American Rifleman - March 2015 - 72

THE DESERT EAGLE
The Desert Eagle's front and rear combatstyle sights are dovetailed in place, and
the integral Weaver-style rail segment
atop its barrel can accommodate a
variety of scopes or reflex sights.

is polygonal rifling, which MRI claims increases velocity
because it achieves a better gas seal on the bullet with less
deformation. Without the sharp edges of conventional lands
and grooves, that can gouge a bullet's jacket, most residue
can be cleaned from the barrel with a wet patch and very
little elbow grease.
Even the most accurate pistol would be difficult to
shoot well without a decent trigger. In a heavy gun that
fires a powerful load, a safe trigger of hearty design is
needed. MRI's solution is both safe and a delight to shoot.
The Desert Eagle possesses a single-action trigger with a
decidedly two-stage feel to it. It breaks cleanly and crisply
at 5 lbs., 4 ozs. with very little overtravel and is adjustable.
For a heavy-recoiling pistol, being able to prep the trigger
before the hammer falls makes a great deal of sense.
Users can adjust the trigger by inserting a screw driver
through the magazine well to turn the Adjustable Trigger
Mechanism (ATM). There is a slide-mounted, ambidextrous
thumb safety on the single-action, semi-automatic. In
use I found it far easier to engage and disengage with the
off-hand as opposed to using my strong-hand thumb from
a firing grip. In any event, the gun's manual recommends
carrying it with an empty chamber.
The appearance and feel of the Desert Eagle is like no
other gun I have ever fired. Weighing a hefty 4 lbs., 8 ozs.
and possessing a long and thick grip that feels more like
that of an pneumatic power tool than a pistol, there is
nothing petite about this mighty .50 AE. While the grip
shape is determined by the huge magazine that holds the
fat cartridges, seven for the .50 AE, its girth spreads the
recoil over a larger surface area, and there are no sharp
edges to bite the shooter. The frame also possesses a large
tang or beavertail to protect the shooter's hand from
the slide. Also aiding recoil mitigation, my test sample
included the brand new integral compensator. In the past,
MRI offered the Desert Eagle with a compensator that
added almost 24 ozs. of weight to the gun and made it
longer, ruining its balance. The new integral eight-port
compensator actually makes the gun lighter, contributes to
less muzzle flip and gives the gun great balance.
Shooting this behemoth was not a pleasant experience-
at least at first. I started by shooting the accuracy portion
of the evaluation from the bench. Firing from a seated rest
using a Millet Benchmaster for support, I found the wristwrenching recoil and muzzle flash a bit much. Remember
that the energy generated by the .50 AE cartridge is
roughly four times that of a .45 ACP. Also, the MRI manual
emphasizes that shooters must use a firm grip for the gun
to operate properly. At first I tried to muscle the gun using
isometric pressure but found the resultant trembling was

72

MARCH 2015

not conducive to accuracy. I ended up pushing into the gun,
leaning as far forward as possible and locking my wrist and
elbow so my shoulder would absorb as much of the recoil as
possible. I used my left hand to apply pressure to the front
of my right hand. With this technique my groups improved
immediately and the Desert Eagle wasn't such a bear to
shoot. Incidentally, I have fired another Desert Eagle, also in
.50 AE, but without a compensator and estimate that feature
accounts for a 25 percent reduction in muzzle rise.
As my shooting continued, I became more and
more comfortable with the gun's recoil and blast. So
much so that I made a second range trip because I was
convinced that my original groups were not on par with
the Desert Eagle's intrinsic accuracy. I was able to relax
and concentrate on sight alignment and trigger press.
After more than 100 rounds, the once-daunting handcannon became much less intimidating and was actually
fun to shoot. My single best group was fired with MRI's
300-gr. JHP and it measured just 0.95". Average group
size for the three loads tested is just about 1½", and I
think that's pretty darned good for a production pistol
chambered for the teeth-rattling .50 AE cartridge.
Reliability throughout my testing was flawless-there
were no stoppages of any kind.
Disassembly of the Desert Eagle is quick and easy and
requires no special tools, though MRI supplies each gun with
its 5-in-1 tool. To begin, remove the magazine and clear the
chamber, then lower the hammer and pull it back slightly
until it clicks into its semi-cocked position. Place the manual
safety into its "safe" position. On the left side of the frame,
just above the front of the trigger guard, is a barrel lock pin.
Press the pin while swinging the barrel lock on the right
side of the frame counter-clockwise. Pull the barrel slightly
forward until the frame releases it. The slide can now be
drawn forward and removed along with the recoil spring
unit. Now the gas piston can be removed for cleaning. Use
the 5-in-1 tool for cleaning the gas cylinder. For reassembly,
lay the slide upside down on a level surface and insert the
gas piston, making sure the piston shaft recess is facing the
slide recess. The recoil spring plate lug will capture that
part and hold it in place. Keep those parts positioned while
placing the slide back on the frame. Insert the barrel's
locking lug into the frame's recess and push against the
barrel from the muzzle end and hold the barrel assembly
against the frame while swinging the barrel lock clockwise to
its closed position. Check the slide for proper function.
The new MRI Desert Eagle in stainless steel is an impressive
gun. From its hearty design to its precision machining to its
tack-driving accuracy and overabundance of power it is likely
to continue intriguing enthusiasts for decades to come.
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN



American Rifleman - March 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - March 2015

Contents
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW2
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover2
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 1
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Contents
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 4
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 5
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 6
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 7
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 8
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 9
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 10
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 11
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 12
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 13
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 14
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 15
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 16
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 17
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 18
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 19
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 20
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 21
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 22
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 23
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 24
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 25
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 26
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 27
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 28
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 29
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 30
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 31
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 32
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 33
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 34
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 35
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 36
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 37
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 38
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 39
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 40
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 41
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 42
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 43
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 44
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 45
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 46
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 47
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 48
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 49
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 50
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 51
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 52
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 53
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 54
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 55
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 56
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 57
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 58
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 59
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 60
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 61
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 62
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 63
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 64
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 65
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 66
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 67
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 68
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 69
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 70
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 71
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 72
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 73
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 74
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 75
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 76
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 77
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 78
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 79
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 80
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 81
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82b
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83b
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82c
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83c
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82d
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83d
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82e
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83e
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 82f
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 83f
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 84
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 85
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 86
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American Rifleman - March 2015 - 88
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 89
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 90
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 91
American Rifleman - March 2015 - 92
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - Cover4
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW3
American Rifleman - March 2015 - CW4
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