SOLD FOR: $3526
Model: Woodsman Match Target 1st Series
Serial Number: MT297
Year of Manufacture: 1938 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup), 1st Year Production
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “COLT”, “AUTOMATIC / CAL. 22 LONG RIFLE” and with a Rampant Colt logo. The left side of the frame is marked “THE WOODSMAN” and the left barrel flat is marked with a “MATCH / TARGET” with a large bullseye in the center. The top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. / PAT. DES. 110,887”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with “P” and a “VP” inside a triangle. The right front of the trigger guard is marked “25” and the bottom of the grip frame on the left side is marked “MT297”. The interior of the slide is marked “297” and “W”.
Barrel Length: The flat sided barrel tapers towards the front and is 6 5/8” in length.
Sights / Optics: This pistol is mounted with a flat topped square notch rear sight adjustable for windage and elevation and dovetailed into the slide. The front sight is a Patridge style blade that is pinned into a slotted base fixed to the top of the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a one-piece checkered walnut that wraps around the front strap and has “elephant ears” with extend below the bottom of the grip frame on each side. There are Rampant Colt medallions at the tops of the grip on each side. The grip has a few scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches with a bruise at the left edge of the front-center checkered diamond and a small but deeper nick above the front mounting screw escutcheon. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering shows light wear without mars. The grip rates in about Fine Plus overall condition.
Type of Finish: The pistol is blued with a matte finish on the top of the barrel and slide.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 97% of its metal finish. There is some thinning and a few spots of minor erosion on the edges at the muzzle. There are a couple of spots of oxidation on the sights. There are a few other scattered minor marks. The action shows minor operational wear. The slide serrations are sharp. The grip screws are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide does not lock back on an empty magazine but the manual safety can be used to lock the slide back for cleaning. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one 10 round magazine. The magazine is blued with the top ¾” left “In The White”. The magazine floorplate is marked “COLT WOODSMAN / CAL. 22 L.R. / MATCH TARGET MOD.”. The magazine shows light operational wear with intact feed lips and a strong spring. It is in about Fine condition.
Our Assessment: This is a Colt Woodsman 1st Series Match Target “Bullseye” Model pistol, made in the first year this model was produced, 1938. It has a flat sided barrel that tapers towards the muzzle, adjustable sights and the bottom of the grip frame mounted magazine release characteristic of the 1st Series (The Colt Woodsman pistols changed the location of the magazine release from the butt to the left side of the frame and then back to the butt for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Series – We guess they were going to keep changing it until they got it right). John M. Browning designed “Colt’s Automatic Pistol, Caliber .22”, later to become the Woodsman, with the design refined slightly by Colt employees George Tansley and F.C. Chadwick before it was released in 1915. The Woodsman stayed in production until 1977. Sportsmen favored the 4 ½” Sport Model, but the Match Target was the top of the line and a favorite of bullseye target competitors. The pistol is in about Excellent overall condition with about 97% of its original finish remaining. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. Target pistols of this quality are no longer made in the United States and will command a premium over most “new” currently manufactured pistols except those used for high-end competition. If you are looking for a rimfire target pistol, this is still a better choice than most “NEW” pistols on the market today, but since this is one of the more rare pre-WWII models, the Colt collectors are likely to price this pistol out of reach of most shooters. Please see our photos and good luck!