I have now built and test-fired a "Mk1" magazine feed system. In range testing, feed reliability was about 90%, extraction 100% until I got a few failures to extract as she got dirty. I have revised the design of the mag well to be bigger and fully supported, and have boosted the eject gas pressure by at least double. There were NO problems whatsoever with timing or carry-up, which considering the minor mods to the pawl was very gratifying
I have two magazines built and tested: a 2-round for carry and a foot-long 9-round as a spare. I plan to build another 9rd mag as soon as I test the latest mods. Pics and videos coming
This should give me 7rd capacity on draw, 9rd on tap, and at any time after shot #6 or #7 I would be able to swap to the 9rd mag. The gun's capacity plus a pair of 9s would be enough to run an entire SASS stage.
A note on the split hinged loading gate:
The remaining "stub" of a loading gate serves two purposes:
1) It allows the cylinder to be free-wheeled by fully opening it, to allow access to all the chambers while not touching the hammer. The Ruger New Model loading/unloading drill is a safety feature that is still fully functional.
2) By closing the upper half of the loading gate while it's in the holster, I can made sure the live round under the auto-eject port stays in. On draw I cock it, advancing an empty chamber to the auto-eject position for the first shot - that way I don't spit out a live round.
Upshot: both halves of the split loading gate (literally hinged in the middle) have functional uses.