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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1937 Woodsman on hold for $499. The gun is in very good shape for a 67 yr. old, has a nice patina to bluing, & it comes w/ 3 magazines & a holster that's probably from the same era. The grips are beautiful, fully checkered & excellent.
I don't know anything about these guns. It's a small gun, w/ what could be a 6" barrel but seems shorter to me.

My big question is if it's worth the price. The craftsmanship is absolutely amazing, fine checkering to metal pieces & almost invisible side panel fitting. It seems to be in good mechanical condition, also. The take down process, as explaind to me seems very tedious & complex, compared to modern guns. Is it a problem? Wil this gun be useable? Are parts available?
Any info. or advice on this beautiful piece will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Value from the bluebook (as a guide) would be an 85% original finish for $495 and I am assuming this is the Sport model with 4.5" barrel. The magazines I've seen go for $30-$50+ each.

Parts are available at either www.gunpartscorp.com or Pittsburgh Handgun. Takedown and reassembly stuff and parts schematic should be available at www.colt22.com

There are others here with greater expertise and I hope they'll jump in with their opinions.

Scott
 

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If the bluing has all turned to "patina," that would not be 85% to me. "Patina" is fine rust, scratches and wear to me. If the entire gun is "patina," the finish would all be gone, and it would be zero percentage. The price seems high to me for a gun with no finish, but the magazines, depending on what they are, add some value, so maybe the price is not so high. The condition of the stocks (Colts have stocks, not grips) does not seem to match the lack of finish, so they may be replacements.

As far as the disassembly, it is easier and less complicated than a "modern" Ruger Standard, and they continue to sell those! Just pull the slide back, push down the button on the top of the slide to catch the recoil spring in its compressed state, push the slide forward (it should be "free" at this point with no spring tension on it - if not, try again), push up the main spring housing on the serated area and remove the main spring housing, then slide off the slide to the rear. It takes far longer to type it than to do it.

The gun is as usable as any gun, and being that it has no finish, you will not have to worry about reducing the value by use. These are not fragile guns so parts breakage is not a problem.

The value of the magazines varies with the vintage of the magazines. Most temperline magazines, especially those with rectangular springs, can exceed the values given. Be sure they are all Colt magazines and not aftermarket.

[This message has been edited by JudgeColt (edited 05-15-2005).]
 

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The Judge is correct. Pick up a Colt Woodsman pocket guide and you will be able to see the different varieties of these pistols.

I would relate one caution - after you remove the slide, note the position of the recoil spring and be sure it is exactly the same when you reassemble, or you will get extremely frustrated! I speak from experience...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My use of the word "patina" is misleading & I apologize for using it. I would conservatively rate the [email protected] 90%, most of that around the muzzle from holster wear. There was some wear on the slide around the extracter. I found no pitting. After some research I've discovered it has a 4 1/2" barrel that I guess is the sport model w/ fixed sights, SN 1134##
 

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Well, that change in finish percentage changes everything!

The 25th Edition of the Blue Book puts a 90% Sport Model at $550, and we still do not know if the front sight is adjustable, a feature which was introduced in 1937 and could add another 10% to the Blue Book value. If one values the magazines at $50 each, which could be conservative on eBay, this package suddenly becomes a bargain at almost half the Blue Book value!

Buy it!

As an aside, I do not understand Bushwhacker's caution about the position of the recoil spring. The recoil spring should be held captive in compressed position within the slide by the disassembly button being depressed when the slide is retracted prior to disassembly. There can be no alternative position except the fully compressed position, unless one removes the recoil spring by releasing it from its captive position, and then there still is only one position when reinstalling it. (Normally, one does not remove the recoil spring from the slide, but it is easy to do with a small screwdriver or something similar to compress the recoil spring enough to release it from its captive position. Be careful since it is difficult to avoid "losing" it [letting it escape] when releasing it or compressing it to reinstall it.)

Even if Bushwhacker has confused the recoil spring and main spring, the main spring is held captive in the main spring housing and there is only one position for it in the housing. Puzzling!

Still trying to figure out the meaning of Bushwhacker's caution, perhaps the hammer strut is what is meant, as that is the only part (along with the hammer to which it is attached) that can vary in position during normal reassembly. Naturally, the strut must be in proper position for the main spring housing to be reinstalled, but it is not hard to do. After reinstalling the slide, tilt the pistol muzzle down and pull the trigger so that the hammer will be in the "fired" position, thereby insuring that the hammer strut can then be "dangled" in the proper position to allow reinstallation of the main spring housing with the strut in the main spring plunger socket. Just tilt the pistol until the hammer strut is "aimed" at the main spring plunger socket and shove the main spring housing up and into place. If the hammer will not fall forward from gravity, just push it forward with something. (I guess this all does sound kind of complex, but it really is not! After doing it once, it will become simple.)

Bushwhacker, just what do you mean by your caution?
 
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