Firearm: IWI Masada (MSRP: $480)
Were it not for the Glock G19X and G45 models, the design of the IWI Masada might seem a bit on the odd side. With a full-size grip housing a double-stack magazine with 17 rounds on board, the Masada is paired with a compact pistol’s shorter barrel—in this case, 4.1 inches. As with the G19X, folks might be pondering why IWI opted for that particular configuration—typically, you see a shorter grip with a longer barrel, not the reverse. While the G19X was specifically designed that way to accommodate the Modular Handgun System requirements for the U.S. Army, it’s unlikely the Masada was engineered for that same reason. It’s more likely the setup was chosen because it’s a good mix of shootability and concealability.
But, funky configuration aside, there’s plenty of other reasons to like the Masada. First, the takedown is analogous the SIG Sauer process, where a takedown lever allows disassembly without pulling the trigger. This is important to some people, so if that’s one of your criteria in your EDC handgun, the Masada checks that box. Next, there are small, medium and large backstraps to better fit the Masada to your hand. Fully ambidextrous controls, a crisp trigger and an accessory rail all help to round out the feature list of the Masada.
Of course, in today’s red-dot crazy world, there’s optics-ready capability as well. The Masada has a distinct slide cut, and comes with four plates for the most popular footprints: Trijicon RMR, Vortex Venom, Leupold Deltapoint and SIG Sauer Romeo 1. The top of the slide has a unique geometric design to help anchor the plates in place, and IWI even gives torque specifications along with Loctite recommendations for fastening. It’s a solid, intuitive setup that makes adding a red-dot optic a fairly painless and simple process.
We’re not quite done, though. The Masada ships with two 17-round magazines (10-round for states that so require) and is available in three different frame colors (black, OD green and flat dark earth). Here’s one of the most impressive things: you get all this for under $500. It’s a heckuva deal, and you might be scratching your head wondering what the catch is—there really isn’t one, except when you consider accessories and the aftermarket. We’ve lamented that finding holsters and parts for guns that aren’t Glocks, M&Ps or P320s can be difficult, and you may have to do a fair amount of online sleuthing to accessorize your Masada.
Holster: KSG Armory Kaery (MSRP: $70)
We’ll start you off with a tip, though, when looking for holsters. If you’re a fan of kydex, KSG Armory has an excellent holster for the Masada in its Kaery model. Offering single-sheet construction, the Kaery can be configured in a number of ways to best suit your carry method. Belt attachment options include the excellent, low-profile DCC monoblock steel clips or pull-the-dot loops. Not only that, but the Kaery is compatible with the PHLster Enigma deep concealment system. The Kaery can be accessorized with a foam wedge for comfort, and can be ordered slightly longer for better leverage in the appendix-carry position.
Designed to be ambidextrous, the Kaery offers a mid-size sweat guard and adjustable retention using a single screw. When carried in the appendix position, a Mod Wing with two different-size blocks can be added to help tuck the holster into the body for optimum concealment. Models are available for a wide variety of firearms, including harder-to-find fits like the Masada, but also some rimfire pistols as well.
Optic: Meprolight MicroRDS (MSRP: $399.99)
I mentioned earlier how the Masada was set up with mounting plates for four popular red-dot footprints. There is another footprint available, though: the Meprolight MicroRDS. The MicroRDS is mounted using a rather unique, throw-lever actuated design rather than screwing directly to a milled slide. This system came about as the MicroRDS was designed to retrofit red-dot capability on non-milled slides using the rear sight dovetail. On such pistols, the rear sight would be removed and the Meprolight mount installed, then the MicroRDS can be attached. For optics-ready pistols, though, there’s a dedicated mounting plate.
With a 3-MOA dot, 10 brightness settings and a top-mounted battery that doesn’t require the sight be removed for changing batteries, the MicroRDS has many of the popular features you’d expect in a pistol-mounted red-dot sight. The ability to add it to a pistol that doesn’t have a dedicated slide cut is a nice feature, but do be aware that it comes at a cost: the MicroRDS does sit quite high on the slide and obstructs the iron sights. It’s by no means a deal-breaker, just something to be considered.