Desert Eagle: First impressions, part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, we’ll finish the Desert Eagle story.

Sights
The sights are a ramp-type square post in front and a wide square notch in the rear. The rear sight adjusts laterally for windage by means of a single jam screw. Loosen it and slide the sight in the direction you want to move the pellet. The manual says the front sight is set up for shooting at 10 meters, and that’s exactly what I saw. A 6 o’clock hold on a standard 10-meter pistol target at 25 feet netted me a score of 45, for five nines clustered around the center.


All five shots from 25 feet landed in the nine ring. I used Gamo Match pellets.

Trigger action
This pistol is both double- and single-action. If you pull the trigger with the hammer down, it cocks and releases the hammer, which is double-action. When the slide blows back, it cocks the hammer, allowing a single-action pull. Double-action breaks at 7 lbs., 10 oz., and single-action breaks at 3 lbs., 9 oz.

Safety
The safety is ambidextrous and allows the full functioning of the trigger and hammer when applied. I wondered at the wisdom of that before realizing that it’s the perfect dry-fire feature. You can shoot the gun in safety, knowing that gas cannot be released with the safety on. Of course the 8-shot clip should be removed from the gun for complete safety. The trigger feels the same whether the safety is on or off.

Be careful how you grip the pistol!
During chronographing, I sometimes found myself gripping the moving slide as the pistol fired. This lowered the velocity anywhere from 50 to 100 f.p.s. If you decide to shoot with two hands, make sure neither one rubs against the slide, which you can see in yesterday’s report, Desert Eagle, First impressions, part 2. You can’t feel the slide move beneath your fingers, so don’t go by the feel. Look to see that you clearly are not touching the slide!

In summary…

  • The quoted velocity is 315 f.p.s. The gun I tested shot between 450 and 500 f.p.s. with the type of pellets a shooter would pick for this airgun – wadcutters.
  • There’s a lot of plastic in this gun, but it’s engineering plastic – similar to the frames of the Ruger 22/45 Mark III. Also, the pistol is heavy.
  • The Desert Eagle is at least as accurate as the S&W 586 and 686 revolvers.
  • The test gun got three clips-worth of shots per CO2 cartridge. That’s a total of 24 shots.
  • There are mounting rails for optics, lasers and tactical lights, so the pistol doesn’t have to remain plain vanilla for long.

  • Mounting rails on top and beneath let you dress the Desert Eagle like a tactical powerhouse.

    I think my reports have addressed all your questions. If not, ask away!

    57 thoughts on “Desert Eagle: First impressions, part 3

    1. I, too, am curious about the velocity of this gun. You have said before that extra C02 release would not increase the velocity.You have stated that barrel length is one of the most important factors effecting C02 velocities. This gun has a 5.5” barrel. I know of no other gun with this size barrel that approaches the velocities you have measured. How is this possible?

      You say that you could only get 3 clips per C02 cartridge, using the stated 8 shot clip that would be 24 shots which is about half of what other C02 pistols get without the blowback. So, what is happening? Is the trigger valve releasing twice as much gas as usual or is there some type of dual release with the initial bolus propelling the pellet and a second release activating the blowback?

      You mention the C02 exchange using a spanner and this would seem to be an awkward solution especially if very frequent changes are mandated.
      Dave


    2. D.B.

      Thanks for correcting my math! Three times eight is 24 – got to remember that! I corrected the numbers in the first and third report.

      Yes, gas is being used to power the slide. That’s where the extra gas is going. That has been the problem with true semiauto airguns like the Crosman 600 and Crosman 451. The Drozd avoids it by using an electric motor to drive the semi and full auto operation, so the gas powers the projectiles, only. Lots of different ways to approach the problem.

      Several other CO2 guns approach and even exceed this velocity with this barrel length. The Makarov BB pistol that has a shorter barrel gets 450 f.p.s., although with 8-grain lead balls. That said, yes, the Desert Eagle is on the high side of normal. I do wonder if I got an unusually powerful gun.

      The separate spanner was specifically requested by customers who didn’t want anything hanging down under the magazine. There has to be a way to tension the cartridge and this is what they chose.

      Those who criticized guns like the Walther PPK/S for having the tensioning mechanism hanging under the magazine specifically said they wouldn’t mind if a separate tool were required to seat the cartridge. This is a case of not being able to please everyone.

      B.B.



