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I’ve taken temporary possession of the new .50-caliber Magnum Research IMI Classic Desert Eagle. My preliminary finding: the full-on Israeli-made Eagle is NOT an easy piece to shoot. (Surprise!) In the video above, I give Eddy from American Firearms School agita about keeping enough hand on the gun. Yes, well, look at his group. And then look at mine. Oh wait! It’s not there. ‘Cause it sucked; I missed the damn paper at five yards. There are reasons for that (other than a general lack of marksmanship) which I will explain at the appropriate time. Meanwhile, good news. This Eagle spits on the American-made Eagle’s jam-o-matic rep. It’s built like the proverbial brick shithouse. My fellow gunnies and I have run 100 rounds through the jumbo-sized semi without any failures of any kind. Other than, you know, mine. Pics on Facebook and review to follow.

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    • Again with the gun = penis compensation thing. I keep telling you: it’s testicle size that really matters. You have to have big balls to step up to the line with the Desert Eagle .50-caliber. Or admit it when you’re wrong about something like, I dunno, gun control.

    • Is it flaming if I say Mikeb’s definitely limp wristed enough to escape injury from that recoil? Good thing the First Amendment protects his right to fire away with any .50 cal pen he wishes to wield.

    • You know nothing about these guns then….their bark sceery, but the recoil isn’t all that.

      Bowen has been making big bores that hit as hard as these things for decades….hasn’t raised any eyebrows from the knee-jerk anit crowd.

      Oh – that is because they don’t look like scary killing machines.

    • Mike, the DE wont make you feel that powerful, its only a 50cal. Now if you want a raging erection try shooting this.

      • Now there’s a manly gun for you. I’m holding off on getting an Anzio 20mm as I’m saving my pennies for when they come out with the 30mm.

        At what point does one cross the line from being a firearm to artillery?

        I’ve fired DE’s a few times. 357, 44 & 50. I didn’t care much for them, it’s really a novelty item best left for action hero movies.

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    • Mike,

      Its not that the DE .50AE is all that powerful, its the poor technique of the shooter. He is trying too hard to keep the gun down. He needs to let it rock up and go with the flow. That, and keep both hands on the gun.

      The very first handgun my wife ever shot was a .500 S&W Magnum. For comparison the .50AE (the cartridge fired by the Desert Eagle in the video) generates about 1500ft-lbs of muzzle energy. The .500S&W Magnum doubles that to 2800 – 3000ft-lbs.

      My wife is 5ft 5in tall, and average build for a woman of that height. She had no problem with the dreaded .500 S&W revolver, granted the loads she was shooting were milder than max, probably 1800-2000ft-lbs of energy, but that is still as much or more than the .50AE.

      So, if you think that your wrists are weaker than those my petite wife, then maybe it would break your wrists…but I doubt it. If you can handle swinging a baseball bat or a golf club you could handle a Desert Eagle. Give yourself some credit.

      BTW, I didn’t ask her, but I doubt it made her feel “like a big man”. I think for her it was an interesting challenge to see what all the fuss was about.

        • Is that really a 50AE or just a 357 or managed recoil loads? Look at this video of a girl shooting a 50AE, essentially one handed, the recoil being passed to the shooter is noticeably milder in your video compared to the other two.

        • I thought her wind-swept hair, the star-quality sunglasses, the curve of her back and her overall posture all combined for a violation of Robert’s New Year’s resolution.

          That didn’t take long.

    • Mike: David’s sling made him feel about ten feet (long) tall, badder than Goliath. Odysseus’ bow had to have given him just a bit of, er, confidence. You might like this research, since guns and fast cars draw the same attacks: Both men AND women who feel and hear the rumble of a large-displacement car engine show an increase in testosterone almost instantly, with a minute. (elevated testosterone is a a sign not only of male but also of female arousal, if you’re curious). So what do women feel? Like more of a woman with their Desert Eagle? Could be. Look into it…. Might change your outlook.

