TFB LIGHTNING REVIEW: Colt Woodsman, Having A Blast With The Past

Most of our reviews here at TFB involve more modern products that are still available from manufacturers.  However, after borrowing a family member’s Colt Woodsman, I was pleasantly surprised with it. Enough so, that I thought I’d report on it in case readers find one for a great price. The Colt Woodsman hasn’t been produced since 1977, but during its 62 years in production, there are examples to be had.  Just over six decades of production isn’t a record, but it certainly says something was done right by today’s standards.


The model I had in my hands was a standard sample with a four and a half inch barrel paired with an adjustable rear sight and target style grips.  Overall, the model I borrowed seemed to have a nice blend of a do-it-all, utility and sport pistol.  Several things, such as the wide front sight and heel magazine release would probably keep it out of any mainstream, pinpoint or timed competitions.  However, there’s absolutely nothing hindering several people challenging each other to friendly accuracy competition on a Sunday afternoon (or any other day that ends with a “y”).  The Woodsman could also be quite handy at small game hunting, trapping or dispatching nuisance animals.

TFB Review: Colt Woodsman

The red insert on the front sight stands out nicely. The front sight and rear sight notch are a bit wide for really precise matches.


The first time I pulled the trigger on the Woodsman, it seemed as though the only thing telling me it went off was the crack of the shot and an ever-so-slight amount of recoil.  .22 semi-auto pistols generally don’t recoil much anyway, but it seemed even less so with the Woodsman.  The trigger is a nice, even, single action-only, that broke crisply and consistently.  There is no reset point on the trigger other than to release it all the way forward.  However, the trigger doesn’t travel much and is quite light.  Once I got a feel for where the point of impact was in relation to the sights, it was almost like shooting a laser beam.  YouTuber, 22 Plinkster was able to make a 500 yard shot with a Woodsman.  I’ll certainly not claim to have the fire control ability of 22 Plinkster, but I was happily ringing a steel gong at 40 yards.  The rest of the shooting my son and I did was from about 10 yards.

TFB Review: Colt Woodsman

TFB Review: Colt Woodsman

Once my son got used to the trigger and sights, squirrels didn’t stand a chance.

TFB Review: Colt Woodsman

Author’s ten shot string.

The target grips are perfect for my right-handedness.  Shooting with the left hand wasn’t too bad, even though it’s clear the grips are made for righties.  Even though the target grips feel great, they are a little thick at the top and therefore require a shift of the grip to manipulate the safety or the slide stop (unless you use it to send the slide home).  The disassembly is also a bit arduous as well, but easy enough with practice.

TFB Review: Colt Woodsman


While doing some initial research on the Colt Woodsman, I discovered that they can come with a hefty price tag.  The lower end of the spectrum seems to hover around $500, which is quite a lot for a .22LR pistol when compared to more modern pistols of the same caliber.  The upper crust of the Woodsman pistols can call for over $800, with some asking prices well over $1,000.  I always like finding out about little gems out there, and I hope you do too.  I’ll be keeping my eyes open for any good deals on a Colt Woodsman.  As our faithful TFB readers are familiar with our articles on pawn shop finds, anything is possible.

TFB Review: Colt Woodsman

What do you think about the Colt Woodsman?  Do you have one, or have you shot one?  What was your impression of it?

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