LooseRounds.com
5.56 Timeline
Weaponsman.com

Colt’s Short Lived . 22 Cadet

It will surprise exactly no one to know I had that same sweatshirt at the time. And the Colt cadet.

In the 1990s Colt came out with a .22 rimfire pistol. It was no doubt intended to compete with the ultra popular Ruger .22 pistols and be an affordable plinking and target pistol.


The Cadet was the shorter barrel version with fixed sights. The gun had a heavy barrel and it was accurate. I owned one for many years and a close friend has the longer barrel model with adjustable target sights. The pistol is very easy to field strip and clean and has excellent ergonomics and a magazine that is reliable.

Many chipmunks bought the farm under my Cadet and my first AR15 with the Colt 22 conversion kit installed. In decades past a boy would have had a Winchester model 67 or 69 and a 22 revolver, GenXer’s like myself used Ar15s and semi auto 22 pistols with polymer frames. The looks may change but the idea never does! Though I doubt few people now a days would do anything but call 911 and head to their feinting couch at the sight of a teenager walking around the woods with an Ar15 and pistol shooting squirrels. we have lost so much.. Anyway Back on topic.

The Cadet was very simple and tough. It was as reliable as man can make a semi auto rimfire handgun. I never had trouble with it, even with subsonic rounds. At the time I wished it had the adjustable target sights though. Even with the fixed sights I was able to shoot sycamore balls off of the tree limbs on the side of the mountain from the yard about 25 yards away.

As you can see above, the Target Model had the top sight rail that allowed mounting of optics.

The gun was discontinued though. it didn’t sell enough to justify keeping it around much like the Colt Cowboy. Another case of buyers screaming about how much they want something, then when actually brought out, they find some reason or other to not buy it because – “it isn’t ..X enough.” Same with the Cowboy. Buyers claimed they wanted a Ruger vaquero equivalent from Colt. Once they got it, they didn’t buy it. Just like I personally believe will happen when Colt finally succumbs to a relatively small minority and brings back the python.

The Cadet wasn’t the Woodsman was its biggest sin for many. it didn’t have that old world craftsmanship and blued steel and all that stuff, and it wasn’t as cheap and plentiful as the Rugers. Maybe it never stood a chance. It is a good pistol though and if you want a really solid fun 22 rimfire pistol for camping or plinking or whatever and see one used some where for a good deal I would certainly get it.

3 thoughts on “Colt’s Short Lived . 22 Cadet”

  1. The California version of Trevor sells “Off Roster” firearms to his “Good Friends” at a 50-100% mark up.
    Being an LEO has its perks.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.