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The times are different, and shooting is different. The classic target Colt's were built in a day that was like NASCAR...Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. It was the same for Colt from inception on up to the late '60's. Revolvers and auto's were judged by the number of matches they won, and if they win titles. To do that, they had to build pistols and revolvers that were REALLY accurate. The accuracy standards of target pistols was higher prior to WWII. Colt built EVERY pistol/revolver with adjustable sights to full national match standards. That standard demanded 1.5" groups at 50 yards.

Certainly the Ruger is a superior design in nearly every way. Its a design that allows them to make a wicked accurate pistol for significantly less than Colt made theirs. And Ruger pretty much killed off all the US made target pistols with the exception of the S&W Model 41. Colt made a more accurate pistol than Ruger...but it was only slightly more accurate and twice the price.

The shooting public abandoned the full match pistols for the Ruger which was close to match accurate, more reliable, and half the price. Probably 80% of the market moved to the Ruger, which left S&W, Colt, and High Standard all fighting for the last 20% of the market. S&W handily won that little battle.
 

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I shot that High Standard variant for the Army - even owned one (with the muzzle break) and shot it in civilian Matches - very solid and accurate things they were, too.

So was/is my US-issue Ruger Mk1.

When I was actively competing, I never saw a Woodsman - mainly High Standards, S&Ws and Rugers - but I always liked shooting the Woodsman for sport and always will.
 

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When I first started shooting bullseye, I also used a 6 7/8" Mk1 with a Clark trigger. It was a fantastic pistol.
 

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Never got into any bullseye, rifle or pistol. Went to a NRA 2700 match once at the Marine Corp Air Station at Cherry Point eons ago and was blown away by the marksmanship but it was such a slooow match. Believe that it was as much of an endurance test as a shooting event. As close as I came to formal bullseye was the offhand .22 indoor silhouette pistol matches that I shot. I discovered that big well defined sights and a clean breaking trigger are an absolutely necessity to win. Only since my retirement have I expanded my .22 Colt collection to include a Model 41 and a HS Supermatic Tournament. But can’t really appreciate their quality as a worn out 70 year old.
 

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I have a Ruger MKii 6 7/8 taper barrel that keeps up with my wife's 3rd type Colt Match Target (notice who owns the Colt), but the Ruger has never once felt like the Colt feels every time I get it out or put it away. ..come to think of it, I have never once watched an entire movie with the Ruger sitting on my lap or nestled in my hand. I bet her Woodsman has seen at least 10 movies in its lifetime. I don't even want to know what type of cinema that MT has seen while in my wife's care while I am working late or out with the boys during trout/deer camp.
 

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When I was shooting bullseye I used a High Standard Victor. That is one sweet pistol.
I also have a Colt Targetsman (Woodsman with adjustable rear sight). However, it's
not in the same league for competition. That's my deer camp plinker.
 

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Gil Hebard wrote an excellent article for Guns Digest in the mid 1960's. Of the top 20 Bullseye pistol shooters only one shooter used a Colt, two years later he went to a Hammerlli. Gil also extensively tested all the .22 pistols and listed their performance at 25 yds and 50 yds, you can read the performance the Colt MT's had.

When I began shooting Bullseye(50 years ago), I asked if a Colt MT would be a good bullseye pistol, and was told by those I asked - if they were good enough to win, they would be seen on the firing line. I never saw a Colt MT on the firing line in 50 years.

Years ago, I shot one in indoor league at 50 feet, with good scores.
 

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I’ve never understood why Colt didn’t do a Gold Cup Series Woodsman other than that they were satisfied with their market share and wasn’t interested in investing the money to truly compete against HS or S&W.
 
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