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The IMI/Magnum Research Desert Eagle wasn’t the first large-caliber autopistol to reach production. That honor belongs to the .44 AutoMag, which was then succeeded by the Wildey Auto, as famously wielded by Charles Bronson in Death Wish III. The Desert Eagle (DE) was, however, the first large-caliber auto pistol to catch the public imagination. Even casual firearms enthusiasts can immediately identify it, as can players of first-person shooters like CounterStrike (where “deagling” refers to making one-shot “kills” to the head). The shooters who haven’t fired one yearn to do so, while those who have are rarely without a strongly-held opinion for or against the big autopistol. Perhaps most interestingly, the Desert Eagle serves as a powerful, elegant argument against that old argument that “guns have no purpose but to kill.”

The Desert Eagle isn’t about killing. It’s about romance.

 At its heart, the DE is an interesting solution to a difficult problem: how to fire high-power rounds from an auto-loading handgun.

There are two types of automatic pistol in common use: blowback and recoil. Blowback guns, such as the Walther PP, use the energy of the fired round to press backwards against a spring, cycling the action. Blowback guns are “unlocked” and therefore rely on the strength of the spring to hold the action together long enough for the bullet to leave the barrel.

In larger calibers, this design becomes impractical. Recoil-operated handguns use the recoil motion of the pistol to “unlock” the barrel from the slide. This permits the use of a larger caliber and reduces the felt recoil for the shooter; still, most shooters are unable to effectively use a recoil-operated pistol in a caliber stronger than .45 ACP.

The original AutoMag pistol used a smaller version of the rotary-bolt principle, as seen in the M16, to allow a high-power round to be fired in an auto pistol. This is how it works:

1. The powder burns when the primer strikes, creating expanding gas.

2. This gas is vented through holes in the barrel, down a tube, where

3. It forces the slide backwards.

4. As the slide moves backwards, it uses a cam to rotate the bolt, which then

5. Unlocks” and moves backwards with the slide.

This is an extremely strong design; it permits a very powerful cartridge to be used. There are also some recoil-absorbing aspects to it which are beneficial.

Although the Automag design worked, it had a few drawbacks. To begin with, it wasn’t terribly reliable. Worse, it used a “wildcat” cartridge obtained by cutting-down .308 Winchester cases. Last but not least, the gun was underpriced. As a result the design went through several different hands before finally disappearing.

The brilliance of the Desert Eagle: the manufacturer’s decision to use existing revolver cartridges. The original DE was chambered for .357 Magnum. This was a mere tease. Once the gun was available in the iconic .44 Magnum caliber, sales went through the roof. The success of the revolver-cartridge guns made it possible for Magnum Research and IMI to develop the .50 Action Express, a rebated-rim cartridge which delivers approximately twice the muzzle energy of .44 Magnum cartridges from a six-inch barrel.

I first shot a Desert Eagle in 1993 or thereabouts, in the .44 Magnum caliber. At the time, I was doing pin matches with a Smith & Wesson 629 Classic 6″ barrel. Compared to the Smith, the Eagle was a pleasure to shoot. But I recall experiencing about a one-in-thirty jam rate with commercial ammo.

My .44 Mag handloads couldn’t be used in the DE as I was using all-lead bullets from the National Bullet Company at the time. Accuracy was solid, within the two-inch range at fifteen yards off-hand.

The .50AE chambering was quite a different animal, recoiling with the thunder and menace of a four-inch Smith 29. Although I shot the “fifty” several times, I was always happy to put it down after a magazine or two, particularly given the cost of the ammunition.

My choice for a Desert Eagle would have been a .44 Mag in two-tone chrome and gold.

 Chrome and gold, you say? Of course! Starting in the early Nineties, Magnum Research offered no fewer than eight boutique finishes on the Desert Eagle, plus combinations of those finishes. While I never actually saw a gold-plated DE, I know they exist, and I’ve seen plenty of photos and videos.

For the avid handgun hunter, there are also ten and fourteen-inch barrels available. Think of it as a T/C Contender rival; instead of taking down one deer with a single shot, you could knock down seven or eight at a time, assuming time and sufficiently deaf whitetails.

