Kadet_left

Sure, .22 LR has been a bit hard to come by over the last couple of years. That’s a change from the norm, of course, where .22 LR was the choice for inexpensive practice. While owning dedicated .22 firearms is great — great for collecting, for fun, for plinking, hunting, and target shooting — .22 conversion kits are often the best option for legitimate practice. That is, for the purpose of gaining familiarity with a primary, centerfire firearm but doing so with inexpensive ammo. At the very pinnacle of the conversion kit game is CZ’s Kadet Adapter for CZ 75-based pistols. . .

Actually, not only isn’t that hyperbole, but it’s likely a bit of an understatement. The Kadet Adapter isn’t just a great conversion kit, it’s so dang good that, compared even against complete firearms, it makes for one of the best .22 LR pistols available. Why? I’m glad you asked.

Right off the bat, we all want a reliable last round hold open feature. Many rimfire pistols don’t actually lock back on empty at all, but the Kadet Adapter checks it off the list. It comes with its own slide stop, which provides for this functionality in nearly every CZ 75 frame variant in both 9mm and .40 S&W, full-size and compact. The standard, centerfire slide stops can still be used — and have to be used on a couple of models — but typically don’t lock the slide back on empty.

Kadet_lockedback

As you can see above, only a portion of the “slide” reciprocates. I am of the opinion that this is the proper way to design a semi-automatic, .22 LR pistol. The real classics — the best, most reliable rimfire pistols that have proven the test of time — like the S&W Model 41, Colt Woodsman, Browning Buckmark, Ruger Mark series, and basically all Olympic style rimfire pistols, operate with some variation of this concept. It allows for something that you will not find in a .22 where the whole slide reciprocates. Steel.

Kadet_insideside

It’s all machined from solid steel. Solid, forged steel, that is. Just like slide of the real-deal CZ 75. Same quality steel, same durable polycoat finish, same full-length slide rails. Were the entire slide to reciprocate, steel would simply be too heavy. .22 LR doesn’t have the oomph to cycle a steel slide and cock a hammer or striker that has enough spring power to reliably ignite rimfire ammo while also overcoming a recoil spring strong enough to return the slide with enough force to reliably strip the next round from the magazine and chamber it.

Kadet_bottom

The fanciest of conversion kits or complete pistols with entire slides that cycle will employ an aluminum slide. Most use cast zinc alloy. Although neither is as durable or reliable long-term as steel, the real issue is reliability. Well, some of that is due to the durability, as the manufacturer must ensure that the slide doesn’t get battered at its full rearwards travel or upon slamming back into battery. Typically the compromise is a pistol that runs on high-powered .22 LR ammo but isn’t reliable at all with standard, target, or weak ammo. Often a soft recoil spring is used to prevent a violent return to battery, which can mean feeding problems, and an excessively stiff hammer spring is used to slow the slide’s rearward motion down, which can have negative consequences to the trigger pull. It also may be harder to optimize the mass of the slide itself, ending up with something a bit too heavy or possibly even too light but without an easy solution for that.

Using steel and a tiny slide or even an internal bolt, the mass can be tuned to perfection…

Kadet_topofinternalslide
Top of reciprocating slide. Cuts serve no apparent function but to tune total mass.

…and there is little concern for the impact at either end of the slide’s travel. As I’ve owned my Kadet Adapter since early 2011 and have at least a couple thousand rounds through it, I can confidently say that it holds up over time and that it reliably cycles pretty much every .22 LR load out there from the lightest target loads to the hottest hyper velocity rounds.

Kadet_breechface

But wait, there’re more! The all-steel CZ Kadet Adapter upper weighs about the same amount as an all-steel CZ 75 upper. In fact, the Kadet comes in at 16.95 oz and my SP-01 9mm slide weighs 16.16 oz. For valid practice and training, this makes a huge difference.

The kit comes with what you see below, in addition to a bronze bore brush and a slotted plastic rod for cleaning patches, all in a plastic CZ gun case. The magazines are actual CZ 75, 10-round, steel magazines, modified to feed .22 LR.Kadet_rightAn insert is spot welded inside of the magazine body, which single stacks the .22 rounds and provides a pretty sweet, key hole-shaped channel for the anti-tilt follower.

Kadet_innermag2

Again on the practice and training front, the magazines look and feel like the real thing. They fit in the same magazine holsters as the real thing. They insert and eject just like the real thing. No surprise, of course, as they actually are the real thing.Kadet_innermagfollower

Out of the box, the Kadet Adapter comes with quality target sights installed. The rear is a blade style sight, easily adjustable for both windage and elevation.

Kadet_rearsighttop

Both front and rear sights are steel, in a standard 3-dot configuration. The dots are small in diameter, painted in a bright, slightly green color that stands out nicely.

