Barrel making
episode 2 | Sep 23, 2019
Experts & Industry Leaders

Ep. 02: We Aren't Making Barrels in Our Basement

In this episode, we sit down with Ryan Steacy, the Technical Director of International Barrels, a high-end precision barrel manufacturer based out of British Columbia Canada. Ryan is no stranger to competitive rifle shooting and speaks with great authority on what it takes to create precision barrels and what it takes to win. We talk about how he got into precision marksmanship, how IBI sets itself apart from competitors and we touch on strategies he uses, at the time of recording, to win 5 consecutive national service rifle competitions.
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Transcript

Travis Bader: [00:00:00] I’m Travis Bader and this is The Silvercore Podcast. Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with Ryan Steacy, the technical director of International Barrels, a company dedicated to creating high and precision rifle barrels, and he’s also a highly decorated marksman. We will talk about precision in both competitive marksmanship and business as well as some insider secrets to succeeding in both

[00:00:40] Travis Bader here at the Silvercore studios, and I’m sitting down with a competitive service rifle and precision rifle shooters since 1994. He’s one of only seven people inducted into the DCRA service rifle conditions hall of fame, he’s won five national championships, he’s been involved in the firearms industry for over 20 years. Currently working for IBI barrels based out of Chilliwack, they’re makers of high end custom precision rifle barrels. Welcome to the show, Ryan Steacy. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:01:12] Thank you. Glad to be here. It was quite the intro. It’s weird when you hear all that and it’s somebody else saying it. 

Travis Bader: [00:01:19] You know, the hard part for me on this one was culling it down cause there’s a lot of other things that I could have talked about.

Ryan Steacy: [00:01:24] I suppose. Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:01:25] So first off, like thank you very much for coming here, lending some of your time of course to talk about guns, talk about what you’re currently doing with IBI barrels. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:01:33] Yeah. I love it. 

Travis Bader: [00:01:34] Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and what led you to become involved in the firearms industry? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:01:40] I guess in reality, it probably started with my dad, who was in the military way back in the 70s. And one of the favourite things, for him to do, is to take his boys shooting at the regimental shooting range, which is in the basement of the British Columbia Regiment, right downtown on Beaty street. 

Travis Bader: [00:01:58] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:01:58] So we would go there every now and again and do some shooting and that really kind of hooked us. Me in particular, I guess, because the other, the other guys are hunters and they enjoy that kind of thing too, but they’d never really taken it to the same direction that I have. So yeah, I mean, that was kind of the hook for us, for me at least anyway. And then in 1995, I joined the army.

Travis Bader: [00:02:19] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:02:19] And within a year I was shooting on the brigade team and that took me all over the place. In the 23 years I was in the army, I was in England, Australia, Arkansas, shooting at some of the big competitions around there and at Ottawa at Connaught. So when I got out of the army, I’m like, I gotta keep this going. So I’ve been shooting the service rifle with the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association matches after that because that’s all I can shoot being a civvy now. And as you mentioned, it’s gone pretty good so far. 

Travis Bader: [00:02:51] Absolutely. It’s gone good. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:02:53] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:02:53] And now you returned the love there with the army, you did training prior to that, you trained with them and for many years you trained their rifle team and.

Ryan Steacy: [00:03:03] Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Yeah, totally. It got to a point where I was not only shooting, but I was also helping train the soldiers from not only 39 brigade, but even the three division regular force team. I trained them a couple of years in a row. I still get asked every now and again, if I can help out and I, I’d love to help out more than I can. Being with International Barrels now is more than a full time job and it’s difficult for me to get away to do much else because those teams require, you know, a couple of weeks of training usually. So I can sort of maybe guide them a little bit, but it’s kinda hard to actually be on the range with them. 

Travis Bader: [00:03:41] Well, let’s talk about International Barrels. So totally intrigued by why the whole process here and now. Prior to starting Silvercore Training, many years back, I had Silvercore gun works and would dabble around doing firearms repair and maintenance of the general public, armorer work for law enforcement, private security companies. And I got out of that to do the training side. We still do the armourer stuff for across Canada, but seeing a barrel company in Canada making a pretty good name for itself. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:04:13] They’re doing all right so far.

Travis Bader: [00:04:14] Yeah. Is exciting. How long has IBI been around for? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:04:19] That’d be, I started about two and a half years ago. I was brought on and they were already sort of up and running and putting together the pieces for about four or five months before I got there, building the equipment and finding the personnel to be able to actually make the barrels. And then they were missing somebody that could talk more dimensions and twist rates and bullet sizes and powder charges and all that kind of stuff. 

