Let me start by saying that I was never really interested in the Marauder since I had heard all the bad reviews with the first go around of Mrods. Then I started reading about the Mrods tuned by Greg Davis and all the great reviews on them and how happy they were with the Mrods after sending them off to Greg.
Well I guess what happened next was meant to be because it really was not a planned thing.
I go to Mexico about 2-3 times a year to visit family and well to party a little "hey man has to take a break every once in a while" and when I do I take along a couple of air guns. The town I go to is very small and a farming and ranching town and an air gunners dream, I started think that an Mrod would be a great gun to take but I was worried about getting a bad one and have more trouble than fun.
While talking on the phone with Ramon from Puerto Rico he had mentioned that he was thinking of getting an Mrod and having it tuned by Greg and then he to told me he was surprised that I didn't have one since Greg lived in Arizona. Well when he said that my brian went wild and the heart started racing "you guys know how we get when we get that idea in our heads". Then the Next day AOA put the Mrods at $399 and well that was all I needed. I called Greg and told him what I was thinking and that I would love to have it for my Mexico trip, to my surprise he hunts in Mexico in the same state where I was going. He then told me bring it down in a couple of days and that he would do it right in front me so I could take it home the same day, now is that service or what.
Well I went Down on Friday and got to his place about 9:00 am, about a 3 hour drive from my house. When I got there he greeted me with a great big smile and a warm welcome, kind of how you feel when you drive up to a close relatives home you haven't seen for a while. He said well bring in your gun and lets get started so we can get you home early.
first thing he opened the box and looked at the chrony print out shot by AOA and he then said say good by to those week numbers, I felt a grin rise from the corners of my mouth.
Fist thing was the Barrel, he asked if I wanted the extended LW barrel and as much as I wanted to do it I had to pass. I wanted to keep the price on the gun down and much as possible since this is going to be my Mexico gun and if it even got taken by an federally having a bad day it wouldn't hunt as much. He said don"t worry we will make the crosman barrel shoot.
first was the crown, he spent about 70% of the time crowning, inletting and polishing the barrel, he was not kidding about making it shoot.
below the first cut on the crown.
I know this one is a bit blurry but it is after the 11 degree target crown cut.
The finished crown and one of the stock Crosman barrels.
Next was machining the grub screw slots on the barrel, he showed me how bad the stock ones were and then explained why it made a difference, after the mod the screws would now all hold equal and line up straight.
After the machining of the crown and barrel slots he polished both the crown and inletting, he spent about 30 minutes making sure it was perfect.
Next the polishing of the barrel. When he started to polish the barrel with the very first stroke he said nice we have a good barrel and it is going to shoot JSB good as well. I thought WOW he had done so many that he know what the barrel is going to do with the first stroke of the rod. Most guys would of have not said anything beacuse if the gun didn't shot at the end they would have blamed it on the barrel but not Greg he gives you his honest opinion not matter what and put in all on the line because he is that confident of his ability in making these guns do what he wants them to do.
doesn't look like a Crosman barrel at all more like a LW.
Now comes the the tuning process and I wish I could have explained a little more exactly what he does in the internals but I really don't know a lot about the inside of an air gun and well my mind was racing on all the info he as giving me about what does what and what he was changing and why. One think I can say is I learned more about air guns in one day then all the time I have been shooting them. Greg just didn't do it and send me on my way but took the time to show me why a certain piece did not work or why he was changing something and what the affect it was going to have on the performance of the gun, you can't put a price on that.
Fist thing he did was polish all the internals, every piece of metal that touched other metal was getting polished form the hammer to the springs.
you can see the polished hammer at the top.
He went on to change out all the seals and O rings and put the right size O rings in them "if you ever take your Mrod apart you'll see what I am talking about". He explained why a proper durometer O ring important in certain areas, 90 in some places 75 and 35 in others, unlike the stock ones just all one durometer and some even the wrong size.
The new hammer spring, he cuts it down a bit but changes from, let me see if i can remember .51 to .55, I am sure I messed this one up but those who know will get the idea of what I am talking about.
After that it is bit of a blur since it happened so fast, he changed out some more parts that I can't seam to remember exactly what but when you watch him put it together you realize that he knows every square mm of that gun and that he can probably put it together with his eyes closed.
