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Does any manufacturer make a new Colt Woodsman?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Hugo, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Hugo

    Hugo Member

    May 6, 2003
    I just leaned through Wikipedia that John Browning also invented and patented the Colt Woodsman. Since the design is about as old as the 1911, and also the patent is just as expired, why doesnt some manufacturer make copies of this well respected and desired pistol? I would imagine Taurus (hint, hint :) ) or someone would make it since it's a .22lr and could easily also be made in .22 WMR and .17 too. Fun and cheap target practice. No R&D just make the casting molds. Come on firearms makers, dig into the public domain of firearms! Anyone else have designs they want to come back?
  2. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Participating Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    Well Hugo, I hate to be the turd in the punchbowl but they're casting "patterns" and not molds, and the Woodsman is mostly machined and not cast.

    With that said, most manufacturers already have a comparable pistol. The Ruger MKIII, Browning Buckmark, and the S&W Model 22 are all fairly successful blowback operated .22 LR pistols in their own right so these aforementioned mainstream manufacturers don't need to copy Colt.

    From a marketing standpoint Colt is totally clueless otherwise they'd jump back on this bandwagon.

    As far as off-brand stuff like Taurus or Norinco - I suspect that they view the .22 semi-auto pistol market as being too competitive to enter. After all, you can get a Ruger MKIII for under $300.

    The Woodsman requires some pretty tight tolerances to function properly. If Taurus or someone else were to make a decent quality Woodsman copy, they'd be hard pressed to compete with the likes of a Ruger MKIII. The only reason someone would buy a Woodsman over those other pistols is for sentimental or aesthetic reasons (like the ones you mentioned). That's not going to be enough for a company to invest the $$$ necessary to develop a new product.

    Just my opinion.
  3. Dienekes

    Dienekes Participating Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Actually there have been a couple of Woodsman clones in the last few years. I believe it was Iver Johnson who had one out, and Norinco had one for a while. For all I know Norinco made them for IJ, but that is only a guess. Think I saw an IJ but have never seen a Norinco; don't think that either is on the market at the moment.

    As mentioned, the Woodsman is a precison piece of work and very much a traditionally made gun. Reintroduction would be nice and probably well accepted, but they would be fairly pricey. I have a 1941 production one and it is as well made as any gun I own--and better than most.

    The lower priced and later ones, especially with fixed sights, are still out there and relatively affordable for what they are. A guy could do worse, especially if he was going to get 30-40 years of enjoyment out of it.
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    There was a South American copy of Woodsman, the Gaucho, I think. Not a real fine pistol.

    You have to bear in mind, Colt quit making the Woodsman because the guns were no longer competitive in NRA Smallbore. High Standard, S&W, Ruger, and imports were winning the matches and Colt's market was way off at the time. I guess they could bring it back as an expensive nostalgia piece like SAA but they may not even have kept the tooling and the experienced fitters are long retired.
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Like the 1911 platform, the Woodsman was a fine pistol, but expensive to make if the job was done right, and next to worthless is it was done wrong. For a close substitute look at Browning's line of Benchmark .22 pistols.
  6. runninmike

    runninmike New Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    You can also find many comparable excellant used Hi Standard pistols for less $ than a clean used woodsman. Check gunsamerica.com ....they have close to a couple hundred to choose from usually, also Iver, etc..
  7. SDC

    SDC Senior Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    People's Republic of Canada
  8. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    The best Woodsman pistols were competitive with High Standards through the 1950s, but High Standard moved on—for awhile, anyway—whereas Colt didn't. The average Woodsman was just a plinker, not a match pistol.

    Today, it would probably cost three times as much to manufacture as the Ruger, and wouldn't deliver an edge in accuracy, reliability, or ruggedness. I doubt Colt could produce a Woodsman at all, still less one worthy of the name.

    They're available at gun shows and on the aution sites; finding a good one at a reasonable price, however, isn't easy. I've been looking for quite a few years now without success.
  9. ASM826

    ASM826 New Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    North Carolina USA
    Buy a used one

    You might not want to shoot National Match with it, but I have a well used Colt Woodsman, and it is the most accurate handgun I own. No need for a clone.


    That one is $450.00. Not a huge sum for a well made gun.

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