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Desert Eagle .357?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by swopjan, Apr 19, 2015.

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  1. swopjan

    swopjan Member

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    One of these is up for sale locally, anyone have any experience with them or Desert Eagles in general? What are your impressions of them? Seller is asking $950 for it, down from $1,100 last week. Seems relatively cheap for a Desert Eagle, most around here are asking $1,200-1,600.

    Is it possible to swap barrels/mags and convert it to a .50 AE or .44 Mag down the line? I already have .357 and .44 magnum revolvers but I like hand cannons, being able to make it a .50 down the line would be exciting.
     
  2. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    The 357 is the least popular of all the Eagles. Kinda like buying a new Camaro and going with the 6 cylinder engine.
     
  3. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    The .357 was the very first Desert Eagle to be introduced, and it was aimed at silhouette shooting. The older guns have a smaller slide with less mass than the current versions. They require full power .357 Mag to cycle and they will expose the weaker target loads. You don't want to use lead bullets, as they will clog the gas port.

    In .357, they are very smooth shooters with 9 rounds on tap. They are also the cheapest to feed, compared to the other calibers. They are very well made guns, whose technology is akin to that of an AR15. The early Mk I models cannot be converted, so due diligence is required.

    Good firearms that are perhaps the most misunderstood pistols out there.

    Desert Eagle .357 Video Review
     
  4. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    How big are your hands? DE's require ape-like paws. Quite pleasant to shoot though.
    .50 AE is expensive stuff. However, MRI says you can convert 'em, but it takes more than just a mag and barrel. Needs a bolt too. Said bolt retails for $217. And it'll require fitting.
     
  5. swopjan

    swopjan Member

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    My hands are fairly big, not ape-like but I'm more comfortable shooting a hot-loaded Super Redhawk than a pocket pistol.

    Bolt, mags, barrel, seems straightforward enough if I want to step it up later. It's going to be one of my more expensive shooters in any case because I'll have to buy jacketed bullets instead of cast and if I talk him down to $900 or less then adding the parts I need to convert would make it pretty close to the cost of a new one in just one caliber.

    I don't think it's a Mk I as the seller says he bought it new last year, but I'll look into that.
     
  6. Armor Snail

    Armor Snail Member

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    Thought the 44 was first.

    Its my understanding that the 357 can be problematic.

    I would buy a 44 for fun.
    The 50 seems like a waste.

    For a 357 I'd look at Coonan.
     
  7. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    The only "problematic" aspect of the .357 is that most of the factory target loads are too weak to cycle the slide. On the other hand, it has been my experience that most factory JHP loadings are stout enough to ensure proper cycling. At the end of the day, factory .357 is all over the map, with some brands showing wide variations even amongst the same box.

    No matter what caliber, these pistols are a reloading proposition. Unless, of course, only intends to shoot it once or twice a year for giggles and grins.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  8. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    The .357 was definitely the first offering of the Desert Eagle, but the .44 Mag followed soon after.

    To the OP: I own one (in .44) and that sounds dirt cheap. Yes they can be converted over to other calibers, but it isn't cheap. A conversion will typically run you $700 to $800 when it's all said and done.

    There is also an "approved" Desert Eagle (factory) ammo list that is floating around. It comes straight from MRI.
     
  9. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Yes, for a Desert Eagle I'd go with the .44 magnum option.

    For .357 magnum, I'd go with a Coonan.
     
  10. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I had a .357 DE for a while. Only full power jacketed ammo, the common 110 gr JHPs won't cycle it. It would start to fail to lock up after 50 or 60 rounds and would need a thorough cleaning. Just too big for .357.

    Swapping calibers requires different recoil springs, bolt, magazines and barrel, making it the most expensive swap possible.

    I traded mine in on a small frame Freedom Arms model 97 .357 and never looked back.

    .44 Rem Mag is the way to go in a DE IMO, or get a Coonan if you're set on a .357 auto.
     
  11. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    Yes, the .44 Desert Eagle is more practical than the .50, with higher reliability than the .357 and still has PLENTY of power.

    The Coonan is really where the .357 shines, much smaller and lighter and just far more appropriate for the .357 magnum cartridge.
     
  12. mstreddy

    mstreddy Member

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    I think if you want the 357, go for it. It does prefer stout 357 Mag loads, but if you reload it should be easy. Be aware, it will not handle 38 special at all.
    It's a fun range gun. Accurate, easy recoiling due to it's hefty weight.
    The 357 is harder to find then the others, but I think you will enjoy it.
     
  13. ohioshooter

    ohioshooter Member

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    I had the 50 with the 44 conversion but didn't have the .357. It was a great conversation piece but ended up getting rid of it on a trade to a fellow THR member. For .357 I'd go with what others above have said and get a Coonan. I have the 4 and 5 inch models of them.
     
  14. swopjan

    swopjan Member

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    I am the opposite of 'set on a .357,' if it was the .44 or .50 I would have snapped it up already. Wish it could be converted without almost doubling the price but who knows, maybe I'll like the .357.

    Talked to the seller yesterday, he assures me it's the Mk 19 and is like new in box. Won't break my budget and I figure I'll at least get my money back out of it if I don't like it so I'm going to take a look at it later this week, if it checks out I'll probably buy it.
     
  15. swopjan

    swopjan Member

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    Been a while since I went to the range but usually my revolvers (two blued S&W's and a Blackhawk) get a little attention and the CZ-75's gotten a couple of compliments also. My next trip I'll be taking my new 10" Super Blackhawk and this Desert Eagle if I end up buying it. Bet I'll get more than a couple people wandering over to where I'm shooting haha.
     
  16. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Super Redhawks, in my experience, have a slightly smaller grip and shorter trigger reach than S&W N-frames, which themselves are smaller than a Desert Eagle grip. A Desert Eagle is definitely something you need to "try on" before committing to buy.
     
  17. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I have a Mark VII in 44. It's a very good gun, except that it is heavy and big. Loads of fun to shoot. Very accurate.

    Stock up on W296/H110. The 357 makes a fireball about the size of a basketball. Good times.
     
  18. zerobarrier
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    zerobarrier Contributing Member

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    44mag and 50ae use the same bolt too.

    If you reload the 50ae becomes a lot cheaper to shoot when using rainier bullets. Although I have been thinking about selling mine since I don't really shoot it that much.

    I had mine cerakoted and added fiber optic sights
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  19. clearcut

    clearcut Member

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    the book says that you can shoot cast in the .357 if it has a gas check no less than 158 gr.they just won't cycle with the 125 gr. or if you limp wrist when shoot. I still have mine in .357 and love it.
    CC
     
  20. swopjan

    swopjan Member

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    Well I met the seller, took a look and went ahead with the purchase. First impressions, the grip is comfortable to me, large but not very wide, in fact it's the same width as my 92fs. The bolt is very reminiscent of an AR-15 bolt. Takedown (the barrel at least) is stupid simple, so that's a plus. Previous owner oiled it but he didn't clean it and there's a lot of places for grit to accumulate so I'll have to get it apart tomorrow for a real cleaning.

    Pretty top- and muzzle-heavy, of course. Although the grip is comfortable the safety is very high up there, I can't reach it with my thumb while maintaining a normal grip. The slide release is also next to impossible to operate with one hand, I assume because of a combination of strong springs and me barely being able to reach it. Very light and short trigger though, should be a fun shooter. Planning to get it out to the range this weekend and put a couple mags through it.
     
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