    3. the rails are nice. i’d keep them on the gun just becuase of the way they look, without mouunting anything!
      anyways, i read yet another comprehensive article on airgun ballistics. you’ll never guess what they claimed-

      from http://www.beemans.net/airgun%20ballistics.htm

      “Sometimes, experience reveals that theory springs from experience and not the other way around. After very extensive testing of Beeman and RWS magnum air rifles, the outstanding airgun author, Tom Holzel, found that .25” caliber clearly was the most accurate of the four calibers from .177” to .25”.”

      the only thing i can think of is that the different calibers warrented different barrel makers, and so the .25 barrel was of higher quality.
      on a side note, can i use pellgunoil for the compression chamber? crosman also makes rmoil. is there even a difference between the two?



    4. b.b.

      I finally got my BSA 3-12x44mm back from BSA this week (they gave me a brand new one, which was nice), so I’ve been trying to sight in my benjamin legacy 1000 .22 cal with bsquare AA mount. The gun will put a decent pattern down (inside a quarter at 20 yards, now if I can just do my job and hold it still…), at least for ~20 rounds. Then the screw starts to back out again (the one that holds the barrel on/pivot point). Locktite blue didn’t hold it for 10 shots, so I tried torqueing it down again and using super glue on the threads while making sure the surfaces that it pivots on were well lubricated. That just lasted for nearly 30 rounds, but the screw has started to back out again to the point where the barrel can be moved left to right enough to screw up your pattern big time.

      My dad put his Legacy 1000 up in the closet and won’t shoot it because you can’t even consistently hit a coke can at 30 yards once that screw has backed out after 50 rounds. I told him not to sell it/pitch it yet because I figured by buying the top of the line mount and a decent scope that it might help this gun. Sadly, it seems I was wrong. Do you have any suggestions to keep these guns from shaking apart before these guns get tossed in the recycling bin?

      -david


    5. In regard to Mr. Beeman’s article reading the ballistics of various pellet calibers I believe his point was that the higher the caliber the less severe the arc of flight, thus the heavier pellet remains closer to the barrels line of sight and requires less compensation at various distances while, also rendering the highest foot-pounds of impact.


    6. less severe? i thought .177 had a flatter trajectory?

      some random person has two objects. one is a ping pong ball, the second a bowling ball. to throw the bowling ball, he has to arc it high up, resulting in a dramatic trajectory reminescent of a mortar shell. the ping pong ball he can easily throw, and travels reletively straight. the bowling ball goes farther and hits much harder, while the ping pong ball only travels a short distance and stops. this is the image i have in my mind.


    7. first time asking a question here and don’t know if this is the right spot. just got an IZH 61. using OEM open sights at 10 feet and 30 feet the rifle shoots 1″ left of aimpoint despite the fact that the windage adjustment is slammed all the way to the right to pull shots to the right. so, i bought a leapers bugbuster 6×32 scope and air force scope rings. shot again at 10 and 30 feet. elevation is fine. despite maxing windage all the way to the right shots still fall an 1″ to 1.5″ to the left of aim point. now what? did i get a rotten rifle? should i opt for the adjustable b-square mount? i had been considering dismantling the entire rifle, lubing and reassembling as i’ve read in IZH 61 owner’s posts? also, the dovetail mounting rail is miniscule. the rear ring has only one tightening screw that meets the rail. the rear screw of the rear ring dangles in midair. help! tx.


    8. IZH 61,

      I’m looking only at the problem you are having now. You said you have maxed the scope adjustments all the way to the right and the rifle is still hitting to the leftby one to one and a half inches.

      Adjust the scope to the LEFT. The scope must be adjusted in the same direction you want to move the pellet. This is also true for open sights.

      Don’t disassemble your rifle to correct this sighting problem. The comments you have read refer to power and smoothness, not sighting problems.

      The rear ring is an issue only if it is loose. With one screw gripping it has the same power as a one-screw ring, and believe me, there are plenty of those on the market.

      Please give me feedback after you try adjusting the scope.

      B.B.



    9. i sure am grateful for the “no stupid questions” mantra, b.b. thanks. ok. so i examine the windage adjustment dial on the scope. it is labeled with the word “left” followed by an arrow pointing in the clockwise direction. i read your response and now know this will move the pellet strike to the left. i spin it. and, yup. the pellets now strike even further to the left of aim point–now more like 2″. so, i spin the dial as far counterclockwise as i can until it stops. i fire. the shots strike, even still, at 1″ to the left of aim point. uh-oh. i hope i am missing some elemental point of scopes & sighting. i checked the rear mount. it is tight after firing–just a little unsightly. what now? thanks. IZH 61.


