Magnum Research has introduced a Desert Eagle combination that comes with both .44 Magnum and .50 Action Express barrels and magazines. It was 2015 when I reviewed the Desert Eagle with the factory compensator, you can read that review by following this link. And then I was sent the factory .44 Magnum conversion kit and you can you read that review by following this link.  As you can see in the video below it is very simple to swap from .50 AE to .44 Mag and back. Keeping that in mind, it just makes sense for MRI to introduce a combo package. The kit includes a standard Desert Eagle receiver made in Israel, the .44 Magnum barrel and magazine, and the .50 Action Express barrel and magazine.

Initial Impressions 


The pistol, the .44 Magnum barrel, and magazines for both.


The ambidextrous slide mounted safety. One thing to note, the safety can be engaged and the slide still racked, cocking the hammer. This will allow you to load or unload the chamber with the safety on.

Weaver rail down the length of the barrel.

The slide stop was plenty large and well serrated, locking the slide back on an empty magazine.


Front and rear dovetailed combat style sights. The rear is drift adjustable. The sights worked well and were on at 25 yards but I would have liked to see some color at least on the front sight.

The locking rotary bolt.

This Desert Eagle was manufactured by IMI in Israel and appears to be well made and correctly fit. As with all Desert Eagles this pistol uses a gas system and a rotating locking bolt, like you would see in an AR-15. That system is needed to take the pressure from the .50 AE cartridge.

25 yard groups, please click on chart for a larger version

Range Time 


This pistol would serve well for someone who handgun hunted or who requires a powerful sidearm while in the bush. It is a bit heavy for every day carry and is not practical as a concealed carry pistol. There was a bit of a learning curve for a few folks that tried it out, and what I mean by that was a few folks experienced a few malfunctions and after a magazine or two they got the hang of it and the gun ran like it was supposed to. I cannot say what the exact problem was as I or most had no issues with the gun. I can also say close to the end of the review we experienced a few failure to return to battery. A quick cleaning of the then nasty bolt and lubrication solved that issue. I do not see this is a real issue but something you need to bear in mind in maintaining the pistol.  There is quite a difference in perceived recoil between the compensated and non compensated model in .50 AE but the .44 Magnum is not bad at all. With the .44 Magnum barrel you need to be sure you are running full power ammunition as to develop enough gas to work the gas system. I shot some light loads and had no issues but people that would download the .44 mag for easy of shooting through a revolver need to know that. The fun factor is off the charts with this hand-cannon, so all in all I am satisfied with the Desert Eagle, just bear in mind that it is a handful that liked to be well lubricated and needs to be cleaned from time to time.


Model Number: DE44WB6

Overall length: 10.75”

Width: 1.25”

Height: 6.25”


Sights: combat style fixed

Sight Radius: 8.5″

Action Type: gas operated rotating bolt

Twist rate: 1:19

Weight Empty: 4 pounds 7 ounces


Kahr Arms 

Magnum Research 


Defender Ammunition 

Stillwood Ammunition 

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 with a dual personality”
  1. This is one of your best articles, lot of good information. Photography was great, and video
    as always was also great. I, too, enjoyed shooting this and would love to do it again.

    Thanks for allowing me to be a part of this. Keep up good work.


  2. As a former owner of one of these clunkers, I feel qualified to issue my certified opinion-they are JUNK. Useless junk too.

  3. As a former owner of one of these clunkers, I feel qualified to issue my certified opinion-they are JUNK.

  4. Thanks for inviting me out to shoot the Desert Eagle. It really does have a HUGE fun factor and it was not as uncomfortable as I thought it was going to be to shoot. The muzzle blast from that .50AE round is ridiculous! I’d like to have gold one just for a conversation piece. LOL Thanks again for having out to shoot that pistol.

  5. Good review. In the video the malfunctions seem to all be a failure to go fully into battery. It comes from limp wristing the gun which steals momentum from the slide as it travels forward. I had the same problems when I got mine. You gotta keep a firm grip and take the recoil in your shoulders instead of letting it flip up like you would a Magnum revolver. You should go ahead and get the .357 magnum conversion. It’s sort of silly, but hot 158 grain loads almost have a negative recoil effect. That is, the momentum of the slide going forward pulls the gun back forward and down as it closes negating the recoil. Shooting the Desert Eagle in .357 Magnum, even the rowdiest handloads, is kind of like plinking with a .22 except for the noise and muzzle flash.

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