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Brand new from Afghanistan

(38 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by jsmarriner
  • Latest reply from jsmarriner
  1. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    Hey folks, Im Jim. I am a retired Army SFC who decided to go to Afghanistan as a civilian contractor. Pleased to meet all of you.

    Now here is the thing. I am normally a premium cigar smoker (Cubans are easy to come by over here). However the unit I work with/for just swapped out for a new group of Soldiers. These guys like pipes as well as cigars, so I am going to join in the fun. I know NOTHING about choosing a pipe. I think I would like a Churchwarden because I don't want a hot smoke. Are these types of pipes prone to cracking and breaking? Also thinking of getting it in meerschaum which I know can be a bit fragile. One of the LTs I work with said the Meer doesn't have to be broke in which sounds nice in theory. Plus they color up nice. But would a wood Churchwarden be a better choice because its probably sturdier? Looking for expert advice on my first pipe purchase.

    Thanks
    Jim

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Churchwardens do theoretically provide a cooler smoke, but probably are more prone to burnout because you can smoke the bowl hotter. Not sure what kind of work you are doing, wood is sturdier than meer for sure. I prefer briar pipes. I never bought a churchwarden although I have flirted with the idea. Make sure you get yourself a good brand is my advice. I also find that by my personal experience, older pipes smoke better. If you are going to go with a briar churchwarden, I would recommend a Stanwell Hans Christian Andersen(comes with two stems, short and long), Savinelli, or Vauen. I am partial to Stanwells, but try to find one Made in Denmark, they recently moved the factory to Italy.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. blueeyedogre

    blueeyedogre

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    I second the Stanwell HCA cause then you get the best of both worlds. Two great pipes shapes from one of the best pipe companies out there. Just remember to order churchwarden pipe cleaners and not regular ones.

    "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." - Corinthians 16:13
    "Let us be English or let us be French . . . and above all let us be Canadians." – Sir John A MacDonald
    "The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine." - Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. blueeyedogre

    blueeyedogre

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    Other option to look at is a pipe with a 9mm filter in it. Keeps the pipe smoke pretty cool, kills any tongue bite, and makes for an easier smoke. With the filter you don't have to be as concerned with the "Smoke Slow" mantra as they are a little more forgiving. I am a fast puffer and a clencher and with my non-filtered pipes I have to keep telling my self to go slow, in my filtered pipe I just puff away.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. taerin

    Eric

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    I actually use a Legend Missouri Meerschaum corn cob pipe bowl ($4) and a stem made for me for $17 by Walker Briar Works, together the pipe is 11" long! It's very durable and the cheapest good option for a churchwarden and it doesn't have to be broken in either. For the price of a Savinelli, you can get quite a few of these It does smoke the coolest out of all my pipes, I think next up I will turn a natural cob (without the plaster) into a cobwarden.

    "The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
    Mark Twain
    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. mso489

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    jsmarinner, I don't know your circumstances overseas, how much you have to relocate and what your
    living quarters are like. For a pipe smoking beginner, I'd recommend a regular pipe, rather than a churchwarden,
    for durability and versatility, being able to carry it from place to place, even in a fairly calm area. The difference
    in the heat of the smoke is really slight. Just get a average size pipe, 5.5 to 6 inches; it will burn cool enough with
    most tobaccos. Briar is durable and wears nicely; I'd go with that for starters, or the cob as recommended.
    I'd start out with an unfiltered pipe, for a clearer idea of how tobacco is tasting to you. Those are just my
    suggestions. Whatever you do, enjoy your pipe(s). One pipe leads to another, as Hemingway said of cats.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Welcome to the forum, mate!

    Meerschaums are not as fragile as we say. Of course, if you keep dropping it on hard surfaces, it will eventually break. But yes it does not need to be broken in. The first pipefuls will not be that great, but it will become better and better. Just make sure that, whichever one you buy, it comes with its own case. Like that, it will be protected.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    Welcome to the forum and a life long journey. If you're new mates are into pipes I'm sure they'd love to pass on their experiences and knowledge. We can't help ourselves, the nature of the beast. Hot burns are mostly a cadence thing, and easily fixed. Talk to your "Brothers in Briar".

    Craig

    β€œThe Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry
    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. teufelhund

    teufelhund

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    Welcome to the forums! Lots of great advice here. I started out with a MM cob as well and you really can't go wrong for the price.

    Smoke your pipe and be silent; there's only wind and smoke in the world. - Irish Proverb
    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. rangerearthpig

    rangerearthpig

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    Welcome aboard, Warrior. Lots of good folks and sound advice here. Watch your six over there!

    RLTW!
    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. ravkesef

    ravkesef

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    Welcome to YOUR hobby and YOUR forum. We're all so glad to have you with us. Read through the forum,and you'll find many postings will answer questions that you might have, and then we are here for you. Ask away. And I'd like to recommend the Old Dominion cobs. They're inexpensive, and offer a mighty fine smoke.

    Eric
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    If you are behind the wire all of the time, a churchwarden or Meer makes a lot of sense, if you are mobile, a sturdy briar would be a trusty steed, if there is a chance that you are separated from it, an inexpensive cob may be the way to go.

