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 MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013

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tiltjlp

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Age : 70
Location : Cheviot Ohio
Registration date : 2009-01-14

PostSubject: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Tue May 31, 2011 11:15 pm

Missouri Meerschaum Buyers Guide

© 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013
by John L Patton/tiltjlp

Thanks to my dadís mentoring, Iíve been a corncob smoker for over 50 years, and have written The Complete Corncob Primer. In this Buying Guide, I offer my opinions on the Missouri Meerschaum brand of corncob pipes, which I and most other experienced cobbers feel are the only decent corncobs still being made. While I have my favorites, and prefer Natural to Plastered bowls, every MM cob smokes cool and dry. Here are my reviews, starting with the largest bowl sizes to the smallest. Only cobs I have smoked are included here.

MM will soon begin offering Maple hardwood pipes in their three most popular corncob shapes, the apple-Diplomat, the Spool, and the Country Gentleman. I was able to purchase one of each to smoke and evaluate, and will offer my honest opinion, pro and con, in order to help you decide if these new basket pipes might deserve a place in your rack. They will sell at $14.59 each, and the trio will ship for $51.27 at least in the US, which seems like a fairly good price.



All three have the same construction, and the same improved Danish Bit that their cobs have, and come with the same filter most of us remove and discard. So if you like the open draw that make cobs cool smoking, youíll like the draw of these Maple pipes too. It seems to me that any blend smoked in these cob-shaped hardwood pipes tastes truer, or maybe fresher, than the tobacco will taste in cobs, briar, or metal pipes. It wonít be obvious with every tobacco, but several blends I enjoy regularly really did taste better in one of these Maple Cobs, as I now call then

One thing I will caution about is that these Maple pipes do seem to smoke hotter than corncobs. Luckily I smoke very slowly, and was able to control the amount of heat coming through the bowl. But as Strong Irish, who has smoked one of these Maple Cobs mentioned, unless you smoke as slowly as I do, youíll probably need to allow cake to build in them, before youíll find them acceptable. I like them so much that I have ordered a second set of three, although I donít need any more pipes. While these Maple hardwood pipes wonít replace my cobs, or my few briars, I will add them to my rotation and look forward to enjoying them.

MM has begun offering what they call a Grab Bag Of Smokable Pipes, which are seconds, with cosmetic flaws. I ordered a grab bag, requesting, if possible mostly bent pipes, since thatís pretty much all I smoke. I received 7 bents and only 3 straights, and after careful inspection, other than for a few minor dings, and a botched staining job on a Country Gentleman, I honestly couldnít figure out why 9 of those 10 pipes didnít pass Quality Control. But then, Phil Morgan had vowed to improve QC. While I had hoped I might get a couple Ozark Mountain Hardwood pipes, I got 2 straight Legends, 1 straight Pride, 5 bent Washingtons, a slightly undersized Country Gentleman, and an old-style Diplomat. I canít say enough good things about what I would call a MM Bargain Grab Bag. $37.49, which includes shipping, for 10 near perfect corncob pipes is a wonderful way to build up your pipe collection.

I also ordered a 5th Avenue Diplomat, which could be seen as a slightly downsized version of the American General, which I have always felt was a but heavy for my likes. The new 5th Avenue is roughly a half inch shorter, a slightly narrower than the General. The 5th Avenue I got is 2Ē tall, finished, and has a ĺĒ bowl diameter, so youíll still get a nice long smoke, without any weight issues. It weighs just about the same as an Apple-shaped Diplomat. Flake smokers might like the 5th Avenue as a mini-stack. While I still prefer the old Diplomats, I was favorably impressed with the 5th Avenue.

The new, Natural Freehand is without a doubt the coolest smoking, driest, and best corncob pipe Iíve ever smoked. It comes in a white or reddish tone bowl, and the feel of the natural cob in your hand seems to add to your overall smoking experience. While in extremely short supply, the Natural Freehands is hand assembled, making the Freehand one of the finest cobs I have smoked in over 50 years.

