Magnum Research History

MRI: History

Magnum Research Inc.® (MRI) opened up a new chapter in its 25 year old history when the Minneapolis, MN based company was purchased by Kahr Arms® in June 2010. Kahr Arms, based in Worcester, MA with offices and factories in Massachusetts, New York, Illinois and California is a well known producer of high quality compact handguns and maker of the world famous Thompson submachine guns commonly known as the “Tommy Gun®”. Magnum Research's founders, Jim Skildum and John Risdall had been involved with the company since 1979. Both men oversaw the ascent of the Desert Eagle® Pistol from a concept on paper to a pop culture icon including a Playboy magazine front cover featuring Pamela Anderson showing off a Pink Desert Eagle pistol.

Over the past 25 years MRI has been responsible for the design and development of the Desert Eagle pistol. The design was refined and the actual pistols were manufactured by Israel Military Industries until 1995, when MRI shifted the manufacturing contract to Saco Defense in Saco, Maine. In 1998, MRI moved manufacturing back to IMI, which later reorganized under the name Israel Weapon Industries. Both Saco and IMI/IWI were strictly contractors: all of the intellectual property, including patents, copyrights and trademarks are the property of Magnum Research. Since 2009 the Desert Eagle Pistol has been produced in the USA at MRI's Pillager, MN facility. Besides offering the basic black finish MRI has developed a line-up of the Desert Eagle pistols in a number of distinctive and appealing finishes including classic brushed chrome and the latest “Tiger Stripe” pattern in a titanium nitride coated finish.

Magnum Research imported the IMI/IWI brand of pistols under the Baby Desert Eagle name until the end of 2008. The importation of the Baby Desert Eagle will resume in 2011 with the purchase of MRI by Kahr Arms. Other products from MRI include the DE1911G and DE1911C from BUL Ltd. in Israel and a striker fired polymer frame pistol from Walther in Germany, MR9 and MR40 Eagle. Featuring a Walther polymer frame with a stainless steel slide and barrel made in the US these innovative pistols are being introduced in 2011. MRI also produces the BFR series of single-action magnum revolvers, the Mountain Eagle® Center-fire rifles and Magnum Lite® Rim-fire rifles featuring graphite barrels.

The Platform

The entire Mark XIX Component System is based on a single platform. With its gas operation, rotating bolt and all-steel construction, this is the heart of the fi rearm. Once you’ve purchased a Mark XIX Desert Eagle Pistol, you can change the barrel length or the caliber in seconds, if you have the appropriate Mark XIX components on hand.

The Mark XIX (Mark 19) Desert Eagle Pistols offers true interchangeability. Six different pistols are available - .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum or .50 A.E., each with a 6-inch (standard configuration) or a 10-inch barrel that is available as an option in black only. Purchase one pistol and you have the platform to build the other five with a simple switch of components (barrel, magazines and in some cases the bolt assembly). The Mark XIX Desert Eagle .50 A.E. pistols are convertible to the .44 Magnum by simply switching the barrel and magazine (can be done in seconds!). For converting to the .357 Magnum you need to switch the bolt assembly, barrel and magazine (takes a few minutes).