Back in January of 2015, I received a Valkyrie holster from Dennis of Dragon Leatherworks in exchange for an honest review. At the time, I didn’t know Dennis from Adam, which makes an unbiased review a lot easier.
The Valkyrie is a hip holster as well as a paddle design, neither of which I was real fond of, but I figured hey! free holster – I’d check it out, review it and if I didn’t like it, I’d just send the fucker back, no skin off my back.
I’ve still got the holster. Matter of fact, it’s my everyday holster and I’m wearing it at this very moment.
I did a review of the holster the day after I got it.
Valkyrie Review Pt I
A little over a month later I did another review, completely unsolicited by and unknown to Dennis.
Valkyrie Review Pt Deux
Please read both posts before continuing.
After something that happened this week, I figured it was time to do another review.
I got my pistol permit here in Tennessee last June and because Tennessee allows open carry (and doesn’t give a damn if your pistol prints while concealed) with your permit. I tossed my standby holster, a Galco Jak-Slide, into my Box O’ Holsters and started using the Valkyrie as my full time holster. It is incredibly comfortable, even with a gun weighing 3 pounds fully loaded. The paddle distributes the weight to where I can still feel the gun there – it’s not irritating, but it’s comforting. I know it’s there but it’s not distracting at all. And yes, it is fairly concealable under a loose fitting shirt IF you have the right build.
The other day I had some business to take care of in Goodlettsville, which is waaay out of my comfort zone and a pretty good sized town outside of Nashville. Now I don’t mind openly carrying my pistol in my home county, but I figured there in the big city it might be prudent to carry completely concealed so I dug out my Jak-Slide and slid that on my belt in its old position to where the gun is right above my right hip pocket, then climbed in the truck for about a 2 hour drive there.
It was fucking miserable. That damned pistol gouged my side and dug into my hip the entire time. I was constantly shifting my weight trying to get comfortable and finally unholstered the damned thing and slid it under my left thigh which is something I normally wouldn’t even consider – I don’t want a loose handgun flying around the cab of the truck in case of an accident. I’m not worried about it going off, I just don’t want to be smacked in the head with a flying gun. I don’t keep loose tools in the cab for the same reason.
Anyways, as soon as I got home the Jak-Slide came off my belt and back into the Box O’ Holsters while I slipped the Valkyrie back on, breathing a sigh of relief and thinking “I really need to do another review after this bullshit.”
Okay, check this out: I think I’m on my 4th or 5th Jak-Slide after all these years. They’re a decent production holster, I don’t want to take away from that, but they are a production holster. After a period of time, the stitching either comes loose or breaks or more commonly, because of the design the holster collapses into itself. Then there’s the fact that because it’s an open muzzle design, my front sight has caught on several occasions as I was pulling it out of the holster. That causes a delay and a distraction on your draw which can get you killed.
The Jak-Slide has been discontinued by Galco, but it seems like I paid $70-$80 for each of the ones I owned, so you figure I’ve invested at least 300 bucks in just that style alone over the years.
Okay, I’ve had this Valkyrie for a little over 3 years with me wearing it in the winter when I was in California and then full time since last June. In that time, the only thing that I’ve had to do to it was tighten the screws up that attach the paddle to the holster and a touch of LocTite insured I’ll never have to do that again.
If you’ll go back to the second review, you can see where I was tripping about fucking up my purty holster. That’s a non-issue – there’s a couple scuff marks (that I can probably rub off) on the leading edge of the holster where I’ve walked in cabinets and shit, but that’s it. There’s no gouges or even scratches on it which is surprising as hell seeing as I am notoriously rough on my holsters.
The holster’s retention is still excellent – not just acceptable, but excellent. Remember last week when I was playing Fireman because I lit my garden on fire and it got away from me? I was wearing the Valkyrie then and even with all the running and jumping and extinguishing myself, the gun never budged. I can still put the gun in the holster and turn it upside down and the gun doesn’t fall out under its own weight, yet it draws just as smoothly as it did when the holster was new.
The stitching on the holster still looks like it’s new. Nothing’s working loose, no stitching is coming out, no nothing. The leather has stayed put with no warping or peeling even though I’ve gotten the holster good and wet on more than one occasion, although not on purpose – it rains a lot here.
A Valkyrie will run you $180 for the basic no-frills holster, one without exotic leather or fancy designs on it and will last you the rest of your life, in fact when you die and pass on your pistol, you can pass on your holster as well.
When you consider the material and time put into making the holster, it’s not a bad price seeing as it’s the last one you’ll ever buy unless you’re one of those fashion nuts and you want a holster to match all your pairs of fancy cowboy boots.
I gave this holster a solid 5 Stars in the first 2 reviews I did on it and I’m still giving it 5 Stars after 3 years only because I can’t give it 6. It fucking rocks.
If you’d like to order your very own Valkyrie you can do so here:
You can see the holster that he built for me in the 8th picture down.
If you’re unsure if Dennis can give you what you want, whether it’s a rail or laser sight on your gun or whatever, you can always call him at his shop and talk to him – he’s that kinda guy. His number is (865) 240-1625.
Please keep in mind that these holsters are made to order and take time to build. He does however have a bunch of pre-made holsters available and you can find those HERE.
The Valkyrie is not the only holster he builds. He’s got several other styles available, just hit the drop down menu at the top of his page.
I’ve mentioned the Box O’ Holsters – it’s filled with rigs that I bought and didn’t like, or ones that I just use occasionally, like different holsters for my Blackhawks or my S&W Model 65. My Valkyrie has never seen the inside of that box and never will.