by Paolo Valpolini
In November 2017, Israel Weapons Industries part of the SK Group, unveiled its first-ever striker pistol, the Masada. The new handgun is chambered for the 9 x 1 9 mm round and is a full-size-frame weapon.
IWI designed the Masada in order to fill a gap in its catalogue, the company considering that more and more customers are looking for a one-stop-shop, which IWI, with its sister company Meprolight active in the sight design, definitely is, the SK group probably lacking only an ammunition company. Fully ambidextrous, the Masada is fitted with numerous safety mechanisms, including a firing pin block safety, a trigger reset with built-in trigger safety, and a fast, easy and safe takedown. Moreover, the Masada is available both with and without a manual safety. It is fitted with an external extractor integrated with a tactile and visual loaded chamber indicator. Overall the Masada is 186.4 mm long, the cold hammer-forged polygonal rifled barrel is 104 mm long; the magazine hosts 17 rounds, plus eventually one in the chamber. The Masada is fitted with iron sights with a dovetail allowing to install a reflex sight, i.e. Meprolight RDS red dot sight, a three-dot tritium sight being proposed as an option. The glass-reinforced polymer frame allows to contain the weight in 650 grams without magazine; the chassis is removable and carries the serial number, thus allowing to replace the frame when needed. As usual for the company IWI gave high importance to ergonomy, adopting i.e. improved front and rear cocking serrations, three interchangeable wrap-around back-straps, while the low barrel axis for reduced recoil. The Masada will be available since early 2018 and it will be produced in four colours, sniper grey, olive drab green, black, and flat dark earth.