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Old February 29, 2020, 04:11 PM   #1
Swifty Morgan
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Desert Eagle .50 AE Lots of FTE's

I am looking for input on my Desert Eagle. I don't know the series, but it would be from around 2005. Hard chrome and .50 AE.

When I used to shoot it with Samson ammo, it ran okay. I felt bad about not shooting it, so last week I ordered some Precision One JHP. The ammo got great reviews, so I figured it would work.

Today I fired the gun, and most rounds failed to extract. The ones that did extract generally hit me in the face.

Magnum Research has always hidden behind the excuse that customers were limp-wristing the gun. That's not my issue. I know how to shoot it. I hold it very firmly, and it worked for me in the past. Today I still had problems.

I can't say the ammo has no problems. I wouldn't know. I believe ammo that works in other Desert Eagles should work in this one, and I think that even if the gun prefers Samson, what it's doing is not acceptable. When I buy ammo for a Glock or a Smith & Wesson, I don't have to baby the gun. It swallows what I put in it. For $1300, a pistol should not be this difficult.
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Old February 29, 2020, 04:23 PM   #2
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Do you reload? I've always used Sampson or Speer but have not shot my 50 in a looong time. I did get a factory conversion to use the 44 mag but have been "chicken" to try it. 50 DE's are rare these days and get little press/comment. Oh, and don't position the left hand under the magazine. Let it hang.
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Old February 29, 2020, 04:42 PM   #3
Swifty Morgan
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I have the dies, but I have not reloaded for this gun yet.

I'm wondering whether it's the extractor or just fat brass making the shells stick in the chamber.

It's frustrating. This is one of the very best guns for shooting things like watermelons and gallons of milk, and I can't make it function. I would hate to have to shoot groceries with a different gun.
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Old February 29, 2020, 05:09 PM   #4
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I have a hard chrome .44 DE. DE's have a reputation of FTE's. I don't reload, and have found that the white box of .44 Mag ammo works best but there's no guarantee. There are at least a few threads you can google that discuss DE FTE's.

Good luck!
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Old February 29, 2020, 07:19 PM   #5
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I would try different ammo, if it worked in the past and doesn't do so well now, it's likely the ammo.
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Old February 29, 2020, 08:52 PM   #6
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You say the gun has sat for awhile. Is it cleaned, lubed,etc?

I have seen some gun products thicken up over time...

Don’t know enough about the DE. Maybe time for a new set of springs?

The obvious starting point is the new ammo. Specialty gun. Speciality ammo.
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Old February 29, 2020, 11:42 PM   #7
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Considering the money it cost you to buy the Desert Eagle as well as the cost of feeding it, I say cut your losses and sell/trade it for a nice 1911 in 10mm. Or if you're looking for something a bit more exotic, a Coonan 1911 in .357 Magnum.
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Old March 1, 2020, 09:03 AM   #8
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First thing I would look at is the extractor tension and also see if any gunk has accumulated in the channel. Good luck.
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Old March 1, 2020, 11:55 AM   #9
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I have a 44 mag version. Mine sits a lot as well but yesterday I took her to the range after a pretty good lubing. All 50 rounds went boom with no problems. The key with this gun is hot ammo. Generic ammo is not going to do it. I reload and AA9 powder is the key to this gun. I have to admit I like the connan a lot better. Its a shame they went out of business but that gun is a lot easier to manage than a DE. I too have been debating selling it, but shooting scrap teapots with it was sure a lot of fun and it always attracts a crowd at the range. Good Luck
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Old March 1, 2020, 02:06 PM   #10
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"...believe ammo that works in other Desert Eagles should..." You'd think that, but it's not necessarily true. As with any firearm and factory ammo, you need to try a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo that particular firearm both shoots well and cycles the action. Just like you have to do with a .22 LR.
Precision One says their 300 grain JHP runs 1500 FPS, so it's not likely to be the ammo.
When was the last time you gave that monster(shot a .44 years ago. I still laugh about my finger coming nowhere near the trigger.) a bath? Start with that and try a different brand of ammo.
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Old March 1, 2020, 02:21 PM   #11
lee n. field
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swifty Morgan View Post
I am looking for input on my Desert Eagle. I don't know the series, but it would be from around 2005. Hard chrome and .50 AE.

When I used to shoot it with Samson ammo, it ran okay. I felt bad about not shooting it, so last week I ordered some Precision One JHP. The ammo got great reviews, so I figured it would work.

Today I fired the gun, and most rounds failed to extract. The ones that did extract generally hit me in the face.

Magnum Research has always hidden behind the excuse that customers were limp-wristing the gun. That's not my issue. I know how to shoot it. I hold it very firmly, and it worked for me in the past. Today I still had problems.

