I think the “learning curve” and bad PR forced Freedom Arms to correct what they were producing. Seems like the complaints are less and the issues with the rifles have been fixed. I suppose that like many of us the thought of a Marlin not being made by Marlin and not in the original factory is tough to accept. There was something special about a JM stamped rifle, it represented a part of America that is disappearing, the “little guy” competing with corporate giants by having a slice of the market. Where the guy on the floor saw the owner and made a product with care. I have a 1895 made in 2017 and it’s a good gun, function, fit, and so, far reliable. But I will admit it, owning a JM Marlin is an privilege. Just my thoughts, sounds like you are happy with your new gun, as I am with mine. Enjoy it and hope it becomes a family heirloom.