Baby Desert Eagle II Compact 9mm Review

Hickock45 here on a hot sultry summer day, as you can tell. Look what I’ve got on the table, CZ-75, Desert Eagle, couple of firearms you have seen, right? I made the mistake of leaving them in the same safe last night. Guess what I discovered? They had a baby. They had a Baby Eagle, specifically Baby Desert Eagle II compact. That would make sense. Most babies are pretty compact, aren’t they? That’s really what it is.

That’s an old joke, but this Baby Desert Eagle looks a little bit like a Desert Eagle, doesn’t it? I wonder why. You reckon it could be because it’s made by Israeli Weapons Industries, IWI? That could be one reason. It also resembles – you know, that slide within the frame, the CZ-75. It borrows heavily from both of those designs.

We appreciate NC Silencer letting us borrow this to shoot a little bit. I have had a lot of requests for the Baby Eagle, the Jericho. There’s a lot of history here, where it used to be known as the Jericho with the 941, I think, I don’t know how many different models there were of that. Then there were some changes that went through when Kahr bought Magnum Research. They started importing these again. There were some interruptions there into the flow into this country of these things. 

Of course, the CZ-75 has a long history. It came out in, guess when? 1975, back when Czechoslovakia was an Eastern Bloc country. We didn’t get these things over here, so people started making clones of them that could be imported. We didn’t get CZ-75s in 1975 or ’76, I guess. I don’t know, I was kind of new to guns in a big way at that time. I’d heard about the CZ-75 when it came out, but I wasn’t that knowledgeable about it.

Again, they just weren’t around until some different companies started making them, Israelis and versions of them, and shipping them over here. Now, they’re obviously out there, and lots of different versions of them. They are fine, fine pistols, no doubt about that. Like I say, this is basically an updated variant of the CZ-75 with a little Desert Eagle looks thrown in, isn’t it?

This is the compact, and I’m going to shoot it some and tell you what I think about it. You all have asked me about the day Baby Eagles. I’m sorry, we’re not going to shoot those things. We shot them before a lot, search around, FAQ video 54 will take you there.

This is an interesting firearm. I have never even held one, really. I guess I’ve seen them, but I’ve not held them. I learned a little bit about them this one in shooting it. I think a compact – this is the compact model, a smallest. A semi-compact is midsized, and then of course you’ve got standard full-size. I think the full-size or probably the semi-compact would be the easier to manipulate. When you get down to this size and this design, there are some awkward things about it, which I’ll talk about.

It does seem to be well-made. The Jericho, I guess, which is the forefather of this thing, they were designed around, I think it was the .41 Action Express cartridge, it was basically a hot .40 caliber. They’re well-made and they come in steel frames, all steel. They come in three different sizes I’ve talked about. They come in different calibers, this one is a 9mm, .40 and .45 ACP. I don’t know if the compact, the smallest one comes in a .45 or not, but they’re well-made.

You’ll like a CZ or a Desert Eagle. The question is, and the one you might want some insight into, and that hopefully I have a little insight, is how suitable is it for carry, or for just if you’re looking for your first firearm, or your third or your 45th, is this something you might want to look at? To just told it, it feels pretty good. Not bad. It fits my hand pretty well, it holds 13 rounds. It uses CZ mags, this is the mags that came with it, 13 capacity. 

It’s a little bigger than a Glock 26 or 27. This is a 27, but you all know it’s the same. It’s bigger than that; maybe not quite as big as a Glock 19, it probably is pretty close to it. I should’ve brought one of those out. It’s closer to a Glock 19, and holds 13 rounds in the 9mm configuration. Let’s take a couple shots with it. I’ve shot it a fair amount, and I don’t really shoot it too well, I’ll be honest with you. I really don’t. It’s like the Beretta, you’ve got your de-cocker on the slide and you can make it double-action, then it goes to single-action.

Now it’s in single action.

Like I said, I don’t shoot it too well. Let’s put some more ammo in. That’s a higher capacity magazine, that’s what I need. That’s a CZ magazine. I tend to pull it. You’ve got to really bear down with it.

