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Sheaffer Targa


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22 replies to this topic

#1 tonybelding

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:10

Sheaffer Targa, models 1000 & 1005

I've been collecting Sheaffers for a while. Even so, I have to admit it took me a long time to discover the Targa. I heard good things about these pens, but they seemed too modern (I've had bad experiences with some other modern Sheaffers), and too undistinguished in their style. Aside from the white dot and the inlaid nib, there wasn't anything else to obviously identify them as Sheaffers. Eventually a couple of experiences prompted me to give them a try.

These were eBay pens. The Targa isn't old enough to be "vintage", but its years of production were from 1976 through 1998. It's been out of manufacture long enough for supplies of NOS (New Old Stock) pens to become spotty, but not old enough for lots of them to be coming in from estate sales as vintage pens so often do. Many of the Targas being sold today were surplus from the closeout of Sheaffer's US plant and warehouse.

Both of the pens I got were of this ilk, without any evidence that they'd ever been inked, but they came without any box or instructions, so I can't comment on those items. The first pen I received was a model 1000: chrome-plated body with a lined pattern, chrome trim, and a steel F nib. It also came with a typical Sheaffer squeeze converter and, interestingly, a matching ballpoint. The ballpoint is small and very slim. The refill was dead due to age, and the internal mechanism needed some fresh lubrication with silicone oil (Crosman Pellgunoil).

The Targa model 1005 fountain pen arrived a few days later: a gold-plated body with the same lined pattern, gold clip, 14K factory oblique nib, and the same type of squeeze converter, again with no evidence of having been inked before.


Appearance & Design (8/10) - sleek and understated

The chrome fountain pen has one tiny defect in the plating, at the cap lip. It may be due to age, or it may have simply been overlooked when the pen was made.

The metal finish is well polished. The caps fit flush with the body, giving the pen a smooth profile. The clip is equally minimalist, a strip of metal with a decorative slot cut down the center. Both ends of the pen contain "jewels", for lack of a better word. These are merely pieces of textured black plastic. The overall shape of the pen is a cylinder, mildly tapered, with a clip attached. It has a minimalist vibe that some may not find eye-catching, but which I would argue falls in the same category with a Parker 51 or a Lamy 2000.

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The chrome pen is marked only SHEAFFER USA. The gold one additionally reads: GOLD ELECTROPLATED, plus it has a little crown and another very tiny symbol that I think is supposed to look like a hallmark -- though the logic of hallmarking electroplate escapes me.


Construction & Quality (8/10) - it's solid

Everything fits together smoothly and solidly. I am particularly impressed with the very smooth slide-and-snap when capping these pens. They feel equally smooth when slipping the cap onto the barrel, making this one of the nicest pens to use posted. It posts securely, with good length and balance.

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Weight & Dimensions (10/10) - just about perfect

This is where I think the Targa really shines. It has more metal and a bit more heft than the plastic Imperials that preceded it, but not enough to call it a heavy pen. I'll call it mid-weight.

I also find it a very practical size. Capped, it's just about 13.5cm: a bit shorter than a Sheaffer Snorkel and a wee bit thicker. I've often lamented the modern trend towards bigger and fatter pens, but I find the Targa is just about perfect as a practical, portable pen for everyday use. It's not a "compact" pen, but it'll fit into most loops and pouches without any problem.

Posted Image


It's a particularly nice fit in my favorite Mignon two-pen carry pouch. I've struggled to squeeze recent TWSBIs and Auroras and Taccias into that pouch, but the Targas fit as if the pouch was made for them. The pen's smooth shape and polished surface goes in effortlessly, and the "flat top" cap gives me a convenient place to grab and pull the pen back out, which represents a functional improvement over previous Sheaffers. Their caps were kind of slick and hard to get hold of.


Nib & Performance (7/10) - F needed adjustment, oblique is nifty

Both of these pens have Sheaffer's iconic Inlaid Nib™. The firm, fine, steel nib on the chrome pen was dry when I got it. It wasn't fatally dry, it was perfectly usable, but. . . I didn't like it that way. I adjusted it myself to increase the ink flow. After working on it, it's still just a bit on the dry side. I do like a pen slightly dry-ish for everyday carry and use, especially when I don't know what sort of paper I may have to write on. I also must note that this "fine" nib leans bold, and I'd call it practically a fine-medium. It's fairly smooth and a good all-purpose writer.

Posted Image


The oblique nib on the 1005 is 14K gold and is a fairly wide stub with a mildly oblique angle. It produces excellent line variation, but is quite smooth as long as I keep it on the sweet spot. I found it wet with Noodler's Violet Vote, but then I switched to Texas Blue Bonnet which is a typically drier ink and proved just about perfect for this pen. I actually consider this nib a little crisper and a little wider than my ideal stub, but it sure does make a dramatic impression on the page.

Posted Image



Filling System & Maintenance (8/10) - Sheaffer squeeze converter

What is there to say about a C/C pen? Let's keep in mind, the Sheaffer squeeze converter actually holds more ink than your typical generic converter. This pen also accepts the newer Sheaffer piston converters which are high quality and hold nearly as much.

The section has a metal extension that surrounds, protects and secures the ink cartridge, making sure it's properly centered. The inlaid nib also presents a smooth surface that's easy to wipe down after filling. I'm not a big fan of C/C pens, but this is just about as good as the C/C system ever gets.

As far as maintenance goes, almost nothing can go wrong with this pen. The feed isn't hard to flush, the nib isn't delicate, and the converter is easy to replace in the (unlikely) event that it ever fails. Plus, it's all clad in metal! The chrome finish should be particularly resistant to wear.


Cost & Value (7/10) - affordable, but not selling for peanuts

The chrome fountain pen and ballpoint were $92 shipped, and the gold oblique pen was $113.50 plus shipping. These prices seem right about typical for common Targas on eBay. I don't see them going for peanuts the way Snorkels and Imperials so often do. On the other hand, compared with most other modern pens you see in pen catalogs these days, and taking into account the lack of boxes or warranty, the prices are reasonable. It also helps that the filler won't need restoration.


Conclusion (8/10) - you can't go wrong with these

My bias against the Targa is now left far behind. I look for practicality in my pens, and to me that's what the Targa is all about. It's solidly made, easy to carry, easy to care for, and a good writer. I think it's good looking too, even though it doesn't look like other Sheaffers. These will join the small group of pens that I use regularly.

Edited by tonybelding, 21 February 2011 - 02:13.


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#2 Blade Runner

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:37

Used Targas for years. Nice utilitarian pen with generally beautiful writing nibs and a seemingly endless variety of finishes.

#3 akrishna59

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:37

your post brings back nostalgic memories of the old sheaffer models. i am sure if they did a re intro of the targas there will be quite a few takers, at least in the community.

rgds.

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#4 mdbrown

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:44

I would call it possibly the last true classic Sheaffer. I mean, I do like the reissued Balance and the Legacy but they are both basically new versions of older classic Sheaffers. Then again I tend to very much prefer classic pens as opposed to the newer designs for the most part.

#5 DreamInColor

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:53

Very nice review and photos. I like the Targa and that oblique nib is awesome!

#6 ArchiMark

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 04:12

Great review of a classic pen, Tony. Thanks for sharing!

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#7 MidnightBlue

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 05:01

Yep, very under rated and should never have been discontinued. One thing though, that inlaid nib construction is fragile. At Uni I went through 4. They don't like to be be dropped. My Filcao could handle being thrown from a truck, but not these . Killer nibs. Thanks

#8 tonybelding

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 17:51

Just as an afterthought, I thought I should show this. . .

