August 15, 2011

CZ 75B w/Kadet Adapter 22 LR

The concept of shooting 22 LR ammo in centerfire handguns goes back a long way. The Germans had a system for the Luger when centerfire ammunition was mighty scarce between the two World Wars. These conversion units consisting of an insert barrel, a different toggle mechanism, and suitable magazines. Insert barrels were also used on the Walther PP at that time to fire a low-power 4mm round, presumably for indoor gallery use. These 4mms were one-shot deals, the round not having enough power to run the slide, so you had to work it by hand. Also pre-WWII or shortly thereafter were some conversions for the 1911 45 autos involving a lightened slide, which predates the Colt Ace conversion with floating chamber. Then the Ace system came along, and it let 22 LR rounds give the same kick to your 1911 as when firing 45 ACP rounds, thanks to a flying breech that essentially amplified the kick of the rimfire rounds to cycle the normal slide. Even more recently a few 22 LR units were made in Germany for the P-38, apparently for police/border-guard units. Like today’s units, these consisted of slide, barrel, and magazines suitable for rimfires.

Today’s centerfire shooter who wants to save ammo money, or just plain wants to shoot a lot more for the same money, can buy 22 conversions that replace the slide with a more appropriate one, generally of lighter weight. In the case of the test unit for this report, the slides were fitted with excellent adjustable sights and excellent barrels. Changing centerfire to rimfire involved only taking off the original slide and replacing it with the 22 conversion unit, securing it in place with the normal cross pin, plugging in a 22-caliber magazine, and bang, you’re done. In a non-exhaustive search Gun Tests found modern conversions for 1911s by at least four U.S. companies: Kimber, Ciener, Wilson, and Marvel. There are several 22 conversions for the 1911 made in other countries, notably Italy, but we have not seen those here yet. CZ makes one for its Model 75, called the Kadet Adapter, and Ciener also offers one for the Hi-Power. Note that 22 conversions are available for only a tiny fraction of today’s vast assortment of auto pistols.


This is what you get for $412. While it might not look like much, it transformed the CZ into a very fine rimfire with exactly the same weight and balance as with the 9mm version. In fact it was just slightly heavier, corresponding to a loaded 9mm CZ. We thought that was a nice touch.

Gun Tests tested with three types of rimfire ammunition that included light target loads, normal 22 ammo, and one of the hotter types with an odd-shaped bullet. They were Eley’s XTRA pistol ammo, Federal Classic RN, and Remington Yellow Jacket with truncated-cone, hollowpoint bullets.

Gun Tests recently tested the CZ 75 9mm Model B pistol and liked it a lot, especially its provision for cocked-and-locked carry of a DA/SA auto. For this report they acquired the CZ 75 Kadet 22 LR conversion for the gun. This well-made unit fit easily onto the CZ, and gave the same overall look and balance. An important point about the CZ conversion is that it uses a fairly heavy slide/barrel assembly to retain the original weight and balance of the piece in 9mm configuration, and then uses a separate sliding breech, much like that on the S&W Model 41, to cycle the rounds in and out and re-cock the hammer. The magazine capacity was only 10 rounds for the 22 version, compared with 16 for the 9mm.

Note that if you don’t have a CZ, you can buy a complete 22 pistol from CZ. Called the Kadet, it sells for $689. It is a full-size and full-weight version of the CZ 75B 9mm, but in 22 LR.

Another, very pleasant, difference was the sight setup fitted to the Kadet. The rear was fully adjustable, the front was slanted like the full-size version, the sight picture was outstanding, and both front and rear had tritium inserts to permit low-light practice.

Two magazines came with the Kadet in a full-gun-size plastic case. They found the CZ magazines a touch harder to load than others, but they were not at all difficult to load, except maybe the tenth round. Everything about this conversion kit was very well made and nicely finished in a matte black that matched the gun exactly. They noted the 22 barrel, breech slide, and stationary slide were all serial numbered, and the barrel chamber carried a proof mark.

