A local shop had the Masada ORP in yesterday and after playing with it at the shop, I decided to buy that gun today. There was another shop which had one but I like this shop better. The guy listed it for $468 ($480 MSRP) and after some halfhearted dickering, I paid $500 OTD. I could probably have knocked the dude down another $20, but it really doesn't save me squat. Plus the dude gave me some discounts on .38 Super ball ammo before, so all is good in my balancing sheet.
For those who MUST know the particulars, here's the link to IWI US. https://iwi.us/product/m9orp17/
Also, plenty of YouTube videos on the Masada already available. This range report is of my own opinions, and I'm NOT what you'd call an expert.
This is the first plastic striker fired service pistol I've bought since probably 2015. There were the Kahr CW9, the two Glock 43 and a Glock 26 but they are subcompacts. The last plastic service pistol that I bought was the CZ Phantom, but it was DASA and not striker fired. The APX, the various new XDs and Glocks, the CZ P10, the Canikses, the Archon B, etc., just didn't get my juice running, so what's so special about this Masada?
I must admit that I do have a rather significant affinity towards IWI smallarms, but I didn't go with the Jericho because it's a CZ75 knockoff. The Galil ACEs are AK knockoffs yet I bought a slew of them, so what gives? I just simply don't like the Jericho despite the cool name. Who knows, I might just buy one yet for the cool name. Anyway, the Masada just grabbed my attention in a certain way. Being an IWI product certainly helps. The cool name certainly helps (defiance in the face of overwhelming odds, death before dishonor), and let's be realistic here - the low price was what sold me. Say what you will about IWI, but they don't use customers for beta testing.
Amazingly enough I bought this gun from a shop that didn't have hot sales chicks - highly unusual. Enough bantering, let's get into the meat of it.
1. Nice cardboard box. Seriously, the thing looks like a million bucks. Nice fonts, nice graphics, avant garde looking. The description said "no safety assy". Does this mean there's a safety lever model on the horizon?
2. Industrial looking design that's more or less par for the course. Not quite ugly but nothing dramatic either. I don't know why but the gun looks "blocky" to me. Probably no more or less than a typical plastic phantastic but it does look blocky. I'm too used to Colts and CZs. The Beretta 92 is thick as hell, but the design doesn't lend itself to looking like a Lego block. Anyway, that's the typical design nowadays for service plastic pistols.
3. The black finish is evenly applied. I don't know what it is but it has the looks and feels of a current production miracle coating type.
4. Magazines are made in Italy, probably by Mec-Gar. The mag base has ledges on both left and right sides to be used as finger gripping points to rip them out of the gun if jammed.
5. Machining is rather well executed. No swirl marks that I can see of. Please take note that the interior photos are taken in my hotel room and after the shooting session, hence the lubricant and carbon. The gun came dry as a bone. I had to do a quick lube job at the shooting range's parking lot.
6. Polygonal rifling with barely a touch of a crown. This is where I wish that IWI would have put more crown on the muzzle.
7. Captive recoil spring with plastic guide rod. Nothing exotic or new here.
8. Plastic modular frame that is detachable from the firing mechanism/chassis. The stippling at the front and back straps are more aggressive than the stippling on the sides, but neither are very aggressive. Not as slick as snort but not a cheese grater either. The gun came with the medium backstrap mounted and the large and small ones in the box. Medium fits me well enough that I might not have to employ the small backstrap like I usually do to other pistols.
9. The mag wall is very thin, and while it doesn't have a flared mag well, it does have a sort of mag guide with the protrusion at the backstrap. Wilson Combat makes a similar mag guide for Beretta 92-series. Since that the magazine base plate has the ledges to aid in jammed mag removal, a flared mag well would have defeat that purpose.
10. The Masada’s trigger pull is nice. I’d even say that it is ridiculously good for a service pistol. Better than the Steyr (not by much), better than the VP9, better than M&P CORE Pro, Glock 17/26/43, XDM, FNS and possibly better than the PPQ (upon reflection, not quite).
The dingus/dongle’s safety deactivation doesn’t have any Glock like weird crunchy feel. It’s just a smooth take up. The break is literally glass rod crisp. Reset is just a hair longer than the Glock but very tactile and positive.
11. Sights are okay service three dots type. Not great, not bad. Gives good sight picture AFTER I blacked out the annoying and distracting white dots. Also, it's too late now to find out but I "think" the white dots are the luminous type (not tritium).
12. Very low bore axis due to the sharp angle of the grip and how it meets the frame to give the shooter a very high grip.
13. The ambidextrous mag release buttons will take some use to because the activation movement requires a strange inward and slightly downward application of force. Since that the buttons are on both sides, I thought that I could try to release the mag via my index button ala HK paddle style. Didn't quite work out that way - too awkward of a movement for my index finger to do.
As always, somehow I kept buying guns at the end of the day and having to rush out to a local range to do some quick blasting. With but an hour left at a local indoors range, I blazed a few rounds through the gun with some basic drills. Nothing fancy.
Ammo were Winchester 115-grains FMJ in brown boxes that resemble military packaging, ORR Tactical 115-grains FMJ remanufactured, and Super Vel 90-grains +P JHP. I saw the Super Vel ammo and had to try some. The current Super Vel has no relationship with the original and well defunct Super Vel ammo, but the classic yellow box is still cool as hell. For those who are interested in new Super Vel ammo, here's the link to the website. https://www.supervelammunition.com/
Super Vel website claimed that the 90-grainers is a screamer and still fast as hell out of subcompacts, and they do recommend it to be used in subcompacts. I'll try it out in my P365 to see if it'd reliably work the gun, but that's a story for a different day.
ORR Tactical is a veteran owned shop that loads ammo and makes/assembles AR15s. The two boxes of 9mm that I got (147-grainers which I already shot) had mixed brass stamps, clearly remanufactured ammo. However they all went bang and with decent accuracy so I'm not complaining much. They do cost a couple of bucks more than Winchester/Federal though. Take it for what it is. http://www.orrtactical.com/about-us
No malfunctions of any sort, but really, with only 150-rounds spent I expected no issues. Nonetheless, the Super Vel 90-grainers has short overall length and I feared it might hang up on the feed ramp. Nope, worked like a charm.
Started out at 7-yards slow fire for familiarization. Interestingly enough, when I was playing with the gun and dry fired it without actually aiming at a target, the break of the trigger pull felt light. However, when you're on target and took up the slack (deactivated the internal safety), the break wasn't as light as I thought. Totally acceptable for a duty pistol/self-defense pistol. The smooth takeup actually threw me off with the first group because I was expecting the crunchiness of the trigger travel/dingus travel/whatchamacallit.
Second and third groups were still disappointing though the third group showed some promise. At that point, I decided to black out the white dots and damn if it didn't work out like a champ with the 4th group.