Los Angeles-based design house Inventery has been on a tear over the past year, releasing three different series of pens: the Mechanical Pen, the Pocket Fountain Pen, and now, the Bolt Action Pen. Though its release has received less fanfare than Inventery's prior two models, the Bolt Action Pen is equally well-built and worthy of your consideration if you're looking for a heavy duty, EDC-type writing instrument.
Like the Pocket Fountain Pen, the Bolt Action Pen is (mostly) intended for pocket carry. The pen comes in three sizes, each built around a different refill. The large pen accepts Pilot G2 refills and their equivalent, and is the only one of the three that isn’t particularly portable - it’s pretty long. The medium accepts the standard Schmidt P8126/P8127 capless rollerball and Parker-style refills, and the small pen takes D1 refills. For my review, I kept the "stock" G2 and Schmidt refills in the large and medium pens, but swapped a D1 Zebra Sharbo gel refill into the smaller pen.
The coated brass construction on the Bolt Action Pen feels solid, as you’d expect from Inventery. (According to the company’s website, it’s “precision machined from raw brass stock using a single tungsten blade.”). The bolt-action mechanism is tight - almost too tight at first, but it loosens up after a bit of use. Still, it’s not quite as smooth as on other similar pens I’ve used such as the MaxMadCo stainless steel and titanium pens. The thumb-stud/slider is a flathead screw, which I found that I actually prefer to the smooth “nub” or lever that a lot of bolt-action pens use, because it allows you to get a better grip. The clip on this pen is also removable, should you want to go with a more streamlined look, and it's also much tighter than the clip on the Pocket Fountain Pen. This pen will clip securely to a pocket.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
Inventery products are always well-made, and the Bolt Action Pen is no exception. If you’re a fan of retractable rollerballs, and carrying them in your pocket makes you nervous, you should definitely consider the Bolt Action Pen. The mechanism takes some force to deploy, so there’s less of a chance that you’ll end up with ink stains on your pants. Plus, like Inventery’s other pens, the pen feels pretty much indestructible. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of patina and wear will develop on the black-coated ("Onyx") version, and hoping some of the brass will start showing through as it ages (kind of like the yStudio line).
You can purchase the Bolt Action Pen directly from Inventery. The large pen sells for $80, the medium pen for $70, and the small pen for $60, which on the whole strikes me as fairly standard pricing for a machined pen of this quality.
Disclaimer: Inventery provided me with the pens featured in this review at no charge, for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated for this review. This post contains affiliate links.