Big Dog Steel Origins
Ryan Brandt is the founder of Big Dog Steel. Big Dog Steel is owned and operated by the husband/wife team of Ryan and Laura Brandt in Saint Marys, Ohio. The company was born out of Ryan's love of target shooting and his background in art and architecture. Ryan holds a Bachelor Degree in Architecture from the Ohio State University. Ryan practiced architecture for several years and started Brandt Design & Assoc., LLC before starting Big Dog Steel in 2008.
Ryan has been involved in precision rifle shooting since well before the company started, but has been competing in matches faithfully since 2010.
Ryan also enjoys directing precision rifle matches and has done so since 2014. He was the match director for (2) matches at K&M Shooting Center in Baker, FL (now CORE). One of those matches started a successful team match series called “The Crucible” that holds matches annually. Ryan is now venturing into directing Precision Rifle Series matches and will be directing the first ever PRS matches in Ohio in 2017.
In the early days of Big Dog Steel, Ryan and his father-in-law, Jim (a talented welder and a generally creative guy) worked in Jim's backyard barn to create some unique and interactive targets for shooting. Eventually, word caught on to what they were creating, and people began asking for their own unique targets. Ryan and Jim had just the right amount of creativity and mechanical ability to take on this challenge. Unfortunately, Jim passed away in the summer of 2013. The company was growing and had acquired a new large facility, equipment and personnel. Jim’s influence and presence lives on through our all of our products. Eventually, the demand for our products was so great that Ryan had less time to work as an architect, and he began focusing on making targets full time. As people in the shooting industry recognized Ryan's artistic ability, they began asking him to design things for other areas of the industry such as signage for businesses and trophies for precision rifle matches.
Ryan is the creative force behind all of our original designs. He enjoys hunting, shooting, and all things outdoors, which is often the inspiration for his artwork. He specializes in metal work, but he is also a talented architect, husband, and dad.