Colt Pre-Woodsman .22


July 31, 2008, 10:56 PM
Looking at one today and it looked like a nice little piece. Condition was pretty good and I couldn't see any obvious mechanical issues. They told me it was made in 1922 and high velocity ammo wasn't a good idea, said it would cycle fine with subsonic ammo. asking price was $550

Anybody have experience or opinions with one?

Looked pretty much like the pic below

If you enjoyed reading about "Colt Pre-Woodsman .22" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 1, 2008, 12:10 AM
I paid $460 for a 1933 Woodsman, OK for high-speed ammo about four months agoat the big houston show; you can do a search for details and pix I posted here. The price was conditioned by the bluing, or lack of. The pistol had a nice patina. Mechanically it is excellent and the bore is crisp. I was looking for a shooter, not something you stick away like a trophy wife you take out once a year to fondle. (Did I actually type that?!) Mine has the shorter barrel. At the same gunshow, I found one much like you describe, long barrel, standard vel ammo, for $500, but he would've come down $25-30 if I'd offered. It was in nicer shape than the one I finally took home; the deciding factors for me were the ammo issue and the shorter, handier barrel.

I think The Woodsman is one of the great ones, up there with the broomhandle Mauser, Luger, and 1911. Would I go 5 1/2? Probably not, but I'd be tempted. Good luck!

August 1, 2008, 12:26 AM
I have 5 Woodsmans, two Match Targets, a Huntsman, and a Challenger, but I don't have a pre-woodsman model. Many people who are into the Woodsmans really like that gun and the 1st gen. Woodsman.

The three that I shoot are post war models - a regular Woodsman and both Match Targets. I don't shoot them a lot, and I'm very big on taking good care of them... They are some of the best shooting firearms I own

My dad bought all these when he was alive, and his preference was for the 2nd and 3rd generation models because that's what he had when he was younger. Woodsmans are a big collector thing now, with high premiums placed on condition and whether the box and papers come with it, etc... and some of mine have the box, papers and the original sales receipt even.

All that said, My dad only paid over 500 for ONE Woodsman, and it wasn't much over 500... here's a picture of it...

The Bushmaster
August 1, 2008, 10:15 AM
I have a second generation Woodsman target model. I paid $65 for in 1970. It favors CCI Stingers or CCI green box.

I understand that it is worth around $500 to $600...To the right buyer of course...Sorry...This one is not for sale...

August 1, 2008, 12:38 PM
A lot of those guns had the mainspring housing replaced with a high-speed housing after hi-speed ammo became available.

Colt begin using the heat-treated Hi-Speed housing after 1931, and offered it as an owner installed replacement for older guns.

The standard velocity housing has a checkered oval on it.

The high-speed housing has a rectangle with grooves across it.

If it has the checkered oval housing, you can use standard velocity ammo only in it.
High-Speed will quickly wear or break the gun.

If it has the Hi-Speed rectangle housing, you "can" shoot Hi-Speed ammo safely.

But with a gun that is nearly 90 years old, standard velocity is probably a better idea.


August 1, 2008, 01:42 PM
The gun I was looking at has the original checkered oval and the guy explained all that to me. Is there any value difference between modified or not? Anyplace to get the replacement?

August 1, 2008, 01:57 PM
I've always heard that the high speed mainspring housings were long gone, installed in guns as the housings were sold. You might try That's a great source for info.

August 1, 2008, 02:18 PM
There is no place to get them, and hasn't been since probably before WWII.

Woodsman production stopped during WWII except a few for military use.

Then after the war, the 1st. series Woodsman was redesigned in 1947, and became the Second series, with a different grip angle. So those newer housings will not fit at all.

If it still has a standard velocity housing, that's what it will very likely be from now on.

I have seen an occasional standard housing for sale at gun shows, but never ever have I seen a HS housing that wasn't already in a gun.

BTW: If you do get the gun, I would suggest you get a Wolf recoil spring and replace what is very likely the original tired old spring.


Bullet Bob
August 1, 2008, 03:17 PM
I had one like that, it was wonderful with Wolf Match Extra. Really fine piece of American machine manufacture. No problems, it shot very well. I traded it only because I have fairly large hands, and it was just too small for me. Should have kept it ;)

If you enjoyed reading about "Colt Pre-Woodsman .22" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!