Missouri Meerschaum now offers, in limited numbers, natural versions of many of their line of cobs. They're in such short supply that you have to call the factory and speak to Marilyn to order them. They hope to produce my Naturals as they are able to grow the larger cobs needed for them.

A fairly new model is the Morgan Nose warmer, available as a straight natural only. It is a reduced-size Diplomat, and though I prefer bent pipes, the Morgan is a nice, fun pipe to smoke. A comparison between the Morgan and the Diplomat showed that the Morgan weighed 23g to 35g, was 4 ĹĒ long to 6 ľĒ, had an interior bowl depth of 1 1/8Ē to 1 ĹĒ, a bowl width of ĺĒ to 1 ĹĒ and held 6g of salt to 9g in my tobacco capacity measurement. At $7.50, this would make a classy starter cob for anyone.

The standard Freehand, which is plastered and burnished, is also very impressive. It delivers an excellent, cool and dry smoke. Maybe itís because of the tall, conical shaped bowl, which is 2 1/4ď deep, but the pipe seems to enhance the flavor of any blend I smoke in it. I have heard that the shanks can be fragile, but the bowls are quite large, and no two are alike. Although the Freehand is heavier than my other cobs, itís very well balanced, so that the weight isnít even noticed.

The American General has, as do most MM cobs, a polished exterior. Some folks remove this coating, for a more natural smoke. Iím much too lazy to do that. What would make the General a favorite is that it has a tall bowl, sort of a stack, and thicker walls than the popular Country Gentleman. This to me is a near perfect cob, other than its weight. I can fill the bowl all the way and have a nice, long, relaxing 90 minute or longer experience, or I can partially fill it and enjoy a nice, shorter smoke. Although itís less expensive than the Freehand, I would choose the Freehand over the General, personally.

The Diplomat has been my cob of choice for a long time, but the thicker walls that made it a real favorite was also the biggest drawback it had. The Diplomat no longer has the thick walls that I had come to appreciate. Diplomats now have standard sized bowl thickness, which isn't really a bad thing, since they are now lighter in weight and better fit my hand.

The Great Dane Spool is very similar in bowl capacity to the Diplomat, and is a perfect fit in my small hands. The Spool has a slightly narrower inner bowl than the Diplomat and so; itís a half-inch taller, and basically the same weight as the Diplomat. The Natural Great Dane Spool is a very stunning pipe, in that mine is both red-hued as well as white. I rate this as an equal to the Diplomat. Note: The Spool almost smokes itself, ending every pipe with a fine ash, and nothing else. This might be due to the fact that the Spool is similar in design to a Poker.

The Country Gentleman is popular, in part, I think because it looks funky, with that black coating it shares with the Patriot Spool. Now, some folks mention that it has a larger bowl than the Diplomat, which is true, but there is so little difference, it hardly matters. What keeps the CG from being a favorite of mine are its thin walls. Itís simply can get too warm to handle comfortably, and Iím a very slow smoker. The Country Gentleman, BTW, doesnít have a hard wood insert like most other larger sized cobs do.

The Patriot Spool has the same black coating thatís on the Country Gentleman, but has the added bonus of being a narrow pipe. I like that, since it takes up less room, and when you live in a small apartment, it matters. I also think a black spool looks funky. Plus it has that thicker rim, for a bit cooler place to grip the pipe. It's also a nice flake pipe.

The Great Dane Egg is the only current model that isnít a sitter, or poker style. That for me is a minor drawback. Otherwise, this is a nice cob, with thick walls and a medium sized bowl, similar to the Pride. Itís actually a cheaper version of the Bulldog, which was discontinued in 2000, and which was the last MM cob of somewhat higher quality.