Kadet_rearsightSights are dovetailed and mounted in the standard CZ 75 fashion, so should these sights not suit one’s fancy there is no shortage of other CZ and aftermarket options.

As is the case with nearly every .22 LR on the market, the barrel is fixed. It is cold hammer forged like the rest of CZ’s barrels, and it’s exceedingly accurate. I used a LaserMax UNI-MAX laser mounted on my SP-01 frame’s accessory rail and a sandbag rest to help me shoot the following groups at 25 yards in an indoor range.

Kadet_target1Kadet_target2Kadet_target3Kadet_target4Kadet_target5Kadet_target6Kadet_target1.1Kadet_target

  1. Federal American Eagle “Suppressor” 45 grain: 0.50″
  2. CCI Blazer bulk 40 grain: 1.00″
  3. CCI Mini-Mag 40 grain: 1.11″
  4. Federal Target Grade 40 grain: 0.94″
  5. Remington Subsonic 38 grain: 1.25″
  6. Winchester 555 bulk 36 grain: 2.18″
  7. This is labeled in the photo as number 1.1. I chose the most accurate ammo and did a group with the ACC Element 2 suppressor attached. All others were shot unsuppressed. So this is AmEag “Suppressor” turning in a 0.72″ group thanks to a flyer in what was otherwise a single hole. No surprise, as this ammo is loaded extremely consistently. Velocity testing has repeatedly shown the smallest standard deviation of any .22 LR I’ve chronographed thus far.

You know, the absolutely amazing trigger on this gun was also a big help when it came to turning in decent 5-shot groups, and that brings us to…

The Best Part

Valid practice/training meets value. When I take the 45 seconds to install the Kadet Adapter atop my SP-01, I’m still shooting my SP-01. The hours of tuning and hundreds of dollars that I’ve put into trigger and sear, hammer, grip panels, safeties, and other parts? None of that changes. Weight, balance, grip — keeping these three variables the same means drawing from a holster and transitioning between targets feels the same — trigger, battery of arms (controls & operation), competition holster, and magazine holsters are all identical. Sights would be the same if I chose to make it so.

22-9-40

Obviously, yes, shooting .22 LR is different from shooting 9mm or .40 S&W. Sure, it’s hard to find .22 for 4 cents a round these days, but it’s still significantly cheaper than centerfire ammo. If you’re in the camp that thinks the reduced recoil invalidates the practice, I’m going to disagree entirely. Just as dry firing is critical to learning and ingraining proper trigger pull fundamentals and muscle memory, shooting .22 offers much of the same benefit. By eliminating or greatly reducing the flinch and recoil compensation that plagues many shooters, one can achieve quality practice that drives home good shooting habits. With less fatigue (and more rounds per dollar), range sessions can be longer before fundamentals start to degrade.

There’s also a convenience factor, as the Kadet Adapter isn’t a firearm. Order it online and it ships right to your door.

The Worst Part

It’s expensive. On the CZ-USA web store, as I write this, the Kadet Adapter runs $431.10. Although they used to distribute these to various retailers, that is no longer the case. They are only available direct from CZ-USA. This makes finding a deal more difficult, although CZ-USA does have a few web store sales each year (I’m on the e-mail list, and get one maybe as often as quarterly, usually announcing a sale event).

On the bright side, availability is better than ever before. Finding these things in stock anywhere used to be a heck of an ordeal, but that has changed. Finding a used one for sale was and still is practically impossible, though.

The thin slide — the part that actually cycles — doesn’t leave a lot of real estate to grab. This would be a massive point of contention on a self defense gun, but on a .22 it doesn’t matter much. With no locking mechanism and a fairly gentle recoil spring, it’s still very easy to rack that slide (especially with the hammer cocked). It’s just a matter of pinching the correct part of the upper. This is the only place where equal practice and training breaks down, although in competition I drop the slide with the slide stop lever instead of slingshotting it, so for that purpose the function is the same. Clearing a malfunction, though, may require a different grip on the slide from one’s norm.

It should also be mentioned that, due to how much harder it is to sufficiently dent the rim of a .22 LR round than to dent a centerfire primer, the Kadet Adapter may suffer light strikes if used on a modified CZ in which the owner has replaced the factory mainspring (hammer spring) with a lighter one. This is a popular modification to reduce the weight of the double action trigger pull and, while you can reduce the power of that spring quite a bit and still reliably ignite standard, centerfire primers, rimfire primers need a harder hit. A heavier hammer can help accommodate (I ran a lighter mainspring with a Shadow hammer for a while, and the Kadet Adapter worked fine). As the mainspring weight makes no difference to a tuned single action pull, when I converted my SP-01 to single-action-only quite some time ago I went back to the factory mainspring and it dents .22 LR rims with authority.

