Finally my Crosman 451 is working as it should with my new hammer and my sear. I can get six shots in semi automatic mode without any pause as it was intended to shoot. The weight of the third replacement hammer is shown below.
The next picture shows the whole family of hammers. This has been a very instructive process.
Now I don’t have to worry about shooting the Crosman 451 as much as I want. The original hammer and sear are safely tucked away and preserved intact if I ever decide to sell it. Mission accomplished, my brain can stop being in problem solving mode and I will be able to relax and just enjoy it.
And after all this work, what is it like? The Crosman 451 is really an enjoyable pistol to shoot. The weight is just right and it feels good in the hand. Other than the possible breakage of the hammer, this is an airgun that is sturdy and solid.
I don’t have any information on my 451’s history meaning I don’t know if it has the original seals or has been rebuilt. From my experience, until now it is pretty good. As long as it is on half cock when the CO2 cartridge is pierced it pressurizes immediately, it has no leaks and the blowback performs flawlessly. If by mistake it is not on the half cock notch, some CO2 will be lost when the cartridge is pierced but the pressure builds up to close the valve pretty fast.
I have read that some people consider themselves lucky to get 25 shots from one CO2 but I consistently have about 36 good shots plus or minus 1or 2. The indication is when the blowback fails to re-cock the hammer it is time to empty the carousel. It has to be noted that the pellet is loaded by the action of the slide so after the magazine is emptied there is probably a last pellet in the barrel. This is the reason that is important to stop as soon as the hammer fails to re-cock. That way there is still enough pressure to at least spit out that last pellet by thumbing the hammer and shooting the gun. After that I continue thumbing and shooting to confirm that only gas is exiting. To exhaust the balance of the gas, the pistol is cocked but when the trigger is pulled the hammer is held back to avoid shooting. With this trigger position the hammer can be moved forward while still held between thumb and finger and when it reaches the end of its course pushing it further forward will apply pressure on the firing pin and empty the CO2 cartridge.
I am using Crosman Premier Hollow Point pellets and they work very well in the 451. They are easy to load and I haven’t experienced any jams. To avoid the possibility of the dreaded double jam, I simply keep track that each shot hits something. That way I know that the pellet is out.
Also when I load the magazine which is in fact a turret, I hold the pistol in my left hand so my fingers and thumb can access the corrugated wheel that turns the magazine. By keeping the muzzle up the pellets fall in place and they load without glitches.
The 451 is a semiautomatic single action pistol. Pulling the trigger, after manually cocking the hammer, fires the shot and the balance of the cycle insert a new pellet in the barrel as well as re-cocking the hammer for the next shot but the blowback has no comparison with the modern 1911 blowback BB guns that we know. It should also be noted that the trigger pull is not as light as on the modern replica which I guess is due to the double sears arrangement. Anyway, the fact that the trigger is a bit heavier than what we are used in single action pistol doesn’t cause any adverse effect on accuracy.
There is practically no felt recoil to throw off accuracy. The balance of forces between the strong hammer springs and the backward travel of the partial slide ends up to be just what is needed to re-cock the hammer without a harsh kick.
Accuracy is fairly good. My garage range is about 25 feet and I always shoot freehand. For this pistol I use a two hand grip but shoot right or left handed with about the same result. My target is an aluminum L shape that provides me with a face that is 1″ wide by maybe 6″ or 7″ high. When hit it gives a nice ringing sound. On average it is hit about 5 times out of 6.
All in all, I was not expecting to ever own a pistol like this but now that I have one I am very happy that it came my way.