Posted Image


I'm not a big fan of ballpoints, but I've got to say this one is rather nifty. It's very slim and easy to carry, and the twist action is smooth and positive (since I lubed it, as mentioned previously). If you need a BP for the occasional carbon(less) forms, or to loan to non-FP people, you could do a lot worse.

My biggest gripe is that there aren't many sources of Sheaffer K refills, and the ones I've tried were dry and unappealing. However. . . It is possible to modify Parker ballpoint refills to fit. It's a bit of nuisance, but they work well after you trim them down to the same length as a Sheaffer refill.

I just got some Private Reserve gel ink refills from Goulet where they were on sale. Brown ink! These write very nicely, so I fitted one of them to the Targa ballpoint. It's a good combination.

#9 brownargus

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 14:39

Very good review. I have the Gold version fitted with an Extra Fine nib. I received it as a gift some 30 years ago but have only used it intermittently. I agree with just about everything you say - in my case the Ex. F nib is very smooth and has a good ink flow but prefers very smooth papers - it is no good on Laid and cheap papers. As far as anything going wrong, I may have been unlucky but the original converter started leaking and so did the replacement so I now use it with cartridges (which I refill using a syringe to enable me to use my preferred ink - Diamine Sapphire Blue). Thanks for the review. I was considering selling mine but, following your review, have just used it again and I really like it, so I may have to think again!

John
Favourite pens in my collection (in alpha order): Caran d'Ache Ecridor Chevron F and Leman Black/Silver F; Parker 51 Aerometric M and F; Parker 61 Insignia M, Parker Duofold Senior F; Platinum #3776 Century M; Sailor 1911 Black/Gold 21 Kt M; Sheaffer Crest Palladium M/F; Sheaffer Prelude Silver/Palladium Snakeskin Pattern F; Waterman Carene Deluxe Silver F

#10 Koyote

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 14:51

Tony--
Please give more info on fitting a Parker refill into a Sheaffer BP. I have a couple of lovely Targa BP pens but HATE Sheaffer refills...But Parker gel refills are lovely.

#11 tonybelding

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 15:43

It's just a matter of cutting down the plastic "tail" of the Parker refill until its overall length is the same as a Sheaffer refill. I used a utility knife to cut off most of the excess, then fine-tuned it with an emory board. This won't necessarily work with every Sheaffer ballpoint, but it does with the Targa.

Edited by tonybelding, 24 February 2011 - 15:46.


#12 kurazaybo

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 16:46

I at first thought Targas looked weird, because of the flat ends. But recently I started using an old one from my grandfather and it works and feels better than I imagined. A trusty and classic pen by it's own right!

#13 brownargus

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 14:16

My biggest gripe is that there aren't many sources of Sheaffer K refills, and the ones I've tried were dry and unappealing.

I just got some Private Reserve gel ink refills from Goulet where they were on sale. Brown ink! These write very nicely, so I fitted one of them to the Targa ballpoint. It's a good combination.

I generally find most ballpoint refills are not very good. For my Parkers, I use their Gell refills which I find much better. For my Sheaffers, I have recently tried using Monteverde Capless Gel - Ink refills (limited choice of colour) which fit most Sheaffer ballpoint pens including Targa and are much better than the normal ballpoint refills.

John
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#14 tonybelding

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 14:00

I just wanted to add an update since I've had more time and experience writing with these pens.

The only thing I'd change is the nib score. Since I adjusted it, the nib on the chrome pen has worked quite well. However, the real story is the oblique. . . It took a bit of getting used to (as often happens when I get a new stub), but it has quickly become my all time favorite stub -- superseding even my Waterman L'Etalon. This Sheaffer is nicely (but not excessviely) wet, and I now feel the width and sharpness are just about perfect.

I should probably go back and change the nib score to a 9 out of 10. The review doesn't convey the enthusiasm I now feel towards this pen and nib. I wouldn't trade it for anything. :wub:

#15 jar

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 17:55

I just wanted to add an update since I've had more time and experience writing with these pens.