[00:04:49] So I happened to be free at the time, and I talked, strangely enough, I phoned the boss up and said, Hey, I just left the film industry. So, you know, I’m kinda curious as to whether I can bend your ear about starting business. And he’s like, you left the film industry? And I’m like, yeah, I did. And he’s like, okay, I’ll see you on Friday and we’ll have a meeting. So I get there and they’re like, Hey, we’ve got this barrel company and we need somebody that can be like the front end of it.

[00:05:17] Are you interested? And I’m like, holy crap, are you serious? That was it and hired right then and there I said, yes, of course. The wife was like, don’t say yes to anything until you discuss it with me. And I came home, I had this big grin on my face and she’s like, you already said yes, didn’t you? And I’m like, yeah, sorry, but here’s the details. So it was a pretty natural fit really. 

Travis Bader: [00:05:37] When it’s the right move, it’s the right move and you know it. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:05:40] Yeah, for sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:05:41] So sounds like you’re wearing a few different hats. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:05:43] Yeah, it’s been challenging. I do everything basically other than actually creating the barrels. So we have Tim, who is the barrel maker. He deals with all the machinery and the processes of creating the barrels, and he does all the measurements and everything that needs to be done. On my side of things, I’m the face of it, the front end of it. I deal with all the sales, all the customer support, all the shipping, all the website stuff, all the R and D, all the testing.

[00:06:16] So they’re like, okay, what should we make? So I’m like, all right, well here’s what’s hot right now, let’s get on this. And these are the twist rates and the bore dimensions and all the, all the different stuff, and this is what we need to do so.

Travis Bader: [00:06:26] That’s the fun stuff. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:06:28] I guess. Yeah, it’s mainly fun. Yeah, you bet ya. When I got hired originally, they promised me a lot more shooting but, Oh yeah. You’ll be on the range at least one day a week. Not so much.

Travis Bader: [00:06:39] You know, we’re talking about that earlier. Got into Silvercore Training and Silvercore gun works because I was interested in firearms, I enjoyed the process of working on them. I thoroughly enjoy instruction teaching, relaying that passion over to others. And the more you get into the business side of things, the less you actually end up doing. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:01] It takes away a little bit from what kind of originally drew you into the whole thing a little bit, but then you’re on another angle doing something sort of really cool at the same time too, right?

Travis Bader: [00:07:12] It is.

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:12] It just evolves really. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:14] Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely a learning process throughout and this podcast here is the next iteration, the YouTube channel. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:22] This is awesome. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:23] Hey, it’s a lot of fun. With IBI, I got a tour of the factory, it’s phenomenal. The equipment that you guys have in there is.

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:32] Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Travis Bader: [00:07:33] Yeah. So from somebody who comes from a quasi machining background, it’s impressive. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:37] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:38] You guys have some pretty cutting edge stuff in there to make some quality barrels. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:43] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:43] Some of the people coming are listening to this, I’m sure would say, look, I bought my rifle off the shelf. Why would I want to get a different barrel for it?

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:53] Well, you can always improve a factory, not even factory, but any type of rifle can always be improved to some degree. The barrel and the ammunition are probably the two main things that will take you sort of that next level, accuracy wise. So a factory barrels can be a little bit hit or miss. You’ve got to remember that these companies are pumping out thousands of rifles at a time. And so speed of production is kind of an important thing as far as keeping the cost down. 

[00:08:20] They may, or may not, take 100% care in what they do when they’re chambering and when they’re creating the barrel itself. Because let’s face it, the barrel is the last portion that touches the bullet before it’s on its way to its destination so it has to be super good. Otherwise, the results may not be super good. 

[00:08:41] When you get a custom barrel, you are putting something on there that has had a lot of care and attention paid to it the way it probably should be to gain that extra little bit of accuracy that you are looking for because let’s face it, none of us want to shoot inaccurate guns. We all want shoot accurate guns. 

Travis Bader: [00:08:59] Only accurate guns are fun. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:00] That’s right. 

Travis Bader: [00:09:01] Yeah and I know from years back working on rifles, fluting barrels, cutting, crowning chambering taking off factory barrels, working on on them, there is a wide discrepancy. Like sometimes we’ll have a barrel that you could almost spin off by hand. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:15] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:09:16] Sometimes that feels like a Sumo wrestler with a 12 foot pry bar had this put it on there. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:23] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:09:24] So having a company that just specializes in, in that one particular aspect, I think is quite appealing. Like people drop a lot of money on an aftermarket stock.

