This Gun Is Great – When It Works

Image Courtesy Magnum Research.

Have you ever had a product that worked great – sometimes. Maybe it was a car or a stereo or some other piece of equipment or electronics. It’s great when they work well. When they don’t, it’s frustrating.

Some people seem to gravitate toward this kind of product. Collectors and nostalgia seekers sometimes seem to revel in “classic” equipment that they have to fix regularly just to use it.

On the other hand, if it’s a new item, it simply doesn’t have that same nostalgia charm, and this causes frustration. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how Andrew Tuohy felt about the 429 Desert Eagle by Magnum Research.


Now, to be clear, Touhy likes certain aspects of this gun. He writes,

It takes the already potent 44 Magnum and gives it a significant velocity increase, sending 210s out of the 6” barrel at 1750 feet per second, while 240s exit at a paltry 1625fps, according to manufacturer claims. This is a bit off the old numbers for the .440 Cor-Bon that no one remembers, but the results remain impressive.

In fact, those numbers are directly comparable to a 44 Magnum from a rifle. The 429 Desert Eagle is a very serious cartridge. Anything you would want to hunt in the Western Hemisphere could be humanely dispatched with a single well-placed shot from this pistol, and it could serve very well in a backwoods protection role with seven rapidly available shots at your disposal.

Yet it’s also effortless to shoot. I handed the 429 Desert Eagle off to my mom, and she was able to hit an IPSC steel target at 50 yards with it easily. She fired it in between shooting various Glock 19s, and she told me the Desert Eagle had less recoil than a G19.

Sadly, though, as we already hinted, not all is perfect with this firearm. Tuohy writes,

In other words, I like the 429DE a lot – when it works.

You see, I’ve had a lot of problems with the pistol. That mag dump with 240s? That’s about the only magazine I’ve made it through without a malfunction. I know, I know – limp wristing is a problem with the Desert Eagle. No matter how hard I held the pistol or how stiff I made my wrist and arm, it consistently has issues going into battery with the 210gr JHPs. The slide simply got stuck about ¼” out of battery, and no matter how hard I yanked on the slide, I couldn’t get it to come back. I eventually had to choose between using a mallet to move it back and punching the back of the slide with my fist to force it into battery.

So, after reading this, maybe you’re wondering if you should get a 429 Desert Eagle. Our advice: Go into it with your eyes wide open. Like a high-end sports car, when it works, it works well, but, when it doesn’t, it’s a frustration. Just know what you’re getting in to.



  1. I was thinking about getting the 429DE, but after that statement I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll just stick with my 50.
    I do have a 440 corbon in a 10″ barrel and haven’t had any problems with the 240’s, but I got a box of 305 penatrators and they seem to do the same thing that the 210’s does for him. I don’t see why they got away from the 440. If they could have worked the “bugs” out with that round, there would have been no reason to come up with another one that does the same thing as the 440 (jamb)

  2. I was camping with my family; beautiful area, forested mountains (wide variety of pine trees), awesome meadow, a good stream filled with trout, berry bushes in fruit, not a well traveled area.

    One of my pass-times was breeding and training hunting dogs; another was reloading for my rifles, pistols and shotguns. In those days you could use dogs to hunt deer and black bear, plus other critters. I had two dogs, a sire “Gunch” and a dam “Freckles”, with us; both excellent hunting and gun dogs; including black bear.

    My seven year old son wandered into the meadow and Freckles when with him. I kept an eye and ear perked for them and any notion of trouble. My first rule is to have a firearm with me when I’m in the woods. I was busy splitting fire wood when I heard Freckles voice in conflict, this meant she was facing down a critter of some sort. I was 50 feet their way before the axe hit the ground. I was strapped with my Smith and Wesson 44 magnum revolver with a six inch barrel; loaded with 240 grain, jacketed, flat nose bullets and somewhat on the hot side; keeping accuracy in mind.

    I wasn’t being timed but later I realized it had to be an olympic type run and jump or two when I arrived between Freckles, who was fighting a 400 pound black bear, protecting my son from harm. She had been trained not to bring the bear to the hunter but set it up for a shot. When she heard my voice and commands she turned the bear broadside, in an off hand shot, I splattered its brains all over the wildflowers. It was dead before the roar of the 44 echoed. “When it works…” would have resulted in a horrible outcome; 100% or nothing!

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