What’s Better than .44 Magnum? 429 Desert Eagle by Magnum Research

The smaller, faster, hard-hitting 429 DE by Magnum Research. (Photo: M.R.)

Magnum Research is rolling out a new cartridge for their Desert Eagle series of heavy-hitting handguns called 429 DE. The cartridge is based on 50 AE necked down for .44 Magnum projectiles.

The result is a cartridge that pushes bullets as much as 25 percent faster than .44 Magnum loads, producing up to 45 percent more energy at the muzzle. Because it’s a necked-down cartridge, it has less felt recoil than similarly-powered 50 AE loads.

“This new cartridge was engineered and designed specifically for the Desert Eagle Pistol, keeping in mind that the Desert Eagle Pistol is known worldwide for its awesome firepower and performance,” said Magnum Research design lead Jim Tertin. “The 429 DE propels that history into the future.”

Magnum Research will offer drop-in caliber conversion barrels in 429 DE for 50 AE Desert Eagle Mark XIX and other compatible guns. It’s possible that down the line the company will offer complete firearms chambered for 429 DE but for now it makes sense to test the waters with simple kits.

429 DE is made by necking down 50 AE cases to use .44 Magnum bullets. (Photo: M.R.)

The 429 DE isn’t the first cartridge of its kind. About 20 years ago Cor-Bon wildcatters started working on a similar project with .440 Cor-Bon. While the cartridge never saw a lot of success, it’s clear that Magnum Research was a fan of the idea.

The two cartridges are different enough that they’re not interchangeable. Both use 50 AE brass and .44 Magnum bullets, but 429 AE has a 30-degree shoulder for improved feeding, extraction and headspacing. It also has a long neck for tight crimping.

Magnum Research tapped Starline to manufacture the brass. Starline is a premium brass manufacturer that makes cases specifically tailored to reloaders. HSM is manufacturing the ammo using Sierra bullets with 210- and 240-grain load options.

Boxes of 20 shells have a suggested price of $42. Hopefully components and reloading dies will follow shortly.

See Also: Nosler NCH Puts Rifle Power in Handgun Hunting

While many shooters think of the Desert Eagle as a range toy, a gun for show, it really is one of the most capable semi-automatic hunting handgun on the market. The 429 DE cartridge takes things to a new tier.

Just like .440 Cor-Bon, 429 DE will be flatter-shooting than 50 AE and all-around superior to .44 Mag., which is already one of the most popular handgun hunting cartridges ever made.

This is a promising move and with Magnum Research supporting it, the 429 DE is going to have a lot more staying power than other like cartridges that have fallen into obscurity. If you take handgun hunting seriously, this could be your next move.  For more info visit MagnumResearch.com.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Warren Wilson April 3, 2020, 3:22 pm

    This is nothing more than “Tacti-Cool” masturbation.
    The 50AE is just a castrated S&W500.
    My .44 Deagle has better metrics than the 50AE and the cost per round is better too so you can train more.
    Tried and true ammo is cliché for a reason, boys and girls.
    And I’m a buyer of S&W500 brass if anyone has some.

  • Stan Buckalew December 27, 2018, 11:21 pm

    I bought the 429 barrel and took my desert eagle out to shoot it. Didn’t use a chronograph but it shoots very flat and is actually a good feel when shooting. Not near any of the kick as the 50AE. Seems very accurate to boot, and I think it will be a good hunting cartridge. I reload 357 sig and it can’t be any harder to reload than the sig. When dies come out my cost to shoot it will drop drastically, and I have found a retailer that will sell the ammo for $30.00 a box. Overall I’m very happy with a 429.

  • Bad Penguin November 13, 2018, 6:45 am

    Cant help but wonder what the ballistics would be if this round was loaded with a Lehigh Defense solid copper bullet.

  • archangel November 11, 2018, 8:16 pm

    At over $2.00 for just the brass, no way it will be anything more than a short fad.

  • Dan Yarnell November 11, 2018, 5:57 pm

    What ever happened to the 440 cor-bon which was a 50 ae necked down to 44 mag. Is this the same?

  • Alan Robinson November 11, 2018, 10:00 am

    While very cool in both looks and performance, reloading bottleneck pistol cartridges is a PITA compared to straightwall.
    I believe that’s the reason for their blasé popularity.
    I love my .400 CorBon, until I load the damn things.

  • Maxified November 9, 2018, 5:33 pm

    Sure would like to see some performance numbers…

  • Dr Motown November 9, 2018, 1:14 pm

    Whatever happened to the much-touted 7.5 FK BRNO? I really haven’t seen any updated reviews, comparisons, prices, etc for over 2 years now…

  • CRS November 9, 2018, 11:40 am

    Their 44 necked down to 357 fell into obscurity.

  • Cyrus November 9, 2018, 10:50 am

    $42 for 20 shells? I’m out right there. I don’t work at a fucking hedge fund!

  • Joseph Barbieri November 9, 2018, 8:17 am

    Sig took the 40 S&W and made the 357 Sig so why not do the same with the 50. Would lick to see the technical info on it

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