Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

IWI / Magnum Research Desert Eagle

Semi-Automatic Pistol

Israel | 1985

"A favorite of Hollywood bad guys, the impressive-looking Desert Eagle handgun is capable of firing the .50 Action Express round."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/27/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Desert Eagle handgun is a large, powerful, gas-operated, semi-automatic handgun capable of firing the .50 AE (Action Express) caliber round, though minor field adjustments (changing of the barrel, bolt and magazine) can allow these handguns to fire the .357, .41, .44 and .440 rounds. The Desert Eagle was devised by the firm of Magnum Research, Incorporated in the United States of America, and its design was furthered by Israeli Military Industries (IMI) which went on to produce the somewhat similar Jericho 941, or "Baby Eagle", as it is marketed in the US. Despite a similar outward appearance between the two, the Jericho utilizes a different internal function. The Desert Eagle made its market entry in the middle of the 1980s and has found a special niche market with sport shooters, competition shooters and collectors (to which scopes and special muzzle extensions can be fitted). Hollywood maintains its own outrageous vision for the Desert Eagle and has featured prominently in movies.

The Desert Eagle .50 caliber handgun uses a special rifling technique in the bore to minimize the wear and tear upon bullet exit, thus extending the life of the weapon. It also utilizes a concept commonly found in rifle mechanics, featuring a rotating lock and bolt as opposed to a standard "blowback" principle. A short-stroke gas piston is fitted to the underside of the barrel. The Desert Eagle can fire up to 7 rounds of .50 A.E. ammunition (or .440 Cor-bon) and up to 8 rounds of .41 and .44 ammunition or 9 rounds of .357 ammunition. The single-action firing process forces the slide into the recoil position (much like the action found in other semi-automatic handguns) until a fresh round is chambered. The hammer is exposed at the rear of the frame and the magazine is loaded conventionally through the base of the rather stout pistol grip.

The size of the round, particularly the .50 caliber Action Express (AE), expectedly supplies a high level of recoil. Additionally, the auditory sound produced by this pistol requires the use of special heavy duty hearing protection especially when fired indoors. The action takes a certain amount of practice to master and, as such, the Desert Eagle handgun is said to be much better suited for big-game hunting than close-quarters combat in a military or home defense setting. However, Hollywood motion pictures would have the reader believe otherwise.

The Desert Eagle has since been produced in three distinct marks to include the Mark I, Mark VII and Mark XIX. The Mark I was the initial production model (since discontinued) while the Mark VII followed with its adjustable trigger unit. Both were available in varied barrel lengths of 6-, 8-, 10- and 14-inches and available in primary calibers of .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum (as well as later .41 Magnum and .50 AE forms). The Mark XIX is the latest production model of the Desert Eagle line and is itself based on the Mark VII. It is offered in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .440 Cor-bon (with gold exterior finish) and .50 AE models. Unlike the Mark I and Mark VII before it, the Mark XIX is only marketed with the 6- and 10-inch barrel lengths.

Without a doubt, the Desert Eagle, particularly in its .50 AE from, is one very powerful handgun. It also comes at a steep price tag to interested owners and the ammunition itself is not cheap. For some owner / collectors, simple ownership of this large caliber handgun is enough, that is if your hand is large enough to hold it. Effective range is said to be approximately 200 meters.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
The physical qualities of the IWI / Magnum Research Desert Eagle. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
269 mm
10.59 in
O/A Length
152 mm
5.98 in
Barrel Length
3.00 lb
1.36 kg
Gas-Operated; Semi-Automatic
.357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .440 Cor-bon, .50 Action Express
7-, 8- or 9-Round Detachable Box Magazine
Front and Rear; Optional Optics
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the IWI / Magnum Research Desert Eagle. Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
656 ft
199.9 m | 218.7 yds
Notable series variants as part of the IWI / Magnum Research Desert Eagle Semi-Automatic Pistol family line.
Desert Eagle - Base Series Designation
Desert Eagle Mark I
Desert Eagle Mark VII
Desert Eagle Mark XIX - Latest production model capable of various chambered ammunition sizes.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the IWI / Magnum Research Desert Eagle. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Magnum Research, Incorporated - USA / Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) (fmr Israeli Military Industries (IMI)) - Israel
National flag of Israel National flag of the United States

[ Israel; United States ]
1 / 1
Image of the IWI / Magnum Research Desert Eagle
Right side view of the Magnum Research Desert Eagle handgun

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The IWI / Magnum Research Desert Eagle Semi-Automatic Pistol appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)