I am a holster whore, a self admitted and decidedly unrepentant holster whore. I couldn’t tell you how many I have and don’t care how many I have. I love leather holsters. All of them are for various situations or methods of carry so at least I have an decent excuse as to why I
collect have so many holsters.
I do consider myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur of quality production leather holsters. I know what I like for what purpose and the holster better be rugged, it better be dependable and it damned sure better be brown.
Last night I had the pleasure of receiving one of Dragon Leatherworks top of the line Valkyrie holsters, embossed with a Spartan Helmet over a III. And it was brown. It was gorgeous. It’s #1 of however many. It’s mine.
Dragon contacted me a couple of months ago and asked if he could send me a holster and tell him (and you) what I thought about it. He told me he wanted an honest opinion and no bullshit.
Could he send me a holster… Uh, ye-ah.
Like I said, I know my way around high end production holsters but this was the first time I had ever handled a quality handmade holster. And Dragon, evidently up for a challenge, sent me the one style I have never worn before, a paddle holster.
After admiring the beautiful coloring and finish for about 2 hours and firing off a “IT’S HERE” email to Dragon, I put it on, stuffed my 45 in it and went about the rest of my day, just trying it out for comfort. Like I said, I’ve never worn a paddle holster so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m also not partial to hip holsters except on large frame guns.
Anyway, I put it on and went about my business which wasn’t much. I sat around, had supper, did some things in the garage, you know, my evening normal routine. My normal evening routine usually doesn’t involve shooting folks and last night didn’t promise to be any different, so this was just a comfort test. For the most part, I didn’t even notice the gun. The paddle design spreads the weight over the entire hip so that factor isn’t as noticeable and the positioning was actually pretty good, up fairly high and in tight.
I was expecting some discomfort from the paddle itself due to the fact that I have a bony ass as my female readers take great delight in pointing out, but with a Tshirt tucked in between the paddle and my bony hip, it didn’t even leave a mark after several hours.
This morning, after my initial giddiness, I gave it a good going over. It’s a good solid holster. The stitching was flawless, there were no gaps, no place where a piece didn’t match up exactly with it’s mate. I wasn’t expecting to find anything wrong and I didn’t. A fine example of American workmanship from a craftsman that takes pride in his work. The stitching is strong, and I couldn’t find any flaws in the leather.
The paddle itself is from Blackhawk. It does conform to my hip better than I expected, not to say it wouldn’t fit a er…. more robust man or woman. The belt slots are adjustable for belts 1″-2″ in width. The cant of the one I got is nearly straight up and down and while you can adjust the cant yourself, Dragon recommends that you let him do it while he’s building it.
Weapon Retention and Fit
Okay, here’s where this holster really shines. There is no retention strap on this holster, no springs, just formed leather to keep your handgun where it belongs. Mine was made for a Colt Officers Model, a cut down 1911.
I can take my 45 and seat it in the holster and turn it upside without the 45 falling out, yet all it takes to draw it from my hip is a slight tug. Amazing. I jumped around, I hopped around, I rassled with CharlieGodammit. My 45 stayed put.
My favorite trick with leather holsters are to wrap the gun in wax paper waxy side out and put it in the holster for a couple of days to make it more form fitting but I’m not having to do that with this one.
Like I told him as I was kissing his ass last night, it’s almost like I sent the gun to him and he built the holster around it.
Dragon warned me that it was not a concealable holster, it was a Sunday go-to-meetin’ holster and to please reconsider my usual holster test drive – wearing it down to the police station to see if anybody notices.
While not a true concealable holster, the holster holds the weapon in tight enough that I didn’t have a problem throwing a shirt over it and going down to the AM-PM to get a can of Copenhagen. Different people have different builds. It’s up to you and your clothing habits.
Personally I think it would be perfect for a man in a business suit – a quality holster customized for you for the successful businessman.
Yeah, there’s a couple of downsides but they’re all my hang-ups, not the holster’s. I just thought I’d throw them in for grins.
My draw – Notice I said my draw. As I said, except for my larger handguns where speed is not an issue I don’t wear hip holsters so I’ve never really spent any time practicing a semi fast draw. I’ve spent the day drawing down on spots on the wall and the dogs and it’s getting to the point to wear my hand knows exactly where to go no matter what position I’m in and I’m getting a good sight picture. I’ll work through it, just like every other new style of holster I’ve ever owned. It’s kinda fun, actually.
It’s purty – As soon as I stuffed my 30 year old 45 in it, I started laughing – that gun looks positively ratty compared to the holster. Now I’ve got an excuse to buy a new one.
I gotta wear drawers – no commando here. Last night and today I have my Tshirt tucked as a sweat guard between me and the paddle, but I can see where I’ll need to wear drawers if I’m going to wear this in temps above 100 degrees.
So myself, I’m going to give this piece of work 5 stars and my personal endorsement for whatever that’s worth.
Dragon’s holsters are put together so well that when you buy one and get your hands on it, you realize that you will never have to buy a replacement for it. It’s something that can be passed down to your kids and grandkids.
While you’re there, use the tabs at the top of his page to see his other offerings. They’re less expensive but there’s no doubt in my mind that the quality is the same. I’ve got my eye on a couple more and I don’t expect freebies either.
Oh, one more thing – when you do order from him, please be sure to let him know you came from here so he knows he’s advertising bucks are paying off.
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