Colt Woodsman .22 pistol


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stonecoldy
July 30, 2009, 12:08 AM
In a fit of impulse buying I noticed and purchased a Colt Woodsman .22 pistol yesterday. The pistol has certainly been used plenty (some light surface pitting in a couple spots, bluing is worn on surfaces such as the slide and any other surfaces from what looks like it might be holster wear). In any event, I had not shot one since a buddy in college let me use his grandfathers pistol. I have wanted one ever since.
Serial number is 164XX-S, 6" barrel (not the slab-sided version). My primary question would be where to find any historical data for this Woodsman. I haven't shot it yet but expect to in the next few days. Bore looks nice and bright and the muzzle crown looks good also.
Any responses are certainly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Jim Watson
July 30, 2009, 12:14 AM
General information at:
http://www.colt22.com/

Looks like yours is an early second series from 1948. If you want any more historical data, you will have to pay Colt for a factory letter which will describe the original configuration of the gun and when and what distributor or dealer it was sold to.

dreamer56
July 30, 2009, 12:26 AM
+1 on Jim Watson's comments -

You had a great impulse - great pistol to buy -

This summer I bought a first model Woodsman - so I say check it out - clean it up and then go shoot it - enjoy it - they are great pistols.

stonecoldy
July 30, 2009, 12:26 AM
Thank you, Jim. I'll try that route.

KenWP
July 30, 2009, 12:33 AM
Another Browning patent. I have drooled over the Woodsman and the S&W Model 42 I beleive its called for many years just no place to shoot one anymore. The Woodsman was used to actually kill a elephant I think was the story many years ago. Have to gogole that one and see what I can find.

stonecoldy
July 30, 2009, 12:45 AM
The second I picked it up and looked down the barrel through the sights, my driver's license flew from my wallet and landed on the counter. Credit card quickly followed, along with a S&W Jerry Miculek 625, which is what I was originally purchasing. I believe my 16 year old refrigerator will last another month. In all honesty, my child support ended last month and was a good reason to celebrate!
It has been a well-used and well-cared for pistol, appearance-wise. No comparison in the hand to my well liked but utility Target Ruger Mark II.
The Ruger feels like a brick now.

Oyeboten
July 30, 2009, 02:32 AM
I'm pretty sure these were only intended for 'Standard' Velocity .22LR...which is a little hard to find anymore...

Higher power, 'High Velocity' rounds will/may batter it...

Jim Watson
July 30, 2009, 08:14 AM
In the vein of "is my .38 rated for +P", Colt "rated" the Woodsman for high velocity ammunition sometime in the 1930s and even sold replacement heat treated mainspring housings to retrofit the older guns.

Oyeboten
July 30, 2009, 03:18 PM
Oh...sorry...

stonecoldy
July 30, 2009, 05:03 PM
I have about 1000 rounds of Remington Subsonic ammo that are destined for use if the accuracy is there. Otherwise I have plenty of Remington Target or Winchester T-22 on hand.
I have a pretty big variety of .22 ammo going back 30 years, when I first started hunting, so I should find something compatible with accuracy. Thanks for making me think about the standard vs. higher-powered stuff, Oyeboten

Clermont
July 30, 2009, 07:12 PM
Beginning in 1927, the Colt Automatic Pistol was given the Woodsman name. However, there are different variations of the Woodsman. Yours is the Colt Woodsman Target Pistol. Other variations of the Colt Woodsman are the Automatic Target Pistol, Sport Model, Challenger, Huntsman, Targetsman, and Match Target. All having the Colt Woodsman designation.

kragluver
July 30, 2009, 07:41 PM
If your woodsman has a grooved backstrap (later model), which based on the S/N you gave I'm guessing it does - then it is okay for high velocity ammo. I have a post-war Woodsman and it is one tack-driving pistol. It is an amazingly accurate little gun. There was a guy that had a website dedicated just to the Woodsman but I can't find it right now. It had a lot of great info on it.

rcmodel
July 30, 2009, 07:48 PM
All 2nd & 3rd gen Woodsmen are hi-speed.

Only the 1st gen guns started out with the checkered oval low-speed housing, which was replaced with the rectangle grooved hi-speed housing prior to WWII.

