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Mossberg MC2c 9mm Pistol Review

Handguns by nature are a compromise; there is a trade-off between portability and shootability. Somewhere in the middle is a sweet spot, and the Mossberg MC2c 9mm pistol just may have landed there.

Mossberg MC2c 9mm Pistol Review
Photo by Mark Fingar

While Mossberg may be best known for their shotguns and long guns, the introduction of the MC1 sub-compact pistol in 2019 demonstrated that Mossberg could deliver a high quality handgun at a working man’s price. The Mossberg MC2c 9mm pistol compliments the line-up with a slightly larger pistol that’s been designed from the ground up to not only conceal well, but also to shoot and handle well.

If concealability was the only concern, then the smaller the pistol, the better off you are. The unfortunate reality of things, however, is that as the pistol gets smaller, it becomes much more difficult to not only shoot well, but also to manipulate well. Short sight radiuses make for a more challenging shot, small magazine wells make for challenging reloads, and small slides make for more challenging malfunction clearances, should the need arise. Another issue with sub-compact pistols is that they are slower to draw from concealment because there is less grip area to grasp during the draw.

With the MC2c, the engineers at Mossberg took all of this into account and designed the pistol to find that sweet spot of concealability, portability and shootability. With an overall weight of 21 ounces unloaded, a height of 4.9 inches and a length of 7.1 inches, the pistol compares favorably to mainstays in the category, like the traditional commander sized 1911, or the more modern Glock 48. The stainless steel, DLC coated slide houses a 4-inch barrel, which is what I consider to be the very best length for a pistol that is intended to be both carried often and shot often.

While pistols with sub-4-inch barrels are not necessarily less accurate than pistols with at least 4-inch barrels, the practical effect of a stubby barrel is that they are often more difficult to shoot due to the abbreviated sight radius. It is also a mistake to think that pistols with a 4-inch tube are somehow more difficult to conceal than sub-compacts, as the barrel is not generally the part of the gun that “prints” in a concealment. An added benefit for those that carry concealed in the appendix position, is that a 4-inch barrel provides enough leverage between the body and the belt to keep the grip from pushing out against a cover garment, or “levering out,” which happens easily with a smaller barrel, especially if you haven’t been skipping dessert. 

Mossberg MC2c
Magazines are made of steel and lend to the thin grip frame. The flush-fit mag holds 13 rounds while the extended carries 15. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The black, glass filled polymer frame features a generous beavertail, which should protect even a very large hand from the dreaded railroad tracks caused by the slides rearward movement. The trigger guard also is a good size without being comically large, and the dustcover just forward of the trigger guard features a Picatinny rail. Like the MC1, the MC2 has areas of Mossberg’s signature grip texture molded into the frame. This texture feels slightly more aggressive than the texture on the MC1, and a small gripe is that I wish there was more of it, especially in the area above the magazine release button. The magazine release button is steel, reversible and easily accessible, even for shooters with smaller hands. The narrow stocks house a steel, flush-fit 13 round magazine that give this very concealable pistol a considerable payload in comparison to others in its category. A slightly longer magazine with a 15-round capacity also is available without sacrificing much concealability.

Mossberg MC2c
The triggerguard of the MC2c is generous, but not so large that it hinders concealability. The trigger is flat faced, too, with safety. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The company's engineers certainly understand what it takes to make a good striker-fired trigger. The Mossberg MC2c 9mm pistol features the same flat-profiled trigger of the MC1, which is a very nice touch for a stock gun. The trigger itself breaks consistently at right around 5.5 pounds with the typical striker fired take-up, but with very little of that dreaded striker fired over travel. The trigger is smooth through its length of travel and there’s not much noticeable stacking as it breaks. Reset is short and tactile, and while the concept of shooting to reset is a topic for another day, those that shoot in that manner will find this trigger comforting.

Mossberg MC2c
Photo by Mark Fingar

The devil really is in the details. Rounding up the specifications, the slide features Mossberg’s signature serrations both fore and aft, and I quite like them. and while Mossberg could have just milled cuts into the slide and called it a day, they didn’t. The serrations are actually angled properly, so that the shooters hand engages the forward edge of the cut, making it very positive, even when the hands are sweaty or wet. The sights on the Mossberg MC2 are available in either a traditional 3-dot configuration, or a Truglo Tritium Pro Night sight. If neither of these options work for you, the MC2 utilizes the very common SIG No. 8 dovetail cut, so finding other sights is easy.

