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IWI Masada Review: Optics Ready G19 Killer?

Check out the Masada, IWI's newest 9mm striker-fired handgun. We hands-on test it for reliability, accuracy, ergonomics, and more. Does it beat Glocks G19?

    Check out Johnny putting the IWI Masada through his trials and tests! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get the newest videos each week.

    You’ve likely heard the hype around IWI’s newest offering, a striker-fired, G19-sized, optics ready, pistol for an actually affordable price point.

    Masada on a stump
    New IWI Masada 9mm Pistol

    Sounds too good to be true?

    We got a couple of pre-release pistols in hand for testing and have the real talk about the brand new Masada.

    Table of Contents


    Who Is IWI?

    In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last 80+ years, IWI is the Israel Weapon Industries and they’ve been in the firearms game for a long time now.

    Probably best known for the Tavor, they’ve been a huge name in ammo manufacture, weapons development, and small-arms testing for decades.

    Israeli Forces with Tavor
    Israeli Forces with Tavor

    They know what they are doing and they know how to make a firearm truly combat ready.

    Introducing The Masada

    Named after an ancient fortification, the Masada is everything you would expect from a modern carry/duty firearm. Roughly the same size profile as the Glock 19, this gun is good to go right from the box.

    at Palmetto State Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons


    Great Batman, these gun has features. Basic specs to know, it’s 9mm, short-recoil, and holds 17+1 rounds. Sights a bit basic with a simple 3-dot system, but it also comes optics ready!

    Masada and box

    Plus, you get two of the 17-round steel magazines in the box.

    at GunMag Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Setting the Masada apart from the rest of the market are the 3 interchangeable backstraps (okay, those aren’t really unique – but a nice addition that most others are still missing) and the optics plates that are INCLUDED with the gun.

    From the box the Masada has mounting plates for the Vortex Venom, Sig Romeo1, Leupold DeltaPoint, and Trijicon RMR.

    Everything about the Masada is modern, it’s optics ready, it comes with two mags, it feels great, and of course, it front slide serrations.

    Masada front cuts
    Masada front cuts

    Masada grips are grippy without being a problem either, great balance between the two. If you wanted to run this in a competition, you could get some stippling done – but that isn’t really where the Masada is meant to be.

    masada grip
    Masada grip

    The only thing not great about the package is the packaging itself. Sadly, the box is…very bleh. Ultra-thin cardboard is cheap, but it’s not something we love to see.

    Masada in the box
    Masada in the box (peppers not included)

    However, this was a pre-release model so maybe that will change by the time the Masada hits your LGS.

    Range Report

    Several hundred rounds of CCI 9mm and the Masada ran to perfection. Accurate, reliable, and very comfy to shoot.

    Available Coupons

    Johnny had some slide-lock-back issues after the mag was spent, but these started to resolve themselves near the end of the test. This could very well just be the Masada breaking in.

    The extra backstraps make it easy for all hand sizes to find their perfect grip.

    Masada in the water

    However, the trigger isn’t outstanding. While no EDC gun has a match grade trigger out of the box that we’ve seen, the Masada’s was extra middle-of-the-road. Not bad, not great. Totally acceptable for EDC.

    Masada trigger
    Masada trigger

    Two Frames

    In our video and in our pictures the keen-eyed will note that there are two frame types for the Masada.

    Masada early trigger guard
    Masada early trigger guard

    Note the trigger guard, on one frame it is angled sharply and on one frame it is flat.

    The angled trigger guard was pre-production while the flat guard is the production American version.

    Masada USA guard
    Masada production trigger guard for the American market

    This is done for American style flashlights to give them a solid rear contact point.


    Crazy easy. Really one of the easiest pistols to disassemble on the market.

    masada takedown bar
    Masada takedown bar, so easy!

    Turn the takedown lever, dry fire the pistol, and let the slide slip off the front. Just that simple.

    Price Range?

