IWI, one of the biggest names in Israeli self-defense and military arms, is officially announcing their new Masada series of pistols for the commercial, military and law enforcement markets.
The Masada is polymer-framed and striker-fired with fully-ambidextrous controls and three interchangeable backstraps. IWI plans to start shipping the new series starting the first quarter of 2018.
“This is our first entry into the striker fired pistol market and we are very pleased with the results,” said IWI-US CEO Casey Flack. “Having a completely ambidextrous system, coupled with IWI’s famous performance, will make this a serious contender for civilian and government customers.”
The Masada has all of the features necessary to compete with today’s crop of striker-fired pistols. These include an external extractor which doubles as a loaded chamber indicator. Also, users can disassemble the guns without pulling the trigger, which is a growing safety requirement for many departments and agencies.
Each pistol has a serialized trigger frame that is easily removable from the grip frame for cleaning and maintenance. The trigger sports a physical safety and will not fire unless someone pulls the trigger.
Externally the Masada has front and rear cocking serrations, an oversized and undercut trigger guard. The frame also has a high beavertail grip and a full-length accessory rail.
The gun has a fairly low bore axis which can help with felt recoil. The first models will ship with 4.1-inch barrels chambered for 9mm Luger and have a 17+1-round capacity. IWI chose to use polygonal rifling for the barrels for improved performance.
Other specifications include an unloaded weight of about 23 ounces, an overall length of about 7.5 inches and height of around 5.5 inches.
This semi-full-size configuration is increasingly popular with many shooters and agencies. The full-size grip accommodates hands of all sizes — especially with interchangeable backstraps — while the mid-size barrel and slide assembly are easy to carry all day long.
As an added bonus IWI-US says the guns shipping to the U.S. will have 3-dot Meprolight night sights. This is an optional extra for the Masada.
IWI is no stranger to making handguns. The company continues to produce their Jericho family of pistols with steel and polymer frames. Unlike the Masada, the Jericho uses a traditional hammer-fired action based on the CZ-75 design.
We expect to see other Masada configurations down the line. We know IWI-US is working on flat dark earth and olive drab models as well as black. And for now, it makes sense for IWI-US to focus on getting out their flagship model with other versions to come out in the future.