episode 68 | Jan 25, 2022
Experts & Industry Leaders

Ep. 68: MDT Be Legendary

Maarten Van Ruitenburg is the CEO of MDT, makers of fine firearms parts and accessories and the inventor of the term “Legendarism”. Every product MDT designs, creates and releases must be continually checked through a process of asking “is this product legendary”. If the answer is no, it doesn’t get released. Meet the man who has taken MDT to the next level by embracing his core values and creating a company culture which supports his co-workers to achieve their best. As an added bonus, Maarten discusses for the first time a brand new product that MDT has in the works!
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[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader and this is the Silvercore Podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with a skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years. And we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive.

[00:00:30] Content we provide, please let others know by sharing, commenting, and following so that you can join in on everything. That Silvercore stands for for. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at,

[00:01:02] Today I am joined by the CEO of MDT, makers of fine firearms, accessories, and rifle. Chasses. Welcome to the silver Corp podcast. Maarten Van Ruitenburg. Thank you for having me Maarten I'm really excited to have you on the podcast. It's I've been watching MDT grow for a very long time now, and you guys are at, it appears from your social media anyways.

[00:01:25] In a stage of even greater expansion, it looks like you're getting into a new building and maybe some new things coming down the pipe that we might be able to talk about. But before we go there, I kind of want to get a little bit of background for myself and for the listeners on, on you and kind of. How you came in to 

[00:01:44] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: MDT?

[00:01:45] Yeah, absolutely. Uh, I came into MDT in 2012, late 2012. It was a kind of an interesting time. Um, I was a supply chain manager back then and Chilliwack had a company that was bought out by a company in California and it was a big management change and I was out of work. Um, I'd always been somewhat entrepreneurial, always been looking at creating my own businesses and getting involved.

[00:02:09] Somebody connected me with a lousy local Memphis. Uh, yes. I know Laszlo, you know, a lot of people locally here will know him. He was quite active in the shooting community. Especially back then today. He seems to be busy with having kids and stuff. Um, but, um, I was introduced to him and he was already making the TAC 21 chassis, which he started designing around 2009.

[00:02:33] That's 

[00:02:33] Travis Bader: right. That's right. The MDT TAC 21. That was the very first flagship. That came out. Wasn't it? That's exactly 

[00:02:39] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: right. Yes. Yeah. So when I was asked to, uh, work with them, I said, now give me some time, I'll look online and see what people are saying about this and see if there's anything to it. And I looked online and there was a lot of people, just very stoked about it.

[00:02:52] I think, especially on Canadian gun nuts, people were like, I want one, I want one. I think we've got a list of some 80 people that want at one minute, it just posted a prototype picture. Yeah. And, uh, so, so that looks very exciting. And, uh, I actually started working for MDT as a contractor to see if I could do something.

[00:03:09] Uh, I went to, Shacho worked hard. I believe I walked away with 750 business cards at that shot show. So that would have been January, 2013. 

[00:03:19] Travis Bader: So what were you doing as a contractor? 

[00:03:21] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Uh, sales and marketing. Okay. Yeah. Um, and then I realized that, um, a lot of things needed to happen at the company in order to like, you can sell something, but when you can't ship it in time, it's, you know, it's not.

[00:03:36] Not a lot of fun to sell something. Uh, so, you know, the quick version of it was that I ended up buying half the company from Laszlo back then. And so we ran a company together, 50 50 partners for a quite a number of years until 2017, when he was bought out by private actors. Okay. And, uh, yeah, so that's how, uh, how I got involved with MDT.

[00:03:57] So I'm not the founder Laszlo is right. Um, so I have run the company as the CEO since 2013. Um, but, uh, you know, all the product development, all the product design, everything that happens there, it's a Laszlo. And, uh, today a group of eight designers and engineers. Constantly working on new products. Well, 

[00:04:19] Travis Bader: I've, I've always known Laszlo is a very talented machinist and somebody who's got lots of ideas.

[00:04:24] And I remember around 2002, 2003, I think it was, he was going by the name of rooster 33 on Canadian gun nuts. And he's selling M 14 cheek pieces and muzzle breaks. And I didn't remember, I had moved out into, uh, a rental place at that time with my wife and. The place was just an absolute dump, just a terrible place.

[00:04:48] But I had a big backyard and I had a shop. And so there was a shop that I was interested in because at the time it was not silver cord training. I did the training, but I had silver cord gun works and Laszlo would come by with different muzzle breaks or a little screws that he's making up and I'd be parkerizing them for him.

[00:05:05] But I remember watching as the, uh, the whole chassis thing started coming to fruition. And I also remember watching a lot of people in the gun community kind of set down the back and trying to take credit for giving the idea to slow for doing this, whether that's true or not. He was the guy who really pushed it forward.

[00:05:24] Yeah, 

[00:05:25] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: that's right. He's the guy that made it happen. And the reason it was called tack Tony wanted, because it was 21 versions on paper before it became an actual product. See, 

[00:05:34] Travis Bader: I didn't know that it's kind of like WB 40. Now we got tacked 21. Interesting. The whole chassis idea for some of the listeners, they're going to know exactly what we're talking about, but can you describe the concept behind the chassis and a side question?

[00:05:51] I'm wondering, uh, how long have chassies really been around 

[00:05:54] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: for? Yeah, so I mean, the original chassies would have come from, uh, accuracy international, right? Um, Lazlo actually, when he started working on a chassis, he wanted to buy. But he couldn't afford one. And that's when he started looking at making something, since he is a machinist by trade.

[00:06:11] Right. And, um, he wanted to design something that was, uh, more ergonomic and natural to somebody that came out of military and was used to like an AR platform. So he wanted to do the pistol grip and he went. AR butts stocks. That was a very important part for him. Right. And, uh, and we, you know, that made it a modular system where you could swap, grips out and bought stocks.

[00:06:33] And we still pride ourselves today on the majority of our products being very modular and, and build it and swap at exactly to how you would want 

[00:06:42] Travis Bader: it. Right. So the, I guess, I remember. So accuracy international, the started there EICs actually accuracy international chassis system and the wood glue the receiver right into the chassis.

[00:06:55] And they say this makes a superior stronger product. I think that's been tested in debate. I believe they still glue it, don't they? 

[00:07:02] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: I don't know what they still do, but that is an it's an interesting question. And we deal with that. A lot of people should be bedding and gluing and all that kind of stuff.

