Desert Brutality 2019 Update

The biggest competition I’ve ever attended is coming up quick, and I’m terrified.

Terrified might be an overstatement, but I’m not at all comfortable with the way things look right now. I have not been shooting as much as I’d like (that’s been the case for the last 6 years), I’ve been slacking on hitting the gym like I wanted, my equipment failing me when I need it the most is a constant fear in the back of my mind, and I don’t even know the expected round count for this thing. That last bit isn’t really my fault and can be easily dealt with (just bring a whole case per gun!), but it’s still worrying me none the less.

Let’s unpack that last paragraph a little bit, shall we?


I haven’t hit the range as much as I’d like. I’ve been doing a little dry fire work at home with my new 1-6x scope. I don’t fully have it under control just yet, but I’m working on it. I’m not really worried about my riflery inside of 75-100 yards or so, but beyond that? I don’t really have a place I can go practice that around here. I mean I do, but it would require devoting an entire day to travel, shooting, and more travel. I would need to figure something out with the family to do that for a whole day. I know that there will be long distance shots, and I’m not confident in my ability to perform at that distance.

Pistol-wise, I feel a little better. Not great, just… less bad. I’ve been pretty consistent with my pistol work for years and haven’t really let it slide. It hasn’t improved much, but I like to think that I’ve kept it from regressing much. I’ll still focus on this as my main area of practice leading up to DB19. Standard accuracy and up-close speed work, nothing special planned. I’ll keep doing dry fire at home 2-4 times a week. I know that I should do more, but I’m only human!


Me, but at home. In bed. [Photo by Victor Freitas on]

This is totally my fault. It’s just hard to motivate oneself to go at 8pm. I recently switched gyms so that’s helping, but it’s hard to recover lost ground. I also used my lunch break to prepare for the fall Run N Gun 2018, but my lunch breaks seem to be already filled with other personal stuff that takes precedent. It’s frustrating, but ultimately unavoidable. I just need to work on my personal discipline and get after it. This gym also has daycare till 8pm (nightcare?) so that should help me utilize what little time I have available.

I also need to re-think my workouts. The Run N Guns are all about sustained effort over distance, whereas Desert Brutality is short bursts of exertion interspersed with shooting. I need to work on my fast-twitch muscle fibers and the cardio that goes along with them. I need to be able to lift & throw objects, sprint a little, and hop over obstacles, while stopping and taking shots at targets. My heart rate and breathing are going to be completely out of control unless I switch up my workouts to reflect these specific concerns. My base cardio isn’t terribly bad, running two 5Ks in the last 9 months has seen to that, but I’m not currently in a state to perform how I’d like.


This is the one that’s really the most ironed out, with one major caveat. I am pretty confident that my rifle will be fine. I have absolutely zero concerns about my pistol’s reliability. My mag carriers and belt and other things will probably be the same stuff I’ve been running so far with zero issues. I pretty much have my competition rig hammered out, as long as I don’t make any drastic changes.

New optic, who dis?

The one thing I’m not sure about is my new 1-6x scope. It’s an Athlon Optics Midas BTR 1-6×24 with MoA reticle. I was having a conversation with a relative and he put me on the trail of this specific scope. It’s got a great list of features, with one major downside: it’s cheap. I swore to myself that I’d never buy cheap optics again. Anything with magnification I was going to spend decent cash and never go for a budget option. The Athlon Midas BTR 1-6×24 was on sale for $250, shipped. I could sit here and give all kinds of excuses about “I was in a hurry”, or “I can’t spend the kind of money good glass requires right now” but that fact is that I put myself in a position where I had to compromise. I don’t like it, but that’s what happened. I’m not entirely pleased with my purchase at this moment, but I’m going to spend more time and ammo with it and give it a good chance. Expect a review sometime in February after DB ’19.

I also bought a ridiculous action-cam workaround. It’s from a company called Streamaroo. Just click this link and see for yourself. I’m actually pretty excited about it.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I’m coming into this just like I have every other ‘major’ competition: behind schedule and out of practice. I have no one to blame but myself, but at least I have a little bit of time to correct it. Twenty-one days, to be exact.

See you next Friday. -S_S

4 thoughts on “Desert Brutality 2019 Update

  1. Exercise is one of those things that I think everyone struggles with. The plans are kinda hardcore, but I’d definitely check out Mountain Tactical Institute’s stuff in their general fitness category.

    I have no affiliation with them, but I think they are great programs for a very fair cost.

    Gear is what it is, you’ll probably be fine. I feel like I’m on the opposite end, slowly acquiring lots of high end gear without anywhere to really wring it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excuses are lies-jocko. Iv been lying to myself about my fitness.

    I’m just as unprepared, maybe more so… pistol sights I’m yet to shoot……

    I have been driving a lot so I’ll at least I’ll get us there in one piece. Haha


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