    Thanks for your service, be safe! My brother is over there, a retired TOP from the USMC doing contract work...He has always been a hellraiser, flew in for his daughter's wedding, and flew back out to do whatever he does over there....60 years old and still kickin butt.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    Thanks to everyone for their responses. Once I started trying to reasearch what pipes are out there, I started getting overwhelmed. I know what I don't want. I also know (at least sort of) what I want the pipe to be. But I am not sure of how to best explain it. I know I want a longer stem pipe because I dont want the bowl real close to my face. This has me leaning to the Churchwarden. But most I have seen dont have a filter. Do I need a filter? What does the filter do in a pipe as opposed to one in a cigarette (which I dont smoke).

    I also seem to need to research what a "system" is and what a "spigot" is to determine if it is something I want to have. Man I never knew there was this much to the whole pipe thing.

    Trailboss, I love your signature line.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Pipe filters....opinions vary.

    http://www.talkingtobacco.com/2012/03/tobacco-pipe-filters-explained/

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/pipe-filter-or-no-pipe-filter-that-is-the-question

    I like my Peterson system pipe, the reservoir catches a lot of the moisture, and unlike the conventional pipe, midway through the smoke you don't harm the integrity of the pipe if you choose to pull the stem and mop the reservoir.

    http://www.pipedia.org/wiki/A_closer_look_at_the_famous_Peterson_Standard_System_Pipe

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. sailorjeremy

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    Welcome Jim! Jeremy here, Im a new member as well. Navy Corpsman currently deployed in Japan. Made the switch from cigars a little over 3 years ago. Best decision ever ever made besides getting a wife and a dog! Choosing your first pipe can be VERY overwhelming. I researched for a month before I actually made the commitment. I started with a paper filtered pipe until I discovered pipes like Brigham, Peterson, and Savinelli which have filter "systems". Filters are mostly used to absorb the moisture that accumulates in your pipe as you smoke. To some its a big deal, but to others it's not. The best advice I've gotten so far is that whatever works for you is the right way to do it. I hope this helps.

    ~ Jeremy "Doc"

    "This is not recreation, this is therapy. This is essential... I consider the tobacco I put in my pipe all the grief and suffering. And I will burn it.”- US Navy Chaplain (RET) A.P. Sholtes
    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    Well isnt that something.

    As I was looking through countless dealers at different pipes, I was on smokingpipes.com and looking at the freehand Nordings. I was blown away at the style and color of a few of them and I think that one of them is going to be my first pipe.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. judcole

    Jud

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    Nordings have a good rep,although I don't own one.

    I personally think that's a better choice than a churchwarden. I'm not convinced they smoke any cooler then anything else. From my experience,they're a PITA for combining with any other activity,except for sitting around gabbing. I have one that was a gift; I rarely smoke it.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    Picture of the Nording freehand pipe I just ordered. Will probably take 2 weeks to get here.

    Not sure if this will work. I loaded a picture of the exact pipe I just ordered to my facebook so I can copy the URL and show you guys. I am excited to get it.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1/1779097_857407850942704_417020762_n.jpg

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. oldmannk

    oldmannk

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    From one SFC to another welcome. I would go with an cob or a good Briar. PM me if you need anything I am in Germany, got your back. Watch your 6 and keep your head down.

    Be safe Bryan

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    Welcome JS!

    I would second Eric's suggestion to go with a Missouri Meerschaum cob with a Churchwarden Forever stem (www.walkerbriarworks.com)

    This is a solid choice for a beginner - MMs smoke cool and are easy to learn on, they have a variety of shapes, and are inexpensive. The Foreverstem is a fantastic addition - you can get it in several styles, sizes, and colors. (I have 4 - one of them is a mini-Churchwarden - all great smokes). You might want to buy a regular MM at the same time to have a small rotation.

    There's nothing more frustrating that to spend $$$ on a pipe style you don't know if you're going to like. Save your money and buy the best you can afford when you know what you want. (Savinelli has a "Clark" that's I've got my eye on.)

    Good Luck, and smoke whatever you choose in good health!

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    redstar

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    If you're flying in or out via Dubai, be sure to check the pipe tobacco section in Duty Free. They have a few Davidoff blends (I love the Davidoff Rolls they sell), Erinmore flake and ready rubbed, as well as Condor, Clan, Captain Black, Borkum Riff and McBaren Seven Seas. The walk in humidors often have some Petersons for sale. Pipe cleaners are occasionally available too!

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    redstar

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    In practical terms, if you're out and about, I'd recommend a smaller bowled billiard or bent pipe (choose a Peterson that appeals, I love their billiard shaped System pipe). Couple that with a nice flake and you can get a good hour's smoke from a small, cool pipe with a practical small tobacco tin (flakes also sit nicely in a wallet).

