Steel Case Ammo

Avoid Steel Case Ammo

It is such an insignificant bit-o-metal, but break it and it will ruin your day.
It is such an insignificant bit-o-metal, but break it and it will ruin your day.

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?
Boris Sheimo

Steel Case Ammo
Steel Case Ammo

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.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.


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