View Full Version : Desert Eagle Mark VII vs Mark XIX

August 30, 2007, 10:23 AM
Years ago, I owned a Desert Eagle Mark VII .44 magnum Semi automatic gas powered pistol. It was a very imposing looking gun and very heavy too. It utilized the expanding hot gases to push a piston backwards which forced the slide back and quickly vented that gas on both sides of the slide. It looked like a fire breathing dragon when you fired it in low light conditions.

But I eventually sold the gun because after I fired two clips from it, the gun would always start jamming. Specifically, the slide would come back forward so fast, that it would catch the brass in the breech before it could fully be ejected from the chamber. And you'd have to pull the action back slightly and dump the trapped case. I assume, as the piston got dirtier, the hot gas wasn't as efficiently used by the action and there wasn't enough energy to push the action back far enough for the brass to fully escape. In any event, the gun wasn't reliable enough for me and I unloaded it to a collector. Because all it took was two full clips of ammo and the gun would jam until I cleaned it. It was only good after it was cleaned.

My question is - does anyone have any experience with the new Mark XIX Desert Eagle pistols? Do they jam too? I was looking at the 44 magnum again, and a 50 magnum slide kit - but if the gun still has a problem with that gas piston fouling, then I won't bother.

August 30, 2007, 10:51 AM
I have an early one in .357, you might want to try one in that caliber. Mine works flawlessly an I can only think of a few times that it has not fired or jammed and that was after I sent it back to the factory for re-plating. The safety would loosen up and light strike the primer.
I have no experience with the .44 or .50 but I like the idea of the ability to change calibers without buying a new gun like the old ones.

August 30, 2007, 11:24 AM
Cremon, the problem is likely with your ammo, not the slide.

Couple basics that MIGHT have been overlooked:

1.) of course make sure your weapon is lubed. The DE is one of the most reliable weapons ever made, but if it is new, its tolerances are exceptionally tight. IMI / Israeli variants mirror the 1911 mil-spec practices of boosting reliability with machining techniques. They build the weapon with slightly "looser" tolerances, hence greater reliability even when wet or dirty. The DE is one of those weapons that benefits from breaking in, and lube.

2.) If cartridges are not ejecting completely, your ammunition may be either extremely old, or may not have enough powder to drive the action. Use good quality ammo.

3.) Only use jacketed rounds. Examine your ammunition. If you are using rounds where lead or exotic materials are exposed, you will foul the action EVERY TIME, within a mag or two. The wrong ammunition is the no. 1 cause for a clogged gas-release tap, hence weak slide action, and failure to eject. The reason is lead shavings will shear off during firing (which is what you are describing, apparently), and quickly clog it up. That's the drawback for having this kind of action. Once you are aware of it, you can avoid it.

Hope that helps.

August 30, 2007, 11:52 AM
The cartridges were made by Winchester with soft point jacketed bullets. They were new at the time. The gun worked perfectly for the first two clips - after that, it would jam. And I'd clean it thoroughly and fully lube it fully after each shooting session (I clean all my guns the same day I shoot them).

But the soft tipped bullets may be why I was having a problem. These were soft tipped hollow point bullets with a partial copper-nickel jacket that were closed on the bottom of the bullet, but open on the tip, obviously. They weren't your typical hollow points that we get today where the lead can only be seen inside the hollow point cavity. The lead made contact with the feed ramp for sure - but didn't look like it would contact the barrel when you'd fire it. But with bullet compression while being forced into the polygon rifled barrel, it is possible some lead made contact with the lands. I sold the gun about 16 years ago.

August 30, 2007, 12:03 PM
Cremon, you aren't the only one who experienced this problem.

In your case, if everything else was new and lubed, then it was more than likely the exposure of lead, and the tendency for fragments to shear off.

Better ammo exists, so if you decide to get another DE, just be conscious about your ammo, and you'll have few (if any) problems. Also, know that the weapon will only get better with repeated use.

August 30, 2007, 12:04 PM
What was the bullet weight of the ammo you were using?

August 30, 2007, 12:09 PM
240 grain

August 30, 2007, 12:11 PM
Remember that the action on this weapon more resembles a Rifle than it does a pistol.

The rotating bolt, and the gas-operation are reminiscent of an M-16.

The comments I made about lead and other materials shearing off tiny bits are specific to the D.E. simply because its famous for this type of thing- due to the action.

Soft lead won't bother a revolver (for example).

