SOLD FOR: $1243
Model: Woodsman Match Target 3rd Series
Serial Number: 185261-S
Year of Manufacture: 1959 (https://colt.com/serial-lookup)
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”. The left side of the frame is marked with a rampant colt over “MATCH TARGET” between the slide and barrel. The left of the barrel is marked “COLT’S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A.”. The right of the frame is marked “185261-S” over the trigger. The right of the trigger guard is marked “G”, the left is marked “Y” and “VP” in triangle.
Barrel Length: 6″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade pinned to a serrated, ramped base fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a square notch adjustable for windage and elevation in a base pinned to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are two-piece checkered black plastic with thumb rest on the left panel as for a right-handed shooter and a rampant colt in circle molded into the right panel. The grips have minor handling wear, most notable is a small nick on the right panel in front of the rampant colt. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The checkering is sharp. There are no chips or cracks. The grips are in Fine-Excellent 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 95% of its metal finish. The balance is mostly in scattered spots of surface oxidation. There are a few spots of surface erosion, most notable on the right of the frame near the front edge and on the left of the barrel at the muzzle-edge. There is surface oxidation on the breech-face and the face of the slide. The action shows faint operational wear. The screw head is sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good-Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The slide locks back on an empty magazine. The manual safety can be used to lock the slide forward. 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 in a two-piece faux-wood cardboard Colt box with model matching label and the serial number hand-written on the bottom of the tray. Included in the box is wax paper, an assortment of factory paperwork including a serial-matching test target and the original packing list when shipped from Colt in 1959. A single 10-round magazine is included. The box has scattered light storage wear, mostly at edges and corners, with a tear at one corner of the tray portion. The magazine has some light oxidation on the floorplate, faint operational wear, intact feed lips and a strong spring.
Our Assessment: This is a Colt Woodsman 3rd Series Match Target pistol, made in 1959. It has a 6″ fluted slab-side barrel with full-length lug, adjustable sights and a claw magazine release characteristic of the 1st and 3rd 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, respectively). 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 and the Woodsman stayed in production until 1977. Sportsmen favored the 4 ½” Sport Model, but the 6″ barrel with adjustable sights was more popular with target shooters and the Match Target was the top of the line. The pistol is in Very Good-Fine overall condition with about 95% of its original finish remaining. The pistol appears to have seen limited use and spent more time in its box than out, with most of the balance of the finish being infrequent oxidation on the exposed surfaces. 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 as with with most Colts, they are now quite collectible. Whether you’re looking for a shooter or an addition to a collection, this is a nice pony to add to any stable, especially with its original box, Colt shipping document and test-target. Please see our photos and good luck!