Mossberg MC1sc Pistol, by Pat Cascio

I can honestly say that I’ve only been to a few dances in my lifetime, but I don’t ever recall coming to any of those dances late.  As a matter of fact, I hate coming to anything late – very rare for me to arrive past the starting time of anything – just something in me, that doesn’t allow it to happen. More often than not, I arrive early to anything. So, why do I keep hearing that the Mossberg MC1sc pistol has arrived “late to the dance” with their subcompact 9mm pistol? I don’t know, better late than never I guess. And, did the MC1sc bring anything new to the dance, when it comes to subcompact 9mm handguns? You’d better believe it.

I heard this same type of thinking, when the subcompact .380 ACP pistol came out, many makers jumped on the bandwagon, and wanted to produce a small subcompact .380 ACP pistol. And, some makers are still releasing new and/or updated subcompact .380 ACP pistols to this day, and I sure don’t have a problem with this. As I said, late is better than not coming at all.

I’m not a huge fan of a subcompact .380 ACP pistol as my one and only self-defense weapon – not so much the weapon itself, but the caliber. I regularly carry a subcompact .380 ACP of some type as a back-up to whatever my main gun is, so I’m not a hater of this caliber, I just think it has it’s place when it comes to self-defense. Sure, a .380 ACP chambered handgun is better than a rock or a sharp stick, when it comes to self-defense, but its not my first choice.

So, not all that long ago, we saw the Glock 26 subcompact 9mm handgun reach the marketplace, and I’m not entirely sure I’d call it “subcompact” – when it is a more than a little bit chunky, to say the least. I guess, compared to many 9mm handguns, we could call it subcompact if we wanted to. So, everyone started jumping on that 9mm subcompact bandwagon, and that’s a good thing for consumers who regularly carry concealed on a daily basis. I know I no longer like carrying full-sized handguns – in any caliber in my Golden Years – and one of these days, I’m going to find out exactly what is so “golden” about growing so old…Ugh!

A Crowded Market

These days, many gun makers are going with a single-stack, subcompact 9mm handgun, and I like the idea for the most part…carrying one of these smaller guns and a spare reload, it’s a capable self-defense package.  Some of the double-stack, subcompact, and micro 9mm handguns are pretty small these days as well…just hard to believe how the gun makers could make a micro 9mm handgun, that is actually smaller than a single stack handgun is – but it has been done – and is being done.

So, what did Mossberg bring to the table, with their brand-new MC1sc subcompact 9mm Parabellum pistol? Well, to start with, this isn’t the first handgun Mossberg has produced, they had a 4-barreled .22 handgun many years ago – around a hundred years ago. I’ve seen this handgun a few times, but never owned one. Mossberg is famous for their shotguns and big game hunting rifles, so it caught a lot of us off-guard, when they announced a subcompact 9mm handgun. Besides, what could they bring out, that isn’t already out there? Hmmmm…

At the Mossberg web site, we find the following:

“A safe takedown system, ensures no trigger pull is required for disassembly.

Mossberg signature multi-angle slide serrations for positive slide manipulation.

Standard snag-free dovetailed white three done sights for fast target acquisition.

Stainless steel slide with Diamond-like carbon coating.

3.4-inch barrel that also has the Diamond-like carbon coating.

Extended trigger guard for easy access.

Mossberg flat profile trigger with integrated blade safety.

Reversible magazine release.

Aggressive signature Mossberg grip texturing.

Palm swell and grip angle provide superior ergonomics.

Glass reinforced black polymer frame.

Mossberg clear-count polymer magazine with a 6-rd flush-fitting model, and a 7-rd extended mag for a better grip, and it is low friction and high wear resistance.”

Wow! That’s a lot of things that Mossberg put into this little gun, and it really is little, compared to many other similar subcompact handguns. Quite honestly, whenever I read descriptions of a new model handgun, on the maker’s web site, I take it all with a grain of salt. Many times it is just advertising hype. However, in this case, what Mossberg has produced is one award-winning subcompact 9mm handgun.

I was determined, that I wasn’t going to like the flat faced trigger but I was wrong! It allows a more consistent trigger pull, and it just feels good on my trigger finger. And, the blade safety lever in the center of the trigger – I don’t even notice it at all. The extended trigger guard — it will allow a gloved finger to fit inside of it — is a very nice touch.

Transparent Magazines?