[00:07:09] Um, I still have a, uh, a rifle at home in attack 21, 1 of the originals. So, uh, Laszlo had gotten two identical receivers, identical barrels shooting with them, make sure that they had, uh, very closely to the same, uh, results when shooting them and. But I'm in the exact same, chassies one glued in one log glued.

[00:07:28] And so both those rifles still exist today. And we have never been able to notice a difference between in performance between the two. And it makes sense because the way that all our chances are designed is the round action always sits in a Vblock. Right? You do have to pay attention to look where the V is in the, in the block, but it has nowhere to go when it's screwed in properly.

[00:07:52] And. It's since it cannot move glued or not, there should not be any difference in performance. 

[00:07:59] Travis Bader: And I guess see, cause I remember when they started coming out with aluminum Vblocks and they're putting them in stocks and they say, this is the latest greatest. You no longer have to bet at anymore. We've got this aluminum Vblock system, but the chassis will take that one step further and it's all going to be integral to the chassis.

[00:08:15] Will it, it's all going to be one solid as opposed to a stock that's been carved out. And then. Got a screw on in, is that, is that 

[00:08:23] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: the concept? Yeah, definitely with the tax 21, uh, our other chances will be very similar, but yeah, it, it sucks that action tight into that entire chassis and, um, it essentially becomes one with it.

[00:08:36] Um, so over the tax, when you own, then it also has that housing, which has the real built-in and we see comments where people like I would never have the real be part of the chassis rather than being directly on the receiver. But again, it's, um, th there is no. Changes in accuracy. And as a matter of fact, that it's actually a more solid system because that real to simply has nowhere to go.

[00:08:58] It's not connected by a couple of cruises, literally machined right in. And, uh, so I mean, you can't argue with having a real machine right into the action itself. Right. But this will be the next. No 

[00:09:11] Travis Bader: kidding. So, okay. So you came in and said, I, did you have a background in firearms? 

[00:09:17] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: I did not have a background in firearms before this.

[00:09:20] No. When I got involved, uh, I had never shot a center fire before I shut some budget stuff before. And, um, so I had to learn. Well, 

[00:09:29] Travis Bader: I see your name on a lot of different, uh, lists, competitive Les PRS style matches. You're the CEO of a company and you want to be out there shooting on a regular 

[00:09:40] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: basis. Yeah, so I, I do, um, I don't, uh, I mean, I can't pretend that I have all the answers because I could, I wasn't even shooting, you know, 10 years ago.

[00:09:51] Right. So what's the best way for us. And this is not just me. We encourage everybody else at the company to do the same. How could we, how could we say, we're going to come up with all these great products if we're not out there shooting. So all our employees get a monthly, uh, uh, ammo allowance. Um, we do things we pay for our match fees.

[00:10:10] We want to make sure that everybody goes out and shoot. So it does so many things. It will going out to shoot. You can see what the pain points are. You can you come up with new products, but you also talk to the community. Uh, and it's the same thing for me personally. Um, I like to be out there talking to our customers, potential customers, editors, whatever.

[00:10:28] I have good relationships with a lot of our competitors. Um, And I want to better myself at the same time I want to learn. And when I just started shooting some of the matches, it was, um, I just wanted to, you know, just be there. And then I was like, okay, I want to be coming at least stop having. And then I started shooting some matches.

[00:10:50] I was calming and top five and couple, and I was like, mm, I got to do more. So I spent quite a bit of time, uh, really figuring out what I got to do. I spent a fair amount of time with, uh, Ryan, Stacey, who I believe is a phenomenal teacher. And, uh, he helped me a lot with a mental game. Rollovers, Jose, you still close.

[00:11:07] We collect an actor to a MDT. He's helped me a ton. Uh, we actually shot a video of one of the matches that I shot last year. The training that went into it ahead of time. Um, but I just love doing it and I love to go out different places. So I've shot matches locally here I've shot. One of the guardian matches in Ireland.

[00:11:26] I've shot some in the U S I would have already shot some matches in Australia and South Africa, but then COVID hit, right. That's kinda cut that down, but that's still in the plants. I don't have an objective to be coming in number, you know, first because the Amanda time that I would have dedicated to that would probably.

[00:11:44] Or maybe hurt the business. Right. Um, but um, I love doing it. I loved being there and I, uh, You know, I think that all of us should always work on bettering ourselves. 

[00:11:55] Travis Bader: I a hundred percent agree, you know, it's funny. I was out in the forest shore doing some hunting last night and I thought, you know, while I'm doing a little bit of research for this podcast, we will just I'll reach out to Laszlo and I'll reach out to Ryan.

[00:12:07] I'll see what kind of dirt I can get on you and what can the information they can provide. No dirt, they have no dirt on you, either that, or they keep it pretty pretty to themselves at a Ryan was talking about your, um, your mental management in the, uh, in the PRS style shooting that you're doing and how far you've come with that, which is, um, which just pretty inspirational for somebody who's building a business, such as yours and expanding the business.

[00:12:34] It's still be able to have the time to, I think they call it the hook. Taking care of all the stuff at the top, but you're still able to hook down and use all the products at the end user level, which. Pretty cool. 

[00:12:49] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Yeah, it is cool. Yeah. I'm glad I didn't have any dirt on a, on, I mean, but you know, uh, personally, but as a company as well, we try to be extra neat, transparent in everything that we do.

[00:12:58] And, uh, you know, we screw up from time to time and, and we, we try to be as open as we possibly can. So there's really, shouldn't. Dirt out. 

[00:13:07] Travis Bader: No, there wasn't, there wasn't anything. And the other thing that's really cool is how you can, a lot of times when people get into business together, that's a very stressful situation and those stresses can introduce animosity between partners and I'm not picking up on any of that.

[00:13:25] In fact, it's quite the opposite as it looks like you've been able to grow the company and, uh, build MDT to where it is now. With the help of what Laszlo had built in the past and you guys are still quite, quite close, which is very a very, 

[00:13:42] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: yeah. Oh, I appreciate that. Thank you. Um, and again, it comes with the transparency, right?

[00:13:46] So I'm clear with what I want to do and where I want to go. And if I don't do things with hidden motions, I think that's the animosity. At you almost get rid of it. Um, so, you know, I can't say that there hasn't been, you know, moments where, you know, like any partnership that things are kinda, you know, uh, you disagree on things and all that, but yeah, no, we still get along grades, Laszlo, and I still have lunch together from time to time, not anymore because you know, something is keeping us out of restaurants, but, um, that's 

[00:14:12] Travis Bader: something, yeah, that's something that's probably helping with.

