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Old 04-03-2009, 08:51 PM
Clutch Clutch is offline
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Default OK...so WHY was the Desert Eagle born, anyway? And by Israel, of all people?

I'm pretty sure this topic has been done over and over and over again, and for my attempt at resurrection, I apologize.

That said...why was this gun created by IMI? I've never handled the actual weapon - only a 1:1 airsoft replica - but even that has shown me that carrying something like it and ammo for it would, at the very least, weigh about as much as a MP5 and ammo; never mind any of the gun's accuracy capabilities and what not. And the muzzle flash from a .50 could probably blind a platoon. But I've heard so many explanations as to why it was created and why it's not used by any known military. "It was made to stop engines." "It was made to penetrate armor." "You can't hit the broadside of a barn with it." Etc. etc. What's the real story behind this thing?
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:11 PM
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Wimpy .45acp rounds weren't dropping terrorists so the DE .50ae was invented, being the ultimate combat handgun. Its accuracy, reliability and massive stopping power have made it popular among special forces units worldwide.

Now, in reality we know it serves the same purpose as an AR pistol, it was amde to get money from the mall ninjas who actually buy that type of thing,
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:15 PM
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The Desert Eagle wasn't created by the Israelis. It was designed by Magnum Research, right here in the U.S. of A., and is sold and marketed by them here. IMI (now IWI) simply produces the gun because Magnum Research doesn't have the facilities/equipment to do it themselves. IMI pretty much only designs weapons for the IDF's purposes, and the DE is quite obviously not a military service-type pistol.

The Desert Eagle is huge because of its gas system and rotating bolt, and because of its fixed barrel. The idea behind the gun was that it could fire Magnum-caliber cartridges with improved accuracy (again, because of the fixed barrel). I don't think practical applications (military or otherwise) were really what its designers had in mind. I don't even think it's ever been marketed as a hunting pistol (.357 and .44, the first two calibers in which it was available, were both obsolete as hunting cartridges when the DE was introduced in the mid-80s). It's really just a "mine is bigger than yours" kind of gun, same as the Automag was.

Also, is the muzzle flash really that bad on a DE? I have fired the .50 AE Mark XIX (which belonged to the boyfriend of a woman who worked in my office), and I don't remember the flash being "blinding". I do remember how LOUD the damned thing was - there were people on the range shooting .308 and .30-.06 rifles, but the Eagle was by far the loudest gun in there.

Last edited by MT2008; 04-03-2009 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:30 PM
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They make long barreled hunting models, and suppsoedly the gas system decreases recoil for the sensitve-to-recoil crowd. Other than that, why take a pistol with Questionable reliability over any magnum caliber revovler? I've noticed every local place has the DE50ae in the same place, all the way to the bottom, all the way to the right, out of sight, because nobody will actually pay 1600 dollars, not to mention it's chambered in 2 dollar bills.

BTW, MT2008, get my PM over at TFL?
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:36 PM
Clutch Clutch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post
The Desert Eagle wasn't created by the Israelis. It was designed by Magnum Research, right here in the U.S. of A., and is sold and marketed by them here. IMI (now IWI) simply produces the gun because Magnum Research doesn't have the facilities/equipment to do it themselves. IMI pretty much only designs weapons for the IDF's purposes, and the DE is quite obviously not a military service-type pistol.

The Desert Eagle is huge because of its gas system and rotating bolt, and because of its fixed barrel. The idea behind the gun was that it could fire Magnum-caliber cartridges with improved accuracy (again, because of the fixed barrel). I don't think practical applications (military or otherwise) were really what its designers had in mind. I don't even think it's ever been marketed as a hunting pistol (.357 and .44, the first two calibers in which it was available, were both obsolete as hunting cartridges when the DE was introduced in the mid-80s). It's really just a "mine is bigger than yours" kind of gun, same as the Automag was.

Also, is the muzzle flash really that bad on a DE? I have fired the .50 AE Mark XIX (which belonged to the boyfriend of a woman who worked in my office), and I don't remember the flash being "blinding". I do remember how LOUD the damned thing was - there were people on the range shooting .308 and .30-.06 rifles, but the Eagle was by far the loudest gun in there.
OK, that explains a lot.

As for the muzzle flash, I have seen videos on Youtube and other places of Desert Eagles going off. One stands out - after the initial shot of a .50AE, the guy squeezed off about five more rounds, each having a muzzle flash of about a foot and a half (at least) past the barrel. I can't imagine that doing much good for you at night.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:40 PM
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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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  #7  
Old 04-03-2009, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9870 View Post
They make long barreled hunting models, and suppsoedly the gas system decreases recoil for the sensitve-to-recoil crowd. Other than that, why take a pistol with Questionable reliability over any magnum caliber revovler? I've noticed every local place has the DE50ae in the same place, all the way to the bottom, all the way to the right, out of sight, because nobody will actually pay 1600 dollars, not to mention it's chambered in 2 dollar bills.

