The Baby Eagle was originally introduced in the 1990s and imported into the United States. I remember seeing the Baby Eagle not long after at area gun shows. At the time, it was being imported from Israel under the name UZI Eagle or Jericho. The allure of the Made in Israel branding on the frame was intriguing to me. Today, the Baby Eagle is part of Magnum Research, which is a division of Kahr Firearms Group. KFG was kind enough to send me its new Baby Desert Eagle III 9mm in the full-size polymer frame to try out.
Over the course of 4 months, I put 500+ rounds of various manufacturers 9mm, including 200+ remanufactured rounds, through this gun and never cleaned it. The only issue I encountered came at about round 300, after I had shot a few magazines of steel cased ammo. The internals became dirty—especially the feed ramp. Upon loading the first round into the chamber, by depressing the slide release, the round would hit the feed ramp and stick/fail to feed (FTF).
Typically, when I see a FTF during a test using steel cased ammo, it’s due to the characteristics of steel cased ammunition. First, their cases aren’t as slick as brass, so they drag on each other as they are pulled from the magazine into the chamber. Second, steel cases don’t expand in the chamber when fired like brass cases do. By not expanding, unburned powder/debris blows back into the loading area. Also, many times steel cased ammo doesn’t contain the best quality powder. To fix this issue, all I had to do was wipe the feed ramp with my.
What would I change about the Baby Eagle III? The failure to feed once the loading area became dirty was discouraging, but then again, no one should have to shoot steel cased ammo, but I know some of you will, so I do as well. If I had stuck with the remanufactured ammo I never would have encountered this. Again, by simply cleaning off the feed ramp, the issue was resolved. The take away for the reader, don’t shoot steel cased ammo unless you have nothing else to shoot, especially in a handgun.
With rifle you have more power loading and ejecting steel cased ammo, so you have less FTF issues. You still have more debris and grit to clean out though. Also, due to the CZ-style slide design, if you like having more meat at the back of the slide to chamber your gun, you won’t have that on the Baby Desert Eagle. However, the safety/decocker does provide some added mass to grab, if you so desire.
Overall, this gun was a lot of fun to shoot. The single-action trigger pull was smooth and the factory reset was quick. Even shooting double-action was easy. I like the decocker feature that allowed the hammer to be rested, but ready. At 16+1 rounds, the magazine provides you with a decent amount of ammo between reloads.
The polymer finger grooves on the frame were not too much, or too little. It provided a nice feel in the hand. The poly frame lightens the gun, but doesn’t sacrifice the overall quality. Another cool feature I alluded to above is that the slide rides inside the frame, similar to CZ-75 handguns. Most other handguns have their slides riding above the frame. This unique feature creates a lower bore axis, which results in a very accurate and relatively flat shooting gun. If you are a CZ fan, this gun will have a familiarity that you will enjoy. Kahr has carried on a great legacy and has brought the Baby Eagle into the 21st century.
Do you have a Baby Desert Eagle story? Share it in the comment section.
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