World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Colt Woodsman


Colt Woodsman

Colt Woodsman
An early first series Colt Woodsman pistol and magazine.
An early first series Colt Woodsman pistol and magazine.
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Designer John Browning
Manufacturer Colt's Manufacturing Company
Produced 1915–1977
Weight Approx: 1.875 Lbs
Barrel length 4.5, 6, or 6.625 inches.

Cartridge .22 Long Rifle
Action Semi-automatic

The Colt Woodsman is a semi-automatic sporting pistol manufactured by the American Colt's Manufacturing Company from 1915 to 1977. It was designed by John Moses Browning. The frame design changed over time, in three distinct series: series one being 1915–1947, series two 1947–1955, and series three being 1955–1977.


  • Design 1
  • Variants and versions 2
    • First Series 1915-1941 2.1
    • Second Series 1947-1955 2.2
    • Third Series 1955-1977 2.3
  • Ernest Hemingway 3
  • Notes 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
    • Cited in footnotes 6.1
  • External links 7


The Colt Woodsman sprang from a design by John Moses Browning and was refined by gunsmiths and designers at Colt's before its introduction in 1915.[1]

Without the constraints of the US Government interfering with his design, Browning developed the Woodsman with a short slide, no grip safety and no hammer. These features were in place on his Model 1903 and 1911 designs, but a handgun for the civilian market did not require them.[2]

Variants and versions

There are three series of the Colt Woodsman and each series had three models: Target, Sport and Match Target.[1]

First Series 1915-1941

The Target Model was the base model of the Woodsman and featured a 6" barrel with adjustable front and rear sights.[1]

The Sport Model was designed as a field sidearm for hiking and camping in 1933 and had a 4.5" barrel. Original versions were made with a fixed front sight in the first series, but by the latter half of production, an adjustable sight was available.[1]

The Match Target Model debuted in 1938 and featured a heavier barrel with a one piece wrap-around grip kniown as the "elephant ear". A"Bullseye" Icon was rollmarked into the slide lending the nickname "Bullseye Match Target".[1]

In 1941 as the US entered World War 2, Colt ceased civilian production of the Woodsman but delivered 4000 Match Target models to the US Government as late as 1945. These pistols had a plastic one piece grip and were marked "Property US Government", but appeared on the surplus market after the war.[2]

Second Series 1947-1955

Colt resumed production of the Woodsman in 1947. The three Models remained the same, but were built on a longer heavier frame and had a magazine safety, automatic slide stop and magazine release located at the rear of the trigger guard.[1]

Special versions were made for the United States Marine Corps (100 Match Target Models and 2500 Sport Models); United States Air Force (925 Target Models) and 75 Match Target Models for the United States Coast Guard. 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.[1]

Third Series 1955-1977

Colt changed the design of the Woodsman in 1955. The three Models remained the same, but the markings, grips and sights underwent slight changes. The most significant was relocating the magazine release from the rear of the trigger guard to the heel of the grip as on the first series.[1]

Ernest Hemingway


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Rayburn, Bob (2007). Rick Sapp, ed. Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media, Inc. pp. 171–179.  
  2. ^ a b Miller, David (2006). The History of Browning Firearms. Lyons Press. pp. 50–52.  
  3. ^ Hemingway, 1938, p. 189

See also


Cited in footnotes

  • Hemingway, Ernest. 1938. My Pal the Gorilla Gargantua in Hemingway on Hunting ed. Sean Hemingway. The Lyons Press, Connecticut. p. 189 Originally published in Ken Magazine, July 28, 1938

External links

  • Collector's Guide to the Colt Woodsman
  • Background information
  • Colt Woodsman FAQ
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from iCloud eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.