IWI Masada Slim

IWI Masada Slim

By: Dave Bahde

IWI gives us a new high-quality, high-reliability, high-performance, highly affordable carry gun

As carry pistols continue to change, there seem to be a few constants; they are largely polymer, chambered in 9mm, striker-fired, compact, and carry at least ten rounds. It has been interesting to watch everything shrink, then grow, only to settle on a compromise between weight, capacity, practical usage, and the ability to support an RDS (Red Dot Sight). Several self-defense/concealed-carry pistols have come out in the last few years that really shine; small and light enough to carry all day but also large enough to shoot well, have usable sights, a good trigger, ten-round or more capacity, and the ability to accept common RDS’s. One of the newest is the Masada S (Slim) from IWI USA, and it is proving to be an excellent example of what has become the most popular pistol of the day. Better yet? At an MSRP of $450, it’s also one of the best deals going for a high-quality, high-reliability, high-performance carry gun.

The IWI Masada Slim ships with two 13-round magazines, which load to total capacity very easily, unlike many other pistols in this size/capacity segment. Grip texturing is comfortable in hand and while carrying concealed within the waistband.

IWI Masada Slim

A continuation of the very popular full-size Masada 9mm pistol, the new Masada Slim is just that — a trimmed and slimmed-down version optimized for concealed carry. Its 13-round magazines provide ample capacity for self-defense or concealed-carry situations. Striker-fired, it has an excellent flat-style trigger, its polymer lower keeps things lightweight, and it’s ready to accept an RDS with the popular RMS Shield optics cut. The front sight is a large and highly-visible Meprolight Hyper Brite orange-ring night sight, and the rear U-notch sight is equipped with Tritium inserts. With a 3.4-inch barrel and grip size facilitating a solid grip for even large hands, the Masada S is accurate and comfortable to shoot. Built to IWI’s long-held standard of operating under harsh conditions, it’s also very rugged and reliable.

With its Meprolight Hyper Bright night sights and popular RMS Shield optics cut, the entire sighting system of the Masada Slim is as good or better than its competitors. A Riton Tactix MPRD 2 mini red-dot sight was used throughout testing and (just barely) co-witnessed with the gun’s iron sights.

Range Time

Testing was completed largely with a Riton Tactix MPRD 2 mini red-dot sight. The pistol’s basic shape allowed me to use a couple of different holsters successfully, one for a Glock G43 and the other for a Springfield Hellcat. Downrange precision was excellent, with my best five-shot group at 15 yards coming from Hornady 135 grain Critical duty, measuring 1.50 inches. The other three loads tested — Federal’s 124-grain +P HST, Federal’s HST 147-grain, and Wilson Combat’s 95-grain Tac XPD — all turned in best groups measuring under two inches. I had no issues staying on the 6-inch steel at 25 yards, and even at 50 yards, hits were pretty consistently-centered on an IPSC-sized steel target. The trigger is excellent for a factory unit — crisp, no crunch, predictable, and the flat face is nice. Recoil is manageable, accuracy under rapid fire was excellent, and overall shooting comfort was very good — even with +P ammunition, including Federal’s hot 124-grain +P HST. The best combination of lack-of-recoil and shooting comfort was Wilson Combat’s Barnes TAC-XP 95-grain load. I run this Wilson load in my current EDC; it shoots flat, fast, and accurate — especially in these shorter barrels.

Controls are large, easy-to-reach, with positive function, and leave no room for negative criticism from this author. The factory trigger is also excellent, with a predictably crisp, no-grit pull, a short reset, and a flat face for a nice bonus.

Bottom Line

Checking all the critical boxes and doing it at a very reachable price, IWI is giving us a lot of pistol for the money with the new Masada Slim. Its size and weight make it very comfortable to carry, and in fact, the more I tested it, the less it left my hip. Like many pistols this size, it worked well both inside the waistband and out. Its iron night sights are full-sized, easy to see, and just barely co-witnessed with the Riton Tactix MPRD 2 red dot sight, making it possible to transition from dot to iron’s if need be. The Masada S ships with two 13-round flush-fit magazines and, like everything IWI makes, is ready to go to work right out of the box. See one at your nearest dealer, or for more information, contact IWI; Tel.: (717) 695-2081; E-mail: [email protected]; Web: www.iwi.us


At 15 yards, the Masada Slim proved to be an excellent performer, with its best five-shot group shown here, printed with Hornady’s 135-grain Critical duty load.

Action: Semi-auto/striker-fired

Cartridge: 9mm

Barrel Length: 3.40 inches, stainless steel

Overall Length: Approx. 6.25 inches

Width: Approx. 1.0 inch

Height: Approx. 4.80 inches

Weight: 1.27-pounds

Finish: Black Melonite

Sights: Tritium/luminescent front; Tritium U-dot rear

Capacity: 13+1 rounds

MSRP: $450

Recoil and muzzle rise were very manageable, rapid-fire accuracy was excellent, and overall shooting comfort was very good — even with the hotter +P ammunition used during testing, to include Federal’s 124-grain +P HST.