Micro Desert Eagle Review

| August 21, 2009 | 7 Comments

Let’s face it: the firearms market has been absolutely saturated with concealed carry guns chambered in the feisty little .380acp. The most popular thus far has been the inexpensive Ruger LCP. Unfortunately, the LCP has been affected by a safety recall. Some early units were not drop-safe– not exactly a good proposition for a gun that is supposed to hurt the bad guy and not you or a friendly in the process. My personal experience with the LCP is that it does not reliably feed the 6th round from the magazine. Lightly coating my rounds with CLP was an easy stopgap solution, but I want bulletproof reliability in a concealed carry weapon. So, I passed on the LCP.

And Ruger is not the only resident of 380 Recall Land. Sig Sauer’s new P238 hasn’t been on the market for long and is already on recall– and the situation is even more dire. Deactivating the safety lever may cause the gun to fire! Thousands of P238s recently arrived at one of our suppliers and every unit had to go back to Sig as a precaution. Also, the aluminum grip panels that were shown on the gun at Shot Show are now made of plastic– causing an uproar among buyers. Frankly, once a gun has been involved in a safety recall, especially of this magnitude, I can no longer trust it for defensive carry. So, the Sig Sauer P238 is off my list too.

Kahr’s new PM380 is ultra compact and easily has the best trigger of the bunch. Kahrs have always been known for their buttery smooth double action trigger pulls. Reliability will probably be ahead of the curve too. Once we get one of these in, we’ll certainly take it out for a range test.

Walther debuted its new PK380, but it’s rather large for a .380acp. In this form factor, you’re probably better off with the excellent and super slim Walther PPS in the more potent 9mm cartridge. This leads us to what is, in my opinion, the best new .380acp on the market: the Micro Desert Eagle by Magnum Research.

The Micro Eagle is the only steel gun in the group and a stunning piece of engineering artistry. The proprietary nickel Teflon finish that Magnum Research uses is very attractive, slick, and resistant to corrosion– not unlike hard chrome. Of course, this is an important attribute for a concealed carry firearm considering the amount of sweat the gun will be exposed to during its service life.

I took the Micro Desert Eagle to the range this morning with 50rds of ancient ammunition that I found at the shop. Recoil is refreshingly light thanks to its robust steel construction. However, the trigger is 14 days long and over 8 pounds– something you’ll have to learn to live with it. My accuracy at 25ft is on par with other micro .380acps that I’ve fired (see target) and nothing to brag about. I’ve found it best to shoot the Micro Eagle single-handed because the large trigger guard makes your weak hand placement incredibly important– lest you want to lose a digit during fire. In fact, the slide had a big orange sticker from the factory reminding you of this potential danger!

The Micro Eagle’s sights are miniscule, but useable. Although the price point seems high ($439), you’re getting a steel-framed handgun and you get what you pay for. Take down is fascinatingly elegant. Simply drop the magazine, clear the weapon, move the slide to the rear so its takedown line synchs up with the takedown line on the frame, rotate the barrel clockwise, and the slide comes forward off the frame. It’s actually pretty fun to field strip the little bugger! And its most important feature of all: the Micro Eagle is not on a safety recall– which seems like a rarity when you consider the woes Sig Sauer and Ruger have shared lately.

“If” I wanted to carry a .380acp right now, I would probably select the Micro Eagle. It serves its purpose as a mouse gun, but if you can carry a bigger gun, you should. I’m hard pressed to be in a situation where my little Glock 26 can’t tag along with me. When that’s the case, I’m usually in a Speedo or spandex bike shorts. That in itself is more of a deterrent than any .380acp in my opinion! I’ll leave you with that unpleasant visual! Bwahahaha!
Have a good one and God bless.

Review written and Authorized by Evan over at Onpointfirearms

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7 Comments on "Micro Desert Eagle Review"

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  1. Matthew says:

    Great review. I purchased one over the weekend (online) so as soon as it comes in I’ll be doing my own review. Thanks for the great points. I’ve also been a little unsure of what to do about the two recalls (Ruger and SIG). Both are great manufacturers – I can’t believe they both fell victim to (what seems to be) a push to market.

  2. muhamed says:

    Matthew :Great review. I purchased one over the weekend (online) so as soon as it comes in I?ll be doing my own review. Thanks for the great points. I?ve also been a little unsure of what to do about the two recalls (Ruger and SIG). Both are great manufacturers ? I can?t believe they both fell victim to (what seems to be) a push to market.
    UN:F [1.8.2_1042]

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    can you tell me did you have any malfunction ?

  3. Chris Fleeger says:

    I purchased a Micro Eagle two weeks ago, and i could not be more pleased. I had been carrying a 9mm Taurus revolver (yes, that’s right, a 9mm revolver) and it was too wide to fit into the slacks I wear for work. The Micro Eagle is small, but solid feeling, and very accurate compared with other concealed carry pistols I had tested. I have two other Magnum Research weapons, and this gun carries the same build quality as its big brothers.

  4. bikerboyman says:

    Just bought a MR micro desert eagle used at my local gunshop and could not be happier. Like new, owned by a woman who decided to stop carrying, it was my fortune to come in at the right time. $325. with box and all the accessories, I think was an awesome deal and I just put 50 winchester 380s out the spout at the range with narry a glitch. Figure to pocket carry and will get the Hogue Handle Jr. rubber grip cover to give me just a little more to hang on to. Also will get 2 extended finger loop mags to do the same for my grip. It is a gun I will pass on to the kid when the time comes.

  5. Bob Schoenherr says:

    Great Review! I purchased the Micro Desert Eagle after reading reviews. I have found that the overall dislike to MDE is the price. Alot of people beieve its price is high, althou you get what you pay for. The reviews were on the money and hopefully the time will never come but if you needed it, I believe this is the pistol that you will want in your hand and not a recall special…


  6. Arthur H. says:

    I have owned my micro desert for a year now and absolutely love it. If you want a beefy hardcore tank……this is it! If you want lightweight, lots of toots and whistles……this ain’t it! Is a tank. Steel and beautiful. Yep the trigger is long, yep its heavy, and yep its sights explain, but when shiznits hitting the fan, point and shoot is all you need to do with this mini beast! I have outfitted mine with some awesome black walnut grips custom from marschalgrips.com and also a sweet IWB holster from barberleatherworks.com.

    My micro desert eagle is so reliable, I bet my life on it every single day. I carry it Mexican style and don’t even feel it. But I have always felt that carrying a gun should be comforting, not comfortable. This gun has even changed that! Totally comfortable as well.

  7. A. J. K. says:

    Have very very good experience with the Kahr PM9, and think, the .380 can be the same good learning. Had an Guardian .32, malfunctions and so on, reliabel there is only a word. Perhaps the MDE could be a way, it pleases me because the strong-willing aesthetic, if I can say so.

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