July 28, 2023
It’s fair to say that when firearms enthusiasts hear the name Mossberg, shotguns are the first thing that come to mind. The first pump-action Model 500 was produced on August 21, 1961, which has become a staple of American gun culture since. O. F. Mossberg & Sons started designing guns in 1919. Mossberg’s first product? The Brownie pistol with a tip-down, four-shot .22-caliber barrel.
Of course, Mossberg has almost always manufactured semiautomatic, bolt- and lever-action rifles. They’re known to be accurate and affordable, a winning combination to be sure.
Aside from a contracted venture with U.S. Arms for its Abilene Series of single-action revolvers and A.I.G. Inc. to market and distribute a .38-caliber revolver and a .45 Auto pistol during the early 1980s, it wasn’t until 2019 — Mossberg’s 100th anniversary — that Mossberg took up making handguns again. The MC1sc, a single-stack 9mm striker-fired sub-compact pistol, first appeared in the April 2019 issue of Guns & Ammo. Many assumed this was the brand’s first pistol.
Despite its popular reception, the MC1sc fell from Mossberg’s line-up and was replaced in 2020 by the larger, higher-capacity MC2c. While the 3.9-inch barreled MC2c still appeals to many, some were still wanting a smaller pistol that’s easier to carry concealed, which is where the MC2sc — “sc” for “sub compact” — comes into the picture.
Some Call It a “Micro.”
Introduced in 2021, the 9mm-chambered MC2sc feeds from a double-column, flush-fit, 11-round magazine or 14-round extended magazine. (One of each are included.) For capacity-restricted states, the gun ships with two 10-round magazines. The 11-round magazine makes the pistol less likely to print through a cover garment, but it is also a little harder to shoot if you have Large or XL-size hands; there’s not quite room on the grip for some to place the little finger.
The MC2sc is made of the same high-tensile strength glass-filled polymer as the MC2c. It also shares other characteristics such as a low bore-axis to mitigate muzzle flip, is snag free, has three-dot dovetail sights, and a flat-faced trigger with integrated safety lever. Slides and barrels are made of 416 stainless steel and finished with the Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) finish. Mossberg pistols are anti-corrosion.
Ergonomics, including grip angle, palm swell, slide serrations, and texturing, are similar as well. The MC2sc is a miniaturized version of the MC2c. At just 6.25 inches in overall length, measuring 4.30 inches tall, and 1.10 inches wide, it is very concealable. With an unloaded weight of just 191/2 ounces, it doesn’t weigh down a holster. The pistol is also devoid of sharp edges that cause discomfort or that can snag on a garment when drawing from concealment.
Like the MC2c, the MC2sc can be purchased with a manual, cross-bolt-style safety, which would be preferred for appendix carry. You can also upgrade the MC2sc with factory installed TruGlo Tritium Pro sights. The news is that the MC2sc is optics ready. It accepts red-dot sights with the Shield RMSc footprint without the need for mounting plates. The optic cut is deep enough, too, that standard-height sights can co-witness with the dot. (That means it isn’t necessary to purchase and install tall, suppressor-height sights.)
Unique when compared to other striker-fired pistols, Mossberg engineers approached fieldstripping in a different way by creating the Safe Takedown System. This feature enables a person to disassemble the pistol without the need to press the trigger before removing the slide assembly. To disassemble the MC2sc, first remove the magazine and lock the slide to the rear, verifying that the pistol is clear of ammunition. Using a thumb, push in on the rear slide plate button and pull down to remove it. Next, close the action by pulling the slide rearward, then ease it forward. From there, remove the striker assembly by pulling it out of the back of the slide. Move the slide forward to separate it from the frame, and then you can remove the barrel and recoil spring assembly from the slide. Simply reverse the process to reassemble.
