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Colt Woodsman 3rd Series Match
Target Pistols Review

Colt produced 3 different series of Colt Woodsman .22 auto pistols from 1915 to 1977. Coltís 3rd Series Woodman production began in 1955 and ended with the pistols retirement in 1977. Although Colt manufactured the Woodsman in Sport, Target and Match Target versions with barrel lengths of 4 ĹĒ to 6 5/8Ē, this review focuses on the 3rd Series Match Target Model with 6Ē barrel. On with the review...

The Good

Colt Woodsman
  • Balanced: The Match Target Pistols were designed for the serious target pistolero . To that end, Colt designed several features into the pistol that gives it an edge over the base models. The first worth mentioning is the full length lugged barrel. This adds balance to the entire frame of the pistol and that translates into a less fatiguing grip. It does add weight to the overall gun, but the additional weight absorbs any recoil and keeps your sights on target.
  • Sights: Colt utilized third party sight manufacturers to provide the Match Target with an appropriate sight picture. One of these companies was Eliason, and their hardware is installed on our review pistol. The sight is a standard front blade, rear notch configuration. However, itís a wide notch, which provides quicker sight alignment. In a nutshell, itís solid and easy on the eyes. The rear sight is fully adjustable for both drift and height.
  • Accurate, Reliable and Well Built: As previously mentioned, its little wonder that the Colt Woodsman is considered an accurate pistol with its 6Ē lugged and weighted barrel. Add to that a factory trigger pull of around 4 lbs, and the ability to digest any type of .22 ammo due to its short rear slide, and you have a winning combination.

The Bad

  • Magazine Release: I can think of only 2 issues of design with these Colt pistols. One is probably nit picky, but I just donít care for the bottom grip magazine release. Itís clunky and a bit awkward. Itís certainly not up to par with a combat style handgun. As with true target pistols, it requires more hand movement to release and insert magazines. In addition to its location, the release is a detent design and requires more effort to manipulate. Itís not as quick a process as a spring, frame side mounted button release.
  • Takedown: Without a Colt handguns manualÖ.good luck. The Colt Woodsman handguns are no where as easy to break down as say a 1911, another Colt design. However, you will not need to perform a complete tear-down often. Basic cleaning can be done without extensive disassembly.

The Ugly

  • This is a sleek, graceful appearing pistol. Nothing fancy, but everything functional. Simply put, itís just one sexy looking handgun.

Overall Rating

  • 4.5 out of 5


Although itís been 32 years since Colt ceased production of the Woodsman, these Colt pistols have no problem going head to head with more modern designs. Built in an era before CNC machining and ergonomic CAD design, the Colt Woodsman is the perfect example of the ďThey just donít make them like they use toĒ philosophy. Whether itís the base Sport model or the more featured Match Target pistolsÖa good conditioned, used example wonít be cheap, but it will be worth owning.

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