The only thing I'd change is the nib score. Since I adjusted it, the nib on the chrome pen has worked quite well. However, the real story is the oblique. . . It took a bit of getting used to (as often happens when I get a new stub), but it has quickly become my all time favorite stub -- superseding even my Waterman L'Etalon. This Sheaffer is nicely (but not excessviely) wet, and I now feel the width and sharpness are just about perfect.

I should probably go back and change the nib score to a 9 out of 10. The review doesn't convey the enthusiasm I now feel towards this pen and nib. I wouldn't trade it for anything. :wub:



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#16 BlueNight

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 21:09

I got a targa (nr 1081) from my parents when i went to university....i love it so much.
There are times when i don't write with it often, and then i start using it again and then i remember how much i like how it feels.
But i think i need to clean it up nice and fill it with some new ink, there is a cartridge in mine now and even though i only put it in a few days ago, it might have been lying around for a while.

#17 mizcutiepielivzi

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 15:47

Nice review... and are targas really wider than Snockels??
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#18 breaker

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:38

nice review and very nice pics!
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#19 pen2020

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 12:40

Sheaffer Targa, models 1000 & 1005

I've been collecting Sheaffers for a while. Even so, I have to admit it took me a long time to discover the Targa. I heard good things about these pens, but they seemed too modern (I've had bad experiences with some other modern Sheaffers), and too undistinguished in their style. Aside from the white dot and the inlaid nib, there wasn't anything else to obviously identify them as Sheaffers. Eventually a couple of experiences prompted me to give them a try.

These were eBay pens. The Targa isn't old enough to be "vintage", but its years of production were from 1976 through 1998. It's been out of manufacture long enough for supplies of NOS (New Old Stock) pens to become spotty, but not old enough for lots of them to be coming in from estate sales as vintage pens so often do. Many of the Targas being sold today were surplus from the closeout of Sheaffer's US plant and warehouse.

Both of the pens I got were of this ilk, without any evidence that they'd ever been inked, but they came without any box or instructions, so I can't comment on those items. The first pen I received was a model 1000: chrome-plated body with a lined pattern, chrome trim, and a steel F nib. It also came with a typical Sheaffer squeeze converter and, interestingly, a matching ballpoint. The ballpoint is small and very slim. The refill was dead due to age, and the internal mechanism needed some fresh lubrication with silicone oil (Crosman Pellgunoil).




Nice review,Tony.
I have a gold Targa quite similar to the one you have posted but the body has a chequered pattern. Beautiful,really.....
The Targa model 1005 fountain pen arrived a few days later: a gold-plated body with the same lined pattern, gold clip, 14K factory oblique nib, and the same type of squeeze converter, again with no evidence of having been inked before.


Appearance & Design (8/10) - sleek and understated

The chrome fountain pen has one tiny defect in the plating, at the cap lip. It may be due to age, or it may have simply been overlooked when the pen was made.

The metal finish is well polished. The caps fit flush with the body, giving the pen a smooth profile. The clip is equally minimalist, a strip of metal with a decorative slot cut down the center. Both ends of the pen contain "jewels", for lack of a better word. These are merely pieces of textured black plastic. The overall shape of the pen is a cylinder, mildly tapered, with a clip attached. It has a minimalist vibe that some may not find eye-catching, but which I would argue falls in the same category with a Parker 51 or a Lamy 2000.

Posted Image


The chrome pen is marked only SHEAFFER USA. The gold one additionally reads: GOLD ELECTROPLATED, plus it has a little crown and another very tiny symbol that I think is supposed to look like a hallmark -- though the logic of hallmarking electroplate escapes me.


Construction & Quality (8/10) - it's solid

Everything fits together smoothly and solidly. I am particularly impressed with the very smooth slide-and-snap when capping these pens. They feel equally smooth when slipping the cap onto the barrel, making this one of the nicest pens to use posted. It posts securely, with good length and balance.

