The Desert Eagle is a pistol of Israeli origin. It was developed in the early 1980's in the United States for civilian use. It is one of the very few pistols firing powerful magnum ammunition. Due to its size and power it has achieved a cult status and has been featured in many movies.
The Desert Eagle is a huge single action pistol. In order to fire powerful magnum ammunition the Desert Eagle uses a gas operated mechanism usually found in rifles. It has a fixed exposed barrel with gas tube below it which pushes back the slide that consist only of the bolt carrier and two rails. This makes it easy to change the caliber since only a new barrel and magazine are required.
The Desert Eagle is usually chambered for .357 Magnum with a 9 round magazine or .44 Magnum with 8 round magazine. The largest caliber available is the .50 Action Express with 7 round magazine. Uncommon calibers are .41 Action Express and .440 Cor-Bon. When fitted with a longer 10 inch barrel and optics the Desert Eagle can be used at ranges well beyond that of standard pistols.