If you’re starting to think that unreliable operation, massive weight (seventy-two ounces in the case of the .50 AE model), considerable recoil, custom finishes, and optional hunting barrels are perhaps not the qualities of a Glock competitor, you would be right on the mark.

Although Desert Eagles appear in the movies as legitimate combat weapons, in the real world it’s virtually the worst weapon possible with which to defend one’s self. It would be virtually unusable in a “drive-by”, since it would either jam or recoil into the automobile’s ceiling trim. It cannot be concealed by any reasonable method. The safety almost requires a third hand to operate. Hell, most of them don’t even have a firing-pin block, which makes it that rarest of all modern guns: the drop-and-shoot kind.

These drawbacks are all well-known to the vast majority of Desert Eagle owners. And yet they remain passionate about collecting, firing and modifying their pistols. Could it be that not every single handgun is purchased for reasons of aggression, or even for reasons of self-defense? Could it be that some people simply enjoy owning and firing a unique handgun? It might not make sense to Diane Feinstein, but I suspect that if you try a few rounds through a Desert Eagle, it might make sense to you.


Style * * * * *
The Mark XIX is a bit over the top, but the earlier models are visually perfect for their mission

Ergonomics *
It’s basically a first-generation single-action pistol. With the useless safety-level positioning of a double-action

Reliability * *
I wouldn’t stake my life on it.

Customize This
Yes, starting with a custom finish

I’d rather have a .44 AutoMag, but this is the best overall big-bore auto in history.

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  1. I want a hard chrome .44 Mag DE, for no other reason than it is fun to shoot. I would be inclined to modify it to see how reliable they can be made. The ones I shot were all "jam-o-holics", both .44 and the .50 caliber. Maybe Springfield or SIG could send an engineer or two over to IMI and have them hash out the reliability issues.

    • I always hated seeing it listed as “IMI”(currently “IWI”). True, it is primarily manufactured by IWI, but at the same time it was designed my Magnum Research. It had to be refined by IWI to make it workable, but at it’s heart it is not designed by IWI.

      They make some truly remarkable weapons at IWI, I doubt they would have anything to do with the DE, but they get paid to make them =P

    • Unfortunately I did have jam problems with my 44, But yes I did find the problem with this desert eagle and Magnum and american eagle manufacture would not respond to what I found
      This will seriously stop almost all jam problems
      If you have a weak wrist strengthen it but here comes the glitch
      The 44 made for this gun is exactly 1.610 inches long.
      This is fine if these bullets didn’t have an outer rim
      This cause the bullets to form a slight arc when in the clip
      The top bullet is being pushed forward and down and at a different angle then what it should be in the clip. It rides against the mag.
      NOT GOOD
      I tried reloading these bullets and found the problems went away as soon as I shrunk the bullets down to less then 1.6 inches
      I actually use about 1.575 in length
      Now I have absolutely no problems
      They do not warrant any gun that uses reloads, But if you don’t want it to jam, compress the 240 grain american eagle at least 10 thousands
      and see if your jam problems go away

      • I own a 1st gen. IMI .357
        I’ve fired upwards of 4000 rounds.allmost all jams were with factory loads (158 gr. Or less). I hand load just over max with a few different bulky powders with a lot of gass potential all 158 170 180gr. Bollets.with hot handloads jams are practically nonexistent. My friends with other caliber DE’s have reached similar conclusions. Shooting style? One hand/side arm/locked elbows..doesn’t seem to mater. Side arm right hand with left elbow against my ribs is my preference. Especially with the .50 (keeps hot brass off my forehead)

    • “jam-o-holics”?

      Not at all if you don’t “limp wrist” it. Granted I have a large hand and strong wrists, but I have no jamming problems at all with my Mark XIX .50AE – in fact, I use it quite often as my carry gun for self defense simply because it fits my hand so damn well and my accuracy with the DE surpasses my accuracy with my P220. 2″ pattern with 3 magazines in succession at 25 yards. I can draw my DE, aim, and place 2 shots center body mass at 15 yards in less then 2 seconds.

