A New Desert Eagle 1911 for Review

Reviewed by Hunter Lee Elliott

It was a few months ago that Kahr Arms purchased Magnum Research, Incorporated. Desert Eagle, a division of Magnum Research, imports a 1911 pistol made by Bul Transmark.

The following was taken directly from the Kahr web site:

June 9, 2010

PEARL RIVER, NY – Kahr Arms, the well-known American based producer of high quality compact pistols has announced its recent purchase of Minnesota-based firearms manufacturer, Magnum Research, maker of the Desert Eagle pistol.

Kahr Arms takes pride in its ability to offer customers a selection of unique niche-type firearms, such as the world famous “Tommy Gun” and Auto-Ordnance line of M1 .30 caliber carbines. The addition of Magnum Research products to the Kahr Arms family will provide Kahr Arms and Auto-Ordnance customers another unique line of firearms to choose from.

Magnum Research® was founded in 1979 and was responsible for the design and the development of the Desert Eagle pistol. The firearms in its current product lineup include the Desert Eagle® (available in .50 AE, .44 Magnum, or .357 Magnum), Baby Desert Eagle® Fast Action Pistol (9mm, .40 S&W), Desert Eagle® 1911, Micro Desert Eagle™ (.380 ACP), Magnum’s BFR (Revolvers in .44 Magnum, .45 Colt/.410 or .45/70), Mountain Eagle™ (Rifles in .22/250, .223, .30-06, .280 and 7mm) and Magnum Lite® (Rifles in .22LR, .22WMR or .17 Mach-2).

I received an email from our contact at Kahr about getting the word out on the new pistol and sending me one to write a review. Of course I gladly accepted and put the wheels in motion on getting a new one in my hands. It was not long before Jim Hamilton, owner of Jim's Guns in Raleigh, NC, had the new Desert Eagle test pistol in. Looking it over, there were several features that I noticed right off.

The pistol as I received it (in its black clam shell case).

Astute readers will quickly pick up on the fact that, in addition to Magnum Research, Kahr Arms also owns Auto-Ordnance and already markets 1911 pistols under the Auto-Ordnance brand. We asked Kahr’s marketing department what the addition of the Desert Eagle 1911 to the corporate family meant in terms of marketplace “positioning.” The answer was, “The BUL DE1911G and DE1911C are loaded with features and are targeted towards a different customer than our Auto-Ordnance 1911PKZSE, which is a no-frills, mil-spec 1911A1.”

The DE1911G is a full-size 1911 with a 5” barrel and slide, while the DE1911C is what MRI calls a “semi-compact” 1911, with a 4.33” barrel. If I were a betting man, I’d probably guess that the ‘G’ is a reference to “Government Model” and the ‘C’ is a reference to ‘Commander.” But betting isn’t legal over the Internet, so we won’t go there. Our test pistol was the full-size DE1911G.

Initial thoughts

The Desert Eagle is a handsome pistol and appears to be well thought out. Slide to receiver fit is snug. Barrel bushing fit was pretty tight. For the first few field strips I had to take the slide out of battery to rotate the barrel bushing but, after a few take-downs and some range time, I could remove it normally. The thumb safety is easily disengaged (maybe a bit too easily, but this caused no issues).


The Desert Eagle sports traditional-style, double diamond stocks, but they are attached with hex head stock screws. I liked the retro look of the stocks on this otherwise modern looking pistol

The trigger is an aluminum, three-hole design with over-travel adjustment. It had very little creep and broke clean.

The mainspring housing is checkered, and well fitted to the receiver.

The thumb safety disengaged very easily--in fact easier than I am used to.

As far as the grip safety goes, it is an up-swept design with incorporated palm swell to ensure disengagement. Our testing encountered no issues; it worked as it was designed.

A close up of the hammer:

The rear sight sports an unusual pattern that drew my eyes but, at arms length, the pattern was not very distinguishable.

The front sight is smoothly blended with the muzzle of the slide. That is a nice touch.

Front cocking serrations. These are not my favorite idea on a 1911 but they are a "must have" for some buyers.

The rear cocking serrations are aggressive enough to work but did not tear up my hand.

