Colt woodsman....


May 26, 2008, 07:17 AM

I have been hearing how legendary the woodsman is since I was a kid. I have never really had much interest in owning one utill I handled one for the first time at a gun show recently. It had a 6 (ish) inch thin barrel and the non-tumbrest grips...very svelt and pointable. Tell me about your woodsman, show me me into it.

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May 26, 2008, 07:32 AM
I had the Colt Woodsman No.1,Mark 1 Match Target Model. Bought new in 1972 from Ace Hardware for $119.00. It was the 6'' barrel with full underlug,adjustable rear sight,and thumbrest grips. Deadly accurate. I won't try to talk you into buying one. The Woodsman stands on it's own merits. It is the premier .22lr autoloading handgun. I have a Browning Buckmark,had several Rugers and a variety of "others", the Woodsman stands alone. I traded it off after a couple of years because...well I was an idiot in those days.:banghead:

May 26, 2008, 07:44 AM
Hard to find one in decent condition for less than an astronomical price. I've fired one, nice gun, but I bought a Ruger.....finally. For target use, I'd rather own a Smith M41, but it's rather expensive and a Bullseye shooter's toy. The Ruger is fine enough for me.

Woodsmans are classics and owning one would be way cool, I just don't know if a nice one's price is worth it to me. Might be to you, though. I saw a rather beat up one at a recent gun show. They are around without a LOT of hard lookin'.

May 26, 2008, 09:05 AM
This is mine. Inherited from my father-in-law. It's a series 2 with 4 digit serial number.

May 26, 2008, 09:06 AM
FYI: You can see a lot more over at rimfirecentral.

May 26, 2008, 09:26 AM
The first pistol I ever bought, a Colt Woodsman Match Target. Still a very sweet shooter. I shoot it very seldom these days in an effort to keep it as a safe queen.

May 26, 2008, 09:30 AM
usp9. That is identical to the Match Target that I had. Boy do I miss it!

May 26, 2008, 10:27 AM
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Woodsman and I've had several. In fact, i've had about everything except a pre-war Match Target. I loved them all. That being said, I always seemed to let go of them for other pieces, like financing an early Automag. I'm at the age now where I plan on finding what I want and keeping it.

I picked up this pre-war Woodsman at the last big Houston show. The price was more than reasonable, $460 OTD and if the finish is less than pristine, I can live with that. I want shooters, not safe queens. And does it shoot!

May 26, 2008, 10:39 AM
I have a Third Generation Colt Woodsman Match Target 6". Its a fine shooter, beautiful, classic .22. Very accurate, but I find my Ruger MK II with Volquartsen trigger a bit more accurate.

May 26, 2008, 10:58 AM
I inherited a Woodsman when my father passed away. I remeber when I was a kid and took my first shot with it and the slide proceeded to slice my thumb open on my first shot. My father simply said "NOW ! Do you want to learn to shoot or play around?" I was a bit more attentive after that. Lesson learned:D

May 26, 2008, 11:16 AM
4" Sport Model circa 1968

Brian Williams
May 26, 2008, 11:20 AM
I had a Ruger Mark II Slabside that I sold when I got my 1 Series Colt. It is a great shooter but is cosmeticaly challenged.

The Bushmaster
May 26, 2008, 11:30 AM
I have a 2nd generation Colt Woodsman 6" barrel (thin Tube) with target sights (same sights as alfsauve's) and thumb rest grips. (Ser# 720XX-S). Was told that it was manufacturered in 1954.
It's in about 85 to 90% bluing and in excellent mechanical condition. I understand that it is worth around $600 to $650. I have use it to teach my five kids and am now using it to teach my grand children. Grip feel and balance, Acuracy and visual grace can not be beat by any out-of-the-box .22 autos today...

Harve Curry
May 26, 2008, 12:49 PM
I had a late 1950's vintage Match Target I gave to my brother inlaw, sort of a wedding present, and his wife adopted it. It's well worn but shoots deadly accurate. It's in good hands, but I miss having one.
Recently I bought a 6" 1938 vintage Colt Woodsman with the standard weight barrel. But as I remember it does'nt get the accuracy as easy as the Match Target model did.
Do any of you Colt Woodsman or Match Target shooters find a ammo that yours prefers?
It would be interesting to see if there is a brand liked by Colt Woodsmans.

May 26, 2008, 12:53 PM
Colt Woodsman, great guns!

dogtown tom
May 26, 2008, 01:54 PM
All Colt "S" frames are Curio & Relic eligible, even if less than fifty years old. This includes Woodsman, Huntsman, Targetsman and Challenger models.

Top Left: 1974 3rd Series Huntsman I bought in 1975 (mom had to sign for it, I was too young).

Two years ago I got my C&R and started looking for more!