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:34] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:09:34] The change of stock out from the factory stock, they came with it.

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:37] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:09:37] They’ll spend a lot of money putting different bolt knobs on.

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:40] Yeah totally.

Travis Bader: [00:09:41] Or a different firing pins and side, and your right, the barrel. That’s the final, the chamber, the final resting place of your ammunition right before it goes bang. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:48] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:09:49] And that whole process, everything that touches up bullet as it leaves, that’s. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:52] Yeah, that’s the important part right there. Know all the other factors are smaller factors that lead up to helping accuracy, but really the barrel is kind of the last bit before. It ends up in the either the target or the animal. 

Travis Bader: [00:10:05] Yes. Well, speaking of that. Thank you very much for running out that 6.5 creedmoor, got a Sako 85 with a IBI barrel on it. I’ll be taking that on a couple of hunts this fall here, and I’ll be citing it in here with the next couple of weeks as well that.

Ryan Steacy: [00:10:20] I think we should video what happens when you shoot it right out of the right out of the factory on fired. 

Travis Bader: [00:10:26] I’m looking forward to that. We’ll get first round on paper, dial that thing in to do some groupings. And you know, I’m used to shooting precision rifles. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:10:34] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:10:34] You’re quite used to shooting precision rifles. I’m very excited to see what this thing can do. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:10:39] Yeah, it’s going to be pretty cool. We’ve done a couple of videos and I’ve had lots of results from people just doing their own things on barrels that we rebarreled. but generally because we’re putting a lot of love into these barrels. Generally tend to group pretty quickly, like within five shots out of the barrel, and you’re seeing stuff that’s sub MOA depending on the gun, of course. I mean, some, some actions that are not inherent to high, high accuracy, but that sake will be, it’ll shoot good.

Travis Bader: [00:11:06] It’ll shoot. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:06] Yeah. You bet ya. Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:08] So I remember years ago I reached out to a number of the major barrel manufacturers because I was trying to get to the bottom of some Hoodoo voodoo myths.

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:18] Oh yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:11:18] Surrounding rifle barrels. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:20] Sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:20] And some manufacturer says, you have to, you have to lap others say you don’t. Some say button rifles, some say cut rifle, some say hammer forge. Everyone seems to have their own little variation on it. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:32] Of course. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:32] I know, button rifling tends to repeatedly produce a nice quality finish.

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:39] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:11:39] And very accurate barrels. There are some things that science has gone in really helped confirm for us. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:45] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:11:46] What are some common myths about barrels or rifle accuracy that you typically hear that you can debunk?

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:52] Well, I don’t know if I can debunk anything, but I can, I can maybe sort of lead people in to make up their own mind about where it is. So there’s three main ways to put rifling into barrels. There’s cut rifling, which is a single point cutter, which basically cuts out a very small amount of material on each pass. That one, a lot of people love that. I’ve shot lots of single point cut barrels, Kriegers, Bartliens, all that. They’re awesome. They shoot really, really well. 

[00:12:22] They take longer to make, they believe, well, I guess maybe not believe, but the reality is, is it induces less stress into the blank because you’re just scraping out a teeny amount each time. But I think if you look at the cut rifled barrels on a microscopic level, that cutter is actually cutting out steel and leaving a bit of a rough finish on the inside of the barrel.

Travis Bader: [00:12:42] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:12:42] Which is why they sort of have to be lapped at the end. Button rifling on the other hand, is basically swaging the steel out of the way as you pull the button through the barrel. So you’re pressing steel into other steel. So it does induce a little bit more stress into this deal. But there’s lots of high end companies like benchmark and ourselves that produce button, rifle barrels, and that stress that’s induced into the steel during the process can be defeated by proper stress relieving in an oven. 

Travis Bader: [00:13:11] And I saw that, I saw that at. You guys have a, a pretty neat setup. Can you tell me about the stress-relieving 

Ryan Steacy: [00:13:18] I can tell you a little bit about it. Some of it’s secret.

Travis Bader: [00:13:20] Oh okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:13:20] Temperatures and all that kind of stuff. 

Travis Bader: [00:13:21] Understood.

