Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911 45 ACP Auto-Pistol


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

October 3rd, 2010


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Pistol comes in a hard case with two eight-shot magazines, cable lock and instruction manual.



















Magnum Research has been marketing some very unique handguns and rifles for the past couple of decades. Best known for their Desert Eagle magnum auto-pistols, Magnum Research has also had other very good designs offered to shooters, such as their small 380 Micro Desert Eagle and their excellent Baby Eagle series of double-action auto pistols. Now Magnum Research has entered the crowded 1911 pistol market with a couple of good, solid pistols; a compact 45 and a full-size 45 shown here.

The Desert Eagle 1911 is a high quality pistol, built to tight tolerances with excellent materials, but with a suggested retail price of only $799 US at the time of this review, it is priced below most quality 1911 pistols on the market. The Desert Eagle 1911 is loaded with features that we once had to pay a custom gunsmith a lot of money to install on our pistols, like a high-ride beavertail grip safety, lightened aluminum trigger with overtravel stop, double-diamond checkered wood grips, stainless steel full-length guide rod, skeletonized hammer, high profile sculptured sights, and extended thumb safety. The Desert Eagle also has an enlarged ejection port, extended ejector, and polished and throated chamber. The Desert Eagle 1911 comes in a hard plastic case with two eight-shot magazines. The mags have extended base pads for positive insertion into the mag well. The mainspring housing is checkered and flat. The sights are dovetailed into the slide, and are drift adjustable for windage correction. The Desert Eagle wears a matte black finish, and the wood grips and polished stainless grip safety along with the stainless grip screws add a nice contrast.

Critical dimensions are listed in the chart below. Weight is listed in ounces. Linear measurements are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed as pounds of pressure.

Chambering 45 ACP
Weight with empty magazine 42.6 oz
Trigger Pull 3.75 lbs
Barrel Length 5.07"
Barrel Diameter 0.575"
Overall Height 5.63"
Overall Length 8.62"
Slide Thickness 0.92"
Grip Thickness 1.30"
Trigger Reach 2.77"
Magazine Capacity 8 rounds
Magazines Supplied 2

The Desert Eagle 1911 was fired for accuracy and reliability with several brands and types of ammunition. Reliability was one hundred percent. There were no failures or stoppages of any kind. Every cartridge fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. The excellent trigger pull made shooting the 1911 a real pleasure. The Desert Eagle performed very well with my standard target handload. This load consists of a Rim Rock 200 grain lead SWC atop 5.5 grains of Hodgdon Titegroup powder in a new primed S&W 45 ACP case. This is not a powder-puff load, but a very good general working load for a 1911 pistol. I have only recently started using the Rim Rock bullets, but they seem to be of much higher quality and consistency than the run-of-the-mill gun show bulk bullets. Accuracy was good, with most ammo grouping in the two and one-half inch range at twenty-five yards from my Ransom Rest. Accuracy from the handload with the Rim Rock bullets was match-grade, grouping five shots into one inch at twenty-five yards, consistently. Velocities were recorded at a distance of twelve feet, at an altitude of 541 feet above sea level, and an air temperature hovering around fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity. Velocities are recorded in the chart below, and are listed in feet-per-second. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. EPR and AF are specialty premium bullets as loaded by Extreme Shock Ammunition. DPX is a homogenous copper hollowpoint. FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. WCC is Winchester military hardball ammo. PB is Cor-Bon Pow’RBall.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Cor-Bon JHP 200 1077
Cor-Bon JHP 165 1254
Cor-Bon JHP 230 940
Cor-Bon DPX 185 1072
Cor-Bon PB 165 1287
Cor-Bon Glaser 145 1257
Buffalo Bore JHP 230 990
Buffalo Bore FMJ 230 979.7
Handload LWSC 200 1021
Extreme Shock EPR 185 1166
Extreme Shock AF 125 1476
WCC 1911 Ball FMJ 230 789.9

As noted above, reliability was perfect with all ammunition tested. For plinking, target shooting, and general handgun work, the lead semi-wadcutter handload is my choice. For social work or for deer hunting, any of the jacketed hollowpoint loads would work well. For hunting larger deer and hogs, I would go with the Cor-Bon DPX. It penetrates very deeply, and also expands upon impact.

A good 1911 pistol is relatively flat, and carries well for a defensive handgun. Holding nine rounds of 45 ACP, the Desert Eagle 1911 carried in a good inside-the-pants holster like the Cross Breed Supertuck or outside the belt in a Simply Rugged Sourdough Pancake hides easily under a loose shirt or jacket. There are lots of good pistols on the market for concealed carry, but the 1911 45 ACP is never a bad choice. In production for right at a century now, the 1911 design is more popular than ever, and the Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911 is a high quality, reliable, and accurate handgun upon which to depend for the most serious of social conflicts, or as a good everyday working gun for plinking and target work.

Check out the Desert Eagle 1911 online at

For the location of a Magnum Research dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the Desert Eagle 1911 online, go to

To order the quality Rim Rock bullets, go to

Jeff Quinn


For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to:

To buy this gun online, go to:


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Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911 pistol.









Rim Rock high quality cast bullets.