Just because it was new, did not mean it had not been fingered to death by idiots. The crane can be bent by "Hollywood" tactics of flipping the cylinder open and closed. If some nimrod "played" with it before you bought it, that could have happened.
S&W would be very unlikely to let something like that get out of the factory. Not impossible, just unlikely. I have found S&W's customer service to be THE BEST in the industry, period.
In life, strive to take the high road....It offers a better field of fire.
"Robo is right" Fuzzball