The large size and unique profile of the Desert Eagle has made it a pop-culture icon. It has appeared in dozens of movies, TV shows, and video games including “The Matrix” trilogy (1999-2003), “Fringe” (2009) and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” (2009). But under all of the media-inspired bravado lies an intelligently engineered firearm. The gun is constructed of 4140 chrome-moly steel. Consisting of 92 parts, the Desert Eagle is often referred to by the manufacturer as a hand rifle instead of just a handgun. Recoil is controlled by two heavy, three-braid wire recoil springs. The multi-lug rotary bolt is similar to that found in an AR-15 rifle, and its design aids in the extraction of spent brass and works to improve accuracy. The hammer-forged barrel has polygonal rifling—which does not foul as quickly as tradition rifling—and a hard-chromed chamber. A fixed barrel and integral scope rail work to keep attached optics sighted in. Finishes available for the Desert Eagle include black oxide, bright nickel, and gold-tinted Titanium.
The pistol tested for this review was a Mark XIX .50 AE in a brushed-chrome finish with an optional muzzle brake installed. Despite its obvious heft, this pistol has good balance for off-hand shooting. The trigger pull measured at 4 pounds, 11 ounces, with a crisp, clean break. Despite what you see in the movies, shooting a .50 AE is strictly a two-handed affair. Although the muzzle brake does reduce muzzle rise, the felt recoil produced by full-power factory ammunition was stout. The 300- to 350-grain bullets yielded between 1,041 to 1,281 ft.-lbs. of energy at the muzzle. Topped with a Trijicon RMR RM05 9.0 MOA Dual-Illuminated Amber Dot sight, the Desert Eagle delivered dependably tight groups in the 2-inch range at 25 yards.
Model: Desert Eagle Mark XIX Pistol with Muzzle Brake (DE50BCMB)
Caliber: .50 Action Express (tested), .357 Mag., .44 Mag.
Action Type: gas-operated, semi-automatic center-fire pistol
Frame: brushed-chrome finishedstainless steel (tested); black oxide and others available
Rifling: polygonal: six-groove, 1:19" RH twist
Magazine: seven-round-capacitydetachable box
Sights: fixed, combat
Trigger: single-action: 4-lb., 11-oz. pull
Overall Length: 12" with muzzle brake
Weight: 70 ozs.
Accessories: hard case, lock, manual
Suggested Retail Price: $2,186