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Tactical pens...

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by milemaker13, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    Does anyone have one of these tactical pens? What do you think of them? I wanted to get one to take on vacation (flying to ireland), but after looking at them online I'm not so impressed.

    I've actually ordered an all steel zebra pen to check out. It was only five bucks and should be a nice pen in any case, but I'm thinking it may be a good choice over these ridiculous looking tac pens... Most don't even write! Lol.
     
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  2. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    I have the tac pens from various makers, some are better than others and if you get ones that take a quality refill they will write as well as any other pen running that cartridge. That said, I have the Zebras and much prefer those, I use them daily as they are a nice pen and all metal, I think it is the 701's that I have and like. If I had to do it all over again I would skip the tac pens and stick with the Zebras; for the $$, quality, usefulness, etc.
     
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  3. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    Good to hear. The tac pens don't look like a comfortable pen to use, heavy compared to a regular pen and it's seems to be a 50/50 crap shoot if you'll make it thru security with it.
    I've always liked the zebra pen, used to have the lesser plastic barreled one in high school.... It was known to have a special secondary function back in those days.
     
  4. vkeith

    vkeith Member

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    I bought one that turned out to be too heavy, and was too tactical looking to make it through security screens. I quickly replaced it with an all stainless steel vintage Parker Jotter purchased from Ebay. The older ones made in the US had brass threads instead of plastic.

    Throw a Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 cartridge in it, and you've got a great writing, and looking, pen for under $20 that can be used for self defense in an emergency, and security screeners don't pay any attention to it.

    The one I purchased looks similar to this
    s-l400.jpg


    Edit: I carried a Zebra F701 for a while, but the plastic threads were a weak link, and it eventually broke there from just normal usage.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  5. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    I carry-on one made by S&W when I travel for work. It feels solid, writes well, and gives me some degree of confidence. No issues with TSA, but I travel only domestically.
     
  6. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    F-701 has plastic threads huh?

    Edit- I looked at a few of these vintage Parker pens. One says made in 1954. What year is your pen? I'd assume 1954 had the brass threads?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  7. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a Rotring pen that is all steel. I've had it for quite a long time, so I can't say for certain that they are still made that way.
     
  8. vkeith

    vkeith Member

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    Not sure of dates, but I have several that are likely 1960s or 1970s production. My guess is based on them being slimline models with the clip attached to the barrel.

    Per Wikipedia, US production ended in 1999 with the transition from brass to plastic threads occuring in the 1980s. From 1999 to 2010, Jotters were manufactured in England with production moving to France in 2010.

    Look for brass threads in the description and photos. Knowledgeable sellers will include it because brass threads tend to be slightly more valuable than plastic threaded ones.

    There are also two clip types: the one attached to the barrel shown above, and a clip made as part of a ring above the barrel. Both work well, but I prefer the looks of one attached to the barrel.

    The one pictured above is the slimline design which looks good but can be harder to grasp than the standard style with a larger diameter barrel, if you have large hands.
     
  9. AZAndy
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    AZAndy Member

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    I have a sterling Parker with checkering that would work in an emergency situation. Looks like this:
    serveimage?url=http%3A%2F%2Ft0.gstatic.jpg
     
  10. glistam

    glistam Member

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    I have to echo what a lot of people say: Actual tactical pens are a gimmick, especially since security screeners are fully aware of them now. Defeats the purpose. I still keep a Schrade click pen around because it's less like the others that it passes, but it's still pretty thick and hard to use as a pen.

    I carried a modified Zebra F-701 for a while but eventually set it aside because I like gel ink. I have a collection of aluminum and steel Embassy Pens from County Comm, though the price appears to have tripled since I bought mine. One that is my go-to now is the Glider from Tactile Turn (note: "tactile," not "tactical"). It is solid machined steel, made in Texas, with very few parts and takes standard Pilot gel refills. The grippy exterior and weight means it would work as a defense aid in a pinch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  11. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    All very good info. Keep it coming. I've got some time before our trip but I'm shopping around now :)
     
  12. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    None of my Zebras have any plastic threads in them.
     