    The MSRP is at a crazy low $480, but MSRP is rarely the same price as what you’ll see in the store. Since these aren’t on the market yet, we don’t know what street price will be but we’re confident that it will be very affordable.

    For the features that you get (two mags, optics ready, backstraps, etc) this is an outstanding bang-for-your-buck pistol.

    Masada on a stump


    CrossBreed has their SuperTuck Deluxe already available for the Masada. If you’re looking for an awesome IBW hybrid holster – this is our top recommendation.

    at CrossBreed Holsters

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    KSG Armory also has a holster called the Lexington that accommodates the Masada.

    at KSG Armory

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    By The Numbers

    Ergonomics: 4/5

    On some level, you’re gripping a giant piece of plastic. But overall good purchase, great grips, and not much to complain about.

    Accuracy: 4/5

    In the hands of another shooter, it may be higher. But it absolutely did what I asked it to do.

    Customization: 5/5

    As stated above, it is optics ready. Add whatever dot or light you want and you’re good to go!

    Tested Pistol Red Dots
    Pew Pew Tactical Tested Pistol Red Dots

    The fire control group is removable, so we’ll see if any third-parties offer new frames down the road.

    And of course, the rail is able to accept any standard weapon-mounted light! My pick would be the Streamlight TLR-7.

    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Looks: 5/5

    I’m a sucker for the IWI logo, and I think the new Masada branding is clean.

    Value: 5/5

    It’s $480 (or less now). Done.

    Overall: 4.5/5

    IWI Masada Gun Deals

    Palmetto State Armory
    Kentucky Gun Co
    Grab A Gun
    Firearms Depot
    Rainier Arms
    Sportsmans Warehouse
    Sportsmans Guide Save $50
    Daniel Defense
    AR15 Discounts
    Aero Precision
    Primary Arms
    Ammunition Depot

    Parting Shots

    The IWI Masada is a really compelling EDC gun that’s geared for any role you would normally see a G19, but upgraded in nearly every way. Optics ready, railed for a flashlight, nicely designed, and under $480. We wait for further long-term reliability reports and holster accommodation.

    Masada with ammo

    While we ran over 500 rounds though the Masada, that is a tiny number in the grand scale. We’ll stay on top of other range reports and your comments to track just how well the Masada does once it is out in the wild.

    But so far – we are very impressed!

    What do you look for in a modern pistol? Do you stick with old faithful designs still? Let us know in the comments! Check out our go-to Best CCW Guns (By Caliber).

    If you own this gun, help us out by rating and reviewing it below!

    IWI Masada

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    Own this gun? Add your rating!

    Rating score


    1 rating

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    51 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar

      How does the Masada compare to the Walther PDP? Has anyone noticed any trouble with the slide failing to lock back at the end of the magazine?

      August 8, 2023 11:59 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Great ergonomics, good out of the box features and it would definitely "kill" Glock for me if it wasn't for a lack of replacement parts (out of stock at IWI even), limited customization and upgradeability and holster options. Sadly a big thumbs down for what could be a great gun.

      April 29, 2023 7:24 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Yeah I am Canadian and wish I got a Glock before Turdeau banned all handgun's sale for law-abiding citizens.. The Masada is a great gun but as you said there is not much to do with customization, upgrade and holster options. Shooting is only half the fun of owning a gun in Canada.. Customizing, accessories is the other half.. with the Glock you have so many options of Calibre Conversion chassis like the Mirco Roni, etc.. which I think is great for home defense.

        August 20, 2023 10:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      John Weber

      I just now put a Masada on layaway. I'm a big fan of Glocks. I own a Glock 22 gen4, G44, G42 and a G48 that my wife uses. However being the victim of a texting driver, I've had spinal neck surgery and permanent nerve damage. As a result I'm having problems retracting the slide on my Glock 22 and my 1911. My Sig P250 subcompact 9mm slide is easy to retract and I find the Masada is easy to retract the slide on.