I can't say the ammo has no problems. I wouldn't know. I believe ammo that works in other Desert Eagles should work in this one, and I think that even if the gun prefers Samson, what it's doing is not acceptable. When I buy ammo for a Glock or a Smith & Wesson, I don't have to baby the gun. It swallows what I put in it. For $1300, a pistol should not be this difficult.
I have a tiny amount of experience with the Dessert Eagle, in .44.

Super ammo sensitive. There's a spreadsheet showing ammo recommendations on the manufacturer's website here.
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Old March 1, 2020, 03:14 PM   #12
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I will admit to hot having any personal experience with the .50AE. I have owned a Desert Eagle .357 since 1984 and a .44 Magnum since 1990, so I understand the mechanism, a bit.

Along with the obvious differences there are some less obvious ones that make the Desert Eagle different from other semi autos. They are not, and never were guns made to "run whatever I stick in it".

Being gas operated, and having a rather unique gas system the ammo has to produce the right amount of gas pressure AT THE RIGHT TIME or they won't work properly. And this is in conjunction with all the other factors common to semi auto pistols.

There are only a few possibilities, but within those few, several different things. You say gun fails to EXTRACT, and rounds that eject are hitting you in the face.

This indicates the gun is not getting correct gas pressure to work the action. So there are two possible causes for this, the condition of the gun at the time of shooting, and the ammo, itself.

To help, what is the specific condition of the gun when it fails to extract? Partial extraction? Action open any amount? Fully closed? Hammer cocked? or not?

IT is POSSIBLE for the Desert Eagle to "extract" a fired case, far enough to recock the hammer, but not far enough for the case to clear the chamber and be ejected. The gun then shuts, feeding the fired case back into the chamber. I've seen it happen. The cause was an underpowered round.

IS this what happened to you? Being right on the edge of function, some rounds eject, others do not?

IF you have (or can get) any more Samson ammo, shoot some and see if the gun performs properly now, as it did then. If so, the issue is with the new ammo.

It could possibly be the gun, itself. Check the gas system see that it is clean (and does not have any lube in it) make sure no old lube has turned to gunk, slowing down the action. Also, take a good look at your chamber. Any rust, or corrosion or gunk there will be a problem.

When you have a situation where some rounds work and others from the same batch don't, it is usually because that ammo is right on the edge of "enough". It all may run fine in a different gun, or may not run at all in yet another. Assuming your gun is in good shape, clean and properly lubed, I'm strongly leaning to the ammo as the problem, IN YOUR GUN.

Even though it is the size of a dump truck, think of it as a finely tuned high performance race car, built to run on a specific grade of fuel, within a VERY narrow range of acceptable limits.

Clean and check the gun. Try it again. Same results? try different ammo. Different results? Then it is the ammo and your gun's tolerance. Same results with different ammo? Gun issue, requiring further investigation.

Good Luck, and let us know what happens.

Oh, and don't "tinker" with the gun, YET.
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Old March 1, 2020, 04:22 PM   #13
Swifty Morgan
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I took a look at it and found that there is no tension at all on the extractor. A YouTube guy says there is a little plastic glob that acts as a spring. He says things like oil can rot this part. Hmm... I have probably applied petroleum products to this gun at least once. Pretty irresponsible of me.

I'm going to disassemble the bolt and see if the glob is ruined. New ones cost five bucks.

This gun is a lot of fun, but the engineering is lame.

If I get the extractor working, maybe I can find a way to make the shells stop hitting me in the face.
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Old March 1, 2020, 11:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
A YouTube guy says there is a little plastic glob that acts as a spring.
I found an online exploded drawing and it shows a part (#13) which is listed as the Extractor Spring.

SO, I think there is an actual spring in there. However there may also be a plastic (polymer? rubber?) part inside the spring as was done on the M16, to act as a buffer to support and extend the life of the spring. If there is, and if it was degraded by something (a solvent?) then it could have turned to a gluey blob which might prevent the spring from working at all, so no tension on the extractor.

Might be worth while to check the ejector for proper movement and tension, as well. It takes both working together correctly to keep the brass out of your face.

I've never needed to take mine apart so I can't say for certain, plus my ,357 and .44 are older guns and slightly different from each other so I suspect there are slight differences between them and the .50 AE as well.

Good luck and let us know what you find.
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Old March 2, 2020, 02:48 AM   #15
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Swifty, is it a US made Deagle or Israeli made?
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Old March 2, 2020, 01:35 PM   #16
Swifty Morgan
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It was made in Israel.

While I was fooling with it, I learned that the trigger is adjustable. That's a big relief. I have always compared it to trying to close a rusty pair of scissors on a sheet of sandpaper. I adjusted it. It's much better now.

