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Old 04-03-2009, 09:40 PM
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MT2008 MT2008 is offline
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OK, I've been doing some reading. I was just reading a review of the original .357 Desert Eagle from "Guns & Ammo" that was published in 1984, when it was first introduced. Remtek's gun page has re-printed it on their site. Here's what the reviewer says about it:

Quote:
For the man who carries a backup pistol on a big-game hunt, this is probably not the gun for you. It should be considered as a primary hunting arm rather than as a secondary one. Equipped with a scope, it will sit solidly in your hands as you line up on a trophy. It is a specialty pistol for the hunter, silhouette shooter and the firearms aficiondo who wants to have an arm that combines the autoloading advantage of a fixed breech handgun with increased firepower and accuracy.

It is certainly exciting to see a new pistol arrive on the American shooting scene; one that is quite different and that may well prove to be a challenge to the classic .357 revolver. The price is a tad higher than other premium handguns as it lists for $699 with one magazine. Other accessories, such as spare magazines, holsters, cleaning kits and adjustable sights will soon be offered.
http://remtek.com/arms/imi/desert/357/index.htm

Remtek also has another article written in 1998 in "American Handgunner." That article notes the following:

Quote:
Action film exposure has made the Desert Eagle a handgunning icon worldwide. Its distinctive appearance is instantly identifiable, and publicity has helped boost sales. Purchases haven't been limited to those who simply want the biggest, baddest handgun they could buy. Hangun hunters suddenly had a practical alternative to magmum revolvers and single-shot pistols.

The Desert Eagle offered serious hunting power in a fast-firing auto pistol design. How serious? From the Desert Eagle's 6" barrel, the big .50 AE cartridge propels a 300 gr. bullet at 1,500 fps. That translates into 1,500 ft./lbs. of muzzle energy, or 40-50% more oomph than .44 Magnum six-guns offer.
Here's what I think you can gather from reading these articles:

(1.) The DE was introduced in the days when the American handgun market was still centered upon Magnum-caliber revolvers. It was supposed to be an "improvement" over the .357 Magnum revolvers that were the most popular handguns of the time. At the time, nobody knew that, only 5 years later, the dominant trend of the handgun market would be smaller-caliber, high-capacity "Wonder Nines" like the Beretta 92F - which left most .357 pistols out in the cold afterwards.
(2.) Pretty much the main reason the DE became popular - even though the .357 Magnum revolvers it was intended to compete with were no longer in demand - was due to its exposure in Hollywood.
(3.) It was seen as having potential as a hunting pistol at the time. In practice, however, there are very few handgunning hunters who use the DE. With the exception of .50 AE, none of the cartridges it fires are very useful for hunting nowadays.

Last edited by MT2008; 04-03-2009 at 09:43 PM.
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