Monday, September 15, 2014

Review - Smith & Wesson M&P Tactical Pen


I’m a bit of a pen aficionado . . . I love pens. My first memory of “true love” was with a fountain pen I found in my dad’s trunk. It was green with a gold lever to draw the ink into the internal ink sac. I had a bottle of black (nope! NOT blue . . . black!) ink. My first major project was in Mrs. Atkin’s 5th grade class, a map depicting Allen Shepard’s flight in Mercury 7 – a 110 mile sub-orbital flight. I remember it as a true work of art . . .

Time and years have lost that particular writing instrument – but the fondness for a good pen continues.

As does my practice of personal defense . . . hence this review of Smith & Wesson’s M&P Tactical Pen. I meant this to be written a half year or so ago, but it “took up residence” in my daughter’s couch and was recently retrieved and returned to my EDC and front left pant’s pocket.

Personal defense is actually a layered defense. It begins with situational awareness – the NRA calls it “levels of awareness”. Jeff Cooper coined it his “color code” in his 1972 book “Principals of Personal Defense”. Being aware of your surroundings, what is going on around you gives you the opportunity to use the maximum number of options available to you at the time.

Leaving the area is typically your best choice with movement towards a safer place . . . parking lot to store entry . . . sidewalk to store entry . . . sidewalk to opposite side of street . . . all of these are options other than continuing on in a direction that you feel may offer a threat to your safety.

Should a move to a safer alternative be impossible, you may well be faced with the need to defend yourself against a threat. Hopefully you have an array of options. In those parts of the country where concealed carry is an option . . . carry your damn gun . . . every day. Carry a defensive knife. Carry a good flashlight that can be used as a defensive weapon.

And . . . a couple of years ago I added a Tactical Pen to my EDC.  The Smith and Wesson M&P Tactical Pen/

M and P Tactical Pen 2

Here are the basic specifications for the Smith & Wesson SWPENMPBK Military and Police Tactical Pen, Black.

  • 6.1 inches overall, weighs 1.4 ounces
  • Made of T6061 aircraft aluminum
  • Features a click on-off cap
  • Utilizes a Parker and Hauser ink cartridge (included)
  • Has a black finish

The pointed end of the pen body is NOT the writing end. The writing tip is housed under the cap on the blunt/flat end-cap.

I have a pretty high expectation about the performance of a writing instrument. For pens I expect the pen to feel good in my hand, I expect the ink to flow consistently and smoothly and the ball should glide across the paper, not have to be dragged across the paper. The M&P Tactical Pen exceeds all of my writing expectations.

My one bone to pick with them is the pen clip – a typical weakness for pens. As you can see in the image, the clip here is missing. It’s in my desk drawer and I suspect that’s where it will stay. Regardless of how I try to coat the screw threads that hold the clip onto the pen – after 2-3 months they are loose and need to be retightened. I finally missed a sequence and lost one of the screws. Rather than fight it, I simply removed the clip and I have the pen ride – point up – in my left front pocket next to my flashlight. That’s been an OK choice.

The pen has substantial weight and feels good in my hand. It’s overall length provides a sizable part of its body for defensive purposes. The striking face is NOT the writing end, that is protected by the cap. The pointed end that is available while the cap protects the pen is the striking face. This is made of T6061 aircraft aluminum and very tough. As you can see by the wear marks on this pen, it easily stands up to daily wear and tear though with time the paint does wear.

As a defensive tool it provides a sharper edge than a kubaton giving it the ability to inflict real damage to an attacker while you attempt to change their mind about attacking you. Here are a few images from an article written last year in Personal Defense World. Please, take the time to read the entire article, it’s well worth your time.

                   Eye Strike                                                 Jugular Strike


                      Rib Strike                                               Temple Strike


There is much more information in there excellent article – you can find it here:

So . . . if you are considering adding a Tactical Pen to your EDC, I would encourage you to give serious thought to the M&P Tactical pen, I do not believe you’ll be disappointed.


  1. I have a Tuff Writer and agree! Good and 'covert' EDC item!

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