The Desert Eagle is a powerful semi-automatic pistol that is able to fire the .50 Action Express. These rounds have 3 times the initial energy of 45 caliber rounds, and the gun's 26cm length and 2kg weight, almost double that of most military handguns, have often led to it being described as more of a "hand cannon" than pistol. It utilizes a gas operating system similar to that found in many assault rifles, unlike most semi-auto pistols which use the force of recoil to cycle. The standard barrel is 6 inches, but a 10 inch barrel variation also exists. Holding 7 rounds, it has extremely strong recoil, and is rather difficult to use effectively.
A variation on the Desert Eagle with an extended 10 inch barrel length gives it a theoretical range of up to 100 yards; very accurate for a handgun, though this is tempered somewhat by the balance issues the weapon incurs. The longer barrel slightly increases muzzle velocity and weight. It can also be equipped with a scope enabling the gun to be used over longer ranges. All other specs are identical to the 6 inch model. The 10 inch variation also carries over the strong recoil of its smaller brother (although slightly less due to the added weight on the end of the gun).
It should be noted that the Desert Eagle is often seen as a "Hollywood hero" gun. The actual weapon has a gigantic muzzle flash and sound only slightly less than that of a flash grenade, making it a poor choice for practical home defense. The gas-operation is also not a popular feature with users because dirt can easily enter and jam the weapon, the extreme operating pressure of the overpowered .50AE cartridge has been known to break several components of the weapon during normal operation, and the heavy weight of the Desert Eagle compared to its ammunition capacity makes it impractical as a battlefield sidearm. The weapon is almost unusable outside target practice and showing off, and is often the target of mockery by serious shooters.
- Main article: Shadow Moses Incident
In 2005, Meryl Silverburgh managed to procure a Desert Eagle during the Shadow Moses Incident. When Solid Snake noted its impracticality in the hands of a girl like her, he offered to trade weapons out of concern. In response, Meryl revealed that she had been using a gun like that since she was 8 years old and she was more comfortable with it than wearing a bra.
During the Guns of the Patriots Incident, Meryl sported two Desert Eagles: one was a standard model while the other one was modified with a scope and an extended barrel. Drebin was also believed to have carried and sold the latter model.
Behind the scenes
The preferred weapon of Meryl, she carries both the above variants in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and the long-barreled version can be unlocked and used by Old Snake. The long-barreled version features a bizarre glitch, however, in that rather than reloading it with a new magazine as normal, Snake holds an entire second gun in his other hand and places it into the first one.
The Desert Eagle was a secondary weapon in Metal Gear Online, and was available for 3000 Drebin Points when enabled. Unlike with most of the available weapons, characters using the Desert Eagle were unable to keep their aim straight, due to the weight of the gun. It was an extremely powerful weapon with long effective range.
Players using Meryl as a unique character were able to purchase the long-barreled variant as a primary weapon for 1000 Drebin Points. By selecting both variants of the Desert Eagle (for 4000 DP), players using Meryl were able to keep continuous fire by simply emptying their current magazine, as Meryl would automatically switch and reload the two guns.
Notes and references
- ^ a b Metal Gear Solid, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (1998).
Solid Snake: Where did ya get that Desert Eagle? // Meryl Silverburgh: I found it in the armory. It's a .50 caliber Action Express... There was a SOCOM pistol too, but I chose this. // Snake: Hmm. So I got a leftover, huh. Isn't that gun a little big for a girl? // Meryl: Don't worry, I can handle it. // (Snake holds his SOCOM out to Meryl) Snake: C'mon. Use my .45. // Meryl: Listen, I've used a gun like this since I was 8 years old. I'm more comforatble with it than I am with a bra.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
A modified version of the Desert Eagle was displayed on a monitor within Drebin's Stryker.