04 March 2006

Sunday Sagacity: Facts about the Desert Eagle

There's a good bit on this quality handgun found elsewhere on the Web, such as Alligator's Desert Eagle Pistol Knowledge Database, or Sealkiller's Desert Eagle Facts. There's also the page at Remtek, Wikipedia, Magnum Research, and discussion forums here and here...

...but here, you have my concise take on the gun. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you

The Mad Hatter's Fun Facts about the Magnum Research Desert Eagle Pistol

1.) It's a Magnum Handgun, from the .357 to the .50AE, so there's lots of satifying BOOM and plenty of demolishing power in what it's chambered for.

2.) It is HUGE. Check it out against a fullsize .45

3.) It is an extremely comfortable shoot. I've only fired my .44 magnum, and the recoil is noticeably heavier, but certainly not uncontrollable, and definitely not unbearable.

4.) #3 owes partially to the weight of the gun (all-steel construction), and the gas system it operates on. The below pictures show the piston and the gas cylinder that work the slide back.

5.) As you can see in the top photo from #4, it operates with a rotating bolt. Functionally speaking, it operates more like an AR-15 than a 1911.

6.) #4-5 means it can be a bitch to clean. The hardest part is putting the bolt back in.

7.) It doesn't like 30 below temperatures. Lots of Failures-to-Eject that I have not since experienced at warmer (above zero) temperatures. End result: the next round to feed rams into the case head of the last shot, resulting in something like this:

Note the casehead stamp on the mashed nose of the bullet. The slide really drives the cartridge home! And so, you spend five minutes trying to work the live cartridge loose, then figuring out how to get the spent casing out. Fun fun fun.

8.) It is accurate, thanks in part to the fact that the barrel doesn't move when it is cycling.

9.) It is expensive...but if you look in the right places (like Gunbroker), you can find an awesome deal. I got mine, with adjustable night sights, 4 mags, rubber grips, cleaning tools, and aluminum carrying case for $875. A new one (even an older Mk VII) goes for $1,200.

10.) A combination of #9, #6, and the DE's own operating quirks means that, contrary to movies, video games, and gangsta rap, this is not the weapon of choice for thugs and/or pimps. So all of you paranoid anti-2A freaks need to get over your fears concerning this impressive piece of hardware.

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