Another classic (RSI 7x57) brings home the venison....

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May 11, 2008
Birmingham, AL
Today is my last hunting day this year. Having broken in the 9.3 on Friday, I was really hoping to make an honest rifle out of my No. 1 RSI in 7x57. I was using handloads with a 145gr Speer SP over 50.3 grains IMR 4350 that the book puts at about 2,750 fps. Maximum shooting distance would be about 250 yards.

I hunted the same stand that I used the 9.3 from on Friday. About 3:30 two does came out briefly at 225-250 yards, but didn't stay long before disappearing into the brush. I had decided not to shoot, just to see what else might come out. I figured I would see more does before dark anyway.

About 4:30 a big deer stepped into the lane at about 200 yards. He had good body size and, at first glance, a pretty nice rack. I put the binos on him and could instantly see that the left side of his rack was missing. After a few seconds of deliberation, I decided to have a go at him. I could tell that he was further away than the doe I shot on Friday, so I figured he was 200-220 yards away. He gave me a nice broadside shot, so I aimed center mass, just behind the shoulder.

The bullet struck a little lower than I intended, but took out the top of the heart and bottom of the lungs. He turned and bounded back the way he came. When I got to where he was standing and saw the bright pink blobs on the ground, I knew he hadn't gone far. It was so wet that tracking him was quite a challenge, but I just made several sweeps through the area he had run to, figuring he couldn't have gone over 50 yards. He actually covered close to 100 before he gave up the ghost, but finding him was still pretty easy.

He was a nice mature buck with a good frame. We weighed him at 185, but thought he was gonna be heavier than that. His right side antlers were half of a good 8 point frame, but on his left side was about a 4" heavy spike with a slight fork at the top and a couple of small kicker points. Last year I took a smaller buck on this property that had a smaller but very similar rack with a small spike on the left.

Anyway, the 7x57 performed very well at a paced 202 yards. The Speer penetrated both sides and left a lot of blood at the scene of the shot. The RSI couldn't have performed better and I look forward to getting to know her better. What better way to finish off a year that I've taken deer with a couple of 100 year old classics like the 404 Jeffrey and a 9.3x74R than to use the grand old 7x57 to take a nice buck.



Oct 14, 2007
Followed your recent post,you had quite a good weekend hunting. Congrats, and a sharp looking rifle you have there. :wink: