Coltautos.com Gun of the Month - September 2005
Colt Woodsman First Series Bullseye Match Target - Serial number MT3069 originally owned by Major John W. Hession. Pistol is fitted with special checkered walnut Roper-style target grips which bear Major Hession's initials "J.W.H." inlaid in silver. Pistol also has a trigger shoe and Roper front target sight blade. This Match Target was manufactured in 1938, the first year of production for this model.
Colt factory letter indicates that this pistol was a single gun shipment to Major J.W. Hession c/o the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, New Haven, Connecticut on December 10, 1938. There is a special notation in the letter that indicates the pistol was "For testing" and was charged to "Arms Selling Expense." The gun was processed on Colt Factory Order number 8217.
Pistol was purchased at the auction of Major Hession's estate by the former owner in the late 1950s - early 1960s. Here's the original caption from the auction listing. The purchase price was $40.
Major Hession Still Serves; Crack Shot Adviser to All - Winchester Arms Representative Once Held Shooting Records From 200 to 1200 Yards -- Washington Post, July 7, 1943
Major John William (Jack) Hession
Maj. John W. Hession, center above, was an accomplished rifle shot and Winchester's Shooting Promotion Manager. Posted below are his obituary and American Rifleman short that chronicle his remarkable life and series of outstanding accomplishments and achievements within the sport of shooting sport. Major Hession was truly a pioneer in the world of competitive shooting.
Close-up of Major Hession's silver inlaid "J.W.H." monogram in the center of the left grip.
Left side view of Roper style target grip showing solver inlaid monogram.
Woodsman Match Target MT3069 - Right side view
Rear view of target grip, frame and sight.
Right side view of Roper style target grip.
Left side MATCH TARGET barrel marking - the First Series Woodsman Match Target pistols are often referred to as "Bulls-eye" Match Targets because they possess this mark.
Bottom of grip showing serial number and floorplate of original and correct Woodsman Match Target three line magazine with "MATCH TARGET MOD." designation.
Roper front sight.
Patent markings on the top of the barrel: