I had the same problem you had with your Ozark Patrol. The regeneration on mine was very unstable, and almost as bad as you described with yours.
Here is what I did, so far. Besides the substitution of a 2N2222 for Q1 that I mentioned earlier, I added a small resistor in series with the one turn regeneration feedback loop that goes through the center of the torroid coil. The resistor I added was soldered to the lead of that one turn loop, that came OUT of the center of the torroid coil. I experimented with resistor values between 10 and 15 ohms. More than 15 ohms and the regeneration would quit entirely. I'm currently using 10 ohms with marginally acceptable results, but will further experiment with other values in search of better regeneration control stability.
I also replaced the antenna gimmick capacitor with a tiny 20 pF variable capacitor. That helped a little bit, too.
Keep us informed as to your success.
... Jerry Wysocki, KC9JXE