Sold For: $2,030
Model: Woodsman 1st Series Target Model
Serial Number: 146608
Year of Manufacture: 1941
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic 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 at the chamber is marked “THE WOODSMAN”. The top of the barrel is marked “Colt’s PT. F.A. Mfg. Co. Hartford, Ct. U.S.A. / Pat’d Dec. 22, 1903. Aug. 27, 1918. Sept. 3, 1918.” The front strap is marked “146608”. The left front of the trigger guard is marked with a “T” and a “VP” inside a triangle. The right front of the trigger guard is marked “23”.
Barrel Length: 6 5/8”
Sights / Optics: This pistol is mounted with a flat topped square notch rear sight dovetailed into the slide with fine adjustment for windage. The front sight is a Patridge type that is pinned into a slotted base atop the barrel and is adjustable for elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut. The checkering is sharp and without mars. The grips are in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: The pistol is blued. The web area at the top of the backstrap is serrated.
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is deep. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 98% of its metal finish. There is thinning on the front edges of the barrel and slide and the edge of the safety. The barrel shows a couple of light marks and there are few light marks on the front strap and backstrap. There are a several tiny spots of frosting on the barrel. The slide serrations and the safety checkering are sharp, with thinning on the edge of the safety. The grip screw is sharp. Overall, this pistol rates in about Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide is tight to the frame. The pistol has a manual safety on the left side of the frame that can be used to lock the slide back for cleaning but it should be noted that the slide on this model does not lock back automatically on an empty magazine – Colt never changed the magazine to allow for this. We did not fire this pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one 10-round magazine, the original box and an instruction sheet. The magazine is blued and its floorplate is marked “COLT WOODSMAN / Cal. 22 L.R.” The magazine shows minimal wear and the floorplate shows light marks with surface loss on the back from the magazine release. It is in about Excellent condition. The box is cardboard with a black vinyl looking finish, a section of which is attached to the back of the box to serve as a hinge for the lid and bottom piece. There are two labels on one end of the box. One is marked “Target Patridge Sight” and the other is marked with the make, model and caliber of this pistol. The box shows handling marks with fraying on the edges showing the cardboard underneath. The outer covering of the hinge is separated for the length of the hinge, leaving the lid attached by the inner cloth-like material. The top edge of the bottom piece is frayed in spots and the inside shows spots of wear from the sights and magazine. The box is in Fair condition. The instruction sheet is printed on heavy paper with a wax or plastic-like finish. It shows yellowing with age, but is intact with no tears for frayed corners. It is in about Fine condition.
Our Assessment: This pistol is in outstanding condition for being over 70 years old. The Colt Woodsman was made in three different series starting in 1927 and ending about 50 years later. Of note is the fact that Colt changed the magazine release from the bottom (1st Series) to the left side (2nd Series) and then back again to the bottom in the 3rd series. We guess they were going to keep changing it until they felt they got it right. This First Series Woodsman is the target model with 6 5/8” with a rear sight that is adjustable for windage and a front sight that is adjustable for elevation. It was made in 1941 after Colt changed the design to accommodate modern high velocity ammunition. It is in about Excellent condition with 98% of its original finish remaining. The remainder shows light thinning on the edges of front edges of the barrel and slide and a few tiny marks on the backstrap and front strap. The pistol balances well in the hand and will make someone a very nice vintage pistol if they can outbid the collectors. First Series Woodsman pistols in this condition aren’t found every day and the addition of the original box and instruction sheet just add to its collectability. Target pistols of this quality are no longer made in the United States and will command a premium over most currently manufactured pistols except those used for high end competition.