Review: Dragon Leatherworks Valkyrie Custom Holster

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Dragon Leatherworks is a custom holster company in Oak Ridge, Tn. The owner,Dennis Badurina, is also the person who crafts these fine holsters. I was contacted by Dennis and subsequently sent this Ostrich leg trimmed holster for review.

The Valkyrie is available in many different trim materials most of which are exotic skins and or leather. The exotics are available with Crocodile, Alligator, Ostrich, Stingray, Python, Elephant and Buffalo trim options. Of course plain leather models are also available. The MSRP ranges from $169.00 for leather up to $489.00 for Buffalo. The Valkyrie as shown in the article retails for $289.00.

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In Norse Mythology, the Valkyrie is a handmaiden to Odin, who’s purpose is to bring chosen warriors to Valhalla. Valkyrie’s are beautiful, seductive, and bold creatures.

I’ve been carrying my 1911 in this “Valkyrie” holster for many weeks now. One thing I noticed right away is there was really no break-in time. The holster fit the 1911 well and kept it very secure during carry and daily activities including time at the range. The leather used is a bit thicker than what most are used to seeing which I believe contributes to the good fit. I haven’t noticed the leather stretching after a good deal of use and I attribute this to the thicker leather and the way it’s treated. Heavy thread is used throughout with areas of greater stress double stitched.The exotic skin/leather is double stitched to the leather backing.

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When Dennis designed this and other holsters he wanted to give users the ability to change the way they carry without having to purchase a second holster. Dennis decided to use the Blackhawk CQC paddle system with it’s mounting system. You can also order the holster with the Blackhawk belt attachment. The user simply removes the three screws and changes the CQC attachment from paddle to belt slide. I ordered the belt attachment from Amazon for $18.00 and changed between the paddle and it. They both have their place and honestly it’s more a matter of choice than an advantage of one method being better than the other. I do like the fact you have a choice with this system.

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I primarily used the paddle back since it tends to ride a bit higher than the belt attachment. I know some paddles I’ve used tend to come out very easily but this isn’t one of them. The paddle has three points that keep the paddle from coming out or sliding around. The belt attachment also adjust for the size belt you’re wearing ranging from a dress belt to the largest instructor belt.As you can see from the photo the paddles cant can be changed to suit the user. During range trips I’d jog between stations and never had a problem with the pistol becoming loose in the holster.

Adjustable cant

Adjustable cant

Belt attachment

Belt attachment

From Dragon Leatherworks:

In Feb 2014 we were contacted by the prop master for NCIS and commissioned to create a holster for an upcoming two-part episode set in New Orleans. We were given pretty much free rein, with the only guidance being that it had to be paddle-mounted, with alot of crocodile skin. We set to work locating a suitable paddle, and within a few days settled on using the BlackHawk CQC system. With the hardware selection out of the way, we set to work designing the holster.
After trying a few mock-ups, we settled on the design and set to work building the two holsters that NCIS wanted to purchase. After they were built and we were taking pictures of them, it was obvious to us that we had another winning design in our hands. With the flexibility of colors and exotic skins, coupled with the highest quality hand-crafting, the Valkyrie quickly became our Signature Series holster.
The Signature Series Valkyrie line is available in its base configuration of plain leather, all the way up to Crocodile, Ostrich, or Anaconda snakeskin. For a truly unique holster, we also offer hand-painted Python skin…our premium offering. As with all of our products, there is a wide selection of colors available, along with being able to build it in right or left handed configurations.

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You read it right Dennis was contacted by the prop department that handles gear for the TV show NCIS. They wanted a good looking unique holster for the shows lead actor Scott Bakula. The powers that be at NCIS liked what they saw and equipped Bakula with the Valkyrie holster with brown Alligator trim.

NCIS holster

NCIS holster


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The Valkyrie is a real beauty and very well made. Dennis places a lot of importance in quality construction and providing a very good product to every customer. Each holster has a two year warranty. I imagine this holster will last a very long time and still look good. As far as price yes they don’t come cheap but considering what you’re getting well you get what you pay for!

You can visit the Dragon Leatherworks website and see the wide variety of holster types and choices of color and trim.



Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Hinermad

    Dennis makes some great stuff. I have a couple of his pocket (wallet) holsters.

  • Kelly Jackson

    It’s a nice looking holster, but unless I want to intimidate the local soccer moms down at the grocery store with my open carry I think I’d prefer something a bit slimmer

    • If you need it to be closer to the body the paddle holds it closer than the belt slide. You can adjust the paddle for a higher ride.

  • david

    Why would I want a holster that is not fitted to the gun at all>

    • It holds the pistol well. The idea of a molded holster that outlines every corner of the pistol isn’t all that old. The majority of holsters over the years were not molded but made like this. They worked well for well over a 100 years.

      • ExMachina1

        In hte past, non-molded holsters worked mostly because they had retention straps or flaps. As for un-molded holsters without a retention system, I’d wager that most of those were originally made with a very specific model pistol/revolver in mind.

        • I’m sure they were made for a specific revolver or pistol. This particular holster was indeed made for a 1911. He offers this holster to fit a large number of handguns.
          A long time ago I used one with a retention strap but it was a kind of universal holster where these aren’t universal at all.

    • Marcus D.

      Molding is, for a well designed and made holster, more of a stylistic statement than a retention method, most of the retention coming from the molding around the trigger guard–and which if you look closely, you will find on this holster. As long as the sheath is well-fitted to the gun, the gun will be retained.