T Nation

Desert Eagle Redesign?

Magnum Research has claimed in an ad that the Desert Eagle has been “redesigned.”

But they give precisely zero details.

Their 2010 catalog splashes the same thing on the cover, but nothing in the catalog indicates the slightest actual change. Still the same ol’ Mark XIX.

Now, it has needed redesign for a long time. Actually, always. I just figured that they considered themselves to be making enough money as is and therefore did not care to do it.

I used to own two frames (one aluminum, one steel) and three calibers (357, 41 Mag, and 44 Mag.) It can be a substantial hobby getting these things to be FAIRLY reliable. With mine only the 41 Mag came pretty close to actually being reliable, maybe averaging one failure per 200 rounds.

And that with only very particular ammunition.

The other two averaged probably about one failure per 100 rounds under best conditions.

My experience was not unique: it’s common knowledge that these guns cannot be counted on.

Now of course the redesign claim may be just ad hype. With Google I didn’t turn up a single thing to substantiate it.

Does anyone know anything on it?

It would be a nice thing if after 20+ years they actually got these things to be trustworthy.

Exciting. I’ve never really been too interested in Desert Eagles, but I’d definitely like to keep an eye on a redesign on such an iconic gun.

To be honest,I thought the gun was impractical. It just seemed too big.

Well, it certainly cannot be used as a concealed carry weapon, or at least would not be by any sensible person even if it were trustworthy.

It is not too large for a recreational or hunting gun.

They were comfortable to my hand. I did think with the steel frame they were overly heavy, but with the aluminum frame, which hasn’t been produced for years, the overall weight was suitable. (I don’t mean for carry but for shooting.)

The interesting thing about the gun is that the barrel is fixed, and if using an optic, which I didn’t, it is attached to the barrel. So there’s the potential for rifle-like accuracy, and they are known as being quite accurate guns.

But, there may be substantial hobby time involved in getting the magazines to work better, replacing the recoil springs, finding just the right combination of lubricants, finding a way to defoul the gas port tunnel if purchased used and keeping it scrupulously clean after that, finding just the right ammo, never missing your concentration on gripping it just so, and most certainly not letting the magazine bottom touch anything. And even then you can’t be truly certain of it.

Actually what I probably liked best about the Desert Eagles was – although overall of course I prefer a gun like an HK that just works and absolutely can be counted on – puzzling out how to get them to run where they might well not fail on a given trip to the range. They’re interesting in that.

It’s not a practical weapon to me either…probably fun to just own if one could afford it.

But seriously, for the same price I could get a new Glock and a few cases of ammo.

Exactly. It’s not practical, except if one is into handgun hunting, and wouldn’t be practical after a redesign either.

But I would think they could be made reliable.

And I think most guns owned by most gun owners aren’t really owned for practical reasons – as it would not take nearly as many guns to meet practical needs – but for enjoyment. So that isn’t such a big issue I don’t think, except of course for the situation of having no gun at all in the first place or quite few.

There was an article that came out on this now.

The differences are that a Picatinny rail replaces the proprietary mounting system that had been used, and the guns are now manufactured in the US with CNC equipment and supposedly are now much tighter and are now consistently built, with this reportedly being particularly important with regard to the gas system.

So who knows, maybe they may be reliable now.

The article didn’t test the one sample gun thoroughly enough to really determine that, even for the single gun. Reliability was perfect in 200 total rounds shot except for those which were the low quality Samson product. They didn’t say how many Samson rounds were fired: but if for example it were 50, then that means only that there were zero failures of the other ammunition in 150 rounds, which isn’t proof of improved reliability.

Well, I know nothing about Desert Eagles, but I think more manufacturers should be constantly refining their guns. Kind of like new model year cars, or small changes like the 1911A1 -> 1911A2. Even if it is just tiny superficial changes to meet the current fashion in firearms, it seems like it would make people more interested.

Just a random thought.