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 todays units, these consisted of slide, barrel, and magazines suitable for rimfires.
Todays 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, youre 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 todays vast assortment of auto pistols.
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 Eleys 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 dont 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 didnt 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.
Even more to the magazines liking was the conversion units 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 todays prices. In fact thats true for all 22 conversion units, one of the reasons theyre 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.