episode 8 | Dec 19, 2019
Personal Growth

Ep. 08: Train Your Brain to Win - Part 2

It’s here! The much-anticipated part 2 of the Train your Brain to Win series with Ryan Steacy. In part one, we sat down with Ryan and discussed the mental management practices that have allowed him to be the National Service Rifle Champion 5 years in a row. Part one was recorded right before Ryan was to fly to Ottawa to compete at the Connaught Range to see if he could extend his winning streak to a 6th year in a row. In this episode, we delve deeper into Ryan’s mental management process, discuss Mental Marksmanship as coined by Keith Cunningham and Linda Miller, and field some questions from our listeners. Does Ryan’s process allow for a win 6 years in a row? Is this something that you can use in your everyday life? Listen and find out.
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Travis Bader: [00:00:00] I’m Travis Bader and this is The Silvercore Podcast. Join me as I discuss matters related to hunting, fishing, and outdoor pursuits with the people in businesses that comprise of the community. If you’re new to Silvercore, be sure to check out our website, www.Silvercore.ca where you can learn more about courses, services, and products that we offer. As well as how you can join The Silvercore Club, which includes 10 million in North America wide liability insurance to ensure you are properly covered during your outdoor adventures.

[00:00:45] This is part two of the Train Your Brain to Win series with Ryan Steacy. If you haven’t listened to part one, do yourself a favour and check it out. There’s some fantastic content to that episode that can be applied to your life regardless of what sport or endeavour you’re trying to excel in. Also when competing Ryan is using high end rifle barrels made by the Canadian company, International Barrels or IBI. If you haven’t checked them out yet and you’re looking to get that extra edge and accuracy, I highly recommend them. So Ryan.

Ryan Steacy: [00:01:14] Yes.

Travis Bader: [00:01:15] We’re back. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:01:16] We are. 

Travis Bader: [00:01:17] We had an excellent podcast with some great takeaways there and what I’m hoping we can do in this podcast is expand a little bit more on the Secrets of Mental Marksmanship, which of course is the title of the book by Linda Miller and Keith Cunningham.

[00:01:33] And you talked about that when extensively. And my thinking was I’d like to do something where we can talk about what you did prior to the match, during the match, and if there’s any regime afterwards that you went through. And coincidentally enough, when I’ve been reading through this manual, this book, Keith and Linda do the exact same thing, but they add one extra piece in it and they call it planning preparation, in the moment and after the moment. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:02:04] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:02:04] So very, very similar, except they add a little planning phase. So I’m wondering if we could maybe follow their format.

Ryan Steacy: [00:02:10] Sure.

Travis Bader: [00:02:11] And take a look at some of the planning that went into place prior to this competition. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:02:16] Yeah. Well, on the planning side of things, it’s going to be a little bit sparse just simply because work was so busy that there wasn’t much chance for me to get out and actually do much in the way of practice. The service rifle competitions that I usually shoot in BC here, got moved over on to Vancouver Island because there were range issues with the Volks range in Chilliwack, and due to lots of different circumstances, I wasn’t able to make it over to the Island or I decided not to go.

[00:02:45] So the actual shooting and practice portion and the plan to put things in place and remember what my positions feel like and what it feels like to break a good shot. That all kind of went out the window because there was no practice. I actually, before I went to Ottawa this year, I fired about 20 rounds through my AR, just to make sure I had a basic zero going and that was about it. I hadn’t shot it since last year at the same competition. 

Travis Bader: [00:03:13] Holy crow. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:03:14] Yeah, it was. Yeah. I was a little bit freaked out going in, cause I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what was going to happen. 

Travis Bader: [00:03:20] That’s got to play with the mind. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:03:22] Well, I mean, I kind of knew what was going to happen like.

Travis Bader: [00:03:24] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:03:24] My mental processes say the same thing no matter whether I’ve had practice or not. One thing I did do a fair bit of was lots of visualization. I played in the kneeling a little bit without the rifle just at home to make sure that, you know, things were stretched out enough that I could actually get into it properly and that it felt comfortable. 

Travis Bader: [00:03:44] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:03:45] But other than that, it was just me thinking about what it feels like to shoot good shots in those different positions. In service rifle, for me, the toughest portion of the competition is the shooting at 200 metres because it’s all positional.

[00:04:02] You’re shooting, sitting, kneeling, and some standing as well as a bit of prone. So if you don’t shoot well at 200 metres, you’re probably hurting yourself for the rest of the match because the 300 and the 500 portions are all prone, so everybody shoots pretty well at those distances. 

Travis Bader: [00:04:20] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [00:04:20] Maybe the only difference between you and somebody else would be a your wind calling ability, which definitely played a huge factor this year. But the 200 metres, all that positional stuff has to be good cause you can screw yourself within the first three matches of the whole thing if you’re not comfortable with shooting in the kneeling in the sitting position.

Travis Bader: [00:04:41] So this is something you’re doing at home? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:04:43] It is. And the reality is, I didn’t even have a rifle with me so. It’s just simply getting into the position, starting standing, dropping into the position and allowing my body, or maybe I shouldn’t say body, because I think, didn’t we touch on what muscle memory is last time.

Travis Bader: [00:05:02] We did a little bit yes.

Ryan Steacy: [00:05:03] Yeah, so muscle memory is, there’s no such thing. It is just simply your mind remembering and knowing what that position feels like. So I guess that exercise for me was really just to allow my mind to remember what a good kneeling position feels like and what a good sitting position feels like. 

Travis Bader: [00:05:23] How much time would you spend doing that?

Ryan Steacy: [00:05:25] Not very much. I mean, I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s pretty much ingrained into me, it’s subconscious. But at the same time, you kind of need to have a little bit of practice or just get the body used to actually dropping into those positions so that you can refresh your brain as to as to what it feels like to be in a good position.

Travis Bader: [00:05:44] So do you have a mental checklist that you go through as you’re getting into position? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:05:49] Yeah. So when I’m on the range, there’s definitely a mental checklist. When I’m just feeling out the positions, no, there’s not really much in the way of a mental checklist, but once you’re up on the range, yeah there’s a checklist.

[00:06:00] There’s a huge pile of things that you have to make sure. You have to make sure you’re aligned to the target, you have to make sure you’re stable. You have to deal with your breathing, your trigger control. You have to make sure the sight picture’s good before the squeeze off the shot, because if it’s not good, that kinda doesn’t work out so good in the points department. 

Travis Bader: [00:06:18] Not so good. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:06:18] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:06:19] So do you actually go A, B, C, D as you go through the list or do you just kind of know, okay, right, lined up with a target, I’ve got, I’m not canting I’m. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:06:28] Yeah, I think a lot of that stuff in the beginning is a bit of a checklist, A,B,C. Yeah I have to consciously think about, okay, I need to do this, I need to be aligned like this. I need to start on this target, if there’s multiple targets. I have to remember where to hold the sight picture and the crosshair. And then the squeezing of the trigger and all that stuff hopefully is subconscious. 

[00:06:50] But after a while, all those items become subconscious as well  you do it enough. So for me, like we have matches where you run from one distance down to another and then drop into a position and shoot. So for me, the whole thing becomes subconscious. So I’ve lined up on targets enough in the sitting position to know that if I’m sort of canted in this direction, that I should line up properly, I should align myself properly on the target.

[00:07:17] So whereas if I was just starting a sitting match, I would sit on the ground and actually get into the position and then check my body alignment. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:26] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:26] You don’t have time for that when you’re doing some of the other ones. So I’ve done it enough times that I can get down there and just get a feel for where I am in relation to the target subconsciously and that, 99% of the time, makes me relatively aligned. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:41] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:41] To the target. So it’s just a matter of doing it a million times, a million conscious times.

Travis Bader: [00:07:46] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:47] To get it to be subconscious. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:49] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:49] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:07:50] And you’ve been doing it for a long time. I guess in the beginning you’re going through the mental checklist.

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:54] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:07:54] You’re spending probably a lot more time in the planning phase, and you have it at this point. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:07:59] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:08:00] Do you find that the planning phase at this point is still a crucial portion of the process? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:08:08] I think for me, the planning phase is all subconscious as well at this point. I’ve done it so many times that it’s second nature to me. The reality is, is my mind knows what I have to do in the planning phase as well in order to get the results that I want. So I don’t consciously have to go through it, but I think for a lot of shooters, that’s going to be a very important phase to make sure that you work your way through consciously.

[00:08:32] Because the only way to make it into that subconscious thing that you just get up on the lining you do automatically is to think about it consciously a whole pile of times in order for it to become subconscious.

Travis Bader: [00:08:43] I guess it’s abbreviated planning process at this point in your shooting career. Was there any other things that we should be talking about in our planning, or should we just jump right into the preparation? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:08:53] No, I can’t really think of anything else. You know, other than making sure that your training is promoting you to be as subconscious as you can be.

Travis Bader: [00:09:01] What do you mean by that? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:03] I think the difference between me and other shooters is that it’s not that I’m a better trigger puller than they are. It’s just simply that I’m more subconscious on the trigger. When my eye sees the right site picture, the gun fires, and it’s like I don’t, I’m not even pulling the trigger because that trigger pull is subconscious.

[00:09:19] So the way I train to get that way, is just the single shot 22 and I shoot all standing and when my eye see’s the right sight picture in the beginning, I consciously pulled the trigger to try and put that projectile in the centre of the target and it took a lot of shots with the single shot 22.

Travis Bader: [00:09:40] But it’s cheaper with a 22.

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:41] It’s cheap, yeah, you can do it with anything really. 

Travis Bader: [00:09:43] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:09:44] But eventually when my eye distinguished that the sight picture was correct, the gun just fired itself. And I think a lot of people have probably had those moments where they’re at the range and they line up the sights and they’re focusing hard on the sights picture, and all of a sudden the gun fires. Boom. And you’re like, Oh crap.

