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Education / Training Desert Eagle: First impressions, part 1

Desert Eagle: First impressions, part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

A package arrived from Germany yesterday. It contained goodies that I will use to keep you amused for the next several weeks. Like a CARE package at summer camp, I went straight to the chocolate chip cookies – the new Magnum Research Desert Eagle.

SO – how’s it hangin’?
There has been a lot of jabber about this pistol from airgunners in the UK, where it has been available for some time. The main comment heard is that the gun is too “plastic-y.” Well – what’s the deal? It IS mostly plastic on the outside, but can you say Glock? This is engineering plastic, not the blowmolded styrene of Taiwanese toys. I imagine our British cousins are not familiar with the modern synthetics used in handguns, but you can’t buy a simple Ruger 22/45 Mark III pistol and not touch plastic.

The Desert Eagle is heavy! Weighing 2 lbs., 8.7 oz. (40.7 oz./1,153.83 grams) with a fresh 12-gram cartridge installed, this AIR pistol is within half a pound of an M1911A1 Colt .45 ACP FIREARM! And, it’s LARGE! The grip is identical to the one on the Desert Eagle Mark XIX. To quote my wife, “That is a BIG gun!”

You better read the manual
When most CO2 pistols arrive, I have them through their first field test before I look to see if they sent a manual. With this pistol, however, I had to read the book from the start. Even then I didn’t get it right the first time. Like loading the first CO2 cartridge. It was obvious where it went – the hole at the bottom of the grip, and a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip goes without saying (but I said it anyway). But, when I screwed the cap tight and pulled the trigger, nothing happened. Oh, the trigger pulled and the hammer cycled like it’s supposed to, but the gun didn’t fire. So, I began experimenting with the tension on the CO2 cap. From very tight to so loose it began exhausting gas inside the grip – but no shooting.

The CO2 cartridge drops in the hole covered by the brass cap. The cap is flush with the bottom of the grip, leaving NOTHING hanging down. That was requested by many, who said it would be okay if a tool was needed to tighten the cap. The Desert Eagle comes with a separate spanner for this job.

I was so frustrated because I had followed the manual perfectly, or did I? Like a soldier caught in a minefield, I began retracing my steps exactly until I arrived at the point of putting on the safety. All manuals tell you to put on the safety when installing a new CO2 cartridge, but guess what. THIS manual doesn’t tell you to take it OFF before firing! Well, duh!

Of course, I know the gun won’t shoot with the safety on, but that didn’t stop me from having a frustrating 15-minute episode before figuring the thing out. Even with the safety on, the trigger and hammer continue to function normally. I think I won’t be the only person this happens to.

Safety off
BAM! Just what you’d expect, and the blowback action is definitely there. It’s not the bounce of the PPK/S, but more like the quick snap of a heavy .22 target pistol. The world has not had a blowback pellet pistol since Crosman stopped making the 451 way back in 1970!

Velocity, accuracy, number of shots – these are just a few of the things I haven’t told you yet. Stick around!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

32 thoughts on “Desert Eagle: First impressions, part 1”

  1. The TX 200 and FWB 300 are about the same at 10 meters. Both will shoot 5-shot groups under 0.10″. It is more difficult to do it with the TX because, even as neutral as it is, it still requires a little technique, but at 10 meters you can get away with sandbagging the gun. You aren’t far enough from the target for the inconsistencies to set in.


  2. It’s insane how many time’s I’ve gone to pull the trigger, be it on a target .22, a paintball gun, or an air rifle, only to learn I left the safety on.

    On a seperate note, I am DEFINATELY buying from Pyramyd again. After the multiple miscommunications, they apologized by shipping the Nightstalker by air, for no extra charge! I just realized, too, that the Nightstalker’s BUIS’ share a lot in common with those of the M16A2

  3. This is not on the subject at hand but I was wondering if you could tell me what size hex key is used to remove the Crosman plastic breech.I have just purched a 1377 from Pyramyd and a 2300 from the custom shop. The custom was ordered wwith the long steel breech. I would like to change the 1377 to a steel breech as well but want to build it myself so I don’t have the wrench. I can only tell it’s a tiny hex key under magnification. Thanks for any info.

  4. Diana 45 sights and manual,

    For the manual I’d contact Umarex USA. They are now the importers of Diana airguns. RWS is out of the picture.

    Fopr the sights, you might try a free classified ad on the American Airguns web site. Get the address from


    You could mention the manual there’ too. Someone might have a copy for you.


  5. BB also I would like to mention the gamo .45 metal clone is a blow back. I’ve been looking at that gun for a while but the whole lead pellet ball only deal had really turned me off to it.

    they also put out a FN Five-Five-Seven looking handgun that also has blow back IIRC. you might look into those.

    Also is there any way to remove those god awful rails?

  6. OFF Topic:


    what is your pick for a pcp handpump and why? can you please discus handpumps in more details, from theory of operation to proper maintenance practices.


  7. bb, what difference is there detween ribbed and smooth pellets? a note for readers, i have shot both crosman wadcutters and of the gamo variety, adn i can safely say that the crosman fits much looser. sometimes, i encounter a small pellet that doesent even seat! small gamo pellets still seat atleast as well as defect crosmans. there is a small difference in accuracy, the upperhand going to the gamo. (atleast in my rifle.)
    i shoot my rifle at five metres, scoped.

