View Full Version : Desert Eagle

08-31-2010, 10:08 AM
Hi All,
Thinking about getting one. Finding reviews online are vague and far between. This isn't my first pistol and I do shoot frequently. How do you guys like yours? I was thinking about getting it in .357 and/or .44 so I can shoot it more(They should really make a 10mm version). If I get it, I want to shoot it A LOT. There is obviously the coolness factor. That aside, how is it to shoot? Accurate? Trigger? Manageable to aim(as manageable as a 4lb pistol can be)? It won't be my primary shooter(maybe if it's that good) but something I can really enjoy. Any problems you have run into? I really like how it looks and am thinking about getting a used one if I can find one. Thoughts, tips, and comments would be much appreciated. Trying to find my next purchase.

08-31-2010, 10:23 AM
They are ALWAYS for sale. Probably b/c they are a PITA!. Very heavy, very bulky. Of no practical value for carry, IDPA or other tournament style play.

B/C the use a gas feed tube led bullets are not recommended b/c they can foul the tube half way down the barrel. (i.e. only fully jacketed (expensive) ammo through these things. Others indicate that they mechanism is stiff and requires full power rounds to cycle properly (i.e. no light reloads - again expensive). Others say they are finicky and prone to jamming even under ideal conditions (can't verify that one personally one way or the other).

Like an Italian sports car, they are expensive and very expensive to feed and maintain. But if you have to have it - go for it. But you had better be independently wealthy or a damn good reloaded to feed one.

Mason McDuffie
08-31-2010, 10:44 AM
I have owned one for several years now and I love it. Whenever I go to the range with it there is for sure a oooooooh and ahhhhhhh factor. I have the 44mag version and yes it is expensive to shoot but damn it is fun! It's heavy, it's bulky, probably impractical compared to my other pistols, but it is completely badass! If you have the itch like I did I highly recommend purchasing one.

Mine is a little bit of a gun safe queen, but shes mine.

As for you questions on accuracy. I can hit what I'm aiming at. Even people who pick her up for the first time don't seem to have a problem with accuracy. Shes not a stay on target type of gun due to the weight. But every time you pull the trigger you cant help but smile. My larger friends actually find the weight comfortable. I believe they said it "felt like a gun, not a toy." To me, the weight helps recoil of the larger round. I am in good shape and the weight doesn't bother me. I mean come on, its a Desert Eagle!

Maintenance is easy. Very simplistic design. I haven't experienced to many probs cycling ammo. I recently replaced the springs and she is shooting smoothly. I bought mine slightly used for about 900+paper work. I have since fired probably 200-300 rounds.

Your gonna find pros and cons, sure. But the good thing about it is the resale value. There will always be someone who wants to buy one. Its an oddity that people are interested in. Buy one, if you don't like it I'm sure one of my buddies will pick it up off you haha.

Mason McDuffie
08-31-2010, 10:53 AM
If you have any questions feel free to hit me up.

08-31-2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks for input guys. The ammo part i'm a bit worried about. I may have to look into a .357 conversion.

Mason-Do you only use fully jacketed ammo to shoot? What cycling problems? Was it "old" springs that needed to be replaced or lighter/heavier springs?

I'm definitely not looking for a safe queen. She has to be something taken out a lot. I may have to reload since fmj is nearly impossible to find and super expensive. So no go on semi jacketed? Only fmj?

08-31-2010, 12:05 PM
The gas system in the Desert Eagle is similar to the gas system in an AR-15/M16. When you see the bolt you'll notice the simularities.

From Magnum Researches website
Shooting lead or full-metal jacket with an open lead base will not only foul the recoil spring assembly crosspiece and the rods, but it will also carbon and lead-foul the piston and solder it to the barrel. You should stay with good, semi-jacketed ammunition. We do suggest trying as many commercial, manufactured, semi-jacketed Magnum cartridges as possible and see which one works the best for you and your pistol.

Hope that helps. I haven't made the jump and purchased a DE but I do have a 460 and when you get into the big magnum rounds you should look into a reloading setup.

With that said Magnum research states that you shouldn't use reloads. :D

Big Magnum handguns are fun and I find that shooting the 460 will cure you of any flinching. Shoot a magazine or cylinder of the magnum rounds and 9mm, 40, and 45 seem tame.

08-31-2010, 12:55 PM
My co-worker has a 44 DE, he is very knowledgeable with firearms and complains about feeding issues, He still hasnt gotten rid of it though and hes had it for about 15 years now so he must like it. If I was rich I'd get one in a minute, too poor, public servant.

08-31-2010, 1:01 PM
So has anyone discovered a practical use for it? Or is it like being that old guy with the hot rod? He drives it once a month around his block to get looks from the neighbors but doesn't do anything else with it.

08-31-2010, 1:02 PM
The Desert Eagle made Cracked.com's Top Ten Mall Ninja Guns at #1!


Article pretty much sums up all the reasons why its a cool movie/video game gun but a really lame gun to actually put your own money down on.

(yeah I linked this article a little while ago in off topic, but thought it would be interesting here if you haven't read it)

Every mall ninja has a "Deagle" as their sidearm, it's a rule. Who cares that it weighs five pounds, is unreliable, and has massive recoil? Mickey Rourke in "Year of the Dragon", Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Last Action Hero", The Agents in "The Matrix series" and Demi Moore in "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle". Cinema has done an excellent job of making the Desert Eagle look like the baddest mother****ing handgun in the world. And hey, you just pwned five noobs on COD4 with it. AND got it gold plated. But that's fiction. In real life you buy one, your hands get tired after holding it for five minutes, you piss away tons of money on a small amount of .50 AE ammo, bruise your hands firing it, miss every can you set up for targets, spend 10 minutes trying to fix the stove-pipe stoppage it had, and then finally sell it for a nice 1911 instead.

08-31-2010, 1:17 PM
I've had a Mark VII in .44 mag for 10 years now and have over 2000 rounds down the pipe.

It's big, heavy, big, and heavy, (did I mention it's big and heavy?) and it's not practical in any way... although it would probably be the best thing to grab when you're out of ammo and you have to pistol whip somebody.

It's also *very* accurate, loud, and a hell of a lot of fun to shoot. It's a great "let all your friends try it" gun; more of a novelty gun than one with a real purpose. If you buy one with the "novelty" mindset you'll be happy with your purchase. It's also neat from a design perspective-- there aren't too many gas operated rotating bolt handguns out there.

I get tired of holding its weight up before I get tired of the recoil from fairly hot 240gr SJHP loads. The recoil is fairly light but holding 4.5 pounds at arms length gets tiring quicker than you might think.

I take my DE out about 3-4 times a year when the mood strikes me or if a friend wants to try it. It puts a smile on my face and then it goes back in the safe until next time.

As far as all the reliability comments-- I don't get it, unless I received a good example. I've never had a malfunction with mine as long as I have been shooting it. As long as it's lubed and you don't hang onto the mag or force the mag up past the catch where it can interfere with the bolt & slide it just keeps working. I have seen it hang up in the hands of a friend who was "cupping" the magazine and pressing it upwards after I told him the gun didn't like that. It was a simple FTF-- the fix was to lock the slide back, lightly press on the top of the mag until it was back down seated in the mag catch, let the slide foward again and keep shooting.

The only work I've ever done to it was replacing the recoil springs somewhere around the 1500 round count. Not because it was malfunctioning but because it was recommended in the manual.

In summary... practical? No. Fun? Hell yes!

08-31-2010, 1:18 PM
I shot one at the range last week. ive always wanted to! the guy next to me asked me and I said hells yeah! I asked him for only one round. the gun was HUGE! and so was the mag and 50 cal ammo! I loaded it up and pulled the trigger, it was super LOUD and it cleared my sinuses after that round. Fun to shoot but I dont think i would ever buy one.

08-31-2010, 1:21 PM
I have a Mark VII in 44 magnum and I definitely like it. I have a Ruger SRH in 454 Casull, Ruger SBH in 44 magnum and TC-Contender with a 44 mag and 45-70 barrel. Do all these have a purpose? Most definitely! Mostly for handgun hunting, steel shooting and/or the Ohhh-Ahhhh... factor at the range. The Desert Eagle is a specialty weapon. It's not meant to be a CCW, but with the right loads it is a great hunting handgun. In stock configuration it won't feed any of the light 44 magnum loads, but feed it with some real 44 magnum loads like 240 JHPs and it will fire and feed until you get tired or run out of ammo. I load my own ammo for it and mine is a very reliable and accurate pistol.

Mason McDuffie
08-31-2010, 1:42 PM
Reading the above comments has just reinforced my love for the cannon. I get crap from people all the time about why they would never own one. Then they go to the range and that first pull always gets a smile. After the day at the range and usually over a steak and beer they finally see why I own one. Its just plain fun. Its big and unusual looking and just all around fun.

I was hesitant at first myself. Having never shot one before I ordered it, but that first day on the range cemented in my mind that I hadn't made a poor purchase. Every BBQ my buddies ask to see her and I'm glad to show her off.

08-31-2010, 1:44 PM
Thanks for the reviews from people who own them. It is a novelty item that is definitely on my list. I already have a 1911 and I love it. But i'm wanting something to trade it off with. It has to be semi-reliable/accurate for it to be used in the Israeli military. I'm running out of real metal guns to buy :) To many polymer guns out there now.

I'm thinking of getting the .357 conversion to make it more practical(besides the 4 lb weight hindrance). So far everyone who has one says to get one. Everyone who doesn't have one says it's impractical. I can't know it's impractical until I get one right?

Mason McDuffie
08-31-2010, 1:48 PM
Buy it and you can join our ranks!

08-31-2010, 1:53 PM
Got it...the 357 is much harder to find than the 44.

08-31-2010, 2:19 PM
If you have the money to spend and room in the safe go get one and find out how much fun it is to shoot one. It is a blast to shoot.

08-31-2010, 2:55 PM
They're oodles of fun to shoot. Finding ammo for them is a royal PITA though. The only rounds I get to consistently cycle through mine are, oddly enough, the range reloads at OC Indoor Range. Then again, since the range reloads work so well I haven't really had a need to go looking for factory ammo.

Keep in mind, the .357 conversion will need more than just the barrel and magazine. It will be pretty costly to do. These guns aren't for thrift in any way shape or form.

08-31-2010, 3:06 PM
Love mine (Mk1 44mag Stainless). Not that many function issues at all, just run 240gr 44 mag rounds.


Fun to shoot - that is what we're after :)

08-31-2010, 5:02 PM
Mine will function with any of my reloads that are .5 grains under of published max loads. Don't even bother with the published starting loads for they will not eject from the gun unless you buy another set of recoil springs and decrease their tension. But why even spend the money on a Desert Eagle if you're not willing to spend the money on firing full powered 44 mag rounds? The recoil is softer than a revolver chambered in 44 mag to extend the fun factor.

08-31-2010, 8:03 PM
Buy it and you can join our ranks!

Join our Ranks!
What does this one rank?

08-31-2010, 8:06 PM
Hollywood has taught me that it is best to have 2 at the same time and dual wield them. Then you can blow up tanks and stuff

08-31-2010, 8:13 PM
With a .50 DE if you connect a little......it's still enough.
Much like Gallagher with a watermellon.

Mason McDuffie
08-31-2010, 8:22 PM
Join our Ranks!
What does this one rank?

Well amigo, I think we have the leader of the Eagle fan club! Freaking beautiful! Bravo man.

08-31-2010, 8:47 PM
Join our Ranks!
What does this one rank?

Dayuuuuummmm! If those were titanium nitride coated I'd be bowing down. But still an awesome collection and best one so far.

08-31-2010, 8:58 PM
Was $1500 too much to pay?
I tried to get it for $1400 :D

A friend turned me on to it.......The PO bounced a few checks and had to make good on them before 9:00 the next morning.

It's an XIX 50AE with 5 mags.
Has a 44 barrel with 4 mags.
Has a 357 barrel and pin with 5 mags.
Has 500+rds of nice quality .50AE reloads and a cleaning kit.

08-31-2010, 9:08 PM
Was $1500 too much to pay?
I tried to get it for $1400 :D

A friend turned me on to it.......The PO bounced a few checks and had to make good on them before 9:00 the next morning.

It's an XIX 50AE with 5 mags.
Has a 44 barrel with 4 mags.
Has a 357 barrel and pin with 5 mags.
Has 500+rds of nice quality .50AE reloads and a cleaning kit.

What, no 10" barrels? Jeeesh. ;)

J/K. I wish I had a 10" barrel just for fun, should have bought one long ago when I could have afforded one.

08-31-2010, 9:29 PM
What, no 10" barrels? Jeeesh. ;)

Maybe he was holding out on me.

I broke the set down into 2 hard cases for storage.
Wouldn't a 10" barrel be more useful >>> thus taking away from the "only a novelty piece" :p mind set?

08-31-2010, 11:06 PM
I shot one at the range last week. ive always wanted to! the guy next to me asked me and I said hells yeah! I asked him for only one round. the gun was HUGE! and so was the mag and 50 cal ammo! I loaded it up and pulled the trigger, it was super LOUD and it cleared my sinuses after that round. Fun to shoot but I dont think i would ever buy one.

i think that was me, did you try the 10mm glock too?

they are fun to shoot. mine has never let me down, 44mag is smooth and the 50ae is impressive with the big blast. learn to reload and you can afford to shoot it often.