[00:10:05] And then you go up there and you’re like, holy smokes, that sucker was right dead centre in the middle. Well, that’s a subconscious shot. The trick is making it do that every time. 

Travis Bader: [00:10:14] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:10:15] And that’s where people, that’s where I get a little bit ahead of people. It’s easy for me because I’ve done this for so long that each shot that I fires is very, very subconscious. My eye see’s the sight picture and the gun shoots itself, there is no conscious thought of me pulling the trigger. It’s just like it does it by itself. 

Travis Bader: [00:10:32] Very cool.

Ryan Steacy: [00:10:33] It’s kind of a weird thing, but I think that’s where I get ahead of other people. It’s not necessarily in the trigger pulling department, the mechanics of all that stuff, the basic marksmanship skills. It’s that there’s no conscious thought of actually pulling the trigger and my focus is 100% on the sight picture. 

Travis Bader: [00:10:52] Very cool. Now, last time you were here, I brought him some donuts from the Delta bakery.

Ryan Steacy: [00:10:57] That’s right.

Travis Bader: [00:10:58] In Ladner. They’re arguably the best.

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:00] The best ever.

Travis Bader: [00:11:00] Best donuts in the lower mainland anyways. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:02] Nice.

Travis Bader: [00:11:04] But you didn’t have any, so I’m wondering, exercise, diet, sleep. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:09] Yup. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:09] Does this play into your preparation program? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:13] Well, for sure. I mean, obviously the fitter you are, the easier it’s going to be. In shooting sports where there’s a cardio element, clearly, if you are a fitter, it’s going to be easier for you.

Travis Bader: [00:11:24] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:24] Now, with service rifle and, personally I think in other shooting sports, there’s ways to manage being not so in shape, but those are the secrets that I’m not sure I really want to tell everybody. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:37] Fair enough. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:38] Cause you know what, like the first few service rifle championships that I went to, I probably weighed between 210 and 220. And I’m only six feet tall. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:50] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:50] And you know, that’s pretty heavy for me. 

Travis Bader: [00:11:54] You’ve lost a lot of weight. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:11:55] I have. Yeah. Yeah, and this time when I went there, I was hovering at about 195. And I found that in the, in positional shooting, obviously with less gut, it makes it easier.

Travis Bader: [00:12:06] Big difference.

Ryan Steacy: [00:12:07] And on the rundowns I was way less out of breath then.

Travis Bader: [00:12:10] What about sleep? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:12:11] Sleep for sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:12:12] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:12:12] I mean, when I’m shooting in Ottawa, there’s a day that they shoot two stages, so they run a big first stage and then the top 50 people from the first stage get to shoot the second stage in that decides who the winner is.  In between those two stages, they usually run a day where they shoot a bunch of team matches and falling plates and, and a bunch of fun stuff.

[00:12:34] But for me, I usually skip those days all together and just concentrate on resting in and focusing and making sure that I understand what I have to achieve the next time in the next stage because the next stage really decides who the big kahoona is in the end. 

Travis Bader: [00:12:53] Well, I find sleep for me, probably for other people, plays a major role in your mental outlook.

Ryan Steacy: [00:12:59] Oh, for sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:13:00] And we’re talking about mental marksmanship. I gotta imagine going into these competitions. I know you’ve been doing it for a while, but there’s a certain amount of anticipation that accompanies it and. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:13:11] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:13:12] Is there anything that you do to help quell those nerves and just to allow you to sleep and get that rest that you need?

Ryan Steacy: [00:13:20] Yeah, I mean the whole mental management process, once you get to a certain point with your ability to control what you think, there are no nerves. You go there and it’s like, I’m just going to do what I gotta do, but it’s getting to that point where you can quell all those weird little things that your mind tells you. You’re going to miss, you know, you’re going to have a crappy wind call.

[00:13:43] You’re gonna, you know, one little mistake and it’s over. Like that’s your mind tells you all kinds of crazy stuff and you get to a point where basically your mental management program shuts all that stuff off and it just doesn’t allow it into your brain or, okay. I won’t say it doesn’t allow it into your brain, but when it comes into your brain, you automatically revert back to your mental management program and it just tells you that’s the dumbest thing you ever said to yourself.

Travis Bader: [00:14:10] You just don’t feed it. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:11] You just don’t feed it. Yeah, you still think it, but it gets shuffled away and swept under the rug and never to be seen again in an awful hurry. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:21] So reading through the secrets of mental marksmanship.

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:24] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:14:24] Keith and Linda give some tools to increase the power of your self image and they give a number of them here and I’ll just read them verbatim. They develop a positive approach to yourself and stick with it. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:34] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:35] Maintain a positive approach with others. Be consistent with yourself and others. Set a positive example for others to follow. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:43] Yup. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:44] Be the most positive and cheerful person on the range and in your life. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:48] Yep. 

Travis Bader: [00:14:49] And finally, they say a high tide raises all boats.

Ryan Steacy: [00:14:52] Absolutely. 100% 

Travis Bader: [00:14:55] I’ve had the opportunity to speak with some other people who are high achievers, highly successful in their career, and in fact, one of the more famous ones Bear Grylls, he talks about being the most positive and cheerful people in the room. And it seems to be a common trait amongst these people that are high achievers and highly successful.

Ryan Steacy: [00:15:15] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:15:16] When you’re on the rains, there are all different personalities. There’s a whole bunch of different people, you know, in the shooting sports, it’s been, I found it to be a highly encouraging atmosphere for the most part.

Ryan Steacy: [00:15:29] For sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:15:29] Do you ever find those competitors that just try and get in your head or just try and bring you down, try and unscrew your light bulb to make them look a little bit brighter?

Ryan Steacy: [00:15:37] Yeah. I mean, there’s always the odd person that tries to get in your head and whatnot, but once you get a program and you’re, you’re thinking about all the positive stuff that Keith and Linda say there. It’s pre tty hard for somebody to get in your head and it’s actually probably much easier for you to get in their head because they’re already in that negative space. So all it takes is a small suggestion from you. 

Travis Bader: [00:15:59] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:15:59] And it kind of reverses the whole shenanigans, right? 

Travis Bader: [00:16:02] Sometimes that suggestion’s a piece of positive encouragement. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:05] Yes. It can be a backhanded compliment, kind of almost.

Travis Bader: [00:16:09] A compli-sault or.

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:10] Yeah, yeah exactly. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:11] Not quite like that. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:12] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:16:13] But I found that too. Sometimes when if you just say, Hey, you’re doing a really great job, I mean, you’re on fire, all of a sudden, boom, they tank. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:21] Well, I think when you say stuff like that to people and their mental management program isn’t as strong, you’re adding pressure to those guys. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:31] Good point.

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:31] Hey, you’re killing it here.

Travis Bader: [00:16:33] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:35] Don’t screw up you know.

Travis Bader: [00:16:36] That what they’re hearing.

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:37] And then that’s what they hear. And then it’s like, Oh man, he’s, I gotta keep this up. And then you know, it can crash and burn pretty easy at that point. 

Travis Bader: [00:16:47] Do you ever use those tricks? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:48] I don’t.

Travis Bader: [00:16:49] No. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:49] Nah.

Travis Bader: [00:16:49] It’s just not worth it.

Ryan Steacy: [00:16:50] There’s no need for me to do it. I’m so focused on what I have to do that I really don’t give a crap what anybody else is doing. The only thing that matters to me is producing perfect shots every time I pulled the trigger. So what everybody else’s outcomes are, or what’s going on with them, or what their score is, or how they’re feeling, or how they’re losing their minds on the range, or how they’re dancing with joy at their 50 with nine V’s, don’t care.

Travis Bader: [00:17:18] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:17:19] It makes no difference to me at all. None at all. I just carry on with what I gotta do. 

Travis Bader: [00:17:23] You know, oftentimes I encounter people and they don’t have that positive approach to life and.

Ryan Steacy: [00:17:29] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:17:31] And you can see it. I don’t know, I hate the term, but that’s sort of the consummate loser, the person who’s always a dollar short and a day late, or.

Ryan Steacy: [00:17:40] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:17:40] One of the things that Keith and Linda advocate, and they call it a pretending to make it so. And they say, this is probably one of the most controversial things we advocate. Pretending that things were the way you want them until your self image changes and things actually become the way you want them. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:17:57] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:17:57] Interesting. I wonder if that approach does work. They’d put a whole book out called the secret on that.

Ryan Steacy: [00:18:02] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:18:02] It’s been a highly praised and panned by critics alike, but the whole pretending it’s all good until it gets good,  is that something that. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:18:12] Well, basically I 100% agree with that because what it is is a self fulfilling prophecy. Right? If you tell yourself that this is going to happen and you ignore the fact that it’s not happening, eventually, if you have the basics and all the good stuff that you need to make it happen, it’s going to happen.

[00:18:29] So if you can almost coach yourself into a good wind like that, or a good result out of the blue, sometimes I think you see it on matches when, you know, whatever type of shooting, but somebody comes out of nowhere and they clean everybody’s clock and whatnot. I guarantee they’d been probably self talking themselves into this point, you know? And eventually it comes true. Now the difficult part is staying there.

Travis Bader: [00:18:56] Maintaining that. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:18:57] Yeah. There’s a lot of people that come from behind or come out of nowhere, and they blow everybody’s socks off and then they’re never heard from again. 

Travis Bader: [00:19:04] See, I had that conversation this morning with another person and she said, you know, I’ve always done better when there’s somebody in front of me and I’m the underdog and I can just come out and excel.

Ryan Steacy: [00:19:16] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:19:16] Being in the front, there’s a lot more pressure. It’s, we talked about this before, the sports illustrated curse. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:19:22] Yeah, exactly.

Travis Bader: [00:19:23] There’s only one place to go. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:19:24] Yeah, for sure. 

Travis Bader: [00:19:25] You’re in the front.

Ryan Steacy: [00:19:26] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:19:26] And you’ve been in the front for a long time.