      • Remind me not to make you mad!!! That said, I totally agree, I have a new 50 AE and have put about 200 rounds through it without a single jam. I hold it solididly with my support elbow in a horizontal as opposed to vertical position. This forces the recoil through to my shoulders which reduces muzzle flip and allows the pistol to reliably cycle. Great gun, although a 6ft, 200ibs I’m too small to conceal it.

      • I was about to say exactly the same thing. My .50 AE XIX seems very solid and reliable. I certainly wouldnt classify it as a jam-a-holic or whatever. I dont know about self defense though, I’m kinda worried about the .50 AE bullet going through an assailant and hitting bystanders.

  2. I own a mark xix 50ae, keep it clean and shoot quality ammo, you won't have any jams. Check out their new muzzle breaks for drive buys and for home defence, keep a loaded Raging Bull 454 on your nightstand, as I do. This a great country we live in, let's keep it that way.

    • I would rate my pistol skills as "advanced", but I don't know I could handle a 50AE or 454 Casull in a middle-of-the-night invasion!

      • .454 Casull is a very high penetration round intended for medium – large game. I would be afraid of overpenetration if I had to shot someone with it. Your liable for the bullet at all points in travel, including where it stops. On the upside, your first shot will probably hit and stop the perpetrator.

  3. I have owned a 44 magnum DE for a year now and today is the day I say surrender. I cannot, repeat cannot fire a single clip without jamming. I am sick and tired of getting hit in the forehead with hot spent shells. I am sick and tired of the cost of premium ammo that still doesn't fire properly thru it. Lord give me my .45 any day. It is a beautiful weapon to fire and admire, it is if it was built with my handsize in mind, I love to handle it and shoot it, the recoil is nothing compared to some revolvers but I must say in my opinion the bad press seems to be deserved.

    • DO NOT GIVE UP!!! All of the issues can be fixed. I had to send my new 44 mag DE back for some fine tuning and no issues since. I load my own 240gn H-XTP-HP’s with at least 19.7gn to 21.5gn of 2400 powder and WLP primers. I am at 500 flawless rounds fired now (even with rapid fire). Casings in the forehead? Let the recoil come straight toward your right eye or right shoulder if you are right handed, all my casings, after the trip to the shop, are in a nice 24 inch circle six feet behind me and slightly to the right now.

    • The reason it’s jamming is partly the poor design, but also your shooting form. It’s obvious you’re limpwristing and you have poor shooting form. How can I tell? You don’t even know the difference between a “clip” as you put it and a magazine.

      • Desert eagles like wide nose ammo (like wad cutter). My Marc XIX was jamming with FMJ Magtech and JSP Winchester. Both rounds have narrow nose. I tried JSP Fiocchi with wide flat nose. Not a single jam. I am using it since then.

    • Unfortunately I did have jam problems with my 44, But yes I did find the problem with this desert eagle and Magnum and american eagle manufacture would not respond to what I found
      This will seriously stop almost all jam problems
      If you have a weak wrist strengthen it but here comes the glitch
      The 44 made for this gun is exactly 1.610 inches long.
      This is fine if these bullets didn’t have an outer rim
      This cause the bullets to form a slight arc when in the clip
      The top bullet is being pushed forward and down and at a different angle then what it should be in the clip. It rides against the mag.
      NOT GOOD
      I tried reloading these bullets and found the problems went away as soon as I shrunk the bullets down to less then 1.6 inches
      I actually use about 1.575 in length
      Now I have absolutely no problems
      They do not warrant any gun that uses reloads, But if you don’t want it to jam, compress the 240 grain american eagle at least 10 thousands
      and see if your jam problems go away

    •’s all about the ammo and keeping it clean,the gas port,you have to use very hot loads,i have the 357 and 44,both the same,i use 180 grain xtp bullets with 29 grains of h110.and 125 grain bullets for the 357.

  4. I own a .50AE and I must say, I'm a huge fan. A desert eagle, like any complex tool, can be easily mishandled. Granted, the desert eagle is particularly unforgiving – any major mistake in handling invariably results in a shell casing striking above your dominate eye. (I cannot stress how important it is to use eye protection when using this firearm!)

