The IWI Masada pistol is one of the newer pistols on the market and in short it’s a 9mm polymer frame striker fire pistol. But is that all it is?
History of IWI
If you aren’t familiar with IWI then you must be new, just kidding! IWI is a weapons manufacturing company based in Israel and has been in business since 1933.
IWI operates in the United States under its US arm “IWI US, Inc”. They are most well known for the UZI and the IWI Tavor series of guns including the IWI Tavor TS12, which I have already reviewed.
IWI weapons are used by militaries and police agencies worldwide.
IWI Masada In the Box
First things first, let’s talk about the box of the Masada.
It comes in a cardboard box. It’s nothing fancy. It’s nothing special.
It looks relatively nice but nothing great. The box is a little bit wider than a sheet of regular printer paper.
When you open it up, it has what you’d expect, solid foam on the lid and the gun cut out in the foam.
The box includes back straps, two magazines, and the required pistol lock.
You have some literature but it’s not a manual, you do have to scan a QR code to get the manual.
Comes with a small pull tab for a range bag that you could put the IWI logo on. That’s pretty cool
It comes with a registration card as well.
Lastly, a really nice thing about the Masada is it does come with four optics plates with the gun.
Fairly standard package. Looks nice. Works well. So without further ado, let’s jump into the gun.
IWI Masada Features
When you first pull the gun out, you’ll immediately notice it’s a little top-heavy.
However, the grip does make up for the top-heaviness.
The grip feels relatively nice. This model is the RDS model and also comes with a threaded barrel. Which is an extremely nice package deal.
The RDS Masada comes with suppressor height sights.
Overall, the gun somewhat reminds me of the frame of a Ruger Security 9. I hope it’s better quality, but it somewhat reminds me of the feel of the Security 9 but with more features.
So, let’s go ahead and jump into the features.
The grip is a feature that I like about the Masada.
The overall texture is not very abrasive, the grip angle is good, and the grip size is good.
It does have replaceable back straps, very similar to other guns on the market.
The one that comes on the gun is the medium-sized grip. I like the medium grip.
The grip feels good in the hand, and establishing a master grip is no problem.
On the grip itself, the IWI logo is in the middle and has texturing on both sides, and the backstrap is there. The most abrasive texture is actually on the front of the frame.
Overall, as far as the grip goes, there’s just not a lot of texture.
I would’ve liked to see a little more. The Walther PDP probably has the best texture out there from stock from the factory that I’ve seen, but this isn’t bad there just could be more.
Overall, the gun still feels good in your hand. Now it’s time to talk about the sights.
I like the configuration of the IWI Masada Tactical sights.
The front sight is just a singular white dot and is a relatively slim post.
The rear has indentions for dots, but it’s blacked out and this is by far my favorite sight configuration for a pistol. I prefer this configuration on my Trijicon pistol sights as well.
So far they seem good. Since the IWI Masada Tactical comes with a precut place for an optic I’ll be throwing an optic on it so the stock suppressor height sights won’t matter much.
I don’t think they’re going to come into play very much, but if you’re going to run this without an optic and you get this model, I think you’ll like the sights.
Let’s jump to the magazines.
The magazines for the Masada are proprietary, which means that they are specific just for the Masada.
The exterior of the magazines are metal and are 17 round magazines for free states. The Masada comes with two magazines in the box.
If you live in a non-free state the Masada does have a 10-round magazine version.
The bottom of the Masada magazine has a small plastic piece that fits into the frame perfectly. It’s aesthetically pleasing and overall they full into the magazine well easily.
The Masada comes equipt with fully ambidextrous controls and an extremely natural feeling grip angle.
Now to the magazine release.
The magazine release, like more of the controls on the Masada, is ambidextrous.
The magazine release is right where the trigger guard comes into the frame, which is a standard mag release location.
Nothing to rock the boat there.
For a magazine release, the Masada’s is relatively small. It does blend with the gun and cosmetically, it looks good.
As far as function, I have no problems with using it. I don’t have to move my hand around to get to it. My thumb can hit it just fine with a normal grip on the gun.
I would’ve liked to see it stick out a little longer and come a little more to the rear of a gun, but overall, it functions well and that’s a personal preference.
It has some nice serrations on it, which your finger can hit and get some extra grip texture.
Overall, I like the ambidextrousness of that. All the controls aren’t ambidextrous, but the important ones on this gun are. Let’s go to the slide stop.
So moving up just above that, you have your slide stop.
This is another ambidextrous control of the IWI Masada. I do like it. I like you can pull down on both sides of the slide release.
It just kind of feels at home when you can do that. It does work flawlessly, just pulling one side or the other with an empty mag in, so I do like that.
Sends the slide home really, really easily. No qualms whatsoever with that.
The design of the actual slide stop itself has two serrations for gripping.