    10. IZH 61,

      My bad! I wasn’t listening to the directions I was giving – duh!

      Okay, there ARE some things you can do in this situation. You can reverse the rings. Take them off the scope and off the gun and turn them around. Reinstall the scope and see what changes it makes. When they make these rings, the holes for the scope don’t always align with the dovetail groves on the bottom. I know that sounds impossible, but it happens quite often.

      Turn one ring at a time around, so you have control over what is happening. If, for any reason, turning the one ring around makes the problem WORSE – you are home free! Simply exchange the front ring for the rear and leave the ring you just turned around in the same orientation. The shot group will now move in the desired direction. It HAS to, because when the rings were on the opposite ends of the scope, it moved in the other direction.

      After both rings have been turned around you will have a good feel for how they influence the strike of the round. You should know whether to swap them front and rear and which one needs to be turned which way.

      This is time-consuming, so plan on spending the time and do whatever it takes to make the job more enjoyable. And I’d like to hear how it turns out.

      B.B.


    11. Legacy 1000 update:

      I got some copper antiseize for the shaft and loctite red for the threads. I’m going to give it a good day to cure per the instructions, but here’s hoping it works…otherwise I’m done with springers forever.



    12. Legacy 1000 update:

      The pivot screw moved after 10 rounds with loctite on the threads. I’m done with springers forever. I’ve spend the last 6 months trying to get both of these legacy 1000′s anywhere close to accurate, and they just can’t do it. Piss poor design and craftsmanship. They have a 1 year warranty on them, but who wants another inaccurate gun? All it does it throw a pellet really hard, in a general direction. Maybe if I start working out my upper body more I could just throw the pellets at the squirrels and have better luck?

      -a very frustrated legacy 1000 owner.


    13. Easy there “davidandjemma”. Before you deep six your guns, please hear me out. I bought my Ben Leg 1000 (.22) right after B.B.’s review. If you and your dad want to get rid of your rifles, please let me know – I will gladly reimburse you postage after the rifles come!
      I wanted a .22 cal air rifle that would not degrade due to frigid temps as my CO2 guns do. I live in Alaska. I was delighted to read that the cocking force needed was a mild 28 lbs. I am a one handed, non dominant left handed (damaged) shooter. I pestered B.B. until he revealed his technique for measuring the required poundage. He claimed 28 lbs to cock. Using this technique, my rifle required 38 lbs. of force to cock. The worst part of my rifle, however, is the 800 lb. Trigger pull! The RCBS trigger pull scale quits at 8 lbs. How can accuracy be tested if one gets a hernia before each shot let off? Hopefully, after years of breaking in, the trigger pull will decrease to a mere 100 lbs. or less? Yes, I do believe in Santa. That being said accuracy, such as I can achieve with my 3-9 X 50 Leapers seems reasonable from my bench rest at 15 yards. The first Leapers scope broke after 150 rounds, under warranty! Free hand shooting with accuracy is virtually impossible due the excessive trigger pull weight.
      B.B. claimed that his stock (.177 cal) was laminated wood. If laminated wood was used in my rifle stock, I cant tell, the stock job was sooo good!
      B.B. was unhappy with the polish/ finish job of the barrel. While not up to the scale of a fine Winchester rifle, my barrel is very acceptable. The visible rings on the barrel help me hold on as I am valiantly cocking the barrel.
      Now on to your specific problem. I can detect no movement in the barrel either before or after cocking. I presume that the pivot screw is staying where it should be. Perhaps, you and dad received rifles with under sized screws or over sized nuts. LockTite probably won’t fix that type of problem. That is exactly what warranty service is all about. Believe me, Pyramyd Air has bent over backwards to keep me coming back! Never the less, I would gladly take possession of your rifles!
      In summation, my rifle seems to be a good buy for the cost. Should you wish, I will be happy to receive your two rifles.


    14. Everybody,

      A gun in the class of the Legacy or any Gamo or any rifle made in Spain or Turkey that I have seen thus far will always take a back seat to a German spring gun. And of the German guns, Diana ranks behind Weihrauch in term of build quality.

      But these gun will shoot! Learning how is a matter of learning the correct technique. And, for some of them, it may be necessary to clean or even lap their barrels with JB bore paste.