09-01-2010, 8:23 AM
I wouldn't say it's impractical. If you need to shoot through a few walls it's a great tool.

I have a .44/.50 AE combination. It's alot of fun to shoot. I recommend Ammo Brothers .44 magnum hollow point reloads. They are definately a hot load and put out a huge flame.

If you get the .357 conversion you'l need to change springs, bolt, barrel and magazine. Takes quite a bit more gunsmithing work than going from .44 to .50AE. I don't have a .357 conversion but I hear it's the most accurate of the three versions.

When I first got mine I had terrible problems with stove piping and other FTFs. It turned out to be 100% the magazine's fault. They have a catch on the side of the feed ramp that pushes against the inside of the mag. There's a spring in the catch that if it's too tight it won't feed properly. I modified all of my magazines catch springs and they all work perfectly now.

09-01-2010, 9:08 AM
I had one. Like others said, bulky. Its more of a "wow" factor then anything else. Pretty accurate. I carried it with me once to hunt and never again. It sat in the safe so long that I had to sell it. But good gun though. I never had any feeding/fte/ftf issues with it.

09-01-2010, 9:08 AM
My experience with the DE has been with other peoples guns.. They know I like guns and figured that I would be all thrilled to shoot their DE's mostly I have shot 3 or four different 44 mag guns. So far.. not one has finished a range session without a jam and that is with factory ammo. It is "accurate" in the way a glock is "accurate" you can hit something with it. Bench shooting will give mediocre groups at 25 and 50 yards.. not in the same class as a good 44 mag revolver.

It is heavy but.. that means that it handles recoil well. I would say that it is the lightest recoiling 44 mag I have ever shot.. anyone who is afraid of recoil would do better with a DE than most revolvers so far as tolerating recoil.

Factory 44 mag ammo is very expensive but you are not limited to factory ammo... just to jacketed slugs and a narrow pressure range.. lots of semi autos are thus handicapped tho.. not just a DE. You can load your own 44 mag with jacketed slugs for $10-$15 a box depending on component price when you buy or the amount you buy.

It will not "shoot through" anything any better than any other 44 mag revolver.. most likely not as well since you can't load the real heavy cast bullets in the 300 grain range like you can with revolvers and these slugs are proven penetrators.

They are really not that expensive to buy compared to even some revolvers but they are very expensive to own if you don't use em.. If I spend that kind of money on a handgun then I want to spend a lot of time trying to wear it out.

I simply don't enjoy shooting the gun enough to bother and I can think of a dozen or more guns of equal value that I would much.. much.. rather own.

09-01-2010, 9:19 AM
I have one in .50AE but I don't shoot it much because of the cost of ammo. I only take it out every couple of months but it always puts a smile on my face when I shoot it, and on friends' faces when I let them shoot it. The talk of whether it's practical or not is beside the point imo. It's not practical, and you're kidding yourself if you're trying to convince yourself otherwise. But if I really wanted to be practical then I would have stopped buying handguns after my first one or two. Also, I'd bet 9 times out of 10, jams = limp wristing. All that said, do I need my DE, no. Will it stay in my collection forever, maybe, maybe not. But it's fun to bring out from time to time and make lots of noise and put large holes in stuff with it.

09-01-2010, 10:04 AM
Despite the opinions of others, you should get one if you want one. You can always sell it if you don't like it.
I had one for 5yrs and shot it about 3x a year. I used 240gr +P and never had an issue with the gun. Very fun to shoot and will definately gets alot of people's attention. I found that it was very accurate. Cleaning is a chore but worth it. I used Slip2000 EWL lube after cleaning. Great stuff.
Some people can't handle such a firearm and will talk negative about it being too heavy, and not being practical, etc.. Personally, those are all of the attributes I liked about that gun. It was a big, heavy monster and you (and everyone around you) knew you were shooting a magnum.:chris:
Break-in is around 200rds or so. Like a 1911, the more you shoot it, the smoother it becomes ...and if you don't like the finish on the gun, send it back to magnum research. I think it's around $250'ish to refinish in the flavor of your liking (brushed chrome, titanium, etc..).
I didn't like the idea of selling mine but it seems like alot of us are running slim on funds these days and need to prioritize where our funds go:(.
Good luck!!