I have a number of cobs and usually am smoking two or three. I like them. I would smoke them more if any had a decent chamber.
But I think the efforts to make a cob look anything other than a cob fall short, unless you buy a $10.00 pipe from one of the aftermarket cob artists, which I don't think I'll ever do, because in the end a cob remains a cob and thus the cob artisan prices are unjustified.
This new line with the outlaws names looks to me just another sales gimmick to get more business. Looking at them I would not readily associate the names Jesse James or Cole Younger; in fact, the appropriate name does not ring of the outlaw but of the cob.
I fail to feel the excitement.
I identify this series of pipes as unexciting as:
1. cob aren't stimulating in the way of briar. Wood can have grain, be blasted or rusticated. To me these finishes are always better to look at than cob.
2. wood can be finished with color or stain much more attractively than cob. Artisan cobs seek to overcome this, but the colors used do not take to the cob anywhere nearly as attractively as wood.
The above is moot in any case because of price, which is very attractive, and smoking characteristics, which in a cob are usually good.
(This helps me make the point that most pipes smoke well and that referring to drilling as "engineering" elevates making a draft hole through the center of the shank and centered in the bottom of the chamber. And I keep waiting for one of my pipes to become an especially sweet smoker, but after a number of years, that hasn't happened.)
So cobs are fine the way they are, as are the three "new" shapes. But wait a minute, these shapes aren't new as their derivation of a bulge at top has been around for some time in the Patriot. Yes, one is bevelled at top an another at bottom but this shaping doesn't constitute the drama that an outlaw series need have to stand up to the name.
MM mgt. has always struck me as conservative, and this series seems to me to have little new, a repackaging of current production marketed by an outlaw designation.