Assembly/Disassembly of the Colt Woodsman is one of the very few things in life that is easier done than said; that is, it is easy to do (once you know how), but very difficult to explain. Rather than attempt to explain it myself, I have reproduced the two best explanations I have been able to find. One is by an anonymous someone at Colt's Firearms, undoubtedly now deceased since it was written in about 1915. The other is by E. J. Hoffschmidt, published in the May, 1953 issue of The American Rifleman, and reproduced here with permission from the National Rifle Association of America. Each of these has certain merits and certain shortcomings. I recommend that you read both sets of instructions carefully before attempting to dis-assemble a Woodsman.

Since the Colt's Firearms takedown instructions were written in about 1915, they naturally use the very early pre-Woodsman for purposes of illustration. The information, however, is still good for all pistols in the Woodsman line, right up to 1977, because the basic assembly/disassembly procedure remained nearly the same. There are some minor differences, for which I have inserted comments where needed.

The Colt instructions go only as far as Colt felt it was necessary for proper cleaning. They do not include extractor removal, firing pin removal, or other parts replacement instructions like the American Rifleman article does.

Colt's Takedown Instructions
for a 1915 pre-Woodsman

The American Rifleman article uses a Second Series Match Target for purposes of illustration, but the information is good for all post-WWII models. It includes some information that is not in Colt's instructions, such as removal and replacement of the extractor, firing pin, and slide stop spring. That is very useful information, since those are the three parts that most often need replacement in the post-WWII Woodsman. Be aware, however, that these particular instructions do not apply to the pre-WWII models, since extractor and firing pin removal is quite different in prewar and postwar models, and of course the prewar model did not have a slide stop spring, since it did not have an automatic slide stop.

American Rifleman Article and
Takedown Instructions for a
1953 Woodsman Match Target

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