Mossberg MC1scThe “smoke” transparent polymer magazines? I had some misgivings about those. But I got to thinking about it, and many gun makers are providing polymer magazines with their handguns – and long guns. Th enly difference is, these mags are transparent, and you can see how many rounds you have left or have loaded into these magazines. I don’t see them failing any time soon. I like the extended magazine, the one that holds 7-rounds. It gives my pinky finger something to hold on to, instead of hanging off the gun. I supposed for deep concealed carry, many might want the flat-based magazines inserted in the gun – not me! I’ve already ordered a spare 7-round extended magazine, and will get at least one more. The 6-round mag probably won’t get used much in the gun, although I did use it during my testing.

The white, three-dot sights are very fast to pick up. Us old guys really appreciate this, out eyes aren’t as sharp as they used to be. Oh, I have 20/20 corrected vision with contact lenses, but things are not nearly as “bright” as they used to be, so all-black sights aren’t the best for us.

The texturing on the polymer frame, very nice – not too aggressive, and not to puny, either – just right for a good hold on the gun. Plus, the angled slide serrations, makes for a sure chambering of a round from the magazines. Plus, as an aside, these magazines are easy to load to capacity. I can’t say the same for some other subcompact, or compact 9mm handgun magazines. Some of those (from other makers) are a real bear to fully load by hand.

I tried my hand at reversing the magazine release. That is a piece of cake. The palm swells on the polymer grip frame – just about perfect if you ask me. The slide is only 3.4-inches long, and it seems to work for some great accuracy.


Mossberg MC1scA word on the take-down feature, for field stripping this little gem. You need to check out the Mossberg web site, or any number of YouTube videos. It is so simple, its one of those “why didn’t I think of that” things. It only takes a few seconds to safely disassemble this little gun. After removingt the magazine and ensuring it is clear, you basically lock the slide open, press in a button on the rear of the slide and slide down the striker retaining plate, and ease the slide forward, and when you do that, the striker comes out of the slide, as you pull the slide off, removed the recoil spring and barrel. Just that simple, and I mean simple!

Some Testing

So, there is no hype that I could find on the MC1sc – what Mossberg has done, is given us one heck of a little subcompact 9mm Parabellum pistol, with everything you need, and nothing you don’t need. But does it shoot? I fired close to 300 rounds through this little gem, without any problems at all, and the easy-to-load magazines made reloading easy. I had quite a selection of 9mm ammo on-hand for my testing. Mossberg says you can fire +P ammo through the gun – and I did, but I wouldn’t want to fire this on a regular basis, as +P is tough on even full-sized guns.

From Black Hills Ammunition I had the following 9mm ACP on-hand for testing: 100-gr HoneyBadger +P all-copper load, a favorite of mine for self-defense, 115-gr JHP, 124-gr JHP +P, 115-gr FMJ, 115-gr EXP (Xtra Power) Hollow Point, 115-gr Barnes TAC-XP +P all-copper hollow point – another favorite load for self-defense. All accuracy shooting was done at 15 yards – for the record. However, I did fire a few groups at 25-yards, just for the heck of it, to see what this little gun could do.

Mossberg MC1scI didn’t have any volunteer shooters this time around, I was on my own. I did a lot of shooting at rocks and other “things” on the ground – almost always hitting what I was aiming at. When I hunkered down for the accuracy portion of my testing, I stood – didn’t rest the gun on anything like I usually do. If I did my part, I could get groups around 2.5-inches, with one group dead-on at 2-inches with the 124-gr JHP +P load – that one surprised me– since usually the highest-velocity loads aren’t always the most accurate. Everything else was right around the 2.5-inch mark – that is great groupings from a subcompact 9mm pistol.

I put the target out to 25 yards, and used a sleeping bag as a rest, and I got several groups right at 4-inches, and that is more than combat accuracy if you ask me. Sometimes I don’t get groups that small from full-sized 9mm handguns. So, clearly the little MC1sc is capable, and then some.

I like to save the best for last, and that is price. My little MC1sc was only $369 from my local FFL dealer and they are selling a lot of ‘em, too. This is about a hundred bucks less than a similar Glock 43 sells for. And by the way, you can use a Glock 43 magazine in the Mossberg MC1sc. I haven’t shopped around for a holster for the MC1sc, but I will get one, and I’m going to start carrying it on a regular basis. It is rugged, reliable and it feels great in the hand. Check one out…you’ll like it!

One Comment

  1. $369? No thanks. With the release of the Glock 43x and 48 I can find used Glock 43’s for the same price or less. For $200 I can get a Taurus G2S with the same features plus second strike capabilities and a pic rail. And before the Taurus haters come out the G2s is well established as a good, reliable gun for the money. Mossberg makes some fine firearms for sure, but this on is lost in a field of cheaper/better/well established arms.

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