Initially the design intent of the Masada™ system was to enhance the features of the M16 AR15 rifle.
Many weapon designs were examined throughout the course of research. In each case, features were discovered that were liked and disliked. The goal of Masada™ became clear: Incorporate what Magpul considered the best features of the most successful weapon platforms into a single, unified design. Attempting to retrofit the M16 system with the highly desirable features of a nextgeneration weapon system turned out to be unnecessarily difficult, prohibitively expensive and in the end still fell short of expectations. In March of 2006 the project based upon the M16 AR15 series of rifles was abandoned.
The Masada™ upper receiver is made from high-strength 7000-series aluminum alloy and extruded in a closed-box profile for strength, dimensional consistency, and overall durability. Milled into the top of the receiver is a 37 slot, continuous, military specification 1913 rail for mounting optics. Mounted just forward of this rail is a flip up iron front sight compatible with standard AR15 Assault Rifle rear sights. Bolted into the receiver box are internal receiver rails that are made from heattreated alloy steel and guide the bolt carrier group. Unlike many other weapons, the Masada™ uses a steel-on-steel interface to assure enhanced weapon life and dimensional consistency.