Desert Eagle cases bulging. Help!


May 9, 2004, 06:56 PM
Hi all.

As seen in this thread:

I recently shot my Desert Eagle for the first time. It was great, except that I noticed that the cases were bulging.

I think what's happening is that the case is getting extracted before the bullet exits the barrel.

Is this normal or indicative of a problem?

Attached are two pics so that you can see what I'm talking about.

The bulged case is on the left, and an unfired round is on the right for comparison.


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May 9, 2004, 06:59 PM
I circled the bulge in this pic.

May 9, 2004, 08:42 PM
Just looks like sloppy chamber dimensions. As you fire and resize again and again the brass will stretch at the bulge and that will limit the case life. That is often the case .

May 9, 2004, 08:54 PM
Sloppy chamber dimensions? In a $1200 gun???? :scrutiny: :cuss:

Is this at all bad for the gun, or does it mean its a lemon?

Should I contact Mag Research?

I don't reload, so case life doesn't bother me.

May 9, 2004, 10:26 PM
The resizing die will bring them back down to correct, or near-correct dimensions, pretty well. If you don't reload, it's not really a problem, anyway. My own .357 Desert Eagle bulges it's brass, but only when I run my super-hot handloads, namely, a 158gr truncated flat point over 1600fps. Probably a bit of residual chamber pressure during unlocking of the Desert Eagle's rotary bolt. Try a different brand or load of .44 Magnum and see if it does the same thing.

May 9, 2004, 10:39 PM
I have a .44 mag DEagle and have not noticed any case bulging, but I never thought to look. I am however having some reliability problems, FTE, FTF, etc... The gun is 3 years old, has about 5000 rounds through it. I did replace most of the springs last year. Not much help. Still lots of fun to shoot if I can get over the embarrasment of my friends watching it jam on me.

Jim K
May 9, 2004, 10:58 PM
That case bulging is due to a chamber that is at the large end of the specifications and/or cases that are at the small end of their specification. Not to be flippant, but if you are not reloading, what does it matter?

Specs are set by SAAMI for every chamber, with maximum and minimum dimensions. This is so reamers can be used for a reasonable number of guns. A new reamer is at the maximum size, so it will cut a chamber that is at the outer edge of the allowable spec. As it wears, it is reground until it is less than the minimum at which point it is discarded. The same thing is done for the dies that make cartridge cases, and specs are controlled so that any ammunition that is within spec will fit and fire in any chamber that is within spec and not be dangerous.

Manufacturers could cut all chambers to the minimum (and some custom makers do), but then they would have to discard reamers very quickly and prices would go up.


May 9, 2004, 11:05 PM
Not to be flippant, but if you are not reloading, what does it matter?

Because I didn't know if maybe there was something wrong with my gun.

Apparently the cases bulging isn't an issue, so I won't worry about it.


May 9, 2004, 11:06 PM

You do keep it *clean* right?

I mean, clean enough to use it as a serving utensil?

If not, that could be the source of your problems. They are also incredibly sensitive to limpwristing.

Have you tried many types of ammo?

May 10, 2004, 07:20 PM
They screwed up when they chambered that barrel. They most likely had the tail stock in the lathe mis-aligned with the head stock which positioned the chambering reamer off center to the bore axis.

The barrel should be replaced under warranty. It is obviously defective workmanship.

Tony Rumore
Tromix Corp

May 10, 2004, 09:13 PM
As I look at my own Desert Eagle, I remember something about that barrel being a two-piece affair, whith the gas port at the chamber throat and the gas tube underneath the main barrel body. So the machining is considerably more complex than just turning a tube between centers on a lathe, right? :confused:

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