By Michael R Shea – January 22, 2020
Designed in Pillager, Minnesota, in 1983, Desert Eagle pistols fast became a favorite of Hollywood in the 1980s and 1990s. Arnold, the Punisher, and even Pamela Anderson carried one. Manufactured for Magnum Research (now part of Kahr Firearms Group) by Israeli Weapons Industries at that time, the Desert Eagle was brought back to Minnesota in 2009, where it’s made to this day. It’s a 100 percent American gun, from an American company.
The new .429 DE cartridge was designed in- house by Jim Tertin. It’s a .50 AE case necked down to a .44 Magnum bullet—the actual diameter of which is .429. It’s designed for headspacing on the sloped, 30-degree shoulder, and has a long case neck for solid crimping. Softpoints and hollowpoints by Speer and Sierra are currently available in the 210- and 240-grain weight class, loaded into Starline brass by HSM in Montana, and sold through Kahr’s ammo division, Glacier Ridge, for $42 a box. (Kahr purchased Magnum Research in 2010.) The 210-grainers push 1750 fps at the muzzle. The 240s hit 1625 fps and have a 25 percent velocity increase and 45 percent more energy over the .44 Mag. when shot through a 6-inch barrel.
This all makes the .429 DE an ideal hunting load. It hits harder than a .44 Magnum, but with less felt recoil than the .50 AE. In the big pistol, the round feels very much like a light .44 Mag. load and is much more pleasant to shoot than a small-framed .357 revolver loaded hot. For rental ranges, it could be a good option for customers who want the Desert Eagle experience, but fear the full-power .50 AE. In fact, a Mark XIX 429 Desert Eagle can accept .50 AE and .44 Magnum barrels.