Ryan Steacy: [00:19:28] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:19:28] Do you find it easier to be the underdog and work forward or do you find it easier to be in the front? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:19:34] You know, honestly, I don’t think it really matters where I am. The process for me is all the same, whether I’m in front, behind or in the middle. I think last time we touched on, a little bit about me knowing what it felt like to be behind and have zero pressure and come from behind and to be ahead and so far ahead that it was not even a a thing. I could probably skip a match and still win. And then I think we talked a little bit about being tied, which was a whole different, whole different factor. 

[00:20:06] So for me, having gone through all three of those different sort of zones to be sitting in a competition and having experienced them all, I can tell you that for me, there is no difference between one or the other. The way that to achieve what you need to achieve and to get the outcome you want is to do exactly the same thing in all three of those situations. And that is simply to focus on your performance and ignore everything else and make sure that everything you do is perfect.

Travis Bader: [00:20:40] Let’s talk about in the moment. This is going to be the fun part. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:20:44] This is already fun. 

Travis Bader: [00:20:45] I know. So.

Ryan Steacy: [00:20:46] I don’t get to talk about this stuff with people that sort of get it easily. It’s awesome. 

Travis Bader: [00:20:50] So in the moment you’re there, you’re at the range. Can you paint us a picture? What’s it like? We come in day one. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:20:57] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:20:58] Talk us through this. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:20:59] Okay. So we’re talking about like service rifle and. 

Travis Bader: [00:21:02] Well let’s talk about your recent competition.

Ryan Steacy: [00:21:03] Okay.

Travis Bader: [00:21:04] Cause we still haven’t told them if you’ve done well or not. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:21:06] That’s right. So we shoot the national championships on Connaught range in Ottawa, which is like the Mecca of rifle shooting in Canada. I mean, that rage has been there since the 1800’s. Every rifleman that has done anything has gone through Connaught. People that were incredible shots during world war I and world war II and rifle teams and guys that you hear about in books, they all went through Connaught. So it’s a pretty amazing place to go and actually stand on the, it’s like a hollowed ground really.

Travis Bader: [00:21:38] No kidding.

Ryan Steacy: [00:21:38] Yeah. It’s really something that you kinda gotta experience. So the first couple of times you’re, it’s a little bit overwhelming and you’re kind of like, wow, this is like, this is the place where all that stuff I’ve read about and all these guys that I read about, this is where they did it all.

[00:21:54] And so you’re there doing the same thing. So once you get past that, and you’ve been there a few times, it’s kind of like a second home almost. You know, there’s, for me, there’s always, I won’t say like nerves or trepidation, but there’s always a little something about going there, knowing that you’re almost holding yourself to the standard that went before you, that’s like really, really high. So for me, it’s, it’s not nerves about the competition, but it’s almost nerves about being able to present myself on the same sort of level as those guys that came before.

Travis Bader: [00:22:29] I get that.

Ryan Steacy: [00:22:30] Me. You kind of get it?

Travis Bader: [00:22:30] I get that.

Ryan Steacy: [00:22:32] So I’m always a little bit kind of weirded out by it when I get there. But then when I get there, I see the flags flying and the green grass, and the targets are 900 metres away and they’re so small that you can barely see them and you walk out onto a range and it’s like a kilometre wide and there’s like 70 odd targets there. 

Travis Bader: [00:22:49] Wow.

Ryan Steacy: [00:22:49] And the wind’s blowing and you’re looking at the flags going, Oh yeah, this wind sucks already. I haven’t even started shooting. And it is just like, ah, I’m here right, I’m going to conquer you or you’re going to conquer me, one or the other. But usually I like to think in the positive obviously. 

Travis Bader: [00:23:05] Have that mental management process. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:23:08] Yup. Yup. So then you get there. And to be honest, the service rifle community is a relatively small, through the forces and through the elite level civilian shooters that are in the country. And even in the US because we do get some that come up from the States. It’s like seeing buddies that you haven’t seen for a year. 

Travis Bader: [00:23:28] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:23:28] So it’s a bit of a reunion at Connaught there, there is a mess there. So there’s always a few beverages to be had.

Travis Bader: [00:23:34] Yes.

Ryan Steacy: [00:23:35] Stories to be told. For me, there’s a couple of mentors of mine that are still shooting, Dave Okey, mentor of mine, is Double Queens medalist, ex airborne guy, sniper, all this stuff. Amazing dude. Just to be able to hang out with Dave and talk shooting on a level like you and I are talking and he fully gets it and he has his ideas about how this works and I have mine and we sort of throw them at each other and we’re like, Oh yeah, man, I never thought that, that’s a really cool idea, you know?

[00:24:05] And then, you know, we’d discuss all kinds of stuff. And you know, you’re talking about the bullets and the trajectories and the wind calls that you made and different things that went on through the year. You know, you shoot in target rifle in Nova Scotia, and I’m shooting rimfire PRS matches in Vancouver, and you just, you just have this meeting of minds almost, and it’s amazing. And that’s all before the shooting starts. 

Travis Bader: [00:24:28] That’s fantastic. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:24:28] Yeah. And then you get out on the range and you get joined by probably about 70 or 80 army guys, some that you know, and some that you don’t. And then the shooting starts and it’s game on at that point and all that other stuff fades away.

Travis Bader: [00:24:44] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:24:44] And for me anyways, the, the only thing that matters are those rounds that are in the gun. And the way the sight picture looks on the target. 

Travis Bader: [00:24:54] So total number of competitors that we have this year, roundabout.

Ryan Steacy: [00:24:57] I think it was about 140 but I’d have to go back and check. It’s generally around 150 mark somewhere, give or take 20 or 30.

Travis Bader: [00:25:04] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:25:05] I’ve, back in the day when I first started doing it, you would get on the range, back in the mid to early 90’s and there’d be 400 guys there.

Travis Bader: [00:25:13] Wow. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:25:14] Yeah. I was still learning a lot back then, so I wasn’t quite where I am now. The whole mental Marksmanship program, I was doing a lot of it, but I had no idea what I was doing. Which is something that Keith and Linda kind of really brought to light. They started mentioning all this stuff and I was like, wow, I’m already doing that. But somebody quantified why I’m doing it now.

Travis Bader: [00:25:36] Yeah that helps doesn’t it?

Ryan Steacy: [00:25:37] Then it really started to make sense right. 

Travis Bader: [00:25:40] So how many relays  were being run here?

Ryan Steacy: [00:25:42] This year, you had four relays you had about, I think there was about 40 guys on each relay, 40, 50 guys on each relay. And two guys would be, two relays would be in the butts and two would be on the line and one would be shooting, and the second would be standing by or scoring for the guys that are shooting. And then you would shoot your matches and then you would go down to the butts and mark targets and look at your scores and make sure your scorecard is all filled out. And then one of the relays would come out of the butts and you just cycle through like that. And you do that at 200 then you do it at 300 and then you do it at 500.

Travis Bader: [00:26:16] Is there much gaming going on? Is there.

Ryan Steacy: [00:26:19] There isn’t, there isn’t really any gaming in this kind of sport because you can’t.

Travis Bader: [00:26:23] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:26:24] The best you can do to game things is to use some sort of souped up high-speed rifle and some sort of good ammunition and maybe some super high end optic.

Travis Bader: [00:26:34] Super higher end quality barrel.

Ryan Steacy: [00:26:36] Yeah, hey that always helps. I guess that’s kind of gaming, I suppose, maybe a little bit, but in the end of  it doesn’t matter what you’re shooting. If they crosshairs not on the target when the trigger gets pulled, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a $10,000 gun or a $10 gun, it’s all going to end in the same way.

Travis Bader: [00:27:00] So how many days did this competition take?

Ryan Steacy: [00:27:03] While the whole DCRA national service conditions championship runs over boat a week in a bit. So almost 10 days. 

Travis Bader: [00:27:10] Wow. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:27:10] So the first portion that they shoot is a pistol competition, which takes about three days. Those guys are amazing to watch. Like there are pistol shooters from Bruce Nuclear, some of the police departments. You get guys like Lance Espinosa that comes up from the USA that is like, he’s an amazing pistol shooter. He cleans everybody’s clock with a Glock 19 and it’s like, what are you doing? Like, unbelievable. But yeah, so they come up and they shoot the pistol matches first, then after they’re finished, precision rifle matches happen.

[00:27:43] And those are partnered shoots where you’re spotting for your partner. And those take, I think two days. You shoot all the way from 200 metres, all the way back to 900. This year they changed the size of the scoring rings on the targets, on the figure 11 target, they use the very small box is a V, so it’s two inches wide by four inches tall. And you’re trying to hit that at seven or eight or 900 metres. 

Travis Bader: [00:28:08] Wow. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:28:09] Now actually at 900, we were on a figure 12, which is a circular scoring zone, but at six, seven, and eight, we were on the figure 11 which and this, the scoring ring size doesn’t change the further you get back. So in order to hit a V or an X ring at like 800 metres, you’re looking at a two by four inch scoring zone.

Travis Bader: [00:28:31] A lot of things have to line up.

Ryan Steacy: [00:28:32] Yeah  and I mean, you’ve missed by an inch one way or the other and you miss your wind call a little bit and you know, you’re probably not even the five box. So scores were a lot lower, overall, but it was, it was really challenging. Whether they keep it or not.

Travis Bader: [00:28:45] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:28:45] With that scoring is another question. I’m not 100% sure whether they’re going to stay that way or go back because I heard a fair bit of whining. Guys going, Oh my shot at 37 and I’m in second place. Normally it would be a 50 with like, you know, eight V’s or whatever, but now it’s a 37 so I don’t know whether they’ll stick with it or not. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. Everybody’s dealing with the same.

Travis Bader: [00:29:07] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:29:08] Scoring zone, so it’s all good. So you shoot the precision stuff, like I said, it’s all spotted. So you shoot it with a partner. They can give you corrections, they can help you out, they can watch your rounds, go in to the target via swirl and all that good stuff and help you through the competition. And then after that’s finished, then they move on to service rifle, which is kinda like the granddaddy of the service conditions, championships. 

