Located in southern Israel on the edge of the Judean Desert, a massive plateau overlooks the Dead Sea. Despite cliff walls scaling 1,300-feet, the geological structure known as Masada — Hebrew for “fortress” — was further fortified by Herod the Great of the Roman Empire in the early first century BCE.

Though disputed ancient stories tell of a revolt and its siege, Masada is now a protected National Park and one of Israel’s most popular tourist destinations. A natural landmark for centuries, today, the MASADA is also a landmark handgun from IWI US, the U.S.-based arm of Israel Weapon Industries (IWI).

A New Competitor

Imported stateside beginning in 1990, the hammer-fired Jericho 941 was American gun owners’ first introduction to IWI handguns. Based on the popular CZ-75 short recoil system, the Jericho proved reliable, accurate and of quality construction. Three decades later, amid a growing market of polymer, striker fired, semi-auto handguns dominated by the likes of GLOCK, Smith & Wesson and SIG SAUER, IWI US has introduced a strong new competitor — the 9mm MASADA.

Measuring 7.4 inches long, 5.6 inches tall and 1.34 inches wide, weighing just under 23 ounces empty, the MASADA is a full-size gun built around a serialized steel trigger housing inside a fiberglass-reinforced polymer frame. The result is a rugged gun easy to disassemble and service.

Inside the steel slide sits a low bore axis 4.1-inch cold-hammer forged barrel with polygonal rifling, aiding in perceived recoil reduction for faster follow-up shots from the 17-round steel magazines (10-round magazines are also available). Sharp fixed 3-dot sights, a crisp 6-pound trigger — featuring trigger blade safety — and an ergonomic grip with deep beavertail and adjustable backstraps add to the pistol’s accuracy potential.

And as expected of new modern handguns, the MASADA is also factory optics-ready and compatible with the Trijicon RMR, Vortex Venom, Leupold Delta Point Pro and SIG ROMEO1 via provided mounting plates and hardware for its Optics Ready Pistol (ORP) slide.

Fully ambidextrous controls, including slide stop and magazine release, front slide serrations, large trigger guard and 4-slot Picatinny underrail are also welcomed features on a gun that carries an MSRP of just $480.

Designing A Fortress

Engineered to endure tough service use and harsh conditions with careful design input from military, law enforcement and civilians, the MASADA combines IWI’s legendary attention to detail, quality and reliability with needs of gun owners to create a high-performance handgun that can stand strong against the competition.

Some might call it a fortress.

For more info: www.iwi.us, Ph. (717) 695-2081