Finnish Brutality took place on October 23 and 24 of this year, at the Loppi shooting range north of Helsinki. It was run by Varusteleka, the largest and definitely the awesomest military and outdoor supplier in Europe – in collaboration with Sako, Mil-Safarit, Sisu, InRangeTV, Bloke on the Range, Polenar Tactical, and Forgotten Weapons.
It was the best Brutality match yet run, with some really outstanding stage challenges! The weather hovered right around freezing the whole time, with intermittent rain, snow, and wind. The organization by Varusteleka was truly a model to be emulated, with sufficient Range Officer staffing to allow both days to run perfectly on time (actually, we finished slightly early on the 24th!), without the shooters being required to do any set up, reset, scoring, or other ancillary work aside from shooting the stages. This despite it including two armored vehicle props, one moving vehicle to shoot from, a water hazard, and a blind stage.
I used my WWSD2020 carbine and a Bul Armory M5 (9mm double-stack polymer-framed 1911) for the match. I started off with the brilliant idea to wear a Finnish camouflage kilt, having not quite recognized how cold it was going to be. I stuck with that plan through the infamous trench stage, and then switched to dry pants with some of Varusteleka’s merino wool long underwear (and lots of layered merino wool up top to match) and was nice and comfortable through the rest of the match.
This was truly the most mentally and physically challenging match I have yet shot, and it was a fantastic experience. Only Desert Brutality matches come close…but I hope more match directors will take note of the appeal of both the physically difficult elements and also the effort put into planning and logistics and make more matches like this turn up in the US!