2023 Space pen review

Can OD Green and/or FDE Cerakote make literally anything tactical? I’ve owned space pens since I was a kid, but they’ve mostly been shiny and tiny. When I discovered they could now be had in everyone’s favorite tacticool finishes, I figured I should share my enthusiasm for the world’s most versatile pens with you. For this space pen review, I’ll focus on the M4H-240 and M4H-265, though there’s an older bullet version in my wallet as I type this.

The Launch of the Space Pen: How Paul Fisher Invented the Ultimate Writing Tool

The story of the Fisher Space Pen begins with Paul Fisher, a businessman and inventor with a passion for innovation. In the early 1960s, when most of us reading this 2023 space pen review were not yet born, Fisher became fascinated by the space race and the challenge of inventing a pen that could write in zero gravity. Traditional ballpoint pens were unreliable in space, as their ink would clump and dry out without gravity to keep the ink flowing. Fisher saw an opportunity to create a new type of pen that would work in any environment, no matter how harsh or extreme. I wonder if he ever envisioned them in the environments we now use them?

For years, Fisher experimented with different designs and ink formulas, trying to find the perfect combination that would allow a pen to write in zero gravity, underwater, and even in extreme temperatures. Finally, in 1965, he succeeded. The Fisher Space Pen was born, quickly becoming a favorite of NASA astronauts and military personnel around the world.

While the Fisher Space Pen was initially designed for use beyond where virtually any of us will go, its popularity quickly spread to other industries and markets. Outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, and shooters all loved the pen’s rugged durability and reliable performance. For the actual writing snobs, it wrote smoothly.

Over the years, the Fisher Space Pen has become an icon of American design and engineering. That, with the aforementioned Cerakote finish, should qualify it as tactical or tacticool. The fact that they’ve sold one called a “Bullet” forever should put it over the top if you’re not yet tracking with me. Today, the pen is sold in over 80 countries and has been used on every manned space mission since Apollo 7.

2023 space pen review

Design and Construction:

The M4H-240 and M4H-265 “Cap-o-matic” space pens use what I’d call a dampened clicker mechanism. It should satisfy a fidgeter while somewhat mitigating the agitation level for the person two seats over. Both pens feature a heavy-duty metal body that can withstand extreme conditions, making them ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, and those who work in challenging environments (under water basket weavers, etc.). At 5.25 inches long, both pens are relatively normal in size, essentially the same length as a 50 BMG.

Cerakote Finish:

For this Space Pen review, we’re looking specifically at the M4H-240 in OD green Cerakote, and the M4H-265 sporting a flat dark earth (FDE) finish. Cerakote is a high-quality, ceramic-based finish that’s commonly used on firearms and other tactical equipment. The finish is applied using a special process that involves spraying the ceramic coating onto the pen body and then baking it in an oven to create a hard, durable finish. It’s known for its durability and resistance to wear and tear, making it an excellent choice for the rugged, outdoor-focused design of the Fisher Space Pen. Other Space Pen Cerakote options include black, gray, tan, and red.

Refillable Ink Cartridge:

The M4H-240 and M4H-265 both use Fisher Space Pen’s proprietary pressurized ink cartridge. This cartridge is designed to write in any condition, including zero gravity, extreme temperatures, and underwater. It’s also able to write upside down or at any other oddball angle, and on any surface, making it a great choice for anyone who needs a reliable pen for outdoor activities or travel.

The ink cartridge itself is refillable, which is great for people who write a lot. Fisher Space Pen offers a variety of ink colors to choose from, including black, blue, red, and green. The ink dries quickly and doesn’t smudge, making it ideal for left-handed writers or anyone who needs to write quickly.

space pen outdoors


In terms of performance, both the M4H-240 and M4H-265 deliver the same quality as every other Space Pen. They write smoothly and consistently, and the ink flows evenly onto the page. If that weren’t the case, no one would pony up the $36 MSRP for one. I’ve used my little red bullet space pen for note taking from my first long range school to all night hog hunts.


Pros and Cons

What Space Pen review would be complete without the obligatory few pros and cons? These are specific to the M4H-240 and M4H-265 Cerakote versions.


  • Durable design that’s built to last
  • Refillable ink cartridge
  • Able to write in any condition on most surfaces
  • Smooth and consistent writing performance
  • These Creakoted versions will match your other favorite bits of kit.


  • Drop an OD Green or FDE pen in the field and good luck finding it. I’m not saying you won’t but a bright red one would be easier. Just saying…
  • Neither of these pens are the most ‘tactical’ (aka, defensive designs with lots of machining)

best outdoor pen


The Fisher Space Pen M4H-240 and M4H-265 with Cerakote finishes are great writing instruments that can handle tough scenarios. With their durable design, high-quality ink, and ability to write in any situation, these pens make great choices for hunters, shooters, outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, astronauts, and anyone else who works in challenging environments.

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