Magnum Research Desert Eagle 50 Cal Pistol


Desert Eagle .50 Review

Last Updated February 19th 2024

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Desert Eagle

  • Price: $1629.99
  • Barrel: 5 inch
  • Weight: 4.5lb

This is the one. The icon. The legend. The Desert Eagle 50 caliber handgun.

We know we shouldn’t, but we do get a bit misty-eyed when we see the legendary Desert Eagle for sale. It costs more than a great 1911, the recoil is frightening and you had better like stripping and cleaning handguns, but it’s still just an awesome piece of engineering.

It’s the last word in intimidation and can settle a dispute without a bullet being fired.

It’s bringing a tank to a gunfight and now you can own this piece of American history.

Desert Eagle Tiger Stripes

This one gets a brushed chrome finish, but you can get everything from snakeskin to 24K gold and tiger stripes. No, we’re not kidding. This is pretty much the most extreme Desert Eagle for sale. If you own one of these, I’m guessing you keep your pimp hand strong.

You get seven bullets in the magazine and one in the chamber. Each and every one of them could crack the engine block of a truck.

Just watch the Desert Eagle in super slow motion here. It’s a work of art.

Technical Highlights of the Desert Eagle .50 Caliber Pistol:

  • Caliber: .50 Action Express (AE), a large-caliber handgun round designed for high stopping power and ballistic performance.
  • Operation: Gas-operated, rotating bolt semi-automatic. This operation system is unique among pistols, and is more like a rifle. That’s one of several reasons why it can handle the high pressure of the the 50AE rounds.
  • Barrel Length: Typically 6 inches, though a 10 inch barrel is available, which affects both the ballistic performance and accuracy at range.
  • Magazine Capacity: 7 rounds, providing a balance between firepower and the physical size of the magazine.
  • Barrel Rifling: Polygonal rifling helps keep the bullet on target and also helps the durability and reliability.
  • Weight: Approximately 72 ounces (4.5 pounds) unloaded. It is one of the heaviest semi-automatic handguns on the market.
  • Overall Length: Roughly 10.75 inches with a 6-inch barrel, contributing to its distinctive profile and shooting characteristics.
  • Sights: Fixed combat type, with optional scope mounts for optical sights.
  • Finish Options: Available in a variety of finishes, including black oxide, brushed chrome, and gold.
  • Frame Material: High-quality aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame.
  • Grip: Ergonomically designed grip with integrated finger grooves.
  • Safety Features: Ambidextrous safety switch, allowing for easy operation by both left- and right-handed shooters, and a firing pin block for added security.

Want to know what a Desert Eagle blowing watermelons up looks like? Youtube always has the answer…

Desert Eagle .50 In The Movies

Because of its sheer size, the Desert Eagle has been a big screen hit.

The Agents in The Matrix Trilogy carry Desert Eagles, and Deadpool carries two of them.

My favorite cinematic moment with the Desert Eagle is, though, this scene in British gangster film Snatch. He doesn’t fire the gun, but Vinnie Jones shows its psychological impact in this very sweary, but funny scene.

Known for its formidable size, unique design, and the sheer power it packs, the Desert Eagle has cemented its place in both popular culture and among gun enthusiasts. Its distinctive appearance and capabilities make it more than a firearm. It’s a symbol of extreme power and precision engineering.

Design and Ergonomics

Its size alone sets it apart from other handguns, and its design is unmistakably aggressive. The pistol’s weight and balance, while initially seen as cumbersome by some, are carefully calculated to manage the recoil produced by the powerful .50 AE cartridge. The ergonomic grip design, coupled with the integrated finger grooves, allows for a surprisingly comfortable hold, even in extended shooting sessions.

Performance and Shooting Experience

Firing the Desert Eagle .50 AE is an experience unlike any other. The pistol’s gas-operated mechanism, a rarity among handguns, allows it to cycle the massive .50 AE rounds with reliability that belies its brute force. Recoil, while significant, is manageable, thanks in part to the firearm’s weight and operating system. Accuracy is impressive for a handgun of this caliber and the fixed combat sights provide a clear and straightforward aiming solution. For those looking to extend the pistol’s range or enhance its precision for handgun hunting or long range applications, the optional scope mount is a welcome feature.

Practicality and Versatility

While the Desert Eagle .50 AE should not be your first, second or fifth choice for concealed carry or everyday self-defense, it excels in the roles it was designed for. Whether for target shooting, hunting, bear defense or as a statement piece in a collection, the Desert Eagle delivers. Its performance at the range is a testament to the engineering behind it. The variety of finishes and the ability to mount optical sights further enhance its versatility and appeal.

Maintenance and Reliability

Given its complex design and powerful chambering, the Desert Eagle requires diligent maintenance. reliability issues are often a case of poor maintenance and failure to replace worn parts. However, its construction is robust, and when properly cared for, it is a reliable firearm. The gas-operated system, while unusual for a pistol, is a proven mechanism that ensures consistent cycling of rounds, even with the high pressures of the .50 AE cartridge.

Known Issues with the Desert Eagle

Most potential problems with the Desert Eagle come down to a failure to maintain them correctly. There are massive forces going through this gun every time you pull the trigger. But if you want the specific issues that can arise with the Magnum Research, then here they are:

  • Gas Piston and Cylinder: The Desert Eagle uses a gas-operated mechanism, which can accumulate carbon buildup and experience wear over time. Regular cleaning and inspection are crucial to prevent malfunction.
  • Recoil Springs: The recoil springs absorb a significant amount of force with each shot due to the high caliber. Over time, these springs can wear out, leading to issues with the cycling of the gun and affecting its overall reliability.
  • Extractor and Ejector: These components are critical for the proper ejection of spent casings. Given the large size and power of the .50 AE rounds, the extractor and ejector can experience accelerated wear, leading to potential ejection issues.
  • Magazine Spring: The magazine spring, responsible for feeding rounds into the chamber, can weaken over time. This wear can lead to feeding issues, especially when the magazine is fully loaded.
  • Barrel: While barrels are generally durable, the high velocity and pressure of .50 AE rounds can lead to faster wear in the rifling, affecting accuracy over time. Regular inspection and proper cleaning can help mitigate this issue.
  • Firing Pin: Repeated use can wear down the firing pin or cause it to break, particularly if dry firing without a snap cap. This is a common issue with many firearms but is notable in high-caliber handguns like the Desert Eagle.
  • Slide Rails: The slide rails can experience wear from the constant friction during the recoil and cycling process. Proper lubrication and maintenance are necessary to ensure smooth operation and to prevent premature wear.


The Desert Eagle .50 Caliber pistol is a marvel of firearm design and engineering. Its combination of power, precision, and unmistakable aesthetics make it a standout choice for those looking to own a piece of firearm history. While its practical applications may be limited compared to more conventional handguns, its performance in its niche is unmatched. For the shooting enthusiast seeking the thrill of handling one of the most powerful semi-automatic handguns available, the Desert Eagle .50 AE offers an unparalleled experience.

In the end, the Desert Eagle is more than just a firearm; it’s an icon. Its presence in popular culture,

Admit it, you’re browsing the listings and finding a Desert Eagle for sale right now aren’t you? You should own own once in your life. You might sell it later, but buy a Desert Eagle and live the dream before then


  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

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