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Micro Desert Eagle 380 ACP
Gun Review


By Dan S. Defense

The Micro Desert Eagle is a pocket 380 ACP. It comes from Magnum Research which typically builds hand held cannons. It was therefore interesting to see them entering the pocket 380 ACP handgun market.

In this review we'll look at the 380 ACP Micro Desert Eagle and look at how it is built and how it shoots. We'll look at 380 ACP self defense ammo that the Micro Desert Eagle likes and some that it clearly dislikes. This review is based on an actual Micro Desert Eagle that I own and my experience is shooting it. With that said, let's see how a company known for building a .50 caliber Desert Eagle, can do in the pocket 380 ACP gun market. I'll keep this review short to tailor it to a quick lunch break.

The Micro Desert Eagle is a 380 ACP handgun. It is a Double Action Only (DAO) pocket gun that first appears to be made out of stainless steel, because of its Nickel Teflon finish. It looks heavy but its weigh is just 14oz (unloaded), which is light compared to other, bigger 380 ACP handguns (e.g. SIG SAUER P232, Walther PP...). Having said that, it is much heavier than other 380 ACP guns from the same type (e.g. the Ruger LCP).

Still, it is a small pocket 380, even at 14 oz. The overall length is about 4.5 in, with a barrel of 2.22 in. As you can see, with such a small barrel, bullet acceleration will suffer for carry convenience. The sights are milled into the slide and don't offer much as far as usability. You can see them in the range, if you have sufficient light and time, but I'd think they would be invisible in low or no light and under the stress of a life threatening encounter.


It'll be nice to see Crimson Trace offer a Laser Grip or something grip for this little fellow. The width of this gun is a minuscule 0.9 in and the high comes in at about 3.7 in. It easily fits in a pocket, where it can remain unnoticed until you need it.

The Micro Desert Eagle has an interesting gas-assisted blowback system, typically seen in much larger handguns and combat rifles, and a unique two recoil spring design. If I recall correctly, I had a 7.62 Belgian made machine gun that used a similar gas-assisted blowback system. Finally, magazine capacity is 6 rounds of 380 ACP and the gun comes with a single magazine, with a usefully base pad. You can order more magazines directly from Magnum Research or from on-line retailers.


Shooting this pocket 380 ACP isn't fun. Not even a little fun. The trigger pull is very heavy and very long. I'm used to 1911 triggers and this one just seemed to go on forever. The little extra weight is nice to help tame some of the recoil, but let's be realistic here--this is a tiny gun and the few extra oz. won't make the recoil nice. It kicks sharply and it hits the tip of the finger.

The fact that the trigger guard is better than most other pocket 380 was very much appreciated by this shooter. When it comes to ammo, the Micro Desert Eagle is very finicky, even in the pocket 380 category. It refused to fit Gold Dot ammo and chocked on my favorite Winchester Ranger ammo--they same one that works with the Ruger LCP.


The only ammo that it seemed to like, was the Cor-Bon Pow'RBall which to any gun feels like FMJ. The first few magazines for FMJ ammo had lots of jams but it got better over time. I was delighted to finish a full magazine of Cor-Bon but couldn't forget the problems I had early on. I was able to hit a man size target at 15 feet, even when I shoot as fast as I could, which is what I expect to do in real life. The sights, are minimal but OK for range use. I wouldn't count on them in real life.

So there you have it, a short review of a small pocket 380. It is small and easy to carry. Since that's its primary role, it gets high marks for that. The base pad in the magazine and the grips allow for a decent hold, for this type of gun, but the trigger is hard to use and will require lots of practice. Ammo selection will be critical and you will have to fire at least 50-70 rounds for this gun to feed in an acceptable way. After that, with the right ammo, you'll know that you are assured at least one shot--the one in the chamber.

I hope you found this to be interesting. Feedback on the information and format is most welcome.

until next time, stay safe by staying alert!

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