The Desert Eagle is a US-designed, Israeli-manufactured weapon, originally designed by Magnum Research and now primarily manufactured by Israeli Military Industries.
First production dates to 1982, and since then has become the go-to high-power handgun for films, television and video games.
This is in part due to its large size and menacing appearance - but also due to the high-powered cartridge it fires, the 50 calibre Action Express round.
The Desert Eagle is loud, expensive, it kicks like a mule and is completely impractical - but there's no denying it's popularity.
In game, the Desert Eagle is a high-power, high recoil handgun - dealing two-hit kills up close without stopping power.
It has slightly less power than the Magnum at range - but it does have one more round in the magazine.
The defining characteristic of the Desert Eagle has to be its recoil - as far as secondary weapons go, nothing comes close to the recoil of this weapon.
This means hitting your target multiple times is very difficult, particularly if you don't wait for the recoil to settle between shots - and to make matters worse the iron sights of the Desert Eagle are misaligned - so hitting even the first shot is troublesome.
For this reason the Magnum is a much more common sight - and with good reason. The Desert Eagle is much less effective overall.
If you insist on using a single Desert Eagle, or if you haven't unlocked akimbo yet - the key to managing the recoil of this pistol is to moderate your fire rate depending on your range from the target.
At point blank range you can fire as fast as your trigger finger will allow - but at middle range you will need to wait until the recoil settles before firing again.
With practice and restraint, you can ensure your shots connect, and with Stopping Power the two-hit kill range is quite generous.
You don't get much ammunition with the Desert Eagle, so Scavenger can be a good choice for your first perk - however if you're using the weapon as a backup then your supply isn't critical, so you can use an alternative perk to better suit your primary weapon.
Although the Desert Eagle is a powerful weapon, capable of two-hit kills without stopping power - I'd still recommend it, as this will increase your two-hit kill range - and with this weapon you need all the help you can get.
It's also worth noting that a headshot with the Desert Eagle with Stopping Power will do 98 damage total - just 2 damage short of a one-hit kill, so if you've injured an enemy a single shot with the Desert Eagle can quickly despatch them.
Sometimes, even a grenade impact will do the job.
In fact, the fast draw time of the handguns and the high damage make the Desert Eagle a particularly suitable 'finishing weapon' - where the difficulty in hitting the target twice isn't such an issue. Should you expend your primary weapon's ammunition in the middle of a firefight, a quick switch and a single accurate shot could end the fight in your favour.
For your third perk Steady Aim is a sensible choice if you're using the akimbo desert eagles, tightening up your hipfire spread and allowing you to get more shots on a mid-ranged target.
Still, the closer you can get the better your chances - if you're using a stealthier class loadout you might be better with Ninja Pro, as usual.
The Desert Eagle is by far the least controllable handgun in game, and as far as reliable close-quarter kills are concerned you'd be a lot better off with another choice.
Akimbo makes up for some of the shortcomings, and is a deadly configuration in its own right - but there's no compelling reason to use the single Desert Eagle over the Magnum.
It does have a reputation for its poor performance, though - and as such it can be used as a humiliation weapon when the situation permits. Outplaying and ultimately killing someone with what might be the worst weapon in-game can be quite satisfying.
It's not the perfect sidearm - not by a long chalk - but once tamed the Desert Eagle can become an able backup, capable of quickly finishing injured enemies and is otherwise quick on the draw and deadly at close range.