      November 28, 2022 12:23 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Joe Somebody

      The IWI Masada is a seriously impressive pistol. It's very comfortable to shoot, extremely reliable, and deadly accurate. I have put thousands of rounds through mine after owning it for about 6 months now and I have not had a single malfunction. I really have grown to love and appreciate everything about this weapon the more I use it. I have a vortex venom on it and I feel comfortable taking very long shots ( for pistol) and impressing anyone that is watching me. I cannot say enough good things about this pistol - I just wish more people knew about it !

      August 27, 2020 11:19 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jim McGinn

      I really like my Masada. 100% reliable so far with about 700 rounds. I have a Vortex Venom on it and it has very good accuracy (I only shot it out to 25 yards). I received an LE/Mil discount through Prove Outfitters and it was only $384

      July 27, 2020 7:33 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Charles Onderdonk

      I love my IWI Masada- I prefer it over my glock hands down. Here is why.

      Masada has
      - better grips
      - better barrel
      - better sights
      - better slide release
      - better disassembly
      -better accuracy
      - comes with a optics cut
      - better looking

      I do not know why but I shoot the Masada so much better than my Glock, it feels better in my hand, it shoots better, and I am far more accurate.

      June 19, 2020 8:38 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Waaaaay too much ads to make out this article..!!!

      March 29, 2020 10:18 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm going to start putting sayings "Glock Killer" and "CZ or Canik as replacing Glock" up there with "Computers will eliminate paperwork", "We will be on the metric system within the decade" and "Soccer will be the most popular sport in the United States in 20 years" . The first two are recent lies, the last three I've been hearing since the 70's

      November 17, 2019 5:25 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Doc Glock

        Do you own one of these? Because since I've purchased my IWI Masada I have not wanted to fire a single round out of any of my glocks. I've started not even packing them in my range back when I go. The IWI Masada IS a glock killer, it's got way more features, is much more comfortable to shoot, I don't have to spend an extra $300 to get my slide cut to mount and optic on it, and its got much better grips. There is no question - that this pistol beats a glock in every single category.

        August 27, 2020 11:23 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I’ve had mine for a few months. I just put a vortex venom on it and although my precision went down the gun is very accurate. The red dot shows my flaws but I’m quicker on target and my grouping is damn good at ten and 25 yards. It’s a solid piece of equipment. Has me wanting to buy a second one or maybe they will make a compact that will make me give up my Glock 43x.

      November 7, 2019 5:15 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Steve Fogg

      The trigger shoe on my Masada is the most uncomfortable that I have ever experienced on a handgun. It is made of metal and has a fairly pronounced curve to it. The trigger safety is also metal and sticks out below the bottom of the shoe. After firing 10-15 rounds my finger feels uncomfortably pinched. Has anyone else noticed this as an issue?

      October 31, 2019 5:42 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Scott Carlson

        I have as well Steve! Had mine for a few hundred rounds and definitely looking for trigger upgrades already! I am using the Venom optic and I'm still getting used to that (1st time using an optic).

        December 26, 2019 8:42 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Paul H

      Just purchased this today for 460.00 USD. It is much more pronounced and slightly bigger than my Urban Gray EDC Glock 19 but the ergonomics are astoundingly good. This is a HIGH quality gun that is battle ready and a nice compliment to my Tavor X95. I am partial to XDs and CZs so this gun borrows heavily from the feel and weight of the prior mentioned. So glad I was able to get this! Mostly every other manufacturer gives you more out of the box than Glock and this is proof positive.

      October 16, 2019 9:07 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Richard Vest

      My Masada is a pos
      Bought it 9/14/19
      Shot it ,couldn't disassemble it
      Bad locking block
      Returned 9/19 to iwi
      Still waiting
      Not happy

      October 8, 2019 10:34 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Mine was buggy too - sent it back and I got the item returned - report from their gunsmith said the trigger bar was bent - replaced and 17 rounds fired through it at their place - yet to take mine to the range, but it should fare well.

