13 Rounds in a Subcompact?!? IWI Masada Slim Mags

Double stack subcompact pistols are all the rage right now, and for good reason. The best ones offer slimness, concealability, ergonomics, and surprisingly high capacities for such small handguns. None of these mighty mites offers better standard capacity than Israel Weapon Industries’ (IWI) excellent Masada 9S Slim. With 13 rounds of 9mm in the mag and one in the chamber, the Masada Slim’s capacity rivals some pistols in the next largest size category.

IWI Masada Slim Magazines
The Masada Slim’s capacity rivals some larger handguns. (Author’s Photo)

Quality Construction

The Masada Slim magazines are feature-rich at a very attractive price. The heat-treated steel body has a corrosion-resistant anti-friction finish for smooth operation and long-lasting reliability. These mags are OEM produced by Mec-Gar of Italy for IWI, which is a good thing indeed. Mec-Gar is among the world’s leading magazine manufacturers, turning out high-quality mags for such names as Beretta, Walther, CZ, and others, as well as IWI.

That quality is evident even before hitting the range. The finish is slick, as are the rear witness holes, which are nicer than those on many mags, costing far more. These mags can be had for around $30, which is significantly less expensive than similar magazines for Sig Sauer’s P365 series. And, honestly, owning a Masada Slim and a P365XL, the IWI mags are a little nicer. They just are. Plus, they hold one round more than the P365 X and XL. They are also every bit as reliable, which we’ll get to momentarily.

IWI Masada Slim Magazines witness holes
The machined witness holes are nice. (Author’s Photo)

Masada Slim Magazine Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 13 rounds
  • Heat-treated steel construction
  • Corrosion-resistant, anti-friction finish
  • Anti-tilt polymer follower
  • Precision-engineered feed lips
  • High-tensile steel spring
  • Removable polymer base plate
  • Cut and textured base plate allows for easy grasping
  • Not compatible with full-sized IWI Masada pistol

On the Range

I’ve owned my Masada Slim for seven months or so. I tested the pistol for review purposes during the last four months. I ran it hard, including not cleaning the gun or the mags. I only used the two mags that came with the gun. The mags and the gun burned through hundreds of rounds without a hiccup. Not one.

IWI Masada Slim Magazines with Magtech ammo
The Masada Slim magazines handled a variety of ammo with no trouble. (Author’s Photo)

The Masada Slim mags performed flawlessly despite being deliberately knocked around during mag changes, kicked through the dirt and mud, and never being serviced or cleaned. I ran 115-grain and 124-grain full metal jacket rounds, as well as some 124-grain jacketed hollow points. The ammunition brands varied, with the Masada Slim getting Federal American Eagle, Magtech, Blazer, Sellier & Bellot, and military surplus rounds. I mixed brands, but not loads. No problems whatsoever.

I also purposely covered piles of ammo with dirt before loading the mags on occasion. As always, I did not try to induce failure by pouring dirt or whatever into the mags or the gun. But the gun ran the dirty ammo, and the mags fed it just fine.

Drilling With the Masada Slim

I’m fortunate to have a range where I can run drills, whether on steel or other targets. The pistol bays are lined with gravel, meaning there’s no real soft spot for ejected mags to land. Those bays are where I ran the Masada Slim most of the time, and I still do.

IWI Masada Slim pistol
We ran the Masada Slim, and its mags, hard on the range. (Author’s Photo)

I’ve picked up several more mags for the pistol since the review testing, and they’ve been run just as hard as the originals. I’ve never had a single problem with any of them. I almost always incorporate mag changes into my drills, so the Masada Slim mags get knocked around. I see my mags as commodities to be used, so I don’t baby them, though I’ll admit to setting two mags aside for carry purposes. Those mags are tested, and I run them, but I don’t beat them up.

One feature I like about the Masada mags, the Slim and the full-sized, is the shallow triangular cutout at the base of the grip. Were one of the mags to hang in the gun, these cutouts are designed to let the shooter grasp the base plate and pull it out manually. The base plates themselves are cut and textured to provide a place to grasp them. I’ve never had to do it, but I like that feature.

High-Quality Magazines

All-in-all, the entire Masada line impresses me. Both the Slim and full-sized models are steals at their $400-450 price point. And the mags are priced similarly, going for around $30. IWI provides lots of value with affordable prices and high quality.

IWI Masada Slim pistol
The Masada Slim is a great pistol, and its mags measure up. (Author’s Photo)

I feel like I should have something at least somewhat negative to say about the Masada Slim magazines, but I don’t. They haven’t given me anything to complain about. They are solidly constructed, eminently reliable, and they are nicer than their main competitor’s magazines. All for a better price. So, I’m not going to manufacture something negative just to tone things down. Sometimes, products really are that good.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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