Desert Eagle 1911G

Desert Eagle 1911-1

Desert Eagle 1911-2

June 9, 2010

PEARL RIVER, NY – Kahr Arms, the well-known American based producer of high quality compact pistols has announced its recent purchase of Minnesota-based firearms manufacturer, Magnum Research, maker of the Desert Eagle pistol.

Kahr Arms takes pride in its ability to offer customers a selection of unique niche-type firearms, such as the world famous “Tommy Gun” and Auto-Ordnance line of M1 .30 caliber carbines. The addition of Magnum Research products to the Kahr Arms family will provide Kahr Arms and Auto-Ordnance customers another unique line of firearms to choose from.

Magnum Research® was founded in 1979 and was responsible for the design and the development of the Desert Eagle pistol. The firearms in its current product lineup include the Desert Eagle® (available in .50 AE, .44 Magnum, or .357 Magnum), Baby Desert Eagle® Fast Action Pistol (9mm, .40 S&W), Desert Eagle® 1911, Micro Desert Eagle™ (.380 ACP), Magnum’s BFR (Revolvers in .44 Magnum, .45 Colt/.410 or .45/70), Mountain Eagle™ (Rifles in .22/250, .223, .30-06, .280 and 7mm) and Magnum Lite® (Rifles in .22LR, .22WMR or .17 Mach-2).

I received an email from our contact at Kahr about getting the word out on their Desert Eagle 1911 and sending me one to write a review. Of course I gladly accepted and put the wheels in motion on getting a new one in my hands. It was not long and I had the Desert Eagle test pistol in. Looking it over, there were several features that I noticed right off.

In addition to Magnum Research, Kahr Arms also owns Auto-Ordnance and already markets 1911 pistols under the Auto-Ordnance brand. I spoke with Kahr Arms’ marketing department what the addition of the Desert Eagle 1911 to the corporate family meant in terms of marketplace “positioning.” The answer was, “The DE1911G and DE1911C are loaded with features and are targeted towards a different customer than our Auto-Ordnance 1911PKZSE, which is a no-frills, mil-spec 1911A1.” You can read about the Auto-Ordnance 1911 by following this link.

The DE1911G is a full-size 1911 with a 5” barrel and slide, with another offering  the DE1911C semi-compact pistol, with a 4.33” barrel. I would reckon the ‘G’ is a reference to “Government Model” and the ‘C’ is a reference to ‘Commander.”

Initial thoughts

The Desert Eagle is a handsome pistol and appears to be well thought out. Slide to receiver fit is snug. Barrel bushing fit was pretty tight. For the first few field strips I had to take the slide out of battery to rotate the barrel bushing but, after a few take-downs and some range time, I could remove it normally. The thumb safety is easily disengaged.

The new Desert Eagle 1911 looked to be a well put together pistol but, as always, the day at the range would tell the tale.

Desert Eagle 1911-19

The pistol as I received it (in its black clam shell case). I really liked the traditional double diamond stocks.

Desert Eagle 1911-21

The trigger is an aluminum, three-hole design with over-travel adjustment. It had very little creep and broke clean. Magazine release, serrated nicely.
Desert Eagle 1911-4

As far as the grip safety goes, it is an up-swept design with incorporated palm swell to ensure disengagement. Our testing encountered no issues; it worked as it was designed. The mainspring housing is checkered, and well fitted to the receiver.

Desert Eagle 1911-6

The thumb safety disengaged very easily. The rear cocking serrations are aggressive enough to work but did not tear up my hand.

Desert Eagle 1911-7

Front cocking serrations. These are not my favorite idea on a 1911 but they are a “must have” for some buyers.

Desert Eagle 1911-8

The rear sight sports an unusual pattern that drew my eyes but, at arms length, the pattern was not very distinguishable. Slide to receiver fit was snug.

Desert Eagle 1911-9

The front sight is serrated to keep reflection down, and is smoothly blended to the slide. That is a nice touch.

Desert Eagle 1911-10

The muzzle. As you can see, the barrel bushing is well fit.

Desert Eagle 1911-11

The DE includes a full-length guide rod. I prefer the more traditional guide rod but this is a modern rendition of the 1911 so it is another “must have” for some. It is not really a draw back (unless you consider it a problem for the “table cock” method for one handed slide cocking)  but adds no benefit.

Desert Eagle 1911-5
The slightly beveled magazine well and mainspring housing.

Desert Eagle 1911-13
Ejection port/Barrel throat and feed ramp

Desert Eagle 1911-14

The supplied 8 round magazines.

Initial Range Trip

I started the first range trip with the pistol right out of the box, a little CLP in the right spots, and a magazine of 230gr FMJ. That range trip was cut a little short due to the bad weather. I was able to run about a 100 rounds down range but, for that short trip, everything went well as far as the pistol and accuracy. I was by myself on this range trip and I look forward to showing the new test pistol off to my range partners. After all was said and done I was optimistic about the new Desert Eagle and the upcoming trip.

