I've read that people are using Gauntlets for use with Ranged weapons for attacks of opportunity and also with other two handed weapons such as Polearms.
What I'm wondering is, if I'm using a heavy crossbow is there a penalty to wear a gauntlet? If not is there a difference which hand the gauntlet is in?
Rules state that it takes 2 hands to reload a heavy crossbow. Does the gauntlet use up a hand as a equipped weapon? Or is it just like a piece of equipment and I'm able to still reload or hold the main weapon in the gauntlet hand?
Also, I am wondering if wearing a buckler which works with a heavy crossbow would work as well? A Gauntlet holding the majority of the gun while the empty off hand which has a buckler on it is holding the bottom of the crossbow for support and for reloading it.
This is assuming I have rapid reload and crossbow mastery which reduces all reloads to free actions. Any penalties to shoot for wearing the gauntlet?