My review of the Desert Eagle pistol, chambered for .50 Action Express (.50 AE) is below:
The Desert Eagle is one of the larger, heavier, and more powerful handguns available. The Desert Eagle’s barrel length options are 6″ or 10″, and the overall length is between 10.6″ and 14.75″. Depending upon barrel length and caliber, the Desert Eagle weighs in between 3.9 lbs and 4.4 lbs. It’s action is gas operated, which is rare for a pistol, but allows for the use of relatively powerful cartridges that would not work well with a short recoil or blowback type of action. Magazine capacity varies between 7 and 9 rounds, depending upon caliber. The distinctive look, large size, and powerful cartridges makes the Desert Eagle popular in movies and the benchmark for a powerful handgun.
The Desert Eagle comes chambered for .50 Action Express, .44 Magnum, .440 Cor-Bon, .41 Magnum, or .357 Magnum. Of these, the .50 AE is seen as the quintessential cartridge for the Desert Eagle. Driving a 325 grain bullet to to about 1300 feet per second, the .50 AE packs over 1200 foot pounds of energy (about 4 times that of a 9mm round). Recoil from the .50 AE is therefore quite substantial for a handgun, despite the fact that the Desert Eagle’s gas action helps reduce felt recoil somewhat. .50 AE rounds cost about $2 each.
The Desert Eagle feels solid, and is the heaviest handgun I’ve held. It is a well put together pistol, as I would expect given its relatively high price tag. The action is smooth, and more like that of a gas operated shotgun than an ordinary pistol, which I like. A variety of finishes are available, including nickel, black, black chrome, and titanium gold.
Effectiveness for Self Defense
The Desert Eagle is a large pistol that holds relatively few rounds and recoils severely. The sharp recoil can cause the less-experienced user to flinch, which adversely affects accuracy. Follow-up shots may be slower and less accurate as well, due to the recoil. Furthermore, the relatively low magazine capacity could leave the user a few bullets short in a life or death situation. While any one hit from the Desert Eagle’s .50 AE cartridge would be very effective, the overall effectiveness for self defense is lower than for most ordinary pistols. Those looking for a self defense gun would do well to consider a gun that has less recoil and a larger magazine capacity.
Those who want one of the largest and most powerful pistols will love the Desert Eagle, especially those chambered for .50 Action Express. However the recoil is strong, the magazine capacity is relatively low for semiautomatic pistol, and the gun is rather large & heavy. Ammunition is also on the expensive side. The Desert Eagle is not a gun I would want to carry around or to use for home defense, but it is a fun gun to own and shoot, and rounds out a pistol collection quite nicely.