Magnum Research Desert Eagle .50 AE, handheld artillery strike

Range Hot-1-2

Magnum Research Inc was founded by Jim Skildum and John Risdall in 1979. The flagship pistol developed by MRI is the Desert Eagle, which was manufactured by Israel Military Industries  beginning in 1985 and continued until 1995, when MRI moved the manufacturing contract to Saco Defense in Saco, Maine. In 1998, MRI moved manufacturing back to IMI, which became Israel Weapon Industries. Both Saco and IMI/IWI were strictly contractors: all of the intellectual property, including patents, copyrights and trademarks are the property of Magnum Research. Since 2009 the Desert Eagle Pistol has been produced in the USA at MRI’s Pillager, MN site and since that time it has been manufactured solely in the US. In 2010 Magnum Research was purchased by Kahr Arms.

The Mark XIX Desert Eagle system is based on a single platform with several options. It is a gas operating, rotating three lug bolt, all-steel construction, this being the soul of the pistol. The Desert Eagle Pistol can change barrel length or caliber in just a few moments with the correct components. Barrel lengths in six and ten inches and calibers in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and .50 Action Express are available for the pistol. The .50AE converts to .44 Magnum by a barrel and magazine swap. For .357 Magnum you would also need to swap the bolt, which is also no problem.

Range Hot-2 Range Hot-7

The pistol I am focusing on is the brand new for 2015 Desert Eagle Mark XIX, all stainless, with upper Weaver and lower Picatinny rail, an internal compensator in .50 Action Express. This is the first year of an all stainless DE, lower rail, and internal comp.

The .50 AE shows the theory, pistol cartridges are not sufficient for serious self defense work, to be sheep dip.

It took some R&D on the part of Kahr Arms and Magnum Research to find a suitable alloy of stainless steel  to prevent galling, and three different grades were settled on for the receiver, slide, and barrel. With all the R&D behind them, production was implemented, and now we have the newest addition to the Desert Eagle family.

Initial and second range trips

Third range trip

Allison showing that with the correct technique most anyone can safely shoot and control the big 50. 

After about 200 trouble free rounds downrange some close ups of the pistol.

Range Hot-3

The serrated trigger broke clean at a cat hair above 5 pounds with a little take up and over travel

Range Hot-4

The ambidextrous safety was stiff but worked as it should. As mentioned in the video, you can put the safety on, rack the slide loading a cartridge all without disengaging the safety.

Range Hot-5

Close up on the internal muzzle break, you can see the upper Weaver style rail and the lower Picatinny rail.

Range Hot-6

The slide stop and magazine release worked exactly as they should.

Range Hot-8

The new Picatinny rail along the bottom.

Range Hot-10

Slide to receiver fit was excellent, here you can see the fixed rear sight.

Range Hot-11

The black fixed front sight

Range Hot-14

The Desert Eagle field strips very easily.

Range Hot-19

Pushing in the take down lever and rotating it, the barrel comes right off and the slide slips easily off the receiver.

Range Hot-15

The bottom of the barrel, here you also see the small piston that works off gas pressure, running the slide.

Range Hot-17

The rotating bolt with 3 locking lugs, similar to the AR-15 bolt.

Range Hot-16

The chamber, here you can see where the bolt locks in.

Range Hot-18

The duel recoil spring set up.

Range Hot-24

The massive magazine, holding 7 rounds of .50 AE loaded easily, especially when you have such a large cartridge to work with.

Range Hot-25

The Desert Eagle ships in a medium sized hard brief case.

I used the DE .50AE in order to test the Streamlight TLR-1 HL light.


7 rounds of Hornady 300gr JHP fired at 7 yards rapid fire.

Desert Eagle Accuracy

Accuracy test from 25 yards, shot from a rest. These are the 3 factory rounds I was able to source.


