With the MC1sc subcompact 9X19mm, Mossberg has stepped into a crowed field of popular pistols. Subcompact 9mms have been great sellers, with the demand for easily concealable power showing no signs of abating anytime soon. With the MC1sc, the company often cited as the best value in shotguns presents a polymer framed, striker fired subcompact that’s familiar to most shooters, with a twist.
There’s not much different in the MC1sc than you’ll find in other small striker-fired polymer framed pistols, save the takedown. For some reason I still can’t quite understand, it seems that some folks simply do not have the ability to unload a firearm. This defect has resulted in a number of individuals squeezing the trigger on a live round while attempting to field strip common striker fired pistols, like GLOCKs.
The Mossberg alleviates the fear of such a discharge by requiring the user to remove the striker from the pistol entirely before the slide can be removed from the frame.
If you look closely, you’ll see that there is no takedown lever or pins in the frame. Instead, there is a sliding cover plate over the rear of the striker. Currently, it’s under license from Strike Industries. With the slide locked open, push in the Strike striker plate and the bright orange tail of the striker become visible. After that’s pulled out, the slide comes forward off the frame.
Because the small plate must be removed and then the striker, takedown is a tiny bit more complicated and a more delicate as well. It’s wise to do an even basic field stripping indoors, or other locations where you won’t lose small parts.
The stainless steel slide and 3.4″ barrel of the MC1sc have been covered in a black Diamond-Like Carbon Coating. This dull finish is becoming more and more popular on a wide range of tactical and EDC style guns. It’s durable and functional. It’s not that pretty.
The frame itself is the familiar glass reinforced polymer with aggressive texturing on all sides of the grip. You’ll also find deep textures fore and aft on the slide.
The raised magazine release is deeply textured as well, and can be swapped to either side of the pistol.
An interesting feature of this gun is its clear factory magazines. In the past, with other brands, clear magazines have had the reputation of being a bit flimsy. Mossberg has assured us all that this is not the case with these magazines.
Although I didn’t intentionally step on either of the supplied magazines, I did drop them to the range floor and to the ground dozens of times during the review. They showed no significant signs of wear or damage, and never failed to function properly.
On the range, I found the MC1sc handles well, with the snappy recoil of most 9mm guns of this size and weight. This isn’t the gun I’d want to run a full course with, but it’s completely comfortable to put a 100 rounds or so down range.
I found it a little difficult to find the front sight at first. For some reason I had to pull my wrist up just about every time to find the front sight. Other shooters did not note this issue.
The MC1sc ships with two grips, one a flush fit 6 or the other an extended 7 rounder. Of course, like all semiautomatic pistols with shorter than palm length grips, I had to shift my grip off the gun in order to get the 6 round flush fit magazine to fall. I never had any issues with the 6 or 7 round magazine’s releasing, and I never had them fail to seat, as long as I did my part.
At first, I thought this was a 6 or 7 round capacity gun only. The answer is yes and no. Using the 7-round “extended” magazine, I was able to load 7 and get one in the chamber. With the 6-round shorty magazine I was not able to get the magazine to fully seat with a round I the chamber and the magazine full. So this gun is a 7+1 or a 6, depending on the magazine.
The magazine well isn’t beveled or funneled in any way, and there are some unfortunate catch points waiting to stop the magazine from inserting. I had 500 rounds to shoot, and only two magazines that held no more than seven rounds. That means a lot of magazine changes.
On several blind attempts when I was really pushing the clock, I got the angle of insertion wrong and ended up catching the magazine on the front of the well. Caught like that, it wasn’t going forward at all, and needed a quick reset. This is nothing that, if trained for properly, would be an issue.
Unlike just about every other pistol of its size, I didn’t have a last round slide hold open issue. I usually find it impossible to keep my firing hand thumb off the slide lock/release in a two-handed grip on these small guns, which keeps the slide from locking open on an empty mag.
For the MC1sc, the slide release was large enough to get to intentionally, but firm enough that it never got pushed inadvertently. That’s a very welcome change.
