Thanks Big. When I initially stripped it I noticed the protruding firing pin right away.
I just stripped it again and tried to push on the firing pin from the front but it wouldn't move. Put it back together and dry fired it a few times. The firing pin was back inside the slide. I stripped it and pushed the firing pin back and forth from the back and it is indeed free.
Problem solved? Seems to be, but I'll take it out and test it.
While the function of the pistol seems fine at this point, I've yet to fire it. I'll give Ruger CS a holler tomorrow and see what they say. I'll definitely shoot the thing before I contemplate sending it back. I'm a gun counter guy at a 'well known' firearms sales location. I see this kind of stuff every day.