Desert Eagle...anybody running powder coated bullets for these?

Status
Not open for further replies.

silicosys4

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
Messages
3,845
I know not to use cast lead, or bullets with an exposed lead base, but is there anybody here who has had long term success with powder coated cast lead bullets in a Desert Eagle? I know buffalo bore has a load for the .50ae using hardcast lead with a gas check, and states that after "hundreds" of bullets through a DE test gun there was no problem, but I don't trust a sample size of one gun and "hundreds" of bullets. I'm pretty heavily invested in casting and would love to hear from people who have shot significant amounts of powder coated bullets through their DE's.

I don't fully trust plated bullets either, but I have read that people have had success with plated bullets. Since the Desert Eagle seems to require hot loads to run right, those loads would be outside the velocity ratings of plated bullets (1200 fps), which worries me.

$400+ for a new barrel would be more than I want to pay if I lead the gas system or clog it with lube residue and copper residue from plated bullets run too hard
 
I can't answer the coating question but I do run Berry's plated 300gr thru mine and it works fine. Berry's claim they are good to 2000fps. I don't know if they use a thicker/different coating to standard bullets.
Now, I have only shot a few hundred of the Berry's - no issues yet. They cycle the DE fine and I put a close to max charge of H110 behind them - this is still well below the 2000fps "max".
 
While I would love to be able to switch to coated in mine, I too feel that the replacement barrel cost is just not worth it.
 
I would do it. Companies like Acme are selling HiTek coated bullets for 500 S&W and having no issues at that those velocities. Those guys are pushing between 1400-1900 FPS depending on the bullet weight. 50 AE is what 1500 at the very top end? I personally have shot Acme 115gr 9mm at 1600 FPS from my AR9 and had zero issues.
 
I would not use coated. A few inconsistently coated rounds, or a few rounds where you scraped the the coating off a tight bell as you're loading, and it's a $500 oopsie.

Not worth the risk...
 
. . . and it's a $500 oopsie.
What exactly is the risk. Casters ruin PC'd bullets in .300BO gas guns frequently, without issue. Even when run fast enough to strip the rifling and cause barrel leading, I haven't seen or heard of gas system issues (PC'd or lubed lead).

What would you anticipate going wrong?
 
Everything I've read indicated you can't clean the gas system. Once it gets clogged, there is no fix and you have a single shot gun.
Yup - that's the flaw with the DE, you can't clean the gas system.
 
The design of the gas system in the DE is such that it can only be serviced by the factory, due to the way the gas path is machined into the barrel.
 
I can't answer the coating question but I do run Berry's plated 300gr thru mine and it works fine. Berry's claim they are good to 2000fps. I don't know if they use a thicker/different coating to standard bullets.
Now, I have only shot a few hundred of the Berry's - no issues yet. They cycle the DE fine and I put a close to max charge of H110 behind them - this is still well below the 2000fps "max".

Can you link me to the plated bullets you've been using? The only Barry's plated bullets for the .50ae I've been able to find are only rated to 1200fps.
No copper flakes or residue from the plating?
 
I’ve run a fair number of plated bullets through mine in the three standard calibers with no issues.

I have also run coated bullets through my .357, but stopped the practice when I noticed a red tinge forming at the gas port and on the gas piston. That tells me something is going through the gas system.

Since then I’ve stuck with copper plated and jacketed.
 
I use plated bullets in my DE. I have tested them and they work. As others have mentioned, DO NOT use lead or coated bullets in this gun.

Below is a plated .44 bullet that I fired into water (I didn't have a chrono at the time, so no velocity). Compare it to a coated bullet (.452) below that. While coated bullets work well in most guns, they do not mix with the Desert Eagle system. The biggest concern with a plated bullet is whether the plating is thick enough that it wont be cut through by the rifling. Once the lead is exposed each bullet will shave a bit into the gas port until it clogs. 20150827_171653.jpg 20150827_171812.jpg
 
I use plated bullets in my DE. I have tested them and they work. As others have mentioned, DO NOT use lead or coated bullets in this gun.

