My Desert Eagle First off, I love my Desert Eagle. It's a magnum caliber handgun with an interchangeable barrel system allowing it to shoot .50 Action Express or regular 44 magnum out of the same frame. There are also barrels available for 357 magnum and 440 Cor-Bon, but... nah. 440's rare, and 357 would probably feel like a .22. I've taken pics of the DE configured as a 44 and as a 50 here, plus a pic of the target from the first time I ever handled a DE. It wasn't with THIS particular one, but holds significance because my best friend Will and I rented a DE at the shooting range and shot up this target together. Now, who placed what rounds where, I will leave as an exercise to the viewer's imagination. Good friends never reveal who missed that one neck shot.

The first couple pics are the DE in its fancy Magnum Research carrying box. MR made the DE, and did a rather nice job on it. Mine is one of the Mark 19's. The Speer Gold Dot ammo depicted with it is the rather nice $17-a-box ammo with, surprisingly enough, much more felt recoil than the MR box also depicted. Magnum Research is the most common brand of 50AE ammo, which costs $23-$25 per box and makes your wallet cry out for Speer.

If you look closely enough, yes there's a little bit of rust that set in on the frame. Daylight brought that out pretty sharply (hadn't seen it in direct sunlight recently), and I actually picked up some cleaner and worked meticulously on removing it shortly after I finished taking pics. It turns out that, while the slide and barrel got fully parkerized, a good number of Desert Eagles didn't get the frames fully parkerized. I'm not sure what I'll do in the long term, but in the short term, CLR seems to do the trick.

Now for my review. A well cleaned, well maintained Desert Eagle firing 50cal ammunition is a weapon I wouldn't mind trusting my life to. Although it's capable of firing 44 magnum, and cycles it well as long as you get ammo off of Magnum Research's recommended ammo list, I wouldn't completely trust it not to jam. 50cal, I absolutely trust it to cycle - just like I trust it to overpenetrate, making it a poor choice for urban environments. There are circumstances where a DE makes a perfectly sane choice of carry weapon - mostly involving the prospect of encountering bears in the woods. Other than that, its primary use is as a novelty gun, a nicely accurate target pistol, a hunting pistol, or - the use I make of it - a pistol to desensititize myself to the recoil of a 45. One other use for the DE is that, in states where you can carry any weapon of equal or lower caliber to the one you've got listed on the permit, a 50cal Desert Eagle on your CCW permit practically leaves you an open ticket for carrying any pistol you want.

If you take a close look at the pics where it's configured as a 44, you'll see the Ranger SXT ammo. Unfortunately, I didn't get a pic of the tips, so you'll just have to imagine it looks like a 44 magnum version of the 9mm Ranger SXT with my CZ-75B. And just for thoroughness's sake, read the bit about my CZ-75 or my CZ-97 if you doubt the legality of Ranger SXT. Just because the ammo says it's meant for law enforcement, doesn't mean it's LEO (Law Enforcement Only).