American Rifleman - October 2016 - 86

WOODSMAN removable slide that held the mainspring housing, striker-style firing pin and a spring-loaded extractor. The pistol was fed from a singlestack, 10-shot-capacity magazine that was inserted into the pistol grip and held there by a European-style heel release. While it was unlike Browning to do this, considering that he had already designed several semiautomatic pistols with push-button magazine releases, including Colt's M1911, it did make the gun bilateral and easy to load or unload while wearing gloves. The trigger guard was also large enough to accommodate a gloved finger if needed. Since the gun was promoted as a sidearm for farmers, ranchers and woodsmen, these were welcomed features. A drift-adjustable rear sight and elevation-adjustable front sight was inlet directly into the gun. With a long sight radius over the 65⁄8" thin barrel, these sights helped make the gun exceptionally accurate. A thin trigger with very short travel reduced the possibility of an inexperienced shooter jerking it, which also helped with accuracy. Checkered walnut stocks covered an angled grip frame similar to the one found on Luger's Parabellum pistol-popular among both military and target shooters at the time. Overall length was 10½" and total weight with a loaded magazine was less than 2 lbs. Browning presented his gun to Colt, which received it enthusiastically and sold it as the simply titled "Colt .22 Automatic Pistol" starting in 1915. Over the course of its production history, three series of the Colt Woodsman evolved, with each offering three different models-Target, Sport and Match Target, which corresponded to three basic frame designs. Originally, the Sport Model had a 4½" round barrel, the Target Model had a 65⁄8" round barrel and the Match Target Model featured a heavy, flat-sided 65⁄8" barrel. In the post-war versions the barrel lengths were either 4½" or 6". First Series (1915-1947) refers to all the pistols built on the S-frame as it existed prior to and during World War II. The Target Model was the base model of the Woodsman and featured a 65⁄8" barrel with a step-down shoulder at the rear of the straight, no-taper "pencil barrel." The sights were adjustable, both front and rear. In 1927, the "Woodsman" name was added to the model with the pistols made prior to that referred to as "pre-Woodsmans." The Sport Model was introduced in 1933, featuring a 4½" barrel and designed as a field sidearm for hiking and camping activities. The Match Target Model made its debut in 1938 and featured a heavier barrel with a one-piece wrap-around grip known as the "elephant ear." A "Bullseye" icon was roll-marked into the slide, and the gun was nicknamed the "Bullseye Match Target." In 1941, as the United States entered World War II, Colt ceased civilian production of the Woodsman, having sold an estimated 690,000 of the pistols in three different variants by then. But, as late as 1945, delivering 4,000 Match Target models to the U.S. government marked with a government cartouche and U.S. markings, they served for decades before they were passed along to the surplus market. Second Series (1947-1955) Woodsmans include all versions built on the second S-frame design. Colt resumed production of the Woodsman in 1947 with three models remaining similar, but built on a longer, heavier frame and incorporating a magazine safety, automatic slide-stop and pushbutton magazine release located at the rear of the trigger guard. Special versions were made for the U.S. Marine Corps (100 Match Target Models and 2,500 Sport Models); U.S. Air Force (925 Target Models); and U.S. Coast Guard (75 Match Target Models). The Air Force models had no special markings, and most were sold as surplus through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship Program. The bulk of the Marine and Coast Guard versions were destroyed and sold as scrap metal. Third Series (1955-1977) refers to the Woodsman's third S-frame design change. The three models again remained similar, but the markings, grips and sights underwent slight changes. The most significant change was relocating the magazine release from the rear of the trigger guard back to the heel of the grip as on the First Series. In 1960, walnut stocks with a thumb rest became optional, in place of the standard black plastic stocks. Three very similar economy models were produced during this time, which included the Challenger, the Huntsman and the Targetsman models, equipped with fixed sights. During its six-decade production, Colt's Woodsman set the bar high with many brands following its lead. Had The original Bechuanaland Protectorate (present-day Botswana) Arms Certificate gives the serial number of Harry Selby's Third Series Woodsman as 198984-5, but the suffix is actually an "S" not a "5." 86 OCTOBER 2016 AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - October 2016

Contents
American Rifleman - October 2016 - Cover1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - Cover2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - Contents
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 3
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 4
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 5
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 6
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 7
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American Rifleman - October 2016 - C1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - C2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - E1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - E2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - MW1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - MW2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - S1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - S2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - SW1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - SW2
American Rifleman - October 2016 - W1
American Rifleman - October 2016 - W2
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