Tokyo Marui Desert Eagle .50 AE Hard Kick Gas Blowback Review – March 19, 2005
Introduction The Desert Eagle .50 AE is arguably the largest and most powerful semi-auto ever made. It is made popular by Hollywood and video games. Nothing makes one feel tough and powerful like an Desert Eagle does. Tokyo Marui and KWC each makes several versions of the Desert Eagle. This review is for the latest Black Tokyo Marui Desert Eagle .50 AE Hard Kick Gas Blowback version.
In this review, I’ll use Desert Eagle or DE to refer to the black TM Desert Eagle .50 AE Hard Kick GBB unless otherwise explicitly specified. The organization of this review is in the usual format: it starts off with external examination, then descriptions of the function of various parts, and followed by the performance of the DE. Finally, I’ll conclude the review with a brief summary.
External The Desert Eagle comes in a black TM box specifically designed to fit the DE. Inside the box, there is the DE, its magazine, some BBs, cleaning rod, and the usual TM leaflets and manual all in Japanese. Staring at the DE, I’m amazed by its sheer size. The gun is beautifully finished in matte black, certainly holds up to all the high standards Tokyo Marui is famous for. The paint is even and smooth, and hard to tell the gun is plastic without touching or examine closely. metal parts include the trigger, the hammer, the slide release lever, the take down lever, the magazine, and a lot of the internal structure. The grip panel has a nice rubber feel, in fact, it feels so nice that I believe it is indeed made of rubber though I can not confirm this.
Weighs about 1100g, but the DE still feels light for a gun this size. The weight is fairly balanced, slightly front heavy as can be expected for its massive barrel. Because of Japan airsoft regulations, the DE can not be made in full metal, but there’s lots of metal structure inside the slide and barrel, and the authentic trademarks made up for the lack of the cold metal feeling. On the left side of the slide, it says, “DESERT EAGLE .50AE PISTOL ISRAEL MILITARY INDUSTRIES LTD.(I.M.I),” and on the right side of the slide, it says, “MAGNUM RESEARCH INC. MINNEAPOLIS MINN. MADE IN JAPAN.” On the right side of the frame above he grip, there’s also smaller text that says, “94731 TOKYO MARUI. CO. LTD.” and a small ASGK logo. On each side of the grip panel, the IMI’s logo is nicely and accurately reproduced. Even though the frame and slide are plastic, there’s no creaking whatsoever. Shaking the gun, there is almost no rattle, but as in any machine with moving parts, there’s inevitably some rattle, but the DE is just as solid as the best built GBB there is.
Neither of the sights are painted nor adjustable, but are removable. A clear red dot is painted under the safety lever. When the safety is off, the red dot clearly indicates the gun is in firing mode. When the safety is on, the red dot is covered up by the safety lever. There’s no under rail for mounting flashlight or laser, but there’s the built-in upper rail for mounting optics.
The magazine is metal and huge for a single stack magazine, and has mock round indicator and also the text, “TOKYO MARUI Co.Ltd. MADE IN JAPAN”.
Function The DE has single action only trigger, meaning that the gun can only be fired after the hammer is cocked, and the trigger pull is short and light. The hammer can be cocked by manually cocking it back, or by cycling the slide either manually or by the blowback action. The mag release button is on the left side only. I can not reach it with my thumb without shifting my grip position. This prevents accidentally dropping the mag in combat. The mag falls freely after the mag release button is pushed.
Pulling back the slide when the mag is empty locks the slide in the back. The slide release lever is positioned nicely, and can be accessed easily with the right thumb without shifting my grip. The safety, when on, locks both the trigger and the slide preventing either from being pulled back. There is no decocking lever, and the hammer can be lowered by releasing the mag, and then pulling the trigger either with or without holding back the hammer with the thumb. If holding back the hammer with the thumb, while the trigger is pulled back, release the hammer down slowly.
(CAUTION: when the mag is in, even if one holds back the hammer when pulling the trigger, and then releases the hammer down slowly, the gun may still fire.) The adjustable hop-up dial can be accessed by locking back the slide, and slide back the ejection port cover.
Performance This is the part everyone is waiting for. Loading the BB is slightly different: hold down the mag spring lever at the bottom, and instead of dropping the BBs in from the top, you hold the mag upside down and drop the BBs in from the bottom. The mag holds 26 BBs in double stack formation. Gasing the mag is no different from others: hold the mag upside down, and fill the gas into the inlet on the bottom plate of the mag, and the huge mag eats up lots of gas but it puts all to good use as you’ll see shortly. Since this is a TM GBB with plastic construction, I use 134a gas with 0.2g BBs through the shooting test at room temperature (around 20 degrees Celsius).
I set a target at my normal 5m range, and line up the sights before I pull the trigger. A loud “BAM!”, and the gun kicked back hard against my hand. It certainly deserves the title “Hard Kick”. Even with 134a gas, the blowback action is the most violent among my GBBs (KSC or KJW) even though I use green gas in my other GBBs. While the blowback is still no where near the recoil of a real steel .50 AE, or even a 9mm real steel, but it is the best blowback feel I’ve ever had with GBBs. I can only image what it is like if used with Green gas. (Note: there are contradictory reports on the DE with green gas, some say it holds up well, and others say the stock hammer spring is not even strong enough to strike down the gas release valve. And most of TM’s GBBs are infamous for breaking down under the higher pressure of green gas.)
Accuracy for the DE when using 0.2g BBs is outstanding. Not for rapid firing because of the hard kick, but if re-align the sights after each shot, I achieve the best grouping with the DE among all my GBBs right at the point of aim.
Power wise, I’d say it’s as high as it can be with 134a gas. The power of the DE using 134a gas trails a bit behind that of the KJW GBBs using green gas, but not by much.
The gas efficiency is good even with the strong blowback action. One fill of gas lasts well more than 2 mags of BBs (around 60 shots).
Take down The take down is fairly simple, but has a couple tricky parts. Release the mag, push the button on the left side of the trigger guard, rotate the take down lever on the right side of the trigger guard counter clockwise by 90 degrees, and the slide the slide assembly forward an inch. The first tricky part is that one may need to press down the lever connected to the trigger before the slide can be fully slided out.
Taking out the recoil springs and their guide rods is simple, but removing the barrel can be tricky again. One needs to hold the side rail inside the slide slightly apart before the barrel can be twisted out between those rails. The instruction manual, though in Japanese, has excellent pictures illustrating the take down procedure, and it is not hard to follow. For normal lubrication, it’s not necessary to take out the outer barrel.
Conclusion In conclusion, the TM Desert Eagle Hard Kick GBB has a well deserved place in anyone’s collection. Excellent built quality, tremendous blowback, outstanding accuracy, it can be an excellent primary weapon in pistol only games. As a secondary side arm, the weight and size may turn down some players who prefer compact carries. There are also metal slide/barrel upgrades readily available.
External links: Links to external sites of interest.