When I got my Kapara in January, I had to take the knife apart immediately because the action was probably the worst I'd ever gotten on a Spyderco and I couldn't find them in stock anymore. It was rough as hell and the thumb/ middle finger flip couldn't open it. I noticed the Liner(s) (I only took apart the lock side) were very "bent" (see images).
I had this happen one other time when I got my Tenacious about 9 years ago. I thought it was interesting, but mostly brushed it off and forgot about it. The action on the tenacious is bad too, but never bothered to do anything about it because it's a "lower end" knife.
Is this something they might do in production for any particular reason? It definitely seems obvious enough that it would be odd if it wasn't intentional. When I put cleaned and put the knife back together it did help a bit. The blade could be flicked open, but ultimately it still felt stiff if I adjusted it to no play, and the action is certainly not smooth and quite "stick slippy" as Nick Shabazz would say. I can only assume it is because of the liners and the fact that they're contacting the washer at an angle and not flat. I can see that only a very small contact area is being made b/w blade, washer, and liner unless I really put some torque on the pivot.
At almost 200USD, I would certainly want a knife to be at least a little smooth; I am paying for luxury goods at this point and not a pure utility. But functionally, I'm concerned about the wear on the washers. Normally I wouldn't ever worry about this, but I did wear out the washers on a (well used) pm1 some years ago so this leaves me a little wary.
Would you guys send it back? Is there any particular reason they might be bending liners in factory? What do you guys think?