After completing his hunter education class, 14-year-old Michael Keiser choose his grandfather’s 7x57mm Ruger Model 77 for a promised eight-day mule deer hunt. The hunt took place in Okanogan, Eastern Washington during the 2004 rifle season.
We planned to test several 139- and 140-gr loads for the expected 200- to 250-yard shots common in this open country. When the then-new 140-grain Triple-Shock X-Bullets were tested, the trials ended. All groups with this bullet measured one inch or less–much better than the inch-and-a-half to two-inch groups made by the other bullets tested. The load selected averaged 2856 fps, with no signs of pressure.
Michael’s chance finally came on the seventh day of the hunt. A large mule deer buck was spotted coming straight at him at long range. The buck finally veered to his right at 80 yards. Michael’s shot caught him in the left side of the chest. The 140-grain TSX quartered the buck’s chest cavity, destroying his heart and exiting through the ribs on the off side. The four-point buck was dead when he hit the ground.
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