      • Its shooter technique. The video posted above (Caucasian woman, red shirt) blades up to the target do that the recoil goes straight back through her body, and into her feet. Because she demonstrated proper one-handed shooting posture, it didn’t spin her around or knock her off balance.

        The shooter in your video (tanned woman in white shirt) shows, in contrast, both poor grip (cup and saucer) and poor stance (the dreaded lbs-lean back syndrome). The first has the effect of effectively making her support hand do absolutely nothing for her (and this the recoil spins her somewhat), while the second causes the recoil to stagger her because her center of gravity is too far back.

        On the whole, I don’t think either was shooting reduced power loads, it’s just that one woman knew how to position her body whilst the other did not.

  1. Maybe im seeing this wrong, but it looks like the pistol isn’t fitting your hand at all. An h grip plus .50 AE recoil=sore thumbs and an intact target.

  2. I’ve wanted one of these since I first saw the movie “Snatch”… their jam-o-matic reputation is why I never made the purchase. I did shoot a hard-chromed .44-mag that was reliable, and by reliable I mean it only jammed every other round.

    I’m interested in seeing the full review…

  3. Something is very wrong with his technique. If Hollywood has taught me anything it’s that he should be able to dual wield some of those hand cannons and make accurate 50 yd head shots.

    But seriously, I’ve always wanted to shoot one.

  4. IPSC speed double taps may be problematic…

    A quick back of the envelope calculation shows the 50AE having about the same power factor as the 308 Winchester, around 465. For comparison the classic 45 ACP “hard ball” is around power factor 190.

  5. I’m wondering if you’d do better holding the gun *less* firmly and allowing it to flip up naturally. You can’t really control that recoil enough to allow for rapid fire so why not just let the gun’s mass decelerate it by rising upwards?

  6. While cool and all, I wonder what practical application a .50 caliber handgun is.

    It certainly makes more sense to carry a milder recoiling gun for self-defense and get more shots on target. Not to mention size and conceal-ability.

    It seems that hunting is better left to rifles, IMO (unless you like the challenge).

    Stopping a predatory animal when you are out hiking or camping may fall somewhat under the self-defense umbrella as well, perhaps a 10mm handgun for larger animals.

    I am not saying it isn’t cool or shouldn’t be available (like it isn’t in CA), but pragmatically speaking, am I missing its useful function?

    • Some people do CC a Desert Eagle.

      Personally I would buy one over a rifle, as at this point I am in college and share my dwelling with others. It is much easier to secure a 7″ handgun from unauthorized use than a 16″ rifle, and I can transport it to family in Illinois without running afoul of “assault weapons ban” laws.

      • I am not at all opposed to people having one, just wanting some clarity. I am all for us being to own any damn weapon we would want. I was just looking at it from a practical point of view.

        • I’m with you. I guess what I’m tryin’ to say is that the practicality you speak of comes down to purpose. What’s the purpose of the thing? It’s purpose is to be fun to shoot (at least that would be one purpose). It is fun, so it’s practical. Bam!

    • Now, this may just be me pulling facts out of my ass, but if I remember correctly the reason the D’Eagle was adopted by the Israelis was for anti terrorism purposes, ie suicide bombers. The thought was that if someone was going to bum rush a crowded space with an ied strapped to his back, a 9 military might not be enough to dissuade him from blowing you and everyone else the F*ck up, and getting him some virgins in the process. .50 action express, however, is a but more likely of enacting the ‘chunky salsa’ rule.
      But again, I can’t find the source for my info, so feel free to prove me wrong or right

      • Okay, so I spent a bit more time looking it up, and it seeks I did pull it out of my ass. Couldn’t find anything to validate my story, and in fact, the. 50 wasn’t even developed for it till a few years after its debut. From what I found, it was designed to be able to fire heavier rounds not to destroy terrorists, but rather because, well, why not? But that was just what I could find on my coffee break, so there’s probably a great deal more to it than that. Anyway, can’t wait till the review!

