fact, that they’re nearly always sold out just days after they’re restocked.

You’re normally greeted with something like this, at SKD – the home of PIG:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I was lucky enough to get a pair of these gloves from the very first run, in 2012. I’ve been wearing them for about a year and I absolutely love them. Given that I average two game days per month and these gloves were never designed to be particularly hard wearing, they are in pretty good shape. Some seams have popped, a finger on my support hand has worn through and I’ve lost a glove loop, but they are still going strong.

A pair of non-hard wearing gloves for tactical applications seems counterintuitive. However, SKD took a different look at the tactical glove market and the PIG FDT Alpha was designed to be the most tactile out there. All the advantages of bareback weapon manipulation, but with a good degree of protection. Mag changes, speed loaders, BB bags – I only take the gloves off to piss.

To be fair, after a few games I thought my gloves would fall apart pretty quickly. A seam on the knuckles popped and one of the cuff loops ripped off, while I was using it to pull my gloves on. I wrote to SKD with my thoughts and they promised me a new pair of gloves from the next production run – which would incorporate the feedback they were getting from early adopters like me.

Ironically, for a long while, that was the only damage which occurred and I’m still using the initial pair of gloves (although my free set duly arrived and is ready to rock, just in case of catastrophic failure). There’s a pro review of the second gen PIGs at Military Morons.

Aside from the dexterity and mobility afforded by the gloves, I really like being able to machine wash them. They are mainly composed of Clarino which is a Japanese made synthetic leather. Being machine washable effectively stops the gloves from smelling like a pack of Frazzles (some may remember these bacon flavoured corn fries).

Protection from BB strikes in CQB? If you’re particularly sensitive to that, these aren’t for you and I’d recommend Blackhawk Hellstorm SOLAGs, made with Pittards leather (my second favourite glove). They’re super protective, yet mobile and you don’t even need the hard knuckle version. They also last for years, even though they start to look like they’ve been deep fried after about five.

After trying a good many pairs of gloves in the last eight years, the PIG gloves fit me best – and has always been the deciding factor for me. The other benefits are a bonus.

Here’s how the PIG gloves are looking after a year’s hard use. Notice that there are no figure tip seams. This is a more expensive construction method, but it’s more comfortable and better for detailed work.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Wear and tear on left hand:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Wear and tear on right hand:

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Old glove loop configuration (top) and new (bottom), shows that feedback has been listened to:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The new pair:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

SKD’s product description is no bullshit and really does says it all – and much better than I can:

“If you’ve ever worn tactical gloves while shooting and wished for something better… your wish is now reality.

Over 2 years in the making, the NEW PIG FDT-Alpha Glove (Patented) offers ground breaking dexterity while providing much needed protection from the rigors of tactical work. Developed by a Rogers Shooting School “Advanced” graduate with over a decade of experience in instructing Military and Law Enforcement personnel, the FDT-Alpha Gloves were designed from the ground up to minimize impact on the shooter’s grip.

Instead of following the tired old routine of reinventing the Aviator Flight Glove, or making a “cool” looking glove with padding and layers in all the wrong places, the PIG design team partnered with the pre-eminent designer from an industry that actually makes gloves that fit really well- the sports glove industry. Recently, the FDT-Alpha Gloves were worn in earning a FAST Coin, an accomplishment previously considered nearly unobtainable while wearing tactical gloves.

Featuring several industry firsts, the FDT-Alpha allows unfettered access to all your firearms controls and manipulations, without the overwhelming bulk of unnecessary padding and layers. When it comes to gloves you can shoot with, contrary to most of the other tactical gloves on the market, less IS more… the less you feel your gloves, the better you can shoot with them.

FEATURES (* indicates industry firsts for a tactical glove):

*Single Layer Multi-Piece Palm- Designed specifically so that only one layer of material contacts your shooting grip.

*Sensitized and Isolated Trigger Finger- The thinnest available Clarino™ material available, only on the trigger finger for ultimate sensitivity.

*Selective Forschette Material- Inside forschettes are ventilated for maximum wicking. Outer forschettes are Clarino for durability.

*Low Profile Hook Closure- Reduces abrasion on clothing.

*Flex Joints- Enhanced flexibility and ventilation on each finger.

*Dual Flex Joint Trigger Finger- Providing maximum flexibility where you need it most.

Bar-Tacked Para Cord Pull Loop… YES, NOW BAR-TACKED..

Short Cuff- Lightweight comfort and convenience.

Micro Suede Nose Wipe- Fights against cold-weather drip.

Ventilation holes in Palms and Fingers- Increased wicking.

Isolated Edge Padding- Protection without compromising the shooting grip.

Wrap-Over Finger Tips- Provides additional protection for finger nails.

Stretch Cordura 1000D Padded Knuckles- Stretch Cordura reduces pressure on the seams, thin padding takes the edge off of impacts.

While the PIG FDT-Alpha Gloves will be some of the highest quality gloves you own, given the nature of the job we expect them to do, they are NOT designed to outlast the Apocalypse. We believe that the trade off in extreme dexterity and sensitivity for perceived durability is well worth it, and far better than the old-school “cut off the finger tips” or “go bare handed” solutions.

At the end of the day, the PIG FDT-Alpha Gloves are a consumable product that will provide the user with the best tactile dexterity available in a tactical glove, and should be worn to destruction, then discarded and replaced. The selection of super sensitive materials and extremely tight seams mean that these gloves will eventually wear out, and there are no warranties implied. Please try them on and inspect them thoroughly for fit and finish before removing from the hangtag, but be forewarned, you will not want to take them off.

Priced competitively for the non-FR utility glove market, the PIG FDT-Alpha will be the first in a new line of tactical gloves for PIG. FR and Touch-screen compatible models are expected by late Summer 2013.”