Firing the Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:05 PM   #1
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Default Firing the Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum

I love shooting even though I am nothing better than average on marksmanship. I saw my local gun range had a Desert Eagle for rent and I had to try it. I knew all about the Desert Eagle from an intellectual standpoint. I understood it's weight and size were not conducive to a carry gun and that Hollywood and videogames often overstated it's effectiveness as a weapon. Yet because it was such a Hollywood handgun and was so iconic I had to try it.

Renting at the range they informed me I had to use their ammo and .44 Magnum was going to be $1 a round. *Gulp* "Ok, give me a box." They were nice enough to offer to sell me 10 rounds at a time, so I'll give them credit. It's obvious that unlike their other rental guns, which are more "Try before you buy" the Desert Eagle was more like renting that Lamborghini you'll never afford. They put the massive handgun in a bin, put a magazine that was proportionately massive, and 50 round box of rounds that more closely resembled a .45 ACP bulk pack.

I've heard enough horror stories about massive handguns and accidents that take place with them, so I decided to load one singular lonely solitary round into the magazine, took careful aim, braced for the recoil, pulled the trigger...

Are you kidding? My .45 ACP kicks harder than this thing! In fact, the actual shooting experience itself was fairly pleasant. The Desert Eagle is a great shooter.

Let's go over the negatives very quickly. I have benefited from having very long gorilla paws for someone who does not stand particularly tall. Where others might complain about the grip on your standard Glock 17 or 21 I have no issues at all. I much prefer full-size pistols because it doesn't take much for my hand to engulf the grip and I find subcompacts very uncomfortable because of how much overhang I have on most. Pinky extensions are my best friends. With that qualifier stated, this is the first pistol that I almost felt was kinda too big. I could still get a solid grip but it was never quite comfortable. The Desert Eagle is single-action and you can put it in condition one. That is worthless though because the safety is on the slide instead of the frame and the safety is so stiff that you can barely disengage it with your thumb. Plus it is so high on the slide that I usually had to disengage it with my other hand. I could never quite get used to the sight profile and while it seemed accurate enough I never quite got the performance I was hoping for considering how accurate I always hear this weapon is. Furthermore, it is very heavy for a handgun, which makes it tiresome to keep on target if you've been shooting for awhile. The magazines were also very difficult to load and sometimes the spring would get stuck. I would usually strike the magazine on the range table to get the rounds to pop back up to the top when I was done loading.

On the positive side, the Desert Eagle is fairly pleasant to shoot and a real blast. The design does absorb most of the recoil and once you get past that first round it is truly a blast. The trigger is great though I can't call it the best single-action trigger I've ever shot. The slide release is way back on the pistol, which is exactly how I prefer them. As much as I enjoy shooting and enjoy firing just about any weapon, there are very few guns I can say were just plain fun to shoot. This is one of them. Maybe it's the iconic status, or the surprising way it tames such a powerful round, or the noise and fury when you pull the trigger. I couldn't tell you exactly what makes it so fun. Unfortunately, the price tag is too high for both the gun and the ammunition for me to justify purchasing one just because it is fun.

All-in-all, if you ever have the opportunity to try one I'd highly recommend the experience regardless of caliber. The one I've always wanted to try was actually the .357 Magnum but this was close enough. Essentially it's the same handgun regardless of caliber. I don't really have a bucket list, but if I did have a bucket list of handguns this would be on it and I'm happy I could cross it off the list.

For comparison, the magazines next to it are for a Ruger P89 9mm. The black magazine is for the Desert Eagle.

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File Type: jpg 20140616_191228.jpg (31.6 KB, 47 views)
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:20 PM   #2
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Good report. It doesn't surprise me the platform handles .44 mag with comfort. I fired the .50 cal IMI version when it first came out and it was too much of a good thing. I feel the same way about most .50 cal handguns. But it would be fun to try it in .44 mag. Glad you had the opportunity and enjoyed it.

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Old 07-10-2014, 10:30 PM   #3
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my wife has the conversion kit that turns her DE50 into a 44mag. the 50 in the DE is a whole other beast. its got a huge nasty rotational recoil that the slide stop will dig a hole in your hand from the torque and recoil. i dremeled a good bit of it off for her.

but the 44 recoil like you said is on par with a 9mm beretta. its surprisingly fast on follow ups.

i used to own a 357 desert eagle and its one of the few guns i regret selling. recoil is on par with a 22 pistol. its all bark with practically no recoil.

its a deceptive handgun because your firing full power rounds which are coming out a bit faster than they do in a revolver yet it feels like your not really loosing that much power.

while they are big they work damn well.

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Old 07-10-2014, 10:33 PM   #4
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i have shot a few Desert Eagle pistols in various calibers over the years, the only exception being the 50 AE.

considering the size and the design of the pistol, recoil is very manageable. i don't have huge hands, but do have long fingers, and that is one huge pistol to hold onto without a doubt!

i have enjoyed shooting them, and would shoot one again without question, but from a personal standpoint, i will probably never own one. for my needs and wants, i just can't seem to find any practical use i might have for one. now if money were no object, than that might change!

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Old 07-11-2014, 02:28 AM   #5
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Nice!

I once shot a .44 magnum Desert Eagle at Belleville Indoor Shooting Range, Belleville, IL.

I think the load was Fiochii or Sellier and Bellot 240 grain soft points. Mild recoil, but definite power. The gun absorbed it very well, and the thing was very accurate.

I would love to own a Desert Eagle IF I could afford to shoot it. I would buy the .44 magnum version as I think it's plenty powerful and more practical than the .50 AE version.

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Old 07-11-2014, 02:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
i used to own a 357 desert eagle and its one of the few guns i regret selling. recoil is on par with a 22 pistol. its all bark with practically no recoil.
Can you no longer buy the .357 Magnum barrel?
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazedJava View Post
Can you no longer buy the .357 Magnum barrel?
i believe you can but its also a bolt mag springs and barrel. the old conversion was only like 100$ less than a full new gun.

just looked em up they do sell them its like 900$ for all the parts needed. might as well buy a new one complete for that. and it is on my wish list. i will probably at some point pick up a comped barrel for the wife. she loves the 50AE

here she is shooting that beast

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Old 07-14-2014, 03:19 PM   #8
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at the end you can see her massive flinch.. lol that things spits out some flame. lol

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Old 07-14-2014, 04:22 PM   #9
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at the end you can see her massive flinch.. lol that things spits out some flame. lol
yup. she does get flinchy near the end of a mag but she put all seven dead center. 33grains of h110 makes a very big boom

she only shoots it a few times a year and has only been seriously shooting about 3 years now. not bad for an ex-hippie from california heh
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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Have fired both the .44 & .50.
If ever I win a BIG lottery
would like to buy one of each.
Why?
Fun Guns.
Every one needs Fun Guns.

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