The 2nd & 3rd. gen guns didn't have either the oval or the rectangle on the housing.

rc

kragluver
July 30, 2009, 07:49 PM
Here's the website I was looking for:

http://www.eskimo.com/~rayburn/woodsman//index.html

Deltaboy
July 30, 2009, 10:25 PM
Sweet I have always wanted to buy one just have not go around to doing it.

cjensen
July 30, 2009, 10:26 PM
My father took ownership of his brothers Woodsman after his brother did not return from WW II. My dad was left handed and his wedding ring made significant marks in the pistol's handgrip. I let my wife buy me a Match Target for $140 on Valentines day after we had been married a few years (she was very surprised when I brought home her thoughtful gift). Later my father passed his brothers Woodsman on to me. My dad died and now I cherish the marks left by his wedding ring. Funny things those Woodsmans, they aren't your regular 22's. Keep it, shoot it, never sell it and give it to someone you love.

stonecoldy
July 30, 2009, 11:04 PM
I appreciate and enjoy reading poster's responses. My son came home from work and spied my new purchase sitting on the coffee table, waiting some wiping down. He asked to look at and handle it, and was immediately impressed. His remark was something along the lines of, "my Ruger SR9 doesn't feel anything like this". I have an idea who I'll give it to, hopefully quite a few years from now.

rcmodel
July 31, 2009, 06:01 PM
Heres mine.

TL = 1st gen 1927 6 5/8" Target
TR = 1st gen 1936 4 1/2" Sport (my favorite)
BL = 3rd gen 1965 6" Targetsman
BR = 3rd gen 1976 4 1/2" Match Target
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/FourWoodsman.jpg

Another view of the Match Target:
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/MatchTarget.jpg

So far, a real good 2nd gen Sport model has escaped my clutches.

rc

Jim K
August 2, 2009, 04:42 PM
Please be careful with those guns, especially of the frame when the slide is off. The frame walls are very thin, and dropping the gun or the frame can easily bend or twist the frame. If the warping is bad enough, correcting it may be difficult. (The Ruger .22 autos are not immune from this, but are a much tougher proposition and a lot harder to harm by dropping.)

Jim

jfrey
August 7, 2009, 01:53 AM
My father-in-law won a match target model woodsman, second generation, back in 1951 for $1.00. He recently sent it to 10-Ring to be checked and repaired. Alex advised him to shoot it very little and keep it in the safe most of the time as parts to repair these guns are almost non-existent. Alex actually had to make some repair part as he couldn't find one.

These are great pistols and shoot very well. Pistols of the first and second generation will fetch 4 figure prices if the finish is still good on them. If you have one or find one in good condition, hang onto it. The price is going up every day on them.

Kingcreek
August 12, 2009, 10:49 AM
I have 2 2nd gen woodsmans, a 6" target like your and a 4" huntsman ('48 and '49). they are superbly made and very accurate with the right ammo. I haven't shot them in a couple years but this gets me to thinking they need to come out this weekend.
congrats on the new purchase!

Landpimp
August 17, 2009, 12:12 PM
I have 4 or 5 of them, my favorite is a 1945 Woodman....was a gift from my septic designer, his dad bought it new, but his mom didnt want anyone in the family to have it. Box and all the stuff....which is worth more than the gun, they gent that has the Woodman site is local, he offered over $500 for the box!

another 1939 that was used to shoot seals/halibit and whatever in Alaska way back in the day, also a gift from friend that handeled their estate when passed

rcmodel
August 17, 2009, 02:49 PM
Might want to do a serial number check on that again.

There were no 1945 Woodsmen, due to WWII.

The Sport & Target model production ended in 1942, and didn't resume again until 1946-47.

The Match Target production ended in 1944 and never resumed after the war.

rc

Landpimp
August 17, 2009, 03:23 PM
its 1945 or 44, I checked....odd I know,might been left over parts from before the war and one of the 1st made after the war

Clermont
August 17, 2009, 03:25 PM
The production of the First Model Colt Match Target Woodsman may have ended in 1944, but was resumed in 1947 with the introduction of the Second Model Colt Match Target Woodsman. Later, in 1955, came the Third Model Colt Match Target Woodsman pistol.

Landpimp
August 17, 2009, 03:32 PM
I will now have to check......and report back ;)

rcmodel
August 17, 2009, 05:16 PM
The production of the First Model Colt Match Target Woodsman may have ended in 1944, but was resumed in 1947 with the introduction of the Second Model Colt Match Target WoodsmanYes, I know.
But the fact remains, it couldn't have been a First Series Match Target made in 1945.
And it couldn't have been a Second Series Match Target made in 1945 either.

rc

Landpimp
August 17, 2009, 08:43 PM
my sport is 155009, which sounds like the batch made in 42 or maybe not

Clermont
August 17, 2009, 09:13 PM
Serial number 155009 indicates 1941 production.

Landpimp
August 17, 2009, 10:02 PM
must have been something in the box or on it that made me think it was latter......or I just plain ole forgot(best bet)

thanks for the clarification :)

ozaudioman
May 6, 2010, 04:50 AM
My question is in regards to serial #. I have a very low serial # starting with 0054xxS. Would that enhance the value at all?

It's in amazing shape...shot maybe 10 time and has been untouched for 30 years.

Thanks for any other nuggets of information

PS...Sorry I didn't realize I was drumming up such an old post.

Clermont
May 6, 2010, 06:20 AM
Here's my woodsman 2 series match T

Ozaudioman, your Woodsman Match Target is third series, not second. Second series have the button magazine release similar to the Colt Government Model. Are you certain about the serial number? Third series Colt Woodsman Match Target pistol serial numbers began well into the 100000 range.

ozaudioman
May 14, 2010, 03:16 AM
Clermont you're right it doesn't have a button release. So, this means it's 3rd series. Well, What do I take from the serial # 005459s

It doesn't have a scratch on it...As I said only probably shot 10 times. Was my grandfathers gun. Grandmother guessed it was bought in the early 50's...I'll go ahead a post a pic of the serial #...I guess it's not a big deal like a car license.

Forget about the title of the post :)

ozaudioman
May 14, 2010, 03:30 AM
i hope you can get a large view of it...What do you think? Would it be worth more with such a low #

ozaudioman
May 14, 2010, 03:36 AM
Clermont you're right it doesn't have a button release. So, this means it's 3rd series. Well, What do I take from the serial # 005459s

It doesn't have a scratch on it...As I said only probably shot 10 times. Was my grandfathers gun. Grandmother guessed it was bought in the early...I'll go ahead a post a pic of the serial #...I guess it's not a big deal like a car license. Look for my post.

Clermont
May 14, 2010, 03:37 AM
I did a little research and found that in 1969, after reaching serial number 241811-S, Colt began a new series of serial numbers for their series of Woodsman pistols beginning with serial number 001001-S and reaching serial number 020101-S by the beginning of 1970. So your Woodsman was produced in 1969. Beginning in 1955 Colt changed from the magazine button release, second series, to the magazine catch on the butt, third series. So, your Woodsman should have the later, third series, type of magazine release.

ozaudioman
May 15, 2010, 01:08 AM
that's some really good research Clermont...thanks for all your help...Any idea what it's worth with the box and all papers?

Clermont
May 15, 2010, 06:11 AM
...Any idea what it's worth with the box and all papers?

I have a new, unfired since leaving the factory in 1968, 6" Colt Woodsman Match Target, in the box with factory target, all the papers and warranty card, Colt screwdriver and extra magazine. The pistol is perfect and cannot be improved upon although the cardboard box, after forty two years, has some wear. From the selling prices I've seen, over the years, I believe a reasonable value on my Match Target would be in the $800-$1,000 range.

ozaudioman
May 16, 2010, 07:54 PM
thanks...I know they're nice guns. Good to know!

gtsrig
May 24, 2010, 12:06 AM
Here's one that my father in law (before his passing) gave to one of my sons. Still very accurate, never fails to fire. Serial #1071xx


http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk192/gtsrig/Weapons/IMG_0675.jpg

Clermont
May 24, 2010, 07:22 AM
Here's one that my father in law (before his passing) gave to one of my sons. Still very accurate, never fails to fire. Serial #1071xx
This Colt Woodsman Target Model was manufactured in 1937. The only difference between the Target Model and the Sport Model, which was also being produced, is the Target Model has a 6-1/2" barrel and the Sport Model has a 4-1/2" barrel.

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