I assume lawyers told Magnum Research to make sure the trigger was as hard as possible to pull, leaving the much-needed adjustment to the end user.
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Old March 2, 2020, 08:13 PM   #17
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Plastic glob or not, it's got to be the extractor or ammo.
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Old March 3, 2020, 11:44 AM   #18
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The "plastic glob" is the updated hard urethane cone replacing the earlier spring. Oddly the spring is still available for purchase. I tried both, and both perform equally . I've done extensive load development on my DE44, and bottom line is yes, the DE's are very ammo (gas pressure) sensitive. Rather than retype all my experiences , just read my link:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thed...ngs-t4626.html
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Old March 4, 2020, 04:38 AM   #19
silvermane_1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_Clam View Post
The "plastic glob" is the updated hard urethane cone replacing the earlier spring. Oddly the spring is still available for purchase. I tried both, and both perform equally . I've done extensive load development on my DE44, and bottom line is yes, the DE's are very ammo (gas pressure) sensitive. Rather than retype all my experiences , just read my link:

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thed...ngs-t4626.html
Didn't you also have a thread on AKFiles there Road Clam?
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Old March 4, 2020, 05:25 AM   #20
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I have a DE in .44 Mag, one of the original ones from about 1989.

What I discovered is that the springs make a huge difference. I had to change out springs every 2500-3000 rounds. If you haven't changed your springs, the type of ammunition used really doesn't make that much difference. If the springs need replacing, I had FTEs with any type of ammunition.

Magnum Research sold spring sets that included every spring in the gun. The only springs I changed out each time were the recoil springs. That solved my problems each time they appeared.

Just MHO. YMMV.
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Old March 4, 2020, 07:36 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by silvermane_1
Didn't you also have a thread on AKFiles there Road Clam?
I don't think I posted any DE info over at the AKfiles. I did post in a few different threads over at ARFCOM.
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Old March 7, 2020, 12:16 PM   #22
Swifty Morgan
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This gun has maybe 150 rounds through it, so having anything fall apart by now is proof of poor engineering. Disappointing, but then it's a range gun, not something that actually has to work.

I received 2 Kahr rubber-Jujube springs and a DPMS AR15 spring. I'm going to see if I can install the metal AR15 spring, which has the remarkable property of not dissolving in the presence of gun-cleaning products. I assume it's okay to have metal-to-metal contact, since other guns do it that way. Hope so, anyway. If not, time to buy more parts.
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Old March 11, 2020, 02:36 PM   #23
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I learned some things about the Desert Eagle, and I think they will be helpful to other people, so here I am again.

I received two Kahr Jujube extractor "springs" in the mail, along with a DPMS steel AR spring. I decided to use the DPMS spring, for reasons which will become clear.

I looked at the manual, and I watched Youtube. I figured this gave me enough information to disassemble the gun and replace the Jujube. WRONG.

It turns out I have a California gun. Humiliating. California doesn't want anyone to have a .50-caliber pistol that actually works, so they forced Magnum Research to add an annoying hindrance to the firing pin stop. It's a big pain to remove the firing pin, and the instructions are not in the manual. No conceivable excuse for that blunder. You have to push two pins in instead of one.

Kahr sells the 49-state firing pin and stop, and they fit in the California guns. Cost: $50. I have these parts on the way. The stop is black, so it won't match the gun. Maybe I can fabricate one from stainless.

I have to blame this on Garcia's National Gun in Miami. It was a terrible gun shop, but I tried to support them because they were local. How they managed to get me a new California gun, I can't even guess. I was a loyal customer, and they never even got to the point where they recognized me or said hello when I walked in the door. This is why I buy online or at big stores. I've had lots of problems with local shops. They don't seem to appreciate the precarious position they're in, or the fact that people are doing them a huge favor by giving them business.

The old extractor Jujube wasn't just damaged; it no longer existed. I found some bits of reddish grease that used to be the spring. No exaggeration. Had I not known what I was looking at, I would never have known there used to be a spring.

I'm sure Magnum Research had some kind of justification for using this stuff instead of a real spring, but it has not worked out for me. A spring that dissolves in oil or gun-cleaning solvent is a bad idea.

Removing the bolt is unpleasant but not terribly so. The extractor is held in place with a pin which is not tight. You can push it out with a punch. Then you have to put the new spring in, line up the extractor with the bolt, and shove the new spring in. That's all there is to it.

I have not fired the gun since reassembling it. I don't know if the real metal spring will have any effect on shells hitting me in the face, but they should eject, so I have that going for me.
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Old March 11, 2020, 06:21 PM   #24
Swifty Morgan
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I fired 7 rounds to see if the gun was working. I wore a face shield. Far as I can tell, only one round hit the shield. It's hard to tell, because your mind goes blank for an instant when this gun goes off.

The extractor is working fine now. I don't think I'll go back to the dissolving OEM springs.
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Old March 11, 2020, 08:25 PM   #25
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the DPMS steel AR spring that you mention, can you tell whether it's a AR-15 extractor spring, or an AR-10 extractor spring? this is good info. thanks for posting your findings.

------------------------------
ETA: NVM: I see in posts above that it's an AR15 spring. thanks. yeah, Reading is fundamental.
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