Initial Install

There’s a short rail nub on either side near the front of the part of the Kadet Adapter that doesn’t reciprocate. They’re intentionally oversized — both in vertical height and in width (perpendicular to bore) — and should not fit in the rails of a CZ 75 frame without some filing. This is to ensure a snug fit so the adapter doesn’t wiggle on the frame. As I recall, I spent about 20 minutes going very slowly with a fine hand file until it fit smoothly but snugly onto the SP-01 frame.

Kadet_rail

This may lead to obvious concerns about a Kadet Adapter being “married” to a specific frame, but in my experience CZ frames don’t vary a whole lot anyway. I’ve used my Adapter on three different frames and the fit was completely acceptable, although slightly snugger than on my SP-01, and I’ve swapped slides around on a half dozen frames — even between steel and aluminum frames — and the rails meshed fine.

The rear of the Adapter, by the way, is fixed into the frame by the slide stop. The barrel precisely fits into the frame’s recoil lug, and the slide stop goes through it with close tolerances.

Conclusions

The CZ Kadet Adapter is not only the best .22 LR conversion kit on the market, it makes for one of the very best .22 LR pistols on the market. It feeds, fires, and ejects a wider range of ammo than any other semi-auto .22 — rifle or pistol — I have ever shot, and does it more reliably than any other semi-auto .22 I have shot. It does this accurately, and it’s built to last. CZ may expect you to plunk down a good chunk of change for it, but if you already own a CZ 75, especially one you’ve put money and work into or otherwise use for self defense, competition, etc, it’s likely worth it. There are few other .22 LR pistols that can hold a candle to it for the price, and the Kadet Adapter ships right to your door.

For the record, the Kadet Adapter is not available with a threaded barrel. Tornado Technologies extended and threaded the Kadet Adapter as well as my 9mm SP-01 barrel. Both were done flawlessly.

Specifications: CZ Kadet Adapter

Caliber: .22 LR
Fits On: Basically any metal frame CZ 75 or 85 pistol (plus the polymer-framed SP-01 Phantom). No 97, no 83, no Tactical Sports or IPSC
Capacity: 10+1
Barrel Length: 4.72″
Overall Length: 8.1″
Weight: 16.95 oz
MSRP: $431.10

Ratings (Out of Five Stars): 

Accuracy: * * * * *
Mechanical accuracy exceeds my ability to take full advantage of it.

Build Quality: * * * * *
The modern .22 pistol market is full of pot metal toys. The Kadet Adapter is machined from forged steel, with a cold hammer forged barrel, tool steel firing pin, and steel sights. It’s built to last. In fact, I had a little flooding issue in the basement recently, and it turned out my Kadet Adapter was completely wet for about 5 weeks. The thread protector suffered surface rust (not a CZ part), and the screw head for the rear sight’s windage adjustment has a touch of surface rust. She’s otherwise spotless. CZ’s polycoat isn’t the most modern or sexy coating out there, but it’s durable and it kept my Kadet rust-free.

Reliability: * * * * *
The single most reliable semi-auto .22 LR I have encountered.

Value: * * * * 
It’s expensive. But it’s top quality. If you have a CZ 75/85 series pistol, especially a modified one or one that’s used for self defense or competition, the ability to shoot .22 through it is great for inexpensive practice.

Overall: * * * * *
It more than holds its own not only as a rimfire conversion kit, but as a .22 in general.

 

Video review from two years ago:

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58 Responses to Gear/Gun Review: CZ 75 Kadet Adapter

  1. Yeah… The cheapest .22 I can find is $0.16-$0.17 per round. That’s not that much cheaper than steel case 9mm. (I see that for ~$0.20 per round.)

    • It’s readily available online, even right now, for 10 cents a round. That’s way more expensive than historically, but it’s way less than centerfire. Here, there’s eight listings of in-stock .22 LR at 9 or 10 cents per round, and another 15 or more listings at 11 and 12 cents: http://www.gunbot.net/ammo/rimfire/22lr/ <<< make sure to sort the results by $/round That is, IF you can't find it locally and get it for 9 cents or less plus not have to pay shipping... (after quoting shipping on the first two listings for 500 round bricks of armscor .22 lr at the link above, it was like 11.4 cents per round shipped). .22 LR has been reliably in stock in these here parts since late late summer and 500 round bricks have been selling in the $35 to $45 price range ($0.07 per and up)

    • I buy .22 at Academy. The cheap stuff is sometimes as low as $.03/round. Its no good, but its cheap. I use it when I take the kids to shoot paper.

  2. I bought a Kadet adapter for my 30th Anniversary CZ 75 several years ago. It is probably the most accurate .22 conversion kit out there, and unfailingly reliable. Just one small nit to pick: shortly after I bought the CZ 75, I had a local saddlemaker build a fancy holster and matching belt for it. When I use the Kadet adapter, I can’t use the holster…the Kadet slide is actually wider than the standard 9mm slide.

  3. I’d fallen in serious love with the CZ 75 years ago and now own four various models. I tried for several years to get the Kadet adapter and couldn’t get one as they were always out of stock. VERY frustrating. Then two years ago while visiting my LGS, they had a used (though not obviously) full Kadet pistol in the store for less than the adapter alone was running. They took my money as quickly as I could get my card out of my wallet.

    I like 22LR and have multiple handguns and rifles in that caliber. My Kadet is by far my favorite 22LR pistol. It simple NEVER fails. It has a great feel in the hand and the weight of it settles it nicely in the hands when shooting. I’ve found that if I can’t hit it with my Kadet, it’s time to pick up a rifle.

    Great review.

  4. When I tell people I own 2 1/2 CZs, this conversion is tha 1/2.

    For whatever reason, I never had to file mine even though it came to me New In Box.

    Also, mine doesn’t quite go all the way into battery sometimes, and I can either pull the trigger again in DA or cock and pull the trigger SA, and the round will fire the second time. The problem gets more frequent as it gets dirtier. I can also touch the back of the slide between shots and it doesn’t mess up; it’s less than a milimeter out of battery.

    I don’t mind too much though as I am only using it for practice, and the occasional “malf” can be a good thing then.

    • In this case the GSG/SIG 1911 is much more reliable than this or any conversion. It will eat anything except Winchester rounds and the only other malfunctions are caused by bad rounds. In general, conversions don’t work as well as a dedicated rimfire platform.

      • Did you not see Jeremy’s claim that this is the only one he’s found that will eat anything? Including Winchester? He’s fired a lot more different guns than I have; I’ll figure when he says this might be the best 22 LR out there, he probably knows what he’s talking about. Whether he’s tried this SIG you are talking about is another question, which you ought to address to him, not to me.

        • I was responding to your experience not his. If I read your post correctly you didn’t have the same degree of reliabilty. That would imply that the experience varies with the user whereas the GSG is consistant across pistols.

        • That’s a weird assertion, tdiinva, as you’re saying that your specific experience with the GSG must apply to every GSG out there, whereas the fact that Steve and I have differing experiences means that every single Kadet Adapter is a butterfly. Which it isn’t. Steve’s comments are actually the first I have ever seen that didn’t corroborate complete and total reliability. If every GSG owner’s experience were identical, they’d all have cracked and shattered slides and worn off paint since, if you base a gun on the majority of internet reviews, most GSG slides have apparently cracked in half.

      • I have shot a GSG 1911 and it’s a great plinker. It isn’t as reliable as this CZ unit and it’s nowhere near as accurate or as nice. Feed it the right ammo and it’s a nice plinker, though.

        I don’t know why your KA doesn’t like to go into battery sometimes, Steve. Maybe the recoil spring is weak on it for some reason? Maybe it’s just getting too much wax buildup and whatnot in the chamber?

        In thousands of rounds I don’t think I’ve actually suffered a single malfunction w/ my Kadet Adapter that wasn’t a dud round (no primer in the rim). It does feed Winchester, including the bulk box stuff (222, 333, and 555 boxes) and one or two other Winchester brands. The ONLY round it wouldn’t cycle reliably was Aguila Sniper Subsonic (SSS), which wouldn’t cycle any of 5 different semi-auto .22s I tried it in. Most of them fed and fired it fine, but wouldn’t eject it. The Kadet Adapter came the closest but still failed to eject it like half of the time. But that was half of the time better than any other gun (22/45, 10/22, Rem 597, Walther PPQ 22). It has reliably cycled EVERY other brand/model of .22 LR I have ever tried it in as long as it has gunpowder in it. I’ve shot various subsonic-branded loads, lots of weak-ish target loads, lots of bulk box brands, and lots of hyper velocity like CCI Stingers, Velocitors, Aguila SuperMax, etc etc…

        The GSG/SIG are die cast zinc alloy. While I’m not actually opposed to “pot metal” as a rule like a lot of people are — I think in some cases it’s just fine for a .22 LR, especially if the price is really low… certainly it’s fine for airsoft or for a pellet gun haha — it does get beat up and it does crack. A search for nothing more than “GSG 1911 slide” will return hundreds of hits for cracked and broken slides. Same with the Mosquito, P22, and basically every other .22 on the market that uses a reciprocating slide, because basically all of those are zinc alloy.

