5.11 Tactical's Praetorian 2 Gloves have "a good blend of insulation that's not so thick as to take away your ability to feel a trigger or to write." Photo courtesy of Scott Smith.
I have never been a big fan of "winter" gloves. Generally they are bulky and don't offer enough dexterity. I understand that the bulk is usually meant to make them warmer, but you still have to be able to operate your equipment. That's why I appreciate 5.11's Praetorian 2.
5.11 Tactical collaborated with Ironclad Performance to bring what I consider usable gloves to the market. I have been wearing the Praetorian 2 to the range, while working outdoors, and while working out, and I'm happy with their performance.
These gloves seem to have a good blend of insulation that's not so thick as to take away your ability to feel a trigger or to write. This might seem trivial to you, but if you work where winter hits hard like here in Pennsylvania, keeping your digits warm is important.
The Praetorian 2 is made from goatskin, which is tough and flexible, and is lined with Thinsulate C100, which from my experience is warm and breathes without being bulky. While wearing them I find I am able to load magazines, open mail, not have sweaty hands when out doing PT, and most importantly not have cold finger tips when the wind chill is dipping below zero. 5.11's Praetorian 2 gets two thumbs up.
EoTech: XPS2-0 Sight
Over the last decade, the "red dot" sight has become as much a part of the daily use kit of military and law enforcement as boots. These sights make target acquisition fast and easy in all light conditions while allowing you to place accurate shots quickly.
One of the toughest "red dots" I have used is EoTech's 552 Heads Up Weapons Sight. I have had it on my M4 for nearly a decade and I think I have changed the two AA batteries once (and yes my M4 gets shot nearly weekly). My 552 sight has been used in the harshest elements including the blizzard of February 2010 and has survived to be used another day.
Not willing to rest on the success of the 550 series of sights, EoTech developed the XPS. This sight is approximately half the length of the 550 series sights because its power source comes not from two AA batteries, but a single CR123A. And it's mounted horizontally instead of along the axis of the sight. This allows for more room on a Picatinny rail to mount a magnification device or night vision (the XPS3 version is night vision compatible).
Since I do not have a night vision device, I opted to T&E the XPS2. The sight operates like its older siblings; the on/off/brightness switches are on the rear of the sight, the vertical and horizontal adjustments are on the right side. All movements and actions are clearly indicated on the sight, making it easy as 1,2,3 to operate and adjust the XPS2.