Mossberg's New 9mm MC1SC

Returning to Its Roots — With A Pistol?

The MC1sc proved to be a good carry companion, packing comfortably in a Blackhawk!
TecGrip pocket holster and with spare ammo protected by Ammo Armor mag protectors.

When you think of Mossberg, I’ll wager the words coming to mind are along the lines of “tough,” “rugged,” “affordable” and “reliable.” I expect “innovative” wasn’t in there? You probably associate the brand with the tried-and-true 500 pump shotgun, a long-running symbol of solid reliability. But this would be unfair, as Mossberg has a long history of developing influential, trend-setting products. Did you know Mossberg developed and patented the cantilever scope mount system? Surprised?

Speaking of history, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Mossberg brand. Interestingly enough, the first Mossberg was not a field-ready shotgun but rather a tiny 4-barreled .22 pistol small enough to fit into a pocket. I’m thinking the new MC1sc pistol is one of those “What’s old is new again” situations. Surprised with Mossberg making a pistol? So were we.

The new MC1sc from Mossberg is a compact 9mm pistol designed from the ground
up for CCW. It’s capable and a truly amazing performer on the range. Photo: Mossberg

Looking Back & Forward

The result of a three-year development project, the MC1sc is made right here in the United States and represents Mossberg’s move back into the handgun market. It’s obviously focusing on the biggest part of this firearm segment — concealed carry. The model designation stands for “Mossberg Carry, Model 1, subcompact.”

The pistol follows a familiar format for modern handguns, featuring a polymer frame for light weight and durability and employing a striker-fired DAO firing system. It weighs in at 19 oz. unloaded, has a 6+1 capacity with flush-fitting magazine and has a starting MSRP of $425. Variants with TruGlo night sights, Viridian lasers, etc., go up in price from there. It’s also offered with an optional manual safety located just to the rear of the triggerguard. The pistol also comes with a spare 7-round magazine with a grip extension.

Look, I get it. A polymer-framed 9mm pistol designed for CCW is not particularly revolutionary. But, making a good pistol for a good price that actually works is something notable. Also, the MC1sc does have some innovative features. What struck me first was the “Clear-Count” magazine. These translucent polymer mags have bright orange followers and give immediate visual access to the round count in a mag. I like it. A lot.

The other notable innovation is the STS (Safe Takedown System) requiring you to unload and clear the firearm with the magazine removed and action locked open. The striker system can then be removed from the rear of the slide and the slide can then be removed for full disassembly.

While the Mossberg has a flush-fitting 6-round magazine, it also has an extended
7-rounder as well, with a grip extension (shown). Photo: Mossberg

Hands On

At a training event at Gunsite Ranch I was able to wring out the pistol during a multi-day course. At first blush the MC1sc might appear to be nothing unique from the rest of the market — apart from having “Mossberg” on the slide. But we learned fast the pistol really is a standout. I put more than 800 rounds through it, and it ran without a hitch in the dusty, desert environment. I’ve seen more expensive guns from “established” handgun makers choke on less. Much less.

The Mossberg also proved to be a real shooter. Once we got a gauge on how well they could do, we started working on a smallish steel plate set at 50 yards. Most all of us were consistently hitting the plate at this distance. One shooter even nailed it five rounds in a row out of a six-round mag — and the last “miss” was just off the edge of the plate. Did I mention this gun shoots way better than it has any business doing for its size?

Later, back home, I decided to give the little Mossberg a spin as my EDC pistol. I knew it could shoot, so now I was curious as to how it would carry.

The pistol is simple to breakdown for cleaning. Note the orange housing for
the striker and the translucent magazine body.

Packing Tactics

I’d heard good things about Blackhawk!’s holster line so I checked out the company’s website and discovered the ambidextrous TecGrip Pocket Holster. I selected the #3 variant and put in my order. Priced at $18.95, it’s almost an impulse purchase.

The holster is a coyote tan color, having a “tacky” outer surface while the smooth, velvety interior protects the gun. It also easily releases it when drawn. The holster features high-density closed-cell foam, allowing it to bend and easily conform to your pocket and body. If you like to run skinny jeans you should stop reading now. If you wear “tactical pants” with big pockets or even straight cut jeans with generous (and stretchy) pockets, this holster and the Mossberg will work for pocket carry.

I’ve recently been playing with some Ammo Armor mag protectors and discovered they’re great for carrying a spare mag or two in a pocket, protected from dirt and dings. They’re also not expensive at $9.95 apiece. I figured out I could pull a mag in an Ammo Armor from my pocket and tuck it under my strong-arm against my body to peel the mag loose.

As the Mossberg was simply too new for Ammo Armor to cover yet, I took a gamble and tried the one designed for the GLOCK 43 9mm mag. I was happy to learn the clear polymer Mossberg mags would fit. With this setup, I had the means to pack the 6+1 Mossberg and two spare 7-round mags in my front pockets, carrying it all very discreetly. I’ve also been told the company is currently developing models specifically designed for the Mossberg pistol.

Mossberg is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019 and its first gun was actually a pistol
— the four-barreled “Brownie” in .22. Photo: Mossberg


Yes, the CCW market has a lot of small 9mm pistols in it. I get it. But I think Mossberg did an outstanding job of developing and delivering exactly what they intended — a great gun for a good price. The fact it performs beyond what I think should even be expected just means Mossberg followed the sound principle of under-promising — and over-delivering.
For more info: Mossberg,, Ph: (203) 230-5300; Blackhawk!,, Ph: (406) 284-3840; Ammo Armor,, Ph: (800) 542-2666

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