[00:29:32] It’s been run for a super long time, basically the same matches. I think probably since the, probably at least the 70’s are pretty close.

Travis Bader: [00:29:42] Really? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:29:43] Yup, yup. Very similar. The cool thing about the matches is they’re a very basic test of marksmanship skill. You have deliberate fire matches where it’s slow timing and you have lots of time to make perfect shot. Then they have a snap type match where the target appears and you have very small amount of time to actually shoot the target. Then they have a rapid fire one where you have a set amount of time. And you have to shoot 10 rounds into two different targets in that time limit, along with a mag change. 

[00:30:14] And then they have a fire movement, so you run a bit and shoot a bit, and then run a bit more and shoot a bit more. And by the time you get, as you’re moving down the range towards the targets, the positions keep getting crappier as you go. So by the time you hit a hundred year shooting standing, and you’re also breathing fairly heavily because you’ve just run however many, hundred metres, that the match is. And they throw in snap targets at the same time, so the targets appear for a short amount of time. You have to manage your breathing and your sight picture and get a couple of shots off within five or six seconds usually. 

[00:30:47] So it becomes very challenging. So super challenging shooting, but it’s fairly basic processes that you need to master in order to. To do well at it, but it’s amazing how many people, there’s a lot of people that want matches that are more complicated and moving targets and all this other stuff. And yet when you look at their scores on the basic matches, you realize that they don’t really even have the basic marksmanship skills mastered yet. Yet they want to run before they’re, you know. 

Travis Bader: [00:31:17] And we find that a lot of the time too at Silvercore, we get people, well you’ve got handgun one, but I really want to do handgun three.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:23] Yeah of course.

Travis Bader: [00:31:23] Handgun four.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:23] of course.

Travis Bader: [00:31:24] And.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:24] People want to skip over the basic stuff.

Travis Bader: [00:31:27] But the perfection of the basics is what makes you good, really.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:31] It’s the foundation right.

Travis Bader: [00:31:32] It really is. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:33] You build everything else on.

Travis Bader: [00:31:34] Shooting is, the actual, like you say,  the pulling the trigger, that’s simple. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:39] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:31:39] The theory behind shooting is simple. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:42] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:31:42] It’s building that into, like you saying, into the subconscious.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:46] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:31:46] And that’s only done by hammering in the basics.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:47] That’s right.

Travis Bader: [00:31:48] Walking your way through and taking the next steps. It’s a really straightforward process and so many people seem to want to shortcut that.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:54] They do. 

Travis Bader: [00:31:54] I’ve never understood that. Like I get the cool, I’ve seen it on TV.

Ryan Steacy: [00:31:59] Yeah I think that’s mainly what it is.

Travis Bader: [00:32:00] I think so, yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:32:00] Yeah, it’s like, I want to shoot moving targets or I want to run around and shoot around corners and do all this cool stuff. And it’s like, okay, but you’re snatching the trigger and you can’t get anything. It’s like, all right, carry on. 

Travis Bader: [00:32:11] You started off, we’re shooting this competition. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:32:14] That’s right. 

Travis Bader: [00:32:14] Did it start well?

Ryan Steacy: [00:32:17] So in these matches, like I told you before, the 200 metre mound is the most important one for me. As long as I can shoot well in the positional stuff and put in a decent score, I. It’s going to sound a little arrogant, but if I shoot a good score, I know I’ve already won. Because the 300 and the 500 are pretty much all prone, and I shoot them very well. And it’s difficult, unless I have a real serious malfunction, to drop a lot of points in order to allow anybody to catch up to you. 

[00:32:49] So my mental management program says if the 200 metre goes well, you’re well on your way to keeping things where they need to be. So this year, not having had any practice, other than a bit of visualization and living room kneeling practice, kneeling and sitting practice, the 200 metre mound I shot a 189 out of 200. 

Travis Bader: [00:33:11] Wow. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:33:11] Which is not where I want to be. I prefer to be in the mid 190’s, which is usually sort of where I am.

Travis Bader: [00:33:18] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:33:18] But a 189, there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Travis Bader: [00:33:20] There isn’t no.

Ryan Steacy: [00:33:21] And so when I came off of the 200 metre mound with a 189, I’m  like, okay that was a little sloppy. You could probably attribute that to not having shot your gun for a year.

Travis Bader: [00:33:33] Perhaps a little bit.

Ryan Steacy: [00:33:34] Perhaps a bit. There’s definitely something to be said for actually getting down there and pulling some triggers in the positions that you need to do it. But it was kind of an interesting experiment with just the visualization and a little bit of dry training to see whether I could sort of be where I wanted to be. The answer was maybe not where you want to be, but you’re probably pretty close. 

Travis Bader: [00:33:55] Hmm. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:33:56] And so, yeah, I came off the line with a, I think it was, yeah, it was a 189 I think. 

Travis Bader: [00:34:01] So you’re feeling pretty positive. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:34:03] Yeah. I’m feeling positive after that I’m like, yeah okay, 189 is good. Did I tell you about my little Bible book that I take with me? 

Travis Bader: [00:34:12] Tell me about this.

Ryan Steacy: [00:34:12] It has all the scores and everything in it. 

Travis Bader: [00:34:14] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:34:14] So I have a book that I keep and this is part of my secret stuff as well. 

Travis Bader: [00:34:18] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:34:19] So only you and your listeners will know.

Travis Bader: [00:34:20] They’re gettin’ some, the inside scoop right now.

Ryan Steacy: [00:34:22] That’s right. So every service rifle match that I’ve probably shot since about 2012, I have all the scores in this book.

Travis Bader: [00:34:30] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:34:31] In the book I write down the dope that I use. I write down the score and then any little notes to myself that are some sort of positive reinforcement. So in the book, I had my first national championship written in there, and it was like, Hey man, you know. You just write this little note to yourself. People read it and would be like, who is this idiot when he’s talking to himself here? 

[00:34:51] But basically it says like, yeah, good job. You did this good, and remember what this feels like, blah, blah, blah. And then each year that I won since then, or any surface rifle match that I’ve won, I write in the book and I write myself a little note. So when I go and I shoot a 189 out of 200 and I’m thinking, man, it’s not bad, but that might give people a little bit of an open door to get in. 

[00:35:17] I go back in the book and I look at other 200 metre mounds that I’ve shot and where I’ve scored on 189 or less than a 189 and then I flipped the page and I look at the notes that I wrote to myself after I won, still with that score. So when I shoot a 189 now, I go back in the book and I look at another one that I shot a 189 at and I flip over the page, and that was national championship number three or whatever it was in the, in the case. 

[00:35:47] And so it just puts my mind at ease that, you know, you’re good. Don’t worry about that. You shot the 200 metre mound, you’ve got a decent score. Carry on shooting perfect shots for the rest of it and the end result will be the one that you want. 

Travis Bader: [00:36:02] So what happens if we lose our book?

Ryan Steacy: [00:36:04] Uhh.

Travis Bader: [00:36:05] You got a backup somewhere? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:36:07] Ha ha. That book is in my gun safe. No, you know, honestly, I’m to the point now where I probably don’t need the book, but the book is kind of a, it’s a small comfort thing for me where I can flip into it and it’s weird just having the book with me is kind of like, I got the book, I’m good.  You know. 

Travis Bader: [00:36:28] Well, you don’t have any superstitious sorta gotta wear this hat, got to wear a. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:36:33] Not really. My kid gave me a plastic Bruce Lee with nunchucks dummy.

Travis Bader: [00:36:38] Oh I love it.

Ryan Steacy: [00:36:38] When he was, I think about three or something and I was going off to shoot. He’s like, dad, this is good luck. So it’s in my TAC vest and it’s been there ever since.

Travis Bader: [00:36:47] Oh I love it

Ryan Steacy: [00:36:48] He gave it to me and I think it’s turning purple. It’s probably got mold on it. But, it lives in my TAC vest. 

Travis Bader: [00:36:55] But Bruce comes with you.

Ryan Steacy: [00:36:56] Bruce comes with me everywhere. And whenever I shoot service rifle yeah, Bruce is there with me. So that’s the only a superstition I have.

Travis Bader: [00:37:03] I love it.

Ryan Steacy: [00:37:03] That I take with me. Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:37:06] So when you’re shooting this match.

Ryan Steacy: [00:37:09] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:37:09] Scores are going up. You get to see where they’re at. We’ve gone through this before. Some people don’t like looking at the scores. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:37:15] Correct. 

Travis Bader: [00:37:15] You like to look at the scores? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:37:17] I do. And I think, relating back to that book is specifically why I like to look at the scores. I don’t look at other people’s scores. I don’t care what other people are doing, I only look at my scores. Looking at the scoreboard is not really that important because I already have the scores written in my book after I shoot the match, they’re all written down, so if I want to look, I just opened my book and there they are. 

[00:37:39] But it’s always somewhat comforting to look at the scores in relation to other peoples stuff, I guess, and going, yeah, you know, your 189 was fine. You’re in second place, or you’re in third place, or you’re in first place, whatever the case is, so that you know you’re in the zone that you need to be.

Travis Bader: [00:37:56] So you didn’t know where you were after looking at your score. Did you have a bit of an idea? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:38:01] I think I probably did look because they post them on the internet on a Dropbox page. So you can go and look. And I think I probably did, but like I said, it’s just more out of curiosity than anything else, it has no effect on me. Like if I was in fifth place after the 200, I’d be like, yeah whatever. That’s fine, it’s not a big deal. If I’m in first, it’s the same thing. Okay, good, carry on. 

Travis Bader: [00:38:26] Do you engage with the other competitors during the competition or do you kind of like to be left alone? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:38:30] No I don’t, I don’t search out any conversation usually with competitors. But there’s a gang of guys that are kind of at the top end of the game and in passing we’ll be like, Hey, did you have a good,  go? Yeah, it was good. Yeah, okay. And you know, most of us don’t talk about anything funky like, Hey, did you have any misses? 

