I've have a Colt Cadet that is engraved "First Edition" on the right side of the barrell with a low serial number (less than 100), pistol is NIB with (2) magazines. Can anyone tell me about this pistol and approximate value? Thanks.
Can't add much to the previous history lesson, other than a tidbit about the name change, and a price opinion. Colt ran into problems with using the "Cadet" name because it was already in use by Coonan for their short barreled 357 auto pistol, so the name was dropped in less than a year after production began. The non "Cadet" marked standard Colt 22, and 22 Target models I've seen are in the $250.00-$300.00 range. The first year "Cadet" guns are fairly scarce and will definitely bring a premium. I would price yours at no less than $450.00, assuming it's truly an unblemished NIB gun. These have been slow to catch on with collectors, but are beginning to rise in price.
I have a pair of them that came through the Colt Collectors Assoc., one 4-1/2" fixed sight and a 6" Target model with the black rib on it. The short barreled one is S/N'ed on the side of the frame CADET 1XX and the 6" one is 1XX CADET - the same S/N but with a suffix and prefix "CADET". Never had them out of the plastic sleeve to fire them so I can't comment on accuracy and reliability. I bought them second hand from the original owner in 2002 and paid $360 /ea for them.
I had a couple of other ones - the 4-1/2" had a "PH" prefix and the 6" one had a "TM" prefix.