Posted Image



Weight & Dimensions (10/10) - just about perfect

This is where I think the Targa really shines. It has more metal and a bit more heft than the plastic Imperials that preceded it, but not enough to call it a heavy pen. I'll call it mid-weight.

I also find it a very practical size. Capped, it's just about 13.5cm: a bit shorter than a Sheaffer Snorkel and a wee bit thicker. I've often lamented the modern trend towards bigger and fatter pens, but I find the Targa is just about perfect as a practical, portable pen for everyday use. It's not a "compact" pen, but it'll fit into most loops and pouches without any problem.

Posted Image


It's a particularly nice fit in my favorite Mignon two-pen carry pouch. I've struggled to squeeze recent TWSBIs and Auroras and Taccias into that pouch, but the Targas fit as if the pouch was made for them. The pen's smooth shape and polished surface goes in effortlessly, and the "flat top" cap gives me a convenient place to grab and pull the pen back out, which represents a functional improvement over previous Sheaffers. Their caps were kind of slick and hard to get hold of.


Nib & Performance (7/10) - F needed adjustment, oblique is nifty

Both of these pens have Sheaffer's iconic Inlaid Nib™. The firm, fine, steel nib on the chrome pen was dry when I got it. It wasn't fatally dry, it was perfectly usable, but. . . I didn't like it that way. I adjusted it myself to increase the ink flow. After working on it, it's still just a bit on the dry side. I do like a pen slightly dry-ish for everyday carry and use, especially when I don't know what sort of paper I may have to write on. I also must note that this "fine" nib leans bold, and I'd call it practically a fine-medium. It's fairly smooth and a good all-purpose writer.

Posted Image


The oblique nib on the 1005 is 14K gold and is a fairly wide stub with a mildly oblique angle. It produces excellent line variation, but is quite smooth as long as I keep it on the sweet spot. I found it wet with Noodler's Violet Vote, but then I switched to Texas Blue Bonnet which is a typically drier ink and proved just about perfect for this pen. I actually consider this nib a little crisper and a little wider than my ideal stub, but it sure does make a dramatic impression on the page.

Posted Image



Filling System & Maintenance (8/10) - Sheaffer squeeze converter

What is there to say about a C/C pen? Let's keep in mind, the Sheaffer squeeze converter actually holds more ink than your typical generic converter. This pen also accepts the newer Sheaffer piston converters which are high quality and hold nearly as much.

The section has a metal extension that surrounds, protects and secures the ink cartridge, making sure it's properly centered. The inlaid nib also presents a smooth surface that's easy to wipe down after filling. I'm not a big fan of C/C pens, but this is just about as good as the C/C system ever gets.

As far as maintenance goes, almost nothing can go wrong with this pen. The feed isn't hard to flush, the nib isn't delicate, and the converter is easy to replace in the (unlikely) event that it ever fails. Plus, it's all clad in metal! The chrome finish should be particularly resistant to wear.


Cost & Value (7/10) - affordable, but not selling for peanuts

The chrome fountain pen and ballpoint were $92 shipped, and the gold oblique pen was $113.50 plus shipping. These prices seem right about typical for common Targas on eBay. I don't see them going for peanuts the way Snorkels and Imperials so often do. On the other hand, compared with most other modern pens you see in pen catalogs these days, and taking into account the lack of boxes or warranty, the prices are reasonable. It also helps that the filler won't need restoration.


Conclusion (8/10) - you can't go wrong with these

My bias against the Targa is now left far behind. I look for practicality in my pens, and to me that's what the Targa is all about. It's solidly made, easy to carry, easy to care for, and a good writer. I think it's good looking too, even though it doesn't look like other Sheaffers. These will join the small group of pens that I use regularly.



#20 jar

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 15:57

Nice review... and are targas really wider than Snockels??


Very slightly.

Posted Image

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