Below is a plated .44 bullet that I fired into water (I didn't have a chrono at the time, so no velocity). Compare it to a coated bullet (.452) below that. While coated bullets work well in most guns, they do not mix with the Desert Eagle system. The biggest concern with a plated bullet is whether the plating is thick enough that it wont be cut through by the rifling. Once the lead is exposed each bullet will shave a bit into the gas port until it clogs.View attachment 878966View attachment 878967
I had not really thought about it, but the 44 DE has conventional rifling, while the 50 DE has polygonal rifling. So, not as much chance for plating failure in the 50. All I use in my 44 now are 240 jsp from Zero.

EDIT: The 44 does have polygonal, see below.
 
Last edited:
I do not have a Desert Eagle. Interested in billet choices and why though. I shoot a lot of plated and coated bullets. I shoot them because I can load them to lower velocities than jacketed bullets. If you gave to load to full velocity what would the purpose of a plated or coated bullet be?
 
I had not really thought about it, but the 44 DE has conventional rifling, while the 50 DE has polygonal rifling...
I was going to comment on Havok7416’s picture above. I don’t believe the bullets in either picture were fired through a Desert Eagle, based on the rifling. (Havok does not state what they were fired through, and I think they convey the point he was making, regardless of firearm used).

From what I understand, only the earliest DEs had conventional rifling. For the past 25+ years they have all had polygonal rifling.

I have two .44 barrels. One purchased in 2009 and the other in 2019. I’ll take a look at them when I get home, but I’m pretty sure they both have polygonal rifling.
 
My DE is an early MKI, and the original .44 barrel has polygonal rifling. Probably safe with plated and easier on coated bullets than standard rifling but I think I'll have to stick with plated
 
From what I understand, only the earliest DEs had conventional rifling. For the past 25+ years they have all had polygonal rifling.

I have two .44 barrels. One purchased in 2009 and the other in 2019. I’ll take a look at them when I get home, but I’m pretty sure they both have polygonal rifling.
I had to go back and look at mine. I have an early 44, sn 35xxx, the original mags have 86 date codes (which I believe was the first year for the 44) and it has polygonal rifling. I could have sworn it was conventional lands/grooves. Maybe the early 357 DE had conventional rifling.
 
Maybe the early 357 DE had conventional rifling.
I used to own a really early MK-I, serial number under 4000. Unfortunately, I don’t recall what type of rifling it had. I didn’t know at the time I may have had a “collector’s item”. :thumbdown:
 
I used to own a really early MK-I, serial number under 4000. Unfortunately, I don’t recall what type of rifling it had. I didn’t know at the time I may have had a “collector’s item”. :thumbdown:
That was a 357?

I really like my 44. I got it for a steal at an LGS, still in the original box, a DE catalog inside along with a price list, and two of the three mags were still in the original cellophane. I doubt it had more than one full mag ever shot in it.
 
That was a 357?
It was. I also had bought a .357 bolt & barrel to convert my MK-XIX, and figured I didn’t need two .357 Desert Eagles. So I ended up selling that one to fund some other toy.


I guess the joke’s on me. I now have an L5 in .357, a chrome MK-XIX in .44, and my original black MK-XIX with barrels in .357, .44 & .50.
:cool:
 
I was going to comment on Havok7416’s picture above. I don’t believe the bullets in either picture were fired through a Desert Eagle, based on the rifling. (Havok does not state what they were fired through, and I think they convey the point he was making, regardless of firearm used).

From what I understand, only the earliest DEs had conventional rifling. For the past 25+ years they have all had polygonal rifling.

I have two .44 barrels. One purchased in 2009 and the other in 2019. I’ll take a look at them when I get home, but I’m pretty sure they both have polygonal rifling.
Sorry I had a busy day and couldn't check back in until now. The plated .44 pictured was fired through a Colt Anaconda 8". The .45 was fired through a 16" carbine barrel (that one clocked almost 1,100 FPS in later testing). And yes, the point I was making had to do with the rifling (of any kind) cutting through whatever happens to shroud the lead core of the bullet. I don't see how the type of rifling would matter. Perhaps the depth of the rifling, but it isn't going to be vastly different between guns/manufacturers.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Back
Top