by B.B. Pelletier
Micro Desert Eagle is an all-metal, pocket-sized .380 ACP.
Today, I’ll show you how my Micro Desert Eagle performs on the range. In Part one of this report, I outlined all the other concealed carry guns I had looked at and even tested before settling on this one. Of course, I hadn’t tested everything on the market, but I had tested a lot of guns that people consider good carry guns.
Most were too large, and that includes an S&W model 37 Airweight snubnose in .38 Special. It also stung like a cracked bat hitting a fastball. I needed something extremely reliable, accurate and with adequate power.
So, I bought a Micro Desert Eagle in .380 ACP. Yes, it’s weak, but so is a 9×19mm Luger round in one of these pocket automatics. My rationale is that a gun I will carry all the time is better than a more powerful one I’ll leave at home. I’m not a cop. I don’t have to carry a gun. I do so by choice, and I choose to carry one that’s comfortable.
Someone asked me about carrying a .25 ACP. There are certainly a large number of them that are even smaller and lighter than this Micro Desert Eagle. I had a Colt that was beautifully small. But the state of Texas has a law that your carry gun has to be larger than .25 ACP. I agree with that law, because a .25 pocket automatic hasn’t even got the same power as a .22 short fired from a rifle. I once owned a .25 Baby Bernadelli auto that was curiously accurate beyond belief. It could hold a one-inch group at 10 meters, as long as the miniscule front sight was visible to the shooter, which it wasn’t in most light. But that gun, as small and accurate as it was, would not be appropriate for concealed carry, even if it was legal.
I took the Micro Desert Eagle to the range to shoot some targets at representative ranges, so those who are interested could evaluate the performance. I also took a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in 9×19mm Luger as a test standard. You can compare my shooting with that gun to the results of the Micro.
I started with what I had in my pocket. The gun I had been carrying every day since the last time I was at the range in early December. No attempt was made to clean the bore of lint or debris. That was the gun as it comes to the fight, loaded with seven Winchester white box .380 ACP rounds–a 95-grain full metal jacket slug of medium velocity. I had hoped to recover most of the brass on this public indoor range, but the Micro threw each case violently to the right, where the lane divider kicked it forward out of my reach.
The first six shots were taken at a silhouette target positioned at seven yards, which is 21 feet. Five were good and one was way off to the left, meaning I pulled the trigger too hard, which moved the gun off target. I reloaded and fired five more to the same point of aim. You can see the results. I’m shooting with silver sights front and rear, which are the absolute worst for accuracy and I still kept 10 of 11 rounds in a five-inch circle. Naturally this was all one-handed with no brace–the way I would shoot in a defensive situation. The center of the target was the aim point, so the gun hits about 3 inches high at 20 feet. I’ll accept that.
Eleven rounds, 10 inside a 5-inch circle. Not bad!
Next, I put up a bullseye target at 21 feet and loaded six defense hollowpoints that advertise reduced recoil. Of course, with a .380 there isn’t much recoil to begin with, so these rounds are positively a delight to shoot. They shot to almost the same point of aim, but this time they stayed in a 2.25-inch group, despite the almost impossible sights. In fact, a word needs to be said about those sights, because they really are difficult to see. I believe the Micro is as natural-pointing a handgun as I could hope for, because I sure wasn’t getting any help from those bright sights. My Baby Bernadelli was a natural shooter, the Micro is a natural pointer–along the lines of a Luger, only better.
Six shots in 2.25 inches at 21 feet. Not bad for a pocket gun.
Next, I shot seven FMJs at the same kind of target at 21 feet. The group opened up just a bit, and shifted slightly to the left.
Seven FMJs were a little larger, but still just over 3 inches at 21 feet.
I had a Ruger Blackhawk convertible along as a control gun. It has a cylinder for .357 Magnum and a second one for 9×19mm Luger rounds. Using the Luger cylinder, I loaded 6 Winchester 115-grain FMJ rounds and proceeded to unload them into a target at 15 yards, or 45 feet. They grouped okay, I suppose, but the light right over my position was reflecting off the ramped front blade and I was losing it on target.
Six shots from a 9×19 Ruger Blackhawk at 15 yards. Okay, but not great
Next, I moved the target out to 20 yards and paid more attention to the front sight. This time the group was more acceptable. And with the little 9mm Luger round, the Blackhawk barely moved in recoil with each shot. It’s a wonderful practice round, because it just doesn’t move the gun that far.
Six more 9mm rounds from the Ruger at 20 yards. This is good performance and shows a marked improvement over the concealed carry gun at three times the distance. All shots were fired with a one-hand unsupported hold.
Just for comparison, I will also show the 50-shot target I fired for my concealed carry lisence. That was shot with a Wilson Combat CQB Light Rail at 3, 7 and 15 yards in slow, timed and rapid fire scenarios. Edith calls it my Blue Man group, and I’m proud of it.
I’m very satisfied with the performance of the Micro Desert Eagle. Not only is it sized right for concealed carry, it’s also accurate. Now that the factory has fixed the feed problem, it’s reliable as well. This is a true DAO gun–unlike so many that only allow one pull of the trigger. If those guns don’t go off with the first trigger-pull, the slide has to be racked before another shot can be fired. I don’t want that in a defense handgun, so I’m recommending this one to everyone I know.