That one works, but it didn’t hold the slide back, did it? There it is. The sights are on, it’s just me and maybe the feel of it and everything. Let me show you how it breaks down while it’s good and hot, what it looks like from the inside here. Just make doubly sure it’s empty, which is it, because any of these kinds of pistols you have to line up something. You line those two dots up right there. By the way, the Band-Aids – the trigger hurts my finger a little bit. You push on this side, when you get those lined up pull it out, and there you go.

It’s kind of a long recoil spring, drop a link in your barrel. It’s kind of the John Browning design, so nothing too exotic about that. It is a hammer-fired gun, of course, double and single action. For what it is, it appears to be well-made. Again, it’s that CZ style where the slide goes down into the frame and rides down in there. Unlike most other pistols, the CZ does that. It makes for a very accurate pistol, full-length rail, so to speak, and it is a full-length rail. It’s a great design, a strong design. This gun is well-made. It probably wouldn’t be my first choice for a carry gun, or even second or third, but it’s a well-made gun, apparently.

How did that thing get hot? It doesn’t take long, does it? We’re slinging Federal ammo, 124 grain ammo – I appreciate the ammunition there, by the way, to make this video possible. Interesting spring, you’ve got to kind of watch that, it’s not captured. You’ve got to capture it or you’re going to get your nose captured when the thing flies up and hits you.

Baby Desert Eagle II compact. Line her back up, put it back in and it’s not a problem to operate or anything like that. One of the biggest negatives for me is the slide. Part of that comes from the fact that it’s a compact model. John and I both have stubbed our thumbs. You just grab that thing and start to grab the serrations back here, you’re just jamming your thumb into the de-cocker. It hurts. If you’re not careful, you’re hitting the slide lock, which is fairly obtrusive. Not only that, it has kind of a sharp edge on it.

This comes back to the reason – I know some people get sick of my bragging about Glocks – it’s one of the things that attracts people who have a lot of experience with all these pistols is you just don’t have anything to catch on. Of course, they work, and the minimalist approach is just so attractive. Pieces like that make that just the opposite of the minimalist approach, that’s the maximist approach. Anyway, you’ve got to watch it when you grab that.

I have learned, like most things, you kind of work around it and you figure it out if you really decide this is the firearm you like, because the company makes great guns, and you decided this is what you want. It feels good in the hand, you shot one somewhere and you can shoot it while you load the trigger. You like the curved trigger – some people love that. I don’t. It kind of provides a consistent pull. Then you work around it.

I have learned if I just forget the serrations where that’s dug out there, if I just put my thumbs there, it works pretty well and I don’t end up bruising the end of my thumb. The way to work around those limitations, just trying to point out the positives and the negatives. Every gun has got them, negatives and positives.

It feels good in the hand, like I say. I don’t particularly like the de-cocker’s and safeties and all that to be up on the slide at all, it’s just kind of an awkward position for me. I’d rather it be down here on the frame, but that’s where it is. You cannot carry this one cocked and locked. You can carry it cocked, but it wouldn’t be locked. It might be a little risky right there. Once you put that down, it de-cocks it.

I have a couple of magazines, what am I doing gabbing so much? Stock magazine there, it should have about 13 rounds in it. See if I can hit something with it. I’ve got my do-all holster here. I got it on safe. I wouldn’t carry it that way myself, if this were going to be my carry gun. It has a long, fairly heavy trigger, so I would probably carry it with the safety off, and then I would pull it out and miss. Whoa, blue lightning.

I figured we’d get him off there. There’s a can of something.

I’ll tell you, I do like the single action pull on it, it feels pretty good. Put one of these CZ mags in it, see if this one locks the slide back when it’s empty, in case I happen to shoot it empty. You reckon I’ll shoot all of it? Let’s cock it. I know what I did. That was weird, I de-cocked it – that’s the problem, I de-cocked it and it wouldn’t work. I’ll have to get used to that. When you de-cock it, you disable everything.

We’ll take a couple over there. Let’s try the gong, I can probably hit the gong, maybe. I’ve got to be careful what I say.