Travis Bader: [00:38:55] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:38:56] It’s not like that at all. Or, Hey, what was your score? It’s not like that. It’s like, did it go good? Yeah, it went good. Okay, good. Or, you know, I missed a wind call or whatever. 

Travis Bader: [00:39:06] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:39:06] But I try not to go into the negative side of things. 

Travis Bader: [00:39:10] It doesn’t get windy on that range though at all does it? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:39:12] No, not at all. Not at all. Yeah, missing a wind call is not that hard to do on that range. I think we touched a little bit about a record score that I missed last year, just by.

Travis Bader: [00:39:23] We did.

Ryan Steacy: [00:39:24] Shifting flagpole. 

Travis Bader: [00:39:26] Yes. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:39:26] This year was a lot different, we can get into that. 

Travis Bader: [00:39:29] Tell me, we’re right here in the moment. Let’s go through with the match. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:39:33] Okay. So we shot the 200 metre, that was good. I shot the 300 metre, that was good. And then, then we got to 500 metres and that was day two.

Travis Bader: [00:39:43] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:39:44] Because you shoot the two and the three on the first day, and then you shoot the, it used to be the four and the five on the second day, but they pulled the four for some reason this year. They wanted to speed things up. 

Travis Bader: [00:39:55] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:39:55] Old service rifle matches only used to be two, three, and five anyways, so they just went back to the old format, which is fine. Either way, it doesn’t bother me at all. 

Travis Bader: [00:40:03] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [00:40:04] I kinda liked the 400 because it’s challenging using small targets and you’re at a fairly long distance for a 223 but they didn’t run it this year. So that’s  cool, whatever. We get back to 500 metres and it’s the second day, and now things have all changed and now we’re dealing with winds up to 37 kilometres an hour according to the Kestrel. So, and kind of the other crappy thing was, they had taken down most of the flags on the range. So there was really only one flag in front of me that I could sort of key off of.

Travis Bader: [00:40:35] So why would they do that? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:40:37] I’m not 100% sure. I don’t know. 

Travis Bader: [00:40:38] I guess the only positive out of that would be everyone’s using. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:40:42] Yeah. For sure.

Travis Bader: [00:40:42] Everyone’s on the same field.

Ryan Steacy: [00:40:43] Yeah. But it kind of sucks when the flags in a certain spot, and there’s people at the far end of the range that have to only look at that flag, but they’re at a different angle to that flag.

Travis Bader: [00:40:52] Good point.

Ryan Steacy: [00:40:52] So they may not be able to see exactly what that flag is doing. So for me, I was lucky enough to be almost directly in line with the flag.

Travis Bader: [00:41:02] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:41:02] But still there were flags behind us. So I mean, those are important flags to look at too, because they can give you a little bit more about direction then perhaps a flag in front of you that you don’t have the correct angle on. But anyways, nonetheless, there was only one flag. 

[00:41:17] And so we’re at 500 metres and we’ve got these crazy winds rolling through and it was gusting up to 37 K and I’m thinking oh man, this is going to be, this can be something else. So at 500 metres, the first match is deliberate, which luckily enough is shot on a four foot frame.

Travis Bader: [00:41:35] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:41:36] So you have two feet on either side of the centre of the bullseye in order to miss.

Travis Bader: [00:41:42] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:41:42] So that you can see where you’re at, any more than that and if you’re off the four foot frame, you’re going to be in a bit of hurt.

 Travis Bader: [00:41:49] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:41:49] Because you’re going to be, you know, you’ll have no indication as to where you’re going other than maybe perhaps seeing your splash in the dirt, in the sand, in the butts. So I’m an okay wind caller, I think I’m probably always going to be a student of learning the wind. So I looked at the flags and looked at what the grass was doing, and I made a mean wind call. Mean, meaning being like the average.

Travis Bader: [00:42:17] Mean, median, mode. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:42:18] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:42:18] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:42:18] Yeah, exactly. I made a mean wind call and I dialed it onto my scope and we got down there on the deliberate and you get two sighters and then 10 on score. And I had, I dunno if you work in Millrads or MOA. 

Travis Bader: [00:42:32] Both. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:42:33] Both. Okay. So I had two mils of wind dialed on.

Travis Bader: [00:42:37] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:42:38] At 500 metres and I fired the first shot, and it was barely on the four foot frame. It was like super edgy on the forefoot frames. I’m like, Holy crap. So I cranked on a bunch more and I think the second shot ended up in the centre of the target, which was, which was good. So I mean, more of a fluke than anything but.

Travis Bader: [00:42:57] Sure. You’ll take it. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:42:58] I’ll take it. Sometimes you gotta be lucky to be, it’s better to be lucky than good. 

Travis Bader: [00:43:01] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:43:02] So I kinda had a feel for what the wind was doing when I cracked that shot. And so I just tried to let the shot break when the wind was kind of doing the same thing and it worked out well. I think I ended up with a 49 or 50 out of 50 I can’t remember. I’d have to go back and check but. 

Travis Bader: [00:43:18] Gotta look at the book. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:43:19] Yeah, it was good. It was a good score. 

Travis Bader: [00:43:21] Yeah. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:43:21] But mind you, the bullseye is quite, yeah. Quite large at 500 metres but. 

Travis Bader: [00:43:24] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:43:25] In that amount of wind and a gusty wind is challenging matter.

Travis Bader: [00:43:29] Right. It’s no easy task. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:43:32] It’s no easy task. Yeah. Then after that, we shot a snap and you’re still on the forefoot frame at 500 metres instead of on handheld stick target. So that went well. I don’t even remember what the score was, I think the rapid went pretty well. It’s also on the forefoot frame, and then we have the rundown.

[00:43:49] The rundown starts with you running up on the mound at 500 metres and you have 15 seconds to shoot two shots onto the four frame. So you start 10 yards behind the target or 10 yards behind the firing point. You run up onto the firing point, you drop into the prone and you shoot your two shots on the four foot frame in 15 seconds. Good, no problem. 

[00:44:08] I had just shot all those shots onto the forefoot frame, so as long as the lean conditions stayed the same, didn’t change much I’m good. The challenge comes after that because then you’re going to switch your sights and you’re going to dial off some wind and you’re going to run down to 400 metres and you’re going to shoot two more shots. 

[00:44:25] This time it’s on a figure 12 handheld stick target that’s 18 inches wide. So the elevation portion of it is not really a big deal. You have your dope, you know exactly.

Travis Bader: [00:44:37] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [00:44:37] Where you’re going to impact, but when you’re dialing off 2.8 mils of wind. And you have to dial some off, each distance you run down. How do you accomplish that? Like how do you know how much to dial off? So the challenge is making that wind call and dialing off the right amount of wind. So I got down there, I dialed off what I thought I needed, fired the first shot, and I saw a splash beside the target. Was a miss. 

Travis Bader: [00:45:02] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:45:02] So I knew how far I had missed by, so I just held over and let the second one go, and then the splash was behind the target. So I’m like, okay, well at least I got one out of two.

Travis Bader: [00:45:09] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:45:09] On that one. Right. And the 400 really is the, that’s the challenging one because it’s a very small target for 400 metres, and in, even without wind, it’s fairly challenging. 

Travis Bader: [00:45:19] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:45:21] So then you dial off your elevation again, and you make another decision on how to dial off more wind, and you run down to 300 and you shoot two more shots in the prone position on that same figure 12 on a stick. Then you do the same thing and you’re run down to two and at two you shoot your two shots in the sitting or kneeling position on that same figure 12 on a stick.

[00:45:43] And you dial off your wind and your elevation and you run down to a hundred and your last two shots are fired from the standing position at the figure 12 that comes up and only gives you a certain amount of time to shoot it. And I’m pretty sure that at 200 in the sitting position, I shanked one off the target as well because the wind was just buffeting you.

[00:46:03] Like it wasn’t, I’m trying to hold stable, but like in the prone, you can kind of do it, but when you’re sitting the wind was pushing you around. And I think physically, the wind just hit me at the wrong time, and I touched it off and it impacted beside the target. So I had two misses on the rundown. 

Travis Bader: [00:46:19] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:46:19] So anyways, it was, when it was all said and done at 500 metres, I had shot a 175 out of 200. A 175 is not a very good score in my book.

Travis Bader: [00:46:31] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:46:31] You know, you should have 175 and you’re probably not going to be in the top 10. So here I am thinking, oh man, you just, you had two misses on the rundown. Not a heck of a lot you could have done about it. But you got a 175. So let’s just hope that everybody else had similar problems and that you know, you’re still going to be at the top of the zone. So you know, a little bit of doubt creeps in there and you kinda gotta push it away. 

Travis Bader: [00:47:00] This is where the mental management goes into overdrive.

Ryan Steacy: [00:47:03] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:47:03] This is where it’s easy to be mentally managed when things are going well.

Ryan Steacy: [00:47:06] It is, and I mean, the interesting part is that when you shoot the second stage, the first two matches you shoot are the 500 metre deliberate and the 500 to 100 metre rundown. So when you’ve shanked a couple shots off into the dirt and you realize that, Hey, I got to shoot those matches again, then most people are going to be thinking about the last time they shot it. 

Travis Bader: [00:47:30] Sure they will.

Ryan Steacy: [00:47:30] And you know, the last thing you want to be thinking about is, Hey, I missed the last time I fired this. When you’re trying to do it again, and that kind of stuff creeps into your head. So you really have to sweep that stuff away and just carry on making perfect shots. So anyways, the 175 I’m thinking, oh man, let me know if I’m in the top 10 this is going to be, this is going to be lucky. So eventually the scores come out and I think I was in second place with a 175.

Travis Bader: [00:47:57] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:47:58] The average score was around a 150 somewhere. So there are a lot of guys that had shot a lot more misses or made way worse wind calls than I did. 