The Pride is an extremely nice smallish cob, and one of only a few MM models left alone, or unfinished. For that reason, it offers the dry and cool smoke every piper hopes for. I love this model, and its small size makes it ideal for quick smokes. The Washington is the same pipe as the Pride, only with the Plastered bowl.

The Legend is a fine starter pipe, and MMís biggest seller. Itís what most people think of when you mention corncob pipes, what with its plastic amber bit. The Legend is a small pipe, and the shape varies slightly, since it seems that few source cobs are rejected.

The Eaton, which is only available as a natural straight model, is barely 5Ē long, and unfiltered. Think of it as a little brother to the Pride, although they donít look that similar. Both pipes are natural, but the Eaton has a small barrel shaped bowl, with very thin walls. Unless you have small hands, your pinky finger might not fit into the bowl for packing, so this one might not be for you. I do have small hands, so I was able to pack my Eaton, which gave me a nice, cool 20-minute smoke. While I have though the Eaton was pretty much a toy, itís actually a fairly decent cob for those times youíre in a rush.

The Pony is a small, unfiltered straight pipe. This model is a half step below the Legend in size and quality. Not a bad pipe, since I donít feel there is a bad MM, just not the best.

The Cherry Wood poker is not a cob, but MM. Itís a small, thin walled pipe, which I use for some of my flakes, makes it. Itís perfect for two of the Heinrichs Dark Strong Flakes, so no, you wonít be able to stuff a full slice of FVF in this baby, but it does its job like a champ.

The Maple Wood poker is a twin of the Cherry Wood, which I find imparts a natural sweetness to any tobacco. These are excellent, low-cost flake pipes, which come either as bent or straight models. In spite of their thin walls, neither the Cherry or Maple version gets overly warm with flakes.

To view The Corncob Primer, follow the link below. To visit the Missouri Meerschaum website, for product and ordering information, and a bit of company history, follow the 2nd link below. The 1st link is for my forum, Corncobs & Briar.

John Patton/tiltjlp

Updated 1/272013

http://www.corncobpipe.com/

http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=The_Complete_Corncob_primer

http://corncobsandbriar.phpbb3now.com/


Last edited by tiltjlp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:09 am; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Sticky-fied the post -Doc M.)
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VonSockthroat

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Age : 34
Location : Atlanta, GA
Registration date : 2011-05-05

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:01 am

Thanks for this post! Just ordered a Natural Freehand and a Pride. Already have a Diplomat I enjoy, but the stem is cracked. Ordered a replacement stem for that as well. Can't wait!
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Doc Manhattan

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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:47 am

I sticky-ed this post for reference purposes. Now I intend to pack up a cob, as I am easily swayed.

(General note: If you've written/posted an original, regularly-updated research/reference monograph, let me know and I will sticky it in the appropriate category. It'll be a boon to new smokers to have the answers to their FAQs at the ready.)
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Lestrade

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Age : 49
Location : North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-10-09

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:46 am

I really enjoyed reading that and thanks for the links!
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inshane64

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Location : New Mexico
Registration date : 2011-09-25

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:47 pm

great reviews, as what seems to be usual tiltjlp knows his cobs!
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tiltjlp

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Age : 70
Location : Cheviot Ohio
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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:37 pm

Updated to include the new Morgan Nosewarmer. See 1st post.
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Bowtie



Age : 62
Location : Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Registration date : 2011-03-13

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:41 pm

No collection is complete without a MM cob.

Jeff....
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smokinbriar



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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:15 pm

Thanks for posting.
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ChopSmokey

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Location : Lower Hudson Valley, NY
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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:53 pm

This is an excellent breakdown. Thanks! I will be ordering a general and a spool.
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Rob_In_MO

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Registration date : 2011-01-19

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:23 pm

Doc Manhattan wrote:
(General note: If you've written/posted an original, regularly-updated research/reference monograph, let me know and I will sticky it in the appropriate category. It'll be a boon to new smokers to have the answers to their FAQs at the ready.)