[00:14:18] I would think he has COVID uh, we affected the, uh, 

[00:14:22] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: the sales. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. In 2020, at 2020, our sales increased by a significant amount. And then just this past year again, We don't really, uh, know what part of it is just simply, you know, our brand growing and us, our new product creation. Uh, and so how much of it really is COVID related with the exception.

[00:14:44] If we look at a couple of spikes that we saw, especially in 2020, those were at the exact same dates that people were receiving stimulus checks. So we do know there is 

[00:14:54] Travis Bader: okay. Well-spent stimulus check. I love it. Yeah. I was pretty amazed at the, uh, the increase in interest in not just the outdoors community and being outdoors.

[00:15:06] Obviously when things are locked down, people want to be outside, but the interest in self-sufficiency, and I think for some people, there's a level of fear associated that they figure that maybe firearms can help allay those fear fears. And Canada's sort of a different culture, but it's not immune to it.

[00:15:24] Then let's say in the United States, But it's encouraging to know that if that is a motivator behind it, that it expands past just, Hey, I got to get me a gun it's I actually want to go there and get something that's quality. I want to get something I've, I've got a genuine, genuine interest in this new endeavor that I'm getting into.

[00:15:45] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Yeah. That's an interesting point, especially on the safety side or, uh, you know, uh, self-defense side. I don't know that. Buying our products in that relation, you know, I would expect them to go to the store and get a gun and it doesn't really matter too much how accurate it is. Uh, you know, they just want to.

[00:16:04] Within reason, obviously. Sure. Um, and we do sell a fair amount to OEM. So, you know, they could still be buying our product when they buy it rifle off the shelf. Right. But our aftermarket sales, uh, I think it's probably more, you know, okay, so now they bought it it's at three months later, the world didn't blow up.

[00:16:21] There's no zombies. Um, I got to do something, but this rifle let me start browsing online. And hopefully I find, you know, they find some NTT stuff. 

[00:16:29] Travis Bader: So we were talking off air here a little bit and you're mentioning something that sounds really exciting. I don't know. Are we able to talk about this? 

[00:16:37] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Uh, yeah, we'll talk about it.

[00:16:38] Um, it is kinda funny for me to talk about because I've been keeping this a, uh, kind of somewhat closed guarded secret for a few years now. Uh, but it's my pet project and we've been referring to it inside of MDT S E. Uh, and, um, and the reason I can talk about it now is because, you know, we were patent pending and I was still a bit uncomfortable, but we're now at those final stages where testing was going to start happening and people are going to see this product in the marketplace.

[00:17:04] So E T stands for electronic trigger. So what, what, uh, the story behind that is, uh, several years ago, uh, we knew that, I mean, we make anything that attaches to a precision rifle except for triggers. Mm. So triggered was just a, you know, anybody that pays attention to what we're doing would see that as a natural next step.

[00:17:25] But at the same time, you know, as I mentioned earlier, when we make something, we want it to be better than anything else out there, or, or unique and different in some way. And when we were rocking on a trick, we spent, we have a full trigger, design, mechanical trigger, uh, but we didn't believe that it wasn't necessarily.

[00:17:40] Better somebody issues that, uh, these high precision triggers have is reliability, especially when their feather lights trigger weights. Right. And, um, so we wanted something that was more reliable. We wanted to have something that would somehow will lend itself to more accuracy. And that's all we ended up doing is realizing okay.

[00:18:01] If we make it electromechanical, what it will do is, uh, it will be a faster lock time. It will be more reliable at a higher round count. And then another thing that we did and what we're starting with is, um, the trigger won't move. So we call it the zero stage instead of a single or dual stage. So it doesn't move, but you can program the pressure at which the trigger breaks, or this is interesting.

[00:18:30] So you can say four ounces, six ounces, 12 ounces, whatever, uh, don't know exactly how you're going to program it yet, but I know it's going to be with, you know, a, a sequence of trigger poles or connecting your phone to the trigger. Cause there will be a data port at the bottom of that trigger. Okay. And, um, so this trigger should, um, have a faster lock time.

[00:18:53] It should be more reliable. Yeah. And you should have a higher level of accuracy because it'd be. Not nothing moving. Cause when you, when you click that trigger, I mean, if you look at any, uh, dry fire and you, you look at what you're doing, you are always moving something because of the ghost click, right?

[00:19:11] There's no click here. The only click that happens is the firing pin flying forward. So, uh, you know, do we really know what's going to happen here? I can be very honest with you. We, this, this could end up being, not working. Sure. So w we're kind of making ourselves vulnerable with this product development, but I think that that is a very important part of getting to a next level is coming up with something that is risky and something that might not work.

[00:19:34] And this is one of those products there's going to be, we're going to be looking for beta testers later this year, where people are going to be able to try this. It's going to have a lot of testing before this becomes. Uh, product that anybody can buy more than anything else that we do. Um, but I'm I'm well, I wouldn't, wouldn't be doing it if I didn't believe in it.

[00:19:58] So, 

[00:19:59] Travis Bader: oh, if somebody was interested in becoming a beta tester, they just go to your website. Um, or do you already have a cadre of people sort of in mind? 

[00:20:06] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Well, we do have, well, we'll be testing ourselves of course, heavily. Then we do have a group of, uh, sponsored shooters and brand ambassadors that are very close to MDT that already have known about this for a while that it's coming.

[00:20:22] And, uh, they would be next on testing this and that's in hunting environments. That's in competition environments. Um, and then after death, we would probably open it up to more people. And by that time we'll probably have a way for people to sign up for it, but it, this is not something that somebody is going to have the hands on in the next couple of months.

[00:20:40] Uh, this is something that, um, is going to be tested extremely thoroughly before. 

[00:20:47] Travis Bader: Yeah, I find if you really want to break something, give it to the general public to test the people who knowable firearms that are used to firearms will know the happy path, the proper way to take the product and use it.

[00:21:01] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And, and we see that, I mean, you know, 10 years ago we would make something and, uh, there would be a quality issue with it and somebody would call in and say, okay, well, Today, we mess them up and there is a thousand people out there with that issue and it's a logistical nightmare. So it just makes us having to really push hard on, I mean, not that we wouldn't anyways, but it's vital that what we make is extremely high quality.

[00:21:29] We'll use the 

[00:21:30] Travis Bader: term. And what legendary prism is that? Am I saying it 

[00:21:34] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: right? Yeah. You're saying it right? Yeah. Um, we, um, well, for many years we use the term shoot better. Um, that was our a w and we tried to trademark that, but then there was a trademark issue with us, or we knew a lot, no longer use it, but we always want to have something to basically believe in rally around, like when we make a product.

[00:21:54] Why do you make this product? And we always would ask ourselves the question, does it make our customer should better? And we actually still ask the question internally, but there's another level to it because we don't want it to just be about the product we want to, uh, be legendary in any way, shape and form, not just in a firearms role.

[00:22:12] Just be just as a company. We portion them being legendary, uh, with the products that we make, how we deal with our customers, you know, our customers, when they contact us, they get a two hour response time, which, um, you know, a lot of companies struggle with doing that. We try to be legendary with how we deal with our employees, you know, and that's why we do things well, it's one of the reasons we also do the.

[00:22:34] AML program with them last year, all our employees were gifted, a precision rifle. Um, there's just a, and, and not just those things, but just, you know, the flexibility at which they can work by us. Um, the way we deal with our suppliers, the way we deal with. Just everybody. Well, 

[00:22:52] Travis Bader: having shot some of your matches, some MDT matches that are put on there.

[00:22:56] I can attest that your staff genuinely are happy. Your company culture is quite good. You've got a very good group of people working with you, which is not exactly easy in today's climate. When it's very difficult, it seems to find passionate quality people to be other employees or coworkers. How do you, how do you find these people and then how do you, 

[00:23:25] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: yeah, we put a lot of effort into hiring.

[00:23:27] Uh, we, we ha we interview a fair amount of people that never get hired. So somebody could have all the qualifications in the world, all the education in the world and be the smartest guy in the room. Uh, that doesn't necessarily mean that that person fits our culture. So we put people through tests, personality, tests, uh, lots of different things.

[00:23:43] And we look, if somebody fits our. Um, if we don't believe that person fits our culture, we've made some very difficult decisions where we knew somebody had wicked skills and we won't hire that person. Whereas we can go and find somebody that may need some work on the skills and all that, but they fit the culture.

[00:24:02] Well, we'll hire that person and we'll help them with the training or whatever we need to do. So our hiring process is very, uh, robust and big and it becomes. You know, as the years go by, we become better and better at it. Um, and when people are working at MDT, we want to make sure that they feel very free.

[00:24:20] So, you know, we, years ago we would, uh, if we had to let somebody go, people would feel on edge. Um, and you know, I didn't like that. Uh, feeling for people. So we implemented something where literally our managers cannot fire anybody unless that person has been written up three times and those write-ups can only happen once a month.

[00:24:40] So basically nobody has to worry that who am I going to get fired tomorrow? It doesn't, it cannot, it cannot happen. So like all those things, they're all little things, but to get. I do believe it makes a great culture at MDT. 

[00:24:51] Travis Bader: I think that's actually pretty huge. I've heard some people say that companies spend so much time worrying about hiring when they should actually be spending more time worrying about firing or how they fire somebody.

[00:25:04] Uh, because. You know, so often doesn't matter what it is, whether it's a relationship that people are in or what working with somebody is a working relationship, whatever the relationship is, there's going to be a feeling of, um, rejection and upset and hard feelings when it comes time to split paths. But it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.

[00:25:27] And if you work at how you do that, like a person can come on and like you say, smartest person in the world, but they just don't fit the company culture. Tell you what, I actually know other businesses that would love your expertise and you'd probably fit in well with their culture. Let me help you transition over there.

[00:25:45] Or, uh, yeah, I, I think, I think that is a very big part of having a. Transparent company and a successful one. And when people know that process, so they know it's not like they're going to walk into work tomorrow and they messed up and they're going to be gone. No, 

[00:26:02] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: that's right. We, we, we like to think that, you know, it's kinda interesting to say for a 10 year old company, but we hire employees for.

[00:26:09] We really want him to stick around for life. And so once somebody is at MIT for three months, we will do everything to keep that person there. Uh, and if it does become apparent that it's not the right person for the job to try to put them in a different position first. And if that doesn't work, we'll, we'll help a person find something else, but it won't be a blind sight ever.

[00:26:27] It will always be from a light that we want to make sure that that person is set up for success no matter what they're going to do. That's awesome. 

[00:26:34] Travis Bader: So. I guess you have a very personal investment yourself with everybody that you're working with there. 

[00:26:42] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Yep. Um, it is, uh, it's very important for. To just have a really great workplace.

[00:26:49] I don't want to, I'm generally very blunt person is kind of say what I think you're Dutch, um, I'm Canadian, but yes. Yes I am. Um, I, uh, I don't want to walk on eggshells around people and they know it, but I also think that with the bluntness and just saying what I think people don't have to really guess it's not like, what does he think?

[00:27:12] It's a day and all that, right? There is some people that I know that come working for us, or that are intimidated by me because I am blunt. And I say what I think, but then after a while they realized that. It's just, what you see is what you get and they get comfortable with it. And so some people it's immediate and some people, it takes a little while, but I, I think that also contributes to the work environment that we have, where we all just try to reach a goal and we can just be open with each other.

[00:27:39] Yeah. Um, 

[00:27:40] Travis Bader: you know, from my perspective, I've always looked at myself more as a entrepreneur, a dreamer, somebody who's got ideas, he likes to invent or create different things than a manager. I can manage if I have to. And like, you always like to have people on board. I look at them more like a family who were working with me, working family, and would love to have people onboard with the company for life.

[00:28:09] But you got to, the hard part is realizing that that's not always for everybody. I mean, the natural lifespan of most people working for a company. Isn't life 

[00:28:19] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: that's right. And it's going down from what my understanding is, you know, 30 years ago people would work somewhere for, you know, 30, 40 years.

[00:28:26] Whereas today people are like, ah, you should change every five years or something like that. Right. And, uh, I don't, I just don't want it to be that like that. I also think that our environment is challenging enough that people don't get bored, which is a big part of it. You know, you don't come in, you know, 10 years later and, and all it's all the same old, that's never the case at MDT.

[00:28:44] There's always something new going on. We rewrap up. Change and adapt and we create new brands and new products and, and all of that. Uh, so, uh, yeah, we've got to keep challenging each other, keep challenging ourself and that's part of the equation as well. I believe. Well, 

[00:28:58] Travis Bader: one thing I think is really valuable.

[00:29:01] You can build a quality product, which is, which is great. It can work very well in and of itself. Uh, but at the end user doesn't know how to use a properly. They're not going to reap the benefits of that. So you guys have invested a fair bit of time and energy and money into, uh, your social media and your media accounts and training and showing people and testing things out and showing transparently how, how these things are used.

[00:29:26] And then, you know, the third part of all of that I think is when we're talking about mental marksmanship earlier, the, the Nike effect, people can wear a pair of runners and they have another pair of runners of the got little Nike symbol on them. And they can all of a sudden run faster and jump higher because they believe in what it is that they're actually wearing.

[00:29:49] And I think you're kind of hitting it from. All aspects, you're creating something quality. You're showing people how to use it in a proper way and through the legendary prism, right through the media, through the, um, presentation and how you deal with your clients and customers, you're creating that. The mental aspect to it where people know they've got something that's good.

[00:30:14] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Yeah, definitely. I mean, when, I mean the brand, that's kind of everything right to us. So when people see something with MDT on it, we, you know, we want them to be able to trust it, of course. And they do. So that is something that we set out to do a long time ago, uh, where. You know, back then we used to come up with a new product and people were like, oh, okay, I'll try it.

[00:30:37] Whereas today we can come up with something new and people are like, okay. Um, you know, the first day we'll sell many, right? Because people will trust in the brand. And, um, you know, of course that is, you know, from a business aspect. That is, that is what we want. Uh, but we do also at the same time, want to make sure that, uh, we don't put profits first.

[00:30:56] Um, we, uh, you know, I mentioned earlier, Laszlo was bought out by a private equity firm in 2017. I'm currently in the process of buying them back out. And the reason for it is we don't want to be this corporate environment. Uh, profit comes first because it simply just flat out does not, no matter what anybody says, when you put profits first, your company is going down.

[00:31:15] I truly believe that. And, uh, you know, we've made some choices and decisions in the past that, that, um, that didn't help us. And, uh, I think it was, you know, a little bit too focused on being profitable and, uh, that's not the company that. So, uh, we're in the process of buying them back out and we're going to be, we want to be good 

[00:31:37] Travis Bader: for you.

[00:31:38] You know, I always look at it like, you know, back in high school, the kids who really want to be popular and they never are, right. The kids who are out there doing their own thing, enjoying what they like to do, people naturally gravitate towards them. And they're the popular kids, but the ones who are chasing the popularity are always going to be behind it.

[00:31:58] And in a sense, People who are chasing the dollar who are looking at profit first. That means you're not. Going to actually be obtaining it. You're always chasing it. It's always in front of you. And in that process, you're not looking at what's really important that kind of got you there. It's like Rockefeller that he was once asked.

[00:32:15] You got so much money. How much money is enough? He says just $1 more. 

[00:32:21] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Yeah. That's like, we don't want to be like that. No, no, no, no. But, but we, I still get a kick out of it, you know, sometimes I'll, I'll still deal with customers, uh, even some support tickets here and there. I, uh, you know, we get some really big orders at NTT these days that, you know, with what we do with the customers that were larger customers that we have.

[00:32:39] I think I still get more enjoyment out of one guy that upgrades his rifle and gets a smile on his face because his accuracy improved or he just loves the way it feels or the way it looks. Some of our customers never shoot the thing. So you know that it's a, it's a safe queen and we just get a ton of enjoyment out of there.

[00:32:56] We get letters from our customers. Uh, sometimes they read off and our Friday morning meetings, we have a standup meeting with all our staff on Friday mornings. And, um, you know, sometimes one of our customer support staff will read out, read off a letter from a customer, just how we are so happy that he got a fast response and he was taken care of and this and that.

[00:33:13] And, and those are the things that that's really give us just a lot of joy. 

[00:33:20] Travis Bader: Well, if you're going to innovate, you can't expect to make advancements without slipping every once in a while. You can't expect to run fast without having to slow down and kind of catch your breath a bed. Mistakes do happen or there is a slip.

[00:33:36] How do you guys deal with it? 

[00:33:38] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Uh, yeah, we just gotta be very open about it and these mistakes certainly do happen. One that's fresh on my mind currently is in 2000, just this January. We have to do a price increase and, uh, you know, it's stuff to do price increases. We generally don't. But, you know, I think everybody currently understands how much a supply chain costs have gone up.

[00:33:59] If you look at the aluminum index, that's gone way up just in the last bit. Then we use a lot of aluminum. I think we're BC's largest billet, aluminum user. Really? Yeah. Basically I've been told that. Um, but, uh, so what we did so great, well, we have to put it on a website, you know, that the price is going to go up.

[00:34:17] So how do we do this? Okay, well, how bout we put the price on a website of what the new price is going to be, but still allow people to buy at the old price for November and December smart. Hell. Okay. Well, that was a good idea. So we put it on a website, so we crossed out what the new price is going to be and then show it the old price.

[00:34:32] And next thing you know, there's a thread on Reddit where it's like, MPTs showing fake prices to make that product sound like a sale, like, oh, I didn't see that comment, but, but, but they were right. That's exactly how it looked. And, uh, some people are extremely upset with us over that. And, uh, you know, how do you deal with that own up to it?

[00:34:52] Like don't, you know, it's, you know, and some people are still not going to believe us. And I, I think that the people that those people don't really know who we really are. Uh, but the majority of people that know us, like, you know, yes, they realized they screwed up and that they're fixing it. So we fixed it right away.

[00:35:07] But yeah. It hurts, man. It hurts. 

[00:35:11] Travis Bader: And that's such a small thing. And the fact that you take that to heart like that. 

[00:35:15] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Oh yeah, it's tough. I mean, I'm willing that personally answering people, uh, on the, on the MTT account because it's a, it, it eats me alive. It's I just, I can't have it. 

[00:35:25] Travis Bader: That's the life of a business owner.

[00:35:27] I mean, it's not a nine to five job. No, it's not. You can joke around. And so you can take off when you ever, you want. But you don't and you're thinking about it. And even when you're out doing something else in the back of your head that you're thinking. The business and your coworkers 

[00:35:42] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: and yep. Yeah. And that, I mean, it's, I mean, it's our life.

[00:35:45] And my, I asked my wife, uh, when, uh, when I started a process with buying out at our private equity partner, I said, you know, we're basically gonna risk everything here. And she says, well, MDT is our life. Well, my wife is, you know, she she's a shipping at MDT, so he knows he's deep into it as well. Uh, two of our kids are, are involved as well in, in, uh, on the manufacturing side.

[00:36:08] Um, so it's, uh, yeah, MDT is our life 

[00:36:11] Travis Bader: from the firearms industry. In general, you guys have a very smart business model. Uh, firearms are heavily regulated firearms, accessories aren't necessarily as regular. Uh, they got a lot more leeway in there with how things are moving forward in Canada with the restrictions that are coming in place.

[00:36:37] Does that give you heartburn at night? Is that something that, uh, I sits in the back of your head is a big, 

[00:36:44] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: well, well, yes and no. So there is, um, there is a divide there of my personal opinion and my business opinion. So from a business perspective, uh, it does give me concern, but it gives me longterm concern because, uh, when you can take a few steps like this in the wrong direction, in, in.

[00:37:05] In this country, uh, it is, uh, concerning and it will affect the business. Long-term for sure. On a personal level, you know, I got these beautiful AR sitting in my safe, uh, I like shooting them. Um, I, you know, I, I just think it's, um, Yeah, it is a big question mark in my mind. And, uh, even though MDT doesn't really make much for the world of all the rifles that were banned, I, I would, I would flip this back in a heartbeat because I think this is terrible for our.

[00:37:40] Travis Bader: I agree. I've been asked like many others to, um, to assist the courts as a subject matter expert in regards to some of these, uh, OIC challenges. I noticed that there was, I think, on the ninth, so. Uh, what does it today? The 10th. So yesterday, yesterday, there was an announcement that came out that will most likely be contested.

[00:38:02] But the, uh, uh, the courts had said that the government has to, um, detail the algorithm they use for the prohibitions. And when you talk about the freedoms and the, um, The, the threat against freedom. I think that's the scariest thing out of all of it. Cause that was one of the things that I brought up in my affidavits and then cross essentially was how do they define what a variant is and how do they define what a modified version of is?

[00:38:34] Having that framework of definition would be very useful for them so that they can clearly articulate why something's going to be prohibited or not as well as for the end user. So they can say, ah, I see why I can't get this. I don't agree with the rules, but these are the rules. And, and it meets the rules.

[00:38:51] The difficult part in all of that is that question, mark and the reluctance. It would seem for the federal government to want to articulate that, which leaves it open for them. Expand on that. And I think from a business owner perspective, that might be one of the. The scariest prospects. If I were to put myself into your shoes is what areas of expansion could these things be moved into.

[00:39:15] And like, when we talk about an electronic trigger, which sounds absolutely amazing, would that be something that all of a sudden meets either provincial regulatory restrictions because they've, uh, last year, the year before they brought a new restrictions in BC anyways, on, uh, electronic devices, when, um, when hunting.

[00:39:35] I think basically in response to a tracking point, you use their stuff for stuff or stuff like that. And, uh, and then from the federal side, are they going to turn around and say, well, that can, like a paintball trigger can be modified to fire more than one shot. Yeah. I'm sure these are things that have gone through the back 

[00:39:56] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: of your head explaining what we do.

[00:39:59] Um, you know, I think it's very important that, uh, we are. Very short, we're dealing with ignorance on the other side. And, uh, it gets a lot of people, very frustrated and rightfully so, but they also lash out about it verbally and online. And I think that that is the wrong approach. I think what we need to be doing is like one of what I would love to be able to do when people might not, might not like this, but I would love to be able to take somebody like I'm just going to take it to an extreme Justin Trudeau out to the range.

[00:40:30] Let's go shooting and parents show. Much fun you can have with this and having be less intimidated by this. And kind of really, if he were to really understand the shooting community, he would look at this different or bill Blair or somebody like that, you know, like, um, But we can do it at, in a miniature version of think, uh, you know, just somebody that we know, maybe we have a re really left-wing friend or something like that.

[00:40:54] They come out through the range shooting and, and, and show him what a great time it is. I have never, I've taken a lot of people shooting that had never shot before, and I've never taken somebody that said I really hated it. Never. And I think that's just about anybody. That does the same would probably say the same thing.

[00:41:11] So you can only really attribute this to ignorance then case, 

[00:41:15] Travis Bader: you know? Yeah. Yeah. They say never a scribe malice to what can be explained by ignorance. Right. Um, but I have a feeling that Justin Trudeau probably likes to shoot guns if given the opportunity, if he's ever done it. Um, bill Blair, I mean probably the same thing and whoever is in his shoes now.

[00:41:36] But I, I remember when I was, uh, sitting in on just the local city council here, and they're looking at bringing in restrictions for firearms businesses in the corporation at Delta. Now the city of Delta and I had all of my points set up and I'm get up and it's my turn to talk and I'm going through it.

[00:41:51] And finally, one of the guys from the city, um, nice guy. I, he says, Travis, Travis, hold on. Do you have much more of this? So yeah, I got a whole bunch. He's like, okay, I'm going to stop you right here. I'm going to tell you, I agree with everything. Everything you say makes sense, but we're not in the business of making sense.

[00:42:10] We're in the business of doing what we think our constituents want and that sort of a local government level honesty. I didn't know what to say. I'm like, oh, okay. I don't know how to combat that. So from your perspective of saying, Hey, I'd love to take out Justin, but what we're doing is let's take it. A family member is taking a friend.

[00:42:32] I think that's a much more powerful tool because my thinking is, is that the current liberal government could care less about firearms and banning them. I think it's more about just creating a position that they can force their opposition into and say, oh, look at how bad these guys are. Cause they want to, they want to have guns running around everywhere.

[00:42:53] It's more just for political. But if they knew that the general public was like, we can see past this w gun owners, non-gun owners, we all want the same thing. We want people to use them responsibly and not illegal. So by the social media stuff that you're doing by the fun environment, from the products you're putting out, I think you're speaking to a wider range group than just the diehard gun owners.

[00:43:18] You're speaking to the people who are like, Hey, that looks like a lot of fun looking at that. 

[00:43:24] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Yeah, exactly. Those are that's and we should all be doing that. 

[00:43:28] Travis Bader: Well, you talked to a redhead and of course in Canada, anyone listening in Canada, there's another website out there. It's been pretty popular for a lot of time, which can have a lot of, uh, Uh, opinionated people on there as well.

[00:43:41] How do you deal with these? Uh, when the internet haters come up? Is that something that I've seen most businesses have to deal with it to some degree or another? Yeah, 

[00:43:50] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: we don't have much of it. Um, but of course it, it happens. Um, we are. We're just transparent and honest. And we say just the way it is, we don't hide stuff.

[00:44:02] Um, we don't talk negatively. Um, and that is that even inside of our office, our customer support staff get really weird phone calls sometimes where, uh, we are accused of something that makes no sense and the tendency for any human being. When the phone call is finished to say something negative about that person.

[00:44:24] Right. And we don't, we don't do that at MDT, even though it doesn't, it would never go outside to the outside world anyway. Right. That is still somebody that, uh, has been in contact with MDT. We want them to have a positive experience with what we're doing. Uh, maybe he went through a hard time himself.

[00:44:39] Like there's so many reasons why. Uh, something can be negative and, uh, we just won't participate in that side of things. And, um, it's, it's, I don't, it's kind of a business policy. We don't really, we're not really a strict rule company. Like we don't have all these polishes and rules, you gotta into your bike.

[00:44:56] Cause I don't like that kind of environment. Right. Um, but people are, people know that we don't go talk a negative and sometimes we do and we don't mean to. Yeah. And then we need to have an environment where people can say to anybody. Including to me, but Hey, remember, we don't talk like that. Right?

[00:45:13] That's the environment that we want because we're all gonna screw up, but we should all make sure that we are there to hold each other accountable. 

[00:45:22] Travis Bader: You know, that's extremely refreshing to hear and very, very positive. To here, because particularly in an industry that is constantly under fire, pardon the pun, it can be very easy for people to take a bit more of a negative approach.

[00:45:40] And I see a lot of people within the industry taking, taking that negativity on and having a difficult time sorting through it. And that's part of the reason why I started the silver Corp podcast is to meet other positive people within the industry and to share their passion with. That, that, that level of, uh, basically the buck stops here, the negativity comes and we're going to do everything we can just to sort it out and put positivity forward, I think is going to serve the outdoors community, the hunting, the fishing, the firearms.

[00:46:15] Far more than any griping or complaining or rallying Everwill 

[00:46:20] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: oh yeah, no, a hundred percent. Yeah. I'm many things have been positive, positive, but really been impacted by somebody complaining a lot. 

[00:46:28] Travis Bader: No, that's right. That's totally. Yeah. Yeah. Or if you're going to complain, have a solution and find a way to end that in a positive way, I'm really sick and tired of receiving.

[00:46:41] Calls from customers and they're complaining about ABC. Well, maybe we take a look, do they have a point? Is their complaint? Is there any validity to this? And if so, rather than screening out all of those customers, why don't we just fix what they're complaining about? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You know, tell us a long time ago.

[00:47:01] Uh, maybe it was BC talent, then Telus came in and it used to be cell phones are dropping calls all the time. If you called up and you got mad at him and he told them where the call was and they would reimburse your call and then reimburse a month of your bill. And, but it was a process and everyone knew it.

[00:47:21] You'd had to call up, get mad, ask to speak to a supervisor. And I remember. One time calling up and I'm talking to the agent, I'm like, so do I got to call in and get mad here? And like, like everyone says, I speak to a supervisor. Can we just sort this out? Right. And the agent says, well, actually funny, you mentioned that we've just had a company-wide meeting.

[00:47:44] And we are changing or getting rid of our customers who call and complain like that. If you approach us in a reasonable fashion, we will bend over backwards to help you in a reasonable way, because they found they had built their own company culture up to a point where they've trained all of the customers to be extremely negative to them.

[00:48:06] In order to get what they want. So I thought that was kind of an interesting pivot that they made and she just came straight out and told me, he says, yeah, no, anybody's going to call up and complain. We're just going to say, thanks. It was great. Having you as a customer, go check out one of our competitors.

[00:48:20] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: I love that actually makes me think off. This may be kind of a controversial thing to some people, but, uh, Starbucks versus Tim Horton's. Okay. I don't go to the important anymore. I used to a lot, but when I go to the Tim Horton's, I got a grumpy, I got a grumpy person generally, or I just, it's just kind of, you know, whatever, or do your coffee and get out of here.

[00:48:39] Right. You go to Starbucks. And, uh, you gotta, you get somebody to this, very excited to meet you and give you a coffee. And I pay a lot of attention to how businesses are, and I try to poke at like, what, what kind of training do you guys get done? I think it's actually, my brother had asked somebody at a Starbucks off, um, you know, like, what did they tell you?

[00:49:01] You train as you guys are so different than Tim Horton's. And they said, well, we always make the situation. Right. And they have those kinds of things and, and, uh, Yeah, I think that's, that's the difference between a positive and a negative experience. 

[00:49:12] Travis Bader: Well, where did you learn this? I mean, you were working in greenhouses before, right?

[00:49:17] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Like I did work in greenhouses a long time ago. Yeah. That's man. 

[00:49:20] Travis Bader: I tell you, and now you moved your way through and you're doing sales and like, where did you learn how to run it? The company of this size, I 

[00:49:30] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: guess. Well, uh, first of all, I haven't learnt yet. I'm still learning. Good answer. Yeah. Um, I, um, I don't really know how to answer it well, because I don't, uh, I don't have a high school diploma.

[00:49:45] I don't have any schooling, really. I have done different kinds of education. Like for example, I've taken apex courses, it's operator, you know, associates for operations management and those kinds of things. Um, I, uh, I have failed a lot, so I, you know, since I was, uh, I got married at 19, so I got married young.

[00:50:04] Uh, I've always been trying different businesses. So MDT wasn't the first time I got involved with business, um, I, I have learned much more from failure than. The other side. So, you know, with the success that we have, there was a lot of painful failure. 

[00:50:23] Travis Bader: Yeah. And nothing, nothing really teaches lessons like lumps.

[00:50:28] Hey. Yeah, 

[00:50:28] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: for sure. You know, just even an example, even at a company where I worked and they would pay their suppliers, uh, at about 90 or 120 days and you, we would often deal with. Our account being an old and we needed to buy something and it would hurt production. And, uh, I never, ever wanted to be in an environment like that with my own company.