The trigger on the MC2sc sent to G&A for testing produced an average pull weight of 4 pounds, 3 ounces, which is considerably less than Mossberg’s advertised 51/2 pounds. The feel of the flat-faced trigger was good, but the stroke was not the smoothest; it’s decent, but there remains room for improvement. Although there was considerable take up, a polymer overtravel stop ensured the trigger stopped after the assembly releases the striker at 90 degrees. The reset, although not particularly short, was easily discernable by the feel of an audible click.
The otherwise smooth grip has swaths of aggressive texturing where the heel of the hand and the ring finger wrap. Additionally, the front- and backstrap have vertical cuts encasing horizontal bars. This combination helped to lock the pistol in our hands. The oversized triggerguard is slightly undercut, too. This, combined with the beavertail profile, facilitated a high grip for optimal recoil control.
Recessed, textured areas on either side of the frame just behind the accessory rail also provide a physical index reference for locating the thumb of your non-shooting hand. It also works for placing an idle trigger finger, too. The magazine release protrudes just enough to be easily used (but not accidentally), and its texture helped ensure a thumb wont slip off. It’s reversable to accommodate lefties.
Front and rear slide serrations are sufficient without being overly aggressive. Really, the only critique we had with the controls is that the slide lock lever lays flat, making it difficult to use as a slide release. With a more pronounced slide stop, many shooters use the left thumb to send the slide home rather than pull the slide rearward before releasing it. The slide stop is too small to reliably operate under duress.
The magazine baseplates have a slight ridge that gives you something to grab hold of should you need to strip the magazine from the pistol. Additionally, the extended magazines have a slot on either side of the sleeve to accomplish the same task. Magazine sleeves tend to creep up the magazine when not in the pistol, but the magazine for the MC2sc featured sleeves that were tight enough to stay put. Inside, the orange followers are an obvious visual indicator that the mag is empty.
At The Range
G&A’s Richard Nance, Alfredo Rico and Jeremy Stafford tested the MC2sc through a three-day pistolcourse at the Gunsite Academy. It performed flawlessly. They felt it was the perfect size for comfort when using the extended magazine.
The little finger plays a big role in controlling a pistol. Pulling up and in with the little finger of your dominant hand while driving the heel of your hand forward and down helps mitigate muzzle flip, which can result in faster, more accurate shots.
Since a carry gun is only as good as the holster it rides in, authors were issued DeSantis’ Slim Tuk, which is a Kydex rig that can be worn outside the waistband (OWB) or inside the waistband (IWB). A testament to the Slim Tuk’s versatility, all hardware can be reversed to accommodate left-handed shooters. The MC2sc snapped securely into place when holstered and drew clean. The Slim Tuk is compatible with red-dot sights. Mossberg offers a co-branded version of this holster that can be purchased at their website.
The MC2sc ran like a top and proved plenty accurate during Gunsite Academy’s training. G&A’s sample was equipped with a Crimson Trace CTS-1550 red dot sight. For accuracy testing, several varieties of ammo was used, however, the pistol seemed to prefer Hornady’s 115-grain FTX bullets in the Critical Defense load, which printed an average group of 2.7 inches from 25 yards. This load also produced a best group of 2.2 inches. However, the tightest group came from using Federal’s Hydra-Shok Deep 135-grain round.
The Mossberg MC2c and MC2sc have a positive reputation throughout the concealed-carry community, enhanced for being optic ready. After running it for three days at Gunsite, and then conducting additional testing, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the MC2sc for concealed-carry. Given its performance — and modest price — we foresee the MC2sc will be worn around the waist of many defensive-minded users.
- Type: Striker fired, semiautomatic
- Cartridge: 9mm
- Capacity: 11+1 rds., 14+1 rds.
- Barrel: 3.4 in., stainless steel, DLC
- Overall Length: 6.25 in.
- Width: 1.1 in.
- Height: 4.3 in.
- Weight: 1 lb., 3.5 oz.
- Finish: DLC, black (stainless steel)
- Sights: White 3-dot, drift adj.; optics ready
- Trigger: 4 lbs., 3 oz. (tested)
- MSRP: $556
- Manufacturer: O.F. Mossberg & Sons, 203-230-5300, mossberg.com
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