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Education / Training Desert Eagle: First impressions, part 2

Desert Eagle: First impressions, part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Today, I’ll load the gun, shoot through an Alpha Chrony and have a go at some targets. But first, a few of the features I haven’t mentioned yet.

Rails, rails!
The Desert Eagle comes with a Picatinny rail permanently on top of the slide and another rail you can install underneath (shown installed on the Pyramyd AIR website). Most owners will want to dress their gun, so the under rail is a great place for a laser or a tactical light. A red dot goes on top (a scope is possible, too).

It’s a true semiautomatic!
Besides the blowback feature that gives a recoil impulse, the Desert Eagle is a true semiautomatic pellet pistol. The removable pellet clip is a revolving cylinder like all other Umarex pellet pistols, but all the work is done by the blowback slide. The hammer is cocked, AND the cylinder is advanced for the next shot. Therefore, the trigger-pull is lighter than if you were also advancing the clip.

The slide is shown as far back as it goes. Notice that the top of the barrel does not move, so an optical sight would be stable. The spanner that opens the CO2 chamber is shown to the left the grip.

The trigger
I can’t say that I like the trigger. It has a very long first stage, and then the second stage is rather vague with lots of soft creep. I would like to see this feature improved, if possible. When you combine the trigger with a VERY large grip frame, I have to struggle to shoot one-handed. And that is my real complaint. I have never cared to shoot a handgun with two hands. Those who do will have an easier time of it with this pistol, although you do have to keep your hands off the slide, which isn’t easy.

To load, press down on the disassembly latch and the front of the slide springs forward, revealing a large hole for the clip. Just drop it in with the pellets pointed forward and the gun takes care of the rest. This is by far the easiest Umarex pistol to load!

Press down on the disassembly latch, and the front of the slide springs forward for clip access. This is the easiest-loading Umarex pistol.

The Smith & Wesson 586 revolver now has some competition! The Desert Eagle is wonderfully accurate. I shot a great first target with it, before the flies and mosquitos discovered me. At 25 feet, I could keep all my shots on a pop bottle cap, which makes the gun a super plinker. I suppose with a red dot sight, that would improve somewhat.

Gamo Match pellets were the best of the three I tried (the others were H&N Finale Match and RWS Hobby). They actually shot rings around H&N Finale Match, which doesn’t happen too often. Stock up on them if you get this gun.

Velocity and gas use
Well, it’s a hot airgun, and it uses gas like a Hummer! The temperature where I shot was 80 degrees F and there was strong sunlight. With RWS Hobbys, I got a couple shots over 500 f.p.s. and the average was in the 490s. Gamo Match pellets were in the 460-470 range, and H&N Match were in the high 450s.

I could only get three clips of shots per CO2 cartridge. That’s 24 shots, and the final five were dropping in velocity. A shot or two later, the gun went full-auto for a couple of shots and exhausted its gas. I tried the gun with eight different CO2 cartridges and the results were the same, so I’m pretty sure this is representative. The Crosman 451 was similar in that respect, so it looks like the blowback function comes at a cost.

I’ll finish tomorrow.

20 thoughts on “Desert Eagle: First impressions, part 2”

  1. B.B.
    Thanks for the tip on the safety yesterday. I too had a similar experience with my crosman 357. Glad to hear that you find this gun accurate and shoots pretty hard. I’ve heard the complete opposite in reviewcentre. Then again, I’ve heard the cp99 wasn’t accurate at all, and yet, I can keep my shots within a quarter dollar coin at about 20 feet.
    Looks like I’ll be saving up for the D-Eagle soon!

    Have you heard anything about the baby desert eagle? I’ve seen stuff about it in the umarex website. Supposedly a BB gun version of it. But I haven’t seen anything in US based websites yet.

    W. P99 Fan

  2. BB,

    How do you feel this gun compares to the Walther CP88 and the Colt 1911? How would you rank the three guns in order of your personal preference, and for what reasons?

    Thank you for your reviews,

  3. BA,

    I like the CP88 best for it’s looks and feel. I like the Colt best because it fits me so well and is very accurate. The Colt also seems to have the second-best trigger in the Umarex line, (only the S&W is better).

