The Mighty .50 Caliber Desert Eagle: Winning the fight again the vile Dionysians

There are few pleasures in life like buying a new gun. In America it’s always a special thing to do and is unique to our culture. I don’t do it as much as I’d like, but when I do it’s usually something very special that I purchase, something I had been thinking about for a long time. In this case it’s the Desert Eagle .50 Mark XIX. When I was 19 and newly married I was a FFL holder and I had a shop in the back of the place I lived with my new bride as a baby was on the way. She and I had plans to live a crafty life where we’d basically tell the world to go to hell and live free of the chaos from the outside world. We had very romantic notions of how we wanted to live and I was going to be a gunsmith protecting the Second Amendment with the fine craftsmanship of a field of endeavor that was specific to American culture and I was very proud of it. But of course, money was hard to come by, and the idea that we were going to be able to shut ourselves from the world was a fleeting hope. The world found a way to stick its nose into our business at virtually every turn, even though we didn’t go out looking for such intrusions. They literally came to our door in what I would refer to at best as a conflict between the god Apollo and a bit of a nemesis in Dionysus. Since I was so young, it was hard to get started in the business. I needed time to acquire the skills and reputation of a gunsmith and time wasn’t on my side.

I would spend hours upon hours going over ballistic data and learning about the various guns that were manufactured so that I could talk shop with my clientele. I always viewed guns and the business of them to be a very intellectual exercise. Not only were the inventions of guns there to protect the thoughts and deeds of civilization from the savage impediments of mankind’s barbaric side, but their rise in America were specific to our Constitutional foundations which was always a beautiful thing to me. That was why I wanted to be a gunsmith and a happily married guy raising a new family in America. And out of all the guns I came in contact with and had the most desire to own it was the .50 caliber Desert Eagle. There wasn’t then, nor is there presently a more powerful semi-automatic handgun in the world. There’s nothing quite like it, and it was the gun I most wanted to have. The whole exchange was very Apollonian for me—it was a thing of beauty and technical perfection that had the American flag oozing from it. The gun’s manufacturer was Magnum Research which built them at IWI, Israel Military Industries, but since 2009 they have been manufactured at the MRI Minnesota plant and are an American icon. Desert Eagles are very popular with pop culture and have appeared in many entertainment venues, but only in shooting one can you truly grasp the wonder of owning one of these fantastic guns, so it was at the top of my list for many, many years. But they were too expensive for me at the time and once we started having kids, there were fewer opportunities to get one. As much as I wanted my little gunsmithing idea to work out, necessity required that I make a lot more money so I had to abandon the idea in favor of jobs that would infuse more cash into my starting family.

Finally, when it came time to talk about what to do on my 50th birthday we decided to spend the money to finally get that .50 Desert Eagle that I had been wanting all my adult life but had put it off.  Until that point it just wasn’t practical to tie up so much money, several thousand dollars, on a gun that I might only occasionally shoot. It was my wife’s idea ultimately because I so tenaciously had held on to the dream of finally getting one. If it was just me I was concerned about I would have bought one way back in my twenties, but all the money I made even down to the last dollar went to raising my family and I seldom had any cash to work with that didn’t require the needs of my family. If it wasn’t braces, it was a new instrument for school, a broken car, or some other unforeseen expense that always seemed to come along to consume any extra money I made. It’s not that I didn’t work hard to get the money, I was telling a young guy who tends to work a lot of overtime the other day that even now I have never worked a 40-hour week my entire adult life. Most of the time I worked either two full-time jobs or had a full-time job and two-part time jobs, sometimes working seven days a week. But for my 50th my family had been talking about doing some big party but honestly, I would have rather had spent that money on something that meant something to me, and the Desert Eagle was it.

