I think the first time I saw the Desert Eagle .50 AE, like many, was in a movie in the early 1990s. It was the favorite handgun of Arnold Schwarzenegger and many others. As of the writing of this article, the Desert Eagle has been in over 500 movies. Developed in the United States, but refined by Israeli Military Industry, it was first introduced in the 1980s. At the time, the design of the Mark I was revolutionary.
The Mark I utilized a directed gas blowback similar to what you’d see on an AR-15. Even the bolt resembles something you’d see in an AR, not a handgun. This unique design allows the Desert Eagle to handle magnum rounds that were before reserved only for revolvers. Another unique feature was the ability to change out calibers, but still use the same frame. Today, Kahr Firearms Group owns Desert Eagle and continues to make it even better.
When I tested the .50 AE, I didn’t do my normal 500+ round test. This was mainly because in order to afford it, I’d have to tell my wife and kids that our vacation was off this summer (these rounds aren’t cheap at $1.50+/round). The .50 AE is a punishing round. That being said, it was nowhere near as bad as many of the magnum rounds I’ve shot in revolvers. Also, having the .44 magnum conversion—different barrel and magazine, but the same frame—was a great option to get one more round in the magazine (8 total rounds) and shoot more affordably.
After shooting the .50 AE, switching to .44 Mag. was similar to going from .357 to .38 Special. I did shoot around 100 rounds combined in both calibers. This was definitely not a cheap review, but it was a lot of fun. So, what in the world would you use this gun for?
Well, my friend Chad (who owns Full Metal Beard Holsters in Michigan) made a holster for a gentleman who wanted to carry his Desert Eagle inside the waistband. That being said, I don’t think many will use this as their CCW. It’s one of those guns that when you show off your collection, people will notice and remember it. It definitely has the cool factor.
For all practical purposes though, with a 6-inch barrel, or 10-inch barrel option, this would be better utilized for hunting. It will definitely put the hurt on a hog or most North American game. However, you can also use this at your local, indoor, shooting range to make the person in the shooting lane next to you pee a little when you crack off a shot. The downside—an MSRP of $1,600—this gun is a little out of reach for the average shooter. Tack on the .44 conversion package for $450 or so, and you are over $2,000. I’d never suggest this be your only handgun, but it does serve a purpose and is much more than just a cool gun on the silver screen.
Are you a Desert Eagle fan? Share your Desert Eagle story in the comment section.
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