Mossberg MC2c
The slide serrations feature a sharper leading edge for grip. The textured index points are for the thumb and idle trigger fingers. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

The MC2 also features Mossberg’s STS Safe Takedown System, which allows the shooter to remove the back plate and disassemble the pistol without pressing the trigger first. Negligent discharges often happen during cleaning, so anything that mitigates that mechanically without compromising effectiveness is a good thing. The Mossberg cross-bolt safety is also available on the MC2, and while I am not a huge fan of mechanical safeties on striker fired guns, the Mossberg solution is actually quite effective despite its rather unwieldy appearance. 

Mossberg MC2c
The internal striker assembly is a familiar design concept. However, the backplate features a push button for easier removal. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

I attended an event at Gunsite Academy and had the opportunity to run the Mossberg MC2 in the rain while it was dirty, and in several simulators (i.e.”shoot houses”), as well as the flat range. My first observation while shooting the pistol is that it shoots softer than many of its competitors. I think a large part of that is that by combining a polymer frame with a steel magazine, the engineers found a sweet spot in grip circumference, allowing me to get not only a nice high grip on the pistol, but also allowing me to lock it into my hand in alignment with my forearm.

Mossberg MC2c
The lower frame contains the fire-control assembly behind the magazine housing with a transfer bar linking it to the trigger. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

A De Santis belt holster was supplied with the pistol, and I was able to consistently obtain sub-one second hits on the chest box of the Gunsite option targets at 7 yards. I’m right around one second from the holster with my duty gun, so I lost absolutely nothing by transitioning to the MC2, which conceals much easier than my duty gun. This isn’t the case with most compact pistols I’ve used, as their abbreviated grips tend to slow me down just a bit. I was also able to win the shoot off, which consisted of man on man hits on a steel popper at 10 yards from the holster, beating some pretty formidable competition. I won’t name them, but they know who they are.

Mossberg MC2c
Photo by Mark Fingar

The Mossberg MC2 9mm pistol is no slouch in the accuracy department, either. It turned in some very good groups from a rest at 25 yards with the SIG Elite Match V-Crown 147 grain, coming in with a 2.7-inch average, the Hornady Critical Duty 135 grain at just over 3 inches, and the Norma MHP 108 grain coming in at 3.8 inches. With a defensive oriented gun such as the MC2, I look for groups consistently below 4 inches at 25 yards, that’s realistic for most gun and ammunition combinations. If I can find ammunition that groups under 3 inches consistently, that’s a testament to the quality of the gun and the ammunition. I plan on shooting it a lot more, but the six-groove, 1 in 10-inch barrel certainly seems to like the heavier bullets. I also tend to shoot more precisely with a narrower front sight, so I’ll eventually switch out the stock 3-dots for something that lets a little more light in around the front sight. One of the small red dot sights would be even better, and even though the MC2 will probably see that as an option moving forward, I think the factory missed an opportunity to address this at the launch. Like it or not, we are firmly in the age of the pistol mounted RDS.

Mossberg MC2c
The MC2c grip design balances concealability and shootability. The texture is effective, but the author wishes for more of it. (Photo by Mark Fingar)

I think anyone looking for an everyday carry (EDC) option that is actually easy to shoot would be very well served with the Mossberg MC2c 9mm pistol. It’s not perfect, nothing is despite what the marketing department tells you. The grip could use some more texture, and like any gun on the smaller side, there is a learning curve with the smaller controls, like the slide lock and magazine release, especially for shooters with large hands. With the MC2 though, that curve is not steep. Mossberg has made a hundred-year business out of giving the customer lots of gun for the money, and at an MSRP of $490, the MC2 proudly carries that tradition forward.

Mossberg MC2c 9mm Pistol Specs

  • TYPE: Striker fired, semi-automatic
  • CALIBER: 9mm
  • CAPACITY: 13+1(flush); 15+1(extended)
  • BARREL: 4 in.
  • OVERALL LENGTH: 7.1 in.
  • HEIGHT: 4.9 in.
  • WIDTH: 1.1in.
  • WEIGHT: 1 lb., 5 oz.
  • FINISH: Black DLC (stainless steel)
  • FRAME: Glass-filled polymer, black
  • TRIGGER: 5 lbs., 8 oz.; flat w/ safety
  • SIGHTS: 3 white dots; drift adj; TruGlo night sights opt.
  • MSRP: $490
  • MANUFACTURER: O.F. Mossberg and Sons, 203-230-5300, 
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