Avoid Steel Case Ammo
Q: I own a Marlin XS7 in .223 but when I was using a reload consisting of the Hornady 55gn bullet in a steel cartridge case, the extractor was broken. It was replaced under warranty, but when I got another one from Horsley Park Gunshop, it had a different shape and was marked No. 2 extractor. I placed another order with St Mary's Range and am still waiting 6 months later.My question is: can I use the extractor from a Savage .223, or is there somewhere in Australia where can I get the proper XS7 extractor or maybe from Marlin U.S.A if it is legally possible? In a booklet that I got with the rifle, calibres listed were .25- 06, .270 and .30-06 but not .223. So maybe they've been giving me the wrong part for the .223?
A: Steel case ammo causes problems by breaking extractors in many .223 rifles.I know of a Howa 1500 in .223 that sufferedthree broken extractors before the owner stopped using steel-caseed ammo. Alas, you'll need more than one spare extractor if you keep using steel cases. Junk them! The Marlin XS7 has been discontinued but spare parts should still be available for it. That No. 2 extractor you got may have been for the XL7 which is larger and won't fit the short action bolt. I've used a number of XS7s in .222 and .223 and have never had a problem with broken extractors, but then I didn't use steel case ammo in them. The Australian distributor for Marlin is Raytrade in Victoria and St Mary's range should have been able to get an extractor in a few days if they had them in stock. Extractors from other brands of .223 rifle won't fit. My advice is: stop using steel case ammo and you won't have any more trouble.