A new custom a plug to seal the back end of dust and secure my settings.
Notice my now true fully floated barrel, with a nice custom band in its place.
He asked me if I liked to shoot JSB Predators and that he would machine the mag to shoot them if I liked so I accepted.
The finished product and they cycle flawlessly with the predators.
Well now to the performance.
this is where I left in true amazement with Greg, he filled my gun to 3000 PSI and he then told me to start shooting. He would start turning and adjusting the gun and then would have me shoot a few more and then adjust a little more. He then said OK You are shooting at 950 with the 18's now. I said to myself there is no way he can tell just by hearing but when took the Chrony out to make sure, he was right on.
He then said go ahead and shoot a group see what she does. So I grabbed what I really wanted to shoot out if it, the JBS 18's and shot a few to sight her in. Right way I knew I was really going to be pleased with what it was going to do. After a few shots to get the cross hairs lined up I shot a full mag at a knot in the wood board I was shooting at from 35 yards.
10 shots at 35 yards shooting 18 g JSB at 950 FPS for 35 FPE.
Greg has 6 of the nicest hunting dogs I have ever seen, well trained and just all around friendly and ready to work, every time I shot at the board they would run over to find the pray then come back with a look on their face like come on guy can't you kill a bird.
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Speeking of killing birds when I was sighting in greg came out with His Mrod and said there is a pigeon on the phone pole and he was goin to take it. The pole is a lasered 102 yards so he rested his elbow on the table and took aim, I though wow he is really going to try and do this in front of me and put his reputation on the line as far and accuracy of a gun goes. I grab my gun and looked through the scope to witness the hit or miss. All I saw was a pigeon jump up and then straight to the ground, a center mass hit and it dropped dead. I was really impressed but when he told me it was a .177 shooting 10.5's at 1150 I was really impressed.
He then put me on the spot and asked if i was sighted in, when I said yes he said good because we have another pigeon on the pole again, take him! Man taking about being put on the spot after watching him do it with a .177. I took aim, Greg told me to put it on the third mil dot and pull the trigger. That is how good he knows these guns because he never shot mine. I did what he said and down he went, another 102 yard kill and my first 100+ kill. I ended up taking another at I would say 107 yards off a pole nest to the one pictured. Two 100+ kills with a gun that had just got put together about 20 minutes ago.
The pole where the pigeons were!
Wow what a day, I got my gun tuned by one of the best tuners ever and the best Mrod tuner hands down but more important, I had met one of the friendliest and all around good person I had met in a long time. Greg is a class act and a very talented tuner and machinist. I found out that he went to school for 4 years and specialized in CNC machines, then went to Italy for 6 years and trained with the people who built them. So to say Greg is a master machinist is an understatement, I doubt there is a gun he can't fix or make shoot better. I know from now on when I need work done Greg will be the man.
One thing I want to mention is that after watching Greg tune my Mrod and seeing how much time and parts goes into every gun I came to the conclusion that Greg really does not make ay money on these and does it for the fun of it, he is providing more of a service to air gunners rather than making a business out of it. I know that most will never really see all the work that goes into each gun since most everything he does is inside the gun be assured that he build each one as if he was building it for himself.
I know a lot of guys have gun that shot great out of box but after seeing the stuff that greg replaces and why he replaces it, it is not about if it shoots good but more of how long will it shot good for.
If you are wondering if your gun is next, well there were a lot of boxes on that the shop and he said he had about 100 more at the house. The only thing that holds him up are calls and emails. He is constantly on the phone from callers checking where their guns are and if it is done, but more so guys asking how do I fix this or that. I don't know how the guy does it, He really is doing it because he loves what he does. While I was there i talked to three guys I know on the Forum seams Greg is doing just about everyone ones guns. No surprise, his Marauder tunes are the best.
Greg has invited me to come down and spend a weekend with him and his wife at their home for a week end of hunting and maybe a beer or two "wink, wink". An invite I am planing to accept.
In closing I just want to thank Mr. & Miss. Davis for their Hospitality, I was a great honor to have met them. The saying of behind every successful man is a great woman couldn't more true with Miss Davis she is a sweetheart.
The Davis's and my Mrod