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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I get a lot of email from Woodsman owners who have questions about a Woodsman they own. I usually send a very brief (only the facts) reply, but I recently received one that was interesting enough for a detailed response. Exchange follows:

Question received:

I have some questions about a first series Match Target. It appears to be a military gun based on the G. H. D. lightly stamped on the right side, other typical military markings on the left side are not there. What I have not seen before, is that the serial number is on the front of the grip strap (MT14XXX), not on the bottom of the frame at the magazine, and there is no screw hole on the front of the grip strap.

My response:

Congratulations, and thanks for the excellent description. You do have a military gun, one of approximately 4000 made for the US Army and Navy.

Among the 4000 there are some minor differences. The earliest ones still had the screw hole on the grip strap, but it was later omitted since it served no purpose with the plastic grips used with the military contract. Likewise, at or near the same time, the serial number was moved to the front grip strap, as with the other Woodsmans of the same era. I assume yours still has the two-piece plastic grips. If not, excellent originals are readily available. They were at Numrich a few years ago for under $10, but the only ones I have seen lately have been on Ebay for around $100.

Your gun, with G. H. D. stamped on the side, I would expect to have the usual Colt bluing of the era, and either the Ordnance wheel or US PROPERTY on the other side. Sometimes those markings will have been removed by a previous owner who feared that owning something marked US PROPERTY would get him in trouble.

Others with these markings will correctly letter as having been shipped to the US Navy, and I have owned a few of those. Others with the same markings, that letter as being shipped to the Navy, will be Parkerized and have Navy markings. I SUSPECT (but can't prove) that the Navy markings were added later by an unethical dealer to "enhance the collectibility", and the Parkerizing done to disguise the changes.

Bob Rayburn
 

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Bob, are you able to inspect the gun in person? Also will you be at the November show?
 

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Thanks for that information Bob, I love it when you and other forum members share their knowledge !

Craig
 
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