Back in June, Kahr Arms bought Magnum Research, makers of the famed and feared (often for its failure to fire) Desert Eagle (reviewed by TTAG here). Before cashing in their chips, Magnum’s mavens had milked the Eagle for all it was worth. (Which is just as bad as it sounds.) They’d expanded the Desert Eagle’s caliber options from .50 to .44 and .357 (or all three) and hatched a flock of eaglets: Desert Eagle 1911 (.45), Micro Eagle (.380) and Baby Desert Eagle “Fast Action” Pistol (9mm, .40 and .45, ). Not to mention the Big Frame Revolver or Mountain Eagle rifle (five calibers) and Magnum Lite MLR-1722 rifle (five calibers), which have had some issues. By the time Kahr took over, the Eagle brand had been extended towards extinction. In fact, Magnum had stopped importing the Baby Desert Eagle from Israel. And now . . . it’s back!
Here’s the pre-SHOT show presser:
Magnum Research, Inc. imported the Baby Desert Eagle model handguns, also called the Jericho, from IWI in Israel for 22 years.
Then, three years ago, MRI stopped selling the popular handgun, and consumer demand for it has grown ever since.
Kahr Arms will reintroduce the Baby Desert Eagle models to U.S. markets in the first quarter of 2011 at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Baby Desert Eagle II handguns will be available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, with steel or polymer frames in black only. The full size and semi-compact models will include a tactical rail—resulting in a total of 19 model variations.
Growing demand? I’d bet dollars to deep discounts that Magnum didn’t stop selling the Desert Baby Eagle because they got tired of counting the money. As for 19 variations on the “new” BDE II, huh? Hasn’t Kahr heard of Stendahl Syndrome?
There I was thinking that Kahr Arms had bought Magnum for a song so they could kill the eaglets, focus on the .50 caliber DE, restore the brand’s rep and make a tidy little profit. After all, the Kahr brand itself is tightly gathered around four calibers (pink .380 ACP and all). But no.
Pricing for the Baby Desert Eagle II series ranges from $616 for the polymer frame models to $630 for steel frame models.
Orders will begin shipping in early Spring 2011.
Wow, that ain’t cheap. A .40-caliber Glock 22 clocks-in at around $450. What makes the Baby Desert Eagle worth another two bills? Impeccable pedigree, apparently. Or something. We’ll call and ask.