August 30, 2007, 12:25 PM
Everything you're saying makes perfect sense. I own a Remington 870 30-06 bolt action rifle with a 9x30 scope that I hunt with. I have had that thing for 20 years. When I first bought the DE, I saw the bolt right away and noted that it worked more like a rifle, like you said. When I bought my DE almost 20 years ago though, a semi automatic 44 magnum was a very new and novel thing. Up til then, they'd all been revolvers.

Back then, I worked part time as an armed security guard and a buddy of mine I worked with carried a Ruger Blackhawk 44 magnum (a revolver) and we'd often go plinking together. Since the DE 44 mag was new, most ammunition probably wasn't really made for it (or any semi automatic, for that matter). It was all for revolvers (my friend's Ruger had no problem with that ammo). Today, there's lots of ammo made for semi autos - even in the really big magnum calibers. But I tried a few different brands in that gun - and they were ALL lead tipped bullets. Back in the late 80's and early 90's, all 44 mag ammo had exposed lead that I could find.

I think I may get that Mark XIX. I miss my Desert Eagle, and it sure was fun shooting it. I remember the flash from the sides of that bastard as it vented the gas from the piston would singe my brother's beard stubble when we'd shoot next to each other at an indoor range, LOL!!! You could see the tips of his facial hair curled up and the smell of burnt hair stayed with him until he showered later. When I'd start shooting it, he'd have to put his gun down, step back and wait til I was finished with a clip.

August 30, 2007, 04:40 PM
I own a Remington 870 30-06 bolt action rifle

Mmmmyyyyy, oh my. That'd be one rare bird. One of the EXTREMELY limited run of bolt-action pump shotguns made as a rifle in .30-06. :eek: Just sell that puppy and you could buy a whole STABLE of Deagles. :D

August 30, 2007, 04:44 PM
I currently own a Mark XIX Desert Eagle in .357 mangum and once I found out WHAT was causing it not to feed correctly (I had the identical problem) I have loved it. At the time I bought mine they were $1,200 and I do not regret one penny of it.

This is just my two cents, but I would pay the extra money and get the American made one (if they still make them). When I bought mine I could get the American for $1,200 or and IMI with three mags for $1,000. Very glad I chose the American after shooting a buddies IMI.

August 30, 2007, 05:42 PM
Everything you're saying makes perfect sense. I own a Remington 870 30-06 bolt action rifle with a 9x30 scope that I hunt with. I have had that thing for 20 years. When I first bought the DE, I saw the bolt right away and noted that it worked more like a rifle, like you said. When I bought my DE almost 20 years ago though, a semi automatic 44 magnum was a very new and novel thing. Up til then, they'd all been revolvers.

Umm. Yeah. Couple of things:

1. The Remington Model 870 is a pump action shotgun.
2. A 9x30 scope? To hunt with? Like a fixed 9x with a 30mm objective lens (Why? Narrow field of view...)? Or a scope that goes from 9x to 30x? And why would you ever use a 30x scope in the field? Whatever. To each his own I guess.

On to the original topic. My dad and grandpa each bought Mk VIIs in .44 Mag when they came out and my brother just got a Mk XIX in .50 AE. As long as jacketed rounds are used and the pistols are manhandled, the pistols function fine. Ours haven't required anything in the way of intensive maintenance. They do require full power ammunition, and are susceptible to limp wrist failures.

If you think the flash of the .44 is impressive, you should really try the .50 AE :eek:

August 30, 2007, 06:36 PM
My .41 is a MkVII which I bought new and never had a problem with it using any factory ammo, as long as it was the suggested weight. The 240 grains should have been the right ammo for the .44 mag, the exposed lead should have made no differene.

August 30, 2007, 09:04 PM
I wouldn't know anything about those new fangled mark VII's or Mark XIX's. Mine is an original Mark 1 bought in 1988. It has been pretty flawless except for blazers turned it into a jam-o-matic. I am taking it out this weekend for some shooting. I haven't shot it in a long time because I have 45 fever. A friend of mine just bought a S&W 500 so we are having a magnum day.

I may even dust off my 12 ga model 700 BDL.:D

August 30, 2007, 10:49 PM
The 240 grains should have been the right ammo for the .44 mag,

It's more than plenty. The problem was not the grain load, and the issue of firm wrist control wasn't likely either, since he reported that the problem could be replicated, and always after approximately 2 full magazines.

That, to me, is indicative of excessive debris from soft rounds.

As confirmation of that, he reported that he could restore performance after cleaning.

IMHO, that's the culprit. Betcha $10 ;)

September 1, 2007, 01:40 AM
Yea, gotta be careful with the weight of the ammo. I can get 200 grain ammo to reliably cycle my DE, but it really needs 240 grain bullets. I plan to load some up using some slower powder for a more gradual pressure curve and better gas impulse..