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Israel's IWI adds polymer Masada side arm, updates legacy Jericho

IWI’s new 9X19 mm Masada pistol adds a striker-fired weapon to complement IWI’s legacy Jericho pistol, which is also being upgraded.

Jericho is manufactured in polymer and steel variants, but IWI had mainly left pistols aside to focus on carbines and rifles, Ronen Hamudot, IWI marketing and sales executive, told reporters on 23 September. Recently, however, the company developed the polymer Masada pistol as part of an effort to penetrate the US market.

It was released in 2018 and “thousands” have been purchased by military customers so far, said Hamudot, who declined to name the customers.

IWI’s 9 mm Masada pistol, shown with a Meprolight red-dot sight. (IHS Markit/Dan Wasserbly)

IWI’s 9 mm Masada pistol, shown with a Meprolight red-dot sight. (IHS Markit/Dan Wasserbly)

The Masada is an ambidextrous pistol and has added front and rear cocking serrations to past IWI designs. For safety, if a magazine is inside, the takedown lever will not come down; the user can remove the slide without pulling the trigger, also for safety; and there is a firing pin blocker that is only removed upon pulling the trigger, an IWI spokesperson told Jane’s .

The pistol’s chassis – its serialised part – can be removed from an external shell. The shell’s grip can be changed to three sizes, and it has a large-sized trigger guard for use with gloves. There is a Picatinny rail under the front barrel.

Masada comes with a polygonal rifled, cold hammer forged barrel with 1:10 RH twist rate, a company factsheet said. The pistol has a 104 mm barrel, 189 mm total length, and weighs about .65 kg without a magazine. Masada’s magazine holds 17 rounds, and its average trigger pull is from 5.5 to 7 lb, it added

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