Ryan Steacy: [00:13:22] And however, the stress relieving we do gets done twice. So the steel comes from the mill, it’s rifle grade steel, and then we cut it and it pretty much goes right into the stress relieving oven at that point. Get stress relieved over a much longer period than you might think.The heat up and cool down is more than a couple of days and then the drilling  process and all the other processes that go on get done. And then it goes back into the oven and cooked again after the rifling has been put in.

[00:13:53] And then more processes done to it after that. So we have a double stress relieving process, which we feel takes care of any of the stresses that might be induced into the steel via the button rifling process. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:07] I’ve seen some of the targets that have been shot, and I think the proof is in the pudding on that.

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:11] I would like to think so. I mean, man, I’ve seen some targets that I’m super jealous of and people have shot with their barrels and I’m like, I am clearly not a good group shooter compared to these guys. It’s like, holy crap, amazing. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:22] Speaking of being a good group shooter. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:24] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:25] Five. Five national championships.

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:28] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:28] You’ve won. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:29] Yep. Five service rifle championships in a row. The DCRA national service conditions championships. Service rifle is not really about shooting groups, though.

Travis Bader: [00:14:39] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:39] It’s a much different game. It’s s about just making good shots at the right time, in a variety of different positions and under different stresses so.

Travis Bader: [00:14:48] So how many of those five have been with an IBI barrel?

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:52] With our own barrel? Three of the five have been this year will be number three with an IBI barrel. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:58] Very cool.

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:58] Providing a win. But my mental management programs as I will. 

Travis Bader: [00:15:02] Excellent.

Ryan Steacy: [00:15:03] The first three I shot with Krieger’s and I mean, they shot great, no problem. I set the national record for the highest score ever shot with the Krieger, and then last year I was about one point away from breaking it with my own barrel, which was pretty awesome, but I made a crappy wind call and it costs me the rent. And my group formed just on the edge of the bowl. And I had a couple of four strung out on the side and it, all it was was, I missed the flag was hanging on the pole. 

[00:15:35] And it was pretty much hanging straight down on one side. When I looked up and I thought, okay, this is good. I’ve got a good zero, I know what’s going on here, and I fired my 10 shots and then I looked up and the flag was hanging down on the other side of the pole. Now, it wasn’t blowing. It was just hanging on the other side of the pole, and I thought, Oh no, targets came up with the indicators in. Sure enough, my group was on that side of the pole and that was a 500 metre shoot right. So yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:15:59] It’ll make a difference. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:00] Yeah. I had not had that wind shift there. They, I mean, it was a decent group for 500 metres it probably five, six inch group, they would all been in the bull, no problem. And I probably would have broke the record for a while. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:12] Wow.

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:12] That’s the way she goes in service rifle.

Travis Bader: [00:16:14] Well, you talk about mental management. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:16] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:17] And that’s a huge, huge part of the game. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:19] It is. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:20] And I would have to imagine making a switch from something that’s proven and works from the Krieger to an IBI. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:29] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:31] How did that work? Talk me through that process because you’ve got something, it’s very well proven. You’re going to have to see some very positive results off of something in order to actually take that. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:43] For sure. To be honest with you, I probably wouldn’t have switched if I didn’t believe 100% that what we were producing would be able to keep up with the Krieger. You know, when you’re kind of on a roll and you’ve won three national championships in a row and you don’t really foresee anybody sort of getting in your way of a few more. To make a switch like that to something that basically don’t trust, to be honest with you, I probably wouldn’t have.

[00:17:10] I wouldn’t have. But because my name’s attached to IBI and it’s super, super important for me that these barrels shoot just as good as everything else that’s out there, that’s available. We did a ton of testing and I did a ton of shooting myself to make sure that if I say these barrels are going to give you, you know, really excellent accuracy, that they’re actually going to do that. 

[00:17:36] And so a lot of the testing I did, pardon me, was with factory ammo and I didn’t shoot them off a rest or strap them into some sort of machine. I shot him off a bi-pod and a rear bag and with factory ammo. So I wanted to make sure that people could actually reproduce those kind of results themself. So once that was sort of going with the AR barrels and I was getting the results that I wanted, I shot them at some local provincial service rifle matches, shot really well. 

[00:18:10] No problems. Kept up with my usual scores, providing my mental management was good at the time. And I sort of cut my teeth on them there to make sure that they could keep up. And once I knew that it was good to go, I had no qualms about taking it to Ottawa to shoot in the national championship. And so that was one thing that wasn’t even really in my mental management program cause I fully trusted that the barrels could produce. 