    The DE is an acceptable option for large predator defense and even game hunting but is totally impractical for self-defense. Its difficult handling, massive report, and huge muzzle flash coupled with tremendous over-penetration makes it highly disadvantageous and even dangerous to use in any home defense situation. A small caliber firearm (nothing larger than a .45ACP) or a shotgun is a far better option for home defense. Even the venerable .357mag isn't the best choice given its tremendous penetration through biomatter and housing materials.

    With that said, it is a very, very fun gun to shot! If you find yourself struggling with the DE, following these tips should help improve your shooting.

    1. Grasp the pistol with a firm Texas handshake grip (be very careful not to use a 'death grip' as this will result in over control and a loss of precision.) The support hand should pull back, the shooting hand should press forward. Do not press on the magazine base plate as this will result in jamming.

    2. Establish a stable shooting base – step forward with your off-foot, then bring your other foot back and place it about 90deg from your off-foot. Then lean forward – never shoot while leaning back.

    3. The shooting arm should be held fully forward and kept firm. The supporting arm should be held in such way that is comfortable to the shooter. The shooting arm does most of the work absorbing recoil.

    4. Take the time to carefully sight the target and stabilize the pistol. If you shoot calmly, the gun will be a very accurate.

    5. Shooting – with your eye on the target or on the 'gip', press the trigger smoothly – do not jerk the trigger or pull it aggressively (unless you don't mind sacrificing accuracy).

    6. Handling the recoil (and not getting hit in the head with shell casings) – keeping your arm stiff, allow the recoil to be absorbed through your shoulder. Do not allow the pistol to flip up, that is to say do not allow your wrist to go limp. Instead, allow the gun and your entire arm to 'hop up' with the muzzle of the gun remaining inline with your shooting arm. Upward travel should not exceed 1ft. The muzzle of the DE must not be allowed to pitch up or you will be hit in the head with a shell casing.

    7. Re-firing – examine the pistol for jams, check the safety, then perform any normal pre-shooting procedures. You should make an effort to decrease your next shoot recovery time with each successive shot.

    8. Post-shooting – take down the pistol for thorough cleaning. Special attention should be placed on cleaning the gas piston and related parts. Examine the components carefully for damage (springs should be the first component to fail and can occur as early as 5,000rds.)

    Hope that helps.

  5. Let me just say, I own a DE .44 and the only jams i have ever experienced. Hand load with a fast burning powder and load as many grains as the book calls for and you will NEVER have a problem. Since I started hand loading for it, around 500 rounds later I have never had a jam.

    As for getting hit with the spent shells, tight wrist, tight elbow and loose shoulder will solve your problem friends.

    Overall, I couldnt be happier with my DE. Reliable, accurate, powerfull, fun to shoot. Cant beat it.

  6. I apparently lost my train of thought, the only jams I experienced were with factory loads, premium, cheap, didnt matter. The powder charge was not enough to cycle in th DE's massive action.

  7. The Desert Eagle .44 magnum is one handgun which you can take to the shooting range, and once you squeeze the trigger and that gun goes off the first time, then all other shooters stop what they’re doing and turn to see what gun fired the round. This gun is a real attention grabber.

    • I find that I don’t get any jam when I use my 10″ barrel. Higher muzzle velocity? With the 6″ barrel it jams however I am due for new springs. Plus you are right about the range , every one stops dead in their tracks

  8. I’m a former LEO.

    I’ve had the .44 MkVII since it was introduced, and I have to say that objectively, I disagree with this review, mostly because the review was “one mans’ opinion”. I have been a big fan of the gun, espeically once I got accustomed to shooting it frequently.

    I have used the DE in bowling pin competitions, and after a while, (since they were cash), people would see me show up and just leave. I have NEVER had it jam, never been struck in the head by spent casings, and found it to be a very reliable and accurate handgun. I have found it to be a very good weapon balance wise, despite it’s weight. When a round goes off, if you are a true “shooter”, you’ll find that the weapon naturally falls back into it’s target position after recoil. In order not to limp-wrist a gun, you have to have some semblance of hand strength. Especially with these beasts.