        October 17, 2019 8:00 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Optics plates come with screws and Allen wrench. The grip back strap pin requires 2.5mm punch. The sights can be swapped. It does come with an IWI sticker in the box. Yes this is a very nice gun. The trigger is extremely nice IMHO regardless what some claim (read a lot of reviews and most claim the trigger is just okay at best. Many guns on the market have longer and heavier pulls, like a SW40). It is very easy to take this pistol apart like stated. Not sure about the easiest, but it’s pretty easy and simple.

      The only thing I dislike is it’s still new so the future for options is vague. Overseas has different colors. So far it’s only black on the US market. Rumors of all sorts of swap-able parts blah blah. I think the chassis system was designed to be easier for manufacturing to introduce different variants based on regions like how we have “an American market”. It’s slightly different than Israeli versions I am assuming. I don’t believe this gun have a cache of different parts to mix and match to customize. I believe this is it. Might get colors but I doubt a shorter magazine with grip conversion for CC or different threaded barrels, etc.

      October 3, 2019 3:07 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Adam Clark

      Idk if I’d call this a glock 19 competitor. It seems more like a glock 45 or 17 size to me. Still seems nice though

      September 9, 2019 1:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      For me I never use the box again, but, if it's a nice box I hate to just throw it away. So I guess the crappy cardboard boxes create less clutter in my house. They go out with the trash. Better still if the price gets reduced by just giving us the cardboard.

      August 12, 2019 3:58 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Tyrone boy

        I have a corner in my closet full of plastic cases top to bottom and a couple of cardboard boxes. If a manufacturer can cut the cost by giving me cardboard, then I am fine with that. I don't need a holster, loader, lock etc. in a box that just adds to the cost that I will never use anyway.

        September 6, 2019 9:36 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm I the only one who believes that this is more of a G19X/G45 competitor... Full size grip 17rd and a 4" barrel.... Just my two cents, I'll wait for the "compact grip" to become available before crowning it the go to CCW gun. It's a duty gun like the G19X/G45

      August 4, 2019 3:19 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      R. Corrino

      Probably a futile hope that we will be getting this in California.

      July 31, 2019 8:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I see one issue already. it's not a 1911 and its dont fire a 45acp. I guess it would be a good gun for plinking.

      LOL, honestly it looks like a neat firearm, and IWI I am sure has done its homework as to the function of this pistol. For the price its right on point to keep pace with similar pistols in that caliber. I hope that it isnt a flash in the pan and proves itself out in the real world.

      July 30, 2019 7:45 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      We're in a Golden Age of Guns and IWI has just added another quality handgun to choose from. All these choices ...keep it coming!

      July 28, 2019 6:24 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      "...pull trigger, gun goes bang." I totally agree. Why make religion out of firearm preference? If one person prefers Glock because he/she fires it well, why does another person take offense because he/she fires IWI well?

      It would be the same if two carpenters got in a fight over which brand of hammer makes a better carpenter.

      Use the tool with which you get the job done. Respect the other person that gets that same job done but with a different tool.

      July 26, 2019 7:31 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Amen brother!

        July 27, 2019 6:27 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Estwing....nuff' said

        August 12, 2019 10:42 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jim Bennett

      I have been a Glock fan for years. Currently own three. Look forward to trying a Masada. No other brand of pistols I have tested caused me to consider buying one.

      July 26, 2019 6:33 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Care less about the box it comes in, that will gather dust on a shelf somewhere. G19g4 packer here, will give this one a hard look for recommendations.
      PPQ's and CZ P10c's are gonna be a hard act to follow.

      July 26, 2019 6:24 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Christian Poulin

      Hi guys
      I haven't seen the barrel length. Just curious to know if it will be available in Canada.

