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Colt Woodsman February handgun of the month
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 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 03:06 PM
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WildBill



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Colt Woodsman

There are three series of Woodsman pistols, corresponding to three basic frame designs. First Series refers to all those built on the S frame as it existed prior to and during World War Two. Second Series includes all versions built on the second S frame design from late 1947 until mid 1955, and Third Series means the third S frame design as used from 1955 to the end of regular production in 1977.

First Series (1915-1947)
The first series Woodsman can be easily recognized by its distinctive profile, which resembles the German Luger in the rakish grip angle. The serial number also provides a sure means of identification, since only the first series has no alphabetical suffix.

Second Series (1947-1955)
The Second Series Woodsmans are the only models that have a push button magazine release, as on the Government Model 45. All post-WWII type Woodsmans, both Second and Third Series, have an S suffix to the serial number. Although it is part of the Second Series, the Challenger model, unlike the Woodsman, has a spring catch at the butt and a C suffix to the serial number.

Third Series (1955-1977)
All post-WWII type Woodsmans, both Second and Third Series, have an S suffix to the serial number. All Third Series guns have the magazine release on the butt, in the same location as the First Series. The Huntsman (third series) replaced the nearly identical Challenger (second series) when the third series was introduced in 1955. The Targetsman, basically a slightly upgraded Huntsman, was added to the line in 1959. The Huntsman and Targetsman continued with the Challenger serial numbers (-C suffix) until 1969, when the serial numbers of all S frame models then in production: the Woodsman Sport, Woodsman Target, Woodsman Match Target, Huntsman, and Targetsman were integrated and restarted at 001001S. 98,999 guns later that would cause problems when the serial numbers rolled over from 099999S to 100000S and began repeating serial numbers already used years earlier, until the error was discovered. Nowadays those zero prefixes confuse many Woodsman owners who ignore the zeroes and think they have an early, low serial number gun.

Each series had a Sport Model with a 4-1/2 inch round barrel, a Target Model with a 6 or 6-5/8 inch round barrel, and a Match Target Model with a heavy, flat sided barrel. For the first series Match Target that flat sided barrel was 6-5/8 inches in length, while in the post war versions it was either 4-1/2 or 6 inches.

Woodsmans made prior to 1933 were designed for standard velocity .22 LR. Those made after 1933 were all designed for high velocity .22 LR, with a stronger recoil spring and a case hardened mainspring housing, which is the part that takes the brunt of the recoil. The transition took place in the early part of 1933. They all will handle standard velocity ammo, which is what all target .22 LR is to this day.




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 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 07:55 PM
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hoashooter
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Be still my heart:bow::bow: THE holy grail of 22 autos:thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:



 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 08:05 PM
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bea175



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I love the Woodsman have owned more than 20 of them since the 1970's. My present Woodsman is the 4 inch Sports Model  3rd edition. I sent it to Robar Company and had them apply their NP-3 finish to the pistol and replace the front sight with a Gold Bead. Since i'm Left Handed i ground off the thump rest and refinished the grips with seven or eight coats of Tru-Oil. The Woodmans is the pistol i carry with me on most of my hunts . I wish Colt still made them . :thumbs:






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 Posted: Wed Feb 7th, 2007 03:00 AM
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Charley



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I've got a second model Match Target, in box with test target that came from my father in law. It's almost too pretty to shoot, and spends an awful lot of time in the safe.

I was also given an Iver Johnson copy with no finsh, and missing a bunch of parts. Managed to clean it up and make it a shooter.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 7th, 2007 01:40 PM
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billt
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This is mine. Purchased new back in 1973. It has never given me a problem.  Bill T.



 Posted: Thu Feb 8th, 2007 02:04 AM
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Charley



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Here's the Colt. Box is marked "3/31/51" and "$85".

Attachment: DSCF0003.JPG (Downloaded 81 times)



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 Posted: Thu Feb 8th, 2007 02:06 AM
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Charley



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The factory target, box, and brochure:

Attachment: DSCF0004.JPG (Downloaded 80 times)



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"The fact that guns can kill another human being is the whole point. That's why they are so darn good at deterring violent criminals". Ann Coulter


 Posted: Thu Feb 8th, 2007 02:11 AM
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Charley



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The Woodsman's poor relative, the Iver Johnson copy. When I was given it, it had no finish, lots of pitting,  and was missing the rear sight, grips, and magazine. Cleaned it up, replaced/repaired parts, and now it is as good a shooter as a genuine Colt. Somehow, the Owl just doesn't have the panache of the Horsey, though.

Attachment: DSCF0006.JPG (Downloaded 81 times)



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"The fact that guns can kill another human being is the whole point. That's why they are so darn good at deterring violent criminals". Ann Coulter


 Posted: Thu Feb 8th, 2007 02:13 AM
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bea175



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Charley wrote: I've got a second model Match Target, in box with test target  It's almost too pretty to shoot,

 

It's not that pretty , i would shoot the crap out of it. You will just die and leave it for someone else to shoot.:shameon:



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 Posted: Thu Feb 8th, 2007 02:18 AM
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Charley



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Didn't say it WAS too pretty to shoot! Said "almost" too pretty to shoot. I doubt more than a box of cartridges went thru it before I got it. It's been a few bricks since then.  I haven't shot it lately, guess I need to re-aquaint myself with the old girl.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2009 09:13 PM
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Chubbo
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Hi, Charly:

I also have the same 4" flat side Woodsman Match Target that you show.  I can't post pictures of the whole pistol , box, papers, etc.  as I am in Florida for the winter, and don't have pictures available. Here is a picture of it and the holster. My Woodsman also has the original box, papers, test target, original bill of sale, screw driver, two sizes of the hand fillers that screw on to the back strap, The Lawrence holster with extra clip pouch, that I purchased when I bought the gun in Dec. 1950. I have used this pistol regularly every since. It must have had five bushels of .22 cartridges shot through it and runs just as id did in 1950, when new. I have just about decided to keep it.

Chubbo

 

Last edited on Sun Apr 12th, 2009 09:27 PM by Chubbo



 Posted: Sun Apr 12th, 2009 10:44 PM
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Chubbo
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Here is another Woodsman a 6" made in 1948. It also has the Lawrence spare clip holster, and one of the palm fillers.

Chubbo




 Posted: Mon May 4th, 2009 01:40 AM
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miestro_jerry
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I had two colt 22s. A Woodsman and a Huntsman, both pre WWII. Both were excellent pistols for the range or in the field.

Due to suddenly getting an ex wife, I had to part with both, and my Triumph.

Jerry



 Posted: Mon May 4th, 2009 12:41 PM
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bea175



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That had to suck



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 Posted: Mon May 4th, 2009 01:16 PM
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miestro_jerry
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It did and she didn't.

Jerry



 Posted: Mon May 4th, 2009 04:59 PM
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Chubbo
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:rolleyes:Hey, Miestro_Jerry:

I could overlook parting with the Wife, and the Colts, but parting with the Triumph is inexcusable. Naw, just kidding, I just gave my son my 1970 Bonneville, that I bought new.

Chubbo



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