Skip to content

KWC Desert Eagle Review


Bought it, shot it, and what I think about it.

Your Standard Issue Big Gun

Here’s the KWC Desert Eagle – it has a reputation for being a sturdy gun with great blowback and the ability to take Green Gas right out of the box.

In the box, you get the DE, one magazine (24 rounds), a tube-and-ramrod loading tool, a valve adapter (more on this later), some BBs, and two pieces of documentation. One is a manual (in English) that includes a parts diagram, and the other is a note with a diagram and explanation of hop-up.

The valve is meant to replace the fill valve on the magazine to allow the use of KWC’s CO2 adapter, which I have not used nor seen.The immediate impression is that the KWC Desert Eagle is a big and hefty gun. It weighs just under one kilo and feels like a handful. I don’t have small hands and hold the DE fine, but there’s no mistaking that this is one big gun. It’s a handful, but it also feels nice and solid – not just “big”.

Overall, the build quality is good – but more functional than anything else. There is nothing wrong with the finish and parts, but it lacks the kind of fine looks that graces a higher-end (and higher-priced) gun.

The body is ABS, though there are some metal parts inside the gun. The magazine is all metal. Trademarks are all present on the gun.

Operation

Operation of the gun is much like any other Gas Blowback. Fill the magazine with gas and BBs, pull back the slide, let it return forward (chambering a BB in the process), and it’s ready to fire. On the last shot, the slide remains open. You may then remove the magazine, insert a fresh one (or the reloaded one), and release the slide by releasing the slide catch.

The magazine seems to have a little bit of play in it up-down wise when in the gun. However it doesn’t seem to be there all the time and doesn’t appear to affect the operation of the gun – though I did experience a slide-locking-open on the second shot from a full magazine once (I do not know what caused it, perhaps it was just part of the breaking in; have not experienced it since). At no time has the magazine ever seemed to be in danger of falling out or causing a misfeed, though.

The safety is ambidextrous, but a little hard to easily reach with the thumb. It also lacks a positive CLICK CLACK engage-disengage. But it does the job.

The Bolt
One thing that is notable about the real steel Desert Eagle is that it is a gas-operated handgun. That means that when a round is fired, some of the expanding gases are used to work the action of the gun (slide coming back, autoloading). Most assault rifles are a good example of gas-operated guns. In fact, before the Desert Eagle was made, it was believed that a gas-operated handgun was not possible.

The Desert Eagle has a rotating bolt – the round is locked into the breech by the rotating bolt. Part of the action of the gun (upon firing) is to unlock the bolt.

The Airsoft gas-blowback version of the Desert Eagle does not actually have a rotating bolt, but the bolt itself is reproduced – not the actual operation.

Filling with Gas

The magazine has a different looking gas release valve than most other gas guns, but it works the same.

The fill valve on the bottom of the magazine is like any other gas gun magazine. The KWC Desert Eagle can take Green Gas (Propane/HFC22) just fine.

If you need tips on filling a gas gun magazine, look at the gas filling directions in my G18C Review.

Remember that once the magazine is filled with gas, the magazine should be left to warm up to room temperature (2-3 minutes wait) before being used. The magazine is cooled by the act of filling, and letting it warm up helps keep the valves and seals working well (and lasting a long time). Also, the warmer the compressed liquid gas is, the faster it can convert into gaseous form, which is what makes the gun work. The colder the magazine, the harder that is for the gas to do.

Loading with BBs

It’s a little cumbersome, but not so bad as some. Fit the loading tube onto the top of the magazine, and fill it with BBs. Don’t fill it to the top, though – just a couple shy of the very top. Then push them in with the loading rod.

Firing the Desert Eagle
First thing is to push the magazine into the bottom of the gun until it clicks. If it doesn’t fall out, you’ve done it right.

Now pull the slide back all the way (if you look inside the now-open breech you should be able to see the BB at the top of the magazine) which will cock the hammer. Then let go of the slide and it will slide forward and lock into place. When it slid forward, it scooped a BB from the magazine. The gun is now ready to fire. The KWC Desert Eagle is a heavy gun and has a strong blowback. It also has a harder trigger pull than some other gas guns I have fired.

That (combined with the sheer big-ness of the gun), unfortunately means that accuracy suffers when compared to other guns with better ergonomics and a smoother trigger pull. The Desert Eagle actually feels HEAVIER to me than my KSC M93R, despite the fact that they are very close to the same weight. However, the M93R fits my hand like a glove, whereas the Desert Eagle is more of a “Big Gun And Proud Of It”.

On the bright side, the strong blowback and “hand cannon” feel of the gun also means it’s very fun to shoot. There is strong satisfaction in knowing something is happening every time you pull that trigger. No “powf powf powf” the-slide-is-a-movin’-but-I’m-a-feelin’-nothin’ with this gun.

Performance

I originally didn’t include this info since it’s by no means comprehensive, but I think it’s better than no performance evidence at all.

