Magnum Research Desert Eagle .50 AE, handheld artillery strike
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.
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.
The serrated trigger broke clean at a cat hair above 5 pounds with a little take up and over travel
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.
Close up on the internal muzzle break, you can see the upper Weaver style rail and the lower Picatinny rail.
The slide stop and magazine release worked exactly as they should.
The new Picatinny rail along the bottom.
Slide to receiver fit was excellent, here you can see the fixed rear sight.
The black fixed front sight
The Desert Eagle field strips very easily.
Pushing in the take down lever and rotating it, the barrel comes right off and the slide slips easily off the receiver.
The bottom of the barrel, here you also see the small piston that works off gas pressure, running the slide.
The rotating bolt with 3 locking lugs, similar to the AR-15 bolt.
The chamber, here you can see where the bolt locks in.
The duel recoil spring set up.
The massive magazine, holding 7 rounds of .50 AE loaded easily, especially when you have such a large cartridge to work with.
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.
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.
|Type||Gas-operated, rotating bolt semiautomatic|
|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|
|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|
|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)|