        That said, I own a Walther PPQ 22. I reviewed it and kept it and am approaching 1,000 rounds through it. It uses an aluminum slide with steel inserts in key places, and it has proven to be extremely reliable. It is the most reliable .22 LR w/ a reciprocating slide that I have shot so far. It also shoots great w/ a suppressor. It’s a 5-star gun as well, but the quality and accuracy aren’t on par with the Kadet Adapter. Nor does it have the same weight as a real PPQ so it isn’t ideal for practice/training. It made up for these things with low price, good trigger, 12-round mags, good ergos, big fun factor. Also got five stars but is a slightly different, less serious “use case,” where I’d say it’s top of the market for .22 plinker that looks like a centerfire pistol. I’d buy it 100 times over before considering anything zinc alloy.

        • I don’t know why your KA doesn’t like to go into battery sometimes, Steve. Maybe the recoil spring is weak on it for some reason? Maybe it’s just getting too much wax buildup and whatnot in the chamber?

          All I know is, it gets progressively worse as the gun gets dirty, Only about 50 rounds fired is enough to get it to start happening. So that would indicate crud buildup of some sort–but why does it only have this drastic an effect on mine, and no one else’s?

          It’s not missing going into battery by much; you pretty much have to touch the back of the reciprocating part and feel it go in just a hair, to realize it would have not fired. Of course once the hammer smacks it, it’s in battery. And once you touch it, it’s in battery.

        • I don’t know. Maybe your chamber was cut too tight or something or there’s a burr on the breech face or the ejector is set too snug. And it could still be a recoil spring that isn’t stiff enough. It would get you both ways, since a light spring would cause the chamber to get dirtier than a heavy spring (case would move backwards sooner) and it wouldn’t return the slide to battery with as much oomph.

          I’d call up CZ-USA and see if you can send it in for inspection/warranty work, which is made even easier in that it’ll fit in a USPS small flat rate box and isn’t a firearm 😉 . I have no dang clue when the last time I cleaned mine was, but I’m absolutely positive I’ve shot more than 500 rounds through it between cleanings on multiple occasions without any failures. It has just never seemed to care. That includes a period during which I had basically no .22 here other than the CCI Blazer bulk stuff, which is bare (with a little wax) lead bullets and burns pretty darn smokey and dirty. I couldn’t see anything but a cloud of white-gray smoke after rapidly firing 10 rounds haha, but the KA never minded the stuff.

        • I couldn’t see anything but a cloud of white-gray smoke after rapidly firing 10 rounds haha

          I hate it when manufacturers substutute powderless smoke for their smokeless powder.

        • @Jeremy (I don’t know if you’ll even notice this comment after so long)

          I did a bit of experimenting (putting the KA on my fullsize and racking the slide without a mag or rounds a few times). What seems to be happening is, at the very end of the slide going forward, the extractor is being pushed out a bit in the last <1mm of travel. Except sometimes it doesn't budge, so the last little bit of travel isn't happening.

          My question for you: Does the extractor get pushed out on yours when the slide travels forward? In other words should my extractor be budged at all as the slide closes? If yours doesn't, I've identified something abnormal about my KA. If yours does, then it should be happening, and the problem then appears to be that for some reason my extractor is "stickier" than yours.

        • Mine does that as well. But we’re talking barely moves outwards and also, like you said, at the extreme end of the slide travel that might be a millimeter or less. Also worth noting that, when a round is actually stripped out of the magazine and slides up under the extractor, that moves the extractor outwards a bit. The behavior of it being pushed out by the side of the barrel no longer happens, since it’s already held out a bit by the rim of the round. That said, if the extractor is really sticky it would hinder the round’s ability to slide up underneath it and that could absolutely cause chambering problems. I’d look under the edge of the extractor to make sure it’s clean of debris… I suppose whether it’s gunked up or not I’d probably remove it from the slide and give it a good cleaning and very lightly lube it before reinstalling and seeing if it fixed the problem. It’s also possible that it isn’t cut quite right and there isn’t enough space between it and the breech face. “Tuning” extractors is a common thing, particularly on 1911s, as too snug can cause feeding & extraction problems and too lose can cause extraction and ejection problems. If there isn’t enough space under it to provide room for the rim of the cartridge, you can make more space by filing the edge of the extractor that’s closest to and parallel with the breech face. Obviously taking too much off would cause other issues, though.

          You can also order a new extractor, if that seems like it might be the issue, from CZ-USA.

          Extractor: http://shop.cz-usa.com/ProductDetail/0440066004_Extractor-Kadet
          Extractor spring: http://shop.cz-usa.com/ProductDetail/0440068001_Extractor-Spring-Kadet
          Extractor pin: http://shop.cz-usa.com/ProductDetail/311515603012_Extractor-Pin-Kadet

          But before that I’d obviously 1) test the clearance by removing the reciprocating part of the slide and sliding .22 rounds (consider using empty, fired cases) up the breech face and under the extractor to see if it’s unusually difficult and 2) also with it disassembled, drop rounds into the chamber to make sure the tolerances are okay and there isn’t something wrong with the chamber causing rounds to stop short. You could also look in there to inspect it and polish the chamber as well if needed.

        • It can’t be a matter of rounds not slipping under the extractor, because as I described, this happens even with no round being chambered. (I repeated later with a snap cap, exact same behavior. True, a snap cap is not a real round.)

          It does sound like mine is just sticky for some reason, so I’ll work that angle of things. I’m a bit hesitant to go ordering parts when I still don’t know what that “some reason” is.

    • I did not need to file my Kadet either. In fact, it is a smidge loose on my CZs, and I have to watch the adapter going too far towards the rear of the pistol when I install it. It goes just about 1/16 of an inch past the lower frame, and I have to push it forward to install the slide stop.

      But I do absolutely love it. My full-size CZ 75 has basically become a full-time .22 pistol.

      • Interesting. I wonder if it was just the time during which I bought my Kadet Adapter, something to do with the SP-01 or my SP-01, or what. The necessity for filing it was made pretty clear in the box and the owner’s manual with mine. Was that stuff in yours (and Steve’s) and it fit fine anyway, or was it not even mentioned? I pretty much agree that it shouldn’t be required, since the forged frames are pretty dang consistent anyway. As mentioned, I’ve swapped slides between a bunch of CZ frames and they all fit and functioned just fine. It’s not like slides are hand matched to frames at the factory or anything! They should all be swappable and in my experience it seems like they are. So you’d assume the Kadet Adapter could be made to fit w/out custom work also. Maybe mine was from a period in time when the factory thought otherwise…

        • I vaguely recall seeing something in the manual indicating a gunsmith was needed to fit the slide to the gun.

          When I began to notice this occasional (sometimes not so occasional) failure to go that last 0.1 mm into battery, I wondered if somehow I’d caused it by not having the gunsmith do the adjustment. Now that I know what the adjustment would have been, I at least don’t have that as a concern.

        • I have a bit of experience with the Kadet II conversion and have tried about 15 different types of 22LR in it. On my 1989 vintage (round trigger guard) cz75, it fits loose, occasionally jams by either not fully chambering the round, actually kinking the shell halfway into battery or by light primer strikes. This gun has a lightened hammer spring so the primer strikes are no fault of the Kadet. My theory for the bent shells & not going into battery are because the magazine is locked ever so slightly lower in the frame. Again, just a theory. When I run the Kadet on my 1998 vintage CZ75B it has a perfect tight fit and runs just about flawless – as long as I don’t run ancient grease lubed 22LR in it. It hits a 24″ gong at 100 yards all day long. To be fair no other auto loading anything I have will run that greasy ammo either. No bent shell type failures with my 75B. On my buddy’s 2012 vintage 75B it ran flawless and also had the perfect tight fit. On my SP01 the Kadet will not even slide onto the frame. I realized right away it would need to be fitted to the SP01 and decided I didn’t want to mess with the nice fit it had with the 75B frame. Conclusion, the frame makes all the difference as to whether this kit runs as intended. The newer CZs are tighter, generally built to higher quality standards and work well with it.

        • Good info, thanks! It’s possible the wider sear and some of the other differences in your old, Pre-B 75 contribute to the issues. I’ve never actually tried the cadet on mine (which is also a 1989 example).

  5. The Beretta 22LR conversion kit is also widely considered one of the best, reliable kits around. Only has an aluminum slide though. Uses the same exact rear sight as the Kadet.

    • During the 2013 panic I had a raging woody for finding a Kadet conversion kit for my SP01 but after many months of futile searching I realized I could get a very premium version of a Browning Buckmark for less money and I’d have another complete pistol. Bought a 5.5″ stainless and cocobolo Buckmark and I looooove it.

      • That’s a solid pistol choice for sure. On the Kadet Adapter front, not being a complete pistol is definitely both a positive and a negative depending on perspective.

  6. 9mm is roughly 20-25 bucks for 100 and I can get it anywhere at any time. Considering I carry 9mm I really can’t justify buying a trainer 22 and having to hunt all over for ammo.

    • The .22 shortage won’t last forever, so I would consider buying something appropriate (whatever that is for you given what you carry) if you happen to see a great deal on it–you can hang onto it until .22 becomes available and sanely priced again.

