“As expensive as it is powerful, the Desert Eagle is an iconic pistol that is difficult to master but surprisingly accurate at long range.”
The IMI Desert Eagle is a large semi-automatic pistol chambering the powerful .50 Action Express round, one of the most powerful pistol cartridges in production. It was designed by Magnum Research Inc. of the United States, which was refined and manufactured by Israel Military Industries (save for a temporary contract with Saco Defense from 1995 to 1998) until 2009 when production moved to MRI's own facility in the United States. While not practical for military use due to its size and recoil, its large, powerful appearance made it a popular choice for movies and games.
In-game, the Desert Eagle is a powerful semi-automatic pistol available to both teams. It is loaded with 7 rounds of .50 Action Express which makes it able to inflict high amounts of damage. It costs $650 in earlier games and $700 in Global Offensive.
The Desert Eagle is one of the more popular sidearms in the Counter-Strike games, its appeal mainly coming from its high power. Until Global Offensive, this pistol was the only pistol capable of killing an opponent with one headshot regardless of armor and helmet. In Global Offensive, while other pistols can also achieve this feat, the Desert Eagle has far better range than most of them, with high base damage that can compensate for damage dropoff at range and a far better standing accuracy than most other pistols. In Global Offensive, the Desert Eagle is also the only weapon in the pistol class with high penetration.
The Desert Eagle's main disadvantages come from its small magazine size, lower rate of fire, high recoil when fired repeatedly, low movement speed when wielding the weapon (it is the second heaviest pistol in Global Offensive, only beaten by R8 Revolver), and price (it is the most expensive pistol in Global Offensive, but is beaten out by the Five-SeveN and Dual Berettas in earlier games). Damage dropoff is also quite strong, though not as noticeable due to its high base damage. Its firing sound is loud and distinctive, meaning that it can give the player's position away easily.
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- As the most expensive pistol next to the R8 Revolver at $600, it is not recommended for use during pistol rounds, where Armor is far more vital and early-game economic management is important.
- When using this weapon, always go for headshots. A headshot grants an instant kill, even if the target is wearing a helmet and he is at full health and at a medium range away.
- This weapon can also be used to kill an opponent with 2-3 body shots. If you miss the headshot but you hit the body, go finish them off with another shot or two to the body.
- At long range, crouch, fire single shots and wait a moment in between shots to reset the accuracy.
- This weapon has a good effective range, especially in games prior to Source, so it may be an ideal sidearm for players equipped with shotguns or low-damage SMGs.
- This pistol is often used to "wallbang" surfaces unlike most of the other handguns. Prior to Source, this is the only pistol that can penetrate through walls, whereas other pistols do not; so try to wall-bang in order to kill an enemy player that is hiding.
- After Source, this pistol is still more suitable for penetrating walls due to having a higher penetration power.
- Its ability to score one-shot kill makes it a good weapon for players equipped with Tactical shields, the shield user is more likely to survive enemies that have a primary weapon as he will only need to expose himself for only a brief period.
- Unless when at close proximity, avoid spraying bullets. The Desert Eagle has a low magazine size and lacks accuracy when firing several rounds consecutively except in Source.
- Be sure to reload often due to the small magazine size.
- In Global Offensive, the damage per bullet has increased. However, the spread generated after firing has increased as well thus making the Desert Eagle less effective for spraying bullets at longer ranges and forces the user to shoot the gun at a slower rate than in previous games. It is far more recommended to fire the gun in single shots.
The Night Hawk .50C can be used in the following missions in Deleted Scenes:
- Recoil: In the area where the Delta Force Sniper leaves the player to utilize a sniper tower, there is a room between a set of stairs and a set of double doors blocked by crates. Along with a terrorist, some ammo, and a medkit, is the pistol and four magazines worth of ammo for it. No additional ammo for it is available throughout the level.
- Building Recon: On the table next to the window where the player can see the nuke.
- Thin Ice: Found next to a dead civilian.
