The Magnum Research 1911 remains one of the best kept secrets in the firearms industry. Formerly dubbed the Desert Eagle 1911, over the years I’ve written half-a-dozen articles and have found them all to be well built, reliable and extraordinarily accurate. Magnum Research Inc. (MRI) imports these guns from Israel where they are manufactured by BUL Limited.
Magnum Research Desert Eagle 1911
MRI offers three different gun sizes. Government size guns have 5-inch barrels and slides and they also have a Commander size gun with 4.33-inch slides and barrels while their Undercover model sports a 3-inch barrel and an alloy frame. Both the 4.33- and 3.0-inch guns use a bushingless design while the 5-inch gun has a traditional style bushing. Guns are available in a satin stainless finish or a matte black oxide and all are outfitted with a full-length guide rod.
I had a chance to visit with Jodi DePorter, director of marketing for the Kahr Firearms Group, which MRI falls under, at the recent Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous. For three days, more than 30 different manufacturers displayed products and a select few of Athlon’s writers and content creators spent time examining, shooting and talking about them. The un-rushed environment is exactly the opposite of what we experience during the annual industry SHOT Show. It gives the writers and manufacturers quality time to discuss products and actually fire the guns. I’ve known Jodi for close to two decades and she had some news regarding the MRI Desert Eagle 1911s.
New Name, New Era
“The Desert Eagle 1911s have been around for a number of years but we wanted to change the name of them from Desert Eagle 1911 to Magnum Research 1911 because it was creating confusion. We have a trade dress on the Desert Eagle and we’re actually abusing it by labeling the 1911s as Desert Eagles. Our Desert Eagle gun is the flagship of the Magnum Research line so we’re rebranding the 1911s as MR1911s,” DePorter said.
“Really the only thing that will change is the markings,” she added. “The new slide marking will read ‘MR1911’ and the frame will be marked Magnum Research Inc., Pillager MN in smaller letters. You’ll also note that the slide markings, which used to dominate the left slide flat are now much smaller.”
DePorter had one of the full-size 1911s with the new markings on hand. The stainless-steel guns bore the legend MR1911 laser engraved on the slide in small letters. This leaves the majority of the left side slide flat blank for those who might want to personalize their gun by engraving their name or message there. Similarly, the right side of the slide is also a blank billboard.
Series 70 Style
There are no mechanical or material changes with the new MR1911s. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had the opportunity to review more than a few of these 1911s. They all left me with a very favorable impression.
Magnum Research manufactures its guns to MRI’s specs. They feature a Series 70 style frame, without a firing pin safety. The frame comes from a precision cast, machined from high quality steel. Slides machine from solid billets of steel. All three styles of 1911s share these common traits. They all have extended thumb safeties on the strong side only. BUL outfits the guns with a high-sweep beavertail grip safety. It includes a memory bump on its tail. The bump engages even if the shooter uses a thumb on top of safety grip, like I do.
Metal injection molded (MIM) parts make up the gun’s lockwork. The skeletonized hammer, sear and disconnector combine to give the user a trigger pull between 4 and 5 pounds. It includes a lightweight aluminum trigger. Additionally, it adjusts for overtravel. MRI specs the magazine release to be longer than standard and that’s a help for those with smaller hands to release the mag without changing their shooting grip.
Checkering & Grips
BUL checkers the frontstrap as well as the aluminum mainspring housing to give the shooter a very secure firing grip. Textured G10 grips also aid in this endeavor. To aid in speedy reloads BUL bevels the frame’s magazine well.
The slide features wide and deep cocking serrations fore and aft and BUL also lowers and flares the ejection port to give the empty casing every opportunity to exit the gun unimpeded. Match-grade, stainless-steel barrels come standard, and 9mm guns use a supported barrel. Meanwhile, the .45 ACP guns use a standard, unsupported barrel.
When I asked DePorter if MRI had any intention of making a Commander size gun with an alloy frame she said no; the only addition to the MR1911 in the near future would be to add a 10mm version to the line-up. I had a chance to shoot a prototype of the 10mm gun and it is a sweet shooting pistol!
So, don’t let the name change throw you! Magnum Research still imports the same great 1911s from Israel. But today it marks them differently. Take a look at Magnum Research’s 1911 line-up at www.magnumresearch.com.