USA – -(Ammoland.com)- A couple of years ago IWI announced the Masada striker-fired pistol. Unfortunately, the US market would have to wait for their chance to try one out. IWI is known for quality firearms that have a slightly different flavor to them than the competition. The Tavor, Galil ACE, and even the CZ-inspired Jericho pistols all have features that aren't foreign, but offer something a little different. What IWI had been lacking is an affordable option for the mainstream American consumer. Is the Masada that missing option?
IWI Masada ORP 9mm
Three interchangeable and wrap-around back straps, a serialized internal steel chassis, truly ambidextrous controls, optics ready with adapter plates included, and a crisp trigger. Those are features that pistols priced in the $600 range and above offer. The Masada has an MSRP of $480, and has been seen closer to $400 on the shelf. So where did IWI cut costs? IWI makes quality firearms, but budget-friendly is not often a description of the brand. There must have been shortcuts. Determined to find them we took a look at the build quality in the video below.
Some play in the slide-to-frame fit was found, but that's not out of the norm for a duty-level gun. The Sig 320 has the same or more play and was selected by the US Army. It's not that big of a deal to have a little room for debris. The trigger feel is excellent, the finish feels uniquely durable, and ambidextrous controls are ambidextrous out of the box, no tools needed. The interchangeable backstraps actually changed hand placement and fit. Did IWI cut short on reliability to make this gun so affordable?
To find out we took the Masada to the range along with ten different loads of 9mm ammunition ranging in weight from 90gr to 158gr. Bullet profiles included full-metal jackets, hollow points, and those snub-nosed loads that seem to get frustrated in certain magazines or on certain feed ramps. We also tried brass, steel, aluminum, and nickel-plated cases to see how that chamber fit would fare with something other than NATO loads. Results can be seen in the Shooting Impressions video below.
Not a hiccup experienced. The Masada is reliable. The only possible complaint came from the sight system not lending itself to aiming with the level of the sight across the top. For those who haven't tried it, aiming along the top edge of the sights can make for more precise aiming than aligning three round dots. For the Masada, the dots are the way to aim. When handed to our model Spring Frazey who was a new shooter she immediately took to the gun. Easy to handle, easy to aim, and without me mentioning the sights she shot well, hitting much closer to point of aim than Maddy and I did in the video.
The original promotional video depicts the Masada as an elite combat pistol with features to match. The price puts the Masada within range of new shooters as a first pistol. So which one is it? Why not both?
Specifications below were taken directly from the product website.
|Model Number(s)||M9ORP10, M9ORP17|
|Operating System||Striker Fired|
|Magazine Type||IWI, Steel|
|Magazine Capacity||10 Round, 17 Round|
|Barrel Material||Polygonal Rifled, Cold Hammer Forged|
About Graham Baates
“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the local 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .