Yesterday I asked a [question] about the meaning of "to stare down defeat" and I got an answer. But as I searched the net, I noticed that there's this phrase "to stare down the barrel of defeat" as a variant of "to stare down the barrel of gun". I wonder if, as one of the users mentioned in his comment on my previous question, "to stare down defeat" derives from "to stare down the barrel of gun/defeat".
As I learned from the previous question and from several examples on the net, "staring down defeat" means "struggling with and overcoming defeat personified as an opponent". But according to usingenglish.com, "If someone is staring down the barrel of a gun, there's a high risk of something very bad happening". Examples:
"Murray stared down defeat just as fiercely as he glowered at a heckler in the crowd."
"Nick Nurse hailed the mental strength of his title-chasing Brighton Bears after they twice stared down the barrel of defeat and survived for a weekend win double."