      • Define “sanely priced”. I can get CCI Mini-Mag for prices close to 10c/round today. This is about the same as what I paid for it back in 2010, long before the panic buying and the real shortages where you just couldn’t find any .22 at all. So what is that sane price that you expect it to return to, and why would it do that?

        • From what you say the price is as it was before the panic hit. That’s what I was trying to say.

          Apparently there are still parts of the country where .22 LR is hard to find (i’ts impossible at Walmart here, but I haven’t tried to find it at other places), presumably because it’s all being sponged up by resellers who multiply the price. That will work as long as they can manage to buy all that is delivered to that area. As soon as people manage to cut out the middleman the price will drop to somethimg that is not $80 a brick, closer to the 20-30 that (if memory serves) was the price before newtown.

        • In other words (it won’t let me edit), “sane” == “just before everyone went nuts, panicked, and bought all the .22LR in stock”. I’m not one of those people who thinks anything over $10 a brick (or some other price from the distant past) is insane.

    • Yes this is sort of unfortunate timing to review anything in .22 LR. Half the comments on those reviews for the past couple of years have been related to ammo scarcity and price. Unfortunate, of course. Hopefully the reviews will be seen as more meaningful/valid once .22 normalizes, which it will. It already has in this area, actually. At least much better than the past couple years. I can find bricks of .22 at three or four local shops very reliably — usually no ability to decide between different brands, but bricks of some brand have been in stock — and the prices are normal ($35 to $45 for bricks of decent bulk box stuff). That’s higher than 3 years ago, yeah, but everything else is more expensive as well and this seems in-line. At least, the retailer markup over their cost is the same now as it used to be, and availability is coming back…

  7. As I was reading your review, I could feel the love you have for this kit. It is not often that an experienced shooter has that much good stuff to say about any firearm and struggles to find anything to criticize. I enjoyed the review and I am thinking maybe I should get a CZ just so I can get this .22LR conversion kit. I have a lot of .22LR ammo bought over the years. It used to be my habit to buy a brick (1000 rounds) or 2 or even 3 every time it went on sale. This was back when that sale price was $9.99 in the olden days “before the war” as grandpa used to say. I was shooting 500 rounds a week typically back then, but continued to buy even after my shooting slowed way down.

  8. Have you tried this Kadet on any of the CZ clones? I don’t know that I’ll ever pony up for a “real” CZ, unless my financial situation changes, but I have been considering some of the various clones. Of course, sounds like the Kadet itself might be out of my price range! 🙂

    • In general this stuff doesn’t work. I have tried to swap slides between CZ and EAA, Tanfoglio, etc (haven’t tried a Canik), and it doesn’t work. Even when the slide rails line up fine, there are differences in the ejector, sear cage, slide stop, hammer width, and other things that just aren’t compatible. Usually it’s the ejector though that gets in the way. It’s absolutely possible that one or some of them out there will accept the Kadet Adapter slide properly, but I have no idea which one(s) that might be if any.

      • Is there a list of clones it will work on? I have a Canik Stingray. I sure would love to shoot .22 with it.

        • No, there’s no list. It isn’t really expected to work on clones for the reasons I mentioned above. I’d bet there’s some out there, but for the most part they differ a lot more than you’d expect and basically nothing is compatible between CZ and a CZ clone.

  9. Two weeks ago I found a used CZ75 BD (late-2009) and Kadet Adapter (mid-2010) with all original cases, paperwork, and accessories on Armslist for only $640. Guy lived just 15 minutes away and I bought them as fast as I could! Dirty as hell – he was a LEO and don’t think he ever cleaned them – but once cleaned both are practically showroom condition. And tack drivers! Now it’s time to save up for a suppressor for the Kadet!

    • I shoudl think if they did that, they’d make it fit both the 07 and the 09.

      I know some people think those are variants from the -75, but if they are, everything is. The P-07 and-09 are maredkly wider and the grip feels totally different in my hand–its only a good pointer for me by New York City cop standards.

      Now the P-01 and P-06 are CZ 75 variants, just to be confusing.

    • I’ve seen a lot more guys running the P07’s and 09s in the local matches. Hopefully their popularity will inspire CZ to manufacture this. I would buy one in a heartbeat.

  10. There’s a guy on the CZ forums who’s famous for nevercleaning his Kadet, even after X thousands of dirty .22LRs run through it. He occasionally posts updated photos of his horrifyingly dirty pistol, accompanied by the tiny groups he shoots with it at 50+ yards.

    • Now *that* is reliability, folks, able to shoot accurately when half of the mass of the gun must by now consist of carbon crud. 😛

      (Though I note there’s no mention of how often the gun fails to feed or anything like that, just how accurate it is.)

