IMI Desert Eagle 10" Barrel - SIIS
When I read about a new Desert Eagle with a 10" barrel and a licensed WA Magna R blowback system, I was intrigued and when I saw the price was below that of the TM gun, I ordered up an black 10" version to review.
As well as the 10" black gun reviewed here, SIIS (also known as S2S) also make an all black 6" barrelled version and silver framed versions of both, although no all silver version.
In the Box
As S2S were an unknown to me, and the price was quite low, I have to say the box was pretty impressive with an attractive artwork lid, featuring the gun. Stylish, but not obviously copying anyone else's design. The Western Arms logo is prominent, with the licensed use of the Magna R system proudly proclaimed.
The base of the, big, box is a polystyrene bed into which fits the huge gun, a tube loading tool (more on that later) and the usual array of paperwork and manual. Unusually, there were no BBs, although why they are always included with gas guns I don't know as without gas you cannot fire them, anyway!
The SIIS Desert Eagle is certainly an imposing airsoft pistol. It feels heavy and solid in the hand and does not feel oddly balanced, as some long barrelled guns do.
The overall shape and appearance of the Desert Eagle is well replicated and the long 10" barrel features the usual sight rail along its top.
The gun is matt black and looks, and feels to the touch, much like the heavyweight material used on KSC and WA guns. It most reminds me of my Tanaka Luger.
The finish is extremely good with no noticeable seam lines anywhere, unlike the TM version, except a faint one ahead of the foresight on the barrel, which continues over the barrel mouth.
External metal parts are restricted to the trigger, hammer, slide lock, take down lever and mag release button. Unusually, the sights and safeties are made of plastic.
So where did the SIIS Desert Eagle come from?
One theory is that it is basically the old KWC design, itself copied from the earlier TM design, fitted with the WA Magna R system. Certainly, that loading tool looks identical to the one provided with the KWC gun, but if the theory is true, I cannot say for certain. Another theory is that it is simply a re-release, under license, of the old WA Desert Eagle, but I have never seen one of these.
With TM's excellent Hard Kick model around, any Desert Eagle has a high standard to reach and there is no doubt that compared side by side, the TM feels the more solid gun.
An examination of the weights of the major components helps explain why.
The biggest difference is in the weight of slide and barrel. Under the very plasticky exterior, the TM gun has a very solid metal frame, which gives the kick impressive force AND makes the gun feel more substantial, without the usual TM trick of weighting the magazine.
The SIIS, by comparison, has quite a flimsy slide, which gives noticeably if you press on each side with it removed from the gun. This is also reflected in the cycle speed (faster than the TM) and the
felt 'kick' (much less than the TM, which is probably the hardest kicking GBB I've encountered in stock form, at least).
The SIIS retains a sensible balance, though, by having a lot of weight concentrated in the rear of the barrel assembly.
Markings look accurate, but are much thinner and shallower than those on the TM gun, more like those on a stock KSC slide. From photos, I would say that the TM renditions are more accurate in this respect.
On the left side of the slide, the gun is marked "DESERT EAGLE .50AE PISTOL"/"ISRAEL MILITARY INDUSTRIES LTD. (I.M.I.)" with "MAGNUM RESEARCH INC."/"MINNEAPOLIS. MN USA" on the right side of the slide and there is "MADE IN TAIWAN"/"BY SEKITO ASGK" above the top of the grips (also marked with the IMI logo) on the right side.
The slide is a tight fight to the frame, when fitting, but seems to rack smoothly once fitted and the recoil springs are dual springs on each of the two recoil rods, with a buffer part way along.
The sights are plain and, although the foresight looks dovetailed in, I suspect it is moulded into the barrel. Both the foresight and rear sight are plastic, rather unusually.
The trigger, hammer and take down lever and button and the magazine release are all metal, although the large safeties, either side of the slide are plastic and, although they feel solid enough, might prove fragile over time.
