Early in 2003 I reviewed here a unique pistol
that was a collaboration of Carl Walther in Germany and Smith
& Wesson in the USA. Called the SW99,
it was a very good semi-auto pistol, with very user-friendly
features. Also marketed as the Walther P99 in the US, it was
basically the same as the S&W version. Now, Magnum Research
is making a variation of that design, with the frame made by
Walther, and the top end made by Magnum Research.
Magnum Research has retained the best
features of the earlier guns, with changes to improve the
pistol. The Magnum Research “Fast Action” moniker refers to
the pistol’s very smooth and relatively light trigger pull
when the striker is cocked. When the striker is pre-cocked the
pull is easy, resulting in a pull that measures a butter-smooth
four and one-half pounds on my sample gun. It doesn’t really
feel like a typical single-action trigger pull, but it is much
better than the trigger pull on most striker-fired auto pistols.
Atop the slide is a decocker, to undo the pre-cocked condition.
After activating the decocker, the trigger pull is heavier,
measuring seven and three-quarters pounds, but still very
smooth. This action gives the pistol a very smooth, light,
easy-to-operate trigger pull, along with double-strike
capability. The slide does not have to pre-cock the action to
fire the weapon. Also, there is no magazine safety on the Magnum
Research pistol; at least not on the one that I have. I do not
know if a version with a mag safety will be offered or not. The
accessory rail on the Magnum Research pistol is better than the
one on the earlier guns, and is Picatinny compatible to
accommodate a wide range of accessories. This new pistol is
Magnum Research’s first striker-fired pistol, and is called
the MR Eagle.
The MR Eagle retains the excellent
ambidextrous magazine release levers, which are easy to reach,
and can be activated with either the thumb or the trigger
finger, of either hand. I prefer to use my trigger finger.
Pushing down on the lever drops the steel mag for a quick
reload. The trigger guard is plenty large enough for even a
gloved finger, and is squared in front and textured, for those
who place a finger on the guard in a two-hand hold. At the rear
of the extractor is a loaded-chamber indicator. The rear of the
striker serves as a cocking indicator. The rear sight on the MR
Eagle is windage adjustable, and the front sight is
interchangeable for elevation correction. There is a bag with
extra front sights supplied with the pistol, along with two
extra backstraps to fit the grip to the shooter’s hand. The
slide of the MR Eagle has Magnum Research’s unique triangular
Critical dimensions are listed in the chart
below. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear dimensions are
listed in inches. Trigger pulls are listed in pounds of
resistance. Height includes sights and magazine base.
|Weight with empty
|Trigger Pull “Fast
|Trigger Pull Double
Velocity testing was done at an elevation of
541 feet above sea level, with the chronograph set at ten feet
from the muzzle. There was a slight breeze with plenty of
sunshine. Range temperatures hovered around the eighty-six
degree Fahrenheit range, with thirty-eight percent humidity.
Velocities are listed in feet-per-second. Bullet weights are
listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet. DPX is a
homogenous copper hollow cavity bullet. PB is Cor-Bon
Pow’RBall, a specialty hollowpoint bullet with a nylon
ball inserted into the hollow nose. EPR is a specialty round
from Extreme Shock with a polymer ball in the nose of a
hollowpoint bullet. FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet.
Velocities were recorded at a distance of ten feet from the
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore FMJ
|Extreme Shock EPR
|Black Hills JHP
Shooting the MR Eagle brought no surprises. I
expected reliability to be perfect, and I was not disappointed.
The MR Eagle fed, fired, and ejected every cartridge, of every
brand tested. Accuracy was also superb. I have no insert for my Ransom
Rest to fit the MR Eagle, but used a handheld position on a Target
Shooting, Inc. handgun rest, along with a Merit
disk on my shooting glasses to help me to better see the
sights and target. The pistol fired slightly to the right for
me, but that is easily corrected with just a simple screwdriver
adjustment. Adjusting for elevation requires changing the front
sight, but that too is a simple job, and extra sights of various
heights are provided, along with the hex wrench to do so.
The Magnum Research MR Eagle proved to be a
very good, relatively compact, one hundred percent reliable
semi-auto pistol. It is a very good choice for a defensive
weapon for holstered concealed carry, for home defense, or as a
duty gun, packing twelve shots of forty-caliber firepower.
Check out the entire line of Magnum Research
pistols, revolvers, and rifles online at www.magnumresearch.com.
For the location of a Magnum Research dealer
near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at www.lipseys.com.
To order the MR Eagle online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality 40 caliber ammo, go to www.buffalobore.com,