Travis Bader: [00:18:42] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:18:43] Just like a Krieger kid.

Travis Bader: [00:18:44] No kidding. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:18:45] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:18:45] That whole mental management thing, and it’s a little bit of an aside from a few things I wanted to talk about, but that does intrigue me. Everyone talks about with a lot of activities, a lot of sports, it’s 90% mental and 10% doing. Yet all of the training around most activities, most sports is going to concentrate on that 10%. 

[00:19:04] And I’ve always found that whole mental side of the picture, if you are confident in your abilities and you know what your end outcome’s gonna be, I’ve never found it more black and white than I have in the shooting sports. And maybe that’s just because that’s my background is with firearms, but you see right away on the paper or the clay bird or whatever it is you’re shooting at. If you miss and you’re getting down on yourself then you continue to miss, if you hit and you know you can hit, you just keep hitting. What.

Ryan Steacy: [00:19:37] Self perpetuating kind of thing. 

Travis Bader: [00:19:39] I find that, yeah. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:19:41] It’s funny. You know, to me, the mental management side of it is really kinda, and this is my mental management program speaking, not arrogance. The mental management side of it is what separates me from the rest of the guys that shoot service rifle. They’re all just as good of trigger pullers as me. They’re all, there’s probably even guys that are better trigger pullers than me, but where I excel is in managing my shooting, not actually the shooting portion of it.

[00:20:13] That’s a basic skill that lots of, tons of people have, but not a lot of people can actually manage their shooting. So for example, in service rifle, you know, we have targets that appear and then disappear, we have rapid fire matches where you’re engaging multiple targets and a certain amount of time you have to start standing.

[00:20:35] You have to go, you know, prone, you have to run and shoot. And the target only appears for a few seconds, you know, we have a 500 metre rundown match where you shoot two shots at five, four, three and two and the final one at two only appears for a few seconds. And you’ve got to whack it with two shots. And it’s, you know, it’s a figure 12 on a stick, which is only what, 18 inches wide and 22 tall or something like that. 

[00:21:00] And, you know,  you gotta make sure that you shoot when the crosshairs on the target. So for me, the managing of it, not even managing, like the shooting portion now, it’s sort of evolved for me into managing how I think about managing my own thoughts at a match. Like there’s been matches where I’ve been so far ahead that I probably could’ve shot or not shot one of the matches and still won. 

Travis Bader: [00:21:26] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:21:27] There’s been matches where I’ve been behind and I’ve managed to come from behind no problem. A couple of years ago I had one where I think it was, what year is it? 2017 where, after shooting it two, three, four and five. So it was like 800 odd points, I was one point ahead of the next guy. The next guy was an awesome shooter and he was hungry. And I thought, wow, you know, like honestly, I’ve never been pretty much tied with somebody, so I know how to manage my thoughts because your mind plays tricks with you, right? 

Travis Bader: [00:22:06] It totally does.

Ryan Steacy: [00:22:07] When you’re way ahead, you’re like, Oh, you know what? If I do this or, but when you’re behind it tells you different stuff, and I dealt with that previously and figured out how to deal with it. But I’d never really been tied with somebody. So going into the next stage of that shoot, my mind was saying stuff to me that I’d never heard it say before. This is like tied. And it was coming out with all these weird things and totally trying to mess me up. So my mentors as far as the mental management side of things go, is Keith Cunningham and Linda Miller who produced.

Travis Bader: [00:22:43] Wrote a books.

Ryan Steacy: [00:22:43] Some of the books. 

Travis Bader: [00:22:44] Yeah. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:22:45] So Keith and Linda were coaches of mine the first time I ever went to Bisley with the Canadian forces team. And that’s kind of where I started on this journey of mental management. And they really guided me in the right direction and I picked it up, well I like to think it picked it up pretty quick and I sort of put it into play and I sort of added a few my own things as far as my training goes.

[00:23:11] And then, so anyways, when I was tied, I was like, I have no idea what, how to handle this. So I can’t remember whether I phoned Linda or I emailed her and said, Hey um, here’s the situation, I’m tied and I’m going into the second stage in a day or two, and my mind is telling me stuff that had never heard before. How do I deal with it? And I think I probably already knew the answer, but sometimes you just need somebody that you trust. 

Travis Bader: [00:23:41] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:23:41] To tell you the same thing. 

