Pros: FUN TO SHOOT. Looks real. Half the weight of the real thing.
Cons: Piercing mechanism
Look here to see me shooting the real DESERT EAGLE:
The Desert Eagle is a very big handgun, originally designed to fire very big rounds: .357 and .44 magnum. Its most well known variant is the gargantuan .50 caliber variant which will punch through body armor like a knife through butter. The gun was used throughout the 80’s as an intimidating firearm for film villains (i.e: Clarence Boddicker in Robocop), but it gained more attention when used in the best selling videogame, Counter Strike, and as the main weapon of Agent Smith in The Matrix.
The Daisy Powerline 400GX was actually the first commercial DEagle BB gun replica offered on the American market, but it was produced in very limited numbers during 2000 – 2003. That gun featured a 20-shot magazine, a blowback slide, and offered an advertised 420 feet per second muzzle velocity (real world velocities range around 350 according to the chronograph). I’m surprised that the 400GX wasn’t popular enough to get an extended production.
This new replica: the Umarex/ Magnum Research Desert Eagle, is very similar to the 400GX in look and feel. A real Desert Eagle is about 4.4lbs of cold steel. The 400GX weighed a paltry1.4lbs. This Umarex model increases weight to about 2.5 pounds – closer to the real thing, but not nearly as heavy.
The best thing about this gun is arguably its blowback mechanism which sends the massive slide hurtling towards you just like the real thing. The real 50.cal Desert Eagle’s slide slaps back in such violent motion that you could lose fingers or an eye to it if you aren’t careful. Though many blowback pistols lose power from their 12-gram CO2 powerlets due to the effort of having to simultaneously push a pellet and clap the slide, this DEagle will still rocket pellets out between 420 and 440 feet per second wherein the 400GX averaged much lower. You'll get a decent 35 - 40 shots before you have to reload the CO2 cartridge.
Accuracy is also far better in this DEagle than the 400GX. The 400GX had a smooth bore barrel while this model has a rifled barrel - as do most Umarex guns. A rifled barrel imparts a spin on projectiles and that spin helps them stabilize in the wind as they head for the target. The 400GX only shot BBs and they are notoriously less accurate than the machined pellets you’ll have to use in this model’s 8-shot rotary clip. Accuracy can be aided using the fixed front sight and the adjustable rear sight. The rear sight is only adjustable for windage. considering the difficulty of actually aiming this beast, you won't really have to aim with the iron sights - you'll be able to track each fired round by eye. The movement of the slide makes it so you won't want your face too near it.
You can add a large number of accessories to the standard dovetail rails: lasers, holographic sights, reflex sights, scopes, etc. This gun is not only great for busting bottles, but good for pest control.
Accuracy is good enough to keep a .5" group at 10 meters.
My greatest disappointment with this gun is that as a replica, the company tried to eliminate all exterior signs of it being a BB gun. This meant getting rid of the CO2 cartridge piercing screw synonymous with CO2 handguns. Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to lug around a special key (or coin) to help you unscrew the recessed piercing screw. Umarex knows how to make better piercing systems than this (ala: their Walther CP99). I don’t like having to carry accessories because they are easy to lose.
One major disappointment is that, as this isn’t a true firearm, the slide will not lock in the open position once the last pellet is fired. It’s too bad it doesn’t, because being able to peer down into the open breech of a Desert Eagle is a sight to behold. A collage of metal parts all working together to present you with the world’s greatest “hand cannon”.
This Desert Eagle model comes closer to the real one in terms of capacity than the 400GX. The real Desert Eagle can only hold between 7 and 9 rounds. This gun holds 8, while the 400GX held 20. Therefore, you will, realistically, need to reload more often – just like the real thing. The reloading experience would be much cooler if the gun had a slide lock.
Umarex makes great replica guns with excellent rifled barrels. This gun looks the part, but, there were ways, as I’ve pointed out, that it could have been made better. For the price, it’s a great value for anyone who wants to plink in their backyard.