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I have a pair of factory engraved "Bullseye" Match Target Wooodsmans. They were shipped together from Colt on Feb 1, 1939, but I bought them years apart, one in IL and one in NV. One of them came to me in a case like the one pictured, but the other did not. I am now corresponding with a person who has an identical case and of course I hope to be able to buy it from him to make my matched pair complete. There are no identifying marks on either case. Does anyone know who might have made these cases?




 

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Far as I have been able to find out, these Cases were outfitted on request, from what at the time were 'Stock' Jewelry related or general purpose small 'sample Cases' -dash - Travel cases, with the outfitting being done by some Hartford Jewelry Store or maybe more than one Jewelry Store, or, may even have been done by Companys who Wholesaled the erstwhile 'empty' or basic ( or fitted as per request ) Cases since this is more of a Sample or Travel Case type, than it is a 'Presentation' Case or Pistol Case proper ( though of course it functions nicely as a Presentation Case in this use ).

Possibly Colt merely bought small lots of Empty Cases, and had someone in House or someone Local who was a private person, outfit the interior.

I have seen these ranging from the the era of first Colt .22 Automatic, to immediate pre-War Woodsman era...but, I do not recall seeing any I felt confident were Post War...

For a decade or so, I was occupied in making 'period' Fitted, Presentation, French Fitted, and Campaign Cases for various old or older Pistols, and, I had many requests to make Cases such as this, but, I could not obtain appropriate kinds of Leather, 'Leatherette' or Paper based imitation Leather...and the Hardware was difficult to obtain also, if wishing it to be right for the period.

I am not set up now to be occupied in that work, but, I could still do or re-do interiors if anyone needed it.

So...anyway, I did try and study these Cases and talk with heavy Colt Collectors and so on, in order to better understand their provenance...and, that is what I was able to gather, which also made sense to me by my own Lights, as far as how things were done, or would have been done, during that era.

Colt had similar Cases for the early .22 Conversions of the 1911/Gov't Model, which would hold the Pistol and the conversion Kit. Usually it was Engraved Pistols which were Ordered or outfitted speculatively to be in these kinds of Cases, but, some 'plain' ones came this way also, probably by order from the Customer.
 

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Bob,

Where did they ship originally? It was common for the big outfitters back then to offer these kinds of cases. A&F, Stoeger, VL&A all had fitted cases like this in their catalogs. I have a similar case with a Govt Model and .22 conversion unit beautifully fitted with compartments for patches and "Genuine Rangoon Oil," etc. The set up came from A&F in 1940.

Regards,
Kevin Williams
 

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Indeed, various larger retailers/outfitters also used to offer these kinds of cases during that time...whether they ordered the individual Arm Cased this way from Colt, or, had the same kind of Cases fitted up from some source of their own.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bob,

Where did they ship originally? It was common for the big outfitters back then to offer these kinds of cases. A&F, Stoeger, VL&A all had fitted cases like this in their catalogs. I have a similar case with a Govt Model and .22 conversion unit beautifully fitted with compartments for patches and "Genuine Rangoon Oil," etc. The set up came from A&F in 1940.

Regards,
Kevin Williams
Kevin,

They shipped on Jan 31, 1939, when I was 10 days old, to Decker Bros Sporting goods in Mason City IA. Each Decker brother had his name factory inscribed on top of the barrel of his gun: SNs MT4210 and MT4212.

The owner of the case does not want to sell it. It came with his MT, along with paperwork and a contemporary issue of Outdoor Life describing the new Match Target.

Sigh.... How can I deal with a man who can't be swayed by money?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Far as I have been able to find out, these Cases were outfitted on request, from what at the time were 'Stock' Jewelry related or general purpose small 'sample Cases' -dash - Travel cases, with the outfitting being done by some Hartford Jewelry Store or maybe more than one Jewelry Store, or, may even have been done by Companys who Wholesaled the erstwhile 'empty' or basic ( or fitted as per request ) Cases since this is more of a Sample or Travel Case type, than it is a 'Presentation' Case or Pistol Case proper ( though of course it functions nicely as a Presentation Case in this use ).

Possibly Colt merely bought small lots of Empty Cases, and had someone in House or someone Local who was a private person, outfit the interior.

I have seen these ranging from the the era of first Colt .22 Automatic, to immediate pre-War Woodsman era...but, I do not recall seeing any I felt confident were Post War...

For a decade or so, I was occupied in making 'period' Fitted, Presentation, French Fitted, and Campaign Cases for various old or older Pistols, and, I had many requests to make Cases such as this, but, I could not obtain appropriate kinds of Leather, 'Leatherette' or Paper based imitation Leather...and the Hardware was difficult to obtain also, if wishing it to be right for the period.

I am not set up now to be occupied in that work, but, I could still do or re-do interiors if anyone needed it.

So...anyway, I did try and study these Cases and talk with heavy Colt Collectors and so on, in order to better understand their provenance...and, that is what I was able to gather, which also made sense to me by my own Lights, as far as how things were done, or would have been done, during that era.

Colt had similar Cases for the early .22 Conversions of the 1911/Gov't Model, which would hold the Pistol and the conversion Kit. Usually it was Engraved Pistols which were Ordered or outfitted speculatively to be in these kinds of Cases, but, some 'plain' ones came this way also, probably by order from the Customer.
Thanks for the information, Oyebotin. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the owner of the other case is going to part with it. :-( If he ever relents I will sure be calling on you to see if you will redo the interior of both cases. The stains and wear are nearly identical on both.
 
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