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  • It's expensive.

  • Too heavy.

  • And almost entirely impractical.

  • The Desert Eagle isn't a very good handgun - but nonetheless it is remarkably popular:

  • it features in hundreds of movies, television shows and video games.

  • So how did such an unwieldy weapon become so iconic?

  • Why is the Deagle a trademark of many first person shooters?

  • And is bigger always better?

  • The Desert Eagle was designed as a semi-automatic rival to large-frame, high calibre revolvers:

  • a gas-operated pistol able to feed from interchangeable magazines and with superior capacity to a

  • typical 6-round cylinder.

  • Design started in 1979 at American co Magnum Research, Inc. - with the first finished pistols

  • produced in 1982 by Israeli weapons manufacturer IMI.

  • The latest iteration - the Mark XIX - emerged in 1995, and like some kind of fashion accessory,

  • even comes with a number of choices as far as finish is concerned.

  • Amongst them, the most demure is plain Black: others include three chromed options of various

  • lustres; nickel either satin or bright; and gold both 24 karat and in a more durable Titanium

  • variant; and if either gold finish isn't suitably ostentatious - then there's always the tiger

  • stripes.

  • There are also more practical options, such as the choice of either a 6-inch or 10-inch

  • barrel: and your calibre preference, either .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum or .50 Action Express.

  • The latter cartridge was designed specifically for high-calibre semi-automatic pistols, and

  • indeed the Desert Eagle was the first handgun chambered for it: a performance jump from

  • the already mighty .44 Magnum round, and right on the cusp of calibres deemed legal.

  • The .50 cal chambering set the pistol above most other magnum options, which in turn has

  • led to it finding popularity in action films since the 1980s - supplanting Dirty Harry's

  • .44 Magnum as the most powerful handgun in the world.

  • For almost as long as video games have existed, they have been influenced by cinema.

  • While the firearms in early games were often made generic through lack of resolution, as

  • the number of polygons possible to push on-screen grew, weapons were able to be rendered in

  • ever greater detail - giving rise to games with realistically rendered arsenals.

  • However, due to concerns over the use of trademarks, the real-steel Desert Eagle's name hasn't

  • always matched its in-game appellation.

  • Sometimes it's known by generic terms that allude to its higher calibre - the 'magnum

  • pistol', 'heavy handgun' or '.50 AE' offering a clue as to the handgun's power.

  • Sometimes the name is a mite more imaginative: and while the 'Silver Talon' in Soldier of

  • Fortune, 'Desert Ranger' in Tomb Raider, or Counter-Strike's Night Hawk .50 cal' might

  • not be instantly recognisable by name, the imposing sillhouette of the Deagle is unmistakeable.

  • Counter-Strike in 1999 was one of the earliest realistic depictions of the gun: the game

  • was originally a mod for Half-Life, and eventually graduated to a full retail release.

  • The weapon's digital rendition mirrors the real steel's power: while magazine capacity

  • was limited, its high damage and one-shot headshot potential more than made up for any

  • shortcoming.

  • The game graciously overlooks the weapon's impracticality for combat use, with the firearm

  • eventually becoming a fast favourite for use in tandem with a primary weapon.

  • The powerful pistol returned in Counter-Strike: Source, and once again more recently in Global

  • Offensive - each time filling a similar high-powered backup role.

  • Stylish, powerful and capable of skillfull headshot kills - the Counter-Strike depiction

  • is a definitive one: with the game enjoying huge popularity over its lifespan, particularly

  • in a world before Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

  • In the opening scenes of COD4 the Desert Eagle is very prominent: as a deposed president,

  • you're bundled into a car, given a none-too gentle buttstroke, frogmarched to a pillory

  • - and then, after some posturing - shot in the head by the golden high-calibre pistol.

  • It's fatal punctuation for a coup d'etat: a show of force in public execution - and

  • that's what the Desert Eagle is all about: exhibition.

  • A vulgar display of power.

  • It's a compelling moment, and the Desert Eagle is the totem of such potential: setting the

  • story in motion in an explosive fashion.

  • It's not until the very end of the campaign that the pistol makes a return: this time

  • as a grim portent of doom, executing a squadmate and moving towards your position with similar

  • intent - only diverted by a timely distraction and some quick-thinking by Price.

  • The later instalments weren't afraid to see the Desert Eagle's reprise in its pivotal

  • role: Modern Warfare 2 sees the pistol crop up in a few instances, notably in the hands

  • of Brazilian arms dealer Rojas' assistant in the first of the favela missions.

  • Modern Warfare 3 sees even more liberal use of the high-calibre option: protagonist Yuri

  • uses it as his default sidearm - and you find yourself staring down its barrel in one pivotal

  • scene with Price.

  • The iconic weapon reappears at the climax of MW3's campaign, too - with Makarov mirroring

  • the down-the-barrel viewpoint with Price, and then subsequently executing poor Yuri

  • after his heroic intervention.

  • It seems like every do-or-die moment in the Modern Warfare series simply must include

  • the weapon - but I suppose if you're going to threaten the player with a gun to the face,

  • there are few weapons with as imposing a profile as a .50 calibre Desert Eagle.

  • Between its depiction in cinema and video games, the Desert Eagle has established quite

  • a reputation: and when it comes to imposing presence and high-calibre action, there are

  • few hand-held weapons that can compare.

  • Its one-upmanship in power and capacity over magnum revolvers - and a commanding on-screen

  • presence - have cemented its place in popular culture.

  • Its cinematic influence bled into video games, where its virtual representation reflects

  • the real steel weapon - and the lust for power of those who wield it.

  • Unrestrained exhibition.

  • Terrifying potency.

  • And who cares about practicality when you've got a golden gun that shoots giant bullets?

  • Thank you very much for watching, and until next time - farewell.

It's expensive.

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A1 UK eagle desert magnum pistol weapon counter strike

Desert Eagle.

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    30410陳韋仲 posted on 2022/03/15
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