    I travel all over the Middle East and Africa. A church warden would be too big and unwieldy, especially in the more spartan accommodation your likely to be in in Afghanistan.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. mso489

    mso489

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    One price of "seeing the world" is that things do get ripped off. If I were headed to Afghanistan with pipes, I'd take briars, but
    not high end pipes. If you have some heavy pay days and want to buy a pipe or more in the hundreds of dollars range, I'd ship
    those safely home, for safe keeping. For hauling over the world, I'd get good quality durable pipes that still won't break your
    heart if they end up snagged by a thief or shipped by mistake to points unknown. Nording makes a superb line of low priced
    pipes with high quality attributes called Eriksens. The best selection I've seen is at Cup O Joes, at the end of the Nording listing,
    or indexed under Economy pipes. They are sturdy, not bad looking, and cost around $50. Two or three of these would go a long
    way. If you want to rotate in a higher level pipe, you might want to consider an estate (used) pipe from smokingpipes.com that
    would be thoroughly sanitized and ready to smoke.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    If you find yourself in Iran and need a pipe, it's not doody-free, but it's a pipe!

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/iranian-man-smokes-animal-dung-in-his-pipe

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    Trailboss,
    That, sir, was a crappy suggestion.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. piperl12

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    Nice to meet u sir, retired Canadian Army. Worked as a contractor doing CPP duty for Finnish Ambassador to Afghanistan. Home now and glad to be out of the sand. I agree with the comments about briar rather than meer. I had a Peterson spigot with army mount that I could take apart and stow in my plate carrier pocket. Pop the stem in and load a bowl as quich as you could light a cig. If you need anything sent to you PM me. We'll see u get looked after. Keep your head and ass down! Embrace the suc!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. gwtwdbss

    Chris

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    Welcome Jim. I agree, that a Churchwarden would not be my first choice in a pipe unless you went with something like the HCA with dual stems. The only ones I have are cobs with the forever stem as mentioned above. I hope you enjoy your time here and thank you for your service!

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    piper50

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    Hey Bud! First and foremost, Thanks for serving. Like you I also enjoy cigars. However, the more I do Pipes the less I smoke cigars. Pick one you like the looks of - you'll smoke it more. Go slow - relax - take it from another newbie - go slow!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    @piper50
    Yeah brother, I ordered my pipe a few days ago, I did a link but I am going to try to post an image in my next post. I love the look of it and it should be here in about 5-6 more days.

    @piperl12
    Your generosity leaves me almost speechless. I cant think of anything I really need over here. I ordered two tins of CAO tobacco when I ordered the pipe and tool. But the offer of support really touched me. Thank you.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    Lets see if this works. This is my pipe I orderd from one of the site sponsers.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. piperl12

    piperl12

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    Awesome looking pipe! If you are looking for low cost high quality pipes talk to smokeybear great guy to deal with and lots of excellent trypis pipes can be had for reasonable price.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. fadingdaylight

    fadingdaylight

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    How did I miss this thread? Welcome Jim, as current active Army, recently returned from the Stan, I know that you wont find anything in the shops around there... looks like you made a great choice. Glad to hear it.

    - Jason
    "Lost in thought and lost in time... While the seeds of life and the seeds of change were planted... Outside the rain fell dark and slow... While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime..."
    Posted 5 years ago #
  33. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    OK, because so many of you fellas suggested it, I ordered this MM cob as a secondary pipe. I actually like the look of it. Looking forward to giving it a good try.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    The Danish Egg style is comfortable to the hand (bet you can't have just one). You can add a Forever stem later.

    The briar is a good looking pipe, enjoy it in good health!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. fadingdaylight

    fadingdaylight

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    Thats a good looking cob Jim

    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    So I recieved my Nording in the mail today. I havent had a chance to smoke it yet, still tied to my work station. However, holy crap, I did not expect th bowl to be that big. I know on the site I ordered from they had the dimentions listed but I guess I am just spacially challenged. Still, I like the look of it, lets just hope it smokes as well as it looks. Of course, this is my first pipe so I probably wouldnt know a difference between horrible and great.

    Will keep ya posted.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  37. topd

    TopD

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    Welcome to the forum jsmarriner. You'll learn to love your Nording for when your layed back and enjoying the evening, but that cob is the way to go when your out and about.... I always kept several to switch back and forth with.

    Thanks For Your Service...!

    Steve 'Top' Downey
    Master Sergeant
    USMC - Retired
    Posted 5 years ago #
  38. jsmarriner

    jsmarriner

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    Ok, so I now have smoked two bowls of different Arros in the pipe. And I have to say its breaking in nicely. Today was a lot better than yesterday. I only had to re light a few times where yesterday was a constant battle.

    I have to say that, so far, I am really liking this pipe and pipe somking in general. I deffinately enjoy it more than smoking a cigar. Although I will still smoke a good cigar, this will now be my first choice.

    Question, does the smoke taste better the more its broke in? Yesterday I smoked CAO Moontrance, it smells great but didnt have enough flavor to the smoke or so it seemed. Today I used CAO Eileen's Dream and it tasted much better. Still a bit weak on flavor but better. Or am I just used to the stronger taste of a full bodied Cuban Cigar?

    Posted 5 years ago #

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