Desert Eagle
 

 
 

.50 AE
 

.44 Magnum
 

.357 Magnum
 
 
Magnum Research, Inc. patented the basic design of the Desert Eagle in 1980, and the first working prototype of the pistol was completed in 1981. It was about 80% functional, with a rotating bolt, full gas operation and excellent shooting characteristics. The final refinements to the pistol were made by Israel Military Industries (IMI), under contract to Magnum Research, Inc. After research that included thousands of rounds of test-firing, a fully functional .357 Magnum production model was produced in an edition of just over 1,000 pistols. These pistols, collector's items today, have traditional land-and-grove rifling, and they will not accept extended barrels or caliber conversion kits. 

Development of the Desert Eagle was not yet complete, however, in 1985, the barrel was changed to incorporate polygonal rifling, to help enhance the pistol's accuracy. In 1986, a .44 Magnum version of the pistol was perfected; it was the very first semi-automatic .44 Magnum pistol successfully brought to market. Also in 1986, Magnum Research set aside 1,000 serial numbers for the Collector Edition Presentation Series, consisting of 100 Gold Editions, 400 Silver Editions and 500 Bronze Editions.

Further enhancements to the Desert Eagle line continued. In 1987, the .41 Magnum Desert Eagle Pistol (not currently in production) was introduced to fill a specific market niche. In 1989, the Mark VII model of the Desert Eagle became standard. All Desert Eagle Pistols manufactured since 1989 have Mark VII features: enlarged safety levers, an enlarged slide release and an improved, two-stage trigger. 

Most recently, Magnum Research, Inc. successfully introduced the .50 Action Express Desert Eagle Pistol to fill an unmet need in the sporting/hunting market. Since Magnum Research introduced the caliber - once considered impossible to build - several other manufacturers have begun to produce .50 Magnum (a.k.a. .50 Action Express) firearms. They are made by IMI and are quite possibly one of the most powerful handguns in the world.

 
 
 
357 MAG
.44 MAG
.50AE
Ammunition
Standard rimmed revolver ammunition
All kinds of bullets
Operation
Gas on piston head
Locking method
Rotating bolt
Magazine capacity
9
8
7
Rifling
R. H. 6 polygonal grooves
Twist 1 turn in (mm)
355
457
483
Weight (gr)
Pistol w/o magazine
1650
1750
2050
Empty magazine
120
130
Loaded magazine
260
290
360
Dimensions (mm)
Length
270
Height
147
149
151
Width
45
Barrel length
152.5
Trigger reach
71
Sights
Type
Combat Sight
Sightline radius
210