A bit over a month ago, Dennis of Dragon Leatherworks offered to send me a sample of his wares; in my case, a Talon holster for the 1911. All he wanted from me in return was a review. To quote:
I am offering the holster with the full understanding that if you find it to be junk, you'll say so. I'm not offering a product in return for a good review....I'm offering it for an *honest* review.Having heard good things from other bloggers such as Weerd, Robb, Jay and Breda, I agreed, and my example showed up on June 2.
First impressions: It's very well made, with thick, stiff leather, uniform stitching, and a beautiful finish. Mine is burgundy with the "black burst". My first-gen Kimber Classic Stainless fit it tightly, and the trigger is completely covered by the holster. In fact, my Kimber fit it a bit too tightly. Some time back I gave it a two-tone finish by having the slide Gunkoted black. The combination of the unfinished interior of the outer panel of leather, tight fit, and Gunkote made for very positive retention. Even after following Dennis' break-in instructions, two weeks later the holster still wanted to hold with a death-grip.
Dennis says that his holsters need to absorb some moisture to loosen up a bit, but this is Arizona where the relative humidity is in the 'teens unless there's been a recent storm. I didn't go so far as to actually wet the holster, but it did take a good three weeks for it to finally be willing to give me back my gun without a (major) fight. Had the gun been in its original bare-stainless finish, I'm certain retention would have been good, but not that good.
Needless to say, the pistol isn't going to fall out of this holster should you take a short jog. Or a long fall.
Now, Arizona has always been an open carry state, but I haven't practiced it much. I have a CCW, but again, Arizona in the summer limits your choices in concealment garments. Normally I carry a Kel-Tec PF9 in a pocket holster in the summer. In cooler weather I carry my Kimber Ultra CDP II in a Comp-Tac Minotaur IWB holster, with a shirt over it to conceal. Toting a Government-sized 1911 on my hip in public was a new experience, and not a negative one.
My belt is a Beltman 1.5" with velcro loop strips on the inside. The loop strips lock to the Minotaur's hook strips on the belt loops, positively securing the holster in place. They also add stiffness to the belt. The combination of my belt and Dennis' Talon holster was every bit as solid and fixed, though I've come to the conclusion that I really ought to go to a 1.75" belt. The weight of a Government-sized all steel pistol is, well, noticeable after awhile. The inner panel of the holster does an excellent job of isolating the hammer, grip safety and thumb safety from rubbing against my body.
So my honest opinion is, Dennis makes a damned nice holster! Now I want one with the Vicious Circle logo stamped into it!