I myself do not have a Marlin because of the reports you speak of, but I did once have a Red Ryder. Notice the word - DID. It's gone now, in the trash because 10 shot groups looked like shotgun patterns. I believe it is the luck of the draw on some BB guns. Combine that with offhand shooting and other factors and anything can happen. You got a good one, and you obviously can shoot well, the results speak for themselves. In Daisy's defense, I have a few of their vintage BB guns that were made for target shooting, the 99 series (99, 299, 499) the Marlin wouldn't stand a chance in a head to head competition. But then again - that is comparing apples and oranges. I'd like to see several (of any brand) BB gun from different production lots clamped in a vice and shot for accuracy. Just to see what would really happen.