by B. Gil Horman – Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The Magnum Research, Inc. Desert Eagle Pistol is an unusual semi-auto that enjoys a nearly universal level of recognition thanks to its regular appearance in movies, television shows and video games. In production for over three decades now, this massive pistol’s long and colorful history generates plenty of questions in on-line discussions. To find the answers to nine of the top questions folks have about this beefy big-bore semi-auto, we went straight to the expert with the inside story: master gunsmith, designer and director of manufacturing for Magnum Research, Jim Tertin. Here’s a countdown of what we learned:
9. Wasn’t the Desert Eagle originally developed in Israel?
The pistols were first manufactured by IMI (Israeli Military Industry, Ltd.), an Israeli defense contractor. However, IMI was a subcontractor of Magnum Research. They had no ownership of the design. IMI went through some internal restructuring and all of the commercial enterprises the company was involved in were sold to IWI (Israel Weapon Industries, Ltd.). In 2006, Magnum Research started to engineer production of the Desert Eagle in Pillager, Minn. By 2008, the first U.S.-made Desert Eagles were delivered starting at serial number DE0001000. Today, the pistols are manufactured using all American components.