Magazine catch:

Ejection port/Barrel throat and feed ramp:

The muzzle. As you can see, the barrel bushing is well fitted.

The slightly beveled magazine well aided somewhat in fast magazine changes.

The DE includes a full-length guide rod. I prefer the more traditional guide rod but this is a modern rendition of the 1911 so I can see why it was included.

The supplied magazines functioned reliably during our testing, with no failures using these magazines.

The new Desert Eagle 1911 looked to be a well put together pistol but, as always, the day at the range would tell the tale.

Initial Range Trip

I started the first range trip with the pistol right out of the box, a little CLP in the right spots, and a magazine of 230gr FMJ. That range trip was cut a little short due to the season. I was only able to run less than a 100 rounds down range but, for that short trip, everything went well as far as the pistol and accuracy. I was by myself on this range trip and I look forward to showing the new test pistol off to my range partners. After all was said and done I was optimistic about the new Desert Eagle and the upcoming trip.

Second Range Trip

The second range trip was not my favorite as it was pretty dang cold and it began to drizzle rain right at the end. Being the dedicated reviewer that I am, I stuck it out and finished the test (I am using a touch of humor here to brighten my memory of the day). I arrived earlier this time, to make up for my short initial trip, and I brought a few others with me to try out the new pistol. As always my friend, Clint Riley, made it, as well as another friend, Tim Szczesniak. This time I had several hundred rounds with me when we got started. This range trip, I started out with my reloads (200gr home-cast lead semi-wadcutters loaded with 5.3 grains of Unique), and transitioned to Hornady 200gr JHP TAP and the rest of my test ammunition. After we all had a few turns with the Desert Eagle and a few hundred rounds downrange we were satisfied. Using the factory magazines as well as Check-Mate 7-round, dimpled follower, hybrid lip magazines there were no problems. Accuracy was great at twenty-five, thirty-five and seventy-five feet. The new pistol spent little time in leather and admittedly it was not drawn from the holster enough to give a definitive opinion on the finish. The pistol looked the same when I shipped it back as the day I unpacked it.

AmmoGroup inchesGroup mm
Hornady 200gr JHP TAP
2 1/2
Federal 185gr SWC
Federal 230gr JHP Hydra Shocks
Remington 230gr JHP Golden Sabers
2 1/2
Armscor 230gr FMJ
3 1/2
Winchester 230gr FMJ
Winchester 230gr truncated cone
Reloads (200gr LSWC)
2 1/2

Detail Strip

This pistol detail strips just like any other Government Model with a full-length guide rod .


Bul Transmark of Israel, a company with a solid reputation, manufactures the Desert Eagle offered today. This pistol is a well-executed example of a tried and true design. I formed a good opinion of this pistol, as did my range partners, Clint and Tim. It has a few more bells and whistles than I care for personally for a pistol but, for the MSRP, I believe it to be a great value. The only thing I really did not like was that there was no kink in the plunger spring. When I took the thumb safety off, the plunger attempted flight.So the few features that were not my favorite were minor and easily changed if one were so inclined but as a whole the pistol seemed solid and reliable. All in all we were pleased with the Desert Eagle 1911. To date I am unsure of the material the small parts are made from.

Please use this [url=http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?p=842795#post842795thread[/url] to discuss the review of the Desert Eagle


Desert Eagle "G" 1911
Caliber:.45 Automatic
Overall Length:8.63" (21.92 mm)
Overall Height:5.25" (13.34.0 mm) (w/ magazine)
Overall Width:1.31" (33.3 mm)
Barrel Length:5" (127.0 mm)
Sight Radius:6.50" (165.1mm)
Sights:fixed (non-adjustable)
Weight w/empty magazine:36.2oz (1.02 kg)
Magazine Capacity:7 rounds
Trigger pull :4 1/2 lbs (2.04kg)
Finish:Black Oxide Blued


Jim Hamilton, owner of Jim’s Guns in Raleigh, NC
Clint Riley
Tim Szczesniak



Magnum Research, Incorporated
12602 33rd Avenue SW
Pillager, MN 56473

Tel: 508-635-4273
Fax: 218-746-3097

Web: http://www.magnumresearch.com/Desert_Eagle_1911.asp