BTW, MT2008, get my PM over at TFL?
Yeah, got the PM. Sorry I forgot to respond...

Also, is the DE really unreliable? I have no idea, because I fired only 5 rounds from the gun that I fired. I gather that it requires quite a bit of maintenance compared to most semi-auto pistols (which is to be expected from any weapon that's gas-operated, especially a pistol), but I can't imagine one jamming unless you limp-wrist it, which is inevitably going to be a problem for some people. The rotating bolt really throws the spent cartridges pretty far, plus it has such a huge ejection port.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:06 PM
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The .50 is supposed to be fairly reliable, others tend to jam due to the rimmed cartridges, and some .357 models were finnicky with lighter magnum loads.
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:52 AM
Krel Krel is offline
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I posted this in the gun humor thread, but I think that it also fits here.

After the movie "La Femme Nikita" came out, my brother in law just had to buy a Desert Eagle for my sister. My five foot four sister. In .44 magnum. With a silver finish.

I never liked it, being left handed the placement of the levers was very uncomfortable for me, and the grip was just too long. It is a real horse pistol, too large, and too heavy. But my sister was frighteningly good with it. Especially as she didn't go shooting that much.

We were going shooting one day, and so were at the gun shop buying ammo. There was a guy looking at a blued .357 magnum model. My sister asked to see it, and the guy said sure. He then chuckled "perfect gun for you". My sister pulled the slide back and started yelling for the other owner, that this slide is easier to pull back then the one on her's. The guy's eyes got big, and you could hear him thinking "easier than mine!?" His eyes got even larger, and his jaw dropped when she pulled that silver behemoth from her range bag, and they went into the back to measure the spring force. He turned to the first owner, and asked "is that her gun". first owner, "yes". He thought for a second and asked, "Can she shoot it?" The first owner laughed and replied, "yes, and from what I understand, she is a very good shot."

Later a group of us were at a range. I was two stalls over from my sister, shooting my punny little .45 acp Colt Commander. I'm firing away at my target when...KABOOM! I see this jet of flame shooting out, reaching for my sister's target, as simultaneously I feel a wave of heat rolling over the top of the partition of my stall, and my target starts waving in the gale force of her pressure wave. I wait form my target to settle down, I start shooting, when...KABOOM! Lather, rinse, repeat.

We had people stop shooting, and come over to see who was firing the Howitzer in the range. It was wild.

When the .50 DE was released, we were at the S.H.O.T. Show, and the DE representatives told us that there would be a delay on the sale of the .50 caliber versions as the South Africans had bought the entire first run, for the game wardens they were told. They also claimed that the Australian military uses the .357 version, but I can't say so for a fact.

I found the pistol to be reliable, but it kicked like a mule! I would much prefer a revolver than a DE. I'm left handed, and the lever on the left side scrapped my hand raw. I find revolvers in .357, and .44 magnum to be much more pleasant to fire, not as bulky, and they fit my hand better. They are certainly a lot lighter! If they would only manufacture left-handed revolvers besides the Charter Arms snub nose .38, I do believe they would sell.

David.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:25 AM
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While the whole "Mall Ninja" concept makes the Desert Eagle seem like an over rated gun, I can't personally say I hate it. Obviously it isn't a combat handgun, but I think it is still a fun gun to own if you want to shoot magnum rounds without nursing your thumb webbing and wrist back to health and want a decent hunting handgun.

It's heavy, yes, but that kind of helps handle that massive recoil. The .50 AE is not necessarily an incredible round, but it is very powerful and it means something when you can actually fire the round with some control. Also, .357 Magnums and .44 Magnums are a breeze to shoot through one, according to what a few guys I know say.

And everyone rags on reliability. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it more or less have similair reliability to an AR-15? They use the same direct gas inpingment system. And if some asshole drops it in mud and it jams when he fires it, does that make it an awful firearm? Try dropping your gun in the mud and getting excellent consistency with it. If the haters tried cleaning the damn gun every now and then, maybe it would be a little more reliable.

I don't believe the Desert Eagle was first built as a military firearm, or with the military being in mind, so expecting 100% reliability in all conditions is a little harsh for a civie gun designed to fire uber-rounds.

While I don't praise the weapon and would never carry one for practical use, I think some people are too harsh on it.

And Matt, I think the muzzle flash would depend on what time it was. During a nice sunny day you wouldn't see much flame, but as the sun sets it gets very noticable, and by night, it's like a milisecond flamethrower!
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