This piece of heavy artillery was designed as a target/sport pistol, and its appearance in many Hollywood movies made this "heavy cannon" something like "wonder-weapon" in some (read - many) minds. One of the few gas-operated handguns ever produced, and one of the most powerful and heavy.
The Saga of the Desert Eagle Pistol
(as provided from Magnum Research Inc.)
The Desert Eagle Pistol was conceived in 1979, when three people with an idea for creating a gas- operated, semi-automatic, magnum-caliber pistol founded Magnum Research, Inc. in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dozens of companies had chased the dream of putting magnum calibers into semi-auto pistols, but only Magnum Research really succeeded. Since then - in addition to making tens of thousands of customers very happy - the Desert Eagle has appeared in well over 100 movies and television shows. Magnum Research, Inc. continues to develop innovative firearms and to import high-quality firearms.
Magnum Research, Inc. patented the basic design of the Desert Eagle in 1980, and the first working prototype of the pistol was completed in 1981. It was about 80% functional, with a rotating bolt, full gas operation and excellent shooting characteristics. The final refinements to the pistol were made by Israel Military Industries (IMI), under contract to Magnum Research, Inc. After research that included thousands of rounds of test-firing, a fully functional .357 Magnum production model was produced in an edition of just over 1,000 pistols. These pistols, collector`s items today, have traditional land-and-grove rifling, and they will not accept extended barrels or caliber conversion kits. The serial numbers for these pistols start at #3001.
Development of the Desert Eagle was not yet complete, however, in 1985, the barrel was changed to incorporate polygonal rifling, to help enhance the pistol`s accuracy. In 1986, a .44 Magnum version of the pistol was perfected; it was the very first semi-automatic .44 Magnum pistol successfully brought to market. Also in 1986, Magnum Research set aside 1,000 serial numbers for the Collector Edition Presentation Series, consisting of 100 Gold Editions, 400 Silver Editions and 500 Bronze Editions. Each Mark 1.357 Magnum Desert Eagle Pistol was packaged in a walnut case with a commemorative coin. (Limited quantities and serial numbers are still available.)
Further enhancements to the Desert Eagle line continued. In 1987, the .41 Magnum Desert Eagle Pistol (not currently in production) was introduced to fill a specific market niche. In 1989, the Mark VII model of the Desert Eagle became standard. All Desert Eagle Pistols manufactured since 1989 have Mark VII features: enlarged safety levers, an enlarged slide release and an improved, two-stage trigger.
Most recently, Magnum Research, Inc. successfully introduced the .50 Action Express Desert Eagle Pistol to fill an unmet need in the sporting/hunting market. Since Magnum Research introduced the caliber - once considered impossible to build - several other manufacturers have begun to produce .50 Magnum (a.k.a. .50 Action Express) firearms. Three brands of ammunition are available: Magnum Research in .300 grain jacketed-hollow point and .350 grain jacketed-soft point, Samson ULTRA .300 grain jacketed-hollow point and jacketed-soft point (also available through Magnum Research, Inc.), and CCI/Lawman. Reloading items are available from RCBS/CCI/Speer.
While the Desert Eagle is Magnum Research`s most famous product, it isn`t the firm`s only innovation. Other Magnum Research, Inc. products have been added over the years, including the Baby Eagle Pistol, the Lone Eagle Pistol, the Mountain Eagle Pistol and the Mountain Eagle Rifle. The firm has also recently introduced the new Magnum Lite uni-directional Graphite Barrel for the Ruger 10/22 Rifle and the BFR stainless revolver series in .45-70, .410, .454 Casull and other hunting calibers.
.357 Magnum; .44 Magnum; .50 AE
1,766 g (3.8 lbs); .357 Mag; 1,897 g (4.1 lbs); .44 magnum; 2,050 g (4.5 lbs) .50 AE
260mm (10.24 in) with 152 mm (6 in) barrel; 375 mm (14.7 in) with 254 mm (10 in) barrel
152 mm (6 in) also a 254 mm (10 in) version is produced
9 (.357); 8 (.44 magnum); 7 (.50AE).
968 J (.357 Mag); 1 560 J (.44 Mag) 2 025 J (.50 AE)