Masada. In case you’re unfamiliar with the name, it is the name of an ancient Israelite fortress that refused to surrender to the Romans. Maybe it’s that same “never surrender” attitude that motivated Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) to design a new 9mm pistol called the Masada.
And this attitude may have created something special. Jon Wayne Taylor writes:
Israel has a history and a culture of innovation. After all, they didn’t make the AK-47, but with the Galil, they made it better. They didn’t invent the bullpup, but their Tavor is one of, if not the best versions of that platform. They didn’t invent the CZ-75, but with the inclusion of a safety/decocker, the IWI Jericho might very well be a better version of even that hallowed sidearm.
Israeli Weapons Industries (IWI) didn’t invent the serialized chassis, either. They certainly didn’t invent the striker-fired, polymer framed gun. But with the MASADA, they might just have created the best striker-fired, polymer framed serialized chassis pistol on the market today.
Stylistically, the semi-automatic MASADA is a deceptive mix. Aggressive cuts in the fore and aft ends of the slide make manipulation easy, but also serve to tie in an aesthetic that continues to the rails on the frame. That gives the gun a cut-up, industrial look. But take a closer look, and you’ll see that the rest of the gun is rounded throughout.
A good example of this is the blended and smoothed angles on top of the slide that lead to those cuts on the sides, and down past the nose, into the frame rail. It’s a smooth look that ends up sharpening at the slide cuts and rail.
Chassis pistols are a neat concept. When the concept is fully employed, you can swap between some calibers, as well as a wide array of frames, barrels, and slides. With a wide menu to support the serialized chassis, a truly modular firearm is possible.
Right now, IWI ain’t there and I can find no information that says it’s going to get there. IWI doesn’t seem to offer even a threaded barrel, much less different frames or slides.
That’s a big disappointment, as I’d choose the MASADA over the other chassis guns — any of them — on the market in a minute. But that’s only if IWI steps up and offers a full array of options. It’s still early in the handgun‘s release, so I’m hoping those other frames, barrels, and slides are forthcoming. Fingers crossed.
That’s serious praise. Taylor continues:
The MASADA is very much an example of the sum being greater than the parts. The trigger, the full and well textured grip, the deep “beavertail”, the mass of the full length slide, and relatively low bore axis all come together to create a great shooting experience. Every shooter who put rounds through this gun during my review came back with the same conclusion. It’s another striker fired polymer framed duty gun, but one that doesn’t feel like you are squeezing a brick on a stick to make bullets come out of it.
And Taylor sums up his thoughts on this pistol with:
IWI HAS A SOLID PERFORMER IN THEIR FIRST INTRODUCTION TO THE PISTOL MARKET IN A LONG TIME, AND THEIR FIRST EVER STRIKER FIRED POLYMER FRAMED GUN. IT’S EASY AND ENJOYABLE TO SHOOT, RELIABLE AND ACCURATE. IF IWI FULLY SUPPORTS THE MASADA LINE WITH MULTIPLE BARRELS, SLIDES, AND FRAMES, THIS GUN WOULD HANDILY OUTPERFORM THE CURRENT COMPETITION, ESPECIALLY WITH A STREET PRICE UNDER $450.
Obviously, Taylor loves this pistol. So, if you’re in the market for a solid 9mm pistol, then IWI’s Masada may be one to consider.