Travis Bader: [00:23:43] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:23:43] And Linda just said, just focus on the performance you idiot. And I knew that was the answer. And I’m like, yeah, yeah, okay. All right. Yeah, you’re right and so. 

Travis Bader: [00:23:54] Blinders on. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:23:55] Yup. Just focused on firing good shots. Didn’t worry about all the stuff that my mind was telling me or what anybody else was doing. I just focused on sending perfect shots down range into the target. And it was a very interesting match because I saw my close competitor lose his mental management program in the middle of the match because there was a rapid fire match that we had to shoot, it was 300 metres and it’s shot on two figure 11’s. 

[00:24:28] And they come up for 30 seconds and you have to drop into the prone position and shoot five shots on each with the mag change in the middle of it. And the way the targets are built, there is a stick that goes up the back of the figure 12, figure 12’s are not on a sheet of paper or anything like that, they’re simply brown cardboard and the cardboard is the shape of the target. So if you miss, you’re shooting into the dirt, right? 

[00:24:51] Like it doesn’t go, doesn’t give you any sort of feel, but that stick in the back has an interesting effect when you hit it, it makes your bullet ricochet left or right. Cause the impact berm in the back is probably 30 to 50 metres behind the target. So you get that ricochet and you can see the ricochet either left or right when you hit that stick. Well, it just so happens the stick runs right over the V bull on the target. So when I got a ricochet, I knew that I was hammering that V bull because if you miss a little bit left or right, it just goes through the cardboard and it doesn’t ricochet.

Travis Bader: [00:25:25] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:25:26] Well, pretty much every bloody shot I fired on that rapid, I saw a ricochet left or right. So when I finished that match, I thought that’s pro, that’s going to be like a 50 out of 50 with probably 10 V’s out of it, which is about as clean as you can get. And I think I’ve only ever shot a, a clean score like that, like three or four times.

Travis Bader: [00:25:46] Wow.

Ryan Steacy: [00:25:47] In the entire, I don’t think I’ve ever shot it in Ottawa because of the wind is super challenging right. So anyways, what happens is, the people that are operating the targets and the butts pull the target down and they put these orange plugs in it so that you can see your fall of shot. Not only can you see your fall shot, but your competitors can see your fall of shot as well.

Travis Bader: [00:26:04] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:26:05] So the targets came up and I happened to be watching the guy who was right on my tail and his target came up and I had a look and he had not made a perfect wind call. And he had some shots that were strung out on the side of the target, into the 4 zone, so he dropped a few more points. And then mine came up and it was a 50 with nine V’s.

Travis Bader: [00:26:30] Wow.

Ryan Steacy: [00:26:30] And there were two clusters of orange pasters, dead centre in both targets on the thing. And I looked over at him and I saw him scan over to my target and look, and he just, arms flew up in the air and I think he swore, and you know.

Travis Bader: [00:26:49] Oh man.

Ryan Steacy: [00:26:50] And that exact second I knew I had him. I knew I had him so.

Travis Bader: [00:26:55] There’s two things that you brought up and then one of them, you said, you know, I don’t want to be cocky about this, but this is my mental management process. It’s funny, as an observer, and I haven’t shot nearly the number of competitions, you have. Done a handful here and there, quite enjoy it. But it’s always funny to watch the group. It’s funny cause everyone’s measuring each other, they want to see where, where everyone’s at. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:27:18] Yeah for sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:27:19] There’s some posturing and.

Ryan Steacy: [00:27:20] Of course. 

Travis Bader: [00:27:22] And you know, psychology 101 they talk about something called a sports illustrated curse and you watch it. You watch these people that come in and they’re breaking it up and they were talking about how, and that’s their management process. If they figure through intimidation or positive, very vocal, positive self speak, they’re going to bring themselves up.

Ryan Steacy: [00:27:40] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:27:42] The thing I’ve quite often found is, which is very interesting and unique, particularly in yourself. You’re very well accomplished, but you don’t see any of that. And I attribute that likely to the sports illustrated curse because if you’re on the front cover of the sports illustrated, it’s probably because you’re at the peak of your game.

Ryan Steacy: [00:28:00] Yeah. Most likely. 

Travis Bader: [00:28:01] And there’s only one place for you to really go and it’s down.

Ryan Steacy: [00:28:04] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:28:05] If you’re coming in and you’re telling everyone you’re awesome, there’s only really one place for you to go and that’s going to be down and you’ve kind of set yourself up for, or a person would have set themselves up for failure. 

