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Jshade it’s possible your over thinking it with the hold and such . Shooting a gun , any gun should be like holding your toothbrush…This morning did you give any thought to how you held your toothbrush handle or did you just do what was natural ? If you have a good groups of pellets that work well with your gun , a steady rest , and good xonditions then the gun should perform as well as its capable of . Nobody wants to be the guy who takes a crap on another guys gun , but some guns just aren’t capable or repeatable results . It sucks but it’s true .
Between me and my shooting buddy if there’s a springer sold by Walmart/ Academy we’ve owned it . And a couple of them are capable of some good shooting on any particular day but most aren’t repeatable. We have found that some good ammo ( JSB or H&N) a mild wind day , and some cold beverage can lead to a hell of a lot of fun . But one day this one’s shooting good , next day it’s another one , and so on .
As far as scopes I’ve owned a couple of the Bushnell AR 2-7 scopes and still do on springers and they are really nice for the price . Midway has them on sale sometimes for like 80$ . I looked in my ammo stash and I don’t have any 22 caliber pellets or I’d send you some to try . Keep us posted as how she’s doing .