A .2g BB at 3 feet penetrates one side of a coke can and remains in the can – that’s consistant with about 275-310 fps. However, the BB barely doesn’t penetrate side two. It leaves a real nice and deep BB-shaped dent in the other side. So I’m figuring it at the upper end of 275-310 fps (on green gas).

Firing 12 x .25g Excel BBs from 35 feet from a rest at a 120mm diameter target resulted in shots all over the sheet (130mm x 190mm sheet), but 8 of the 12 shots were in an 80mm group. Furthest two shots apart was 145mm. This wasn’t the first shots out of the box, but this is after a few mag’s worth of target shooting.

Firing 8 rounds at a similar target with my M93R (with tightbore barrel as the only upgrade) resulted in the two furthest shots apart being 125mm apart. That’s not so good, but 5 shots were together in a 45mm group, 1 shot takes the group out to at 70mm, and the last two shots widen it to 100mm and 120mm (looks like my coffee was starting to kick in…)

The Desert Eagle’s sights don’t have white dots on them, and the targets were black on white paper – so that didn’t help. Though it is true that the M93R has a tightbore barrel, to be honest I’ve yet to notice a difference in much of anything other than fps after installing a tightbore in either an AEG or a GBB (and even the fps increase is pretty slight).

Anyway, perhaps that will be a bit useful. It’s certainly not a comprehensive accuracy test, but better than nothing so far as test evidence goes.

Adjusting Hop-Up

The Hop-Up System is adjustable, and much easier to reach and adjust than in most other gas guns. To adjust the hop-up, pull the slide back and lock it. The cover above the breech will slide backwards easily. This will reveal a Hop-Up adjustment dial.

My only complaint would be that the hop-up adjustment cover doesn’t lock in place – it’s held mostly by friction. However, I never noticed it coming open when it should not (and in fact such a thing would be unlikely seeing as the slide spends most of it’s time in the closed position, which holds the cover in the closed position as well).

Care and Cleaning

You should clean the parts of the gun with a clean cloth, then lube the parts regularly. This will help keep your GBB in top shape.

Use only 100% silicone lubricant for your gun. Oil and other lubricants can damage the plastic and rubber parts. Pure silicone oil is available from hardware stores and from Radio-Control hobby supply places as well as Airsoft retailers. Ensure the lube you buy says it is safe for use on plastics and rubber.

To take apart the KWC Desert Eagle (field stripping), remove the magazine then do the following (directions are also in the manual):

  1. Remove the Magazine.
  2. Pull the slide back.
  3. Locate the release switch just above and forward of the trigger.
  4. Press the tab on the LEFT side IN, then turn the switch on the RIGHT 90 degrees downward.

Pull the slide back a little, then pull the barrel assembly forward and up and out. Once the barrel is out, look inside the gun and see how the slide being back a little lines up a gap in some retaining rails on the inside of the slide with a gap in the barrel retaining rails on the frame. This is where the barrel assembly goes in an out of the frame. Remember where the slide is positioned to make this gap line up, cause you’ll need to do it “blind” when re-assembling. I know this is hard to picture – just look in the manual or pop open your Desert Eagle and you’ll see for yourself.Anyway, with the barrel off, you can push the slide forward off the frame. Mind the dual recoil rod and spring assembly! Also, the rod that connects the trigger to the hammer assembly (sits in the frame near the slide rails on the right side) can and will easily fall out when the slide is off.

To re-assemble, perform the steps in reverse. It’s not the easiest gun to field-strip, but after doing it a couple times, you’ll have no problem. The key is remembering that the barrel will only fit in/out when the slide is in the right position in relation to the frame.

Accessories

Other than the CO2 adapter for the Desert Eagle, and some longer barrels (KWC sells a 10″ barrel) there isn’t much for upgrades or accessories for the Desert Eagle.

Most pistol holsters for large-frame guns will fit the Desert Eagle, though some will fit only barely. Try before you buy. But it’s easier to find a holster that will fit the Desert Eagle than one that will fit the MK23 SOCOM.

Defining Characteristics

This gun is defined by its hard (though not incredible) recoil, the subaverage handling/accuracy, and the tough (but nothing fancy) construction.

Things I Like

  • Sturdy construction and solid feel.
  • Easy to adjust the Hop-up.
  • Satisfying to shoot – stronger than average blowback and recoil.
  • Simple, efficient, and durable exterior and internals.
  • Muzzle is nice and big, but looking inside doesn’t show the inner barrel.

Things I Don’t Like

  • Not the most ergonomic gun in the world.
  • Simple trigger mechanism may be durable, but is not very smooth.
  • Lack of part availability and upgrades.
  • Tiny but present amount of up-and-down play in the magazine after it is inserted.
  • A bit of a pain to find a holster.

Overall

A durable, tough, and satisfying gun to own and shoot – but not very suitable for marksmanship due to the limited accuracy, “hand cannon” ergonomics, mushy trigger pull, and strong recoil.