The new Baby Desert Eagle III pistol from Magnum Research does not actually share a lineage with the famed original Desert Eagle. It is, in fact, its own pistol, made in Israel and based on the Jericho, which was in turn based on the CZ 75. It is available in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP in both compact and full-sized models with either a steel or polymer frame. The one tested there is the full-sized, polymer-framed pistol chambered in .40 S&W. This is a traditional double-action/single-action (DA/SA), hammer-fired semi-auto, and it’s important to note that the new pistol will still accommodate magazines from earlier versions.

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The redesigned shape of the new Baby Desert Eagle III makes it narrower than before and also gives it a slight resemblance to the actual Desert Eagle pistol. The steel slide features a matte black oxide finish and low-profile, Novak-style, dovetailed, three-dot sights. At the rear of the slide is the teardrop-shaped safety/decocker, which is also fully ambidextrous. This allows the operator to safely lower the Commander-style hammer from the SA to the DA position while also engaging the hammer block safety mechanism. The pistol also features an internal firing pin bock safety mechanism.

The magazine catch is reversible for use by either right- or left-handed shooters, and the trigger has also been improved with a smoother pull that measures 12 pounds in DA and 4 pounds in SA. The frames on both the steel and polymer pistols feature a Picatinny accessory rail, but the polymer model weighs about 10 ounces less than its steel counterpart.

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On the range, the Baby Desert Eagle III performed flawlessly and was very comfortable to shoot with solid accuracy results at 25 yards. Groups averaged under 2 inches with some of the ammunition tested. Check out the video to see it in action, and keep your eyes peeled for a full review in an upcoming issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. To subscribe, visit

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