- Downed Pilot: After the player is captured, the pistol is on a table outside the cell they wake up in.
- Rise Hard: The player starts the level with the weapon. The pistol is lost when the player is captured near the end of the level, but another one can be picked up in the back of the final area.
- Sandstorm: The player starts the level with the weapon.
The Night Hawk .50C can also be seen behind the weapons counter in Counter Terrorist Training.
- The drawing animation of the Desert Eagle in Global Offensive shows the barrel clipping through the player's hand.
- The Desert Eagle has a black finish in Deleted Scenes and a chrome silver finish in all the other games.
- Prior to the Arms Deal update in Global Offensive, the Desert Eagle had a dust-color shiny finish, which was later changed to a chrome silver to match the finish in previous games.
- The under slide rail for mounting attachments was introduced in Global Offensive, while the Desert Eagle in previous games had a clean operating slide.
- The Desert Eagle in Global Offensive has a slightly longer barrel than its older game counterparts.
- The Desert Eagle in Counter-Strike is based on the IMI/Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX chambered in .50AE. However, the version depicted in most of the Counter-Strike games has slits in the barrel (known as a "fluted barrel") which is only used in .44 Magnum and .357 Magnum models of the Mark XIX.
- The black Desert Eagle from Deleted Scenes lacks the fluted barrel in addition to the slits in the top of a standard Mark XIX barrel. In Global Offensive, this is not present along with other markings, confirming it as a .50.
- In Counter-Strike, an "Eagle Head" marking can be seen on the operating slide during the reload animation.
- In Counter-Strike, the front sight of the Desert Eagle is modeled on backwards.
- Before the August 10th, 2012 beta update, the Desert Eagle in Global Offensive shared its draw and reloading animations with the Glock-18, P2000, P250, and Five-SeveN.
- Reloading animations currently in use for the Desert Eagle in Global Offensive are remade pistol animations from the Alpha stages of the game.
- Due to the weapon's popularity and recognizability, it has several affectionate community-given nicknames.
- The most common nickname is "Deagle", a portmanteau of the two words in its name. This nickname extends in-game, as the files refer to the weapons as deagle.
- Another nickname stems from the Desert Eagle's performance, commonly referred to as "Juan Deag". It is a play on words for "One Deag," directly referencing the Desert Eagle's accurate long-range headshot capabilities.
- The Desert Eagle is occasionally referred to as the "Pocket AWP," (though the R8 also has that nickname, and when it was first added it literally was one, since it did as much damage as an AWP) potentially the inspiration for the Global Offensive sticker, "My other AWP is a Deagle."
- The Desert Eagle is sometimes nicknamed "Hand Cannon".
- The Desert Eagle is one of the few weapons whose drawing animation does not involve "cocking" or "cycling" the gun (in this case, pulling the slide back and forth). Instead, the gun is already cocked before the gun is drawn and spun in the player's palm. The other weapons that share this trait are the Dual Berettas, Schmidt Machine Pistol, and XM1014.
- However, during Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Beta, the player cocks the Desert Eagle in the draw animation.
- In Global Offensive, the Desert Eagle has a non-functional under-barrel rail. This is because it was originally ported from the Magnum Pistol featured in Left 4 Dead 2, which had a functional flashlight attached to the rail.
- In Counter-Strike Beta 4.0, the commander (a randomly chosen person in a team who got special radio commands) of the Terrorist team spawned with the Desert Eagle. This was removed in Beta 5.0.
- A viral video exists online depicting competitive Counter-Strike player markeloff ace headshotting the entire enemy team in one Desert Eagle shot when passing through the mid doors in Dust 2. The video has been identified as a fake by multiple sources.
- In Global Offensive, a rare secret inspection animation was added to the Desert Eagle on the August 2, 2018 update. The animation, triggering at random when inspecting, shows the user spinning the Desert Eagle on their right index finger for the entire duration of the animation.
- IMI Desert Eagle at Wikipedia.