Travis Bader: [00:48:06] A lot of people struggling with the same conditions. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:48:08] Yeah. I mean, I felt for the army guys, because you’re shooting against military, rig force and reserve guys as well. And I mean, they have to deal with the Elcan and trying to dial off the wind on that thing and figure it out in the ammunition they use is not particularly good. 

[00:48:24] I mean, it’s okay as far as service ammo goes, but as far as match ammo it’s clearly not match quality. Plus the Elcan scope that they run is only 3.4 power. So I mean, you’re not even getting a very good sight picture.

Travis Bader: [00:48:37] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:48:37] Through that optic. I mean, it’s doable, lots of guys do it very well, but it’s not, it doesn’t make it easy.

Travis Bader: [00:48:43] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:48:45] So a lot of guys had more problems than I think the guy that was in first place. It was only three or four points ahead of me. 

Travis Bader: [00:48:52] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [00:48:53] I think he was, it was a 180 something or somewhere along those line 178 or something like that. So I hadn’t really dropped a lot of points, so I felt pretty comfortable with the 175 once I sorta saw where everybody else was. But yeah, that was like, Holy crap, this is crazy. 

[00:49:12] And then we went on and shot the second stage and  a second stage is really kind of where you have to put all that stuff aside and just do what you gotta do because your, your mind tells you one mistake here and.

Travis Bader: [00:49:25] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [00:49:25] And it’s over. You won’t be national championship again, but.

Travis Bader: [00:49:28] So was your mind doing that?

Ryan Steacy: [00:49:29] It always does that, but you get to the point where it starts to do it. It’s like, Hey one, and you’re like, nope. And you just, you’re like, I’m not not doing that mind. Thank you very much but no. The focus for me is on firing perfect shots only and that’s it. So it went good. It wasn’t my best performance due to a lot of factors, but it was enough and it came out on top again with a national championship number six.

Travis Bader: [00:49:56] Congratulations. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:49:58] Yeah, thanks. 

Travis Bader: [00:49:58] That’s fantastic. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:49:59] That was good. I mean, these things always, I learned something every time right. What, I mean, the mental management stuff is, there’s always something that I get out of it this time, maybe, you know that 175 taught me a few things like. Well, I’m already kind of a never give up kind of guy. That’s part of the reason why I have the book. You know, if I pooch a match and shoot a 35 out of 50 I can go back and look at another one where I’ve shot at 35 and.

Travis Bader: [00:50:23] I feel that.

Ryan Steacy: [00:50:24] And I look at the end result and the end result is usually good. So I just, I don’t worry about it 35 anymore, if I shoot a bad one. So I’m always a never give up kinda guy, but that kind of reinforced it to me a fair bit. Everybody else is having to deal with the same things that you’re dealing with. So you’re all on a level playing field. Hopefully your wind calling in your subconscious trigger pulling will put you ahead of the game.

Travis Bader: [00:50:50] Well, before we talk about, after the moment, I got a couple of questions and I pretty sure I know how you’re gonna answer one of them. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:50:56] Yeah. Okay. 

Travis Bader: [00:50:57] Let’s talk a little bit about wind. Wind at target versus wind at shooter. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:51:01] Yup. 

Travis Bader: [00:51:03] What’s more important? 

Ryan Steacy: [00:51:03] Well, it’s all important. 

Travis Bader: [00:51:05] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [00:51:06] But the wind at the shooter has more effect on your bullet then the wind at the target.

Travis Bader: [00:51:11] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:51:12] Unless there is no wind at you and there is a raging hurricane at the target. 

Travis Bader: [00:51:17] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:51:18] But even then, it’s less than what would happen if there’s even a breeze where you are and nothing down to the target. So the reason for that is because the wind that you has more time to act on your projectile. So a little push at the muzzle of the gun equals a big distance off the target, at the target. 

[00:51:40] Whereas if you have a stiff wind at the target, but nothing at you, your bullet has picked up all that momentum and it zips through that the wind at the target, and it, it’s sure it’s going to get pushed off a little bit, but it’s not nearly as much as if it’s like an angular kind of thing right.

Travis Bader: [00:51:57] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:51:57] Hard to explain, but if you.

Travis Bader: [00:51:59] Oh totally get it. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:52:01] Yeah. If you push the bullet off centre and start it moving in a trajectory away from the target at the muzzle, by the time it reaches the target, it’s going to be way off. 

Travis Bader: [00:52:11] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:52:11] So that’s, that’s the important part. 

Travis Bader: [00:52:14] Even though some would argue that the speed of the bullet is much higher and there’s going to be much less effect of the wind. I’ve seen it argue back and forth. I had a good idea how you’re going to answer this one, and you did. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:52:26] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:52:26] Because it’s how I feel as well too. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:52:28] Yeah. Yeah. I’ve seen it where you’re laying down in your shooting and at you, there’s, there’s a little bit of a breeze going on and you shoot a sighter and whoa, hey that thing’s not where it was supposed to go.

Travis Bader: [00:52:42] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:52:42] So you dial on a bit of wind and you correct and you’re good to go. And  I’ve had at other times where there’s lots of mirage running at the target. Probably to the point where you can’t even see the mirage, it’s laid over flat and you know that it’s rolling probably at least 12 K. And you shoot with just putting one straight down the pipe and it pretty much goes straight down the pipe through all that blazing mirage down there.

Travis Bader: [00:53:07] Yup. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:53:08] So for me, the little pushes at the target or at the shooter are more, they have more effect than shooting through a wind down towards the target. 

Travis Bader: [00:53:20] So the other question I have is the other shooters, when they’re working the butts, there’s the human variable. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:53:27] Yep. 

Travis Bader: [00:53:27] Do you find that plays in, like, sometimes you’ll have a flash target that people hold up and it’s up well, well behind all the rest and faster than you’re going down.

Ryan Steacy: [00:53:39] Yeah. There’s definitely some of that at these competitions. The butts officers are usually on top of people pretty hard. 

Travis Bader: [00:53:48] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:53:49] And their timings when they’re taking the timing, say that it’s a snap target and everybody’s got to figure 12 on a stick that they’re going to put up. The timing of the exposure is six seconds. Well, that six seconds doesn’t start until all the targets are up. So your butt’s officer who’s calling the timings will be back from all the targets and he’ll be able to see when the last target goes up. And that’s when he starts his timing. 

Travis Bader: [00:54:11] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:54:12] But I mean, like in the precision rifle matches, you shoot moving targets, which are basically targets that are operated by somebody walking with a target held over their head in the butts. I mean, you shot them, you know what the deal is.

Travis Bader: [00:54:23] Yep. Oh yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:54:24] So people are different sizes and different strengths, and they walk funny.

Travis Bader: [00:54:31] Yes.

Ryan Steacy: [00:54:31] And they do all kinds of wacky stuff. And so occasionally you’ll get targets that are smooth.

Travis Bader: [00:54:37] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:54:37] And occasionally you’ll get targets that are kind of jerky. And you, you know, you launch a shot thinking that he’s just gonna be smooth and I dunno, a bug lands on his face or something and he stops for a second. You zip the round in front of the target and you’re like, what the heck is going on? So, I mean, there’s always, there’s always a little bits and pieces of a butts operator.

Travis Bader: [00:55:02] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:55:02] Target operator error in there. But you know what, honestly, that’s part of the kind of the service conditions kind of thing. 

Travis Bader: [00:55:08] So do we just, you know, I’ve seen some people at these competitions and they get right upset and they’re, do we just suck this up in service rifle and just say, Hey, that’s so she rolls. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:55:17] Yeah, pretty much. I mean, for me, if there’s some sort of, well, there’s a couple of different ways you can go. I mean, you can protest. So if you have a target  irregularity, you can say, Hey look, you know, my target fell off, or my target came up backwards, or the guy was super late putting the target up, or he was super quick pulling the target down ahead of everybody else.

[00:55:40] And as long as somebody on the line, like one of the firing range officers, the line officers saw that that happened, then yeah, you’re probably going to be able to either make up a shot or get a reshoot for the whole thing. So you can do it that way. I don’t, honestly, I can’t remember that ever happening to me. So it’s kind of a non factor. 

Travis Bader: [00:56:03] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [00:56:03] If it happened on and it was something that was blatantly the fault of whoever was in the butts, I’d probably protest and try and get another shot or.

Travis Bader: [00:56:14] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [00:56:14] Reshoot or whatever the case may be. But if it’s like a moving target and the guy tripped and it jigged at the wrong second, when you squeezed it off and you know, you either shot it out the back end or you clipped a four or didn’t land in the centre, it just.

Travis Bader: [00:56:29] That’s life.

Ryan Steacy: [00:56:29] It is what it is, right? I’m not gonna worry about little bits like that, because if you start to, if you start to fret about stuff like that, guess what that’s going, it is going to throw you completely off your game.

Travis Bader: [00:56:40] Well your head’s in the wrong place. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:56:41] Yeah totally. 

Travis Bader: [00:56:42] If that’s where you’re always viewing it.

Ryan Steacy: [00:56:44] You can’t be thinking about that stuff.

Travis Bader: [00:56:45] Yeah. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:56:46] You just have to let those shots go and move on to the next one. 

Travis Bader: [00:56:49] So we’ve talked about planning, preparation, in the moment.

Ryan Steacy: [00:56:52] Yep.

Travis Bader: [00:56:52] And now as Keith and Linda put it after the moment. So you’re coming off number six.

Ryan Steacy: [00:56:58] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [00:56:58] You’ve won six national service rifle competitions in a row. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:57:03] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [00:57:04] And what, what do you do afterwards? Hey, that was cool. You leave, let’s start, we start planning again, big celebrate like. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:57:11] Yeah. How does it work?

