When looking around at different pawn shops around the state, I always think it’s amazing what I find. One of the best purchases I’ve made was the Magnum Research Mountain Eagle. This rarity was on the shelf for $150 originally and after some negotiation, I managed to talk the guy down to $119.99. Now I will be honest, if this was a brand new production gun I probably wouldn’t have touched it. This gun looks like its seen better days but it’s the subtle Magnum Research styling cues that I love the most.
Styling and Specs
The Magnum Research Mountain Eagle is a simple blowback .22 LR pistol design. The gun originally retailed for around $200 in the early ’90s but had a reputation for being very reliable. Another impressive aspect of the Mountain Eagle is the fact it comes standard with a 15 round magazine. The gun seems to be based off a number of different 22 pistols like the Ruger Mark 2 and Browning Buckmark. One of the most surprising things about the Mountain Eagle is how light the gun is overall. It doesn’t seem light, but the Mountain Eagle weighs in at 24 oz and feels lighter than its actual weight in your hand.
The sights on the Mountain Eagle are adjustable with an adjustable rear sight and an extremely bright orange front sight. The front sight may be a little large for the rest of the gun but it does a fantastic job of showing up in the sight picture. I was surprised how the controls were slightly different from conventional handguns but it was still very easy to use the safety and magazine release. One of the coolest features on the gun, in my opinion, was the barrel profile.
The overall profile was made to look like a smaller version of a Desert Eagle. It’s a small design feature that made me smile when looking at the gun. It may seem stupid to some of you and I’m sure I’ll hear about it in the comments below, but I think it’s cool they tried to incorporate design features from other firearms they make.
If I’m honest, I wasn’t expecting a lot out of the Mountain Eagle in terms of performance and reliability. With the gun being mostly polymer and having a cheap feel overall, I was expecting to have issues, to say the least. Once I got to the range and put three magazines through the gun, I quickly changed my opinion of the Mountain Eagle and was rather impressed. The gun did a phenomenal job feeding literally any .22LR ammo I put through it. I had a few different types of .22LR ammo including CCI Mini Mags, Federal Bulk ammo and the ultra-reliable Remington Thunderbolt ammo.
Any type of ammo I put into the Mountain Eagle, it worked. The gun doesn’t scream quality initially so I thought it might be the first gun to give me some issues at the range. I thought the 15 round magazine would also give me feeding issues but I was proven to be completely wrong. Accuracy was fairly good as well at 10 yards. I was getting about an inch group typically and the adjustable sights worked just like they should.
After a few range sessions, I was really impressed with the little .22LR underdog. I decided to ask around to see if anyone else had experiences with the Mountain Eagle and after asking a few people, I found a few former owners. To my surprise, every one of them had nothing but great things to say about the little plinker. When I asked why they decided to sell their gun, they all said it was mainly because they thought it was ugly. I can understand their feelings and they went on to buy the new model Ruger and Browning .22LR pistols instead.
The Mountain Eagle gave shooters a real value for their money though in terms of reliability and accuracy. For $200, it would have been a great option for people to get into pistol shooting for a reasonable price. In a way, it makes me sad this pistol never caught on. I agree it looks rather ugly if you stare at it long enough, but it has a character for some reason. The gun feels special when you shoot it and has somewhat of a personality.
The Mountain Eagle reminds me of a young kid who’s overly excited to prove they are ready for a challenge. I didn’t plan on keeping this gun initially, but after spending some time with it I’ve changed my mind. Not all guns need to have a purpose in your collection and this is just a pistol I enjoy shooting. Let me know if you guys own or have shot a Mountain Eagle in the comments below. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!
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