    I’m a practicing combat shooter, and I’ve been well versed in the use of this weapon… timing is everything, and though it only holds 8 rounds, perfect practice makes perfect. I shot as well with this as I do my .45. If not better due to sheer practice.

    It’s my primary weapon now. It’s not for everyone… certainly… but if you are strong enough (and I mean this sincerely, as it’s a beast to handle continually) to handle it… you’d absolutely say it was reliable, accurate (even with standard sites) and USEFUL in the real world.

    My smaller guns? Springfield XD’s. Great weapons.

    I find that when people go out to buy guns, they buy what they are hyped up for instead of what will work best for their body type, natural stance, sighting ability, hand size, etc. I used to be a GLOCK guy (since I carried the .40 in service)… until I shot an XD… I even bought a STYER 1A, because it was cool. But it was not a gun built for “me”.

    As a final example…I was at a local outdoor gun range, and a guy was shooting his DE .50. He was a smaller dude, (I’m a big dude), and he was “M-F’en” his weapon which was consistently jamming. “This f(*ggin’ piece of #$*!” I brought out my .44 and shot next to him… I told him I had never fired the .50AE. He told me he needed to send it in for service as something was wrong with it.

    We chatted a bit, I brought out my .44 and invited him to shoot it. It jammed on the 3rd round! I asked if I could fire his .50, one mag for one mag. He agreed. I cranked off the rounds with NO issues, no Jamming. He could not belive it.

    I just don’t think he was “built” for the weapon. He seemed strong enough. But I really do think that the weapon was not built for him.

    Mind you all, this is just a theory, but after I shot his weapon, he took it, and it jammed. I tried to give him some stance and grip pointers, but it was no use.

    Just wanted to share with fellow DE enthusiasts!


    The Falconer

    • Falconer,
      I agree with you on all points however if the fellow that was having issues would have improvised a little, I am sure he could have overcome the problems he was having. That is, if he wanted it bad enough.
      I am a ” little dude”. 5 -7 185LBS I am a shooter and I love my DE .44 When I first started out with the weapon I had a few issues. The first was a defective mag, not worth mentioning except for the fact I wasn’t going to let anything spoil my goal of enjoying my new addition.
      I always wanted a DE and always wanted an auto in the .44 Mag. Took but 40 rounds and now we have a flawless match. Anything or any situation can be overcome if you want it and the equipment is properly designed. The DE is a well designed weapon that takes proper technique if a person expects it to function reliably, as you would with any other piece of equipment.
      Will the DE be a good fit for a lanky fellow of 125lbs? Probably not, but, who knows, he may be a wiry dude with an attitude 😉


    • thanks for the commentary on the de 5ft 7in and am seriously considering buying one but im trying to get much feedback as possible before i make my of my majior concerns was reliability i held one just the other day and it felt good in my hands.i herd other storys as well but i liked yours the best.does the springs play any role at all and are after market springs for the de 44mag obtainable. if so please let me know.

  9. FYI…that first video on this blog? That shooter, hopefully, was not the person who posted the review. I really do hope.

    The video of the guy shooting the melon… notice the LACK of recoil, excellent shooting stance… that’s a shooter.

    I am glad there were posters commenting on technique…because that’s the ticket with the DE.


    • First video shows gold-plated Desert Eagle.
      Reviewer has never seen gold-plated Desert Eagle, as stated in review.
      First video =/= not the reviewer.

  10. look ive owned a .44magnum eagle for 2 years now i had some jams when i first started using it since ive had no problems its all in how you hold it.

    also geting hit in the head by spent shells thats the stupidest thing ive ever heard yo are obviously not corectly holding your fierarm.

    • I like reading these views on the DE 44mag. I have been considering purchasing one for quite some time. Mainly for a later date when moved out into the North Western USA. Although, some comments seem sort of short sighted! I am an LEO and we just switched from the Glock 9mm to the 40’s. Some of the 40’s have ejected a few rounds straight into the foreheads of the LEO shooters! No significant recoil differences between the guns, so it can happen!
      Anyone have reviews on the DE 44 mag. when out in the back country, elements, etc. compared with other big game backups?

      • Have owned a .357 DE since the thing came out, using it in the jungles of Ecuador for all game there- definitely an EXCELLENT medium game gun, have never had a hunting malfunction with standard ammo, have used it on deer, peccary, tapir, and jag. That said, if there’s a major safety issue involved, the .357 is a bit light, and tends to punch a hole without much stopping power- we all know this- and if I’m dealing with humans, my .22 Ruger is probably at least as effective.

  11. Yesterday went bowling with a friend’s DE44, (earlier Israeli Edition):
    What a hoot – only missed one. Got to say on par with S&W 629 6″.
    No jams with hand loads; takes full powder load to cycle the heavy DE action.
    And the sound is incredible: very low frequency boom with a tremendous depth to it..

    Question as to the quality of the earlier Israeli vs. current Minnesota versions?
    This particular example was well worn, purchased used, with finishing worn off at the edges.

  12. hey guys, my barrel will not come off the slide. any ideas? i had the gun duracoated. shot it and now the barrel is stuck to the slide. any help would be appreciated.

    • The barrel isn’t connected to the slide on a Deagle. Do you mean the bolt won’t unlock, or that you can’t remove the barrel from the frame?

    • I have a same problem with my .50 DE,: someone painted it, I fired one round and now the slide won’t move. I’m thinking the gas piston is seized. Did you ever find the problem?

      • i would say you have had a build up of lead which can cause it to more or less weld itself together. Or its possible that after being painted or coated it wasn’t releasing pressure correctly and swelled the barrel.

  13. Had a DE 44 since early the early 90’s. It was an Israeli made versions. Never had a jam and shot many a box theough it. Also handles my reloads. It is a blast to shoot and everyone that see it has to take it out and shoot it. One of my favorate guns.

  14. I had a 44 back in 1988,loved it had to sell for bills.I just got my “Eagle” back,and with a lower serial number 22 Thousand,I took it ALL apart and there was no dirt,lead,copper,brass anywhere,the gun is about 95% it has Millet sites on it.Thanks for reading.

  15. I’ve had an old .44 Mark I IMI-made gun since it was new in the 80’s. First gun I ever bought myself, and my shooting friends thought I was beyond nuts because I am a little guy with littler hands. (And yes, the grip is a 2X4.) But once I got the grip and the stance, the biggest issue for me was the cost of ammo (and finding loads hot and clean enough), so I do shoot my other guns a lot more. Still, the Eagle is my special fun. (Added a .357 conversion–makes it feel like a 9mm.)

    And interesting: When I introduced my teenagers to shooting, I let them try the Eagle as a kind-of dare after they proved they could handle 9mms and .45s. They liked the Eagle more! They still have limp-wrist issues with poly guns, but NO problems shooting the Eagle. (Except it’s heavy.) They get a lot of respect at the range.

    Final note: My Mark I is very smooth after all these years, but I looked at a new US-made Mark XIX and it seemed VERY rough (hard to lock and unlock the bolt, slide stop wouldn’t work). I do seem to hear more about factory returns for “tuning”. I haven’t seen an IWI-made gun for comparison. Quality Control issues? (Don’t get me wrong, I love my Colts and Rugers, and even my SIG and Beretta are US-made and absolutely great. I’m just wondering if things got sloppy at MRI with the buyout and all…)

  16. The problem with the de is not with the gun. Its the clips. Take a file or rotary tool and file down the front of the clip the bullet slides across as it leaves the clip. Make it smooth. If u notice when u unload the clips they snag a little at the seem. Once u fix the clips. U will almost never have another jam. I was jamming every clip. Since I filed the clips I haven’t jammed in 650 rounds. It takes 15 min to fix. Id like to get feedback from anyone that tries it. Email me or text 435-760-9226. If u have question feel free to call

    • Hi my name is Brad I have problem with my DE 44 mag it wnt clock back all the way and won’t load into the chamber any help

    • I tried your Fix on my Pro-Mags, and definately improved reliability!!!!. Still Not As Reliable as my Factory Mags though., but better. Stick to Factory Mags, and Full Power Loadings, with H110, or 296, and 240 grain Jacketed Bullets, Hold on Like YOU Own It, and reliability probs. should cease!!!!