The Magnum Research Desert Eagle is, if nothing else, an attention getter.  Truthfully though there is a lot more to this pistol than just showing off but the showing off was my favorite part. It is certainly a feat  of engineering, to design an auto loader to handle a steady diet of .50 Action Express and make it be shootable. If you hunt especially big or dangerous game I can see how this pistol would serve as an option for a primary or back up firearm. Personally I would favor 7+1 rounds of .50 AE in an auto loader than 6 rounds of .44 Magnum. The .50 AE can be loaded so it carries more energy at 100 yards than the .44 Magnum at the muzzle. If you opted for the DE in .44 Magnum, you still have the benefit of 8+1 rounds vs 6 in a revolver. Another great option for the DE is silhouette shooting. The Desert Eagle is inherently accurate and with the option of adding optics it does well with long range target shooting. So, despite when some folks say it is a novelty, that is not the whole truth. I do not do a lot of hunting (I am not a fan of getting up early) and do not shoot much silhouette and still the Desert Eagle appeals to me. I appreciate the design and beauty of such a fine handgun and, truthfully, enjoyed shooting it. Oh, and when you want to go and show off, well the Desert Eagle certainly shines in that category as well.


Model DE50SRMB
Type Gas-operated, rotating bolt semiautomatic
Caliber .50 A.E.
Barrel Length w/ 6” Barrel 6” / 152 mm
Overall Length w/ 6” Barrel 10.75” / 27.3 cm
Bore Diameter .495” / 12.6 mm
Height 6.25” / 15.9 cm
Slide Width 1.25” / 32 mm
Construction High quality stainless steel barrel, frame w/ picattiny bottom rail and slide w/ full weaver style accessory rail and integral muzzle brake
Finish Stainless Steel
Trigger Single action, approx. 4 lb. pull
Trigger Reach 2.75” / 70 mm
Sight Radius 8.5” / 215 mm
Sights Combat type, fixed
Polygonal rifling w/ right hand twist, 6 lands & grooves 1 turn in 19” / 483 mm
Weight (Empty Magazine) 4 lbs. 7 oz.
Magazine Capacity 7 rounds



Kahr Arms

Magnum Research


Mark XIX Desert Eagle Pistol Specifications
.357 MAGNUM .44 MAGNUM .50 A.E.
Length, with 6-inch (152 mm) barrel 10.75 inches (27.3 cm) 10.75 inches (27.3 cm) 10.75 inches (27.3 cm)
Length, with 10-inch (254 mm) barrel 14.75 inches (37.5 cm) 14.75 inches (37.5 cm) 14.75 inches (37.5 cm)
Height 6.25 inches (15.9 cm) 6.25 inches (15.9 cm) 6.25 inches (15.9 cm)
Width 1.25 inches (32 mm) 1.25 inches (32 mm) 1.25 inches (32 mm)
Trigger reach 2.75 inches (70 mm) 2.75 inches (70 mm) 2.75 inches (70 mm)
Sight radius (with 6-inch barrel) 8.5 inches (215 mm) 8.5 inches (215 mm) 8.5 inches (210 mm)
Weight w/empty magazine 1998.6 grams (71.4 oz.) 1998.6 grams (71.4 oz.) 1998.6 grams (71.4 oz.)
Polygonal rifling (right-hand twist) 1 turn in 14 inches (355 mm) 1 turn in 18 inches (457 mm) 1 turn in 19 inches (48.3 cm)
Magazine capacity 9 rounds 8 rounds 7 rounds
Bore diameter .357″ (9.1 mm) .429″ (10.9 mm) .495″ (12.6 mm)

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 “Magnum Research Desert Eagle .50 AE, handheld artillery strike”
  1. Great review! Was just curious to see if you experienced any velocity loss due to the muzzle break taking away some barrel length

  2. I purchase a DE 44 magnum. Have it for 21 days, still can’t fire it. MR tech support tells me to change ammo. I did, still doesn’t fire. Sent it back to MR said they fixed the gas block and used different ammo. Worked great, for them. When I got back the pistol i was filthy, inside and out.
    Gas block was changed to an old rusty one. I cleaned it, changed the ammo again, still can’t shoot it. Told MR I want my money back. They told me go to my seller. Went to the seller told him my issues, he said he will refund my money because it is good business. Said he will send me return postage. When I did not receive it, called him and he said he is having his distributor send it. Still didn’t get it. Called again and he says Distributor is not returning his calls but I should trust him to work it out. Calls me in a few days and says the Distributor is working the issue with MR. Still no postage. You just can’t make this stuff up.
    One would think after paying all this money pistol would at least fire out of the box or after re work by MR tech. Nope still the same.
    Well, once bitten, twice shy, Never again. Thank God for credit card disputes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *