SOLD FOR: $1102
Model: Automatic Pistol, Caliber .22 (pre-Woodsman)
Serial Number: 18168
Year of Manufacture: 1920 (https://www.colt.com/serial-lookup)
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle (the checkered backstrap indicates that high velocity ammunition should NOT be used in this pistol)
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 top of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CT. U.S.A. / PATENTED DEC 22, 1903 AUG. 27, 1918. SEPT. 3. 1918.”. The left of the trigger guard is marked “W” and with “VP” in a triangle. The front strap is marked “18168”, marked again on the bottom of the slide.
Barrel Length: 6 5/8″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade pinned to a slotted base fixed to the front of the barrel, adjustable for elevation. The rear sight is a “U”-notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide, adjustable for windage.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered walnut with smooth diamonds around the grip screw escutcheons. The grips have light handling wear with a few spots of slightly compressed checkers. The checkering is well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
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 90% of its current metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The barrel has light wear at the muzzle on each side and some scattered minor marks along the sides. The frame has some scattered light wear, most notable at spots on the right above the trigger, the rear below the slide and the backstrap near the bottom, with a few scattered light nicks and scratches. The slide has a few light nicks and scratches, mostly on the top. The pistol has scattered spots of minor surface oxidation. The action shows light operational wear. The screw head is lightly tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide is not designed to lock back on an empty magazine but the safety can be used to hold the slide open 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 has light operational wear, some minor surface oxidation, intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: 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 with four distinct models. This example is a pre-Woodsman, made in 1920 before the Woodsman model designation was officially adopted. This also means that the pistol was produced before High Velocity .22 LR ammunition was as common as it is today, and this pistol is configured for use with Standard Velocity ammunition. The pistol is in Very Good-plus overall condition with about 90% of its original blued finish remaining. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion so it ought to make for a great shooter. The pre-Woodsman Models are also very collectable and we would expect this one to be no different. The fit and finish on these pistols is better than on many guns made today, enhancing their collectability. Please see our photos and good luck!