Very rare indeed. Hard to tell exactly when the change was made, since mags can be easily swapped, but my best guess, based on my observations, is around sn 1000.Note the hole in the side of the magazine. This is the earliest version of the Woodsman Mag. Very rare.
The box is real too! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I have had 2 or 3 with the same type box and labels that were "one owner" guns. The first few thousand 2nd series guns were 6 inch Match Targets, so apparently they used this type box for the Sport for a while until they could make up some shorter boxes. I think it is the same box used for the government model.
The postwar/prewars are very interesting. One could build a collection based on them alone. Some have postwar blue, some have prewar type blue, and some are mixed. The boxes are interesting too. Hinged or two piece, and different sizes. Grips of walnut, some of plastic.Here is one of the Pre-War/Post-War (or is it Post-War/Pre-War ?) Woodsmans that was assembled from remaining parts in 1946 and just prior to the introduction of the Second Series models. I have the extended length brown plastic stocks too but I liked the pre-war style better. (edited to add: The Factory Letter shows this one shipped on 11/14/46)
Great guns Tom! Glad to see you go public with your Holy Grail. I have wanted to mention it many times but kept quiet to respect your privacy.Like your children or grandchildren, picking a favorite "Colt Woodsman" is hard because you are to love them all unconditionally and equally. Special are the birthday's celebrated for each and as such pictured here are two of my Centennial Birthday Boy's.
Foremost pictured and considered by many as the "Holy Grail" is serial number 1.
Rearmost pictured and playing second fiddle is serial number 7.