      I have not given up on the Legacy/ If the pivot bolt loosens, I will use a small screwdriver to bugger the threads so that it locks. If the barrel won’t shape up, I’ll lap it and see what that does. If the locking detent doesn’t lock the barrel securely, I’ll use a technique to ensure the barrel is always in the same position before every shot.

      There are ways of making even Chinese spring air rifles perform. I enjoy guns like the TX200 because you don’t have to do any of these things, but not everyone owns a TX.

      I’m saying hang in there. And read as much as you can about a gun before buying it – especially comments from owners.

      B.B.


    15. BB Pelletier,

      I recently saw your report on the Desert Eagle pellet gun. I just had to order one!! Previously I had a Daisy 400 Desert Eagle. I am not happy with it. It double fires, meaning the slide comes back twice. It tries to double fire. Sometimes the BB just rolls out the end of the barrel. What’s wrong???

      PS. I also have the real thing; Desert Eagle Mark XIX with interchangeable barrels, .50, .44 & .357 and the original Mark XII .44 cal.

      I can’t wait to try out my new Desert Eagle pellet gun!

      But could you give me some advice on the Daisy 400 Desert Eagle??

      Desert Eagle Fan


    16. Desert Eagle Fan,

      I would send the Daisy back to Daisy for repair/exchange. Those guns have a lot of plastic in them and repairs are often difficult to impossible.

      On the other hand, I think you will enjoy the Umarex gun. Not the boomer your firearms are, but very realistic, nevertheless.

      B.B.


    17. Amazingly accurate gun with a Walther Top Point 2 sight. Just bought a BSA laser dot ($30) to add to the second rail.
      Here’s the thing. When I zero the gun I used the Walther dot as a registration point to zero the BSA lazer. From 20 feet or so, the two dots perfectly coincide and I was getting 1″ inch groups. HOWEVER, as soo as I advanced on the targe by 5 feet or so, the two dots began to grow apart. I trusterd the Walther dot and fired according to it’s point with consistant success even with advancements in 5 foot increments towards ther target. The BSA dot now was totally off in accordance with the Walther. Question, is this some heady bit of optical physics I am totally ignorant of, or perhaps am I doing something wrong in my process of zeroing the BSA red laser? Basically, it seems like the laser dot scope is not anywhere near as accurate as the Walther, especially if you plan on moving forwards or away from your target after your first shot.



    18. I see, thanks B.B. but doesnt that make a Laser dot (like the BSA) much less accurate then a red dot scope? How do shoot accurately if you move 5 feet forward or backwards? Or is it zeroed for one desired shooting distance then always re-calibrated for any new range of distance? I thought the purpose of the laser was for quick target acquisition, but if its only accurate for one distance, it seems kind of silly? Or, perhaps thats what one can expect from a $30 product vs the “proffesional” lasers that sell for much more?


    19. There will be NO difference between a $30 laser and a $300 laser. Lasers project light, and light isn’t affected by gravity, so, cheap or expensive, they all shine straight.

      What you need to discover is the optimum range at which to zero any sights – optical or not. I have written extensively about this subject in this blog. A 20-foot zero is going to be off at ALL other ranges, including 19 and 21 feet! A 20 YARD zero will be very close to where the pellet hits at distances between 20 and 30 yards and not far off clear out to 35-40 yards, depending on velocity.

      A red dot sight or any open sight will be off at all other ranges if zeroed at 20 feet, as well. This is because of the coincidence of the angle of sight with the falling trajectory of the pellet. If the pellet went faster, the zero range would move out farther.

      B.B.


    20. I see what you are saying. I think perhaps, the benifit of having multiple rails allows me to have both the Walther and the laser sight, perhaps I will zero the laser for close shooting, and set up the Top Point scope for farther targets. However, as I think I stated in my original post, I set up both scopes at about 20 feet, the Walther dot stayed on target even as I advanced closer in increments of five or so feet, even at near point blank range the Top Point allowed for accurate shots, while the BSA grew off course after advancing only a few feet further. I wonder if I was just getting off some lucky rounds?


    21. The reason the dot stays on target at any range is because it is an illusion. What does not stay on target is the pellet. It changes with distance.

      The laser moves relative to the dot because it isn’t an illusion, but rather a projection. You get the same thing when you sight at a laser point through a scope.

      Your idea of using the laser for one range and the dot for another is exactly how it’s supposed to be done. Since you cannot see the laser at great distance, make it the close-range zero and let the dot that can be seen out to infinity the longer-range zero.