      • Well, he’s said that aside from some problems in cold weather, it’s been very reliable. That’s been my experience as well, except, you know… I do clean my gun. (Actually, I broke a roll pin while cleaning some caked-on lead from the barrel a while back, and was suitably chastised for it…).

        He’s a much, much, much, much better shooter than me, though, so I take his point.

  11. Great article. FYI, it can now be found at other places around the internet such as budsgunshop and most notably Amazon.com.

  12. It must’ve been a dream, so I thought at the time. I am the luckiest CZ Cadet owner in the world. I received an email about discount firearms accessories from a rather small chain store that’s been in existence for many many years. I decided to browse the available clearance items and as always, listed the product from low to high price. WHAT the heck was this? CZ Cadet 22LR Conversion for 1¢ ? ! ? ! ? The picture showed slide and two magazines; I knew these were expensive kits, most kits for any brand cost upwards of $300. So I decided to plunk down the penny and bought something else for $25 as they were having a Free Shipping on purchase over $25 as well. Received a order confirmation for both items and waited. Finally a tracking email came and one day there was a package at my door. But only the one item was there, not the 1¢ conversion kit . . . hmmm, they knew it was a mistake and cancelled it I thought. So I sent an email and asked where the other item on my order was. The next day there was a reply that said it was shipped separately. Well, 3 days later I received another package and inside was the complete CZ Cadet conversion kit, in plastic carrying case complete with warranty papers and CZ serial # etc.. . . . . WOW ! I know that retailers will price stuff down to a 1¢ that they are getting rid of, but they are not supposed to sell the stuff, it usually gets bought back by the vendor. I guess I was at the right place at the right time and got the deal of the century! Best part is. I have two CZ’s I can use it on, a CZ75B Omega 9mm and a CZ75 Compact 40.

  13. I have a confession to make. When I bought my CZ 75 in gloss blue, the LGS owner offered to throw in a .22LR kit for $200 to “get rid of the dang thing.” I said, “How about $100?” He said, “Fine, if you buy a box of ammo.” I knew what I had just scored and had a very hard time keeping the dumb grin on my face to a minimum long enough to walk out of the store with my CZ goodies in hand. Believe it or not, in some areas of the country, people don’t know much about the awesomesauce that is CZ.

    When I got home, I immediately fitted the Kadet II kit to the 75B lower. All I had to do in terms of fitting is file the the Polycoat off the surfaces referenced in the review. It took all of 5 minutes.

    Since then, I have put more than 10K rounds through the Kadet, and I can count on 1 hand how many malfunctions I have experienced. I have kept it pretty clean during that time, however. The main areas that need attention are the breechface and firing pin hole and chamber. They are easily cleaned with nylon brushes.

    The fit, finish, and accuracy of the gun are superb by any standard. The Kadet kit holds its own in every respect with my Browning Buckmark and doesn’t spit hot gunpowder in my face after 50 rounds like that other gun does.

    The second part of my confession is this: I have never reinstalled the 9mm upper on this gun. It is so good as a .22LR that I have never wanted to take a break from it. I have been looking for a dedicated Kadet pistol for years and have never found one for sale since CZ discontinued it. My new strategy is to find a used CZ 75 Polycoat for sale to mate with my kit so I can finally put the gloss blue upper on the gloss blue frame as the god of awesomesauce intended.

  14. I bought mine at MidwayUSA in October 2015, so CZ-USA must have decided to start selling these through distributers again. I took it out to the range yesterday, and was very happy with it (life and my own forget fullness have gotten in the way of tring it out before). I might shave just a little bit off to make it fit more smoothly, but it took maybe 20 minutes with a fine diamond file to get it to fit, and most of that was cleaning shavings off and trying it on the frame.
    Yes, it is very expensive, but it is worth every penny in my opinion. I have heard that CZ makes a .22LR Kadet gun (not just the conversion kit), but I have never actually heard any stories of it out in the wild. I own 4 CZs, and am planning to buy a P-09 soon to finish off my CZ to-buy list, and I have been very happy with all of them.

  15. Really well done article. // My CZ Shadow Target came with a 13# main spring and 11# recoil. I had to go to a 17# main spring and 13# recoil spring to reliably fire the 22LR rounds. // After reading a lot of differing opinions on line I got the standard fiber optic front sight sight for a CZ75. With a slight adjustment to the rear sight, the point of impact now matches my 9mm CZ slide. // The Kadet would not fit my kydex holster that had been made for the CZ75 SP01 Shadow. From the bottom of the dust cover to the top of the slide, the Kadet is 0.073″ taller than the standard 9mm slide. With a heat gun I slightly reshaped the holster for the Kadet to fit. When I swap back to the 9mm slide I have to tighten the retention screws. I wish the CZ engineers had been more precise.

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