I feel that MNs have their own personalities. My Dads bolt is really easy to open but mine is hard. I have spend a lot of time cleaning that chamber and still no difference. I'm gonna have to do some buffing to get it to smooth out.
Regarding the price you paid. Don't let anyone bother you, they are going up in cost. I think it mainly has to do with everyone wanting one because they are so cheap. Price goes up with demand. I did see though that Big 5 had them for $110 on Black Friday. May still be at that price..??
Anyway when I bought mine bout 2.5 years ago I think it was around $90 at Big 5.
May try sticking the receiver in a pot of boiling water to get all the cosmoline out.