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One Wild Woodsman


Normally, the bore of a firearm is located in the absolute center of its barrel, but this 1937-manufactured custom Colt Woodsman pistol with ivory grip panels bends a few rules. The deliberately offset rifled hole in the barrel allows the extra mass under the bore to serve as a stabilizing weight.

Who would design such an unusual handgun? A man named Gerard Lewis, a noted exhibition shooter of the 1930s who tried out for the Olympics and shot well enough to be favorably mentioned in Ed McGivern’s book “Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting.” Noted gunsmith A.E. Berdon accurized the semi-automatic action of this pistol, and Al Henderson crafted and mounted the uniquely offset barrel. Even a set of match-grade sights was added to enhance accuracy potential.

See the guns of famous shooters such as Annie Oakley which share galleries with rarities including Gatling guns, and much, much more for free (donations gratefully received) at the National Firearms Museum, located at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va. For more information on the museum’s many educational programs, call (703) 267-1600, e-mail or visit our website at