Ever since I first discovered them back in the late '80's, I have been just in love with the Desert Eagle Pistols. I actually got to shoot a .44 shortly thereafter, and I was hooked! (Mind you, this was well before all the movie and video game hype with the DE's, as well as the gang member association). For one reason or another, I made choices in my life that kept me financially from being able to purchase one. Well, then in the '90's, the .50AE's came out. Oh wow, now I was really going crazy. Then I got to fire one, and I was doomed. I finally settled down, got married, finished college, and got my current job. I started to build my gun collection back up, with the essentials taking priority. Mine and my wife's primary handguns (both 9mm's), our primary rifles (both .223's), and her secondary handgun. Now it was my turn. Last month, I took the plunge and ordered my dream gun. A Desert Eagle .50 AE in Brushed Chrome with the Hogue Fingergroove grips and Trijicon 3-dot sights. It took a couple of days to come in, which seemed impossibly long. Once it came in, I was in heaven. Here it is: This has got to be one of the most magnificent firearms that I've ever seen, let alone had the privilege to own. I ordered 4 different types of ammo for it from Ammo2go. Magnum Research/Hornday 300gr XTP-JHP's Speer 300gr Gold Dot HP's Speer 325gr Gold Dot HP's Magnum Research/CCI/Speer 350gr JSP's So, when I finally got it to the range the following week ........ Wow. Just wow. What a magnificent weapon. It has been 10 years since I last fired one of these. It was much better than I remember. Mrs. Thumper and I packed up our pistols and headed for the range. The fare for the day: my Beretta 92FS, my Desert Eagle .50 AE (obviously), her Baby Eagle (9mm), and her Walther P22. We got on the line just after a cease fire, so we had to wait about 20 minutes through a cycle of fire before we could shoot. The line was a mixed variety of shooters. There was a couple of younger guys who looked to be trying to set a world's record for blowing through ammo. They both had new Tupperware handguns that they had just purchased, one was 9mm the other a .45, and they were just pumping through box after box of ammo. Mostly firing just about as fast as they could, but every once and awhile they would slow down a little and really concentrate on accuracy. A couple of lanes down was a man and his wife. He was teaching her to shoot, and this was her very first time. He was teaching her on a Ruger 9mm, and while she was quite nervous, he had obviously been working with her at home prior to actually hitting the range as she had good safe habits. Trigger discipline was good, no barrel sweeps, muzzle downrange all the time, dropped the mag and cleared the breach at a cease fire without being reminded to do so. She came a long way in the time she was there. Her husband was quite patient and very thorough. There was also a younger couple that came to do the same thing, only she was a bit of a princess and got a bit frustrated after the accuracy and recoil was not what it was portrayed in the movies. Her husband wasn't as patient, but she wasn't a good student. (Sad to say, but I don't give that marriage another 2 years). There was a couple of other young guys that showed up when we did, and while they were setting up, their dad rolled up on a very nice HD and strolled up to the line with a blued 1911 that obviously had seen some trigger time, and looked to be a cherish friend. (Which was undeniably confirmed when the old man started shooting it. IMPRESSIVE groups, and he handled the weapon with a deft grace). There was one guy at one end that was sighting in an tacticooled SKS @25 yards. The 2 lanes on the very end (the ones that my wife and I wanted) didn't have target stands setup, but did have the brackets in place to hold them. I walked down to the range master and asked if at the next cease fire we could get a couple of stands setup on those brackets as the lanes were starting to fill up and we wanted to be on the end. I told him that I was going to be shooting a Desert Eagle and the I didn't want to scare the bajeezus out of anyone, plus I wanted to collect my cases. (There was brass everywhere except at the end lanes that we wanted. There was an excessive amount of .45 cases that I thought would make it harder to differentiate from my .50 cases. Boy was I waaaay off on that one). I went back to where we had our stuff at (on the tables in front of our desired lanes) and starting filling up mags with the ammo de jour. At the cease fire, the range master on duty, a local LEO and former marine, came down and set us up a couple of target frames. As he was helping other shooters staple up their targets (I had orange peel targets, so mine were self adhesive), he rolled past my table and saw the open case with my Desert Eagle in it. He just stood there with his mouth open. He looked at me and said "Now I know why you asked for the end lanes. I thought you had the .44. Good Lord that's a big round!" I smiled and told him to come back down once the line was hot again and I would let him shoot it. He got this huge smile on his face and said he would take me up on it. Mrs. Thumper and I stepped up to the line and worked the 9mm's in real good, putting about 45 rounds through each to warm up. She hadn't loaded any mags for the Walther, so she sat down on the benches behind the line to load up a few. It was time. Now, for the fans of larger bore handguns, you will get most of what I describe. Those that are not fan or are unfamiliar with shooting larger bore handguns, you will either probably not get what I'm descibing, or you will be reinforced as to why you don't like these calibers. Nes pa? Onward. Now, as with most of the larger bore handguns, the Desert Eagle .50AE has the harder kicking recoil as do most of the big bores, as well and the massive concusion/muzzleblast, and a legendary muzzle flash. (Car-Wreck-In-A-Can). The recoil on the gas operated Desert Eagles however tames the huge recoil down suprisingly, and the gun itself has some heft to it. It's quite a *****cat compared to my initial expectations (back when I first fired the .50AE). It is not a casual shooter. You must always concentrate on what you're doing. Otherwise, it is not forgiving and your range time will not be as enjoyable. (As with all handguns, accuracy is a science. Precision is an art). To control muzzle-flip (or muzzle-climb) and thus control the gun and afford better follow up shots, a heavier push/pull grip is required. Concentrating on this grip is paramount. It also allows for more precise shots as it really steadies the aim. Part of this grip is stiff wrists. Limp wristing combined with a weaker, less controlled and focused grip (all these factors actually go hand in hand if you will) will for one cause the weapon not to cycle properly and can cause failures to feed. (Berettas, 1911's, and Rugers also have this problem with some shooters. The range master said he's seen Glocks do it, but I personally have never seen it. BTW, he LOVES Glocks, has drank the Kool-Aid, and was carrying one at the range). It can also cause the cases to eject at less than desirable trajectories, sending the VERY hot cases flying at the shooter at high speed. Most shooters who get this often bear the marks: whelps on the forehead or even small cuts. The recoil should be dissapated through the shoulders, not the elbows and never the wrists. Like I said above, for me, the recoil was a *****cat. Especially when compared to the .500 S&W. That puppy will REALLY back up on ya. The Desert Eagle has a very nice bite, but not painfully so. It was quite controllable throughout the day, and I never experienced any degree of discomfort, pain, or fatigue. Myself, I fired over 80 rounds through it in less than 2 hours (I say that time frame as that was about as long as we were there. Actually total time at the range was closer to 2.5, but we were on the line shooting for about 2 hours). I have no soreness or blisters. It was a dream to shoot. The blast is on par with large bore guns, it was easliy felt on your frontal plane, solid, but not uncomfortable. Accuracy is top shelf, and that's right out of the box. Exceptionally accurate; this is gun is far more accurate than I am. The action of the trigger is very agreeable with me, crisp but not stiff, good feed back. It comes from the factory with a 2-stage adjustable trigger (although I have not bothered to adjust mine). Not one failure of any sort. VERY tightly fitted, the Israeli craftsmanship is unmatched. Finest fit and finish of any gun that I have ever seen. IMO, it is nothing short of a work of art, a hallmark of craftsmanship, and a labor of love. Bird Feed: I had brought the 4 different ammunitions that I had ordered from Ammo2go. Magnum Researh/Hornday's 300gr XTP Hollowpoints, Speer's 300gr Gold Dot Hollowpoints, Speer's 325gr Gold Dot Hollowpoints, and CCI/Speer's 350gr Jacketed Soft Points. The price range of selection averaged about $1.50 per boom.