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Peterson 302 & 303. Size Matters!

August 3, 2009

I received some comments the other day on my Peterson 303 post. The commentator remarked that it was the same pipe that he was smoking but that his was stamped 302, not 303. OK, I can understand this as the 302 and 303 are basically the same shape but the size varies by an appreciable amount. This is, of course, hard to evaluate on a single photograph where no comparison can be made. To give some idea of the difference I refer to, here are some comparative shots of the two together. After all, a picture says a thousand words, doesn’t it?


IMG_3194      IMG_3196


In the left hand picture, the 302 is the upper pipe. In the right hand picture, the 302 is on the right. As is obvious in both, the 302 is a considerably larger pipe.

Of the two, I prefer the 302 while relaxing. On the other hand, the 303 gets to see all the action! Both pipes smoke well. It would be difficult to choose an absolute favourite. If there are horses for courses, then there are also pipes for pastimes.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    August 5, 2009 11:52

    Does smoking a large pipe have any special characteristics? The 303 looks ‘right’, but I find a typical pipe doesn’t smoke long enough, and clearly you would get more tobacco in a 302. Does the 302 have any unusual tendencies like a draw with no ‘tug’, as if the chamber is packed too loose?

    I, and others around me, find that all tobaco tastes better from a larger bowl. Some disagree. Obviously, if one has more tobacco per fill, one will probably smoke for longer periods of time. Packing loose is a relative term! What I call loose, others will call medium to tight. It’s very subjective. Personally, I don’t like having to heave on a pipe. I like it to be an easy draw. If it starts to go out, I can tamp my way back to what pressure I like.
    If you haven’t tried smoking a larger bowled pipe, you may be cheating yourself of a very rewarding experience.
    We could discuss this further John. Use the contact form on the contact page to get a private e-mail off to me if you wish. I promise, I’ll give you a reply.

    • John permalink
      August 5, 2009 13:15

      Thanks for your offer. I’m just looking around at the moment but I’ll probably add a larger pipe to the collection in the future.

      OK. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

  2. Highstump permalink
    August 7, 2009 15:57

    As for the size of the pipe, I have no real preference. My pipes run the size range from larger Petersons to smaller Kaywoodies. (A couple of which I can’t even get my little finger into.) I consider my very mixed and modest collection to be divided into two basic catagories. I have “house” pipes which rarely venture outside my four walls, and “out & about” pipes which can easily be tucked into a pocket if I duck in somewhere for whatever.


    We seem to have the same approach to house pipes and out pipes. I have pipes I take to work, into the garden or out with the dogs. I have others which never leave the safety of my living room. Nice to know, someone shares my eccentricities!

  3. August 11, 2009 00:50

    Excellent post! Glad to have found your site. I have a 309 that I dearly love, but as you stated in your post are great for when you have time to relax. I’ve been wanting to get a smaller pipe. The 303 looks to be my next purchase.

    303’s turn up often on the Bay. You won’t regret having one.
    Welcome here.

  4. January 5, 2010 12:16

    Hallo, Exile do you perhaps have a list / url reference to any Peterson specific charts of sizes?

    Also am attempting to find out what model numbers are / have been available in the “System” pipes. I don’t expect anyone to type these out, but I imagine somewhere a fellow afficionado has already done so ?

    Thanks for your site. Still learning, but I agree on the sizing – I think that’s why Peterson actually has their “house pipe” range – they don’t expect them to go out to dinner with you 🙂

    Peterson have a shape chart on their website

    and there is an excellent reference here:
    If I can find other charts, I’ll post them. Might make an interesting post. Thanks for the idea!

  5. June 19, 2010 00:15

    Hi there from South Africa. I have a Peterson House pipe and the 303. The 303 is perfect for work, nice for a twenty minute smoke break, charged with some Irish flake. The House pipe is my prized ‘giant,’ used for long relaxing smokes on my porch, which I can return to during the course of the evening. I highly recommend the House pipes. My dream is to collect the entire House pipe range.

    The entire range? That’s quite a collection, good luck!

  6. Frank Rice permalink
    January 11, 2011 00:25

    Being fully retired, I have lots of time to set on my poarch, smoke my 302 and watch all the poor folk driving off to work in the mornings and driving home in the evening. Poor souls, I really feel sympathy for them. However, I worked over 20 years in the military, over 10 years for the University in San Angelo, Texas, and another 10 years as a civilian for the military. So I feel that I deserve my mornings and evenings with my 302. They should all have the pleasure in a few years themselves – that is if they want too. My tobacco? I am on my umpteenth pound of “Mixture 79” with a few pounds of miscellaneous thrown in along the way. Wave as you drive by. I’ll return it.

    Frank Rice, USAF, Civil Service, and Angelo State University Retired

    See, this is where I’m going to be in a few short years. It sounds great Frank and I envy you. May you have many pleasant mornings and evenings on your porch. You earned ’em.

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