  17. I have the DE 50 AE and I had the muzzle break put on it. I would suggest that to all. It makes a tremendous difference with recoil, but the volume is alot more. Just wear your ear muffs and warn people before shooting at the range. I plan on hunting with mine this year. Ha.

  18. I Bought my original Israeli Mfg. .44 Magnum Desert Eagle, back in 1985 or so… It is everything the author described. Useless, BIG, Too Large to Carry, Unwieldy, Too Powerful, Spendy to Shoot, Etc… I have 6 magazines, 3 factory, and 3 after market Pro-Mags. It has ALWAYS been 99.5% reliable with Factory Jacketed Ammo (200-240 gr.bullets), and 70% reliable with Pro-Mags. Ive NEVER used Lead Bullets, because of the mfg. warning, to NOT do so, ’cause lead clogs gas ports. HOWEVER, my Desert Eagle is again everything the author describes, Iconic, Romantic, A Pistol Every One Wants! The DE goes off like a BOMB!!!, and everyone is in AWE, reguarding its accuracy to 200 yards, and that 3 foot Ball of Flame from the muzzle on an overcast day! I own and shoot MANY Guns, I take my Sons “Gunless” friend out to shoot it occasionally (AFTER, they show me profiency, in operation, and Field Strip and Re-Assembly, they are TEENS), It is a Favorite!!!! As much as I have always Loved to shoot, Now, in my 50s, I Love even better, training others, (good kids only).

  19. I own 3 DEs. Two .44 cal and one .50 cal. They are best used for silhouette competition. Hog hunting is more fun. I have only experienced jamming due to poor technique or light loads. I reload my own ammo. The .44 is better handling than any .44 revolver I have shot. I carry it concealed with a COB holster but I’m 6′ at 220lbs with a 36″ waist. You need to replace the springs every so many years or 5000 rounds.

  20. I guess I’ll chime in here with my experience with my Mk XIX .50AE Desert Eagle. I had wanted a Desert Eagle for years and finally decided to cough up the cash and just get one, now I’m seriously considering getting a second one for a “counter balance” with my shoulder holster (Anyone know of a double shoulder rig made for the Desert Eagle?).

    I initially purchased the Desert Eagle .50 because I absolutely fell in love with the gun the first time I ever laid eyes on one. I thought it would be a fun range toy and that would be about it. Well, I am so impressed with this gun that it has become my primary carry gun. I used to carry either a Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum or my Sig P220 (when I felt like going small). I have fired 840 rounds through it to date and have not had one singe jam (nor have I had any casings hit me). Any gun I have ever owned that jammed just once with defensive ammunition has been thereout designated a “range gun”. I simply will not carry a gun that has ever jammed or misfired for me even once. The Desert Eagle fits my hand very well, especially with the Hogue wrap around grip with finger indentions (very comfortable). The recoil is not anything more then my .44 Magnum revolver and second shot target reaquisition is very fast. I can draw the Desert Eagle from my my shoulder holster, spin 180 degrees, and put two shots in center body mass in under 3 seconds, this is with a round chambered of course. Time is substantially more (around 5 seconds) when I have to chamber a round before my first shot. The accuracy is amazing, completely on par with my Sig P220. It is a very reliable design with the gas cycle system borrowed from an AK-47 which is easily known to be one of the most reliable automatics ever built and the bolt design borrowed from an M-16 (the only good thing about the M-16).

    The bad: Why was carry never considered in the design of this gun? It is lacking single/double functionality and needs a decock that will disengage the firing pin for safe chambered carry. It takes too much time to rack the slide to chamber a round, it takes too much time to disengage the safety and the safety lever is not in a very friendly location for one handed operation. There is also a complete lack of good defensive ammunition for this gun. Even with the UHP Gold Dot rounds from speer the penetration possibility is enough that you damn well have to know exactly what is behind your target (possibly even what type of wall is behind your target). I would give my left nut for a Winchester Platinum Tip PTHP round in .50AE to be developed (the ammo I use for carry in my .44 Mag. revolver).

