Desert Eagle Pistol Cleaning & Maintenence

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   A few important tips about cleaning/maintaining Desert Eagle Pistol. Since the pistol is gas operated, certain things are different compared to other, conventional handguns. Basically that's it on this page.
    Mega thanks goes to Matt de Vries for all his help with this page. Most notes are provided by him, including initial illustrations. To improve download speed, the images were converted to B&W where possible.


- Before sending me an email asking some question, check out the FAQ and Cleaning & Maintenance section at least, Ok? The answer may already be there. I'm more than happy to try to answer any questions, but due to the number of the email I get it's becoming more and more difficult and very often the answer to the question is already on these pages.

Gas System Related

Gas Cylinder    Gas Cylinder - The area marked as A, is what you have to rim out with the tool included with the DE. Put a couple drops of solvent on the tool, insert the tool into the cylinder, and twist it back and forth 5-6 times. Remove it, and wipe it dry, and now repeat the same, at this time with a dey tool. Then swab it out with a cleaning pad, or a q-tip, an extra pass with a solvent dipped q-tip won't hurt for sure.
Matt de Vries

   Areas marked as B are not the part of the DE gas system by design. Nevertheless they need cleaning once in every 2-3 shootings, as large portion of exiting gases passes through them. Don't forget to lube them after cleaning.
   Area marked as C gets significantly contaminated after every shooting session, since this is a place where hot gases exit and are getting cold very fast. No matter how 'clean' ammo you fired, it definitely needs to be cleaned after every shooting. Soak it with solvent, leave it for a couple minutes then swab it with a brush or cleaning rod.

Piston     Piston - It definitely does make sense to clean the piston after every shooting session. Areas A and B are the 'dirtiest' after shooting, thus need more attention, especially that those are not very easy spots to clean. C is pointing to the edges those also need cleaning, as usual fouling deposits there as well. It is very important to have piston very clean and well lubed, otherwise it can cause problems such as: reloading malfunctions, slide not fully returning to battery, slide stuck in foremost position etc.
    Actually it is a good idea to live the piston overnight in the solvent after every 500 or at least 1000 shots. In my experience work very well.

Recoil Springs/rods     Recoil Springs & rods - As you probably already know, you have to replace these after every 5000 shots for .357 & .44 magnums and every 3000 shots for .50 AE. Still they need cleaning, from time to time. Especially rod tips (pointed by two black arrows on the picture), as they get the most fouling. The plate itself needs cleaning as well. Once in several cleanings it is a good idea to clean springs and rods with solvent, but don't forget to lube it then, otherwise it may damage them and/or lead to feeding malfunctions and other problems, including excessive wear of the springs.
    Magnum Research Inc. advises - Once in a while, approximately after every 150-200 shots, or if you have problems, disassemble springs/rods, i.e. remove springs and wire-brush rods. To do this you have to remove C-clip, using needlenose pliers, from the end of the each rod.
WARNING - The Springs are under tension, so use protective glasses when working with them & hold clips well, or else you'll loose them.


Frame     The A arrows are pointing to the area where the most fouling gets deposited. Clean after every shooting session. Soak with solvent, leave for 5 minutes or more, depends on the solvent you are using and the contamination level, then swab it with a brush or cleaning rod, an usual, nylon brush doesn't help much. I use copper wool and brass rod. If not cleaned properly causes the same problems as dirty piston.
   The dotted lines pointed by B arrows show the line where recoil springs/rods contact the frame, so it is important that the area is lubed well.

Frame II    The arrows A point to where to look in the frame for two holes that line up with the recoil spring guides/channels. The ends of the springs kind of resting them. I do not know if they are actually part of the gas system, but it cant hurt to clean them every now and then. I usually hit them with some solvent and a q-tip every couple of cleanings.
    B Points to barrel lock, after shooting, this area is contaminated as much as area A, mostly unburned gunpowder and copper jacketing particles, I don't think this can affect shooting, but it would be better to clean in there every time.
Matt de Vries

Slide I     I usually hit this little hole (the Bold arrow)with a q-tip and solvent every couple of cleanings. Since this is a part of the gas system, it is important to keep it clean. The area around this place, ( pointed by double, thin arrows ) gets fouling deposits after every shooting session. As usual, just solvent and then brush doesn't help and I use cleaning rod or wirebrush.
Matt de Vries

Slide II    Front top end of the slide is in very close contact with the area C on the Figure 1, thus everything what we've said above, about the barrel is true for this part of the slide, this includes the problems that will arise if slide tip is not clean and lubed.
    Actually in the worst case ( my personal, sad experience ) when those two parts get very dirty, slide is jammed, i.e. it returns to battery fully and gets stuck there. It is stuck so hard that pulling slide back poses a real problem.
    If this happens to you, the best thing to do is, grab the slide from the top and briskly hit the handle with the other hand.
Although that type of problem happened to me only once when I fired too many rounds ( yes, 142 Gr. Fiocchi ) during one shooting session.

Barrel    The two circled areas are important to clean. Especially to get the storage coating removed on a new gun. The coating makes any problems with dirty ammo MUCH worse. I've had a couple of extractor problems in one session with federal 158gr. After cleaning these two spots up extra clean, it has proven to be very reliable ammo.
Matt de Vries

DE bolt disassembly & cleaning
Barrel    WARNING - The Springs are under tension, use protective glasses.
    Remove bolt from the slide (this operation is described in DE manual). Clean a bolt with soft tissue, to remove lube, residue etc.
   Remove the extractor claw (indicated byC arrow). Hold the extractor and pull out the small pin indicated by A arrow. You'll need an appropriate size screwdriver or a rod to do that. After the extractor pin is removed, carefully remove the extractor itself and the extractor spring underneath.
    Remove the ejector pin (indicated by D arrow). Hold an ejector and pull out the small pin indicated by B arrow. Slowly remove ejector and the its spring.
    Obviously the area underneath extractor claw is most contaminated. Clean all parts with solvent and then lube them. Remember the bolt surface needs only very light coating of lubricant, when the rest of the bolt should be lubed well.
    Assembly the bolt and then the slide. Bolt should be moving freely in the slide. If it is not moving well, something is wrong, disassemble the slide & examine both, slide and a bolt carefully, check the extractor claw and holder pins (arrows A, B).