  8. Gamo has a silver metal .45 Hardballer looking gun with what looks like a set of houge grips on it.

    It quallifies as a pellet pistol because it says it can only take gamos .117 pellet lead balls. these are slightly bigger than std bbs and are a god send for the 1077 users out there.

    (lead round ball pellets recommended!)

  9. Okay,

    This Gamo is a round ball shooter and not a pellet pistol. A true pellet is a diabolo, and that shape cannot easily be handled in a semiautomatic repeating mechanism. Gamo is being sloppy when referring to .177 round balls as pellets – just as Asian manufacturers also call 6mm BBs both bullets and pellets.

    The Russian Drozd is an electromechanical rond ball shooter that’s FULL AUTO in the burst-fire mode. With balls, repeating is not a problem. With diabolo pellets, it is.

    Round ball and BB seiauto repeaters have been plentiful. and have never been out of production. I can name 20 in the past 30 years. But semiautomatic pellet guns are extremely rare.


  10. dm20,

    There is no performance difference between ribbed and smooth pellets. By ribs, I refer to the smll ribs that run in line with the pellet’s axis – not the piston-ring type of rib found on some pellets.

    Crosman pellets are both smaller and harder than most pellets. I have always believed that it was because Crosman produces so many repeaters and a smaller harder pellet will feed easier through the repeating mechanisms. It may have to do with the type of production machinery they use, too.


  11. B.B., Ordered this gun next day air, cant wait to get it. I noticed a Walther Red Dot Scope shown on this blog, however I believe the Pyramid site shows three photos, the third with the pistol dressed up in tactical gear with another type of scope on it (shown with a red backdrop the gun has the walther flashlight and a scope) can you tell me which model (red dot) scope is shown on the gun in this third photo and where I can order it ? Does Pyramid carry it? Thanks.

  12. That red photo was provided by Umarex, who makes the gun.

    I have never seen that perticular red dot sight for sale in the U.S.

    Want me to ask Umarex what the model is and if it’s available? Please call yourself Desert Red Dot so I will know who you are from now on.


  13. From Red Dot Scope, yes please if you could find the product name sku number that would be appreciated. As I write this, I am waiting anxiously for my Desert Eagle to arrive at my door Fedex. Can’t wait to trick this bad boy out.

  14. From Red Dot Scope,
    Just got my gun. Wow. I decided to pick this bad boy up as a replacement for two failed (safety catch issue) Walther Nighthawks. Holy jeez is this thing sweet. I decided on this final choice based almost entirely on Mr. Pelletier’s extensive review. Every thing listed on this blog regarding his review of this product seems to be dead on. Very reliable informative place to research a gun before you purchase it.

    Back to the “bird”, this gun is ENORMOUS, elephantine compare to the CP99 (or pretty much any other co2 gun I know of), and it has an awesome kick. I found the blowback action of the Walther ppk/s to further throw of that gun’s already poor accuracy. Not this case with this piece of kit. Very accurate, no formal tests, but I fired 36 rounds of wadcutters at a aluminium can at about 25 feet. I would guess 90% of the pellets hit their mark shredding the can in the process. However, the gas guzzler issue is apperant. I got 36 shots from a full CO2 canister, the last 5-6 pellets were considerably lowered in velocity. But who the hell cares? Spend a few extra bucks on extr CO2, its well worth it.

    This price is very nice too, you get a LOT OF GUN for around $150 U.S., very well made, though if you have a distaste for industrial grade plastic, look elsewhere.

    My only concern was the fact the gun’s packaging was very worn and tattered, the accessories (magizine, lower piccatinny rail ect) all were packed into a small ziplock bag that looked like it had been dragged across a street surface. The inside of the box was similarly ratty looking with sections of the cardboard torn up as if it had once held the gun frimly in place. I wonder if this was a returned gun repacked and sold as new? Though there was Umarex seal on the box that I had to cut through to open the package, so maybe this is just how it ships? I got it through Airgun Warehouse (very nice folks over there by the way) who I believe get many of their wares from Pyramid Airgun, so who knows the real deal on thing.

    Not complaining, very pleased with my new acquisition. FUN FUN FUN to had with this monster of a gun!

  15. Is there any difference between the Walther Top Point I and the Top Point II (beyond the design, I think the brightness dial is in different sopts.) I want to scope this gun, wondering what option you might recommend regarding (Walther and other brands) the Desert Eagle?

  16. I tried a google search for holographic red dot sights. too much stuff came up to sift through properly. I know Walther makes something callerd a competition red dot sight, sells for like $30 but I hink it said I need an adapter for weaver mounting. Any other tips on certain brans to search for? The box the gun came in from Umarex show a Walther scope attached to the gun, this scope is shown as having the feature that allows the user to flip up the front and rear protective covers. any idea which one this may be, or any other good holo red dots for air pistols? Also, I have scoped my 1377 Crosman with a cheapo 10 dollar Tasco scope, accurate but I have to put the sight right up to my eye to view through it, any suggestions for a real pistol scope (one where I can hold the gun at arms length and still see through the it) in the $50 range for that gun?

  17. Have to confess. Recently I went to shoot my Desert Eagle. Got it all loaded with pellets and CO2 and the darn thing wouldn’t fire. Spent minutes messing with it. Guess what I finally did after putting the second CO2 in it.

    Yep. Took the darn safety off! Immediately remembered this blog part and said to myself. Darn, I pulled a BB.

    Easy to forget things I guess. 🙂

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