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



American Rifleman - October 2016

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
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 8
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 9
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 10
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 11
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 12
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 13
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 14
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 15
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 16
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 17
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 18
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 19
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 20
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 21
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 22
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 23
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 24
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 25
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 26
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 27
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 28
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 29
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 30
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 31
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 32
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 33
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 34
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 35
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 36
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 37
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 38
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 39
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 40
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 41
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 42
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 43
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 44
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 45
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 46
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 47
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 48
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 49
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 50
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 51
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 52
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 53
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 54
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 55
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 56
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 57
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 58
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 59
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 60
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 61
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 62
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 63
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 64
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 65
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 66
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 67
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 68
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 69
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 70
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 71
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 72
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 73
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 74
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 75
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 76
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 77
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 78
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 79
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 80
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 81
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 82
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 83
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 84
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 85
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 86
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 87
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 88
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 89
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 90
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 91
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 92
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 93
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 94
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 95
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 96
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 97
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
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 100
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 101
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 102
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 103
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 104
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 105
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 106
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 107
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 108
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 109
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 110
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 111
American Rifleman - October 2016 - 112
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