For Colt Woodsman parts and information please visit: COLT22.COM


There are three series of Woodsman pistols, corresponding to three basic frame designs. First Series refers to all those built on the S frame as it existed prior to and during World War Two. Second Series includes all versions built on the second S frame design from late 1947 until mid 1955, and Third Series means the third S frame design as used from 1955 to the end of regular production in 1977.

First Series (1915-1947)
The first series Woodsman can be easily recognized by its distinctive profile, which resembles the German Luger in the rakish grip angle. The serial number also provides a sure means of identification, since only the first series has no alphabetical suffix.
  • If the serial number is on the frontstrap and contains only numeric characters, with no alphabetical characters, it is a first series.
  • If the only alphabetical characters in the serial number are MT, it is a first series Match Target.

  • Second Series (1947-1955)
    The Second Series Woodsmans are the only models that have a push button magazine release, as on the Government Model 45. All post-WWII type Woodsmans, both Second and Third Series, have an S suffix to the serial number. Although it is part of the Second Series, the Challenger model, unlike the Woodsman, has a spring catch at the butt and a C suffix to the serial number.
  • If it has a push button magazine release just aft of the trigger guard, it is a second series.
  • If it is marked Challenger, it is a second series.

  • Third Series (1955-1977)
    All post-WWII type Woodsmans, both Second and Third Series, have an S suffix to the serial number. Challengers, and some early Huntsmans and Targetsmans, have a -C suffix. All Third Series guns have the magazine release on the butt, in the same location as the First Series.
  • If the magazine release is at the heel of the butt,
  • AND
  • the pistol has an S at the end of the serial number,
  • Then it is a 3rd Series.
  • If it is marked Huntsman, it is a third series.
  • If it is marked Targetsman, it is a third series.


    All three post-WWII type Woodsmans: Sport, Target and Match Target, both Second and Third Series, have an S suffix to the serial number. The Challenger has a -C suffix. The Huntsman (third series) replaced the nearly identical Challenger (second series) when the third series was introduced in 1955. The Targetsman, basically a slightly upgraded Huntsman, was added to the line in 1959. The Huntsman and Targetsman both continued with the Challenger serial numbers (-C suffix) until 1969, when the serial numbers of all S frame models then in production: the Woodsman Sport, Woodsman Target, Woodsman Match Target, Huntsman, and Targetsman were integrated and restarted at 001001S. Nowadays those zero prefixes confuse many Woodsman owners who ignore the zeroes and think they have an early, low serial number gun. The zero prefix serial numbers caused another problem when the serial numbers beginning with 001000S reached 099999S and rolled over to 100000S because serial numbers in that range had already been used in 1951-52 and began repeating. When the error was discovered the 1336 guns already numbered received a hand stamped S prefix. Thanks to Ed Brink, in his Colt Rimfire Automatic Pistols for the "Double S" information.


    Each series had a Sport Model with a 4-1/2 inch round barrel, a Target Model with a 6 or 6-5/8 inch round barrel, and a Match Target Model with a heavy, flat sided barrel. For the first series Match Target that flat sided barrel was 6-5/8 inches in length, while in the post war versions it was either 4-1/2 or 6 inches.

    The very similar Challenger, Huntsman, and Targetsman were attempts by Colt to meet price competition from less costly .22 pistols and were made during the post-WWII years only.

    For Colt Woodsman parts and information please visit: COLT22.COM

    Last revised on April 29, 2012