The Sheaffer Balance Vacuum-Fil is one of the best pens ever made.
The Sheaffer Feather Touch 5 nib is one of the best nibs ever made.
When you put those two together it makes an amazing writing machine.
Listed in the 1937 catalog as "Standard Size" model 74W this pen would get the model name Admiral in 1938.
This pen is comparable in physical dimensions to a modern Pelikan M6xx or Sailor 1911L (ProFit 21).
The Feather Touch 5 nib is the same size as a modern #5 nib. Though there are no modern #5 nibs that perform on this level. It is soft and expressive and provides very nice line variation under normal writing pressure. It is not meant to be pushed like a flexible or even semi-flexible nib.
The nickel-chrome plating on vintage pens does not always hold up well. It tends to pit and flake if not well cared for. This pen has neither of those problems though there are micro-scratches and a few spots where the plating has worn thin. It should hold up well if kept from damp.
The cap has a band of brownish color. This is likely at the bottom of the inner cap. It is not stained; the celluloid has changed color there. It is slight and is not a sign of any problem.
The grip section has a plier scar where someone tried to remove it. I have buffed down the worst of the damage but a bit of scarring remains. I cannot feel it when I use the pen. It is cosmetic damage.
The celluloid is without notable blemish and the barrel transparency is remarkable. It is still green as it was when new made. Exposure to UV light turns transparent celluloid amber or red. There is no ambering here.
Length Capped - 138 mm (5.44”) Uncapped - 117 mm (4.6”) Posted - 155 mm (6.1”). Diameter Cap - 13.3 mm (0.52”) Barrel - 11.6 mm (0.46”)
Nib Modern, Western Fine with lovely line variation