[00:28:16] And I’ve watched it, and I’ve always admired that because I can see the positive self speak, but it’s never a braggy arrogant tone to it because it would have a negative effect. And I think that’s pretty interesting. And the other thing I thought was interesting when you talk about putting those blinders on and moving forward. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:28:34] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:28:34] That’s very similar in the business world, you can be looking around all the time and being defensive. What’s the other person doing? What’s somebody else saying about me? What, what other barrel manufacturers doing something different?

Ryan Steacy: [00:28:49] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:28:49] Or you put in that mental management process, you put those blinders on and say, what do. What do we have to do to be the best? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:28:57] That’s right. 

Travis Bader: [00:28:57] And you push it forward. And that’s really, you know, there’s a number of things that really wanted me to get you on the show and get IBI on here because there’s so many different aspects of it.

Ryan Steacy: [00:29:09] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:29:10] Your personal background is very interesting. IBI is business story I find very interesting.

Ryan Steacy: [00:29:15] It is pretty interesting. 

Travis Bader: [00:29:16] And I’d like to, I think we’ll talk about that more in a future one as well, but.

Ryan Steacy: [00:29:21] Yeah for sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:29:21] It very much, I see a very, a synergy, I hate that word. I see a similarity between your competitive style and IBI.

Ryan Steacy: [00:29:36] Well, maybe I’ve sort of brought what I use as a mental management program shooting to IBI. It’s it really, you’re 100% on the ball there. It is exactly the same in business. My job is simply to make the best stuff that we can, the rest will take care of itself. So Keith and Linda always told me, your job is just to shoot the best shot you can, and the rest will take care of itself. The score will take care of itself. 

[00:30:01] So that’s all I do. People make broad goals about all kinds of stuff when they go to shooting competitions, and I always tell them, Hey, your goal is way too broad. You need a smaller goal, a manageable goal that you can achieve. Don’t go into competition saying, I’m going to be national champion. Go into the competition and say, I’m going to fire a hundred perfect shots. And then when that finishes, guess what? You’ll be the national champion.

Travis Bader: [00:30:25] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:30:25] So in the business end of it, of course, my goal was not to make the best barrel ever. My goal was just to have one of the best processes in making the barrel, and then in the end you get all the results that we’re getting now. You get guys sending me groups that I could never bloody shoot so. And that’s the, that’s how it works. 

Travis Bader: [00:30:44] Well, let me ask you, cause I know what we’re going to be talking more on future podcasts, but a few different things. There’s a lot of things I want to talk about, but in the interest of the listeners time.

Ryan Steacy: [00:30:55] Yup. 

Travis Bader: [00:30:56] Keep it within a manageable spectrum here.

Ryan Steacy: [00:30:59] For sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:30:59] Is there anything that I should be bring it up or anything you’d like to bring up about IBI or the firearms business industry. I mean, two years, two years into IBI, you’re still kinda just, just starting to get your stride.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:14] I think I have to thank a lot of the people that have tried our barrels and taken a chance with us. And what I need people to know is that us as a company, and we’re going to do the best to make the best barrels in Canada that can possibly be made. We’re not building barrels in our basement. We have millions of dollars worth of equipment. We have guys that care about the process. 

[00:31:39] All the guys that are chambering, the guys that run the buttons, the guy that runs the hone, they’re all shooters, so they care about how these barrels end up in the consumer’s hands and what the consumer can actually do with it, right? It’s not like we’re just pumping out a bunch of schlock.

Travis Bader: [00:31:55] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:56] Each barrel that goes out of here. You should see the pile of barrels that didn’t make the cut. You know, something went funky in the steel or there was a some sort of a weird thing going on in there. Our guys catch every one, and when they do that barrel gets put aside. It doesn’t, it doesn’t get sold to the consumer. So I want to thank people for taking the chance, but I also want you to know that we’re going to give you the best barrel that we possibly can  and I’m going to get it to you in a reasonable amount of time, and I’m going to get it to you for a reasonable price, and it’s going to shoot exactly the way that you hope that it shoots. 

Travis Bader: [00:32:27] Thank you very much. Really appreciate you being on on the podcast here. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:32:31] Oh no worries.

Travis Bader: [00:32:32] This is a definitely a ton of fun. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:32:34] Yeah, it’s pretty good. I would, like to do more of these. 

Travis Bader: [00:32:38] And that concludes another episode of the silver bullet podcast. Thank you for listening.

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