After several years of working in the Private Security field and dealing with Law Enforcement, one thing we have learned it many people don’t understand how to use their products or gear properly. I’m reminded of a Clint Smith quote in one of of his Rifle Training videos about “not rackin it, and slapping it, Vietnam style” in reference to the proper way to drop a bolt on an AR. Guys come in here thinking you can use molle pouches on a belt and then come in complaining how it’s not working and we’re like “its for a molle vest not a belt” and we get an “oh”. Frisk Gloves are meant for frisking, Turtleskin Gloves are meant for need protection and slash resistance, not shoveling the snow or going to the shooting range. They should have a shelf life much longer than latex gloves, but don’t expect them to last forever, remember body armor usually is expired in 5yrs for a reason.
The most popular seller in the last 4 years are the Turtleskin Bravo Gloves, these have more of a patrolman’s glove and are very lightweight and easy to shove in your pockets without a lot of bulk. There are some other gloves out that customers have told us about but we’ve done extremely well with Turtleskin Gloves. This company makes space suits so puncture resistance is something they really care about. Just like most Level II and Level IIIA body armor these gloves are resistant, not stab proof. You still have to know how to search properly and know all of the angles of your hand and they way things can be hidden in pockets. We offer bulk discounts on these as well as department discounts based on volume
The is a lot of crossover between military and police applications with the various gear we sell, and there is also airsoft and paintball, you might even want to put hunting in that also. It all depends on what you are using your gear or apparel for. Years ago we sold a lot of Blackhawk Warrior Wear tactical pants to guys that were bow hunters because the polyester cotton ripstop material had a teflon coating that was very useful for those sitting on the ground while hunting. Lot of things like knee pads, elbow pads, tactical pants, tactical vests have multi use so are many of the products from Valken Tactical.
The gloves you may like for security or airsoft might be the same thing, lots of operators in the real world are using baseball gloves because they want the dexterity but just basic protection. One warning about using gloves with a carbine is making sure you have enough room in the trigger guard to safely operator it, trigger guards are easy to replace or change but you need to test your gear our before you get a surprise. I’ve been using Valken Zulu gloves for over a year and I find no difference in quality or usefulness between playing airsoft or using it for Law Enforcement or Security.
We were one of the first dealers here in Pennsylvania to carry Turtleskin gloves and when we got them in, we really didn’t know the market all that well but we knew we had to get something in. Once we found out that Warwick Mills has a relationship with NASA on building Astronaut Suits, there really wasn’t much more we needed to know about them than that. We do know more about what the frisk glove market is and how important these days that Police, Security and EMS have something like this on them, one word, heroin. Bloodborne pathogens are common and having needle and slash protection is as necessary as having a bullet in the chamber of your duty weapon.
We have been selling the Alpha and Bravo Gloves for several years now and they have sold well, but the new Turtleskin Gloves that we just added to our inventory are the Turtleskin Delta Police Gloves which are very different. You are never going to get all of the dexterity you want in a glove like this but there are variables. With the Alpha and the Bravo, there is a stiffer feel to the palms of the hand that kind of feel like a thin layer of cardboard even though they are puncture resistant. With the Delta Glove, this is an all leather police glove and you can definitely feel the difference. I would have to say that I feel as though there is more dexterity with this glove and a more normal glove feel. It’s a few bucks more than the Bravo and Alpha but if feel and dexterity and it’s not just about protection, you might want to go with the Delta instead.
Sounds like it might be a joke blog post today, but it’s not. After spending years reading and interactive on several firearm forums, there’s always somebody that comes up with information that is so basic, it’s extremely useful. In our business there are all kinds of bells and whistles to put on a firearm or dress up in, but so many of the times, the guys that actually have to use the stuff end up stripping gear down the more they are in the field. I’ve seen plenty of Special Ops guys that don’t wear helmets and limit armor because it restricts mobility and a slow moving person is a much easier target than a fast moving one. It’s always a good idea to have gloves available to you even if it’s something lightweight and is basically for heat protection. I have seen plenty of Operators using something as simple as a baseball glove in the field. We are often asked about the dexterity of a glove but just like footwear, the customer has to try it on and see how it works for them, finger lengths between digits and hand sizes are as diverse as inseams are on pants so it’s yet another one of those things you have to slip over your hand to see how you can move and feel in them.