They installed the Kadet onto the Model 75B, which took only a few minutes. They neglected to lubricate the unit, however, and the first five shots of normal Federal ammunition failed to feed. All the empties got out, but the flying slide didn’t get far enough rearward to pick up the next round. These brand-new parts needed oil. They fixed that problem and the Kadet conversion then handled even the light-recoiling Eley match ammunition with ease. There were no failures to feed, fire, or eject. A nice touch was that the gun would stay open after the last shot. They were very pleased with the function of this setup.


The Kadet Adapter had actually more weight than the parts it replaced, giving the gun the same heft as it had as a centerfire. This setup was not inexpensive, but as well made as it was, and as well as it worked. with night sights to boot, we thought it to be worth the cost.

Even more to the magazine’s liking was the conversion unit’s outstanding accuracy. The sample target that came with the unit showed the fine potential of the Kadet, and they were able to match the factory results with several of their groups. The sights as received were precisely aligned with the center of our 15-yard target. As noted in the original test of the 9mm, the trigger of the CZ needed work. A really fine trigger job would benefit this gun immensely in both calibers.

Gun Tests Said: The price was fair for the quality, and if you shoot a lot, such a conversion will pay for itself in money saved over the cost of centerfire ammunition, especially at today’s prices. In fact that’s true for all 22 conversion units, one of the reasons they’re so popular today. They would highly recommend the Kadet to owners of the CZ handguns that accept it. The Kadet Adapter will also fit the single-action CZ Model SA, and all full-size CZ pistols from the 75/85 series. Check the website (www.cz-usa.com) for details.

Comments (13)

Just wondering if this kit will fit clones of the CZ such as the EAA Witness line?

Posted by: IanFrog | September 19, 2011 4:06 PM    Report this comment

Own 2 CZ's one is original 1979 unfired and NIB other 75B the B is a great shooter and I am very interested now in the conversion would have liked accuracy report.

Posted by: nutbustd | August 28, 2011 5:55 PM    Report this comment

You can look it up on you tube they have kadet reviews

Posted by: Mudcat1 | August 24, 2011 3:53 PM    Report this comment

You can look it up on you tube they have kadet reviews

Posted by: Mudcat1 | August 23, 2011 6:20 PM    Report this comment

Is this kind of pistol available in the Philippines? If yes, what gun store is it available at and how much does it cost?

Posted by: rjkafrica@yahoo.com | August 23, 2011 7:52 AM    Report this comment

The cz-75 is one of the most accurate firearms in the world does anyone really CZ skimpted on the conversion kit. I DON"T THINK SO!

Posted by: batleth | August 22, 2011 3:35 AM    Report this comment

A firearm is a tool, not a weapon. It is a tool used to feed or protect the ones you love.

Posted by: batleth | August 22, 2011 3:32 AM    Report this comment

SEND EM ON

Posted by: MILDOT | August 21, 2011 8:11 PM    Report this comment

.22 cal conversion devices are a great way to get a lot of practice with many of the major caliber pistols that are commonly carried for self-protection. Of course, the periodic firing of a few rounds of the major caliber also keeps us in pretty good shape.....reminding us of the effects of major caliber and its' performance. Many of us purchase .22 handguns as substitute pieces just for practice, and that's fine, but a conversion device enables the shooter to essentially fire the duty weapon, with all of its' characteristics such as weight, size, trigger pull, etc.

Posted by: canovack | August 19, 2011 11:32 AM    Report this comment

Please grant me sending one exploded view catalogCZ 75B w/Kadet Adapter 22 LR for my own knowledge.

Posted by: Cobra 4 | August 18, 2011 10:13 PM    Report this comment

This report on the cz kadet was helpful I didn't know there was a 22 cal kit for the cz pistol I am a owner of a fine pistol the cz 75 B SA in a 9 lugar and a shadow spo1 and both are great shooters . I love to shoot 22s it's alot of fun
now taking my cz hunting for tree rats.

Posted by: Mudcat1 | August 18, 2011 9:06 PM    Report this comment

And no accuracy data = completely useless report.

Posted by: Markbo | August 18, 2011 8:13 PM    Report this comment

Looks like it works like the S&W MOD 41

Posted by: lotoofla | August 18, 2011 12:52 PM    Report this comment

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