Air Force Woodsman - RimfireCentral.com Forums

Go Back   RimfireCentral.com Forums > >

Join Team RFC to remove these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-04-2019, 09:18 PM
dbuffington

Join Date: 
Jan 2004
Posts: 
2,548
TPC Rating: 
100% (11)
Air Force Woodsman



Log in to see fewer ads
Hi Folks!

With some offline help from the folks in this forum, I am now the owner this little gem …



It’s one of 925 Woodsman pistols sold to U.S. Air Force in 1949 for use in “Arctic Survival Kits.” The kits were presumably made for aircrews traveling over the polar regions during the Cold War, but I haven’t stumbled into any documentation of that. (It may well exist. I just haven’t seen it.)

In most ways, the Air Force guns are ordinary, 6-inch, second-series guns, but they can be identified by some unique features, including:
- the serial number range (reportedly numbers in the 64xxx to 65xxx range)
- the ramp-style front sight
- the fixed rear sight
- the lack of a magazine safety
- the lack of a slide stop

This gun (65243-S) has the requisite features, and I believe it’s authentic. However, I have ordered a Colt letter to confirm that belief.

The gun is in excellent, but not perfect condition. There’s some wear on the left side and muzzle along with a short scratch on the left side of the slide. The Coltwood grips are undamaged. The bore is great, and the gun functions perfectly.

All comments, including criticisms, are welcome.

Enjoy!
Dave

P.S. This letter (taken from oldcolt.com) is for a different Air Force Woodsman, but offers some useful details …



Thanks to oldcolt.com, coltautos.com and colt22.com for a wealth of information! Thanks also to the folks who worked with me privately on this purchase!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-04-2019, 10:44 PM
prewoodsman

Join Date: 
Jun 2013
Location: 
Arizona
Posts: 
247
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Plus.
No provision for a lanyard ring or palm swell/grip adapter.
Regards,
Tom Platt
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-05-2019, 04:11 AM
FredVK
US Navy Veteran

Join Date: 
Nov 2015
Posts: 
281
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Just wonder what the point was for leaving out the slide stop.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:18 AM
Jammer22
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Mar 2017
Location: 
Nowhere good
Posts: 
1,203
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
They probably thought it would freeze is all I can figure.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-05-2019, 06:38 AM
dbuffington

Join Date: 
Jan 2004
Posts: 
2,548
TPC Rating: 
100% (11)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer22 View Post
They probably thought it would freeze is all I can figure.
It could also have been to shave a few pennies off the cost. Hard to tell.

Thanks!
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-11-2020, 03:38 PM
dbuffington

Join Date: 
Jan 2004
Posts: 
2,548
TPC Rating: 
100% (11)
Just an update ...

Today, I received the official letter from Colt authenticating my Air Force Woodsman:



Thanks to everyone who helped!
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-11-2020, 07:17 PM
Jammer22
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Mar 2017
Location: 
Nowhere good
Posts: 
1,203
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Very Cool!
__________________
"I am surrounded by fearful odds that will overcome me and my gallant men, but I am pleased to die fighting for my beloved country".
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-11-2020, 08:43 PM
NVaVettes
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Dec 2010
Posts: 
740
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
Congrats on a very rare find --- a neat piece of history!

I know where there's at least one other one . . .

Don
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-11-2020, 09:04 PM
dbuffington

Join Date: 
Jan 2004
Posts: 
2,548
TPC Rating: 
100% (11)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NVaVettes View Post
I know where there's at least one other one . . .
Tease Where are they?

Dave
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-11-2020, 10:31 PM
NVaVettes
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Dec 2010
Posts: 
740
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
Jack and the Beanstalk . . .

So, my very first --- but not last ---Woodsman . . .

One sunny day, maybe ten or twelve years ago, the turnip truck hit a bump in the road and I bounced off the back and landed in front of the LGS.

I went inside and there was a customer at one of the counters looking at a Colt Woodsman and loudly going on and on about how nice it was.
There were a lot of people, well, ok, a lot of guys in the shop milling around, and it was hard to see what all the fuss was about.
A few minutes of that and he lays it back down on the counter.