One thing to consider in this day and age is to make sure you have a cell phone that has a “glove mode” or that you have your text size large enough, and that you can type with them on. Even our Turtleskin gloves like the Alpha Gloves and the Bravo Gloves have little circles on the index fingers and palm of the hand so that you can type with them. Although cell phones aren’t as reliable as radios, knowing you can keep your gloves on and still call 911 or type on a computer without going back and forth between putting the gloves on and taking them off is not an easy task. You are always going to trade safety for comfort in varying degrees and preference and customization can’t be ruled out. There are plenty of people that have taken $80 gloves and cut the trigger finger off just because they don’t need any protection for possible their most important finger.
There is a saying in the music industry that once you learn how a record is made, you’ll never listen to a CD, record or song on the radio the same way. In the firearm industry, once you become an NRA Firearm Instructor, you’ll never watch an action movie the same way either. We have several people in our customer base that travel around the world, Europe, Asia, North American ect, as a consultant on how the military or Law Enforcement should have their duty gear on, what color lights the Polie use in different Countries and yes, even the sounds of the sirens. If an action movie involved a Die Hard movie where the LAPD had Police sirens that sound like they were in Paris France, somebody will call it. There are some pretty funny mistakes in some of these movies that you know the Directors didn’t know until it got out, check out “movie mistakes” and pick your Action Titles.
I’ve seen Police Chiefs on National stages make inaccurate statements about the firearm in their hands, like calling for a National ban on assault rifles like this AK47, meanwhile, they are holding an AR15. In this industry you have to talk about what you know, and if you are wrong in your statements about tactical gear, especially on Blogs, Facebook or in a gun magazine, you’ll hear it. Things have to seem real in a good action movie. Ever see the 9mm gun brass on the ground during and after the Darth Vader entrance into Princess Leia’s ship? What about all of the wrong caliber brass falling from Neo’s gun? Now go find all the action movies where the SWAT Team all have their fingers on the trigger while they move in a stack.
We added several more products to our Turtleskin glove product line after hearing a lot of positive feedback from the Pennsylvania State Police. Apparently, Turtleskin has been doing a lot of demonstrations and since Heroine use seems to be way up more and more Police Officers are running the risk of being exposed to HIV and HEP C and all the other crap that exists. It’s almost part of the uniform for any Police Officer within 25miles of a major City, especially Philadelphia to have to keep frisk gloves on them or in their patrol vehicle. There is always a balance and limit to using various types of Law Enforcement Gear, and it’s almost best to keep the limits to a reasonable level. Being able to feel something like needle or a pipe yet also have protection and still be able to draw an proficiently use a firearm or use a radio under stress is important.
Much of this is about preference and the environment you are working in but there are new gloves on our inventory like the Patrol Gloves, NYDOCS Glove and the Turtleskin search gloves. These gloves are either lighter or heavier than the Turtleskin gloves we had like the Algha and Bravo gloves. Those are really more street patrol gloves and some of the others are probable more for prison, crime scene or major incidents. Being able to have a glove like this in the $50 price range is about what most police officers want and having something that holds up after being washed is also important to the consumer.
When we first heard about the Turtleskin product line it was when they actually called us up and asked us if we wanted to be a dealer for their products. We knew this was a niche market when we first got into it, but frisk gloves like this are something that nobody really deals with and everyone wants to walk into a store and try them out before they drop $65 on a pair of gloves. Sure you can get kevlar gloves or something possible less expensive, but the dexterity on these gloves especially the Turtleskin Duty Gloves and the Turtleskin Alpha gloves give you much more. There is a level of puncture resistances as well as slash resistances and both gloves will not interfer very much with your ability to use a firearm if need be.