It’s not overly abrasive, but the way they designed it, it’s almost like a step-down, so you’re able to get a pretty good grip on it and grab it relatively easily.
Trigger time! Time to talk about one of my favorite parts of any gun because I feel a trigger can make or break the gun.
The trigger on the IWI Masada takes the path of the Glock safe action trigger.
There is a center safety bar that has to be depressed before you can activate the trigger.
This is great. Stops you from accidentally firing if you drop it and usually will stop the trigger from getting snagged on something to pull it.
The trigger itself is polymer. In 2022 no one should have any issues with that. My favorite guns are Glocks, and they have polymer triggers.
The shape is, well, that of an average trigger. There’s nothing crazy about the shape of it.
Let’s talk about the meat and potatoes: the pull. Take-up is very, very short on the stock Masada trigger. Once you activate the safety, your take-up is hardly anything.
The reset is right back to the wall. The wall, to me, on this gun, is not very clearly defined. It’s got a little squish in it.
You don’t see that often, but it’s not a bad trigger. There is a little squish before you pull and hit the wall.
Overall, not bad. Nothing to write home about. It’s not a grand slam, but it’s not a strikeout either. No major issues or problems with the trigger.
Overall, the Masada looks good. I don’t know what to say about polymer or pistols these days. They’re kind of all blending together.
The Masada rear profile matches that of, like I said, a security nine. It kind of feels like a security nine in the frame.
You have your standard front and rear serrations, which look good. There is nothing wrong with the looks and aesthetics of this gun. Bone stock this model with a threaded barrel and your precut area for your optic.
The one nice thing I will say is this about the frame. They did a fantastic job with the looks of it. I like how the magazine base plate fits into the bottom of the grip frame.
Aesthetically looks great. A triangle comes up and meets the IWI logo in the middle of the grip frame and looks good.
The texturing visually is good. Just like I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t have much grip on it.
So, just keep that in mind on this gun. If you like to have your guns with really abrasive grips, a lot of stippling, or hard grippy textures like that, you might want to have some custom work done for this grip.
Accessories for the IWI Masada
Accessorizing your guns is half the fun, right? That’s why when people look at just the MSRP of a gun, I kind of chuckle and know in my head it will take double that to kit the gun.
Handguns have become the same as rifles now when it comes to accessories. Most of the time, the possibilities are endless, and you’ll want an optic, holster, or flashlight, and you have to feed it (ammo)!
For the Masada, you have to grab the Concord! The concord is large enough to hold multiple guns and your Masada accessories.
I keep all my optic plates and tools in my range bag on the off chance I ever need them, not to mention I’ll always know where they are.
Several holster manufacturers are making holsters for the IWI Masada both in the waistband and outside the waistband.
Optics and Optic Mounts
First things first about the optics plates, I will tell you right out of the gate they are polymer.
I doubt there’s an issue with polymer optic plates. However, you don’t see them often.
I have had zero issues with these polymer optic plates, and I don’t expect to have any issues with them in the future.
If you are looking for the best pistol red dot sight, we have done a complete round-up for you!
IWI Masada Ammo
I rocked about 150 rounds of 9mm PMC Blazer Brass through this Masada without missing a beat! If you carry your Masada for defense, I recommend grabbing some defense-specific rounds.
So, my final thoughts on the Masada.
After shooting it suppressed, shooting it unsuppressed is this: It’s a decent gun.
It’s a contender. I do like it. It hits all the check boxes just right.
I would have no problems probably carrying this concealed. I don’t see any reliability issues.
Have no problems suppressed, not that I would carry suppressed. Have no problems with the site mounting system.
The only issue there is the fact that they use polymer plates.
Don’t love that. That’s the only gig I have for this model. If you have the one that is not an RDS model, that’s a nonissue.
You can continue, get your Masada, and have a ball. I think they’re a buy if you are an IWI fan.
If you have many of their other products, I don’t see why you wouldn’t buy a Masada.
Even if you don’t, this wouldn’t be a terrible entry into the IWI product line for you.
I think that it’s a decent pistol. Overall, if you’re just looking for another range gun and want to try out a different pistol, give this one a gander. It’s not in the Sig P320 realm. It’s not a Glock 19. It is its own gun.
IWI Masada FAQs
Does any military use the IWI Masada?
India and the Philippines are the only two countries that use the IWI Masada. It is unconfirmed if their military uses them or if it’s just law enforcement agencies within those countries.
What is the IWI Masada based on?
The IWI Masada is not based on any other pistol. It is worth noting it’s a 9mm sticker-fired polymer-framed pistol like many others on the market.
But IWI did make this pistol from the ground up.
Is the Masada 9mm a good gun?
Yes, the Masada is a solid pistol and performs at or above most people’s expectations.
Does IWI Masada have a safety?
No, the IWI Masada does not have a traditional thumb safety on it.