[gunshots][gong dings]

There we go. I’ll try a pig, but I don’t – let’s get a turkey over there.

Got him.

A couple there, so it’s shootable. One of the biggest positives on this firearm is really a similar positive to a Beretta FS – it has that same de-cocker system up on the slide, which I don’t particularly love – is the single-action trigger pull on it, I have to say. Even though it’s a double single, which I’m always criticizing. The double is not bad, it’s fairly smooth, it’s heavy. Once you get that thing cocked, it’s got a pretty nice trigger pull. It’s about perfect for me; it really is, I like it.

I’m going to have a little bit of difficulty figuring out where to hold – we’ll shoot just a few more. A firearm like this that has as its ancestry those firearms can’t be all bad. It may have some negatives for me, but it’s going to be a good design, and it’s going to work. It comes from IWI, you expect that. What can you say? You have a CZ-75, the Desert Eagle. Maybe firearms that you have never owned and you would never carry, that you don’t even like that much maybe, but you know the history of them, the durability, the reputation. You’ve got that going for you.

There are a lot of pistols out there that are a little bit iffy when it comes to the manufacturer, where they’re made, are they trustworthy? Is that something that I know is going to work? Is the design sound? Generally something with this firm, you’re probably not going to have to worry about too much. It’s a matter of getting used to the feel.

Like I say, the grip feels pretty good. It’s similar to a Glock 19, I guess, size. It’s still a two-finger grip, which I use anyway, just two fingers as you know, but it feels pretty good. The mag here, John was criticizing justifiably. We usually agree on most things – not everything, but most thing. When you get that mag, it protrudes there at the bottom a little bit. If you’re one of those normal humans, you can actually get three fingers on that grip. Some of you are probably normal enough to do that. It’s going to be in your way, that little lip on it is kind of odd. It doesn’t affect me because I just use the two fingers anyway.

I’ll try to get a little something here. Has not malfunctioned. That’s the kiss of death, then, it will probably hang up right now.

Do I have my ears in? I guess I do, it’s kind of loud. I was shooting at the pig. Confession is good for the soul.

Either way, you get dinner, right? Whichever animal you get. Let’s try a little speed with it, or a little faster speed, I don’t know how speedy it will be. I’ll de-cock it and then take the safety off, and just full-out shoot a little bit. We’re going double action. First shot, cowboy.

It feels okay. Like most guns, if they go bang when you pull the trigger and it has a decent trigger, they’re fun to shoot. If you told me that’s all I could have a could have, I could live with it, but it has some negatives for me. It would not be my first choice. Like I said, it’s a good gun made by a reputable company that has a reputation for making good firearms. Of course, the design, you can’t argue with its ancestry too much in terms of design.

A couple awkward things about it, and I don’t necessarily shoot it all that well. I’ll tell you what it does come down to, largely I shoot so many other firearms. You can say is kind of getting a hang of it, where to hold. I couldn’t seem to do that before the video, and since I’ve had it I shot at a fair amount. One day I shot okay and the next day I didn’t; I haven’t had consistency with it.

You’ve heard the line, I think it comes from maybe Cooper or somebody like that, “Beware the man with one gun.” Or woman with one gun. If you have one firearm to use nowhere it hits you shoot it regularly, you’ve got the feel, you’ve overcome whatever some of the negatives might be that were there when you first started with it. You’ve overcome it, you’ve figured out how to work around some of that, and you shoot it, shoot it, shoot it. You know where to hold, you get over the flinches and everything with it, it will probably do you just fine. It’s not a bad little pistol, probably would serve you well if you like the feel of it and the way it operates.

The Baby Desert Eagle II 9mm compact. I’ve already told you how I got it. I’ve told one lie, I won’t make it two lies about the two guns having a baby by mistake and everything. We try to keep the guns separated in the safe if we know they sort of have a fondness for one another. Anyway, lame jokes and all, we’re glad you came by and took a look at this. It’s a gun, fun to shoot. Life is good.

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Okay, maybe not. Seriously, could I not get a chair that fits me? I’m a big guy, dude. I guess, back to what we were originally talking about.

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