Bottom Left: 1959 3rd Series Match Target
Top Right: 1953 2nd Series Match Target (have original box)
Middle Right: 1956 3rd Series MT
Bottom Right: 1961 3rd Series MT (when I got this one last year it was beat to death, no finish, lots of dings, scratches, and an electropenciled number under the barrel. Had it bead blasted & parkerized. Now it's my favorite range gun!

Not shown is a 1976 "6" Huntsman

The Bushmaster
May 26, 2008, 02:29 PM
Harve Curry...Had best accuracy from CCI Stingers, but several failures to feed properly. Nothing like a bent .22 case and bullet.

The best all around .22 was Remington High Velocity. Good accuracy and never failed to feed...

Vern Humphrey
May 26, 2008, 02:49 PM
My Woodsman is a first generation gun, made in 1938. It has aftermarket Micro target sights. This is, bar none, the most accurate pistol I've ever owned.

It doesn't like Winchester bulk pack, but shoots Remington and Federal bulk pack into 1 3/4" regularly (10 round group) at 25 yards with a modified weaver grip.

Among the local squirrels, it is a legend spoken only in hushed tones.

May 26, 2008, 03:44 PM
Mine is a First Generation 1947 in 4" bbl with Micro sights. I traded a rough Hi Standard HD Military for it in the very early 80's. It was value-priced due to the parkerized finish, I suppose.....which was exactly what I wanted for the rainy climate of the Pacific Northwest.

Since then, I have carried it regularly in the woods. It is of superb accuracy and is the most natural pointer of any pistol I have ever fired. It is credited with hundreds of head-shots on grouse for the pot. It feeds and extracts almost anything and is not fastidious in the least. It would be the very, very last pistol I would ever sell.

May 26, 2008, 06:42 PM
In the mid 1970s I bought a new Woodsman Match Target for bullseye shooting. Sold it about 10 years later and have regretted it ever since. It was a fine pistol.

May 26, 2008, 07:01 PM
1965 6" Targetsman

1927 Woodsman 6 5/8" Target model
1936 Woodsman 4 1/2" Sport model
(Both have High-Speed mainspring housings.)

All three of them will shoot WAY BETTER then I can anymore!


Jim K
May 26, 2008, 07:38 PM
Here are a couple of pics, a pre-Woodsman (1923) with a later (1942) short barrel that I consider the neatest and handiest of the Colt .22 series.

The other gun is a Stevens Model 10, which looks like an auto pistol but is a single shot .22.


May 26, 2008, 09:22 PM
3 of mine mixed in with some colts. 1947 Match Target with factory thumb-rest delete, 1927 target model, and a SAC survival pistol.
Shot with CYBERSHOT ( at 2005-05-10

May 26, 2008, 09:22 PM
Picked up a well worn but well kept first Model 6" Target some years back. Lovely pistol. Have admired the 4 1/2" Third Model MT since my teens but haven't gotten one yet. Maybe someday.

The Woodsman was the only gun my Dad ever said he wanted, and by the time I found out he was pushing 90. Wish I had known that many years earlier. At least we had the same good taste.

The Bushmaster
May 26, 2008, 11:54 PM
AMAZING!!! An auto pistol with NO detractors...It must have been and still is one of the best of American craftmanship...

May 27, 2008, 10:30 AM
Probably be way too expensive for the average shooter. Excellent guns.

Brian Dale
May 27, 2008, 12:19 PM
You guys have some beautiful pistols!

I had a Ruger Mark II Slabside that I sold when I got my 1 Series Colt. It is a great shooter but is cosmetically challenged."I broke up with Mary Tyler Moore when I started dating Sophia Loren. She's kind of cosmetically challenged when she's just out of the shower; no makeup, and her hair's all wet and messy."

I don't think that you have a problem there, Brian. ;)

May 27, 2008, 04:23 PM
I thought I had read over a year ago that U.S.A.F. was going to bring back the Woodsman 1st. Model.

Anyone else heard that?


May 27, 2008, 04:30 PM
Probably be way too expensive for the average shooter. In the last few years:
I bought the 1936 Sport model in the picture for $175.00 at an estate auction.
$275 for the 1927 Target from another estate sale.

The Targetsman cost be some real money!
$325 at a gunshow!

So, they are where you find them at reasonable prices.
I've got way less then the price of a new Kimber .45 in the three of them!


Brian Dale
May 27, 2008, 04:36 PM
I thought I had read over a year ago that U.S.A.F. was going to bring back the Woodsman 1st. Model.I don't know what plans the Air Force might have, but U.S. Firearms announced that they were doing just that. ;)

Here's a link to the press release. (

They wrote, "These guns are scheduled to enter full production in Oct of 2007 with shipments to dealers immediately thereafter." I don't see it listed as a product on their web site, though. Odd. :(

May 27, 2008, 04:37 PM
Air Force!

Ooops! :o

Thanks for the info:


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