    The Desert Eagle is more accurate than the Colt in my hands. And that’s with a trigger I don’t like. If I got used to it, I might do even better.

    Here’s my take. Get the Desert Eagle for power, accuracy and realistic recoil. Get the other two as fun plinkers and as more realistic guns.


  4. Magazine loading,

    Please look at this posting and tell me whether it’s enough:


    If I need to do more I can, but that’s why I showed the loading port on the Eagle.


  5. Looks fine, I didn’t see a link to the CP88 in your writeup. You may want to put one in there for reference if you didn’t.

    I think it’s more style perhaps than right or wrong, but to me how a gun loads and how it looks is a major issue and something that I would still like to see original pictures of even if it’s nearly identical in another gun.

    But that’s more how I would do it, so you can take that for what it’s worth.

  6. CP88 link,

    Here is the link:


    You copy that link and paste it into the address bar of your browser, then hit RETURN. That should take you to the report mentioned. You can also find any past posting from the blog’s main page by using the Google search function on the right side of the page.

    I will post some loading pictures for you, although all the Umarex pistols load in the same way. My only remark about the Desert Eagle was that the slot you drop the circular clip into is larger than on the other guns. If you follow the link above, you will see a photo of the CP88 slide forward and the clip (I erroneously called it a magazine in that report) inside.


  7. that’s fine, like I said, it’s more of a “style” thing…it’s what I would prefer to see because I don’t have instant recall in my mind of the other guns to say “oh ok that’s what it is”.

    Your other readers with more experience with these air pistols may not need or want that level of detail.

  8. oh and what I meant by I couldn’t see the link in the write up is that in your Desert Eagle write up I didn’t see any reference to the CP88 informing me that I could check out the loading system there.

    The other link in the comments showed up just fine, I followed it and found the information I was seeking.

    Thank you.

  9. t first I thought it was the two-handed hold I had on it – that I was inadvertently hitting the locking lever with my left thumb or a finger when the gun recoiled, but subsequent tests shooting one-handed (and staying away from the lever on the left side) proved that this was not the case.

    Apparently Umarex didn’t take the blowback seriously enough when they made the locking mechanism, and it just doesn’t always hold.

    Actually it’s more of a nuisance at this point, because one has to stop and re-lock the chamber after it flies open.

    If this gun was doing this on every shot, I would have promptly returned it to Pyramid for a replacement, but it only happens about once every clip, so I can deal with it. (besides, since I’ve had it longer than a month, it’d be impossible to get a new one, and I’d be waiting months for a replaement (and probably be out a lot more money).

    I’m wondering how many others have had the same problem with the Eagle and what (if anythingz) casn be done about it.

    Other than that, it’s a superb shooter, powerful and accurate, and a lot of fun. I’d definitely recommend adding one to your ‘arsenal’.


  10. Well, that’s intreresting… I just published some commenta on the Desert Eagle and it appears that the first two paragraphs or so were left out. Oh well…

  11. Picker,

    Your gun is not normal, nor is what it is doing something you should live with.

    Call Pyramyd AIR and ask them what’s the best thing for you to do. Umarex USA should repair or replace the gun for nothing.


  12. I have three Blow-Back Walther gun:

    CP99 Compact – Great blow-back feel, accurate, responsive, solid.

    PPK – Converted to full-auto, 15 rounds in under 1 second, very realistic and compact.

    Video showing off dual CP99 and PPK with full-auto mod:

    Desert Eagle – Just got it, only been thru a few CO2s, very loud compared to the other blow-back guns, not as much slide recoil (lighter plastic slide), much more power then bb blow-backs, gun seems to sustain its power right up till the end but only able to get 4 clips out of a CO2. Wish it had more metal on it!

  13. Dear bb,
    I just got my desert eagle yesterday and I LOVE IT!! Its the best pistol I’ve ever owned. Considering I only owned a rather cheepy gamo for my first. Continuing on…. You say in your review that the desert eagle advances to the next cylinder when it blows back. It does not. Im supprised you didnt notice this before. I could feel the difference when shooting with and without the cylinder inside. And, if you open the loading mechanism and pull the trigger you can see the mechanism that turns the cylinder even with the hammer cocked back. I just thaught that I should bring this to your attension. other than that… THIS GUN ROCKS!!! WOOT! lol.

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