      July 26, 2019 6:11 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Graham Cooke

        I checked the IWI stats and the barrel is 102mm which makes it a "hair" shorter than the Canadian approved "Restricted" Glock 19 Gen4 edition - without a threaded barrel.
        It will make it to market in the USA first but Canada, it remains to be seen.

        - just providing my expert opinion based on research and experience as a former Cabelas Gun Counter outfitter.

        July 31, 2019 9:48 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          check out red deer shooting centre they have them for sale

          August 5, 2019 8:25 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      James Bentley

      I watched the video review of the IWI Masada. The pistol itself appears to be terrific. As far as the box is concerned. I prefer a container that I can carry to the range and/or if need be return with the pistol for (Hopefully never) repair.

      July 26, 2019 6:07 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Johnathan G White

      I would like to give this weapon a good run. How would I be able to acquire this weapon.
      I like a lot of people own a Glock 19 Gen 4. In addition to that, I just purchased a Walther PPQ M2 9MM. My Walther is the one I lean more to favor. My Sig P239 40 cal is a solid pistol, but the New offering of the Masada being from IWI sounds like it would be a nice addition.

      July 26, 2019 5:28 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Gavin M Lantry

      Another repackaged glock so not a killer but a redesign is more like it...

      July 25, 2019 10:56 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      J Isbell

      I would love to get one! Right now my EDC guns are a SCCY CPX2 and a Ruger LCP2 as a pocket gun. As to the packaging thing both my SCCY and Ruger came in a not very sturdy cardboard box. I was never a fan of the plastic blow molded cases either.

      July 25, 2019 7:07 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        You carry turds.

        March 31, 2023 10:01 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eli Rodriguez

      Don’t think this is a Glock killer at all and I am not a Glock fan . I like Sig Sauer and their new P 320 X5 . Check that one out . It is a pricier pistol than this Masada but you get what you pay for . The X5 is more a Glock killer IMHO.

      July 25, 2019 7:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      J Sanders

      Would LOVE to "Test Drive" one of these!!!

      July 25, 2019 4:03 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike Moser

      CZ already unseated the GLOCK.

      July 25, 2019 3:58 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I agree! Chose the CZ P-10c over the Glock 19 for EDC two years ago, and couldn't be any happier with that decision. Now looking at the P-10s for carry during warmer months. However, there's always room for another great choice in that compact size category and IWI makes great stuff.

        July 25, 2019 8:39 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Thaddeus Jackson

      I don't agree with this whole G19 killer. Yes there are quite a few amazing firearms on the market. Glock had done some amazing things with there pistol's throughout the years. With that said!! So have several other firearm manufacturer's. Every pistol may fit the next person different. Not one shooter is the same. To each is there own. As for this pistol being a Glock killer. I seriously doubt that. Yes it may be a good pistol but so isn't Glock and several others.

      July 25, 2019 11:50 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Seems like they trying to mix the CZ100 and the GLOCK 19.

      2ND CHOICE CZ75 for sport

      July 24, 2019 11:12 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jeff M

      Hmmm. Haven't heard of IWI. The Galil, Jerico or Tavor bull pup? Just to name a few. Oh, sorry, only Glock makes guns.. Not a Glock hater, pull trigger, gun goes bang.. Does what it should, others do too, The Galil is one of the best close-quarter combat rifles out there. Can't be bad coming from a country that knows a thing or two about war. (Refer to the Old Testament if you're in doubt)

      July 24, 2019 4:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      "In case you've been living in a cave for the last 80 years..." Guess I have because I didn't know who the hell IWI was. After reading this article, I still don't care. It will not be a "Glock killer."

      July 24, 2019 2:15 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        How do you not know who IMI/IWI is?

        March 31, 2023 10:04 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      No, it won't be. There are so many articles about new pistols going back many year saying "is this the new Glock killer?" None of them have been. This won't be either.

      July 24, 2019 1:59 pm