The grips look and feel exactly like those on the TM gun, being hard, although they look rubberised and bearing the IMI logo on each side. They are neither great nor terrible, neither adding or detracting from the feel of the gun and looking perfectly acceptable.
The hop up is in the same place as on the TM, but requires you to remove the barrel shroud and use an Allen key to adjust the hop-up setting. A lot harder and less easy to measure than the simple sliding scale on the TM, which deserves praise as, probably, the easiest hopup to adjust on any pistol.
The 30 round, 3 more than the TM's capacity, magazine is nicely replicated and marked, but mine has quickly worn a stripe through the paint, presumably where the magazine catch engages it.
Comparing side-by-side with the TM, though, the SIIS looks better with no seams anywhere and a much less plasticky look to it.
This is the longest barrelled GBB I have ever tested and experience suggested that it should be both powerful and accurate.
Click on image for bigger version in separate window.
Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the grouping was acceptable, but not remarkable.
I fired 6 shots from a standard standing position with a double handed grip and placed 4 shots in under an inch diameter, but the remaining two shots fell low, extending the group out to almost 2 inches (47mm) and I wondered if the long barrel was dropping due to its weight.
So, I tried another 6, this time resting the dustcover on my free forearm. This time I got a 40mm grouping. The 5 rounds fell in two tight groupings, one 3shot group of 12mm across (low of the target centre), the other two shots 17mm apart. The sixth shot was 15mm above and right of the three shot group.
So, perhaps not as impressive as you might hope, but I suspect the barrel did drop AND I was using .25g BBs, without touching the hop-up, which I suspect is set for .2g BBs by default.
As a further, less scientific test, I fired at the base of 6" flower pot around 50ft down my garden and hit with all 5 shots, although the shots arced down a little towards the end of their flight, suggesting, again, that the .25g BBs were too heavy for the out of the box hop setting.
I suspect the SIIS Desert Eagle would reward a bit of fiddling with the hop-up and some practice with much greater accuracy than these bare figures suggest.
Over 10 shots, the SIIS Desert Eagle 10" averaged 280 fps (using 134a gas) indoors (at 25C). This would equate to around 270fps at 20C, decent performance for some pistols on Propane/Green/Ultra gas!
Using Propane, at 22C, the gun averaged 360fps with Excel .2g BBs.
I did encounter, on a few occasions (including during the 6 round accuracy tests), misfeeds, when the gun would either totally fail to, or intermittently, chamber BBs correctly. My suspicion is that the load ramp (an odd double edged design) is fouling on the magazine feed lips and therefore not returning on the the blowback to chamber the next round. Other times, though, the gun would cycle and function totally without problem for shot after shot, which left me baffled...It also never once failed to chamber using propane.
Trigger pull was 1,310g (46Oz), which is a medium-heavy weight pull for a GBB, although the trigger pull is predictable and the break detectable.
Take down on the SIIS Desert Eagle follows the real thing and does not require the force the TM does to remove the barrel.
With the magazine removed, pull the hammer back until it clicks into the 'semi-cocked' position. Then push the barrel lock pin on the left side of the pistol in and at the same time swing the barrel lock on the other side counter clockwise.
The barrel can then be lifted up off of the slide and then the slide and recoil springs can then be slid off the front of the frame.
None of the components are interchangable with the TM Desert Eagle.
Overall, the SIIS Desert Eagle is a curate's egg.
If TM's Desert Eagle didn't exist (or you fancy a 10" barrelled gun), I would have no hesitation in recommending it, but that is not the case and the TM feels more solid than the SIIS, so if you want a skirmish Desert Eagle, it would have to get the vote.
However, for collectors and others with less robust demands of their Desert Eagle, the superior moulding, competitive price and good performance (misfeeds notwithstanding) of the SIIS have to make it worthy of consideration.
Weight : 1,135g
Realism : ****
Quality : ****
Power : *****
Accuracy : *** (**** with some time and practice)
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