Mossberg, a well-known name for shotguns, moved into the semi-automatic pistol market last year with the MC1sc, a subcompact 9 mm. The MC1sc was a hit with concealed carriers, and a hard act to follow, but Mossberg has nonetheless one-upped themselves with the MC2c, a sharp-looking, compact, striker-fired 9 mm boasting some very thoughtful design details.
The MC2c’s glass-reinforced polymer frame, for example, features a beavertail at the top of the backstrap—an improvement from the MC1sc—to help protect your hand from the slide’s possible bite (which shouldn’t be an issue in regular practice, but could be in a defensive situation where you might be grabbing the gun in a hurry). The beavertail is subtle and rounded, though, so it shouldn’t snag on concealment clothing.
The frame also features slightly recessed textured index points on both sides, above the front of the trigger guard. These provide an easy tactile reminder of exactly where your supporting-side thumb rests on one side and where your trigger finger rests on the other when not shooting. Whether your fingers sit squarely in them or not (mine didn’t), you will likely grow accustomed to the positioning feel, which should help ensure a consistent grip. You’ll also notice a front accessory rail, allowing you to mount a flashlight or laser, and an oversized trigger guard that flares closer to the hand for more comfortable shooting. A cross-bolt safety is optional, and the magazine release is reversible for left-handed shooters.
The slide features positive cocking serrations front and back, which extend from the bottom to the beveled top. I was able to easily get a really good grip to pull back the slide, and the beveling prevented any snagging on holsters. The slide is available in black diamond-like coating (DLC) or bead-blasted stainless steel (matte) finishes, and the slide lock doubles as a slide release. The MC2c comes standard with drift-adjustable dovetail white-dot sights, but TruGlo tritium night sights are available. The stainless-steel barrel also sports the black DLC finish and cut-broached rifling with a 1-in-16 twist rate.
For a compact handgun, the MC2c’s capacity is fairly impressive. The included flush-fit magazine takes 13 rounds, while the extended magazine takes 15. Unlike the MC1sc, which used clear magazines, the MC2c’s are coated steel, giving them a long service life, with viewing holes on the right. The name of the gun is also etched onto the front of the magazines, so you can be sure you’re grabbing the right one. A bright-orange follower (to show empty) and removable floor plates (for easier cleaning) round out the magazines’ thoughtful design details.
Disassembly of the MC2c (or the MC1sc) is simple, thanks to Mossberg’s Safe Takedown System (STS). Clear the gun, lock the slide back, push the button on the back plate of the slide and remove it, pull the striker (look for the little tab at the bottom to slide it out) and then ease the slide forward. Remove the captured flat-profile recoil spring and the barrel. Reverse the process to re-assemble. Even with weaker hands, I had no trouble with assembly and disassembly, which is an important factor for me in gun purchases.
But how does it shoot? Let me start by saying that no one else I know has had trouble with this gun, nor did I find any mention of problems online—it seems that normal-sized people with normal-strength hands can expect it to perform flawlessly. I, however, am a 5-foot-tall, 110-pound woman, and I found that this is not an ideal gun for those of us with weaker hands. I’ve been an NRA pistol instructor for nearly a decade, so presumably I understand proper grip, but it can be difficult to maintain due to an injury. The recoil on this gun using anything more powerful than 115-grain often caused my support hand to come off, even as I tried to fight that. If I failed to reset very deliberately between each shot, I had cycling issues, where the slide did not come all the way forward. Of course, having to reset for every shot is not desirable in a self-defense situation. This was proven out when I used the gun for three days at a Gunsite course—adjusting my grip to keep it cycling was a constant drain on my attention and time. People with similar hands to mine might not be able to train often enough to overcome this.
While I feel this is important to note for the weaker-handed, the MC2c has been reliable and fun for nearly everybody else—I heard only positive feedback from the six or seven other people trying it, even after shooting 3,000 rounds, with many compliments for the trigger pull and feel of the reset in particular. And, no doubt, with deliberate practice over a longer period of time, it would perform well for me, too. (Still, it won’t hurt my feelings if the next Mossberg pistol is a .380!)