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I'm going to venture a guess as to what's going on here:

If I'm not mistaken, the Tripp hardchrome is an applied finish. Meaning, it's a coating.

Now, ANY coating is going to have a degree of thickness to it. we all know that these pistols are built to pretty tight tolerances. I would have to say that it's entirely possible that the extra thickness of the hardchrome on the grooves inside the slide may be binding the gun.

Also, since you say it's getting better the more you work the slide, that sounds like abrasion is taking place, and the hardchrome is being slowly ground off the slide rails, making the action more like it used to be.

Perhaps there was also just a smidgen extra coating deposited in the slide rails by accident; like, if the piece was hung after coating, and hung in such a way so any excess stayed in the rail channels in the slide.

Can you SEE anything? Is any wear of the new finish visible in the slide rails?

Have you contacted Tripp about the issue?

The fact that it is getting better tells me that it may not be worth too much worry. I would keep racking that puppy over and over again and see if it gets better. Perhaps some shooting will help, too. It may just be that the new finish is going to require a break-in period of its own now, since the finish is also applied inide the rail grooves (it IS in there, correct?)

Keep us posted.
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