[00:50:47] So we pay weekly, you know, we just do the entire payroll and every week and people are happy to deal with us because. Um, they know they're going to get paid and it makes everything so much easier. And again, you know, going back to being a legendary company, it's, it's, it's what we, we just look at everything that we do and say, how can we make this the best possible?

[00:51:07] Um, there's, there's a lot of trial and error in that. And there's a lot of things we don't have figured out yet, then there's a long way to go yet. But, uh, it's what makes the path of what's next so much so enjoyable for everybody at the company, because we all know that. The thing that's not working well right now is only going to be a short period of time because we will not, we are relentless about legendary 

[00:51:29] Travis Bader: ism.

[00:51:30] I love it. So what's next in the future? What do you see as the next big thing for MDT? 

[00:51:37] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Um, we are. You know, well, currently we have eight designers and engineers working on new products. So new product development is always going to be huge for what we do. As a matter of fact, we have another eight new hire scheduled for 2022 in the engineering departments.

[00:51:53] Wow. Um, we are, um, doing more in. Different materials. So, you know, we started out doing a lot of aluminum machining. Uh, then we started introducing polymers. So, uh, we own our own injection molding company. It's got radical composites, which is owned directly by MDT. And that's kind of how we like to set things up because radical, radical, complex, it's going to go to the bank and get a lease along with MDT cannot.

[00:52:21] Right. Um, just because of the space that. Um, we also recently started a company called audacity manufacturing and that's actually doing woodworking. So a laminate stock is going to be it's semi released, already has people. Some people have seen it out in the wild here and they're being tested. Uh, but that's going to be released here.

[00:52:43] Uh, we are working hard on making sure that we have multiple spectrums that are getting attention. So the MDT side is going to grow, uh, with all those products, but we also have our Orix brand, which, uh, is more of an entry-level and that's going to start seeing some new products. So, you know, for example, uh, you know, MDT there's released or is in the works off, uh, officially releasing a new bi-pod very soon, it's going to be about $200.

[00:53:06] Bipod, uh, $200 us. That is, yeah. Um, and, or actual police, he saw I'm similar, but more at an entry-level price or a $200 at a good price price for that kind of products that the MDT makes, but orange needs to have something that's more like in the hundred dollar range. So those are the kind of things that we, uh, work on.

[00:53:25] Um, so we're very, very product focused. Uh, we will expand while we're working on a new building right now. So, uh, on the MDT side where we do our distribution and. Uh, services, we're moving into a 30,000 square foot building in a couple of months on the manufacturing side, we're working on building a 110,000 square foot building also in cello back.

[00:53:49] And we will probably also be looking at expanding our us operations. So right now it's just warehousing, but we'll be doing while we do in some manufacturing in the us already, but Rick's looking to expand that. 

[00:54:00] Travis Bader: Are you smart? Well, when we talked earlier, we're talking about breaking this into two sections.

[00:54:06] One where we get some background, we learn all about what MDT is about. And the second part, the second section we get into some of them where the technical aspects of how your products work and why, and some of the decision-making process behind it. Before we jump into that second part, which I'm going to have available separately.

[00:54:25] Um, is there anything else we should be talking about on that?

[00:54:32] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Um, there's probably lots. Um, you know, I can talk about MDT for. Um, 

[00:54:39] Travis Bader: where would the TV, so it wasn't there a TV so that, uh, he just recently did. 

[00:54:42] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: Uh, yeah. So this morning, actually, just this morning, I talked to, uh, rod Gattaca from the CCFR. Um, so, um, there was a, it's a short interview, some similar questions that's going to air next week on wild TV.

[00:54:58] I think when this podcast airs that probably will. Uh, it's so basically it will be last week, last week. Yeah. But it will be available. It will probably react a bunch of times, but it is going to be, it's a series for CCFR. Um, so definitely tuned into that because it's not that that show is not about, you know, me coming on this show.

[00:55:17] It's about all the good that rod is doing there. And, uh, in Dell, in the landscape that we're working on in the firearms industry. So, um, yeah. Check that out. Okay, 

[00:55:28] Travis Bader: well, Martin, thank you very much for coming on this silver Corp podcast. It was an absolute blast talking with you, and I'm really looking forward to talking about the next section.

[00:55:37] That 

[00:55:37] Maarten Van Ruitenburg: sounds good. Thanks for having me.

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    Join us as we welcome back the indomitable Mark Horsley to the Silvercore Podcast. In this eye-opening episode, Travis Bader and Mark delve into the gripping world of undercover operations where Mark spent over three decades of his illustrious career. From mastering the art of disguise to pulling off high-stakes operations, Mark shares his unique insights and hair-raising stories from the field. Discover the nuanced tactics of going undercover, the psychological toll it takes, and how Mark used his skills to blend into various roles, sometimes with life-threatening consequences. Whether you're a law enforcement enthusiast or a fan of thrilling real-life stories, this episode will leave you on the edge of your seat. Mark wraps up this episode with a captivating story of his recent Montana Elk Hunt.
  • Episode 128 | Apr 23, 2024
    Join us as we welcome back the indomitable Mark Horsley to the Silvercore Podcast. In this eye-opening episode, Travis Bader and Mark delve into the gripping world of undercover operations where Mark spent over three decades of his illustrious career. From mastering the art of disguise to pulling off high-stakes operations, Mark shares his unique insights and hair-raising stories from the field. Discover the nuanced tactics of going undercover, the psychological toll it takes, and how Mark used his skills to blend into various roles, sometimes with life-threatening consequences. Whether you're a law enforcement enthusiast or a fan of thrilling real-life stories, this episode will leave you on the edge of your seat. Mark wraps up this episode with a captivating story of his recent Montana Elk Hunt.
  • Thru Dark Anthony Staziker Silvercore Podcast
    Episode 125 | Mar 12, 2024
    Dive into the extraordinary life of Anthony Staziker, co-founder of ThruDark, a game-changing technical clothing company. Join host Travis Bader as he delves into Anthony's journey from representing England in football to serving as a highly decorated Chief Sniper Instructor and Demotions expert in the UK special forces SBS. Discover how his relentless pursuit of excellence led to the creation of revolutionary gear. Gripping stories, unwavering determination, and a captivating conversation that will inspire you to push boundaries. Tune in to the Silvercore Podcast for this riveting episode!