Peterson System Standard Pipe: 302 vs 303

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

bookn3rd5

Member
Nov 29, 2012
178
0
Hello everyone,
I've recently come down with a case of PAD. I have narrowed my search down to a Peterson System Standard pipe, and I'm drawn to the appearance of the 302 and 303. It seems like the 303 has quite a few fans but there's not much feedback on the 302, which is essentially the same shape but in a bigger size. For those of you who have one of these shapes or had one in the past, what are the pros and cons of each? I am typically drawn to bigger pipes but am considering the 303 for a change of pace. The problem is that I don't have access to one in person so I'm not sure if it's TOO small. Either way, I figured this might be a pretty good place to start for getting feedback on them. Thanks in advance!

 

shutterbugg

Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
1,452
0
I've had both, along with several other shapes. More important than the shape of a Peterson is the quality, which is quite variable. Concentrating your efforts on finding one that's drilled properly and where the tenon end is not shaped so it aggravates the accumulation of condensation and gurgle will be much more rewarding than obsessing over the shape.
As far as the System pipes in particular, the design is from a bygone era. It doesn't do what it purports to, plus it leaves a wet, smelly, goopy mess in the sump. Instead of one wet bowl that needs drying time, you end up with two. Plus, cleanup is an added step. The main benefit of the Systems is the army bit, which can safely be taken apart mid-smoke to shake and/or blow out the moisture that accumulates in the stem rather than drain into the well as it claims.
Another thing to consider is the bit. If you tend to smoke hot, the Plip will burn the roof of your mouth. It's also harder to get a pipecleaner into it, but that's not a big issue with a System because a)you can't pass a pipecleaner down to the bowl mid-smoke but you can take it apart; and b)post-smoke cleanup is already a messy chore so one more irritating thing probably won't be a dealbreaker.
Last, if you're at all the type who resents paying top-dollar for a fill-filled pipe that any other manufacturer would either bin or sell under another name as a basket second, then you'll be happier looking at the rusticated Petersons, because the fills may even go undedected to your eye. I would also stay away from the dark-stained finishes, as the ones I had tended to impart a foul taste for a while. In fact in the beginning I would get reddish stain on the wet pipecleaner.

 

bigbee

Junior Member
Sep 10, 2012
58
0
(Warning : opinion of an owner of over 20 Peterson's 303, 03 and 3s and over 10 system pipes ahead)

Some feedback on the 303 shape

Pro's

Lays great in my hand, if you're a fan of bent apples, this is a must-have in your collection

Ideal for a shorter smoke (+/- 1 hour for a loose cut / 1h30-1h45 for a flake cut), if you have longer smokes in mind -> go for the 302

P-lip : as said above, if your smoking technique is alright, this will help avoiding tongue bite. If not you're just toasting your upper mouth (but saving your tongue)

System: I personally don't think this is an outdated system, the sump collects moisture that would otherwise help steam the inside of your mouth.

Army mouth : durable + able to disassemble during the smoke
Cons

Break-in : my favorite pipe took about 100 smokes before revealing itself in full force. Now it's one of my favorite pipes (if not the very one).

Sump: this requires an additional cleaning in order to drain the moisture, the quantity reduces once properly broken in (some years ago we had a member who smoked his 312 about 10 times/day, a small wipe with a cleaner and and a blow and his pipe was ready to go).

Stain: during the break-in my pipecleaners sometimes came out red. Some alcohol on a cleaner and some wiping can avoid that.