Travis Bader: [00:57:12] How’s it work? Both on, like what do you do in the moment? Obviously there’s a lot of excitement. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:57:16] Okay. So in the second stage, the last match you shoot out of the four that make up the second stage is a three to two to one rundown. So after you’ve shot that, you move into the butts yourself and you score your target with the person that’s in the butts. So you get to see the holes and they get to count the holes. You’re not allowed to touch the target, but they count it off and you can look and make sure that it’s good to go. So for me, I mean, I think I was about 20 points ahead of the next guy, so I was fairly comfortable.

[00:57:50] So I went into the butts and in the second stage, I can’t remember, but I don’t think I had any really bad shots. Like I don’t think I had any misses that I could think of. So we got down there and I was pretty happy with the way it went. Check to make sure I had all my hits, good to go. And yeah I mean, I think it was almost numerically impossible for the next guy to catch me as long as I.

Travis Bader: [00:58:14] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [00:58:14] Didn’t really seriously like miss like five shots in one stage. So I was pretty happy when I got down there. Good to go, everything’s good, okay. So that should cover it. Pretty happy. First thing I do is I pull up my book and I write myself a note in the moment about what happened in anything that was good that I did like. I think the note in the book this year was like, oh my God, 37 kilometre an hour winds. How did you like, just trust yourself man, because clearly what you did was pretty good.

Travis Bader: [00:58:46] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [00:58:47] And number 6, yay! You know, kind of thing. And then after that, the other guys that are within the top five or so that were sort of vying for the same thing, usually they sort of filter around and everybody sorta says how to go and blah, blah, blah. And it’s kinda to the point where they’re like, did it go good? Yeah, it went good. Okay, congratulations. You know, like, it’s not like, what was your score or anything like that.

Travis Bader: [00:59:15] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [00:59:15] It was like, anything weird happened? Nope. Okay, good. Yeah, nice work kind of things. And we compare and I always like to talk to the other guys and find out how it went. Cause there’s guys shooting different calibre and different rifles and all kinds of stuff. 

Travis Bader: [00:59:29] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:59:29] So it’s kind of neat to know what kind of shenanigans went on with a guy shooting a 308 or a 6.5 Grendel. 

Travis Bader: [00:59:38] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [00:59:38] You know, how did it go? Like how was it to manage the recoil on a 6.5 Grendel in comparison to a 223? So those are kind of the things where we compare a little bit. So then after that, everybody sort of cleans up all the targetry and everybody heads back up to the firing point. And at the firing point, they have the two chairs there. And all the scorecards get tabulated and the winner gets, actually two winners, six people in total. So one, two, and three in the military division. And then one, two, and three get announced in the open division, which the open division includes all the military guys. 

Travis Bader: [01:00:15] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:00:16] So they get to shoot kind of in two divisions. So in reality, an army guy or a Navy guy or air force could take the top open, they could win the whole shebang altogether as a military guy. I don’t recall it ever having been done.

Travis Bader: [01:00:31] Okay.

Ryan Steacy: [01:00:32] In recent memory, but it’s possible. So then you know, everybody gathers around and the chairs are there and they call out a number three, and everybody claps. And number two and same thing and then the national champ gets called up and, you go up and you, usually there’s a general or two there and you sort of shake hands. 

[01:00:51] And then you get in the chair and you’re gang of guys, if you’re an army guy, usually your teammates carry you off. They rev up the bagpipes and they march you off.

Travis Bader: [01:01:05] Beautiful. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:01:06] Yeah, it’s pretty cool. And you’re in this chair and they carry off and your teammates seem to want to try and throw you out of the chair at some point. They’re doing kind of a hip, hip hooray thing and if you’re not holding on, you’re going to get launched.

Travis Bader: [01:01:20] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [01:01:20] So you do that and then they march you off the range from about the 600 metre mark, to the sound of whaling bagpipes. And they take you back to the DCRA a building. And there waiting for you is the head of the DCRA and he’s got two bottles of champagne, generally speaking. 

[01:01:42] And they call you up and you shake hands and you and the other winner in the military category, you get to shake up your bottle of champagne and shoot it all over your teammates. And then, the tradition is you take a giant swig out of the champagne bottle and you pass it to your teammates.

Travis Bader: [01:02:05] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [01:02:05] And your teammates, hopefully, finish it off for you. But if they don’t, they hand it back to you, you’re supposed to drink the rest of it yourself. This year the bottles were like these massive magnums of red champ, I don’t know why they did red champagne cause it stained everything that I had cause I was shooting it all over everywhere. So they handed it back to me and there was probably five inches of champagne still left in the thing. So I’m like, oh no. 

Travis Bader: [01:02:32] Finish it up!

Ryan Steacy: [01:02:33] So I tried to get as much of it down as I could, and I was like, I got to drive in like two hours, so I can’t.

Travis Bader: [01:02:38] Right.

Ryan Steacy: [01:02:39] Cause I had to drive to another match. So I handed it off to some of my buddies in the, on the French side of things, and they killed it for me, which was great. 

Travis Bader: [01:02:47] Ahh, good for them. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:02:48] Yeah. Yeah, they were keen so, yeah and then.

Travis Bader: [01:02:51] Took one for the team on that one. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:02:52] Yep, yep. They sure did. And then, so after that, then you have a couple of hours and then the award ceremony starts. And they give away all the trophies for the different matches and aggregates and all that good stuff. And there’s some prizes that are drawn at the end from some of the supporting companies, International Barrels gave away some barrels and some 50% off gift certificates.

Travis Bader: [01:03:18] Nice.

Ryan Steacy: [01:03:18] To well deserving shooters. And then that’s pretty much all she wrote. You pack up  and away you go and.

Travis Bader: [01:03:26] Wow sounds like, lot of fun. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:03:28] Yeah, it’s good. Then you probably have, generally speaking, you have a day to sort of unwind and relax and the bar is open. So you’re in there and you’re having a few beverages. The last couple of years for me, I’ve had to actually pack up my vehicle and drive six hours to Meaford military range where I shot a PRS match the very next day. So unfortunately, I don’t really get to hang out and millboat with the rest of the gang. I had to pack up my crap and go.

Travis Bader: [01:03:58] I guess a bit of an aside, but beverages before a match, alcohol before a match, caffeine. These things that you kind of stay away from, or did he just say.

Ryan Steacy: [01:04:05] Well yeah, I mean, before a match? No, I mean, after, yeah, definitely. Caffeine, no, I try and avoid it as much as possible when I’m shooting. I like to cut off my caffeine at least a couple of days beforehand.

Travis Bader: [01:04:19] And you don’t find that it’s got an adverse withdrawal effect.

Ryan Steacy: [01:04:22] Nah. I have a weird tolerance to caffeine. I’m not sure what the deal is, but I can drink like two or three red bulls and go to bed. 

Travis Bader: [01:04:29] Right. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:04:30] It has like not much effect for me. 

Travis Bader: [01:04:33] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:04:33] I can feel it rev up my heartbeat a bit. 

Travis Bader: [01:04:35] But you’re still sleeping.

Ryan Steacy: [01:04:36] But I still sleep in, so it doesn’t really bug me in that department.

Travis Bader: [01:04:39] So what would a mental debrief, we’ve talked about the jubilation afterwards. But a mental debrief, how soon after do you do a mental, like first, I guess I should ask, do you do a mental debrief? 

Ryan Steacy: [01:04:50] Yeah, I mean, I always go back and I don’t dwell on it, but I look at the areas that I need to improve upon and just think, okay, you need to do that. You need to do that better next time. And I mean, that starts really right after each individual stage that you shoot. So if you have a rundown and you had a miss, you know why you missed. I mean, as long as it’s not the wind buffeting you off the target, there’s not a heck of a lot you can do about that.

[01:05:18] But, you know, if you had a bad wind call or whatever, you know, I make a little note to myself, hey, you gotta pay a little more attention to the wind. Or you have to be in a position a little bit better, or you need to make sure that you’re not on the trigger too fast. In some cases I’ve come up on the target and the shot’s gone subconsciously before I was even really kind of ready for it to go, which in most cases is not really that bad of a thing.

[01:05:45] because it’s a subconscious shot, it’s usually on a paper somewhere, but you know, there’s always a little bit of fishing around trying to put it in the centre of the target to get the most points out of it. And sometimes you snatch it off a little early and you end up with a four or whatever.

[01:05:58] But so the mental debrief starts anytime where there’s a bit of stuff going on, but the mental debrief is really quick and it’s like, okay, just pay attention more to this.

Travis Bader: [01:06:11] Okay. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:06:12] And then it’s gone. It’s back to back to business right. 

Travis Bader: [01:06:16] So.

Ryan Steacy: [01:06:16] And then at the end of it, I don’t know if I would write anything in my book about anything I need to, I don’t think I would, I think I keep it all positive in there. But there are definitely things that you have to think about at the end. And usually if I walk away with one thing that I need to remember, that usually sorts it out for me. Like two years ago when I was nearly tied there, I think part of the reason I was nearly tied was I got a bit on the complacent side with certain things.

[01:06:45] So my takeaway that year was like, you are not good enough to be complacent in your shooting. You have to pay attention, so that was a good one. 

Travis Bader: [01:06:54] In the book here, Keith and Linda talk about it, it’s geared towards competitive shooters. It’s geared towards law enforcement, and military. So they give examples that are applicable to each different group. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:07:08] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [01:07:09] But one of the things that they talked about after the moment is PTSD, and they expanded that into the competitive world as well.

Ryan Steacy: [01:07:17] Yeah.

Travis Bader: [01:07:18] And they said. Whether you win or lose, the most common reaction of the competitor is a feeling of being let down or disappointed as in, is that all there is? Do you agree with that? 

Ryan Steacy: [01:07:32] I’m not sure. I’ve never experienced that. 

Travis Bader: [01:07:39] Yeah. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:07:40] I don’t, I mean, even when I shoot at a match and I don’t do as well as I can, I always take something away that’s gonna make me a better shooter in the end. So, yeah, I mean, I guess there’s a little bit of disappointment in that, hey, you didn’t win this one or whatever. But you know, it’s I like to win on other levels too. You know, as long as there’s something that I can, I can take away that’s going to help me at the next one, then I think I feel like a winner no matter what. 