    If a Mark XX is built that ditches the safety lever in favor of a decock and also has single double functionality but leaves everything else the same I’ll be the first in line to buy one. Guaranteed!

  21. WHY:
    It’s great to see so many responses, as well as your “romance” perspective of the Deagle .44. As for our family, my sons and I each have one (IMI Model XIX in .44 Mag.). My best analogy is a comment I received after buying my Harley Davidson, “when you buy a Honda, you got a bike … when you buy a Harley, you got a family”. That comment turned out to resound for years. The same can be said for the Desert Eagle. If you analyze the gun on a T-Chart, there are as many credits as debits. The “romance” is the tie-breaker. The Deagle “appeals” to every aspect of manhood. It whispers nothing … it screams “I’m in the room”. If you are a hunter, it swears to you that “nothing bad will happen to you while I’m here”. It’s accurate, and I argue reliable (see below). It’s awesome to shoot, and just as awesome for others to watch you shoot. You have to become accustomed to the whole range staring at you when you cap off the first two magazines. Regardless of it’s size, the felt recoil is diminished by its weight. You learn quickly not to be afraid of it.

    There are numerous comments regarding how to hold the Deagle in order to support the gun and its operation. There are also comments regarding “jams”.

    Missing, is the single item that assures reliable feeding from the magazine. It’s “not” the gun … it “is” the ammunition. True, you can have your gunsmith polish the feed ramp and chamber area, and in my opinion, that is “all” you should have done to your Deagle. It is practically impossible to find ammunition that assures “every time” reliability (Hornady XTP in 240 grains comes closest in a production round). The primary issue is the length of the cartridge (COL cartridge overall length). They are simply to long to allow proper operation from the magazine to the chamber, and in some cases, they don’t work at all in the magazine. I found this matter after purchasing my reloading equipment (Dillon Super 1050) and experimentation at the range (after using the specifications from manuals produced by Hornady and Lyman, arguably the industry standards in reloading). My “slow work-up” experimentation has led me to the following specifications and recipe:

    Powder: Winchester 296 (24 grains)
    Primer: CCI 350 (Magnum Pistol), depth set to .005
    Bullet: Hornady XTP (240 grain jacketed hollow point)
    COL: 1.556 (versus 1.80) … note: Did not unduly influence chamber pressure
    Weight: Targeted finished cartridge weight is 24.5 “grams” (varies based on case weight)

    You don’t have to be a reloader, or spend thousands on equipment. If you know someone who reloads, and are willing to buy just the accessories that support his/her equipment, you can have these rounds produced very affordably. Other benefits are, you get consistency in the performance of the ammunition, the powder and primer burn cleaner, and you will have ammunition when others may not be able to find it readily. Be sure of your “trust” in the reloader you select. Reloading is a science, not an art. There are nuances to reloading, however it’s the science and experience that provide the safety.

    Good luck and many fun shooting days to all of you new and pre-owned Deagle users. And to all of you reloading experts whose opinions may vary … please enjoy your opinions by the fireside with your favorite libation (I’m not really interested).

  22. Yes, the most wrong handgun on the world. But I like it, because it is different.
    Do not forget one think. If you are able to shoot DE 50AE, you will improve all other shooting with smaller guns. For me -DE is a tester. If you like it – you are definitely a good shooter, If you dislike it, you can chance to be good shooter as well.

  23. s darkened, so be sure to be safe rather than sorry,
    and don. Now apply your basic lotion again, to the areas mentioned before.

    Why bother to spend tens of thousands of dollars, after all, on something you may only need to use for a
    limited time.

  24. Just purchased a used DE in 44 mag. cannot wait to use it, have read all comments and am digesting them. At this time having trouble finding 240 grn. proj. so have loaded 220 grn Jacketed with Ar2205 powder so will try and shoot this big boy soon. Hope I can hold it as you all say (have been shooting h/guns 50 years) so will keep an eye on this site.

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