        • Yeah, for the purposes you’re describing, my completely uninformed preference would be for a lot of bullets rather than a smaller number of big bullets, especially if there might be multiple targets. The Desert Eagle looks like it would be really difficult to control in anything even remotely approaching a rapid string of fire, and if you don’t get a hit with those first shots, you could be screwed.

        • Agree with Carlos. A simple test is to look at pros who can carry what they want knowing they are going to walk into danger outnumbered. They carry 9mm’s or 45’s if the CIA SAD SOG people are a good data set from the last five years. As for stopping vehicles at a check point there was no better manageable rifle round than the Barnes Safari Grand Slam with the tungsten-carbide core, but BATFE quietly discouraged that one several years ago, so now we have no perfect cape buffalo backup cartridge. Too bad.

  7. I dont know what you are talking about. The desert eagle is tbe most reliable handgun I own. I can rely on it to jam after every shot.

  8. I thought the DE were gas operated. I would case any failures are related to ammunition issues like having to feed a rimmed cartridge like the .44 mag or .357.

    That pistol needs a rail to hang some weight on.

    • Only if you want to fill out a couple of forms, grab a signature or two, and apply for a tax stamp to convert your Desert Eagle into an AOW or an SBR. That is of course after you have waited the 180 days.

      • D’oh! There goes that idea.

        As it is, the DE has inspired absolutely zero gun lust in me. It’s sheer impracticality just rubs me the wrong way.

  9. I shot the old school eagle and it sucked because of the jams. This gun seems more difficult to shoot than my three 500’s, and Eddie’s shot all of them with 350 to 700 grain rounds with very little problem. What grain AE rounds did you guys use in the video, because they sure pack some punch. I also noticed that Eddie used a high combat grip on the eagle, which makes it very difficult to control.

  10. It doesn’t actually take much gun to stop a person. .223. Even a few 22LR’s. I like the fast 165 grain 45 ACP +P. If the problem you foresee is body armor, hard or soft, the answer is very clearly buckshot, standard lead buffered and plated, no fancy “flite-wad” cup, 15 pellets, 3 inch. Big dense pattern, one high, one low, no problem. But with skill the same can be performed with the 9 mm. Indeed that’s what they teach the Rude Boys these days, two to four across the pelvis, two to four (depending on time and number of opponents) across the shoulder arc. Assume BA. Same use of time as the shotgun rounds for many people.

  11. I shot an old-school .357 Desert Eagle ages ago, and it cured me of my desire for the .44 version. It was reliable but incredibly unwieldy and the safety was so stiff it took both thumbs to switch it on or off.

  12. While I normally prefer a high quality 1911 (Kimber, Colt, etc.) .45 ACP for CC, having spent a great deal of my life in the western/mountain states I have carried a Desert Eagle .44 mag w/10″ barrel concealed. Keep in mind I’m 5’10″/195 lbs, and had very little trouble carrying WITH THE PROPER RIG. Overkill? Maybe, until you come across that rutting bull elk, or large black bear in a nasty mood looking for lunch. Makes mush of wily coyotes and wolves, too. Common sense and knowledge of animal habits and terrain help a lot, but why not have a little extra insurance? You gotta be there to tell the grandkids about it. Never have to worry about such at the petting zoo, though, eh Mikey?

  13. Why are the people that don’t care for the DE .50 ae trying to figure out it’s practical use? If you don’t get.. it it’s not for you. I get it.. and it works for me. On the same hand i am not bagging on 9mm, 4o, or 45 acp. I own many brands and calibers and the DE .50 ae fits my hand to the T . I also can handle the stallions buck with no problems. As far as how fast you can the led down range, isn’t it about well placed shots more than how much lead you can throw in the perps general direction? Granted i do not see the DE in competition shooting (new class..hmmm) but it is not that much slower for me to quickly and accurately reengage the target (after each shot) than my 45 acp. I guess it is all about what works for each individual, that’s why there are so many makes, models and finishes. Different strokes for different folks..


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