My wife and I went to our local gun dealer which is at the end of my street and finally ordered the Desert Eagle I wanted which was the Mark IXI in the stainless-steel variation with the rails on the top and bottom of the barrel and Magnum Research assured me that I wouldn’t have to wait long to get the gun from the factory, because they certainly didn’t have it on the shelf. There are a lot of Desert Eagles out there, but most are in the .44 magnum variation, and few are stainless steel because it takes the cost up over $2K. But that’s the one I had always wanted so we bought it and it felt good. I felt privileged to be able to pick it up at Right 2 Arms and to then take it down to Premier Shooting in West Chester which is a fantastic target range and unleash it with a friend of mine. I’m at a point in my life where I am going to make this Desert Eagle my CCW gun for a number of reasons, so the entire experience of purchasing it, and shooting it was a very intellectual one for me. As I said, I have always viewed guns as Apollonian while the anti-gun people out there are very Dionysian. The way that mankind advances is with thought, not drunken surrender to the sentiments of existence, so what protects human advancement from the clutches of the parasites who bask in drunkenness and emotional chaos is the gun. I don’t think its ironic that so many top end gun stores and shooting ranges are near my home, it’s a philosophic necessity. I live in an affluent area where people have values. To protect those values guns are a necessity, not so much in shooting some bad guy, but in the practice of participating in elevated thoughts and income making potential. Where there are people who work to advance the efforts of mankind, there needs to always be gun stores. The Dionysian types would argue that other places in the world don’t have guns, and that they are advancing mankind, but that is only from their perspective. Their aim is to turn off their minds to reality through wine, women, and other intoxicants whereas my yearning as well as people who really work to advance human civilization, like the friend I had with me at Premier Shooting in West Chester shown in the video, are to protect the intellectual advancements that are driving culture in a positive direction.

A gun like the Desert Eagle to me is not a menacing killer, it’s a protector of mankind’s mind from the clutches of evil chaos that is always trying to turn back the clock toward the vile impulses of tribal mentality. Even though I had been thinking about the Desert Eagle for many years and had on occasion interacted with them, I never let myself enjoy the experience until I had one of my own, because I didn’t want to think much about something I couldn’t have. But once I finally did and could take some time to shoot it, my many years of waiting came to a fruition that was very satisfying. The powerful gun is a real treasure to shoot. With such a powerful cartridge that is producing a muzzle velocity bullet at 1475 fps the Desert Eagle in the .50 caliber was astonishingly smooth. I had heard reports from other shooters that their experience with the Desert Eagle was not so pleasant. But as my readers here know my other favorite gun is one that I’ve had for a while, my .500 Magnum Smith & Wesson. I’m used to firing that one, but it’s just too big to use as a CCW. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work. The barrel hangs out constantly from under my jacket since it’s essentially a hand cannon. This Desert Eagle handles those big magnum cartridges with astonishing ease and it amazed me what a wonderful engineering feat Magnum Research had performed. The gun was certainly worth the wait, and the money.

So why so big? Well, my thoughts are that if you are going to have a gun, it should be as big as possible, especially these days. There are so many bad guys running around with body armor, even helmets that can easily deflect a 9mm bullet. I want to be able to disable such a person if the need arises and possibly prevent their armored cars from escaping. As a gun advocate, I am not interested in firearms that are in the smaller calibers. I haven’t been in the past which is why I’ve held on to this notion of getting a Desert Eagle. If I couldn’t get what I wanted, I didn’t look for smaller supplements over the years which is why nobody has ever seen me get very excited over a Berretta 92F or a Ruger EC9. Those are all fine weapons, but to my mind they aren’t much different from a standard BB gun. If you are going to carry a defense gun, it needs to be able to stop just about anything. Even my treasured Vaquero that I use for Cowboy Fast Draw is not something I’d consider these days as a proper defense from the hostilities of Dionysian aggressiveness—that’s the best way I know to put it. The more you are involved in things that are valuable intellectually and productive, the bigger the guns need to be because its only a matter of time before some mudslinging, drug induced loser will think about taking what you’ve worked so hard all your life to build, and upon knowing that you have a Desert Eagle, they just might fight back the impulse to act on their aggressions—hopefully.

The 30-year wait was more than worth it to me. While I would have liked to have had a Desert Eagle when I was 19, I’m happy to have it at 50. It is a work of art in every way possible, the gas piston system that the gun runs on is a marvel to me—the way it absorbs so much of the recoil from such a powerful magnum cartridge. I was expecting a much harder kick than I received from the .50 AE Desert Eagle. My friend and I were a little astonished to feel the shock wave of energy that hit our faces with each shot but the gun itself didn’t seem to be struggling at all with the massive power involved. The loading mechanism from the clip worked well beyond what I would have expected and the overall experience was much smoother than I would have thought for such a large, and powerful firearm. I am happy to have it and intend to put it to good use—in a very Apollo oriented way. In my view, the more intellectual the pursuit of mankind, the bigger the guns need to be to protect those pursuits from the parasites of Dionysus. A lot of people might consider a gun like this .50 AE Desert Eagle to be a novelty gun, a fun thing to shoot with the guys for some testosterone induced levity. But I consider it essential to my personal lifestyle given the types of things I’m involved with because it’s always better to function fairly from a position of perpetual strength than on the whims of hope that people will behave themselves. The Desert Eagle assures that they will, taking speculation out of the equation which is a very valuable thing.

Rich Hoffman
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