My first experience with O.F. Mossberg & Sons guns occurred in 1967 when my friend, Rayvon Bennet, and I decided to do some dove hunting after school. It was a different time and we kept our cased guns in our school lockers until after class and headed out from the school yard to an 80-acre farm behind the school. I had a 20-gauge High Standard J.C Higgins autoloader and Rayvon brought his dad’s Mossberg 500. As a teenager, I was interested in all kinds of guns, but was really impressed with the light weight and smooth operation of the Mossberg, a gun that cost less new than I’d paid for my used J.C. Higgins.
Since 1919, Mossberg has been known for producing no-frills, affordable and reliable firearms. While they were known for reliability and economy, few models inspired glowing reviews from the gun writers of my youth. Primarily, Mossberg produced a series of uninspiring bolt-action rimfire rifles and shotguns, but in 1962, the company introduced the Mossberg 500—its most successful firearm, reaching 10 million sold in record time. Military versions of the 500 and subsequent models 590 and 590 A1 were the only pump-action shotguns ever to pass the U.S. Military Spec 3443 requirements.
Today, Mossberg produces a full line of sporting, military and defensive guns, center-fire and rimfire rifles, shotguns and recently, the MC line of 9 mm pistols. Until the introduction of Mossberg’s modern pistol line, few knew the original Mossberg was a .22 caliber, four-shot pepperbox pistol called the Brownie. In 2019, the company introduced the MC1sc, a six-shot, sub-compact 9 mm that received positive reviews. A year later, Mossberg introduced the MC2c, a compact 9 mm with a four-inch barrel and 13+1 capacity, plus an extended 15-round magazine.
While both guns were well received, the world was changing with the introduction of sub-compact pistols with increased capacity such as the SIG P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat. Now, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Taurus and Kimber have introduced similar subcompacts, and so has Mossberg with the new MC2sc.
The MC2sc fully engages the competition with a 11+1 capacity in the standard magazine and an included 14-round magazine. In spite of nearly doubling the capacity, it only weighs a half-ounce more than the original MC1sc. In fact, there’s little difference in the width of the grip—only 0.040 inch. The bore axis is low and the trigger guard is undercut for the desired hand placement. The grip surface has aggressive panels in the right places, and on either side of the frame, forward of the trigger guard, there are small aggressive panels right where the trigger finger and support thumb should index. As an instructor, I especially like this because it helps novice shooters reference proper grip. The convertible magazine release sports a similar surface, and there’s a little protective bump to the rear of the mag release button, which prevents accidently releasing the magazine when the gun is really close to the body in concealment.
Sights are the standard three-dot arrangement with a shoulder on the front of the rear sight to allow cycling the slide with one hand if necessary. Forward of the rear sight is a filler plate to cover the mounting surface for optics. TruGlo Tritium Pro night sights are available for $106 more. There’s also a rail section up front for lights or lasers. Good cocking serrations are present at the front and rear of the slide. Additionally, the flat-faced, bladed trigger breaks at about 5.5 pounds, standard fare for striker-fired guns and just right in my mind for a defensive pistol.
Fieldstripping is accomplished without dropping the striker, by removal of the magazine, locking the slide back, and pushing in and down on the take down plate at the rear of the slide. At that point, the striker and its guide come out the rear of the slide and the slide comes off the front. There’s a captured dual-recoil spring arrangement. The system is a bit unconventional, but it is easy to accomplish and resolved the issue of having to pull the trigger for disassembly.
The past three years have seen more improvements in concealed carry pistols than the previous 25. SIG gets much of the credit for the trend with the introduction of the P365, but the Mossberg MC2sc is a solid option.