Oh crap, I hope this doesn't apply to Kyle. If he does this it'll be 8 pages long - and that's just the intro!
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monbla256

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Age : 71
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PostSubject: Rob_In_Mo wrote:   Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:14 pm

Rob_In_MO wrote:
Doc Manhattan wrote:
(General note: If you've written/posted an original, regularly-updated research/reference monograph, let me know and I will sticky it in the appropriate category. It'll be a boon to new smokers to have the answers to their FAQs at the ready.)

Oh crap, I hope this doesn't apply to Kyle. If he does this it'll be 8 pages long - and that's just the intro!

Be nice ! He can't help it he lives in Nevada Razz Livin' out in that desert, gives a person alot of "alone" time Razz
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tiltjlp

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Age : 70
Location : Cheviot Ohio
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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:23 am

Updated with information about the new 5th Avenue Diplomat, and the Grab Bag Of Smokable Pipes, which as a bargain priced bag of 10 2nds with cosmetic flaws.
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kaiser83

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Age : 33
Location : Wherever the smoke clears
Registration date : 2012-02-22

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:47 am

Thank you for this thread tiltjp. I can attest that MM will warranty their cobs because the shank of my very first Legend became loose after smoking through the break in period...and a bit beyond. i emailed MM and they sent me not one more Legend, but 2, a couple boxes of filters (I don't use), and 4 new stems to boot. MM has excellent customer service and produce a great product for an awesome price. I love the way cobs perform but also love briars. Like it was said they both have their own qualities. I just hopped on over to MM and grabbed myself one of those grab bags and am looking forward to trying out more of a variety of cobs. Thanks again for the thread John, when my cobs get here I will load up a bowl of Storm Front and have a toast to this thread and you.
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tiltjlp

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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:59 am

Be sure to start a thread telling which models you get, and your impression of the smokable seconds. And I agree with you, although I mostly smoke cobs, I do enjoy my briars and alternate wood pipes too.
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Fishfuzz

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Registration date : 2012-05-24

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:55 pm

I have one of the bags of seconds, and they seem to be great! A little cosmetic issue here and there, but otherwise just as solid as I would expect.
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kaiser83

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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:49 pm

tiltjlp wrote:
Be sure to start a thread telling which models you get, and your impression of the smokable seconds. And I agree with you, although I mostly smoke cobs, I do enjoy my briars and alternate wood pipes too.

Will do Sir. I think Fishfuzz just volunteered to start that thread lol.
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sonarman

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Registration date : 2012-08-21

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:37 am

I was eying a Stanwell Silkebrun #83 for my 1st briar but I think I'm going to wait and go with that grab bag, thanks for the info!
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tiltjlp

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Age : 70
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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:12 am

Updated to include my impressions of the new Maple hardwood cob-shaped pipes.
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Dottleman

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Age : 51
Location : Colorado
Registration date : 2011-08-07

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:38 pm

Thank you for an informative read. I must admit I know almost nothing about cobs, but it was very interesting.
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KevinM



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Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:45 pm

The natural finish Missouri Pride is an especially nice cob. Somehow, to my eye, the simpler and less "designed" cobs are, the better I like them. The MP is mid-size in the MM liineup and is light as a feather. For less than $5, I'd say they're very well made and sturdy. The combo of a natural finish Missouri Pride, some kitchen matches, a pouch of burley and a golf tee tamper is hard to beat on a stroll or drive.
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:06 pm

I saw MM had come up with some maple pipes. I make my own, some are maple, and I have to agree I enjoy the flavours they impart to the tobacco, at least until the cake builds. I know others who swear by their cobs, and for the price you can't beat them..
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Blackhorse

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PostSubject: Re: MM Buyers Guide 1/27/2013   Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:12 pm

I can attest to Ozzie's wooden wonders. I have several he made at my request from one of my favorite woods...Osage Orange. The pipes are beautifully crafted from stem to chin and smoke very well. The boy knows what he's about to be sure.
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