In this limited space it is not possible to list all the factors that affect value, but the following general guidelines apply:

Pre-WWII Match Target Woodsmans are often fitted with replacement stocks, due to the original "Elephant Ear" stocks having been lost or broken. The original stocks bring a very good price by themselves, so a "bargain" in a Bullseye Model with any type of replacement stocks is probably not a true bargain. Except for military guns, which are government marked, nearly all First Series Match Target Woodsmans were equipped with Elephant Ear stocks when they left Colt. The original stocks are one piece wrap-around checkered walnut stocks that extend below the grip frame area. See the first series Match Target here for a picture of "Elephant Ear" stocks.


While the value of a collectible gun is affected by many factors, condition and originality are among the most important. A Woodsman can be a fine shooter, in excellent mechanical condition, but have little collector interest if the bluing is worn or if non-factory modifications have been made. While a well used gun may have a great deal of character, particularly if it has been associated with a person or event known to you, that association is generally transitory. Unfortunately, the rust, scratches, and dings are forever.

For higher grade Woodsmans the value depends on the exact condition. A Woodsman that is 100% new, in the original box, with all original papers and accessories, is worth a LOT more than one that is "almost" as nice. The more collectible the gun is, the more difference the extra fine condition and the accessories make. The difference can range from 50-100% for an early pre-Woodsman or Bullseye Match Target to 20-25% for a 3rd series variety. For a Woodsman that is merely excellent, but not new, the original box and papers alone will add about 20-25% to the price of a pre-war model, and about 10% to a post war version.

Because of the critical effect that condition has on value, a gun that is described as 100% (or New In Box) should be exactly that: absolutely new and perfect in every way, with no blue wear, no so-called box marks, and no imperfections whatsoever.

< Previous Next >