SHOT Show 2013: The Pilot Down Force patrol pen


Some of the things at SHOT Show have a somewhat-debatable fit for law enforcement, products whose purpose, design, or name just won’t wash with police officers or policy makers.

Some things are merely priced out of range for many departments.

There are, however, certain products you see which are not only ideally-suited to police work, but also perfectly-priced for police officers. One such item I encountered at SHOT Show 2013 is a pen.

The Pilot Down Force 'tactical writing instrument' features a pressurized ink refill system, which writes smoothly at any angle. (PoliceOne Image)
The Pilot Down Force 'tactical writing instrument' features a pressurized ink refill system, which writes smoothly at any angle. (PoliceOne Image)

Yes, a simple ink pen. It doesn’t have a flashlight, a USB storage drive, or a pointy, hardened tip for use as a defensive weapon.

It’s just a pen. And it’s awesome. 

The Pilot Down Force “tactical writing instrument” features a pressurized ink refill system, which writes smoothly at any angle.

Furthermore — and this is the part I really liked — it writes a neat, legible, uninterrupted line even going through droplets of water.

Speaking of water, the Pilot Down Force even floats. 

The retractable fine-point tip is pressed out with a traditional clicker atop the pen, but retraction is activated by the spring-loaded shirt clip. I wasn’t completely in love with this feature, but that’s a short hurdle to get over considering the obvious advantages this pen offers to officers. 

It’s available for less than ten bucks from places like Office Depot. On the Pilot website, the Pilot Down Force is listed at $8.95. Refil packs (two refils each) run about two bucks.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor at Large for PoliceOne, providing police training content on a wide range of topics and trends affecting the law enforcement community. Doug is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column, and has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips. Doug hosts the PoliceOne Podcast, Policing Matters, and is the host for PoliceOne Video interviews. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Contact Doug Wyllie

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