Like most modern striker-fired pistols, the MC1sc’s trigger scores a solid “meh.” The flat shoe includes the familiar safety blade, and this particular model broke at almost 6 lbs. The initial pull has some squishiness to it and a tiny bit of stack before the break. The reset is short and obvious.
I’m not exactly sure why, but pulling the trigger straight back while keeping the muzzle from dipping was a particular challenge with the MC1sc. It is a 19oz gun with a 5-6 lb trigger pull. Since little of that weight is forward of my hand, it’s understandable why it would be so difficult to keep the front sight still.
There are not multiple back straps with this gun, so the length of pull is set. For my size large hands, that left the grip a little small and my trigger finger well forward of optimal. I found myself gorilla gripping the trigger on the draw. That said, if this was my EDC, there’s no reason correct trigger placement couldn’t be trained in.
Because of my challenge in keeping the sights down, shooting groups was a time-consuming process. I had to take quite a few breaks and practice on the bags before I started. I split it up between a couple of days. But if you are like me, the MC1sc will reward you with surprisingly small groups for such a diminutive 9X19mm.
Shooting off a bag at 25 yards, Armscor 115gr FMJ scored an average of 3″ five round groups over four shot strings. My best groups were actually with the Speer 124gr JHP, which printed closer to 2 1/2″ groups on average. If you take your time, it’s really impressive what some of these little guns can do.
The sights on this particular Trial and Evaluation gun were nothing special. They come with the standard 3 dot option. However, one of the great things about any Mossberg product is the exceptional product support from the company. Not only can you usually buy spare parts for you gun straight from the Mossberg website (none for the MSC1 yet) but you can purchase magazines ($21), holsters, and tritium sights there as well. If you need more sight options, the dovetail sights fit the Sig #8 pattern, so any of those sights will tap right in as well.
There’s no doubting the MC1sc’s reliability. I put the standard 500 rounds through this gun over about a week’s shooting. I shot 115gr FMJ’s from Armscor and Fiocci, as well as 147 and 124gr JHP’s from several brands. I never had any round fail to load, fire, or eject. It ran flawlessly.
When it comes to easy carry and concealability, the MC1sc is ideal. Have you ever held or shot the G43? The dimensions of Mossberg’s subcompact are almost exactly the same. Although it would not fit in my KMFJ G43 Kydex holster, many folks have told me it fits in their leather G43 holsters just fine. You can get perfectly fitted holsters from several manufacturers, as well as directly on Mossberg’s website.
Mossberg has stepped into the waters with some already well established competition with the subcompact 9. Then again, that’s nothing new for Mossberg. The MC1sc rounds out the company’s everyman offerings with shotguns, rifles, and now an everyday carry pistol that can handle the tasks most Americans ask of their guns. Just as Mossberg has been known for, the MC1sc does it at a price point typically below the competition.
Specifications: Mossberg MC1sc
Capacity 6-Round Flush-Fit / 7-Round Extended
Safety: Integrated Trigger Blade Safety
Barrel Length 3.4″
Sight: White 3-Dot
Sight: Radius 5.4″
Twist: 1:16 RH Twist
Trigger Pull: 5-6 lbs.
Barrel: 416 Stainless Steel, DLC
Slide: 416 Stainless Steel, DLC
Weight: 19 oz (Unloaded), 22 oz (Loaded)
MSRP: $421 (easily found on line from multiple dealers for $330 to $350)
Style and Appearance * * *
All function and not much form. The DLC coating is even and well done throughout, but it’s nothing special to look at.
Customization * *
You can swap out the sights easily, but so far, that’s about it. Look for more as the pistol becomes more widely used.
Reliability * * * * *
Accuracy * * * *
A subcompact shooting around 3″ five round groups at 25 yards still impresses the heck out of me.
Overall * * *
The Mossberg MC1sc is a solid performer, but doesn’t bring much new to the table other than the ability to field strip the pistol without pulling the trigger. It makes up for that with a bit more of a complex take down procedure and the greater possibility of lost parts. It handles well, right on par with the GLOCK 43 and other members of its class. The reliability is superb and the groups aren’t bad at all.