A little over a month ago I received a Valkyrie holster from Dragon Leatherworks for an evaluation and review – you can read it HERE.
What Dragon didn’t count on was me doing a secondary review after the initial “HOLY SHIT!!!” appeal wore off, after I’ve had a chance to find out what I don’t like about it.
I’ve had it about 5 weeks now and have worn it as much as possible, both around the house and out and about. Dragon cautions that it’s not a concealable weapon but I haven’t had a problem at all with my build and manner of dress. That and the fact that this is the cool season so a bulky jacket is not unusual. But hell, I’ve worn just a Redhead camo hunting shirt over it to the Savemart and had no problems.
It drives well. It did get in the way of buckling and unbuckling of the seatbelt in the jap car, but it was just a matter of changing the way I did it. It wasn’t a problem in the truck at all. Once I was seated and strapped in, it was like it wasn’t even there. It didn’t jab or poke me at all. Retention was excellent, even on the worst roads it didn’t budge even though the holster sits almost horizontally when you’re seated.
My draw was an issue in the first review and I knew then that was my issue with hip holsters, not the holster itself. It ain’t no more. As a matter of fact, I’m kinda diggin’ it now. When you put this holster on, it stays where you put it on and that’s good for muscle memory. Come up, grasp, pull up, level, front sight, press. It’s smooth and consistent, and reholstering is so easy I’m not even going to give it another mention.
Okay, after a month of stressing the holster and the gun going in and out of it daily, I checked it out for wear. Not even any sign of any wear on the stitching, the screws attaching the holster to the paddle were still snugged and the finish is still simply fabulous – fabulous I say. It looks like the goddamned thing is still new. Oh, there’s a couple of light creases next to where the trigger guard is but to be honest with you, I couldn’t tell you if those were already there or not.
There were some wear marks inside the holster. Not a problem, I would’ve been surprised if there hadn’t been. The most noticeable one was from the front sight. But more importantly, there were no (new) wear marks on my 45. I couldn’t tell about the top of the front sight, I had neglected to black it out before I started wearing the holster. Admittedly, the gun is 30 years old and has never been refinished, but I know that gun. If there were any shiny(ier) spots that weren’t there before, I would’ve noticed.
Okay, Dragon told me not to gloss things over. There are a couple of things about the holster that I have issues with, kinda sorta.
The first one is not an issue with the workmanship of the holster, but the design. It is not an easy holster for me to remove. Like I said in my previous post, I have never owned a paddle holster before so maybe it’s just me, but I have a hell of a time taking it off. I mean it slides on nice and easy but coming off it gets hung on my pants and belt at the same time because of the paddle maker’s (Blackhawk) retention measures. I know that it’s a good thing, otherwise it could fall out in a scuffle or while you’re taking a dump but it’s still a pain in the ass. And remember what I was saying about the holster staying where you put it on? That’s why. Again, this is something I’m just going to have to deal with. Will being able to take it off quickly and easily influence my decision on whether to wear it that day? No? Not that big a deal then.
And I do see he offers what looks like a belt holster in the Valkyrie but again, there’s that body retention thing.
Now comes the second thing.
It’s pretty. Oh my God, it’s pretty. It’s so pretty that I worry about fucking it up. Dragon says this is a Sunday-go-to-meetin’ holster, I know, but goddamn I would worry about fucking it up on the pews. By the time I got finished speaking my mind, motherfuckers would be catatonic.
Don’t get me wrong, Bro. I appreciate the fine craftsmanship and skill and especially the labor you put into it making it special for me (how’s that for some major ass-kissing?) but I’m a utilitarian kind of guy as far as my gear goes. I know I’m going to fuck shit up.
But if I was going to order one, it would be your plain jane black on black style except in brown and embossed of course. And despite my bitching about struggling to get it off, I’d still go with the paddle. It does have it’s advantages.
Okay. It’s a great holster, he’s not bullshitting when he says it’s top of the line. It’s gotten quite a bit of wear on my hip and it’s held up really well. Yeah, I was worried about scratching it but that doesn’t mean I went out of my way to protect it. For one thing, that shit’s a dead giveaway when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon.
Warmer weather will be here in a month and it’ll go into my closet until next fall, except for weddings and funerals. And I hate to say it but I’m almost hoping somebody does die so I have an excuse to show it off to family members that I don’t see any other time.