      B.B.



    22. Hey B.B.

      I’m wondering what the level of noise is like with the desert eagle. I own a CP99 Compact which I love, but for shooting indoors it’s on the loud side. How does the desert eagle compare to the walther in terms of noise?


    23. I would say the CP99 Compact and Desert Eagle are fairly equivalent in noise. After all, the both use CO2 and CO2 maintains the same pressure at room temperture, so both guns should have the same muzzle blast.

      B.B.




    24. are the desert eagle’s magazines the same as the other Umarex .177 pellet pistols? (can i use my CP88 mag’s in this gun for example?)

      mike





    25. Hey B.B.
      I know this is off topic.. but how do you think of the Crosman T4 or T4 OPTS? Could you do a review for it please? It’ll help a lot of members from Airgunforum.ca since they are all curious.

      Thank you


    26. I shot the T4 briefly. As you know, the T4 OPTS is the same gun dressed up.

      The gun has a rifled barrel so it has reasonable accuracy at 25 feet, but it’s not in the Umarex class (1″ at 25′) because Umarex is dedicated to lead pellets, only.

      I remember the sights of the gun I shot were off, and I had to aim to the right of the target by an inch to connect. I was shooting reactive targets.

      It’s not a blowback gun, so the impulse of firing is all you feel.

      B.B.


    27. hey BB,

      someone may have already asked this, but i dont have time to read all of the reviews on the Umarex Desert Eagle. I have a walther cp99 compact, also made by Umarex i believe. I love that gun, especially the feature of the locking slide. Does the desert eagle also feature a locking slide whenever the magazine is emptied?



    28. BB:

      Excellent blogs on the Desert Eagle. I left a comment on the previous Desert Eagle blog on May 22 2006 before I ran across these three parts. I think Umarex did a great job with this one. And you did a great job on covering it.

      Rabbitt





    29. you said the desert eagle is fairly accurate, what other co2, multi shot pistols are accurate? i would like something with a bit of power, and the eagle looked good but it eats through co2 with the blow back. any other powerful multi shot co2 pistols out their that still retain their accuracy?(also preferably cheap, but i would pay for accuracy)


    30. Accuracy and power in CO2? Okay, the FWB C5 is good but pricey. Steyr and Walther have repeaters, too, and they are all $1,600 to $2,000.

      The Drulov DU-10 is another good one. The S&W 568 is very accurate but not so powerful.

      That’s about it for the repeaters.





    31. B.B

      Can you recomend a pellet (no bb) air pistol with blowback other than the desert eagle with good fps and reasonable price?



    32. I have ordered the desert eagle from pyramidair, it is on the way. It is my first co2 gun. I have a question for it. If I don’t finish one co2 tank, shall I leave it in the gun or pull it out? Is it going to leak out slowly? What is the proper way to store it (with no leak), if I don’t finish it up? Thanks a lot!


    33. Bruce,

      You want to put a drop of Pellgunoil on the tip of the CO2 powerlet before you install it. That will preserve the seals and help keep it from developing a leak. See BB’s guide to oiling.
      http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2008/09/what-to-oil-part-1-guide-to-sealing.html

      There shouldn’t be a leak problem when storing the gun with a partial CO2 powerlet IF you put that drop of Pellgunoil on it.

      This is an older blog post, but you can join the daily (Mon – Fri) current blog at
      http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/

      Hope to see you there.

      A.R. Tinkerer






    34. B.B.,
      In hindsight that's good advice. Wish I'd asked before my curiosity got the better of me.
      Mine was out of warranty by a couple of years and it would no longer hold CO2. Called Umarex USA and for about $40 plus shipping both ways they would repair (replace the valve). For about $20 and shipping one way they sent me a valve and blurred schematic (in German).
      With great difficulty I was able to disassemble and replace the valve. With greater difficulty I was able to reassemble and only lose a steel ball under one of the safety levers. Works fine now with one exception.
      When in fire mode the magazine does not index. To index the magazine after firing the first shot, I put it on safe and cycle the trigger then slip it back to fire and discharge. The cycling of the trigger when on safe indexes the magazine. Works fine that way.
      After putting everything back together from the first disassembly I noticed a spring on the floor not far from where I was working. I examined the schematic very closely to see if that spring might have fallen out during disassembly but could not identify it. Will keep trying to figure out the problem.
      I thought some one might have gone through a similar experience with the Desert Eagle and have some suggestions.


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