These gloves have been hard to keep in stock because many corrections officers have been finding out about them from the various demonstrations and trade shows that the Warwick Mills reps have been giving. We deal with a lot of new hire Police officers and Turtleskin gloves are something that is usually on their list of things that they need before they hit the streets. With all of the crap out there that EMS and Police have to deal with like HIV or HEP C and God knows what else. Some people are really just dirty according to some of our Police. You have to have the protection on your hands just like you need body armor that can protect you from knives or bullets.
This year was a very successful year for us in the Delaware County area in launching our tactical store and we double the size of our business in the first 6 months. People are still finding out about us via word of mouth whenever they need a new holster, police boots or even just Ambulance companies hiring and people needing to get a pair of pants. Much of the product line we stock in our store is for people to checkout instead of buying it online. Duty gear like handcuff keys and various police belts are things that people in the Law Enforcement industry lose or wear out over time and are always in need of. Police vests, tactical pants, uniform pants, belts, hydration unites, SWAT team bags are things that are always wearing out and need to be replaced.
We’ve learned there are so many types of handcuffs, swivel and hinged doesn’t always narrow it down, some are different weights and types of metal. The items we have brought in this year are the Safariland lightweight handcuffs and in our region there are no Philadelphia Police Supplies shops around here and many of our Law Enforcement Officers are very happy to see a business like this open up. Tactical vests, body armor are all things people need to be sized up on and this is something that has to be done right so that there are fewer returns. We stock a large number of Blackhawk serpa holsters, safariland products, pepper spray, mace, tasers, batons, police badge holders and more and more duty gear.
This is a market we knew practically nothing about until 2012 when we expanded our customer base into the Law Enforcement Market. Many of our products were for military contractors and security that had very little risk of dealing with HIV or Hepatitus C. Many in the Law Enfocement have to worry about jerks with diseases spitting on them or leaving needles in their pockets knowing that a Copy might have to search them. Officers need to wear frisk gloves or atleast carry them in their car at all times. The truth of that matter is this is something they don’t often have to do, but when they do they need to have them.
Most Police Officers we deal with are buying products based upon their clothing allowance or worse, their own pockets and since not all police departments make the same amount of money, sometimes certain products sell more because they cost less. We have tip toed with products like the Turtleskin gloves because we were not really sure how they would sell and if people would like them. This is one of those niche products that LEO’s need but we don’t move a lot of them. Well considering the fact that we cleaned house on them and zero complaints from customers, we are going to re-order them in 2013.
There use to be a well known Army Navy Store here in the Philadelphia Suburbs that was family owned and we use to go there to get our cub scout gear. They had shovels camping gear, sleeping bags and war props. Those were fun days for us but that industry just faded away in South Eastern Pennsylvania. It’s hard to even find a place where you can check out a Swiss Army Knive. The internet is a booming industry but there is still so much competition amongst brick and mortar stores. I have friends that shop at Victoria’s Secret for clothing for their wives because shopping online is too hard. In this industry the same things happen for women trying to find the correct style and color of tactical clothing. Many will ask what multi-cam is and what color is coyote brown.
On the other hand the average guy will have no idea how to explain what color turquoise is and is going to want to walk into a store to see it. Backpacks and duty bags are Mission driven and tactical clothing is no different. The differences between 100% cotton ripstop pants, Blackhawk Polycotton ripstop pants, Tru Spec Polycotton ripstop and 5.11 lightweight tactical pants are also very different. Pocket designs are unique, some are good for a knife, others have different cargo pockets and may or may not work for you. We got asked this question all the time about the differences between Eotac and Woolrich Elite tactical clothing. All of these products have their pros and cons and it really depends on what your needs are.