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Discussion Starter #1
S/N MT70xx. I keep going back and forth on these grips whether they are correct or not. I believe they are correct but I haven't seen a set exactly like these before. I think they're a 'of era' Colt custom build but they have a different appearance then the ones in the catalog. I look forward to input. Thanks a bunch.

 

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Correct for what? What do you mean by "a 'of era' custom build?" They appear to be a beautiful set of two-piece Ropers, but they are not factory original. I do not believe Colt ever offered Ropers as a factory option. Colt catalogs of the era show the correct "elephant ear" one-piece stocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
JC, Maybe I'm reading from the wrong catalog. I'm looking at the BOCFA's where it shows the "Woodsman MT from the catalog" there is reference of 'custom stocks' and these customs have thumb rest like mine. My book is at the show so I can't reference the page number. The checkering on my stocks is different than the ones shown in the book and there lies my confusion. When I think 'custom built' I see any design style coming Colt. Roper or Colt custom built?

I'm trying to decide if I should sell the gun or not. I don't want a gun with Roper stocks. If it's Colt custom built stocks the gun is a keeper.

If the stocks are Ropers, what percentage does this drop the value of the gun?
 

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The checkering of the grips pictured seems a bit coarse for Ropers, but could possibly be factory fitted. Wilson's writings indicate "Roper style" grips were a factory special order option on these guns. I don't have any specific information to indicate whether the factory option was for Ropers, Sandersons, or some other custom grip of similar style. A Colt letter may answer your question.
 

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I agree with the 'Judge', they look like 'Ropers'. Adds little to the 'overall' value of your gun, but are sought after by other 'collectors' of ,like you say "of the era".
Nice grips and they "work".

The 'fact' is your gun doesn't have the "original" grips is what detracts and makes it MORE of a "shooter" catagory. Hard to really tell from the pictures (small & far away)

All depends on the condition and what you got it for, to "make it a deal". Can always "find" grips, papers and a box...............it's the "cost"....scary.......
 

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addicted: Why not just try to find some original vintage stocks for the gun and keep the ones you got? Not trying to say the obvious, but I guess I am. The "Elephant Ear" stocks are difficult to find without either repairs (glued spots-oops restoration work) etc. I'm told that they were easily damaged and you see some of the old Target models with non-factory/original stocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
[ QUOTE ]
addicted: Why not just try to find some original vintage stocks for the gun and keep the ones you got? Not trying to say the obvious, but I guess I am. The "Elephant Ear" stocks are difficult to find without either repairs (glued spots-oops restoration work) etc. I'm told that they were easily damaged and you see some of the old Target models with non-factory/original stocks.

[/ QUOTE ]

I thought briefly about purchasing orig stocks but if I ever run across some the price will be enormous. It's a wonderful shooter and very accurate with these grips and I may later regret selling the gun. I've got $650 in the gun and it's also missing the original magazine. Finding a orig magazine will be as difficult as finding orig stocks.

BTW: I do now believe these stocks are ropers.
 

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I read through the Brinks book "Colt Rimfire Automatic Pistols" in the hopes of seeing stocks that resembled yours. No luck. He did mention that the normal grips were also placed on the "First Series" Match Target. These were by special order. There were also plastic military grips as well. I hadn't looked at that book in a while and it was fun to dig it out.
 

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I am looking at TBOCF and find on Page 466 a picture of a "Bullseye" MT with stocks similar to those shown. The caption with the picture says: "Serial # 140658. The Match Target Woodsman 22 Automatic pistol. Modifed by Arnold Goodwin, with wrap-around grips and trigger shoe." (Note the word "modified.")

That is the only picture of any First Model Woodsman of any kind with thumb rest stocks. The Second and Third Model pictures do show the standard thumb rest stocks of course.

The First Model reference to "Grips" (!) is: "The new long design was specially constructed to cover the front strap and to extend below the bottom of the frame."

I do not believe Colt offered non-standard stocks, but I certainly could be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm still on the fence. I talk myself into Ropers and the next day back on Colt special order. There's only one way to find out. I may have to spring for a letter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a pic from the inside of the grips

 

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I have to agree with barrocky about the maker of the grips pictured on your gun. As I stated earlier, the checking appears to be too coarse for Ropers, and the work looks very similar to a pair of Sandersons I have on a Colt Officers Model Target. However, Wilson's writings say these guns could be special ordered with "Roper Style" grips. Since he does not specifically say "Roper Grips", one might assume that Colt would possibly install grips from makers other than Roper. Just because none of us have seen one with these grips, doesn't mean it never happened. If the gun were mine, I would letter it before I removed the grips, or let anyone convince me they were wrong.

Ref; Wilson's TBoCF page 466 bottom of page under "Finish"
 

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IMHO,I believe these to be Sanderson or maybe even Fitz. they both had coarser checkering than Roper or Griffin & Howe. My 2 cents.
 

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I don't know too much about the grips but I do know this which may help.

Arnold Goodwin was my Grandfather and a Master Gunsmith and designer for Colt's. If he made the modifications to the grips, then they're genuine Colt's. If anyone has any more information about my Grandfather please let me know.
 

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I've seen many sets of similar stocks for the pre-WWII Colt Woodsman - and a few for the post-WWII - on the Sport, Target, and Match Target models, since they are interchangeable within each series. I think I even have 2 or 3 sets among my extras presently.

I have bought more than one Woodsman with very similar grips which the seller told me were Sandersons, and he knew they were because he had them made by Sanderson many years ago, and they had been on the gun ever since. In at least one case, and maybe two, I believed him. I am also aware that similar stocks were made by people other than Sanderson.

I do not believe they are Ropers. All Ropers that I have seen that I am sure were made by Roper had the "finger tip" scalloped checkering pattern.

It is highly unlikely that the pistol was shipped from Colt with those grips on it. Only a factory letter will tell you for sure, but I wouldn't bet the $100 or so against the very long odds.
 

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Colt MT Woodsman Grips

I've factory letters for the pre-war match target woodsman requested and have always had the Type of Stocks come through as "Not Listed".
 

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I attended the Colt Collector's Assoc. show in Tulsa last weekend and had some long talks about grips with Lowell P., Sam L., and other more knowledgable collectors than I. Anything is possible, but I don't believe these grips are original. I saw two perfect factory elephant ear grips selling for $700 each. Also, I have two repro's (one so/so and one NICE) that are listed at $400 or so, however I acquired them by helping out a friend. Google Bill Harvey in Wilson, NC who is an authorized Colt supplierfor repro pictures and prices. Tell him Ted says "hi" and he may cut you a small deal, can't hurt.
 
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