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.”
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.
The pistol as I received it (in its black clam shell case). I really liked the traditional double diamond stocks.
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.
The thumb safety disengaged very easily. The rear cocking serrations are aggressive enough to work but did not tear up my hand.
Front cocking serrations. These are not my favorite idea on a 1911 but they are a “must have” for some buyers.
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.
The front sight is serrated to keep reflection down, and is smoothly blended to the slide. That is a nice touch.
The muzzle. As you can see, the barrel bushing is well fit.
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.
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.
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|
|Overall Height:||5.25″ (w/ magazine)|
|Sights:||fixed (rear drift adjustable forwindage)|
|Weight w/empty magazine:||36.2oz|
|Magazine Capacity:||8 rounds|
|Trigger pull :||4 lbs|
|Finish:||Black Oxide Blued|