Travis Bader: [01:08:09] And that’s sort of, unless I’m not quite getting the gist of what they’re writing I’m, my impression was that since it is targeted towards three different audiences, they were trying to just tie that one part into the competitive world where maybe it didn’t quite have the same on one is impact is in the police or military world. So we’ve got a couple of questions from people who’ve listened to.

Ryan Steacy: [01:08:33] Nice.

Travis Bader: [01:08:33] To you speak in the past and we’ve got one of them, Michael Ferguson comes up and asks, as a past precision rifle marksmen with the cadet program, how does one get back into the sport without putting out a mortgage to afford it? Any tips? 

Ryan Steacy: [01:08:52] Well, I think there’s lots of ways you can get back into it, it just depends on what you want to do. Obviously, there’s not a lot you can do about match fees and stuff like that, depending on the matches you want to shoot, or even if you want to shoot matches. I mean, there’s lots of room for people to take targets out into the bush and just practice a long range shooting in the bush.

[01:09:14] As far as like firearms and whatnot, there’s lots of good options that are relatively easily priced, reasonably priced, that can sort of get you in the door. A lot of those options are ones that you can upgrade eventually when you get to the point. Like when I started, I just started out with a Remington 700, which wasn’t anything fancy. It had a sort of a medium heavy barrel, it wasn’t particularly heavy and the thing shot okay. 

[01:09:46] I mean, it shot probably three quarters of a minute, three quarters of an inch at a hundred pretty consistently with match ammo. And for a long time that was, that was more than good enough for me. I was still trying to figure things out and figure myself out.

[01:10:01] But there comes a point where you’re going to start out shooting the gun or it’s not doing what you need it to do. So then at that point, you know, a lot of those firearms are kind of mr. potato head. You can pull stuff off and put new stuff on. So then you kinda just upgrade as you need to go.

[01:10:19] You know, you can start with a Remington 700 SPS with the Hogue rubber OverMolded stock, and you can get them for like 700 bucks in 308. You run some match ammo through there, and I guarantee it’ll shoot you three quarters of a minute, probably pretty consistently. 

Travis Bader: [01:10:34] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:10:34] Is it the best stock ever? No. It’s rubber, it’s kind of crap. 

Travis Bader: [01:10:37] Yeah, but it gets you going. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:10:39] It’s a 20 inch barrel. It’s probably not going to give you the most velocity, but you know what? It’s a good place to start. 

Travis Bader: [01:10:45] What about the 22 matches that you’re running? 

Ryan Steacy: [01:10:48] I mean that’s another thing that’s sort of come to light in the last year or two, that is a really wicked way to start things out. So you can run it with a 22, you could run it with a tube fed Cooey if you wanted to. 

Travis Bader: [01:11:02] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [01:11:02] It’s not, you’re not making it easier on yourself if you’re doing it. But we had guys run tube fed Cooey’s. 

Travis Bader: [01:11:08] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [01:11:08] We have a guy that runs a lever action tube fed a gun with a scope on top of that. 

Travis Bader: [01:11:15] Yeah. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:11:16] And then we have guys that run like, you know, a $5,000 gun.

Travis Bader: [01:11:19] Sure. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:11:19] So, and everything in between. Tons and tons of people do really, really well with just straight factory 22’s. The beauty of it is you can get it like a factory CZ, like a 455 or 457. You can get it for like 500 bucks.

Travis Bader: [01:11:36] Yeah.

[Ryan Steacy: [01:11:36] Throw scope on there, as long as it has adjustable scope, you’re good to go at a couple of boxes. Ammo for 15, 20 bucks maybe. 

Travis Bader: [01:11:43] Yeah. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:11:44] And you go, you’re shooting precision rifle. And the cool thing about that is it’s local and you can, I mean, you’re going to be shooting your 22 out to 300 metres so. 

Travis Bader: [01:11:56] And where are you doing that? Mission? 

Ryan Steacy: [01:11:57] Yeah, we do it up at Mission. Graeme Foote and I run the action rifle rimfire matches up there. It’s all on steel so the feedback is immediate, you still got to deal with wind, you still got to deal with dialing your dope, all the exact same stuff. You still gonna shoot in funky positions or you’re going to be shooting off of rope, you’re going to shoot through tires. You’re going to do all kinds of crazy stuff. 

[01:12:17] But it doesn’t break the bank and you’re going to be there with a bunch of other people that are totally into it as well and they’re going to help you out in any way. So actually it a good thing you brought that up cause their rimfire is an awesome way to sort of get back into the whole swing of it and all that stuff really transfers right over into the centrefire stuff so.

Travis Bader: [01:12:35] Sure.

Ryan Steacy: [01:12:35] I’m sure a lot of the guys at the rimfire matches are guys that are shooting lots of centrefire PRS matches and they do it to practice because practice is cheap with a 22. 

[01:12:44] Travis Bader: [01:12:44] Well there you go, Michael. 

[01:12:45] Ryan Steacy: [01:12:45] Yeah. Hope that helps. 

Travis Bader: [01:12:47] Yes. And we got Adam Bach here, hesays.

Ryan Steacy: [01:12:50] Adam.

Travis Bader: [01:12:51] Most ranges in Canada are static.

Ryan Steacy: [01:12:53] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [01:12:53] How do you practice dynamic skills?

Ryan Steacy: [01:12:57] Dynamic as in like, shooting and moving kind of thing?

Travis Bader: [01:13:03] Essentially. And I kind of paraphrased him here, but yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [01:13:06] Yeah. Well I mean, for service rifle, the stuff that I shoot, all the dynamic stuff is forward motion that you can do on a static range. You’re running a hundred metres and then you’re shooting. There’s lots of ranges where you can practice small amounts movement, lots of three gun matches. They run them everywhere. I mean, if you’re looking to get into dynamic stuff, that’s probably where I would do most of the practicing for the PRS and the precision rifle type stuff.

[01:13:38] The dynamic stuff is very small portion of it. Really, you’re probably moving five yards onto a target or onto a position and then setting yourself up. And really the most important part there is being able to find that comfortable position on a weird obstacle, in a short amount of time so that you can start getting your rounds on target.

[01:14:00] So, I mean, as far as practice goes, you know, try the try the rimfire PRS stuff. That’s an awesome way to sort of get a feel for it. 

Travis Bader: [01:14:09] Yeah.

Ryan Steacy: [01:14:09] And if you’re looking for a super dynamic stuff, then you know, three gun. They run tons and tons of three gun matches all across the country. So you’ll be able to find something somewhere to be able to do it.

Travis Bader: [01:14:21] Now, some of our listeners, of course have already heard the podcast we did, we’re  talking about IBI and making barrels. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:14:28] Yup. Yup. 

Travis Bader: [01:14:28] So we’ve had a question come up.

Ryan Steacy: [01:14:29] Okay. 

Travis Bader: [01:14:30] Is IBI going to get into pistol barrels? 

Ryan Steacy: [01:14:32] Well, it’s possible. Anything’s possible at this point is probably not going to happen anytime soon. Our focus right now is strictly on a rifle barrels. Quite honestly, it would take focus away from what we’re doing right now. And right now, the most important thing for us is making sure that the barrels that we produce can keep up with the really, really good barrels that are already out there.

Travis Bader: [01:14:59] I think that’s smart. Do what you do well. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:15:02] Yeah, exactly. I mean, you can always branch out later on but I think right now we need to focus on what we’re doing to make sure that our product is keeping up with everything else, if you know, if not better. Hopefully. We’ve had some pretty good results lately, we just had yeah Adrian Robertson down at the US national FTR championships, and he ended up in second in the masterclass.

Travis Bader: [01:15:24] Wow.

Ryan Steacy: [01:15:24] With our first 29 inch 308 FTR barrel, and he had 32 rounds through it before he went to US nationals with, it is brand new basically. 

Travis Bader: [01:15:35] That’s it eh?

Ryan Steacy: [01:15:36] Yeah and he came in second which is.

Travis Bader: [01:15:39] That’s impressive. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:15:40] At 600 metres, it was a mid range match. So yeah, it was pretty spectacular for sure. And that just, we just got word of that yesterday, basically. So that’s pretty exciting. So hopefully, you know, we’ll start to branch out a little bit more. Clearly if he’s getting results like that.

Travis Bader: [01:15:56] You’re doing something right. You know, I was really, really happy with the 6.5 Creedmoor in the Saiko 85.

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:03] That’s good.

Travis Bader: [01:16:03] Did a video. If anyone wants to who’s listening to this, if you can go to the YouTube channel and check it out.

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:08] Awesome.

Travis Bader: [01:16:09] It’s accurate. It does what it needs to do. I just got to make sure I keep doing what I need to do.

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:12] Yeah for sure. Well, I hope the, hopefully you smack a moose with it. 

Travis Bader: [01:16:16] Oh, well tomorrow. Leave for that tomorrow out there. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:19] I’m jealous. I don’t go for my moose hunt until the third. 

Travis Bader: [01:16:22] Oh yeah. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:22] So yeah, it’s going to be good. 

Travis Bader: [01:16:24] Well, fingers crossed, don’t want to jinx it, but I’m looking forward to it and it’ll be a good trip.

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:29] Yeah. It should be pretty exciting.

Travis Bader: [01:16:30] If I.

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:31] Yeah. 

Travis Bader: [01:16:31] If I do smack a moose, I’m sure I’ll have to do a blog post or talk.

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:33] Yeah, you better take some pictures that I can put on the website. 

Travis Bader: [01:16:36] Absolutely. Absolutely. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:38] Rifle mounted in the rack, of course. The usual. 

Travis Bader: [01:16:42] Well thanks very much, Ryan. I really appreciate it. 

Ryan Steacy: [01:16:44] Anytime brother.

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