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All the Desert Eagle Pistols Ever Made Explained in Small Details

From Hollywood to first-person shooting games, the Desert Eagle is one of the most popular firearms out there. You might have seen it in plenty of movies, even if you didn't necessarily pay attention to it. It's common, popular, and has a great reputation.

Initially, it was designed for special forces and was only used on battlefields. But then, it gained popularity among target shooters and hunters as well. It has a super punch for its size, hence its amazing popularity all over the world.

Initially produced in Israel in 1979, its production still continues today, with many countries importing the popular pistol. Over time, there have been a few different generations of it, each of them with its own cartridges and particularities. Here are all the Desert Eagle models and their characteristics.

Mark I

Mark I represents the first generation of Desert Eagle. It’s no longer produced, yet some guns still pop up for sale from private owners every now and then.

It was available in three frame designs, aluminum, steel, and stainless steel.

  • .357 Magnum features a smokeless powder cartridge and has a small slide. It also comes with a 3/8 inch dovetail on top.
  • .44 Magnum is similar and has the same dovetail. For this reason, the slide is also small, as it has to accommodate the dovetail.

Mark VII

The Mark VII generation is the successor of the Mark I one and has a few improvements. The trigger, for instance, is highly adjustable.

Compared to Mark I, this generation has an extra caliber.

  • .357 Magnum has the same 3/8 inch dovetail borrowed from the previous generation, as well as a small slide.
  • .41 Magnum is a centerfire cartridge introduced in 1964. The pistol has a slide catch and release lever with three steps.
  • .44 Magnum has the same features, but it’s a different caliber.

Mark XIX

Mark XIX is available in four different cartridges and boosts a wide variety of finishes. Titanium gold and brushed chrome are among the most popular choices. Burnt bronze and chrome desert are also common.

The production is recent, and new variants are expected.

  • .357 Magnum has no major differences from previous models, apart from the 7/8 inch weaver-style dovetail.
  • .44 Magnum features the same dovetail and, of course, has a large slide for it. Triggers in this generation are also adjustable.
  • .50AE is a large handgun cartridge used by more weapons but made famous by the Desert Eagle. It’s among the most powerful cartridges out there.
  • .429 DE has been introduced in Desert Eagle in 2018. The cartridge has been exclusively created for this generation of Desert Eagle.
  • .440 Cor-Bon is not extremely popular, and only a bunch of these pistols have come out of Israel. It’s practically derived from .50AE.
  • .357/44 Bain & Davis is a prototype. Its goal was to boost velocity, but it’s never made it into mass production.

A certain type of Mark XIX has been approved in California, the so-called DE44CA, which is basically a .44 Magnum with an automatic firing pin block. It also has a two-slot weaver-style rail.

Furthermore, while not very popular, you can also find Baby Desert Eagle 3, which is a .45 ACP caliber double or single-action pistol. A similar release features the 9mm caliber.

Taking about less popular handguns, the Magnum Research 1911 is a semi-compact pistol that failed to gain as much notoriety as other models.

Similarly, Desert Eagle Apocalyptic is a special release available in .44 Magnum and .50AE calibers.

In terms of design and style, apart from the wide variety of colors and finishes, the Viking Desert Eagle L5 stands out with its weathered finish and handle similar to old-fashioned swords.

Bottom line, despite being one of the most recognizable pistols in movies and on the market, the Desert Eagle hasn’t had as many variants and generations as its competition, but each release has managed to draw its fair share of popularity.