[Review] IWI Masada: Optics Ready G19 Killer?

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.

But to really see it in action, check out Johnny putting it through his trials and tests!

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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.


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.

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.

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

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.

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. Done.

Overall: 4.5/5

Parting Shots

IWI is a great company and their introduction of a really compelling EDC pistol is awesome to see. This is clearly geared for any role that you would see a G19 in but upgraded in nearly every way.

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).

29 Leave a Reply

  • Daddydogpt

    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.

    1 second ago
  • GCSD71

    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

    1 week ago
  • R. Corrino

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

    1 week ago
  • spacecadet

    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.

    1 week ago
  • JimyP

    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!

    2 weeks ago
  • David

    "...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.

    2 weeks ago
    • Jesus

      Estwing....nuff' said

      5 hours ago
    • Arthur

      Amen brother!

      2 weeks ago
  • 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.

    2 weeks ago
  • TxDoubleAgent

    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.

    2 weeks ago
  • Christian Poulin

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

    2 weeks ago
    • 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.

      1 week ago
      • JD

        check out red deer shooting centre they have them for sale

        1 week ago
  • 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.

    2 weeks ago
  • 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.

    2 weeks ago
  • Gavin M Lantry

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

    2 weeks ago
  • 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.

    2 weeks ago
  • 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.

    2 weeks ago
  • J Sanders

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

    2 weeks ago
  • Mike Moser

    CZ already unseated the GLOCK.

    2 weeks ago
    • C4BZ

      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.

      2 weeks ago
  • 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.

    2 weeks ago
  • Santosh

    Seems like they trying to mix the CZ100 and the GLOCK 19. I STILL PREFER THE GLOCK. 2ND CHOICE CZ75 for sport

    2 weeks ago
  • 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)

    2 weeks ago
  • Notaglockkiller

    "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."

    2 weeks ago
  • QuietM4

    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.

    2 weeks ago
  • Rod

    It's not a Glock, looks like something Ruger would put out, I put it in the fudd Territory right next to Xd's

    2 weeks ago
    • D

      Watch yo lip fanboy

      2 weeks ago
    • Shiro

      Uh, no kidding? Because it's not a Glock, you're immediately saying it's trash? Fanboy much?

      2 weeks ago
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