1st Series COLT Woodsman Match Target .22 LR Semi-Automatic Pistol 1939 C&R

SOLD FOR: $1747

LSB#: 211020JR04

Make: Colt

Model: First Model Match Target Woodsman

Serial Number: MT6516

Year of Manufacture: 1939

Caliber: .22 Long Rifle

Action Type: Single Action Semi-Automatic Pistol with Removable Magazine

Markings: Markings have gold fill. 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 “MT6516”. The interior of the slide is serial-matching, marked “6516”. The bottom of the magazine floorplate is marked “COLT WOODSMAN / CAL .22 L.R. / MATCH TARGET MOD.”.

Barrel Length: 6 5/8”.

Sights/Optics: The front sight is a Patridge style blade that is pinned into a slotted base fixed to the top of the barrel. This pistol is mounted with a flat topped square notch rear sight adjustable for windage and elevation and dovetailed into the slide.

Stock Configuration and Condition: The grip is a one-piece checkered walnut that wraps around the front strap and has “elephant ears” which obscures the frontstrap completely and extends below the bottom of the grip frame on each side. There are Rampant Colt medallions inset at the top of the grip on each side. Smooth areas have a few minor nicks and compressions, while the checkered areas do have a few light handling marks and dark stains. On the front of the grip near the guard, there is a small crack. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips. Overall, the grip rates in Fine 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 well-defined. There is no erosion.

Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 94% of its metal finish. Matte surfaces have intermittent minor scuffs; at the back of the slide there are a few more notable nicks through the finish and one more notable ding. Right slide flat has a cluster of moderate nicks/toolmarks forward of the serrations. Edges of the slide have minor thinning and intermittent minor nicks. There are several nicks from operation of the safety just forward of the slide stop notch. Barrel assembly has light thinning on most edges and one more notable spot of surface oxidation on the left side over the marking. The receiver/main frame has scattered minor nicks and a few spots of minor surface oxidation. The grip screws are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in Fine 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, thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: This pistol comes with one 10 round magazine.

Our Assessment: This is a Colt Woodsman 1st Series Match Target “Bullseye” Model pistol, made in the second year this model was produced, 1939. It has a flat sided barrel that tapers towards the muzzle, adjustable sights and the bottom of the grip frame-mounted magazine release, which is characteristic of the 1st Series (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 surmise 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 often favored the 4 1/2” Sport Model, but the Match Target was the king, and a favorite of bullseye target competitors. The pistol rates in Fine overall condition with about 94% of its original finish remaining. Finish wear present stems largely from consistent use, not from a lack of care. The previous owner doubtlessly loved to shoot this pistol, and it shows. The bore is rather bright with well-defined rifling and not a hint of 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 truly 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 competition models, Colt collectors are sure to make securing this example a competition all its own. Good luck and happy bidding!

1st Series COLT Woodsman Match Target .22 LR Semi-Automatic Pistol 1939 C&R
1st Series COLT Woodsman Match Target .22 LR Semi-Automatic Pistol 1939 C&R