Dunhill Group Sizes

Ernie Q

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Soooooo.....
It's painful to admit, but after 30 years I know nothing about Dunhill group sizes. When a guy comes in and asks "I'm looking for a bent in a group 4" I realize two things- First, he's prolly a major pipe weenie and second I need to be schooled. Somebody gimmie the lowdown...
 

Spillproof

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Well a GS4 is sort of a "standard" chamber size.
In the ballpark of 7/8" x 1 1/2 inches for a billiard.

Group Sizes are not always consistent between shapes, and there is considerable overlap between them.

So a GS5 is a big chamber.
GS 6 and ODA even bigger (though this gets into the murky depths of when stuff was stamped, and how).
A GS1 is wee.

I like GS3-4.
I prefer smaller than average chambers for most smokes (except latakia blends).

Many years ago @dwaugh was having folks measure their Dunhill chamber sizes and was graphing them all. The graph was messy.
 

User16

Well-known member
I actually tried to look this up before and seems there is just a lot of guesswork on people's parts, because the sizing doesn't seem to be consistent. I sure hope that isn't true.

Edit: This is going to drive me nuts or the rest of a short trip, but i had a '67 Bulldog that i swear was a group 4 and i had a '67 120 BRUYERE (4)A and it is def a group 4, sadly i sold off the bulldog but I'm almost positive both group 4s and the bulldog was an overall much smaller pipe.
 
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SwampWeed

Black Twist & Black Beer
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It's fairly arbitrary and based on the shape in my experience.

Not very helpful ....

I'd put the Ropp vintage line in the group 2/3 category, most system standard Pete's would be 4/5 to my reckoning and generally Castellos would be more 5/6/ODA.

It's kinda like the thread about categorizing tobacco by blend type. Arbitrary and full of caveats and variations.

Similarly the Castello "K" and "G" sizes are all over the map as well.
 
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tfdickson

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I’ll pony up to the padantic Olympics and say that @Spillproof is way off base- the true group 4 size chamber is 3/4” x 1 1/2”. Lightning and lightning bugs I tell you!

Actually, he’s right about everything else, especially the part about there being a lot of overlap as well as variation dependent on shape. Dublin shapes run big, bulldog shapes run small.

@ajl67 I have had two 120s from the late 60s, and still own one. While that shape was always marked group 4, there was no other group size larger at the time- group 5 and 6 didn’t exist. You could argue it is more of an ODA size but those had specific shapes, and the 120 wasn’t one of them. I’d argue the 120 wasn’t quite as big as most ODA’s anyway.
 

Sasquatch

I'm sick but I'm pretty
Staff Member
No such thing as group size.

The number on a dunhill refers originally to the size of the aluminum fitment stinger thingy. Nowadays it's more generically a "size" I think = I don't know if Dunhill offers "sized" replacement innertubes.

Some pipes marked "4" will have a small bowl, like a bulldog is never going to be as big as a 120 (good example tfd). A 4 is a bigger pipe than a 2 of any given shape. That's all you can say.
 

SwampWeed

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Sasquatch

I'm sick but I'm pretty
Staff Member
Ok, so I understand about the stingers from back in the day, but then there's the Dunhill shape chart which specifies which shapes are available in which sizes. What's your take on that?


ETA, rereading your post "Nowadays...". Yeah I got it. Nevermind 👍
Truly, I am uncertain. I've never seen the word "group" in any Dunhill ad or chart.

A 5 pipe is bigger than a 3 pipe of any given shape. That's just... how numbers work. But I have no idea if the original "tube size" is the number on the shank (I've seen very few and only very early dunnies with any stamping on what we'd call the "stem" (mouthpiece) and it's possible that by "stem" the catalog meant "shank" (the "mouthpiece" is the rubber part).

I dunno.

And then Castello uses kays to denote quality except on rustic pipes where it denotes size. Pipe manufacturers are really .... obtuse.
 

tfdickson

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Dunhill group sizes were introduced in 1954 (could have been 1953). All shapes were assigned a group number that roughly corresponded with chamber size. So all the shapes in the 1928 catalog that @Sasquatch pictured were subsequently assigned a group size. Shape 53 and shape 56 (both in the 1928 catalog) were both bent billiards but the 53 was a little smaller so that became a group 3 and the 56 was a group 4. Same shapes since the ‘20s though. Everything changed in the mid to late ‘70s when the old shape numbers were scrapped and the group size became a part of the shape number. (5103 being a group 5 size, 1 for taper stem, and 03 for billiard, for example.)
 

Ernie Q

I don't like you either.
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No such thing as group size.

The number on a dunhill refers originally to the size of the aluminum fitment stinger thingy. Nowadays it's more generically a "size" I think = I don't know if Dunhill offers "sized" replacement innertubes.

Some pipes marked "4" will have a small bowl, like a bulldog is never going to be as big as a 120 (good example tfd). A 4 is a bigger pipe than a 2 of any given shape. That's all you can say.
Yeah. I think when folks commonly talk about Dunhill sizes it's something that evolved and not something that was an actual Dunhill thing.
 

AceFour

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I have a '67 Group 1 and love it for flakes and curly cuts. Yes it is small bowl.
 
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