[FIREARM REVIEW] Magnum Research Baby Desert Eagle III
As a firearm reviewer and avid gun enthusiast, I have made it my personal mission to find the most accurate and comfortable shooting handgun that works best for me. This quest has been a daunting task with many quality handguns available from manufacturers from around the world. Having fired hundreds, if not thousands of handguns, I’ve learned that most all handguns need a slight adjustment between one and another. It’s surely not a “one size fits all” kind of thing. However, when I held the Magnum Research Baby Desert Eagle III for the first time, this gun had quality written all over it. The sleeker and slimmer design from the Baby Desert Eagle II felt impressive but I really fell in love with the DA/SA trigger. The full size carbon steel frame that hosts 16 rounds felt strong with detailed craftsmanship. This was that particular gun that I was looking for and I needed it in my hands with some serious range time.
So off to the range I went and I have to say this Baby Desert Eagle III was on target like nothing I’ve shot before. It delivered and met all of my expectations and then some. Right out of the box I was hitting my targets with incredible accuracy. Everything about this gun felt natural as I placed shot after shot on target. This is the kind of gun that builds confidence.
The smooth and accurate shots became consistent even as I backed up past 20 yards. It made an average shooter like myself feel like a professional. It could be that I am getting better but more likely it is the fact that this Baby Desert Eagle III offers everything I have been looking for in a semi auto pistol. Beauty, feel, function and accuracy best describes the BDE III. You really need to take a serious look at this handgun.
Model: Baby Desert Eagle III
Caliber: 9mm Barrel
Weight: 38 ozs
OA Length: 8”
Slide Width: 1.31”
Construction: High Quality Carbon Steel Frame and Slide
Finish: Black Oxide Finish
Trigger: Double Action/Single Action
Safety: Slide Mounted Safety and Decocker, ambidextrous
Sights: Combat Type, White 3 dot, Fixed
Magazines: (2) 15 round
The Baby Desert Eagle III featured in this review has the full size carbon steel frame. It is very sturdy and strong while weighing just under 49 ounces with a full magazine of 15 rounds. This is the largest model available in 9mm with a 4.43 inch barrel and an overall length of eight inches. Being a huge fan of the full size Desert Eagle in .50 AE, the full size steel framed Baby Desert Eagle III was the natural choice. Nothing can replicate the feeling of a heavier handgun eating up 9mm rounds like an appetizer at a 5 star restaurant. However, if I were looking to carry this gun, which would make a great choice, I would consider the compact polymer framed Baby Desert Eagle III in 9mm. The compact polymer frame BDE III has finger grooves with a 3.85 inch barrel and weighs 26 ounces while still supporting the mechanics which makes this handgun a pleasure to shoot.
When I grip the full size BDE III, it is comfortable like I’m shaking someone’s hand. The ergonomics and overall balance is excellent. The undercut trigger guard and flared out beavertail allows for a high hand position on the grip. The grip itself is rather smooth with sleek vertical serrations on the front and semi aggressive texturing on the backstrap.
The magazine release is positioned to not interfere when shooting but allows for quick deployment of the 15 round mag.
The Baby Desert Eagle III has a trigger worth writing home about. The double action pull is measured at 12 pounds and single action at four pounds. Together they work well but I have to say the single action trigger pull is among the sweetest triggers I have ever experienced. It is light with quick action making double taps feel like bump firing a rifle. Being that the gun itself soaks up any of the minimal recoil the 9mm offers, the single action trigger allowed me to easily stay on target and as accurate as could be. The hammer can also be set in “half cock” position. The half cock position allows the shooter to pull the trigger with a shorter pull than the full double action. This would be the ideal way to carry this gun in my opinion.
The BDE III has an ambidextrous frame mounted decocker and thumb safety. This is consistent with the full size Desert Eagles and also give a solid purchase when racking the slide. Magnum Research calls the decocker/thumb safety a “tear drop.” When in fire position, the “tear drop” is aligned with the slide and a red dot is observed. With a quick flick of the thumb the safety is engaged and a white dot appears. If the hammer is cocked, it will be safely decocked when the thumb safety is engaged.
The sights are combat three dot sights and the six inch sight radius accounts for “dead nuts” (accurate) shooting. Moving up the gun, we have a stainless steel match grade 4.43 inch barrel which has locking lugs to hug the interior slide which allows for minimal movement when the gun cycles.
The BDE III also has full 1913 rail for attaching one’s favorite accessories.
The disassembly of the Baby Desert Eagle III couldn’t be easier. Once the magazine is removed and the gun is verified unloaded, observe a marking on the back of the slide and the rear of the frame. Simply move the slide back to align the two markings. From the opposite side, push the slide stop pin and remove it from the opposite side. No tools will be necessary. With the pin removed the slide is easily removed from the frame. There is no need to pull the trigger. At this point, simply remove the uncaptured recoil spring, guide rod and barrel. To reassemble, simply perform the same steps in reverse order.
Overall, the Baby Desert Eagle is an outstanding handgun. From the comfortable ergonomics, to the fit and finish, this is a quality pistol. The mechanics and craftsmanship are second to none. On my range shooting video, I was hitting a 10 inch target from 20 yards away with ease. I can honestly say, the Baby Desert Eagle III is the most accurate shooting handgun I have ever shot. It is definitely on the heavy side as a full size steel framed gun but as previously mentioned, Magnum Research has a polymer Baby Desert Eagle III which is much lighter for carry. Impressive? You bet. Accurate shooting gun? It’s among the best. If you are looking for a quality double/single action handgun that is reliable and accurate with incredible mechanics, the Baby Desert Eagle III is for you.