Fills: All my standards have fills, some of my deluxes (3s, 12s, mark twain) have some minor fills. The only pipes without fills are my supreme(03) and some of the deluxes (3s) and spigots (03), so expect some fills.
Conclusion: if you can get passed the annoyances, that pete-lovers are gladly accepting, the 303 and 302 are durable smoking machines, that due to their system design also contribute to a better smoke (no day and night differences, but minor improvements)

 

tmb152

Senior Member
Apr 26, 2016
392
1
I've smoked System pipes for over 40 years and prefer the 309 myself in black ebony and they are among my favorite designs. I haven't come across any quality issues myself yet, and have found no issues or problems with gurgle or a wet mess in the stem. I clean it like any other pipe and in fact, the sump area is easier to clean because it is open. For me, it is one of the easiest pipes to hold in my teeth, most comfortable to hold in my hand and most aesthetically pleasing, elegantly well-balanced designs out there. If I had any travail, it is only that the bowl tends to really let the heat through to the outside and can get very warm, but then, I just hold it at the bottom.

 

gphenry

Member
Jul 5, 2014
144
0
I am a new Pete Standard System smoker having purchased a 312 and 303 recently. Both with p-lips.
Regarding the p-lip, like any stem, if you are puffing like mad you will be burned. I pack my pipes rather loosely initially, lighting is easy, relighting is rear, and I smoke softly. Sip and you won't have issues with any lip.
I have really taken to my system pipes. They smoke dry for a bent pipe and have burned to the bottom of their bowls regularly. I will say, they are quick smokes, the 303 in particular with it's relatively small bowl. It is nice and small though overall, fits well in my hand and feels good to smoke.
Cleaning is a snap, just one extra step. Fold a cleaner or twist a paper towel to insert into the sump and give it a quick scrubbing.
YMMV, but I am enjoying mine.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,278
503
I'd base the choice on what your stable needs. Do you need another medium or a large bowl more? This is an opportunity to fill that gap, given that the pipes are somewhat similar. Some members smoke almost exclusively big bowls, and if that's you, that's probably your pick. I have several really large pipes; I might go with the medium.

 

shutterbugg

Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
1,452
0
They make (or made) "XL" versions of some shapes, I think including the 302. I had a couple of those. I prefer smaller pipes/shorter smokes myself, but just throwing it out there to complicate things :D

 

kimbiker

Member
Apr 3, 2014
144
0
I'm about to order a Pete on payday. Just not sure whether to get a System 303, 9mm filter (Fermoy, Dublin) or straight through e.g. Killarney.
At the moment I smoke 9mm (Big ben) a few Falcons and an EA Carey (papyrate paper sleeve).
Any advice appreciated.

 

bigbee

Junior Member
Sep 10, 2012
58
0
I smoke mainly aromatics in my dublin 03's. The filter (I can actually sense the horrific reaction of some members, yes I smoke aro's in a filtered pete :twisted: and I still have my taste buds... and I have broken them all in myself) really adds to dry the smoke, together with the P-lip. The finish --> up to you ( I personally don't like the shiny ones)
I smoke virginia's in my fishtail father day's 03 with filter. Some virginia's can bite (yes pointing to you MacB), but the filter can really take the edge of it
In my 303's (unfiltered and p-lip) I smoke Englishes. The system really adds a little extra if you tend to smoke a little wetter and or hotter
My 3s deluxe (shiny version of the 303, system, plip and filtered) each see a different type of tobacco, and I personally think the aro's perform best in them
So I would let your choice depend on your type of tobacco and smoking style.
But should I add that a 303 needs to be in everybody's collection at some point of time :)

 

anthony416

Member
Sep 30, 2016
239
1
Not sure where my pipe fits in here but it is a 307 rusticated in Premier grade. Nice larger size pipe and apparently a popular model. Highly recommended.

 

kimbiker

Member
Apr 3, 2014
144
0
Thanks bigbee, I agree with what you say, I have found some tobaccos flavour has been diluted by the 9mm but it has enhanced others by reducing the sharpness.

 

bookn3rd5

Member
Nov 29, 2012
178
0
Thanks for the feedback everyone! I usually gravitate towards bigger pipes, as I like how they feel in my hand. But I don't have many small pipes. I'm just concerned the 303 will be TOO small. Based on your experiences, is there a big difference in regard to the walls of the pipe? In other words, does one seem to have thicker walls than the other?