At that time, a Woodsman was on my ‘if-I-see-a-nice-one-at-a-decent-price-I-might-get-it-just-because-I-don’t-have-one-yet’ list.
So I maneuvered up to the counter before the shop guy has a chance to put it back in lockup and asked to take a look at it.
Sure enough, it looked to be in pretty nice condition and was priced like any other old-but-nice 22 pistol ---no box, no papers, one magazine.

And with that, I had exhausted my knowledge of Colt Woodsman pistols.

I decided to buy it, took it home, and THEN started reading up on my new purchase.
(I've been told that that's the wrong order to do things, but then I don't ask for directions when I'm lost either. . . )
Cleaned it, took it to the range. Nice! Accurate! Handy! I liked it!

Some more before-bed-reading a number of weeks later and I stumble across a posting about the ‘rare’ Artic Survival model.
It was a very interesting back-story, and then a few pics.
One pic in particular struck me as odd --- the one showing the 'hole' left by the missing slide-stop.
By this time I had seen enough pics to know what the left-hand-side of a Woodsman should look like, and this wasn’t it.
But it also looked strangely familiar at the same time.

Where had I seen that?

The next morning I pulled my Woodsman out, and sure enough, no slide-stop.
I went back and began studying the other details in the article and comparing them with my gun . . .

Hoover Dam! --- a genuine ‘blind-pig-gets-his-acorn’ moment when everything lined up --- an honest-to-goodness Artic Survival model!

So with that, knowing what he was looking for, how to recognize it, having searched high-and-low, spent lots of time looking, asking for help from friends, being patient and persistent,
having finally found it, and then having read this far, I’m sure Dave now hates me --- and deservedly so!


Pics, because it really did happen:



















This one started an affection for the early second series models with the 'swirley-colored' Coltwood plastic grips.
(And, yes, 'swirley' is a technical term, widely used and recognized throughout the industry )

I believe I have most of the early variants except the 4 1/2" Match Target model --- $$$$$$$

Last edited by NVaVettes; 01-11-2020 at 11:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-11-2020, 11:22 PM
NVaVettes
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Dec 2010
Posts: 
740
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
Background

An interesting article, supposedly published in 1949:

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/air-war-over-the-arctic/
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-11-2020, 11:23 PM
dbuffington

Join Date: 
Jan 2004
Posts: 
2,548
TPC Rating: 
100% (11)
Sweet! Thanks!
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-12-2020, 12:07 AM
NVaVettes
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Dec 2010
Posts: 
740
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
More Info found on the net

Colt factory Order #6525

Contract #W19-058-ORD-5234.

They were shipped in 37 cases.

The Contract price was $31.65 per pistol.

(FWIW: 1950-51 advertised price to the public was $70.00)

Last edited by NVaVettes; 01-12-2020 at 01:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-13-2020, 10:26 PM
22shtur
US Marines Veteran NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Feb 2011
Posts: 
191
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
AF woodsman

That is nice to get one of your sought after guns. I am personally looking for a medium weight barreled first series sport model, after giving up on the hard to locate AF survival woodsman's.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-14-2020, 08:18 AM
dbuffington

Join Date: 
Jan 2004
Posts: 
2,548
TPC Rating: 
100% (11)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 22shtur View Post
That is nice to get one of your sought after guns. I am personally looking for a medium weight barreled first series sport model, after giving up on the hard to locate AF survival woodsman's.
There is, in any part of collecting ... or life, an element of randomness. In my case, I wasn't looking for an Air Force Woodsman. I was only vaguely aware they existed.

But one day, a fellow simply walked into my office and asked if I'd be interested in one. I barely knew the guy, a local UPS driver, and he had only obtained the gun through a distant relative.

So don't give up. Stranger things, much stranger things, have happened.

Enjoy!
Dave
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any interest in a short range match category ? David Valdina Air Rifles 1066 Yesterday 07:40 PM
Did you know? Al the Infidel RFC Community Forum 2573 11-23-2020 11:32 PM
Components for RWS Diana Modell 100 Precision Air Rifle pellet_popper_OR Air Rifles 5 03-12-2019 10:52 PM
Happy 71st Birthday United States Air Force gmd1950 RFC Community Forum 14 09-19-2018 06:01 PM
Comprehensive pellet test - Daisy 717 air pistol Kestrel4k Air Pistols 10 06-28-2017 01:32 PM



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:21 PM.

Privacy Policy

DMCA Notice

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©2000-2018 RimfireCentral.com
x