Posted July 1, 2020 6:00 am by Comments

By Taylor Thorne

The Colt Woodsman is credited as the first successful rimfire .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol. The Woodsman enjoys a rich history as a true American icon. Designed by John Moses Browning, the design was sold to Colt who produced it from 1915 to 1977.
The Woodsman comes in several different editions — the Pre-Woodsman, First Series, Second Series, and Third Series. The Woodsman I’m reviewing is a circa-1942 Match Target model that places this gem in the First Series.
Colt Woodsman Specs
This Colt Woodsman is over 70 years old but still shoots great. (Photo: Taylor Thorne/
What makes the Match Target special is the long 6.5- or 8-inch bull barrel and adjustable front and rear sights. It is pretty hefty, weighing in at 30-ounces.
Colt stopped manufacturing this particular pistol due to high production costs and looking at it you can see why. The Woodsman is extensively hand-fitted. Even after eight decades, everything moves like the day it rolled out of the shop.
The grip has a unique shape, allowing hands to melt right into it. Unfortunately, this also means lefties will need another grip. A signifier of its age is the heel-based mag release, accompanied by an original, single 10-round magazine.
Shooting the Colt Woodsman
How does this


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