  13. vkeith

    vkeith Member

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    You're probably right as it been several years since I carried a Zebra. IIRC, the threads on my F701 stripped out rendering the pen useless, and it was not abused.




    Nearly every ink manufacturer makes their own versions of the Parker ink cartridge. The Schmidt EasyFlow 9000 is the best IMHO. It writes very smooth like a gel but dries almost instantly like a regular ball pen, which is important if you're a southpaw like me and drag your hand across the ink.
     
  14. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    I have a couple of Tuff Writer Mini-Click pens, one aluminum and one titanium. Their pens start in the low $80s and go up to the $200. Great pens, and can easily go through security as they are actually pens & look like pens.
     
  15. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Surefire makes some pens that they bill as tactical but that won't give TSA a heart attack. I have no personal experience with them.
     
  16. JFrame

    JFrame Member

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    I started with a Parker Jotter pen (bottom) for use as one of those "when nothing else is feasible/available for a last-ditch effort" device. It seemed solid enough for a short-term getaway scuffle, but I found the hull too smooth for reliable purchase. I wound a couple of rubber bands around it, but it didn't do much for the looks or writing department (plus I'm sure it wouldn't have held up to any serious exertion).

    For most occasions, I've settled on the F-701 (middle, referenced by others above). It's a solid piece of metal, and the knurled fore-end provides some decent traction. And the threads are indeed metal. Plus, it writes beautifully. :)

    For shins & grits, I got a Practical Tactical Pen (top). Hey -- it was 14 bucks. I carry it as a backup pen where venues seem permissible. Within the very circumscribed purpose being discussed, I suppose I'd prefer it to the other two pens... :)

    I did fly with the Practical Tactical Pen as carry-on on my last flight. Even though I was TSA pre-approved, I wound up in secondary where they wanded everything in my knapsack. I can't say it was the pen which triggered the second look...

    pens cropped.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I've carried a Timberline overseas and domestic. Lost one in the Middle East coming home, but I think the guy just wanted it.
     
  18. joed

    joed Member

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    I have to ask because I can't imagine what a tactical pen does that a regular pen does not. So, what does a tactical pen do?
     
  19. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    The idea behind them was to offer a strong metal body that could be used as a last ditch self defense option. Many became too weaponized and that's caused them all under close scrutiny by security checkpoint screeners. So, now many folks are seeking out traditional / conventional pens that still have fairly strong metal bodies. That's my grossly simplified understanding of it at least.
     
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  20. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Joe,

    A pen large enough to use as a kubaton has more defensive options.
     
  21. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    I have several of the large aluminum body tactical pens. They are pretty heavy. Both of them were bought on eBay or Amazon for well under $10. They are quite sturdy and they work well as writing instruments as well.

    Did I mention they are heavy? Really too heavy to carry in a shirt pocket, at least for me.
     
  22. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    Just received the zebra f701. I like it. The internal thread is plastic, but the metal tip butts up to the metal body. So in a jabbing situation it would not break or slide back. With the pen tip exposed it is quite pointy, although it may get shoved back and possibly break out the back of the pen which is also plastic.
    Over all, I think it fits the bill. Just a regular pen with enough poke-ability to give you a chance to flee. $5.
     
  23. jeepnik
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    jeepnik Member

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    Personal experience is that TSA folks will take them for their own use. I carry a heavy weight Parker. I did have one agent who tried to take it claiming it was a "weapon". I ask to see his supervisor. They should have fired the agent for either attempted theft or incompetence. But, incompetence is a requirement for the job so...
     
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  24. vkeith

    vkeith Member

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    You can replace the tail section with one from a F402 which is metal. The F402 tip can also be used if the plastic guide insert is removed. The F402 tip has less transitions than the F701 tip.

    402-all.jpg

    I swapped a F402 tip and tail on to the F701 that I carried until it broke from normal usage. I didn't have enough faith in the construction/materials to buy another. Hopefully you'll have better luck.
     
  25. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    I'm not sure i follow... I'm familiar with the 401... tip+plastic grip +metal section, right? The 701 is just two parts- tip and body. How can you put the 401 tail on the 701 tip?
     
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