Second Range Trip

The second range trip was still pretty dang cold and it began to drizzle rain right at the end. I was reminded of the saying we had in the Marine Corps, “if it ain’t raining you ain’t training” but being a little older and none to the wiser, I stuck it out and finished the test. I arrived earlier this time, to make up for my short initial trip, and I brought a few others with me to try out the new pistol.  This time I had several hundred rounds with me when we got started. This range trip, I started out with my reloads (200gr home-cast lead semi-wadcutters loaded with 5.3 grains of Unique), and transitioned to Hornady 200gr JHP TAP and the rest of my test ammunition. After we all had a few turns with the Desert Eagle and a few hundred rounds downrange we were satisfied. Using the factory magazines as well as Check-Mate 7-round, dimpled follower, hybrid lip magazines there were no problems. Accuracy was great at twenty-five, thirty-five and seventy-five feet. The new pistol spent little time in leather and admittedly it was not drawn from the holster enough to give a definitive opinion on the finish. The pistol looked the same when I shipped it back as the day I unpacked it.

Desert Eagle 1911-18

The Desert Eagle 1911G detail strips as any other Government Model, with a full length guide rod.



Bul Transmark of Israel, a company with a solid reputation, manufactures the Desert Eagle offered today. This pistol is a well-executed example of a tried and true design. I formed a good opinion of this pistol, as did my range partners, Clint and Tim. It has a few more bells and whistles than I care for personally for a pistol but, for the MSRP, I believe it to be a great value. The only thing I really did not like was that there was no kink in the plunger spring. When I took the thumb safety off, the plunger attempted flight.So the few features that were not my favorite were minor and easily changed if one were so inclined but as a whole the pistol seemed solid and reliable. All in all we were pleased with the Desert Eagle 1911. To date I am unsure of the material the small parts are made from.

Desert Eagle “G” 1911
Caliber: .45 Automatic
Overall Length: 8.63″
Overall Height: 5.25″ (w/ magazine)
Overall Width: 1.31″
Barrel Length: 5″
Sight Radius: 6.50″
Sights: fixed (rear drift adjustable forwindage)
Weight w/empty magazine: 36.2oz
Magazine Capacity: 8 rounds
Trigger pull : 4  lbs
Stocks: Wood
Finish: Black Oxide Blued
MSRP: $831


Kahr Arms



By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

7 thoughts on “Desert Eagle 1911G review,”
  1. Great review, as always!

    So glad to hear y’all experienced no malfunctions with multiple mag types; always a bonus for an out-the-box 1911. I really like the fact that they ship this pistol with anti-glare black sights in a useful profile–for me, 3-dot designs are too distracting for 1911 format pistols capable of extreme accuracy where your focus needs to be on the front sight blade, especially when shooting at distance. Most of the trim on this pistol seems good to go, though I agree that I would ditch the full-length guide rod ASAP. What’s sad is that pretty much every “modernized” ’11 on the market with a beavertail grip safety, rideable “extended” thumb safety, dovetail sight cuts, and so on, has both forward slide serrations and a full-length guide rod until you’re well above the $1,500price point–with a Dan Wesson, or double for a “semi-custom”.

    -This is a “Series 70” style pistol, lacking the firing pin block safety/lawyer safety, correct? It looks like it from the disassembly photo.

    -What is the construction of the mainspring housing? The “nylon” from Colt and “polymer” from Kimber are huge turn-offs for me. I do understand there are real benefits if the handgun is dropped, but c’mon, it’s just cheap!

    Despite having read some negative things about the material quality and reliability, of both this pistol and the Auto Ordnance piece, I’d kinda written them off. After reading your review, I thought this one might be a great option for a female friend of mine (who can really shoot my ’11s like a champ!), but then I got down the the MSRP and was kinda shocked! After looking around the web for a second to get a feel for “street prices” it goes for pretty much the same price as a Springfield Loaded. I’ve had one of these for about five years, and though it’s been worked on quiet a bit and few original parts remain, it’s been everything I could ask for in a 1911 in that price range. I think it’ll be hard to move these given the competition–and let’s be honest, that roll mark isn’t selling any guns!


    1. The mainspring housing on the test pistol was aluminum. I hear you on the rollmark, I believe they were looking to exhibit the Magnum Research pedigree. Today’s 1911 market is very competitive, fortunately most built today are reliable and worth the money.Daniel, I totally see your points and I truly appreciate your feedback.
      Please feel free to share any of the photos from what you decided to go with on the facebook page

  2. I appreciate you taking the time to review the Desert Eagle 1911. It appears you covered it will and was unbiased.
    Thank you.

  3. Hello Hunter, I enjoy reading/watching all your firearm reviews. I’m a huge Colt fan myself and own several, but I like and own many other brands too (one or more from CZ, Tanfoglio, Beretta, Walther, GLOCK, S&W, Browning, Ruger, and a few others). I appreciate any well made firearm regardless of who’s name is on it. My beliefs are pretty simple, If it’s reliable and does what it was built to do, then I’ll like and consider owning one.

    Saying that, I also like that you are unbiased with your “real world” reviews. Your reviews get to the heart of what’s important to me….no unneeded B.S., you just give the facts and let the reader/viewer decide if the firearm is for them or not.

    Keep up the good work and Thank you!

    1. Thank you very much David.
      I am in total agreement with you on the well made firearm. If it is reliable and reasonable accurate it is hard to hate as long as you are unbiased.I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. When I am writing about a firearm, I try to approach it as if me and a few friends are sitting around visiting and talking guns.
      I am glad you picked up on that and thank you again.

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